Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 8th, 2011 at 1:38 pm
Green Trail in Mt. Tabor Park.
(Photo: Harrison Fishback)
About a week ago, new signs appeared on a popular dirt trail in Mt. Tabor Park that read, "No Bicycles Please."
The new signs are on what's known as the 'Green Trail' in the northern section of the park. The trail connects via Salmon Street and goes around the playground and amphitheater.
We heard about the signs from readers and we were also pointed to a thread in the MTBR.com forums about the issue. In a city like Portland, where singletrack is rare, any narrow dirt trails accessible to bikes are coveted. On the MTBR forums there was disappointment at the signs and confusion over whether or not they were legitimate.
Turns out they are.
We asked Portland Parks & Recreation policy coordinator Emily Hicks about them.
Hicks says the signs were recently installed after the City heard complaints from the non-profit group Friends of Mt. Tabor Park about user conflicts. The park's master plan (adopted in 2000), she pointed out, clearly states that trails narrower than six-feet wide are intended to be for "pedestrians only."
Here's a detail from page 33 of the plan (PDF here) that shows the trail designations:
"Over the years" Hicks wrote us via email today, "we have received several complaints about safety, sight lines, and user conflict on this trail."
Hicks says the complaints by the Friends group led to a closer look at the Green trail. The City's Park Maintenance Supervisor walked the trail, confirmed the risks, and installed the signs. (Note: The city ordinance referenced on the sign no longer exists. Parks is aware of that and will remove it to avoid confusion).