Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 30th, 2011 at 10:04 am
lines are proposed trail alignments
from a 2004 study.
(Photo: Portland State University)
Next week (4/6), the Portland Parks Board will hold a public meeting in St. Johns. The meeting notice caught my attention because one of the three “important” agenda items is the Sullivan’s Gulch Trail.
Why am I sharing something seemingly so minor as a meeting that will include a discussion of this project? Because for some reason (at least from my perspective), the Sullivan’s Gulch Trail needs all the attention it can get.
I can’t figure out why no local politician or high-profile community leader has come to the forefront as a major champion of this project. The upsides of a dedicated, non-motorized corridor along I-84 from East Portland to the Willamette River via Northeast Portland and the Lloyd District seem obvious and immense.
The Sullivan’s Gulch Trail project would do just as much (if not more) for regional mobility, economic development and public health than other major projects at a fraction of the cost.
Perhaps if advocates and the City officially changed the name from “Trail” to “Corridor” we might see it given more of a priority. For most people, “trail” connotes recreation and it short-changes the very high transportation value a project like this has. On that note, perhaps it should be handled by PBOT and not the Parks bureau?
As we reported back in December, the City of Portland recently appointed an advisory committee for the project and they’re in the process of creating a “concept plan” that will go in front of City Council in January 2012 (yes, you read that right, just a concept plan by 2012).
If you think this is a great project (and who doesn’t!?), consider showing up next Wednesday to tell the Parks Board and Portland Parks and Recreation staff to speed things up a bit. The meeting is April 6th in the auditorium of the St. Johns Community Center (8427 N. Central) from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.