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

by 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.”

Advocates line up to support singletrack in Metro parcels north of Forest Park

by on November 16th, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Detail of Metro trail proposal shown back in May.

If all goes according to their plans, Metro could build about a dozen miles of new biking trails in the North Tualatin Mountains Natural Area, a 1,300 acre section of hills just north of Forest Park. The agency will unveil their recommendation for where trails should be built and who should be allowed to use them at a meeting tomorrow night (11/17).

If the trails in this plan get built, they will represent the most comprehensive network of singletrack (made for cycling) in the history of Portland.

Metro used a voter-approved levy to purchase four parcels off NW McNamee and Skyline Roads and has spent the last year in a planning process to decide how to manage public access. The stakes are high because the new trails will be built a mere 12 miles from north Portland — far closer than any other similar riding opportunities in the region. The land is currently undeveloped with only rudimentary dirt roads running through it.

Metro is doing a 12-hour bicycling survey on the Tilikum Bridge today

by on October 13th, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Metro volunteer Randi Wexler passes out a survey card at the west end of the Tilikum Bridge.
(Photo by M. Andersen/BikePortland)

Have you been wondering why someone shouted questions to you as you rode across the Tilikum Bridge today?

Legislators’ letter urges Metro to fund regional Safe Routes to School program

by on October 8th, 2015 at 3:58 pm

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Eight state legislators are chiming in their support of regional government Metro creating a regional Safe Routes to School program.

The proposal, which comes from a coalition of local transportation, health and justice advocacy groups, already has formal backing from the cities of Beaverton, Tigard, Milwaukie and Forest Grove, as well as the Beaverton School Board. It’s currently on track to become a major public issue next spring.

The idea is to dedicate some of the increasingly flexible federal transportation money that flows through Metro to giving elementary schools throughout the region an option to get a few classes in safe biking and walking, and to focus money for better crosswalks, sidewalks and bikeways around the same schools.


Metro launches #BikeThere2015 Instagram contest

by on July 1st, 2015 at 9:58 am


Metro is running a contest all this month to promote the new edition of the Bike There! map.

Big upgrade to commercial stretch of Barbur looks likelier as Metro rejects OHSU tunnel

by on June 16th, 2015 at 9:13 am

buczek walking
Metro staffer Anthony Buczek walks Barbur’s
current auto-oriented commercial strip in February.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Long-term plans are falling into place for a federally-subsidized biking and walking upgrade to one of Southwest Portland’s most important main streets.

And oh, it might come with a rapid bus or rail system, too.

Staff at the regional agency Metro announced last week that they weren’t going to recommend a $900 million light-rail tunnel beneath OHSU, instead sending the proposed Southwest Corridor high-capacity transit line on the surface of SW Naito and Barbur as it passes through Southwest Portland toward Tualatin and Tigard.


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

by 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.

For ninth edition of Bike There map, Metro chops print price to $6

by on April 22nd, 2015 at 9:07 am

Cover of the new map.

The definitive regional bike map has been updated with lots of new routes and a significant price cut.

Metro’s Bike There! map, published since 1982, will release its ninth edition next month in the first update since 2010. There’s a lot to keep up with: the number of mapped bike routes in the Oregon side of the Portland metro area has shot up 71 percent since 2010.

The current bike map shows 675 miles of on-street routes and 234 miles of off-street paths. For the new one, it’ll be 1,008 miles of on-street routes and 550 of off-street.

Also added to the new edition of the map, according to Metro (our regional government): “popular recreational off-road destinations where [users] can enjoy the area’s natural beauty.”

Path under construction will link Springwater system to central Gresham (photos)

by on March 3rd, 2015 at 2:05 pm

gresham path lead
The new two-mile trail is funded mostly by regional flexible funds allocated by Metro at the request of east Multnomah County governments.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Though it’s possible to get between central Gresham and the Springwater Corridor by bike lane, there’s never been a truly comfortable link between the two, or first-rate bike connection between Gresham’s central business district and the dense Rockwood area. That’s about to change.

Gresham is building a wide new paved path alongside the MAX tracks between the Cleveland Avenue station, at the eastern end of the Blue Line, and the Ruby Junction station where many TriMet trains stop their runs to go out of service.


Community Cycling Center vows to continue New Columbia, Cully programs despite grant cuts

by on March 2nd, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Bike Hub opening at New Columbia-9
The New Columbia Bike Hub opens in 2012, offering basic bike repair tools, assistance and equipment loans in the North Portland development.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

In 2008, Portland’s nonprofit bike shop kicked off an initiative to be known for more than reliable used bikes and Christmastime giveaways. And it succeeded.

The Community Cycling Center‘s 2010 report Understanding Barriers to Bicycling, based on interviews with dozens of residents of the New Columbia and Hacienda low- and mixed-income housing developments, is regularly cited around the country as a key piece of research about the ways bicycling decisions vary by race and ethnicity.