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Bike share stations on transit mall and city parks land? TriMet says yes, Parks Bureau says no

by on April 5th, 2016 at 11:11 am

possible biketown station locations
Possible station locations downtown. No sites are proposed for Waterfront Park (the green strip on the left of the river).
(Image from the city’s feedback website)

Though other cities have seen some memorable freakouts about the prospect of bike sharing stations, Portland hasn’t yet heard many loud complaints that Biketown stations would begrime beloved public spaces.

TriMet, for example, said last week that although it doesn’t allow blue bike “staple” racks on its downtown transit mall (more on that below), it won’t have a problem with orange bikes being parked there.

But so far, there’s one major city department that’s been keeping its distance from bike sharing: Portland Parks and Recreation.

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Parks’ new ‘land stewardship manager’ could have big impact on off-road cycling

by on December 2nd, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Forest Park "No Bikes" signs-2
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A new position currently being offered by the Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) bureau could have a huge impact on the future of off-road cycling.

PP&R’s new Land Stewardship Division Manager will be a senior-level manager who will make between $95,000 and $128,000 and will report directly to bureau director Mike Abbaté. Currently when Parks approaches a large policy or project they use a number of different types of planners and managers who all report to one project manager. This new position would, “bring together all land management expertise, knowledge and strategies under one manager.”

Here are the responsibilities of the new position as taken from the official job description:

Responsibilities include planning, organizing, directing and evaluating the programs, activities, and personnel of the division of approximately 150 employees who protect, maintain, restore and enhance the 11,000 acres of land managed by the Bureau that are part of a regionally ecologically significant system of open spaces, ranging from natural resource areas to highly developed parks to active recreation facilities. This position also oversees ecologists, horticultural services, community gardens, a plant nursery, turf and irrigation maintenance, environmental education, the integrated pest management program, and the recreational trails program.

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First look: New striping and safety features on Springwater at Oaks Bottom

by on April 30th, 2015 at 1:07 pm

springwater2
(Looking south on the Springwater at Oaks Bottom.
(Photos by Betsy Reese)

The Portland Parks & Recreation bureau has completed a project that aims to improve safety on a busy portion of the Springwater Corridor path. (more…)

City debates cutting park fees for small homes, hiking for big ones

by on April 24th, 2015 at 10:27 am

N-NE-SE Portland Good-Bad-Ugly Houses 84
Backers say the proposal would encourage smaller, more densely built houses.
(Photo: Mark McClure)

For years, almost every new home built in Portland has paid thousands of dollars into a city fund that pays to buy and develop parkland. But so far, the size of the home hasn’t affected the size of the fee.

If it were built today, a 900-square-foot bungalow would pay the same $8,582 parks fee as a 3,100-square foot 4-bedroom.

But in a proposal that could shift the local economy toward building smaller homes — and potentially provide a boost for bike infrastructure funding — the Portland Parks Bureau is suggesting that its fees on new homes become proportional to the number of people who are likely to live in them, based on their square footage.

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Parks bureau adds $350,000 Off-Road Cycling Master Plan to budget

by on February 6th, 2015 at 11:44 am

Newton Rd in Forest Park
Plan now, ride later.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

2015 is shaping up to be a great year for off-road cycling in Portland.

We have just learned that the PP&R requested budget for 2015/2016 (PDF) includes $350,000 for an “Off-Road Cycling Master Plan.”

This is nothing short of huge news for mountain biking advocates in Portland who see the lack of such a plan as the last remaining hurdle to more local trails, building more pump tracks, and so on. Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz called for the plan one year ago and just last November the NW Trail Alliance started an online petition to persuade Parks to fund it.
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A $10,000 solution to dangerous Springwater path intersection

by on January 13th, 2015 at 10:57 am

springwaterroundaboutsolution
Design concept for a roundabout on the Springwater Corridor path where it intersects with Oaks Bottom.
(Graphic: paikiala)

Last week we highlighted a known danger spot on the Springwater Corridor path. A “T” intersection with bad sight lines, high speeds, and a history of collisions and near-misses.

The Portland Parks Bureau is aware of the issue and is likely to address it via new signs and markings; but we all know simply adding more paint and signs often has limited impact on behavior. A BikePortland reader has a much more comprehensive solution. Paikiala, a regular commenter who often shares his detailed insights about traffic engineering, thinks the fix should be a small roundabout.

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City will install signs in Waterfront Park to discourage unsafe riding

by on September 17th, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Shared path Waterfront Park-1
The path in Waterfront Park is no place
to be riding fast.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland

With the BTA’s Bike Commute Challenge in full swing and warmer than usual weather sticking around, there’s a lot of bike traffic in and around downtown Portland these days. Especially on the Waterfront Park path, which is also popular with joggers, tourists, walkers, and lots of other types of users.

Concerns about unsafe passing and crowded conditions have spurred the Portland Parks Bureau to partner with the Bureau of Transportation to install signs encouraging faster bike riders to use Naito Parkway and all others to ride slowly and use caution when the path is crowded. They’re calling the path a “Pedestrian Priority Zone.”

Here’s a first look at the new signs: (more…)

New parks will improve bicycling in east Portland

by on February 4th, 2014 at 11:36 am

New paths and maybe even a
pump track are coming to Beech Park.
(Graphic: Portland Parks)

The two new parks announced by the City of Portland last week will come with new bicycling opportunities for Portlanders — especially the estimated 1765 households that live near them

The proposed Beech Park (NE 126th and Beech) and Gateway Park & Plaza (NE 104th and Wasco) were pitched to the community by Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz as a way to enhance underserved areas. “In east Portland, two out of every five households do not have easy access to a City park,” read a statement from Fritz. “That is in stark contrast to the rest of Portland where four out of every five households live within a half-mile of a park or natural area.”

While residents of east Portland have fewer parks, they also have fewer safe places to ride bicycles away from road traffic. The great news is that both of these parks will provide places where people young and old can ride in a pleasant environment.
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Portland Parks & Rec considers ‘Unicycle Bastards’ on park paving stone

by on August 23rd, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Kidical Mass - August-26.jpg
Jeff Lauten, shown here with his
daughter at the site of the future Harper’s
Playground, where he hopes to donate a
paving stone with his club’s name on it.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Unicycle Bastards, a local unicycle riding club, wants to help build Harper’s Playground in north Portland’s Arbor Lodge Park. The group came up with $260 to purchase a paving stone in the forthcoming playground; but their request was denied when Portland Parks & Recreation felt uncomfortable with printing the word “Bastards” in a children’s area of the park.

The club was informed of the decision last week and they have since requested an appeal of the decision.

Jeff Lauten, a 47-year-old Overlook Neighborhood resident and member of the Unicycle Bastards, says they think it’s unfair. “We’re just a small, old, silly group of unicycle riders,” he told me on the phone last week. “We love Harper [the young girl who the playground is being named after] and the playground and we just wanted to be a part of it.” (more…)

NW Trail Alliance teams with Portland Parks & Rec for kids MTB camp

by on June 22nd, 2012 at 11:22 am

Kids swarming the Ventura Park
pumptrack.
(Photo: NW Trail Alliance)

For the first time ever, the City of Portland Parks & Recreation bureau will team up with local off-road cycling non-profit Northwest Trail Alliance to hold a kids mountain biking camp.

“Whether you want to become a mountain bike pro or are just checking out the sport for the first time,” reads the camp description, “this 4-day camp will give you the hands-on experience you need to safely shred on your bike.” The collaboration with Portland Parks is a great match, says NWTA’s Director of Advocacy Tom Archer. The City provides the platform for the camp through their summer teen program, and the non-profit brings quality instruction and insider knowledge about the best local riding spots.
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