Terwillinger Parkway

Terwilliger Parkway is gem. It's a thoughtfully designed experience that connects people with nature. It's a roadway and linear park that follows the contours of the land to reveal scenic views for pedestrians, bicyclists, bus riders, and motorists. Terwilliger Parkway has inspired Portlanders to protect the park from further development and value its ecological benefit.

Terwilliger Parkway rises above downtown Portland to connect to Barbur Boulevard in Southwest Portland. It's known for its vistas of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, and the Willamette River. Terwilliger Parkway dates back to the 1903 report to the Portland Park Board by landscape architect John Charles Olmsted, which describes a series of parks linked by parkways called the 40-Mile Loop. The “South Hillside Parkway” was one of four parkways proposed in the plan, but is the only one to be built. The parkway opened in 1912 and was paved in 1917.
Early Portlanders understood the value of protecting the corridor from development. Several property owners deeded large properties in the early 1900s to preserve them for public use. Those early acquisitions of land created a 200-foot-wide corridor for the parkway. In 1980, concerns about a proposed development along Terwilliger prompted the city to undertake a planning process to develop goals and policies for future actions within and adjacent to the corridor – a process that today we could call a sustainable approach to managing this public and natural resource. Portland landscape architect John Warner was a consultant to the city’s planning process. The 1983 Terwilliger Parkway Corridor Plan has guided development and protected the character of the parkway since then.

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