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Supreme Court's rail-trail ruling: What does it mean for Oregon?

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
Family trip to Stub Stewart State Park-39-39
A Supreme Court ruling could open the door
for lawsuits from landowners adjacent to popular
rail-trails like the Banks-Vernonia State Trail.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Yesterday's Supreme Court ruling on a rail-trail case — and the doomsday headlines that followed — have caused a lot of concern among people who love cycling on paths built atop former railroad corridors.

In Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States the court ruled 8-1 in favor of the trust, who claimed their rights to the now-abandoned railroad should be reinstated. Their land is slated to become part of the Medicine Bow Rail Trial and the federal government argued that they have rights to the trail easement based on a "reversionary interest" which should go into effect once the railroad was abandoned.
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Here's a chance to make East County bike touring even better

Friday, October 25th, 2013
Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-41
The Columbia Gorge is only the first stop for
"destination biking" east of Gresham.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Back in July, we wrote that a big recreational biking upgrade is in the works for east Multnomah County. A pair of public "studio workshops" next month will shape its direction.

People at the free workshops — a seven-hour one Nov. 13 at Troutale's Edgefield McMenamin's and a four-hour one Nov. 14 at the Corbett Fire House — will get to "identify assets, opportunities, and barriers to increasing bicycle tourism" in the region.

With a Travel Oregon study estimating that 15 percent of tourism in the Gorge/Mount Hood area is already bike-related, the area's business leaders see big potential for improving things further.

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September meetings will help plan Salmonberry Corridor Rail Trail

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Vernonia Overnighter
A proposed Salmonberry trail would link to the existing
Banks-Vernonia Trail 25 miles northwest of Portland.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

A proposed 86-mile rail-to-trail project that would link Washington County to the Pacific Coast is the subject of two public meetings next month at either end of the future route.

The trail, whose cost would run into the tens of millions, has attracted early attention from touring organization Cycle Oregon and important legislators like state Sen. Betsey Johnson (D-Scappoose), who said in an interview last year that a trail through the Salmonberry River Valley would open up "some of the most beautiful land anywhere" to personal travel.

"I used to go up there before I was a legislator, when I had a life," Johnson said.

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Why bicycling isn't allowed on a new off-street path in Clackamas County

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

The newly completed Rosemont Trail, a paved path that connects downtown Lake Oswego to West Linn in Clackamas County, should be cause for celebration — except for that fact that bicycling is banned on about half of its entire length.

After The Oregonian covered this story yesterday, we got several emails from readers who were disturbed by this lack of bicycle access. The ban is especially unfortunate given that the adjacent Rosemont Road is a narrow, high-speed thoroughfare without wide shoulders for bicycling on. According to The Oregonian, many people expected the path to allow bicycling, and there is considerable consternation now that it doesn't. Hoping to better understand the background and context of this project, we reached out to Clackamas County and the group who paid for and created the trail, The Columbia Land Trust. (more...)

Stars aligning for a bike tourism boom in the Mt. Hood area

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013
Sandy Ridge loop-5
Riders scope out routes at Sandy Ridge, a popular trail-riding
destination built specifically for mountain biking.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Nobody in Oregon gets more of its tourist dollar from bikes than the Mount Hood region, and people in eastern Multnomah and Clackamas counties are taking notice.

Whatever happens in the controversy about a planned mountain bike park near Timberline Lodge, the area seems to be thinking more and more about biking. Consider a few elements:
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Metro to host Regional Trails Fair tomorrow

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
This old rail corridor deep in the Tillamook
Forest will someday be a biking and
walking path.
(Photo: Salmonberry Corridor
Preliminary Feasibility Report)

The third annual Regional Trails Fair will be held tomorrow at Metro headquarters from 1:00 to 3:30 pm. The event will bring together more than 35 trail advocacy organizations and government agencies to share the latest updates on trail projects throughout the Portland region. And there's a lot to talk about!

Did you know there's a major effort underway (with support from Oregon Parks & Recreation) to create a new rail-trail that would connect the town of Banks to Tillamook on the Oregon Coast? The Salmonberry Trail, which won a $100,000 planning grant from Cycle Oregon last year, would allow riders to travel 85 miles through the Tillamook Forest without ever seeing a car.

There's also the recently renamed Ice Age Tonquin Trail which has already been partially built and has ambitious plans to connect Tualatin to Wilsonville via a 22-mile path. (more...)

'Regional Trail Advocates Forum' looks to spark grassroots activism

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

"There are so many people interested in trail advocacy... We see this as an opportunity to help them understand they're not alone in their cause and that all these trail projects are connected."
— Aaron Brown, The Intertwine

Organizers of tomorrow's Regional Trail Advocates Forum hope that the first ever event is the start of something big. With trail projects stretching from Washington to Wilsonville, the goals of our region's many advocates and volunteer activists might seem disparate and overwhelming; but put a bunch of dedicated people in one room and amazing things are bound to happen.

The event is being put together by the venerable 40-Mile Loop Land Land Trust (founded in 1981) and the coalition of public agencies, non-profits, and private firms known as the The Intertwine Alliance. (more...)

Metro's 2nd annual Trails Fair will offer chance to explore 'The Intertwine'

Friday, April 20th, 2012
Did you know the new Trolley Trail
south of Milwaukie is almost fully complete?

In case you haven't noticed, there's a ton going on around our regional network of trails and multi-use paths* — a.k.a. "The Intertwine". To help get the public up to speed and foster collaboration and momentum on the projects, Metro and folks behind The Intertwine are hosting their 2nd annual Trails Fair.

The event is coming this Wednesday (4/25) from 1:00 - 3:00 pm (at Metro HQ, 600 NE Grand Ave). From the newly built Trolley Trail down in Milwaukie (yes, it's almost completed!), to the North Portland Greenway, and many others — this event will be the perfect place to hear the latest news on all the major projects. Metro promises about 40 agencies, non-profits, and trail groups will be on hand with exhibits and experts to share info about their programs and projects. (more...)

New system of paths, trails would connect Springwater Corridor to Clackamas River

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
These green spaces around Happy Valley would be
tied together with the newly proposed
Mt. Scott/Scouter Mt. Trail Loop.

Metro is prepping for the public unveiling of an exciting new network of paths that span from just south of the Powell Butte Nature Park all the way down to the Clackamas River. The Mt. Scott/Scouter Mt. Trail Loop is one of twenty "Connecting Green trail packages" proposed by Metro's Blue Ribbon Committee for Trails.

According to a document and maps released by Metro today, the plans call for a combination of paved multi-use paths as well as hiking and biking trails. In all, the network would encompass about 17 miles of paths winding around the city of Happy Valley and between a corridor bordered by the Springwater path, the I-205 multi-use path , SE 172nd Avenue and SE Sunnyside Road. (more...)

A closer look at newly funded path along I-84 in the Gorge

Monday, August 29th, 2011
Project drawing of new trail segment in Columbia Gorge funded by $2.1 million federal grant.
(Image: ODOT)

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