October 20, 2005
New Types of Bike Facilities Needed?
Last Saturday's Wall Street Journal (yes, the Journal now publishes on Saturdays) contained an article about congestion on bike paths. Unfortunately the online article requires a subscription, so I can't link to it.
The main theme of the article was about the popularity of off-street trails and the resulting congestion and conflicts between types of users: pedestrians, slow recreational cyclists and faster commuting cyclists.
The article went on to suggest segregated facilities for peds and bikes as one possible solution, but mentioned that federal funding guidelines generally required that trails be 'multi-use' precluding this approach. It also talked about widening trails to allow less conflict between users and discussed the differing requirements driving the width of trails, including issues like bikes with trailers needing a wider turning radius.
In light of the BTA's recently released blueprint and Portland Transport's imminent departure to tour bike facilities in Amsterdam, what would you suggest our region needs in the way bike facilities?
October 20, 2005 8:50 AM
With very limited exceptions, I think single use trails are a very bad idea, especially in an urban setting. There's been various threads on this blog about making city streets into more multi-use corridors where cars, bikes and pedestrians share the same spaces and go slower. Moving towards single-use trails is a step in the wrong direction.
I use my local trails to run and bike. Sometimes I go out biking with the family with the 2 year old in a trailer and the 7 year old on her bike. Sometimes I go running with the dog on a leash. Sometimes I run into packs of runners or cyclists or moms with strollers that force me to break stride or hit the brakes. That's called life in a public space. The high-speed cyclists who think the world should part way in front of them are just as arrogant and obnoxious as the impatient SUV driver who looms behind me with a hand on the horn when I'm biking on a city street. Eventually I've found that most heavily-used bike paths and trails eventually develop their own etiquette and rules that most users follow. I used to ride Seattle's Burke Gillman trail on a daily basis between the UW and the NOAA labs and that is about as heavily used trail as they come. Once they widened it and put a center line down the middle it still worked pretty good for most users.
The only exceptions to multi-use trails I can think of would be specialty trails such as mountain biking trails or circuits that are designed for skill development with jumps and hills and that sort of thing. Where pedestrians could be in danger of high-speed and out of control cyclists. And also certain hiking trails that are designed for foot traffic only, especially in quiet parks.
October 20, 2005 11:21 AM
Jonathan Maus Says:
I echo Kent's thoughts from above. It often comes down to basic respect and consideration for other people.
I would also add that there is an increasing need to accomodate mountain bikers within city limits. Currently Forest Park is the one of the only areas many of them can ride in that doesn't require loading bikes onto cars (yuck!) and driving for an hour to a trailhead.
Wouldn't it make sense to review the Forest Park trail network and consider opening up more areas for mountain bikes? Or perhaps created a designated mountain bike park? These are not revolutionary ideas, this sort of solution has been played out in many cities around the country.
October 20, 2005 12:13 PM
Dan Porter Says:
Jonathan is right. There is a huge pent up need to accomodate mountain bikers within city limits. With the exception of Powell Butte, Forest Park IS the only place that can be ridden too, and it consists of dirt roads - not trails.
Mountain biking in Portland reminds me of the skateboarding movement back when there was no legal place to skate. Skaters rode illegal spots until they were given spaces to legally ride (The Parks department has parks all over the metro area)
There will be illegal poaching of trails in the metro area (which I don't advocate by any means) until the need is recognized.
Our neighbor to the north (Seattle) is in the process of building an urban mountain bike park
under I-5. This is about the coolest use of "unusable" space I have seen:
October 20, 2005 12:14 PM
As an avid mountain biker, I would support the idea of having a few more miles of trails in Forest Park to ride on. I do believe that there should be some pedestrian only trails for hikers and runners. For the most part, I don't have too many issues with the traffic and other users of Forest Park. Letting dogs run off leash is one, but I won't start that rant. Runners, hikers, bikers, and horses seem to co-exist quite peacefully here. There have been a few exceptions from time to time, but most of my interactions with other users have been quite positive.
Many volunteer groups, like Portland United Mountain Pedalers, spend quite a bit of time volunteering in Forest Park as well as other areas ( Mt Hood, Tillamook), for stewardship projects. I don't think that maintenance of new trails would be an issue, either.
October 20, 2005 12:18 PM
Harry Spencer Says:
I agree with these gentlemen in the fact that there needs to be an area designated for mountain bike access. Mountain bike riders prefer areas that have narrow single-track trails, not wide, heavily traveled “streets”. This is an advantage as it would cost much less to create this type of trail, and it would cause less impact on the environment.
The idea of a “Mountain Bike Park in Portland would be an excellent idea that could provide numerous benefits:
1. Provide economic benefit to the city based on increased “MTB Specific” tourist travel.
2. Provide advanced planning for the increasing popularity of the sport.
3. Control “Renegade” trail building.
4. Create an educational resource that could be used for teaching safe riding skills.
5. Create an educational resource that could be used for teaching environmental education.
6. Provide a test facility for local mountain bike manufacturers, bike shops, and related businesses.
These are just a few of the benefits a park of this type could create. The list goes on and on…
As Jonathan said, this is not a new idea. Seattle is in the midst of finalizing plans for a park in the middle of their city. And, if you travel north to Whistler, B.C., you’ll find the epicenter of the sport. An area that is so progressive, it has created International recognition and support.
October 20, 2005 12:25 PM
Michael Forster Says:
I moved here from Kansas City of all places, my third attempt at living in Portland. The interesting thing is that I found Portland wonderful to my road biking habits, but somewhat difficult for mountain biking. I love both types of riding and believe that they both augment each other. Road biking creates endurance, aerobic fitness and strength while mountain biking uniquely develops bike handling skills and aids with what the road biking gives. Mountain biking also does not encourage mixing it up with cars and helps me get out into nature. I have had knee problems my whole life and cannot walk or run very far, but I can ride for about 5 hours before my knees give out. Thus, my mountain bike is my only gateway into the further reaches of any forest trail.
One thing about Kansas City is that they had many miles of multi-use single track in the metro area. We developed the single track trails with IMBA guidelines and help. This created an environmentally sound way for handling both bike and foot traffic. Some were used by horse riders. However, most horse trails were created to be separate from foot and bike trails. In general, the trails were used by both and were quite technical. Technical there meant that the riders had to move slowly. They were not full of jumps or other geometries that required or encouraged a lot of speed. Rather they required skill, stamina and strength. Where there were fast sections, the lines of sight were enough to create a safe distance for detecting people coming in the other direction or moving slower than the rider.
Runners, walkers and riders all used the trails together. The trails were slow to degrade and where degradation occurred because of one type of traffic or another, were rebuilt or redirected to correct erosion or people induced trail widening. The resulting network also accommodated different types of mountain biking in such a way that all people’s needs were met, except for hard-core downhill riders.
We had a free ride park where the free ride obstacles were diversions from the main paths and were clearly marked so that novice riders would not venture into them by mistake. The jumps and ramps were, for the most part, rock and natural. The regular cross country trails ranged from very smooth and level with burmed turns, sand traps and a few log crossings to very hilly, rocky, technically difficult ramps and turns and just difficult terrain to cover. The free ride portions were, in general, away from where runners or novice bikers would frequent, to create a safety zone where only those with foreknowledge would venture. Safety first, environmentally sound was second with fun and adventure and sharing all third.
We also saw an abundance of wildlife in the single track areas. Deer were frequent riding companions as were opossums, raccoons, squirrels and even the occasional Bald Eagle. The bikers and runners didn’t appear to have significantly different impact on the wild life
The majority of the trail work was performed by the mountain biking community for the enrichment of the whole community. Their payback was a very nice network of single track they would otherwise not have. The only ones that were excluded from some trails (and only some trails) were those with strollers. There were some parks with “single track type trails” where bikes were prohibited, but those appeared to have the most problems, because the park services were the only ones developing and maintaining those trails. There were few if any volunteer work parties on those.
In short, we had a system where there existed trails of all types, including converted rail beds, paved multiuse trails, dirt roads and over a hundred miles of single track. The only thing that Kansas City did not have was a bike friendly system of roads and motor traffic that allowed or encouraged bike use.
I live near Forest Park, but the nearest trail heads cannot be ridden—they are for foot traffic only, so I tend to drive to a trail head instead of riding. I want to avoid the automobile traffic as much as possible—that is why I have a mountain bike. I really dislike the idea of bike as a auto-commuter sport. I like to ride as much as possible rather than drive and ride. Current rules push me to either drive an hour or more to get to real single track to get into the forests or drive to Forest Park and only ride dirt roads where I am excluded from any real trail riding and skill development. In fact, the Forest Park rules make me ride faster than single track allows because it is wide fast level roads and that creates conflict with runners, walkers, dogs and horse riders.
In summary, it would seem that the ideal of a bike friendly city would be to combine the two models, the KC way for mountain biking and multi use trails and the Portland model for urban riding with road sharing, urban multi use paths and marked bike corridors. To me that would be heaven on earth!
October 20, 2005 12:44 PM
I definitely see a need single track style trails in the within riding distance of city center. Portland could be a great mountain biking city, but it defintiely falls short because so much driving is required. As for urban paths, multi use trails are proven to work, and seperating cars from non motorized users is certainly more important than seperating peds from bikes.
October 20, 2005 4:16 PM
I applaud the BTA's work. The focus in Portland however appears to be on bicycling as TRANSPORTATION and not necessarily RECREATION. Both are equally valuable. I can not help believe that this would help Portland achieve the coveted Platinum Status.
Let's look North for examples of progressive thinking:
Seattle is in the process of building a MTB park within the city.
British Columbia/Whistler is hosting the International Mountain Bike Association's Summit/World Mountain Bike Conference in 2006. A an event as large as this will undoubtedly bring "unprecedented opportunity for mountain biking advocates, land managers, trailbuilders and the bike industry to come together for education, collaboration and strategic planning for the future of mountain biking and trail access."
I'm also thinking this somehow this would generate revenue to the area hosting the conference. Too bad Portland couldn't attract an event like this,
Oh yeah, people attending will probably want some trails to ride.....
October 20, 2005 7:45 PM
As an avid cyclist who appreciates and understands the concerns of hikers would like to put forth a proven idea.
In the heavily used trails in Marin County California there is very little singletrack open to mountain bikers. One notable exception is a designated bikes-uphill-only trail called "Middle Green Gulch." It gets used by equestrians, bikers, and hikers and it works well for all groups.
Given the topography of Forest Park, it would make sense to have a number of uphill only trails. There are already a few legal downhill fire lanes that would allow the trails to be linked into satisfying loops. Uphill only solves a number of problems
- Hiker/Biker conflict is minimal because speeds are very low.
- Erosion caused by improper bike handling, skidding, etc. is eliminated
- Bikers could enjoy the kind of riding we enjoy most - intimate singletrack.
While I would certainly *love* to see a few unrestricted trails as well, I'm only suggesting the uphill-only trail or trails as a start to see how it is received by the public. And if it ends up that we bikers get only this, it will be far better than the status quo.
October 20, 2005 7:55 PM
The metro area needs several differently configured mountain bike type parks and or designated areas. If the basic areas were identified there would be plenty of cooperation from many interested groups to develop these areas to the highest levels of design. The benefits would include, economic, health, and add a big plus to the livibility of the area. One of the biggest advantages would be giving young people another outlet (not just the 20-50 something mountain bikers)which is crucial as kids that are not "chosen" to be on the basketball team turn to "TV" or drugs because they see themselves as failures. There is a program that is in place and if our local kids had an outlet.... they could enter mountain bike races and actually earn an athletic letter. There are more kids that are NOT on our schools athletic teams than are actually make the cut. That does not mean they cannot be active and learn about a sport/activity such as bicycling (other than on the sidewalk in the neighborhood)they can participate in for most of their lives. Kids, their parents and others that want to ride singletrack need these outlets. Forest Park is an example of where at least some mountain bike specific trails could be developed. I am not talking out of my nose on this as I consider myself a staunch environmentalist. I am a card carrying member of the nature conservency, world wildlife fund, national wildlife federation, osprig, and the gifford pinchot alliance taskforce. I do not want to gut forest park with development. I do believe that some top to bottom trails and another full length (like wildwood) for bikes only could be developed without causing big problems in the park. If that was not possible because of political reasons, it would still be very good for this entire community to develop other sites and have them be large enough to accomodate a good number of people that will use them year-round and also have enough parking/infrstructure to support races. Biking is fun and good for you. The more people ride the better their fitness level. We just need legal places besides city streets and bike paths. Riders need places to test themselves without endangering others that are out for a totally different reason. Again I say that young folks (if we give them the chances they deserve) have plenty of energy and desire to test themselves... we can give them chances to test themselves doing something positive like mountian biking (instead of drugs) if we have the places to mentor them. The Portland community and the biking culture as a whole are very positive forces that can really make great things happen that will make Oregon an even better place to live.
October 20, 2005 8:11 PM
Roger W. Louton Says:
As the Western Oregon Reo for the International Mountain Bicycling Association, I whole heartedly agree that access for mountain bicycles are severly lacking. There are only gravel pathways designated for cyclists in Forest Park, about 29 miles. To ride the 'good stuff' we must pack our bikes in our cars and drive 1 to 2 hours to a suitable technical riding place. Is this the image a 'supposed' Bike Friendly City wants to promote? "We like bikes, as long as you don't ride off road!".
Those wishing to join a local club in it's work to obtain SOME singletrack and bike skills park access, please contact a Portland United Mountain Pedalers Board Member at our website,
www.PUMPCLUB.org , we've been around since 1988, and got our start when bicycles were going to be banned from Forest Park back then.
October 20, 2005 8:17 PM
Roger Louton Says:
For those advocating single use, or segregated trails, please use the above link to read the various studies done by IMBA.
October 20, 2005 8:32 PM
I have been a part of a local mountain biking community now for almost 20 years. I work and live in the city and do commute to work 2 to 3 days a week. It's awesome to be able to do that but I also live near Forest Park. The single track available to us in Forest Park is limited and cramps us to only a few trails, mostly gravel. If we were allowed to use the single track (and there are miles of it) we could reduce the conflicts of multiple user on Leaf Erickson. Currently there are dogs, runners, bikers and humans walking and there have been many close calls and in some cases crashed between dogs, bikes and people. I advocate that the city take a look at creating an area within Forest Park that we could develop and use single track trails. As it is now we have to drive at least an hour or more, burn fossil fuels to get there and also face conflict with Wilderness advocates that think we shouldn't be there either. Please consider our cause and we do contribute to the solution as our club, PUMP, is an active club in repair and maintaning our current usable trails.
October 20, 2005 8:35 PM
Eric Aldinger Says:
Amsterdam is a fairly easy place to navigate. I was able to ride from the Dom to Schipol (sp?) just past the airport, without a map. The key was signage. The motivation was the fact that it is a pinnacle moment to ride through Amsterdam. The thing that was missing was an in-town, off road, riding experience.
We can be a better place for people to rent a bike to ride around by doing some of this:
][ setup more scenic low traffic road routes
][ add great bike specific signage
][ optimize key traffic controls for cycling without impacting the experience for drivers. this can be accomplished by improving alternate routes for bikes through neighborhoods with traffic calming features.
][ add signage for popular road routes from downtown to outlaying farm and forest roads.
][ increase and advertise our opportunities for in-town mountain biking. Some trails should be challenging to ride. Some should be easy for anyone to ride. Changing access designations on existing low volume trails would mitigate impact to wildlife habitat. access could be based on a rotational schedule.
After returning from Amsterdam I was proud to see how close our town has come to their design ideals. With a few NW flourishes we can top them at their own game.
October 20, 2005 10:07 PM
Chris Smith Says:
I'd like to welcome all the mountain bike folks to Portland Transport. My own two wheels seldom leave the pavement, but we're open to all modes here.
If there is anyone in your community who would like to contribute on a regular basis, we'd love to post your contributions here.
October 20, 2005 10:49 PM
I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but single track riding, while a great recreational activity and sport, is not transport.
Mountain biking needs facilities - great; IMBA and others have lots of forums to advocate that; I just don't think that discussion serves any purpose in a multi-modal transporation forum.
October 21, 2005 7:40 AM
Harry Spencer Says:
In regards to Dave's post, If there were better access, it would be transport. The title of this blog is "New types of bike facilites needed?" A question was asked, and you are seeing the answers.
October 21, 2005 8:22 AM
I would echo many of the sentiments of others, adding trails, bike specific parks, and increasing available space for all types of bikes would certainly be ideal. I really agree with Ron's angle of looking at not just 20-50 something MTBikers, but at the benefits it might offer to youth. How about Cycling/MTBike teams at schools? I work in education and I can attest to how many kids would get involved in something like this. Not every kid is into football or basketball, as with skateparks, this is another healthy outlet for kids who might not get involved in some other way, and having kids involved in something other than TV, crime, drugs ( obviously not that every kid that doesn't get involved in a sport turns to drugs). Having outlets for youth is a benefit to us all, and I wouldn't complain about a place to ride in town either!
October 21, 2005 8:40 AM
Jonathan Maus Says:
RE: "single track riding, while a great recreational activity and sport, is not transport."
Singletrack riding becomes a transportation issue when a lack of access forces riders to hop in their cars and drive to trailheads.
I'm not saying all popular recreational activities should be guaranteed nearby access, but it seems ridiculous that we've got a park as large as Forest Park so close to so many riders, yet with such a small percentage of space available for them to legally use.
October 21, 2005 9:30 AM
Ryan Kilgren Says:
In regards to Dave's post - currently I live in the Portland downtown area, but commute via bike/public transportation to the west for work. On several evenings I do in fact commute on my mountain bike back over the hill and through Forest Park to enjoy some off road mileage. Suffice to say I am not an exception when it comes to people commuting in these directions via bike/public transportation that would likely appreciate more off road options; public transportation is utilized daily by many cyclists (many of which are riding mountain bikes) to augment their commute. I imagine that most people using bicycles as a means of transportation do so in part because it is fun to ride their bike. Unfortunately and mentioned by several in the thread, mountain biking is generally viewed as an activity requiring transportation by car outside of the city limits. This sentiment could be altered if not made obsolete given more mountain biking options within the city of Portland.
In regards to Eric Aldinger's post - I fully agree that signage is key to educating and easing the use of trail systems. Signage directing cyclists along safe streets to off road and singletrack trails would be great. I recently returned from a biking vacation in Colorado and was very impressed with the trail signage. And not just signs indicating "you are here" and the trail name, but signs to direct the flow of multi-users to as to ease congestion and minimize conflict, one way travel where needed. Signs to educate the users on the terrain type and difficulty to be expected, the green circle, blue square, and black diamond symbols. Signs to educate users about proper trail etiquette, techniques, and interpretive information regarding the surrounding landscape - these were primarily found on shorter more beginner oriented loops.
Yes, I would suggest our region needs bike facilities that promote cycling as recreation and recreational-transportation. More off road riding areas, single track trails, more trails with varying degrees of technical difficulty, more signs that provide information that is useful for locating trails (not just the ones that you find within a trail system highlighting the trail user type allowed, but signs directing one to the trails) and educating users.
October 21, 2005 2:54 PM
Portland would benefit by adding mountain biking trails close in. For transportation as well as recreation, it would be another opportunity to get people out of their cars!
October 25, 2005 11:10 PM
Hmmm...OK, I guess getting mountain bikers close-in facilities so they don't have to drive makes sense, as long as we don't end up making the hikers drive to Mt. Hood.
Of course we would save a lot more auto trips by locating the Columbia Gorge casino in downtown, near light rail.
November 1, 2005 11:56 AM
Lynn Norbury Says:
I would like to see more singletrack trails available within the city limits for use by mountain bikers (MTBers). There are several locations where I would recommend opening singletrack trails, or opening more trails to mountain bikers within the city limits. Please read on and I'll describe those locations and finish with a comment on managing multiple use.
#1: I commend the high school kids who recently lobbied the Portland Parks Bureau to be allowed mountain biking access to a trail in Washington Park which is currently open only to hikers. For local kids and for their parents, this area presents a wonderful, unique opportunity to learn to mountain bike. The trails in Washington Park are close to residential neighborhoods, can be accessed by using the MAX train which is fee-based in that location, and provide a nearby, outdoor recreational experience for young mountain bikers. Parents don't have to drive their kids to trails out of town and don't have to worry about their child being lost or injured in a wildnerness area. Washington Park is also readily accessed by a number of bike shops who rely in part on the popularity of mountain biking for their success. I've recently learned that that park is also classified as open space and, as far as I know, is therefore not a sensitive wildlife environment. Opening those trails up to use by mountain bikers would be a welcome addition to the healthy, outdoor activities available here in Portland. This city just doesn't have enough singletrack trails available to a large population of mountain bikers (and their parents) who typically must drive out of town to gain access to adequate singletrack trails.
#2. I just rode a 20 mile loop on the Springwater Trail System. What a great asset it is to this city! How about adding some singletrack interest to this awesome project? For example, there could be one 3.5 mile beginner MTB trail built in Oaks Park. From there, more advanced MTBer's can carryon to Powell Butte Park where there is approximately 8 miles of intermediate difficulty singletrack trail. From there it is a surprisingly pleasant ride up the West side of I-205 and on over to Mt. Tabor Park where there could be one short shot of very challenging singletrack going up and down the volcano. From there it's not even a mile to the Ben and Jerry's ice cream store on Hawthorne Blvd or 100's of other shops and restaurants. For an avid MTBer like myself, 20 miles of spinning on paved path combined with 10 miles of singletrack is a relatively easy day. I would prefer to ride 20-30 miles of trail, but if I can depart from my garage and leave my car parked at home for a summer evening in Portland afterwhich I can treat myself to a local restaurant, then I think that's a win-win situation for all trail users and for the City of Portland and it's businesses.
#3. Forest Park has plenty of singletrack trails but very few of them are open to mountain bikers. The "trails" that allow bikers are actually double wide fire lanes. We appreciate the fact we can ride them but they are not what mountain biking is all about. We'd like access to singletrack trials. There are miles and miles of those trails open to hikers and runners. Why not open some of them up to mountain bikers?
I think I can hear the arguments of the hikers right now crying out that mountain biking and hiking or trail running are incompatible uses. Not true. Some hikers are not compatible with anyone else because they damage environmental management areas by cutting corners on trail or allow their dogs off leash in areas that require the dogs be on leash at all times. Some runners are not compatible with anyone else because they nudge you when passing or cut right in front of you after passing and cause you stumble. (Road racers, you know what I'm talking about). Similarly, some mountain bikers are incompatible with other trails users because they refuse to slow down when passing, or refuse to yield to another mountain biker who is traveling uphill and has the right of way, or refuse to yield properly to horseback riders by stopping and stepping off trail to the downhill side. In all these cases, it's not the "use" which is incompatible, it's the "user" who is incompatible. I mentioned above some of the MTB safety rules that have been established since the early 1990's and are well known in places like Denver, CO, and Phoenix, AZ, where mountain bikers and hikers and horseback riders have been successfully sharing singletrack trails in large inner city areas for over 15 years. These rules exist to promote safety, fun, and stewardship of the trails we have access to. These rules are successful in providing everyone with an enjoyable experience on trail when followed by the various users of the trails. Compatible use is everyone's responsibility.
And finally, I'd like to mention that I'm a member of the Portland United Mountian Peddlars (PUMP). Our club logs hundreds of hours per year of voluntary service in trail maintenance and volunteer service at local events such as MidSummer Night's Bike Ride and Providence Rose Peddle, and Tour de Fat just to name a few, where we actively promote mountain biking safety awareness. PUMP is a service organization dedicated to: promoting safe, responsible mountain biking, uniting the mountain biking community, educating riders and forming relationships with local and regional government, and pedaling together on organized rides. We are a large and growing constituency with a need for more singeltrack access within city limits. As a member of PUMP and a responsible trail user, I am asking the that city bureaus take action to provide mountain bikers with greater access to singeltrack trails within the City of Portland.
November 28, 2005 10:58 AM
Scott Mizée Says:
Some of you reading this may have attended the first community meeting of the Friends of the North Portland Willamette Greenway meeting. See http://bikeportland.org/2005/11/22/nopo-greenway-trail-meeting/ for more information. If you care about this issue, please submit your comments on the River Plan Concept draft before they are due December 1st. The draft document handed out at the first community meeting of Friends of North Portland Willamette Greenway contains specific concepts for the North Reach beginning on page 10. There were many ideas suggested at our meeting, and these ideas are important to communicate directly to the River Plan Team at Portland's Bureau of Planning email@example.com The River Plan Committee will take action on the draft plan December 12th and forward their recommendation to the Planning Commission for adoption. The River Concept Plan will be a guide for planning decisions leading to changes in the zoning map, zoning code, design guidelines that regulate private and public development, and other implementation strategies--including public funding. Our comments in support of trails and related amenities are key for the vision of a North Portland Willamette Greenway Trail. If you want to fish from a dock on the North Portland Greenway, now is the time to let the planners know. If you want to reduce the amount of exhaust fumes you have to inhale on your morning bike commute, now is the time to act. Friends of North Portland Willamette Greenway would like to know about your input, so when you email a comment, please cc firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
July 19, 2006 11:51 PM
I am immensely frustrated by the city's attitude to mountainbiking in Forest Park. Here we are in a city that has strived hard to be bike friendly and is recgnised as such with one of the largest city parks in the country and yet almost no mountain biking trails. Other than Powell Butte it is neccesary to get in your car and drive for at least an hour to reach legal mountain biking trails from Portland. I am a conservationist but I do not believe that making trails available in Forest Park for mountain biking would be an environmental problem. On the contrary it is important to give city dwellers opportunities for recreation in a natural environment. Finally, the financial value to the city of the providing such trails must be huge. Portland already has a good reputation as a liveable city. Think how many outdoor sports magazines would elevate Portland in the "top 20" lists if it had the countries best city mountain bike system (well maybe second best - it would be hard to beat Anchorage). PUMP clearly does excellent work but it does not seem to have paid off at all in terms of better MTB access - apart from anything else this is just an invitation for illegal use.
August 21, 2006 9:45 AM
Paul Edgar Says:
In my opinion Forest Park is an untapped asset for mountain biking. MTB trails could be built that would enhance our regions need to be addressed.
Who is going to pay to do this? If PUMP and other bike oriented organizations could fund this effort in a private/public partnership, where 90% of funding is private and they control the development process with government oversight why not.
What is the transportation priority that would be given to developing new MTB mountain bike trails over over addressing critical regional transportation needs? To me this a parks issue associated with livability. To me it should not be part of the transportation agenda.
My comment on this, is that everyone tells the bike enthusiast and organization to step to the plate and pay your own way. Well here is an example and a opportunity to take the bull by the horns and make it happen. Fund it, build it and prove everyone wrong, show leadership and get what you want and something this area needs.
August 31, 2006 4:58 PM
Keep up the great work on your blog. Best wishes WaltDe