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Here's a chance to make East County bike touring even better

Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on October 25th, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-41
The Columbia Gorge is only the first stop for
"destination biking" east of Gresham.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Back in July, we wrote that a big recreational biking upgrade is in the works for east Multnomah County. A pair of public "studio workshops" next month will shape its direction.

People at the free workshops — a seven-hour one Nov. 13 at Troutale's Edgefield McMenamin's and a four-hour one Nov. 14 at the Corbett Fire House — will get to "identify assets, opportunities, and barriers to increasing bicycle tourism" in the region.

With a Travel Oregon study estimating that 15 percent of tourism in the Gorge/Mount Hood area is already bike-related, the area's business leaders see big potential for improving things further.

"The growing interest in destination cycling throughout Oregon and the incredible assets in East Multnomah County demonstrate that we have a compelling opportunity to market bicycle tourism," Alison Hart, CEO of the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce, said in a news release Thursday.

The chamber and Travel Oregon, the state's tourism association, are organizing the events under their $169,000 grant-funded Bicycle Tourism Initiative. You can read more about the program on the chamber's website.

"The East Multnomah County region already attracts a diverse bicycle travel market, including out-of-state visitors looking for must-see Oregon experiences and local and regional visitors who enjoy off-the-beaten-path locales that entice with authenticity," the chamber's news release said. "They are novice and casual bicyclists, event spectators, mountain bikers, road bikers, racers, triathletes, visitors staying overnight, and more."

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Comments
  • Todd Boulanger October 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Sweet! Time to book my B&B time.

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  • Granpa October 25, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Travel in East MultCo would be improved if non-cycling locals did not menace cyclists. There is some attitude there. Displays of tolerance by both locals and tourists would do wonders. Not all improvements regard infrastructure.

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    • Chris I October 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      I'm definitely going to bring this one up in the workshop. The biggest barrier to the Gorge is the treatment cyclists receive in and around Corbett by some of its residents.

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    • Don J October 26, 2013 at 7:37 am

      While I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I've ridden out there a dozen or more times a year since I started riding in '90. I've never had one incident with a local in Corbett or anywhere in that area. Just lucky I guess. Now east Clark County, that's a different story.

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    • Megan R November 12, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      I agree with you. As a former resident of the area, and a victim of bicycle hazing, I believe that relations between the gorge residents and its bicycle tourists would be greatly improved if the roads were updated to include a bike lane. As it is, the PWA-era roads are far too narrow for both cars and bicycles to share the road. It's downright unsafe!

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  • Dimitrios October 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Yeesh, that was the first thing that came to mind. Last month I did a solo bicycle tour from Portland to San Francisco. I was yelled at twice on the entire trip. Both times were on the low traffic rural roads between the Springwater Corridor and Estacada. 2 months prior to the trip a diesel pickup driver smoked me as I stood off in the grass taking a rest.

    I used to ride the area a lot when I first moved to Portland. Now it's just a place to get through as quickly as possible to get to the good stuff.

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    • Oliver October 28, 2013 at 9:17 am

      A friend of mine from Idaho did a cycling trip in Italy this summer. He told me that the food was great, the wine better and it was as beautiful as you can imagine but the best thing about my trip was "Three whole weeks without seeing a single diesel Ram pickup"

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  • dan October 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    I recall reading about a tack bandit in the area a few years ago, who was spreading tacks in the bike lane on a fast downhill. Doesn't really make me inclined to linger and spend money.

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  • Reza October 26, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Someone in Gresham and Troutdale needs to regularly sweep debris out of their bike lanes. Stark Street past Burnside was dicey during my trip to the Gorge last weekend.

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    • Todd Boulanger October 26, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      For Street Sweeping/ Road Repair Requests try:
      GRESHAM
      Transportation provides monthly sweeping of all City streets, March through December. There is a nice map and schedule:
      http://greshamoregon.gov/city/city-departments/environmental-services/transportation-streets/template.aspx?id=6100

      -------

      TROUTDALE
      Water & Streets 503-674-3300 [503-251-4163 (After Hours Emergency)] - there was no specific pothole or sweeping #
      Public Works Superintendent - David Schaffer

      City Hall Main - 503-665-5175

      Email form for customer service requests/ suggestions to the City
      http://www.ci.troutdale.or.us/csforms.htm

      FAQ PAGE: I noticed a problem (i.e. debris in the road, damaged signs, etc.) with a street in the City. How should I go about reporting it?
      These problems should be reported directly to the Water & Streets Division at 503-674-3300. Some streets in the City (e.g. 257th Ave, Cherry Park Road, Stark St., etc.) are actually county roads. If you know the problem is on a county road, you can contact Multnomah County directly at 503-988-5050. For concerns and complaints related to I-84 and the adjacent frontage roads, contact the Oregon Department of Transportation at 1-800-ASK-ODOT
      ------

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  • Mark Nelsen November 14, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    I live near Crown Point (Corbett), cycle regularly, but also drive those roads like all other locals. I agree a separate bike lane would be nice from Troutdale to the "summit" just above Crown Pt. There is no space for a bike lane beyond that point so that's never going to happen. I've seen really poor behavior by cyclists AND locals. A sunny weekend day in the spring/summer and 2-3 cyclists will be riding abreast and not allowing cars to pass. Stay near (or inside) the white line! And of course there's absolutely no reason for locals to be honking, yelling, or being obnoxious if cyclists are behaving like most of us do. I think it's the 10% of each that cause the problems. I have never run into any issues up here, but I almost always ride weekdays in the mornings when traffic is almost non-existent. I do know 15 years ago the mood was much more negative in the local area towards cyclists, but I don't hear as much complaining as I used to.

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