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City will install signs in Waterfront Park to discourage unsafe riding

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
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

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
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.
(more…)

Portland Parks & Rec considers ‘Unicycle Bastards’ on park paving stone

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
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

Friday, June 22nd, 2012
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.
(more…)

Off-road bike trails figure into new property acquired by Parks Bureau

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
River View Forest will soon be
owned by the City.
(Photo: City of Portland)

Calling it the “largest land acquisition in recent decades,” two City bureaus (Parks and Environmental Services) teamed up with Metro to purchase 146 acres of natural area known as the “River View Forest” in Southwest Portland. The $11.25 million deal was announced Monday and was approved by City Council yesterday.

The privately owned land, which is adjacent to and south of River View Cemetery off of SW Macadam Ave, is currently home to a large network of unofficial bike trails that have been ridden for many years. Once the City of Portland becomes the official land-owner (which should be finalized later this summer), what does the future hold for mountain bike access? (more…)

Portland Parks addresses bumps on Esplanade ramps

Monday, July 19th, 2010
Eastbank esplanade ramp-2
Parks will consider adding stripes
and signage to warn riders of
these bumps.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Last week I joined a Portland Parks & Recreation staffer for a visit to the Eastbank Esplanade. Our intention was to see what, if anything, could be done to smooth out a series of bumps that exist on ramps leading to the floating portion of the trail.

The meeting came after I published a story on July 9th about the bumps. That story sparked over 200 comments that expressed a range of opinions about them. Many people said they are no problem at all (once you get used to them), while others felt the bumps should be fixed. The man featured in that story, Ron Richings, crashed and sustained a serious shoulder injury after the bumps caused a bungee cord attached to his bike to become dislodged and get caught in his wheel. (more…)

Bike Advisory Committee airs concerns over Springwater Trail closure plans

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
BTA New Year's Day Ride-13
Riders roll by the junction with the
Oaks Bottom Trail.
(Photo © J. Maus)

As I reported back in March, next summer, from June to the end of September, the Springwater Corridor Trail on the Willamette River will be closed for a major project at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.

As a vital link from Sellwood to downtown Portland and the preferred commute route for an estimated 2,000 daily weekday commuters and around 5,000 daily users on the weekends, the closure is not being taken lightly. Last night, staff from the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) and City Nature came to the City’s Bike Advisory Committee meeting to share details about the project and to present their latest thinking on detour plans. (more…)

Powell Butte open house tonight: Weigh in on future of trails

Monday, January 25th, 2010

“We are not opposed to expanding the wildlife area, but feel strongly Pioneer Orchard trail should remain open.”
— Tom Archer, director of advocacy for the Northwest Trail Alliance

The Portland Parks and Recreation Bureau will hold a public open house tonight to unveil a new trail plan for Powell Butte Nature Park. Off-road cycling advocates are concerned that one of the proposed concepts on the table expands the wildlife area and closes a popular riding trail.
(more…)

More on Waterfront Park biking issue

Monday, January 18th, 2010
Spring on Portland's waterfront-101
The path in Waterfront Park.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Early last Friday morning, a man was kicked out of Waterfront Park for 30 days by a Portland Police officer because he was riding in the park at 4:30 am (the park is closed from midnight to 5 a.m.). The incident has sparked an interesting debate about how the Portland Parks Bureau deals with park facilities that have paths used as transportation corridors within their boundaries.

Unlike other popular multi-use paths that are inside Parks-managed properties (like the Eastbank Esplanade and the Springwater Corridor), the path that runs through Waterfront Park is not technically considered a transportation corridor. The official reason is because it was not funded with federal transportation dollars (the two examples above were funded through the FHWA’s Transportation Enhancement grant program).
(more…)

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