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NA_CA
07-23-2010, 08:42 PM
The Tour de Parks planning committee is asking for your help.

The Hillsboro Parks Commission currently has a ban in effect prevent bicycling riding through Nobel Woods Park.

Nobel Woods Park is one of the parks on the 10 park ride between Frances Street Park and 53rd Street Park located in Hillsboro on Baseline and just west of 231st. A beautiful park.

Last year we petitioned the commission to give a variance to the Tour de Parks for a window of two-three hours to allow bicyclists riding through this park. Course marshalls would have been placed in the park asking riders to ride slowly and to alert pedestrians that there were bicyclists they might encounter.

Without going through Nobel Woods Park, your choices are riding on Brookwood Avenue (which is not even an option-because of how dangerous it is) and going from Frances St Park east almost to Cornelius Pass Rd, over to Baseline and down Baseline to 53rd. This increases the distance by quite a bit and you avoid one of Hillsboro's beautiful parks.

The Parks Commission is meeting Tuesday July 27th at 7am. We are asking that you meet us there for the meeting.

Having numerous interested people could perhaps change their minds.

Parks & Recreation Administration Office
4400 NW 229th Avenue
Hillsboro, OR 97124
Tuesday July 27th
7am

Coffee and rolls on us after-wards.

If you can't make it but want to support this action, send a letter our way at TourdeParks@washcobtc.org

Sincerely,

Nancy
Tour de Parks Organizer

Simple Nature
07-23-2010, 09:26 PM
Walking your bicycle through the park is another option to consider.

I am not in favor for any public park to be restricted to pedestrians only. If any action should be considered is the lifting of a cycling ban all together. Until the 231st. street connection is complete, there are no low traffic alternatives for cyclists.

I would much prefer Washco.btc lobby the city on behalf of all responsible cyclists, not just this one event.

wsbob
07-23-2010, 11:13 PM
Nancy, thanks for bringing this to the attention of people that read the forum. As it turns out, I've never been to this park, so to know what was being talked about, I looked around on the web. Wikipedia has a nice little page on the park.

Noble Woods Park/wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_Woods_Park)

The park is a nature park, 40 acres, with paved paths running through it. The event is scheduled for September 26th, a Sunday.


As part of deciding whether to support a variance, I imagine people might have various questions about the event, such as how many riders it might be bringing into the park, and during what hours of the day. Speed of travel that would be allowed is important to know; for example, at Tualitan Hills Nature Park, max speed for bikes is posted 7mph.

Does the park's standard rule not allow riding bikes on park trails, or is the variance required simply because an event would bring in a larger than normal influx of people?

All of this seems like an important consideration, given that the day of the event is a Sunday when there's likely to be more than the usual number of regular visitors coming to the park for what it has to offer.

NA_CA
07-24-2010, 06:13 AM
Noble Woods Park is the only park in the Hillsboro Park system that prohibits riding a bike.
Last year we had around 50 people with the TdP that walked their bike through the park. This year we expect about the same/possibly a few more- but certainly not hundreds. Last year respect was shown to the park and its visitors-but we did get a lot of feed back that riders would have preferred to ride through it.
The TdP's ride is on a Sunday afternoon, between 1 and 3pm.
The WashCO BTC has talked with the parks and there is a long term solution about using a fire road-already in the park-as a bike path. That won't happen for a while due to $$$$. Our goal is to allow cyclists to ride through this park at all times-but for now a variance is what we are after for the TdP.
Nobel Woods is a beautiful park with parking lots located on the North and South sides. The paved paths create a "Y" and with course marshalls, the cyclists could be directed to take one direction/pedestrians the other. There would be a very short distance that both would share.
Thanks for you comments.

wsbob
07-24-2010, 09:34 AM
Nancy...thanks for further details on the TdP event, and the hope that people would be allowed to ride their bikes through the park for its 2-3 hr duration.

Given what you've said, the request seems reasonable to me, especially considering the anticipated modest number of people participating. http://bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif

As I noted in the earlier comment, at Tualitan Hills Nature Park, a clearly stated top speed of 7mph seems to be fairly effective. Naturally, further reduction in that speed is called for and usually observed as people riding bikes on the paths encounter people on foot. I'm sure the participants in your event wouldn't abuse such a limit or be insensitive to other visitors to the park.

At a park such as THPRD's nature park though, that does allow people to ride bikes through it all times during opening hours, even with the speed limit, there is abuse to which ongoing efforts have to be made to keep in check. Some people just want to go fast; simple reality of human nature? I don't know, but when it happens, it can really work to degrade the experience I expect parks like this are hoped to offer people.

Simple Nature
07-24-2010, 10:08 AM
Nancy, thank you for the background and insight. I live a 1/2 mile from Noble Woods and have cycled through there many times as a convenient and safe route between Baseline and TV Hwy before the ban. My wife and I have enjoyed riding through this park on a number of occasions. In a sense, this is an alternative transportation shortcut that we, as cyclist, should be allowed to use. I agree that an enforced 7mph limit would go a long way to making cycling acceptable to pedestrians. After all, we also "share the road".

As for the cause, I will see if I can join the hearing in support.

RonC
07-24-2010, 10:17 AM
Hey, as long as people understand that a special exception was made to allow riding through the park for this event only, why not? Much like Bridge Pedal goes over the Fremont and Markham bridges. I do think that it would be important that riders understand that it is normally prohibited, so that they don't incorporate the route into regular rides.

wsbob
07-26-2010, 11:22 AM
"...The WashCO BTC has talked with the parks and there is a long term solution about using a fire road-already in the park-as a bike path. That won't happen for a while due to $$$$. Our goal is to allow cyclists to ride through this park at all times-but for now a variance is what we are after for the TdP. ..." NA_CA

"...I live a 1/2 mile from Noble Woods and have cycled through there many times as a convenient and safe route between Baseline and TV Hwy before the ban. ..." Simple Nature

In terms of a long term solution that would allow people to ride their bikes through this park, I would be very wary about one that would inadvertently or otherwise, bring the park to a situation where it would become recognized as a commuter route for other than a very small number of people.

I say this based on my limited observation of what I've observed in THPRD's nature park. Also, though it's not a nature park, I'd cite the situation out in Ladd's Addition neighborhood in S.E. Portland. Use of natural areas and nature parks for purposes other than what they're designated, can easily change, in not necessarily beneficial ways, the character of those places, and how people that chance to come upon one another, relate to each other.

I'm inclined to believe that in the nature park, some of the people using the paths are commuters. Part of what leads me to suspect this is who they are, is that I'm seeing people who are in a big hurry...that don't want to ride 7mph or slower through the park to take in the surroundings and patiently allow others on the path to make their way peacefully.

Understandable to some extent; they've worked all day, and they want to get home quick. Still, it's a nature park. If people are given free reign to adapt the use of the park for a need of their own that's markedly different from the purpose the park is designed to serve, the accompanying function of that purpose can be seriously undermined.

I don't have a solid idea of how may people currently use THPRD's nature park for a commuter route. At present, it could be a small number, at least, a manageable one. Hopefully, that number won't grow. Out at Noble Woods park, I would think it very important for the roads surrounding thr park to be sufficiently designed for bike travel so that people riding bikes wouldn't feel obliged to take refuge on paths through the park.

NA_CA
07-26-2010, 01:21 PM
I appreciate all of the input on this matter and really looked forward to the meeting tomorrow morning. However, I just received an e-mail from Sue B. with the parks dept. Please see her message below.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We’ve been made aware that there might be some folks showing up at the next Parks and Recreation Commission meeting to talk about riding through Noble Woods for Tour de Parks. The July 27 meeting was cancelled! The next scheduled meeting is August 10.



Sue Boucher

Recreation Services Manager

City of Hillsboro Parks and Recreation

(503) 681-6122

www.ci.hillsboro.or.us/ParksRec

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As August 10th draws closer, I will put out a reminder. Thank you all for even considering to help. Your input was helpful.
nancy

Simple Nature
07-26-2010, 05:57 PM
Bob, I hear what you are saying but the fact is that the west side is, and always has been lacking N-S connections that are alternative transportation friendly. Having said that, things are changing, and changing at a relatively good pace. The 231st street connection will undoubtdly be the most welcome westside N-S connection for a huge number of southside residential neighborhoods to the industrial zone in the north. Right now, there are simply no real alternatives that doesn't put commuters in harms way. Maybe that is why the bike-walk policy has been implemented. I can only hope that the plans are already in the works for making the 231st connection between Baseline and TV Hwy.

Unlike the THPRD Nature Park, which has a parallel wide road nearby, Noble Woods really doesn't have such an option without going several miles out of the way [East; west has no safe alternatives]. Even the fire-road ends in the middle of the park. Somehow I would hope that people using these facilities for mixed uses can get along. The alternatives, for the time being, are simply too limited or extremely dangerous.

wsbob
07-26-2010, 08:56 PM
Simple Nature... I think it's very important that the roads on the perimeter of Noble Woods be developed for bike travel so that people that ride bikes won't feel hard pressed to take a route through the park because a better route for commuting by bike is lacking. I could see a trail through the park be used for a commuter route for a short term thing, but as a long term idea, it strikes me as a bad one.

Just today at THPRD nature park, I was riding through around 5pm I think. First some kid, maybe 11 or 12 years old on a big mountain bike approaches me from the opposite direction (this is on a rather modest width section of twisty boardwalk over the park wetlands). Next...a couple people on foot, same direction...then another guy in his twenties on a hard tail mtn bike (going a little slower, more carefully than the young kid).

I've actually stopped and waited next to the railing to let the couple walking pass by before proceeding. I just get pedaling, when a commuter dude on a mountain bike approaches me from the rear, wanting to pass on my left. He actually did call out 'on your left'...nice enough about it, but also seemed to bear the whole ' I'm off work...I got to get home' state of mind rather than, 'Wow! I'm in this magnificent place! Let me travel along at 3-5 mph like some of these other people, and take in as much of it as I can!'. All of what I just described happened over a period of 2-3 minutes. That's why I try to stay out of the park during rush hour.

Another thing I want to mention, just to emphasize how important it is to get park perimeter roads equipped to encourage use of bikes for travel: Visiting THPRD nature park I decided to take the Vine Maple Trail (one of two asphalt paved trails in the park that use bikes is allowed on. Note: On the return trip, I took the other asphalt trail...the Oak Trail, which is where I encountered the park visitors described above.).

VM trail goes west and exits the park on 170th near Johnson St. . 170th is still a simple two lane country road that is absolutely overwhelmed with motor vehicle traffic during rush hour. If road conditions during rush hour and other times of the day, on the roads around Noble Woods park are like those on 170th, of course people on bikes are going to want to take a route through the park if one exists.

Because the traffic on this street is so dense, it was very, very, ...very hard...for me on the bike exiting the park, to even enter the roadway going north...with the direction of traffic. Amazing to observe the sheer volume of motor vehicle traffic passing by on this two lane road, and dangerous for me on the bike to attempt to enter the roadway. That's because at this point in the road, there's no bike lane, and virtually no shoulder of any kind on the road. During this time of day, 170th is a completely hostile nightmare for bike travel.

I'm going to ride over to Noble Woods before long to check it out. It's not that I live that far away...partially, I didn't know it was even there until this thread started! Also, I live closer to THPRD nature park, so I really enjoy going there.

Simple Nature
07-26-2010, 09:34 PM
...and 170th is one of those N-S connectors that is the norm on the westside. I was referring to SW 153rd on the east of the park. It is easily 2 cars wide in each direction but only marked for one lane. That brings you to Jenkins which has a west bound bike lane. East bound Jenkins has a bridge railing right at 153rd in the way but that is only a short interuption.

Beaverton hasn't really paid much attention to N-S connections at the Hillsboro margins. They seem to have some much higher priority projects in the works. Maybe when these are done they will go back and start improving the connectors.

You will love Noble Woods. Go off on some of the gravel and woodchip trails... you'll find a river, an improved viewpoint, and some very immersed seclusion.

Here's a preview:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5Csw3onqS8

NA_CA
07-27-2010, 07:15 AM
Thanks for the video of Nobel Woods.
I have enjoyed taking the grandkids over for our walks-it is such a beautiful park. I certainly don't want anything to compromise it. There just has to be a way of using a portion of this as a n-s link.

DarkStar
07-27-2010, 08:40 AM
I live over on Brookwood Ave. and my wife and I frequently go to the Nobel Woods Park. It's interesting to note that bicycling through the park is only banned by policy, not by rule. There isn't anything in the Hillsboro Municipal Code (http://qcode.us/codes/hillsboro/) restricting bicycle traffic in Nobel Woods Park, only riding on the sidewalk (http://qcode.us/codes/hillsboro/view.php?topic=10-10_28-10_28_100) within a specific boundary.

I agree though that requesting formal permission is the best method to continue to have a good partnership with the City. I would expect that the variance to be granted and hopefully we can demonstrate that bicycle riding can be compatible with the park.

NA_CA
07-28-2010, 10:04 AM
Dark Star, a variance was asked to be considered in the 2009 Tour de Parks and was denied. It seemed like a simple request-but denied.

Regarding policy/rule/municiple code. The way I understand it-the Hillsboro Park Commission has the authority to set rules for it's parks and they are enforced by park rangers. You are subject to fines if you break the rules.

This may not be part of the Hillsboro Municiple Code-but it is enforcable.

This is a very important issue with me from two views: 1. n-s connectivity and 2. The Tour de Parks...that is why I began this thread.

On a long term basis-using the park as a "n-s connector" seems a no-brainer. A path-such as the fire road-to be used for commuting-and away from the pedestrian traffic is my personal preference.

nancy

DarkStar
07-28-2010, 12:54 PM
Here are the questions I would be asking, "Why was the variance denied in 2009?" and "Why wasn't the decision appealed to the City Council?"

Then again, why wait until a month before the event? I've been involved with government in the past and I wouldn't start any later than 3-4 months before an event...

wsbob
07-28-2010, 03:29 PM
I made my way over to the park today for a look-see (I'd never been there before). Before going, I looked at a map I have (great map, currently out of print...Washington County Visitor's Association 'Country Cycling'). Since that map was published the names of streets have been changed, so 231st seems now to be Century, and Imlan is about 239th.

So it was suggested to me by this nice gal I happened upon and asked questions of as I was wandering my way towards the park. I'd ridden too far, but nice things happen sometimes http://www.bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif; She offered to go get her bike and ride me on over to the south entrance. I would have found it myself, but it was really nice of her to do that.

Didn't bring my sandals, so off with the cleated shoes, and I barefooted the asphalt paved loop to Baseline and back to the south entrance. Forgot to check the map at the kiosk for the fire road Nancy refers to back in comment #4, but this loop doesn't seem like it. Walking my bike barefoot, with my shoes in one hand, I passed a trio of senior ladies approaching me from the other direction. One calls out 'It's easier with shoes!' Me: Not with these metal things on the bottom of the shoes! Lady: 'Oh.' Maybe they don't know about bike riders wearing funny shoes with cleats on them.

Nice park. As to those responsible for the decision, what I'd say about considerations they'd likely make related to a variance and allowing bikes to use the asphalt paths on a long term basis, is that there are some fairly long, fast, curvy descents on these trails. Out in the parking lot, as I was leaving the park, just riding in were a couple junior high kids on their bmx bikes. Didn't wait to see if they set off for the park trails on them.

All this was around 2pm. There were some people in the park, but not a lot.

"... "Why was the variance denied in 2009?" ...Dark Star, comment #16

Good question.
Don't mean to get off topic, so I'll explain up front that the rest of this comment is unrelated to Noble Woods Park. Thougt I'd include it just in case someone might be interested in some of the details of a conversation I had with a Segway rider in a different park.

Rode east in the direction of home to 185th, south to Pheasant Lane, West to 170th and on to the Merlo entrance to THPRD nature park. The park's a happening place today...kid's camps in session. Couple points along the Oak Trail, there are kids with councilor/instructors giving grade school age kids an introduction the varied natural environments of the park.

Just leaving the park on the Millikan/visitors center entrance, I noticed a guy over by the drinking fountain, on a Segway. Never had much chance to learn first hand about these vehicles or some of the people that use them. This guy had some time to spare and was willing to answer questions.

Some time back, he had a slight stroke. He was in a wheelchair for awhile during convalescence, and then made a transition to the Segway, once he could stand, since walking isn't working out so well for him anymore. Says he works to be conscious of other people reservations about the machine, and use it responsibly.

You might have read references to it occurring, but this guy told me first hand that in his experience riding the Segway, it's not unusual for strangers to respond uncomprehendingly to the sight of someone on these vehicles. He said he's "...heard everything...", for example: 'Why don't you just walk?'.

He said to me that he does ride the Segway in the bike lane sometimes when there isn't a sidewalk. The Segway will go 10mph. Bike lane use at that speed could help to indicate an important potential demographic: the less agressive, practical riders that many people are hoping will gradually start using bike lanes.

NA_CA
07-28-2010, 07:25 PM
You guys are good..thanks for testing me as my memory sometimes fails me.

I had to go back and look at e-mails pertaining to the request for permission to ride through Nobel Woods Park.

re: '09
We sent a formal letter of request in July of 09 to the parks commission. We mentioned we would gladly appear before the commission on Aug 11 or 25 to answer any questions. (Not sure why we didn't make it to the one on the 11th)
On Aug. 24th our executive director talked with Tami Cockeran, Hillsboro Risk Manager, who said the final decision was made "not to be allowed to ride through Nobel Woods".
At this point we did not go to the commission meeting on the 25th.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here is what we agreed to:

1. We will make counts of the numbers of people that actually walk through the park. (I don't have this count)
2. We will still place monitors along the trail as previously indicated to ensure bicyclists stay dismounted. (We did and bicyclists did so)
3. Conduct interviews of other users of the park on that day to determine if any conflicts arose. (No conflicts arose-a couple of unhappy bicyclists)
4. Come back next year.(We are here)


Here is what they agreed to:
1. Have a staff person or volunteer on hand to observe only! (they did)
2. Meet with us post-ride and review the event and data received. (done by phone-I believe)
3. Meet again in the spring to reconsider the ban.(slipped by us)
4. Keep an open mind. (she said they know what we want)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As to why we waited so long this year-it slipped our minds (I know that sounds crazy-let me say this-to few people and to many obligations...

Why we didn't appeal this decision to the City Council? What we were told at the time was that the Parks Commission rules on this.

Not all of us have a good understanding of just how the city works..and seems when we do...they go and change the departments and who handles what. (more than once when I have contacted the city about a matter-I have been transferred to three or four departments-trying to find the department/person that could help me....that's another matter).

I am really happy to see you interested in this matter and hope I have answered your questions.

We shall see if this next Parks Commission Meeting Aug 10th-if we get another call the day before...(if by chance we do-then I will suggest going before the city council to see if they will overrule the decision.)
stay tuned...

Simple Nature
07-29-2010, 07:38 PM
...Not all of us have a good understanding of just how the city works..and seems when we do...they go and change the departments and who handles what.
...

Sounds to me like you have a very firm grasp of how "The City" works :)

wsbob
07-29-2010, 09:27 PM
... On Aug. 24th our executive director talked with Tami Cockeran, Hillsboro Risk Manager, who said the final decision was made "not to be allowed to ride through Nobel Woods". ...

Nancy, not to be buggin' you about it, but I and probably others are still wondering if you might have been given specific reasons for the decision made not to allow event participants to ride through the park. That Hillsboro's risk manager was involved in passing the word on to your executive director is a good clue that the decision was related to concern over insurance coverage. Hopefully, though, the city spelled out the reasons to your group, so we could read about them here.

The manner in which Noble Woods Park's came to be is worth keeping in mind as it might relate to various permissions made for the use of the park. I didn't take notes...unfortunately...but the next time any of you visit the park, take note yourselves of the information on the kiosk at the entrance to the park. What I can loosely recall from memory, is that securing the land the park comprises, was a grass roots effort, rather than a purchase made, for example, by a big organization such as Metro. Right on the kiosk, it says that grade school kids were among the people that worked to raise money to buy the land for the park and to protect it from being turned into more developed land.

wsbob
07-31-2010, 10:39 PM
TdP's desire for a variance from Hillsboro Parks' policy prohibiting bikes from Noble Woods park, and other groups interest in a longer term regular use of the park, got coverage in today's Oregonian:

Washington County cyclists want to ride through Noble Woods Park during bike event/Casey Parks/Published: Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 1:38 PM (http://www.oregonlive.com/hillsboro/index.ssf/2010/07/washington_county_cyclists_want_to_ride_through_no ble_woods_park_during_bike_event.html)

An excerpt:

"... Noble Woods is the only Hillsboro park that prohibits bikes. "That's because of the hills and switchbacks and blind corners," Edwards said. "It's just not safe." ...".

Read the full story for a few more specific details relating to how the denials have been arrived upon.


Based on that reason offered by Ms. Edwards, as for why variances have not been granted, I'd think TdP might still have a chance at receiving a variance for the ride, if, for example, they were to offer to have groups of event riders be escorted through the park in groups of say...twenty five, single file...by a person on foot leading the group; shouldn't be necessary, but perhaps a person on foot at the tail of the groups also. Event participants designated in advance could volunteer to head up the groups, walking their own bike while the rest cruised along behind astride theirs.

In my visit to the park last week, my only reservation about walking my bike through the park, was that my shoes have cleats on them. They're walkable cleat shoes with the cleat inset, but I try and avoid doing so on surfaces such as concrete and asphalt, because I don't want to wear the lugs down to a point that would allow the cleat to come into contact with a floor surface, for those occasions when I need to walk on one. It's for that reason that I took the shoes off and barefooted it. If I'd been wearing ordinary sneakers or running shoes...which actually, I rode the bike with for about a year, it'd be no problem for me to walk the bike on the asphalt trail through the park, because the distance it covers is simply not that far. It's maybe a 15 minute walk.

This doesn't answer the need for a long term commute route, but it might be a further step towards helping to show Hillsboro Parks management that people recognize what the purpose of the park is, and that they're interested in and willing to develop ideas that could allow access to other modes of transportation on certain occasions, and at the same time, honor the park's purpose.

Simple Nature
08-01-2010, 10:22 AM
Walking on cleats would be a cakewalk compared to trying to walk my, and my wife's recumbent trike through the park. We don't own 2-wheelers any more. For this one limitation alone, this family of Hillsboro tax payers may just have to miss out on this event.

wsbob
08-01-2010, 06:54 PM
The only person that would have to walk their bike would be the person escorting tour participants on their bikes through the park at a walking pace.

DarkStar
08-02-2010, 11:34 AM
Wow, I'm not sure why it didn't come up in one of my previous searches, but I must apologize for thinking there wasn't anything in the Hillsboro Municipal Code regarding biking in Noble Woods Park.

While I was searching for some other regulations, I came across "12.28.230 - Location Specific Rules (http://qcode.us/codes/hillsboro/view.php?topic=12-12_28-ii&frames=on)", which "A" clearly states "Noble Woods Park. All bicycles must be walked on the trails."

I really hope a variance can be granted for the event and my apologies for adding some unnecessary confusion... :confused:

NA_CA
08-10-2010, 10:09 AM
The TourdeParks committee met with the Hillbsoro Parks Commission this morning to discuss a variance request for riding through Nobel Woods Parks as part of a 10 park ride September 26th.

The commission asked that Steve Greagor, director of the Hillsboro Parks and Recreation and the TourdeParks committee meet for further discussions relating to this.

Mr. Greagor was very positive in his comments about the TourdeParks and how it showcased the Hillsboro park system.

As part of the TdP committee, I feel very positive about this and look forward to upcoming discussions.
In recent days, I have imagined this issue from the commission point of view and recognize their concerns over a beautiful nature park being overrun with bicycles-possibly going off trails and creating havoc. I do hope that the commission will try to do the same and see it from our point of view.

A long term goal is to establish a north/south route in this area-perhaps not through the park....but close for greater connectivity in this area.

Thank you all for participating in the discussions-it helps me when I hear others perspectives and concerns.
nancy

wsbob
08-10-2010, 11:03 AM
Response from the city and parks director Steve Greagor sounds encouraging. As I said in earlier comments, it seems to me that escorted groups of cyclists could be allowed to ride safely through the park at 7mph and slower for this event or other specific events. Riding through the park in such a manner would likely keep their presence from being overly intrusive.

I'd have to see a better map than I've seen so far, but I would tend to think one possibility for a north-south commuter specific trail through the park could be laid out and constructed on either the far east or far west perimeter boundary of the park. This park is just not that big, so such a trail located in either of those places as opposed to through the center of the park on the already laid out and paved asphalt paths shouldn't represent that much difference in terms of distance commuter cyclists would have to travel.

With luck, maybe the terrain is flatter in either of those two areas of the park, which would help to counter the tendency some cyclists have to indiscriminately use parks to answer their need for speed. More importantly though, locating a commuter trail on the perimeter of the park would hopefully have the least intrusive impact on the fundamental experience the park has been established to provide visitors to it with.

Simple Nature
08-10-2010, 10:05 PM
The west end is pretty much out of the question but the east end could be tied in at the baseline/231at interchange. Maybe a head start on a bike commuter path could be considered by Washco or Hillsboro [M-STRIP?]. There probably is already an easement in place in the comprehensive plan so it is just a matter of laber, materials and a plan.

wsbob
08-10-2010, 11:04 PM
The west end is pretty much out of the question but the east end could be tied in at the baseline/231at interchange. Maybe a head start on a bike commuter path could be considered by Washco or Hillsboro [M-STRIP?]. There probably is already an easement in place in the comprehensive plan so it is just a matter of laber, materials and a plan.

I don't know the area well, or the lay of the park's land. What's up with the west end of the park? Don't know about anyone else that might be reading, but I guess I don't know what "...M-STRIP...is" either.


It's amazing how different peoples ideas of parks can be. The Tualitan Hills Nature Park I mention regularly, is near the Nike campus There's also a high school adjacent to it. I've heard, but probably some of you know much better than I, that Nike has a very liberal policy allowing employees to schedule their working hours so they can get a workout in...running, soccer, etc.


Good guess is that a number of joggers/runners seen in this park are Nike employees. By themselves, singly...not a problem. Often though, they'll come into the park as duos, or triples, running two or three abreast (the asphalt paths are about 7' wide.) That would be okay, because in my experience encountering them they've always been well mannered, mostly willing to fall back into single file, if a little reluctantly at times. Why a little reluctantly ?...(and this gets to the exception of it being okay for them to run together) ....because they're talking shop.


Not just talking shop, but kind of yelling it (I would imagine they don't think of themselves as yelling), so they can hear themselves over the huffing and puffing that goes along with trying to have a conversation while running. So this kind of conversation can often be heard 75-100 feet away. That would be fine if this were a developed type of city park such as Washington Park or Central Park in NYC. In a nature park though, that kind of ignorance of the setting seems insensitive and counterproductive to the other people coming to the park to experience a natural setting.


Occasionally, when these careless conversations are going on, I speculate wildly about the off chance of catching wind of some exciting top secret Nike product development I can turn around and sell to a competitor for big bucks, donate the money to charity or to the park's educational program fund http://bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif.... . Probably not likely.

NA_CA
08-11-2010, 07:27 AM
Simple Nature, please define "M-Strip". I am not familiar with that term.

I personally think talking with the Hillsboro Parks and Rec about Nobel Woods is a start on addressing the commuter route mentioned on the west side of the park and I would certainly like to see it move in that direction.

We welcome thoughts and comments at the WashCo BTC...(membership in the WashCO BTC= a voice). info@washcobtc.org for comments

lynnef
08-11-2010, 11:42 AM
Tualatin Hills Nature Park - speaking as one of the (former, hope to be again) runners in that park - it isn't the runners that get you, it is the park's nature camps with all the 4 year olds, school field trips and pedestrians with strollers. As both a cyclist and a runner - as a cyclist in that park one must really, really yield to pedestrians. The paved paths are really narrow.

You are just about as likely to hear Tektronix corporate secrets as you are Nike's. Good luck with that. :)

M-STRIP - maybe means MSTIP (major streets transportation improvement plan?)

wsbob
08-11-2010, 04:40 PM
Tualatin Hills Nature Park - speaking as one of the (former, hope to be again) runners in that park - it isn't the runners that get you, it is As both a cyclist and a runner - as a cyclist in that park one must really, really yield to pedestrians. The paved paths are really narrow.

You are just about as likely to hear Tektronix corporate secrets as you are Nike's. Good luck with that. :)

M-STRIP - maybe means MSTIP (major streets transportation improvement plan?)


"... the park's nature camps with all the 4 year olds, school field trips and pedestrians with strollers. ..." Aw-w-w...but they're so cute! And they've got minders helping them to learn what they're supposed to be doing (the teachers/minders usually tell them 'stay to the right', when they see other people coming...often takes a while for everyone to get over though.) I suppose I have more patience with the kids than I do the adult runners.

For a number of reasons, this park stays very busy; the excellent visitor center and nature camps (I would hope that Portland, for better use of Forest Park and in terms of awakening greater interest in the park on the part of the public, is paying special attention to this park and how it's utilized.)...native plant sales and fairs (Bug Fest is coming up this month soon).That it's accessible via light rail is nice too..

I don't mean to put an unfair burden on Nike employees. I can imagine Tek workers might be coming over too. I've seen high school runners there as well. I don't object to them running there, but sometimes I just wish they'd be a little more quiet.

Simple Nature
08-11-2010, 08:44 PM
Thanks for the correction, Lyn.

The west end is really a challenge for laying out an acceptable pathway... 1st of all, it has an extremely steep section just south of the gravel trail viewpoint... and I mean -really steep!-; second, the south enterance comes out on the east end and the gravel trail already abutts private property so you would have to mix with the estabilshed trail to find an -exit-; third, there is a small side-trail in the low elevation west side of the main trail that terminates at the creek, meaning an additional bridge would need to be constructed. I am not saying it is impossible but a switchback would need to be created for the 100' climb, Bridge construction, and an intrusion into the existing trail system would all be required for a westside green commuter route, where on the eastside, you need to overcome the steep dropoff right off of 231st/Baseline and you have a straight shot to the exit on the south end on either side of the fence.

A -flying bridge- across the entire span would be awesome. This could minimise elevation gain significantly. But even if it followed grade, it would be a great extention connecting south east-Hillsboro to industrial-hillsboro to the north.

I suppose you would need to get very familiar with the park, and the actual property boundries... and the current street plans to come up with a solid proposal. I haven't seen the Hillsboro Parks Department take on a significant role in spearheading this kind of prgram. They are mostly interested in connecting the Rock Creek Trail. Noble Woods is, in their eyes, a done deal. Maybe their views have changed, but I wouldn't bet on it. I've seen their actions, and antics before The City in past arguments. Maybe Washco has more clout.

Hillsboro does have a special committee for road and road improvement issues. They have like 2 meetings a month where public input is considered. You can present testimony or ask questions regarding the future of Hillsboro public roads on the whole. Washington Co and city engineers are available for comment as well as 2 of the city council members. I have a feeling that this request has more clout here than with Hillsboro's parks and rec.

All this just brings back some really bad memories from past work with the city. Much like what you've already expressed, Nancy. I'm just providing what I know about the area and the legislation that I've experienced. It is all a matter of pressing all the right buttons. And the way to press the Parks and Rec buttons in Hillsboro is to have The City initiate the conversation.

wsbob
08-11-2010, 09:59 PM
SN...seems like you've got quite a good sense of the parks' terrain...the lay of the land, so to speak. I'd kind of like to get a better idea of it personally, but am not sure how that'll work out. Money aside...it would be great having a big trestle bridge to span a canyon area through this park for a commuter route. One of my favorite things, when I ride from Beaverton up to Council Crest, is pausing at the overlook/closed end of Raab Rd. There's another one as you go further east, approaching the church.

I don't know any of the people in Hillsboro Parks, or the city, but it kind of bothers me to hear their efforts regarding the protection of Noble Park referred to as "...antics...". You know them better than I, so maybe you've got just reason to use that term here. It would be unfortunate if you did, but people with great ideas for serving the greater good sometimes fail to act as altruistically as they intend to.

Took me awhile to recall the effort required to preserve this plot of land as a park; Reading the threads Nancy posted, and the comments to them, kind of jogged my memory. There's also the informational sign at the entrances to the park. The Oregonian actually covered the effort, which was substantial... to secure this land for a nature park. The park's land could easily have been sucked up into another exclusive housing development or some such thing, that only a select number of people would have had access to. Knowing this, and the fact that on a grass roots level, people were able to successfully persevere in sustaining this land as a natural area, it's entirely understandable to me that people would be protective of the park and what the park has been established to offer the public.

As a first choice, people should be working to compel the city to provide a bike commute route outside the park. Though budgets are tight, the fact that Metro and local officials have been actively, unrelentingly pursuing various land annexations and urban reserves (despite significant reservation on the part of the public), etc., etc., tells me they have big ideas, and could probably work to find the money or means to meet basic infrastructural needs such as this. It seems to me that finding and providing the means for such things as adequate bike commute infrastructure on existing streets should come before further conversion of rural and other open lands (rural reserves ) to residential, commercial and industrial development.

Simple Nature
08-12-2010, 07:55 PM
I haven't looked at the Parks and Rec master plan for quite some time... maybe 5 years and neither have I loked at the City of Hillsboro Comprehensive Plan for the same 5 years. These two will give you some insight on the plan for this region. All I know is that P&R want to connect the Rock Creek Trail and right now, they are at a dead end. There has to be some idea what is happening but the stalled Orenco Woods Golf Course project delayed a significant section of connectivity. The target connection would be Noble Woods and tying in the new sports parks on 53rd. A little involvement with both entities will get you a wealth of information but they will resist vehemently in revising said plans. Having said that, you may be able to adjust schedules or influence design initiatives in their early stages.

DarkStar
08-24-2010, 09:21 AM
Hillsboro parks commission says bikers cannot ride through Noble Woods during park ride (http://www.oregonlive.com/hillsboro/index.ssf/2010/08/hillsboro_parks_commission_says_biker_cannot_ride_ through_noble_woods_during_park_ride.html)

Bummer... It's very unfortunate that the decision was unanimous, though I'm surprised that none of the TdP organizers attended the meeting.

I can't help but think there is something behind the scenes that we're unaware of, as I still don't understand why bikes are banned at that particular park but not others.

I hope for a good turnout, but the high entry fee is going to definitely prohibit most of us from participating.

fearlesscyclist
08-24-2010, 10:04 AM
For your information, members have attended several parks commission meetings in the past over this issue.
We chose not to attend today because we believed (and erroneously hoped) that the commission would accept risk management's proposal and allow riding at least in the basin of the park.
There is nothing else going on here that you can weave into some conspiracy so, please don't.

fearlesscyclist
08-24-2010, 10:06 AM
so, $20 per adult rider is too much? It includes a t-shirt, a fun ride, free ice cream, music by Tree Top Tribe and entertainment by the Sprockettes and a plaza filled with after ride activities?

Let me know when it gets affordable for you.

wsbob
08-24-2010, 10:35 AM
DarkStar, if you went to the meeting and possibly took notes, give us a run down of something each of the commissioner offered as their reasons for their opposition. I would have liked to know whether the commissioners considered the possibility of allowing tour riders to ride through the park at a specific speed regulated by escorts, or whether someone might have raised that possibility to the commissioners directly.


The Oregonian's coverage doesn't seem very informative. Here's something reporter Casey Parks writes:

"... Organizers of the event had thought earlier this week that participants would be allowed to bike through the flat portions of the park, but the commission unanimously agreed to ban the riders outright based on safety concerns. ..."

What is 'flat portions' supposed to mean? Reporter Parks could have expanded on that. If the trail in question is the asphalt trails I rode on, there isn't much of a flat portion. What is flat, is a short distance, probably less than 5 minutes walking. The rest of the trail distance is significantly uphill or downhill. Is this typical of other Hillsboro parks?


The Oregonian story currently has 3 comments in response. Here's the text of one, buy commenter 'sir' that helps to explain why the idea of bikes allowed in this park isn't readily embraced:

" sir August 24, 2010 at 10:37AM

tell that to the people that ride bikes through there routinely, like they are entitled. I'm tired of getting 'glared' off the path so they can ride by. "


I'm a bit surprised to learn that some people are riding through the park despite knowing that riding bikes is prohibited there, but even more surprised to find that when they do ride through, they're apparently not doing so using due consideration that would make the best possible impression on other park users that are following regulations and traveling on foot.

A few posts back, I wrote of my own visit to the park, and of having met a nice gal on a bike outside the park that offered to guide me to it. She seemed to be a responsible type person, but herself volunteered that she's ridden through the park. Beyond this mention on her part, we didn't discuss details about her manner of riding through the park.

Still, the point is made that, knowing park regulations prohibit riding in the park, people disregard the regulation, and some of them perhaps insensitively so. People that have traveled through this park on their bikes are apparently not making any friends amongst people visiting the park that follow the regulations by walking through it.

DarkStar
08-24-2010, 01:23 PM
For your information, members have attended several parks commission meetings in the past over this issue.
We chose not to attend today because we believed (and erroneously hoped) that the commission would accept risk management's proposal and allow riding at least in the basin of the park.
There is nothing else going on here that you can weave into some conspiracy so, please don't.
My concern is exactly that someone lead the organization to believe one thing, when at the actual meeting, the media is reporting that the opposite happened.

Without a representative there, it allowed them to make their decision and not feel bad about it. The WashCoBTC doesn't state how many board members they have, but it's really unfortunate that they couldn't make sure there was official representation for every meeting.

so, $20 per adult rider is too much? It includes a t-shirt, a fun ride, free ice cream, music by Tree Top Tribe and entertainment by the Sprockettes and a plaza filled with after ride activities?

Let me know when it gets affordable for you.
What is the organization paying for the musicians, t-shirts, and ice cream? Last year we didn't have to spend $40 and had a blast. Working in sales marketing, I'm quite familiar with "value added" products to make the perceived value of a product higher.

When the event was previously free, adding a $7 shirt and a $2 ice cream and charging $20 for it feels like a rip-off, especially when you can't opt-out of the individual items and reduce the cost.

A $5 registration fee per person would have been a lot more reasonable for this year without any extras that couldn't have been covered through corporate/government sponsorships.

DarkStar, if you went to the meeting and possibly took notes, give us a run down of something each of the commissioner offered as their reasons for their opposition. I would have liked to know whether the commissioners considered the possibility of allowing tour riders to ride through the park at a specific speed regulated by escorts, or whether someone might have raised that possibility to the commissioners directly.
I wish I could have gone, but I wasn't aware that the meeting had occurred until I read the Oregonian article. I don't know if TVCTV (http://www.tvctv.org/) records those meetings, but it might be worth looking into.

Simple Nature
08-24-2010, 05:18 PM
Considering I am on a recumbent trike with very limited walking capability [legally these are considered bicycles], this puts Noble Woods off limits for me and my family. The tour too will have to be forgone even though it would have been a nice opportunity to get out and ride with local riders. There simply isn't a way around this park that doesn't include a significant detour. Seems Noble Woods should be eliminated from the tour as this is intended for cycling awareness and this park simply is not cycling friendly... even though my tax dollars were used to create this park. This really is a sad situation all around, not just for the tour.

fearlesscyclist
08-24-2010, 08:59 PM
I'm sorry you came to the decision you have about not riding in this fun, family event. Noble Woods will remain a part of the ride, even though, for now at least, those who ride on the 10 park, 16 mile ride will have to walk .4 miles through this beautiful park.
We will most likely appeal the decision to city council based on the fact that the commission came to it by asking the risk manager her personal opinion and made their ruling based on that and not the reality of the situation.

fearlesscyclist
08-24-2010, 09:10 PM
Chris,
I really don't appreciate your insinuation that anyone was being misled about the decision about Noble Woods park. If you are concerned about the leadership and board make up, we are a 501c3 organization working to promote bicycle transportation, protect bicyclists' rights and improve bicycling conditions throughout Washington County, oregon through education, advocacy and community. Come to our meetings, held the 2nd Monday of each month at 6.30 at the Center www.tinyurl.com/fpmcbc. If you want to make change in our organization, bring it on, don't cast aspersions.

Simple Nature
08-24-2010, 09:33 PM
I'm sorry you came to the decision you have about not riding in this fun, family event. Noble Woods will remain a part of the ride, even though, for now at least, those who ride on the 10 park, 16 mile ride will have to walk .4 miles through this beautiful park.
We will most likely appeal the decision to city council based on the fact that the commission came to it by asking the risk manager her personal opinion and made their ruling based on that and not the reality of the situation.

I am too as I really looked forward to this event. Maybe you missed the part about walking a recument trike -is not an option-... not because my wife and I don't want to but because these vehicles are not made to walk like a diamond frame bike. And if you kept up with this entire thread, you will also notice we do not own diamond frame bikes. So no, it was't really a choice and I am deeply saddened by the fact. I was very much hoping the tour would obtain the variance.

wsbob
08-24-2010, 11:25 PM
I am too as I really looked forward to this event. Maybe you missed the part about walking a recument trike -is not an option-... not because my wife and I don't want to but because these vehicles are not made to walk like a diamond frame bike. And if you kept up with this entire thread, you will also notice we do not own diamond frame bikes. So no, it was't really a choice and I am deeply saddened by the fact. I was very much hoping the tour would obtain the variance.

Not to make light of what's required for you and your wife to walk your recumbent trikes, whatever that might be, but why does it not work to do so? I realize there's all different configurations; two wheels front, one back, and vice versa....front steering and rear steering. Some of those might make walking such a bike hard, but the fact is, this .4 miles that Fearless Cyclist...(hey there Hal !) cites as the distance through the park, is not that long of a trek.

I suppose if there's some reason you can't flip one end of the trike up high enough to grab your arms around it in a tow position, that's the end of it, but I'd like to think you could come up with some simple, innovative solution.


I would like to hear from the park's guy mentioned in the Oregonian story, whether or not they considered slow escorted rides through the park for this event. Such a ride is something I see as being entirely acceptable, even though as a general policy, biking in the park isn't. Maybe I should write the guy and see if I can get a response.

DarkStar
08-25-2010, 08:49 AM
Chris,
I really don't appreciate your insinuation that anyone was being misled about the decision about Noble Woods park. If you are concerned about the leadership and board make up, we are a 501c3 organization working to promote bicycle transportation, protect bicyclists' rights and improve bicycling conditions throughout Washington County, oregon through education, advocacy and community. Come to our meetings, held the 2nd Monday of each month at 6.30 at the Center www.tinyurl.com/fpmcbc. If you want to make change in our organization, bring it on, don't cast aspersions.
My insinuation that your organization was misled was purely based on your previous statement:

We chose not to attend today because we believed (and erroneously hoped) that the commission would accept risk management's proposal and allow riding at least in the basin of the park.
In this case, the organization should have based its "beliefs" on facts, not unicorns and rainbows. So I summarized that the organization was therefore misled in believing something, when the outcome proved the opposite.

Also, your assumption that I don't already support the WashCoBTC is incorrect. My family has been supporting the WashCoBTC for the last 2 years, though the handling of this years TdP unfortunately jeopardizes our future support.

Simple Nature
08-25-2010, 05:09 PM
Bob, I appreaciate you consideration and even your understanding of the challenges regarding recumbent trike. These machines are 35 lbs and 40 lbs respectively and they simply do not track without a rider at the helm. Ours are tadpole configurations... 2 wheels up front and a rear drive wheel. If you lift the rear, you drag the chainrings on the ground and the front wheels flop over to the side. Forward there simply isn't a hold nor will it track.

I am very familiar with the proposed trail. It means a down and up that normally puts me in granny and it is still an effort. Wresling a trike in either direction is simply not an option. That 1/2 mile may as well be 10 miles. It would make no difference.

Our funny modes of transportation is often overlooked by people who like to pretend that their mode of travel is the only way... recumbents, including trikes, are legally considered bicycles in the language of the law but are often overlooked when it comes to making provisions for them. MAX is a huge example of this "inconvenience". If it wasn't for recumbent trikes, my wife and I couldn't get out if we wanted too. But when it comes to support, evidently even from the Washington Co. representative, we are simply a minority that can be ignored, or worse, slighted as in the post above from Fearless. Very sad.

Again, it would have been fun, as I've done in the past, to ride in these events especially with my wife to join in the fun. We will still be riding during that day and may even run into the TdP group on the way. K-Cera.

wsbob
08-26-2010, 08:07 PM
Simple Nature, I hear you on the impracticality of walking the tadpole. I've seen them, but am not familiar enough with them to have remembered the rear gear arrangement. So I guess that kind of puts you in a bind. I'll have to admit that I don't have a better idea at the moment.

Its frustrating that the BTC wasn't able to persuade the Hillsboro Parks Commission to grant a conditional permit allowing bikes to ride through Noble Woods Park for the Tour de Parks ride, I can't fault people with the BTC for that happening. Hal Ballard seems very committed to making a strong effort to support cycling for both recreational and practical purposes. Nancy's announcement's and information provided in this thread that she started, also seemed very good to me.

They, as part of the BTC's board, made efforts to appeal to and reason with the parks commission, to no avail. It works that way sometimes. The bike lanes on Lombard in Beaverton is another example. In that situation, it was the neighbor/residents that opposed the bike lanes, spent lots of their time and energy appealing to the traffic commission and city council to protect their opportunity to park on the street. Both city entities listened politely to them, and in the end, said, 'sorry'. It can be challenging to follow the decision making process that goes on in local government.

I'm not sure what it would take to persuade the parks commission to allow bike riding in the park, even for special events like the one the BTC has planned (Maybe a several million dollar contribution? Where are you, deep pocket philanthropists?). The presence of bikes in the type of park Noble Woods Park is a big deal. Perhaps the parks commission feels that even if a group of cyclists were escorted, as I hoped they might be allowed to be...through the park at a walking pace, their appearance in the park might be misinterpreted by certain other park visitor seeing them, as permission for anyone to ride bikes in the park, anytime chosen. Not an insurmountable obstacle to counter, but something to consider.


Of course, Tour de Parks could put up informative signs and what not, but given many people's attention span, that form of information would be lost on them. I get the impression quite a few people are already riding in this park, and that the impression of cyclists they're displaying towards people making legitimate use of the park, isn't a good one.

There are plenty of decent people that ride bikes with consideration for others, but also many people that don't ride considerately. How to manage the latter? The city probably doesn't have the budget for a staff of police officers or park rangers to supervise the park to the extent needed to manage authorized bike use in the park.

wsbob
08-28-2010, 09:14 AM
...If it wasn't for recumbent trikes, my wife and I couldn't get out if we wanted too. ...

Simple Nature, I don't mean to be nosy, but if you're comfortable doing so, could you explain further about why recumbent trikes to you and your wife mean the difference between getting out and not getting out?

Simple Nature
08-28-2010, 04:00 PM
For me, its arthritis in the neck and shoulders... for her, its balance. Last ride on a MTB was the worst day of the year ride 3 years ago [the long route]. I made it up over the hill but no way could I have finished the ride. Today I did Hillsboro to Portland and back on the trike without discomfort. It is all about posture.

wsbob
08-28-2010, 10:15 PM
For me, its arthritis in the neck and shoulders... for her, its balance. Last ride on a MTB was the worst day of the year ride 3 years ago [the long route]. I made it up over the hill but no way could I have finished the ride. Today I did Hillsboro to Portland and back on the trike without discomfort. It is all about posture.

Simple Nature...thanks. That's some respectable mileage. Recumbents have a lot going for them that I think will increasingly catch people's attention as the popularity of cycling for all reasons (and seasons !) increases. Glad to hear that the reason you and your wife run bents isn't because you're unable to walk, but it did occur to me that people with certain disabilities to which a recumbent bike allows them a 'way around', might have a persuasive argument for access to a park such as Noble Woods. Looks as though this wouldn't apply to yourself, but it might be to someone with balance issues.

wsbob
09-01-2010, 09:43 PM
http://bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif Wrote an email to Hillsboro Park and Rec Commission's contact, Karen Edwards,

Hillsboro Parks & Recreation Commission (http://www.ci.hillsboro.or.us/ParksRec/GeneralParks/ParksCommission2.aspx)

...asking whether, as one possible option for granting Tour de Parks participants permission to ride their bikes through the park, commission members might have considered having the participants, astride their bikes, be led through the park by people on foot, so as to maintain safety for all park users, by confining the speed of the bikes to walking pace.

Five days or so after sending, and before I got a response to that email, I sent a follow up email with a little more of my personal info as to the reasons for my questions. That email was directed to Dave Miletich, Development Manager, City of Hillsboro Parks and Recreation. Here's his response, the text of which he welcomed me to post to this discussion:



Hi Darrell,

Thank you for your e-mail regarding the upcoming Tour de Parks bike ride on September 26. We are looking forward to the event as a wonderful way to showcase our parks, and hopefully it will be perfect bike riding weather.

Part of the safety concern we have with riding through Noble Woods Parks has a lot to do with the less experienced riders participating in the event. Negotiating a bike up hill on steep, windy and narrow trails does require some skill, as well as good fitness. A tired rider (with head down) pumping uphill, is potentially very dangerous to oncoming pedestrians. Just yesterday, we had an e-mail from a 78-year-old woman who is walking the park to rehab from hip replacement surgery. Her comment, not related to the upcoming ride, was thanks for making the park bike free, for my safety.

The route through park is barely longer than one-quarter mile, a 7-8 minute walk, or a 3-4 minute bike ride. This walking distance should be manageable for riders with cleats and for the three-wheeled bikes. This is just a case where the safety issue outweighs the time savings and inconvenience for the riders.

Thanks again for passing along your suggestions and please do not hesitate to call me if you want to further discuss this issue. My number is 503-615-6531.

Dave



Here's the text of my follow up email that Dave Miletich responded to:


Karen Edwards,

Just a follow-up inquiry regarding the email I sent you last week about park and rec commission's decision not to allow Washington County Bike Coalition's Tour de Park's event riders to ride through Noble Woods Park for that event.

I'm not a member of the BTC. My interest in this situation is general, from the standpoint of being someone that uses a bike part time for transportation and recreation, and who very much appreciates nature parks in the area. I'm actually a Beaverton resident. I frequently visit the THPRD Nature Park off Milikan Way, using it's multi-use path, which allows bike use (it has some grades as Noble Woods does, but less steep and not as lengthy).

Awareness of BTC's request to have its participants ride through Noble Woods Park came to me through the forums of bikeportland.org, where there's been what seems to me, a good, civil discussion about the pros and cons of allowing bikes to be ridden through the park for an event such as the one BTC has planned.

It was my idea, independent of BTC, that people might be allowed to ride their bikes through the park, if led by a person walking, so that the speed of the bikes wouldn't exceed a walking pace, even on the park's steep grades. Bikes with good brakes would be able to handle such grades with no problems.

I just wondered whether park and rec commission members had considered such an idea, and if so, if they didn't feel it was a sufficient safety precaution to make the park safe for other park visitors, why they might have felt that way.

Metal cleats on bike shoes is one reason event participants would prefer to ride. Another potential reason, is that there are at least a couple riders known to ride a 3 wheeled bike that's slightly wider than a regular bicycle. They ride this type of bike due to physical disabilities that preclude their use of a regular two wheeled bike. Walking 3 wheeled bikes of this type for significant distances is not practical.

I'd appreciate any thoughts you can spare on this subject. I understand the importance of avoiding any suggestion that use of bikes freely in Noble Woods Park is allowed, but thought that escorted guides on foot could allow event participants to tour the park astride their bikes without creating such a suggestion to other park visitors.





I don't see in his response to me that he speaks directly to the idea that participants would be guided, and be getting 'heads up' from guides on foot, both front and rear to the group being led (I suggested 10 to a group in the first email), but I'm assuming he would have read and understood this to be part of the idea I asked about.

It would naturally be important for event participants astride bikes and led by foot guides...had permission for such travel been permitted for this event...to be conscious of fragile elders and other park visitor that would be there for relaxed enjoyment of the park and serene contemplation, but it seemed to me that savvy foot guides and conscientious event participants could have effectively managed this, even the "...less experienced riders..." , (however many of them, if any, might have chosen to ride in the event) Dave says Hillsboro Park and Rec was concerned with.

The good news is that Dave Miletich seems to be enthusiastic about, and looking forward to the event. Maybe he'll ride?

Everyone...sorry I couldn't figure out a way to be more persuasive. :rolleyes: Thought I'd give it a try though, and am glad I at least did that. Looks like you folks better be sure to have your cleat covers or a pair of lightweight flip-flops. Simple Nature...don't know what kind of idea to suggest to you and your gal...maybe a lot of helium balloons. :) :)

Simple Nature
09-01-2010, 09:58 PM
Thanks for the effort, Bob. We'll be riding that day, just not with the group. We'll probably see you along the way somewhere.

NA_CA
09-02-2010, 09:37 PM
Thank you wsbob for your letter writing effort. It was above and beyond-thank you.

Our decision to appeal the parks commission for variance on riding through Nobel Woods is set for next Tuesday at the city council meeting. Feel free to join us.

Simple Nature-I hope to see you sometime during the ride-be sure to come back to the plaza after the rides.

I invite all of you who have partaken in this discussion to contact me at
tourdeparks@washcobtc.org please.

Your comments, thoughts, and support have been heart warming.
Thank you all.

The Tour de Parks will roll on, a good time will be had by all and then plans for the 4th annual TdP will begin.

wsbob
09-06-2010, 12:36 AM
Nancy...thanks http://bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif.


by the way...from the City of Hillsboro website: "The Hillsboro City Council meetings are convened in the Hillsboro Civic Center Auditorium on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 7 PM."

Hillsboro City Council
Meeting Information (http://www.ci.hillsboro.or.us/CityCouncil/CouncilMeetings.aspx)

Being there would be a bit complicated for me. I'll read about city council's response to your appeal here.

NA_CA
09-08-2010, 09:31 AM
Four members of the TdP committees were in attendance at the Hillsboro City Council meeting last evening. One representive from the Parks and Rec department and one parks commissioner were there to give testamony.

In discussion after the testimonies, three of the city councilors indicated they were in favor of overturning the decision from the parks commission, one councilor and the mayor were not and no comment from two councilors.

The city attorney stepped in and added that the city council (in his investigation) has no authority to overturn the park commission rulings. He added that the council may "ask, request, urge or strongly request" that the parks commission revisit this issue and see if there is a change of status.

There were some very good points made from the city councilors.
1. Special use permits are granted all the time for streets, closures etc
ie. parades, special running/walking events
2. Unless they try the variance and see the outcome-they will never know
3. Signage for no bicycling at the park needs to be clearer-more frequent postings
4. Not allowing the TdP to traverse Nobel Woods Park by bike will not affect the outcome....the Tour will go on.

There were issues brought up by the opposition:
1. Fear of "renagade" bicyclists would take over the park
2. Rules are rules and bicyclists need to know those rules
3. This variance would give bicyclist the green light to continue riding through the park (even though all agreed it is ongoing presently)

(Hal Ballard spokesperson for the WashCO BTC used the last point to stress the importance of funding for the north/south connectivity through the park vs Brookwood.)

These are just some of the comments. The result was that the city council asked the parks commission to revisit this issue.

Overall everyone had nothing but good comments and praise for the Tour de Parks as a great family and communtiy event.



Story to be continued.....

wsbob
09-08-2010, 10:20 PM
That there is a need for more conspicuous signage, clearly indicating that biking in the park is not allowed as a general practice, is a good point (same applies to THPRD's nature park; their information kiosk has a sign that spells out unauthorized uses, but their isn't anything at the head of the trail itself. Occasionally people come rolling through on skates, skateboards. Maybe they saw the signs, maybe they didn't think to stop and check the info kiosk. Much more likely they'd see it if it was right on a sign post in the middle/head of the trail.).


Cyclists, event participants and otherwise, do need to know park rules regarding bikes in Noble Woods Park, but I would assume that this is one of the things TdP staff would be making a point to tell all TdP participants. If TdP were to get permission to ride through the park (or maybe even though participants may be walking their bikes), on the day of the TdP event, to inform park visitors that aren't participants in the event, but see people with bikes...about what's going on; I don't know what you guys have done in past...maybe a sandwich signboard with information about that at each end of the trail.

People do seem to be riding through the park in disregard for the policy prohibiting that use. Human nature I suppose, to defy regulations. That they are doesn't cancel out solid reasons for not permitting bikes to be ridden in the park on a general basis. Those reasons aren't necessarily ones that every visitor to parks like Noble Woods is going to readily understand. This calls for special efforts to make those reasons more easy to understand.

The parks steeply graded asphalt trails are probably very tempting to people looking for a thrill. Also human nature. Did they actually use the phrase 'renegade cyclists'? If they did, it would probably be important to get a clearer idea of what they meant, and to what extent their concerns might or might not be valid. The idea of 'renegade cyclists' taking over the park seems beyond the pale, but probably shouldn't be dismissed outright.


http://www.bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon3.gif http://www.bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon3.gif The date of the ride is approaching fast. Is there anything else WCBTC or interested parties may be able to do to help the parks commission as it revisits the issue of TdP's request?


Nancy...thanks for the report on the meeting.

NA_CA
09-09-2010, 06:09 AM
Right now, I can't think of anything anyone can do that would help except on the day of the ride-whichever way the parks commission decides to go-we will need everyone's help in following that decision-whether riding or walking through this park.

The TdP committee is meeting with the parks commission next week to hopefully come to a decision agreeable by both sides.

The term "renegade cyclist" was used by a city councilor. I perfer to think it was that person's own dislike for bicyclists-just my opinion.

Signage needs to be addressed and hopefully we can work with the parks dept on this issue. (note: signage not only for bicyclists but seems the local high school has their track members running through the park and it was noted at the city council that on the blind-sharp corners...they too pose a problem.)

In the past the TdP has used volunteers stationed throughout the park reminding bicyclists to walk...and to inform pedestrians there are people with bikes in the park. We did not use signs...as we thought having a person being able to engage in a conversation was better.
A pre-ride talk was given to all riders as was a reminder at the south parking lot where we had a beverage/snack stop.

NA_CA
09-14-2010, 10:38 AM
Very quickly for an update:

Two members of the TdP committee met with the Park Commission Board this am to discuss the variance for Noble Woods Parks. After much discussion from both sides the commission voted 4 yes and 2 no votes to stay with their original decision to deny the variance.

With that said...the Tour de Parks must move on. Still lots to do and only twelve days to go.

I personally thank all that has supported this discussion. It has been enlightening.

See you on the 26th at the Tour de Parks in downtown Hillsboro...nancy