Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 14th, 2010 at 9:13 am
Commissioner Nick Fish's big decision to put off improved bike access to Forest Park may have come and gone, but the issue is still in the news.
Oregon Public Broadcasting is set to air a special episode of Oregon Field Guide tonight on Forest Park and the Northwest Trail Alliance has released more details and a statement about their "Share the Park" event that's happening on Saturday.
You might recall that it was an OPB crew that stumbled upon the illegal trail working on this special that set off a media frenzy and ended up having a major impact on the ongoing discussion about bicycling in the park. The special airs on OPB tonight at 8:30 p.m.. Here's how OPB frames the bicycling portion of the show (via a press release):
Forest Park: Portland’s Backyard Gem
Oregon Field Guide devotes a half-hour special to explore the health, history and future of Portland’s Forest Park. Five thousand acres of forest sit five minutes from urban downtown, protected from development but facing increasing pressure from more people who want to use it.
Every generation seems to fight over how best to use and protect the Park. Lately, cyclists have pushed hard for new trails in the park dedicated to mountain biking. It was in the midst of shooting video for this production when OPB encountered mountain bikers working on an illegal trail. Watch as the bikers claim their work on the rogue trail actually helps the environment. Then join other cyclists who go in to repair both the damage done to the park and to the cycling community’s reputation.
The show will re-air on Sunday, October 21st at 1:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. in case you miss it.
This Saturday, the Northwest Trail Alliance will hold their "Share the Park" rally and group ride at 9:00 a.m. According to the NWTA, the event is meant to "demonstrate Portlanders’ desires for increased singletrack bicycling opportunities in the park." The event will consist of a short rally with free coffee and the ride will take place on legal roads currently open to bicycles.
NWTA President Tom Archer said, via a statement, that the ride is,
"...a forum to voice the group’s disapproval of Commissioner Nick Fish and Portland Parks and Recreation’s decision to delay implementation of the recommendations of the Forest Park Singletrack Advisory Committee. The committee recently recommended that the City increase bike access within the park."
The statement from the NWTA also hinted at how they'll continue to pressure the City to improve and increase bike access in Forest Park:
“For the mountain bike community, increased bike access to Forest Park will remain a benchmark of how much the City of Portland is committed to treating off-road cycling at par with other forms of active recreation.”
Gather at 9:00 a.m. at the Thurman Gate (far north end of NW Thurman Street). More details on the NWTA website.