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Clackamas County backs effort to cash in on bicycle tourism

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 20th, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Detail of flyer for upcoming training event.

Sandy, Estacada, Molalla, West Linn and Wilsonville are among the cities in Clackamas County lining up to learn more about how to position themselves as bicycle touring destinations.

Travel Oregon, an organization that promotes tourism statewide, is co-hosting a 'Bicycle Tourism Studio' event on November 8th along with Clackamas County Tourism and Cultural Affairs. The Bicycle Tourism Studio concept is part of Travel Oregon's focus on tourism development in rural communities. Funded by our state's 1 percent lodging tax, the initiative aims to train local agencies, governments, and organizations to capitalize on sustainable tourism.

Kristin Dahl is Travel Oregon's Sustainable Tourism Development Manager. She says Clackamas County has a big advantage over other counties when it comes to bike tourism. "They've got public transportation connections to Portland like the MAX line and the Springwater Corridor."

Dahl says that wide open roads and mountain biking have also helped make two-wheeled tourism popular in these communities - which in turn helps convince policy makers that bikes mean business. The newly developed mountain bike trails at Sandy Ridge, for instance, have quickly made that one of the most popular biking destinations in Oregon.

An invite to the November 8th kickoff event in Oregon City reads:

"The program is crafted to bolster awareness of the growing cycling tourism market, foster key connections with regional, state and national organizations and focus a community’s energy on the development of appropriate cycling infrastructure, business services, and marketing activities."

With its proximity to Portland, many cities in Clackamas County are already very popular as destinations for people doing training rides, all-day excursions, and even overnight bike-camping trips. Thanks to the focus on bicycle tourism by Travel Oregon — and the enthusiasm for bicycling as a path to economic development by cities throughout the state — we can rest assured that it will only get better.

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  • Brock Dittus October 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    I love the idea of Clackamas county as a touring destination! So many great spots out there, but often access can be daunting to the folks who don't feel as comfortable asserting their right to presence on the roadway. I hope continued improvements make it easier to get into nature by bicycle in Clackamas county.

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  • Patrick Croasdaile October 20, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    This is wonderful news! Can't wait to learn more.

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  • Paul Hanrahan October 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    The Trolley Trail is in it's final development stage of getting groomed and asphalt. This will open up access from the Springwater Trail to Oregon City and South. In a couple of years, the new max line will make it easier to head South, too. If Milwaukie gets a baseball stadium and a McMenamins, it will be a fun place indeed to bike around.

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  • stasia October 20, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    I don't mean to be snarky at all here, but I find it ironic that Clackamas County is lauding its "public transportation connections to Portland" but won't help out with the Sellwood bridge--which is, after all, a big connection from Clackamas to Portland. Am I missing something?

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    • Jobot October 20, 2011 at 10:43 pm

      I came here thinking this. Irony?

      I remember reading "Here in Clackamas, we drive cars."

      Oh how the mighty have fallen?

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      • Matt October 20, 2011 at 11:04 pm

        Just to be clear on the Sellwood Bridge deal... some folks in Clack Co decided not to vote on funding the bridge because there was ZERO language in the voters guide to tell us exactly what we were voting for (and it was not easily found on the web either). I personally won't vote for something that I can't read. From what I could find, there was no end date to the bridge fee nor was there a limit on how much Clack Co could have raised the fee in the future. It is easy take jabs at the residents of another jurisdiction when you don't have the whole story and frequently the media does not tell the whole story.
        Between Milwaukie and Clackamas Co, we will likely be kicking in $30 million on the next light rail project. Money that we don't have to spend.

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        • A.K. October 21, 2011 at 9:24 am

          Thank you for the thoughtful response from someone who lives out there!

          As a Mult Co. resident, the only thing I read regarding the tax was a bunch of knuckle-dragging responses on the Oregon Live site, none of which explained any reasoning why people would vote it down, other than it was money that would be going to "stupid liberal hippy Portland" and that "liar Sam Adams". (My fault for reading comments on Oregon Live, thats for sure).

          I have voted down higher taxes for "good causes" as well because I didn't like the language or how it had been proposed, so I can certainly see your perspective.

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          • eli bishop October 24, 2011 at 10:15 am

            all -i- saw were those "good neighbors build their OWN bridges" signs. everybody wants to eat the cake but nobody wants to make the cake.

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    • 007 October 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm

      I agree. They want to capitalize on Portland's efforts and success reducing auto traffic and increasing bicycle ridership yet are too cheap to spend $5 per year on the Sellwood bridge that they primarily use.

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  • Jim October 21, 2011 at 9:43 am

    "Thanks to the focus on bicycle tourism by Travel Oregon — and the enthusiasm for bicycling as a path to economic development by cities throughout the state — we can rest assured that it will only get better."

    I made this point in comments about the Canadian women who got run over on the shoulder: if an organization is going to promote tourism, they'd better vet the route.

    The goal of any tourism board is simply to attract money and doesn't have a rider's safety in mind per se.

    Something every rider should consider, no matter the route.

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  • Mark Allyn October 21, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Thanks. Go for it.

    The only issue that I had (Clackamas river bike bridge out) has been repaired. And that was not even the county's problem. I had heard it was winos setting the original bridge on fire to keep warm.

    Other than that, I have had no problems.

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  • Brad Ross October 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I'll be there. There's a Cross Crusade race at Barton Park (in Clackamas County) the very next day.

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  • Joseph Marek October 24, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Greeting, Clackamas County continues to support cycling around the County despite limited funds. We have added destination signing in the northern portion of the County and are looking at some rural commute routes. We will be constructing a bike signal along the Springwater Corridor where is crosses Johnson Creek Boulevard next year. As Brad mentioned, there will be a cyclocross race at Barton Park/Quarry on November 6th. But there is alot more to be done. Send me your suggestions - joem@co.clackamas.or.us. Ride Safe.
    Joseph Marek
    Clackamas County Traffic Engineer
    Director, Clackamas County Safe Communities

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  • Jim October 24, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Joseph Marek
    Greeting, Clackamas County continues to support cycling around the County despite limited funds. We have added destination signing in the northern portion of the County and are looking at some rural commute routes. We will be constructing a bike signal along the Springwater Corridor where is crosses Johnson Creek Boulevard next year. As Brad mentioned, there will be a cyclocross race at Barton Park/Quarry on November 6th. But there is alot more to be done. Send me your suggestions - joem@co.clackamas.or.us. Ride Safe.
    Joseph Marek
    Clackamas County Traffic Engineer
    Director, Clackamas County Safe Communities
    Recommended 1

    "Looking in rural routing"

    Please look into it very carefully with appropriate warning signage if necessary.

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