View Full Version : Fanno Creek Trail to Close Yet Again?
01-15-2012, 06:42 PM
I see in the this week's Valley Times article on the Fanno Creek Trail, Project catches trail users off guard, THPRD seeks input for pruning and planting along Fanno Creek Trail (http://www.beavertonvalleytimes.com/news/story.php?story_id=132632943319606800) that yet construction project for the trail is anticipated. From that article, "To fully incorporate feedback from trail users as well as accommodate a pending Tualatin Valley Water District water line project between Southwest 90th and 92nd avenues, the pruning project is temporarily on hold." (Emphasis added.) The last 2 times a government agency, BES in those cases, installed a pipe along the Trail, it resulted in a trail closure. If BES needs the trail closed to install a pipe, TVWD probably does, also.
This was one of the points that I harp on about what's wrong with MUPs. Government agencies view them as convenient corridors for whatever project they have in mind.
01-15-2012, 09:56 PM
They simply want to prune some of the low branches along a portion of the trail that are forming a VERY low tunnel of trees. Someone got word of it, and freaked out that they were going to ruin this section of trail, so THPRD decided to have a meeting to inform the public. If the trail gets closed, it won't be for long.
Ok... So, I didn't read the part about the water project... I guess we'll just have to wait to see what comes of this
SHRUB AND TREE MAINTENANCE PROJECT DELAYED
January 5, 2012
Dear Fanno Creek Trail User:
Many people have noticed the orange paint spots on trees along the section of the Fanno Creek
Regional Trail that stretches from Vista Brook Park to SW 92nd Ave. This section of the trail is known by
some as the Oregon Electric Right of Way (OEROW) and is owned and managed by the Tualatin Hills Park
& Recreation District (THPRD). The OEROW is densely vegetated with low growing trees and shrubs that
form an arch‐shaped canopy over the trail. While this creates an attractive walking environment, over
time, the vegetation grows down from above and in from the sides of the trail. This can lead to a
narrower walking space and a higher potential for patron injury from vegetation as well as some line of
sight safety concerns.
In 2006, the THPRD Board of Directors adopted a Trails Plan which directs staff to keep a minimum
clearance of two feet on trail shoulders and 10 feet overhead (see illustration below). While the plan
notes a minimum vertical clearance, it does allow shade trees to grow overhead.
During the last few years, staff inspections of the trail have shown an increasing number of dead
branches or trees along the trail, as well as vegetation encroaching into the trail’s clear zone, as noted in
the diagram above. To encourage safe use of the trail, which is used by as many as 10,000 people per
month in the summer, Park District staff started on‐the‐ground planning for vegetation management in
December 2011. Trees marked with orange paint are under consideration for pruning or removal. Some
limbs may be pruned back to the trunk of the tree to promote healthy and aesthetically pleasing
growth patterns instead of simply cutting them off at the edge of the clear zone.
During the process of identifying vegetation to be considered for pruning or removal, patrons expressed
concerns about a loss of tree cover. Unfortunately, no notice had been provided to the public in
advance of the project, which was a regrettable oversight. THPRD’s plan all along was to solicit public
feedback, but not until a detailed internal review by district managers was complete.
THPRD staff are aware of the community’s desire to keep a canopy overhead and are factoring it into
decisions. Planning efforts are aimed towards improving long‐term tree health and raising the canopy a
little higher for trail user safety. Staff are also proposing to plant new trees at an appropriate distance
from the trail, so that over time, a taller and more mature, healthy canopy will grow in, which will
provide shade, character, and wildlife habitat. The section of trail near Vista Brook Park is a good
example of this.
Staff recently became aware of a Tualatin Valley Water District project which is in the planning stages. It
may involve installation of a water line near the trail between SW 92nd and SW 90th Avenues. Given the
unknown effects of this project and the strong community interest we have received to date, our
pruning project is temporarily on hold.
Before actual THPRD work begins, we will conduct a public meeting at which local residents can
comment and ask questions. We will inform you when and where the meeting will be held. If you wish
to be on a mailing list for the project, please contact John Gaddis at email@example.com or phone
503‐629‐6305. Information will also be posted on our website, www.thprd.org.
Thank you for your interest in the Fanno Creek Trail and the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District.
Superintendent of Natural Resources and Trail Management
01-15-2012, 11:45 PM
"They simply want to prune some of the low branches along a portion of the trail that are forming a VERY low tunnel of trees. Someone got word of it, and freaked out that they were going to ruin this section of trail, so THPRD decided to have a meeting to inform the public. ..." K'Tesh
More details about how and why Fanno Creek Trail neighbors reacted to realization that work to be done on trees near the trail was reported in a story in the Oregonian, last week. Basically, the story reports that some of the agreed upon steps established to keep people up to date on work scheduled to be done, were not followed. People jumped on this situation and got needed answers. I'm thanking them for that. This was good citizen activism.
Tree-cutting along Fanno Creek Trail in Garden Home put on hold/Dana Tims/Oregonian (http://www.oregonlive.com/beaverton/index.ssf/2012/01/tree-cutting_along_fanno_creek.html)
THPRD's Bruce Barbarasch's letter, posted in K'Tesh's above comment, acknowledges the oversight:
"...During the process of identifying vegetation to be considered for pruning or removal, patrons expressed concerns about a loss of tree cover. Unfortunately, no notice had been provided to the public in
advance of the project, which was a regrettable oversight. THPRD’s plan all along was to solicit public feedback, but not until a detailed internal review by district managers was complete. ..." Bruce Barbarasch/THPRD
01-16-2012, 09:51 AM
"...Government agencies view them as convenient corridors for whatever project they have in mind". A couple of thoughts. First, that particular MUP wouldn't exist if a government agency hadn't needed to put a sewer line in that right of way. Second, delivering utilities in an urban landscape pretty much requires digging up streets (and MUPs) as those are the only connected ROWs.
That said, I think we have more work to do in educating decision makers on the need to provide safe and reasonably convenient detours when MUPs must be closed for utility or other construction. As has been noted here before that is a real issue for this particular section. I would hope that THPRD is beginning to understand that their trails are often transportation corridors as well as recreational facilities.
01-16-2012, 10:22 AM
Actually it appears there is a reasonable detour via Scholls Ferry if they had to close the trail from 90th to 92nd.
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