Now online: Comment on proposed Forest Park cycling improvements

Posted by on April 21st, 2010 at 4:19 pm

The .75 mile Tolinda Trail, shown here
in orange, would be opened to bike access.
(Download full map PDF here)

Portland Parks and Recreation has just published their Forest Park Singletrack Cycling online comment form. The form includes the list of 12 proposed actions to improve and expand bike access in the park and a list of management actions that focus around methods of enforcement. Along with the form, a map labeled with the proposed actions is also now available online (PDF).

The management actions are included because, “the committee felt strongly that any increase in activity would need to be also supported by an increase in resources, enforcement, and commitment to the park.”

This comment form will be available for only two weeks, so make sure you weigh in soon. You must register on the City’s website (which is very easy and fast) before you can view and fill out the form.

As reported earlier today, feedback gleaned from this comment form will help the Forest Park Singletrack Cycling advisory committee decide on a final set of recommendations that they’ll forward to Parks Commissioner Nick Fish and Parks Director Zari Santner.

Here are some highlights of the 12 proposed actions:

  • Open Tolinda Trail and Gas Line Road to cycling (a total of 1.45 miles).
  • Widen the shoulder on Skyline Blvd. between Firelanes 3 and 5 to “create safer route for park users”.
  • Build a new, 2 mile long trail parallel to Leif Erikson Road that would connect a new trail near the Yeon Ave. trailhead with the Thurman Gate.
  • Improve Firelanes 1, 3 and 5 by narrowing them and realigning the existing road. New turns and switchbacks would be added to create the illusion of singletrack. (Note: It remains to be seen whether the Fire Bureau will sign off on this due to the potential of impeding their access to the roads.

Absent from this list is trail-sharing on Maple and/or Ridge Trails. The committee explored this option, but because they were unable to reach consensus on it the idea is not on the list. I learned at the open house last night that it’s possible Commissioner Fish and/or Zari Santner will add trail-sharing in these locations back to the list before the package of proposals is finalized.

Parks also notes that a wildlife survey will be completed before any action is implemented.

Share your thoughts on this issue by filling out the comment form and survey. Read more about this issue in our archives.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

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jeredam not pmDan PorterJeffJonathan Gordon Recent comment authors
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Marcus Griffith
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Marcus Griffith

Its nice to see democracy at work. As painfully slow as it sometimes takes, its better to hear each side out and make decisions based on logic and facts rather than whatever dogma-of-the-week those in power endorse.

As much as I enjoy trail riding, I still have concerns about shared trails due to the small child concern. I am not taking the stance that the potential for small children to be on the trails should by itself prohibit trail riding, only that the small child concern needs to be addressed.

Tony Pereira
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Marcus,
If (when) trail sharing happens, it will be on a small fraction of the trails in forest park. There will always be a time and place when there are no bikes allowed. There are 50ish miles of singletrack in forest park. Do you need them all free of bikes at all times to keep the children safe? Aside from that mountain bikers are well schooled in a “share the trail” mantra. When you come across pedestrians or hikers you stop and let them pass. You also don’t go so fast that you run people over around blind corners. I know that some people think we are a bunch of maniacs, but it’s really not true.

Jonathan Gordon
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Jonathan Gordon

I’m struggling a bit with the “small child concern”. It seems to me that no one is proposing all trails be bike accessible; just a very limited number. For people who have children in that limited range of age — old enough to hike but not old enough to reliably look out for themselves — maybe they should consider either a) avoiding the few trails that have bikes during the several years that their children in that age range or b) keeping their children closer to them. This is not forever; at some point soon these children will be old enough to look out for themselves. And perhaps shortly after that, they’ll be the bikers on the trails.

This is about sharing a limited resource. It seems reasonable to me that part of living in a community with diverse needs is some amount of sacrifice/compromise. Including people on bikes. Including people with children. Just as we don’t expect *all* trails to be accessible to people on wheelchairs, or people on horses, or people on bicycles, it doesn’t seem clear that we should expect all trails to be accessible to children who can not look out for bikes.

Jeff
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Jeff

My children and I agree with Tony. Thanks for stating that!

Dan Porter
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Dan Porter

My children and I also agree with Tony.
When I have my kids with me hiking, I’d stay on hiking trails. If I have my kids mtn biking with me then shoot – I’d ride with them on the shared trails.

Dan Porter
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Dan Porter

Additionally, I’m much more worried about my child being bit by a unleashed dog in the park than being run over by an out of control biker. (and I’m a dog owner as well as a mountain biker)

am not pm
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am not pm

I think the MacKenzie River Trail is a great example of a heavily trafficked trail by both cyclists and pedestrians. It is a valid concern for parents and cyclists alike, but I also think it is being over-stressed for political reasons and it should not be a reason for not allowing bikes on trails.

jered
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jered

A quick check of wikipedia let me know that sharing trails (aka. getting run over by crazy mountain bikers) isn’t one of the five leading causes of childhood mortality…

According to UNICEF, most child deaths (and 70% in developing countries result from one the following five causes or a combination thereof:

* acute respiratory infections
* diarrhea
* measles
* malaria
* malnutrition

We should thank our lucky stars trail sharing isn’t that dangerous.