Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on June 29th, 2010 at 10:41 am
KGW TV ran a story Monday night titled, “Another rogue bike path in Forest Park.” Here’s the opening of the story:
“A new illegal bike path in Forest Park has trail users upset, with near misses between docile people on foot and speeding mountain bikers emerging out of nowhere.
And here’s the video:
The KGW reporter says the trail was built in “protected wilderness” of Forest Park and the story centers on a man who alleges that he was almost run over by someone biking down the trail.
However, it’s important to note that the trail in the story is not in Forest Park.
According to Dan Moeller, the Natural Areas Supervisor for Portland Parks and Recreation, the trail in the KGW story is in Washington Park. Moeller also says that he’s been aware of illegal trails in this area for “10 years or more” and Parks has been trying to stop the activity for just as long. This summer, Parks is working with youth crews to deconstruct the trails and install fencing to discourage it from happening in the future.
It’s not to say that an illegal trail is any less serious if it occurs in Washington Park, but it’s an important distinction given the heated debate over biking access in Forest Park recently. It’s also completely inaccurate to describe the area where this trail was built as being “protected wilderness.”
*UPDATE: KGW has edited their online story to reflect the correct location of the trail. Headline now reads, “Rogue bike path frustrates hikers along Portland’s Wildwood Trail.” (Unfortunately the newscast already ran and the video portion of the story is not as easy to fix.)
In other off-road biking news, Parks Planner Emily Roth — the woman who oversaw the recently concluded advisory committee on bike access in Forest Park — will speak at the monthly meeting of the Northwest Trail Alliance tonight. Roth will share updates on the Forest Park issue, talk about recent improvements to Powell Butte, and will talk about Parks’ next steps on bike skills parks. The discussion will also include stewardship opportunities and how to curb illegal trail construction and use.