Future of bike trails uncertain with release of River View management plan

Posted on November 20th, 2015 at 1:11 pm.

The River View parcel (foreground) is very close to downtown Portland and its trails are in demand.
(Photo from River View Natural Area Management Plan)

The Portland parks bureau has released its final management plan for the River View Natural Area and they’ve left the door cracked open — ever so slightly — for the possibility of off-road cycling access in the future. However, because the city’s process prevented a robust discussion of all potential trail uses, the plan is full of uncertainty. If it’s adopted by City Council as scheduled in mid-December it could have the unintended consequence of making it harder to allow cycling even if the city’s own planning process deems it appropriate at a later date.


First look at Metro’s plans to build new singletrack trails north of Forest Park

Posted on November 17th, 2015 at 12:17 pm.

Detail of Metro’s trail plans.

We have important updates on a story we shared yesterday about a historic step forward for off-road cycling in Portland.

As you might have heard, Metro is on the verge of finalizing a plan that would develop several mountain parcels north of Forest Park. Two of the parcels are slated to include singletrack trails built specifically for mountain biking. If built, these trails would represent the largest network of off-road bike trails ever developed in Portland. In advance of a final public meeting about the plans that will be held tonight, Metro has published the meeting materials on the project website.

In addition to giving you a more detailed look at Metro’s plans, I also want to elaborate on a point I made in yesterday’s story about the people who are organizing opposition to the bike trails. A key point in their case against Metro’s inclusion of the trails in these plans is a contention that the land was purchased solely to protect habitat and that, “a mountain bike park is contrary to the terms of the levy.”


Challenge to River View biking ban dismissed by State Land Use Board

Posted on June 11th, 2015 at 11:14 am.

River View Protest Ride-25
A decision to prohibit biking at River View
Natural Area sparked large protests.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals has dismissed a case that sought to reverse a decision to prohibit bicycling at River View Natural Area.

The case was filed back in March by the Portland-based non-profit Northwest Trail Alliance.

In their 12-page decision published on June 3rd (PDF here, scroll down for embed) LUBA explains that the case does not fit within the bounds of their jurisdiction because the City of Portland’s actions did not constitute a land use decision. LUBA said that local governments, acting in their capacity as “custodian and manager of public lands,” are withing their legal right to make decisions that restrict public access.


For first time, Metro proposes ‘bike-optimized’ trails in a natural area

Posted on May 7th, 2015 at 4:04 pm.

Time to weigh in.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

In an unprecedented move, Metro has proposed singletrack trails in a natural area that would be built specifically for bicycling. Calling them “bike-optimized” trails, Metro unveiled the concept at an open house for the North Tualatin Mountains project at Skyline School last night.

Using money from voter-approved bond measures, Metro is now ready to develop 1,300 acres spread across four separate parcels just north of Forest Park between Skyline Road and Highway 30. From the outset, Metro hinted that singletrack trail riding would be considered as they designed the trail plans for the parcels. Last night they made it official.


Two free mountain biking events in Portland tonight!

Posted on April 29th, 2015 at 4:28 pm.

Who says Portland is a bummer place for mountain biking?! Tonight there are two free events where you can get your dirt riding stoke on by hanging out with pros who want to share their knowledge with you. Oh, and you’re almost guaranteed to win some great schwag just for showing up.

Check details below…

MTB pro Sonya Looney at Portland Bicycle Studio (1435 NW Raleigh) 6-7:30 pm (Facebook)


Enduro Clinic and Q & A – 6:30 pm at Evo Portland (200 SE MLK)


So you’ve just signed up for your first enduro mountain bike race. Maybe you’re asking yourself, “What did I just sign up for, am I in over my head?” Or maybe you’ve already got a couple races under your belt but want to edge out your friends. Wheelie Drops and Bunny Hops: Secrets to Staying Pinned with Matthew Slaven and Lars Sternberg is here to help

With the growing popularity of “enduro” format racing and the advancements in all-mountain and trail bike capabilities, evo has partnered with two of the NW’s fastest mountain bikers to collaborate and host clinics at both Portland and Seattle stores. ‘Wheelie Drops and Bunny Hops’ is an enduro focused town hall style Q&A session, where Matthew Slaven and Lars Sternberg will be answering questions covering all aspects of this style of riding and racing. Portland will take place on Wednesday April 29, and Seattle the following evening, Thursday April 30. We will have Lars and Matthew’s bikes and accessories on display for folks to see how they ride, and with what gear. It should be a fun couple of evenings – of course, evo will be providing snacks and libations to make sure everyone has a good time.

We’ve got some rad prizes to give away from Lars and Matthew’s sponsors – Transition Bikes, Cycles Devinci, Smith Optics, DAKINE, Bell Bike Helmets, Five Ten, GiroSportDesign and of course, evo. On top of that, we’ll be giving away a registration spot in Seattle to a Cascadia Dirt Cup race, and a spot in one of the Oregon Enduro Series races in Portland.

Off-Road Cycling Plan gets Council nod, Bureau of Planning will take the lead

Posted on April 29th, 2015 at 10:45 am.

Daniel Greenstadt and his daughter Gigi
testified in support of the plan at
City Hall this morning.

A few minutes ago at their weekly meeting, Portland City Council voted in favor of a motion to fund the Off-Road Cycling Master Plan. During a discussion of an agenda item about the City’s Spring Budget Monitoring Process — known as the “spring bump”, Mayor Charlie Hales put forth a motion to split the plan’s $350,000 price tag between the Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau and the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability.

The mayor’s proposal uses $50,000 from Parks’ budget and $300,000 from BPS. The motion was passed with Commissioners Saltzman and Amanda Fritz both voting in support (Commissioners Nick Fish and Steve Novick are out of town and were not present). With Fritz on board, all five commissioners are in support of the plan is it’s ultimate passage is all but assured when Council votes on the budget adjustments sometime in the next few weeks.


Mayor Hales wants to start ‘ASAP’ on $350,000 Off-Road Cycling Master Plan – UPDATED

Posted on April 22nd, 2015 at 9:57 am.

(Photo J Maus/BikePortland)

Looks like Mayor Hales is willing to put money where his mouth is when it comes to addressing Portland’s extreme lack of trail riding opportunities.


City files motion to dismiss River View land use case

Posted on April 21st, 2015 at 10:11 am.

Riding and working at Riverview property-3
Photo taken in August 2012,
before biking was illegal.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland says the State Land Use Board of Appeals has no jurisdiction over its decision to prohibit bicycling on trails at River View Natural Area.

In a “motion to dismiss” filed on April 13th (which we obtained through a public records request, PDF here), Chief Deputy City Attorney Kathryn Beaumont argues that Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish acted within their “managerial discretion” when they informed the community via a letter on March 2nd that bicycling would no longer be allowed on the 146 acre parcel.

The decision shocked riders and biking advocates. People have been riding the trails at River View for decades. And, following its purchase by the City of Portland in 2011, advocates were working in partnership with the Portland Parks & Recreation and Environmental Services bureaus on a management and trails plan under the assumption that bicycle trails would be allowed. The Northwest Trail Alliance, a Portland-based non-profit that builds, maintains and promotes off-road bike trails, responded by filing a Notice of Intent to Appeal with the State Land Use Board of Appeals on March 23rd.


River View advisory committee forces Parks to address biking, access issues

Posted on April 14th, 2015 at 12:41 pm.

Back to work.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

On Wednesday of last week, the Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau hosted a Project Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting for the River View Natural Area. It was the first such meeting in 14 months for the group charged with developing a management plan for the 146-acre parcel.

Mountain bike advocates have been eager to re-engage with the process and learn more about why their activity was banned by Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish last month. (Prior to the city’s purchase of River View, Portlanders had ridden bikes on its many trails for over two decades.) That decision came without warning and was made completely outside of the established public process.

The decision has made Portland a national embarrassment.

While he can’t keep Portland’s anti-mountain biking stances out of the headlines, at Wednesday’s meeting Parks Director Mike Abbaté did his best to make sure the topic of biking remained out of the public process around River View.

Here’s Abbaté attempt at doing that in his opening address to the committee and the assembled public:


Closed-door Parks bureau committee was set to recommend bike trails at River View

Posted on April 8th, 2015 at 3:05 pm.

Detail from Portland Parks & Recreation River View Natural Area Habitat and Draft Trail map showing shared biking/hiking trail.
Full size PDF

As we continue to learn more about why Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish abruptly decided to prohibit bicycling in River View Natural Area (RVNA), there’s one large piece of the puzzle that has remained secret. Until now.