Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 1st, 2008 at 4:16 pm
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Mountain Bicyclists Congratulate Portland on Platinum Award, Seek Better Trails
IMBA and Portland United Mountain Pedalers wish to congratulate the city of Portland on achieving the League of American Bicyclists' Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community award, the first large city in the country to be awarded this status. Portland is a community that values bicycles for transportation and recreation. From innovative bicycle facility designs to PedalPalooza, the city effervesces with a vibrant, two-wheeled, human-powered culture that is second to none.
Although the accolades are well deserved, the mountain bicycling community believes there is still work to be done in Portland. Specifically, we call for better access to city parks and recreation areas for off-road riding. While other large cities -- including Seattle, Philadelphia, Austin and evenNew York -- have quality mountain bicycling experiences right in the center of their cities, Portland does not. Nor does Portland currently have a comprehensive strategy to provide opportunities for off-road cyclists. Of the 40 miles of non-paved trails in the city’s parks, there are less than 6.5 miles of singletrack. Only a quarter mile of trail in Portland has been built specifically for mountain biking.
Citizens Formulating Mountain Biking Action Plan
To address the lack of riding opportunities, a citizens’ group has teamed up with IMBA and Portland-based trail planning professionals Alta Planning + Design to analyze the potential for new trail opportunities in and around Portland. The group will consider diverse options, such as building “daisy-chain” greenway links to give access to singletrack trails, following the lead of Seattle's innovative model facility at Colonnade, and various public/private partnership projects. Connecting to Portland’s bicycling transportation infrastructure will promote “ride to ride” cycling opportunities. These actions could produce substantial new mountain biking facilities for Portland in less than 4 years.
Portland loves finding unique solutions to its bicycle issues. This is the spirit that makes Portland a Platinum Community. But we’re not going to rest on our laurels. How do we get more people on bikes? How do we grow as a cycling community? We fill the void in mountain biking opportunities, so that Portland continues to expand its potential as a fantastic cycling community.
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