A key step toward making Gateway Green a reality was taken today when Portland City Council voted unanimously to authorize a land transfer from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). Portland is now the official owner of the 25 acre property that’s slated to become what Portland Parks & Recreation referred to today as an “off-road biking facility.”
The City of Portland acquired the land from ODOT for $19,300, money they received from developers via System Development Charges (SDCs).
In a statement released today by PP&R, City Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz said,
“The location between I-205 and I-84 will boost Portland’s visibility as a world-class bike-friendly city, and is a tremendous use of the underutilized land… I admire how neighbors and cyclists have come together to see their vision for Gateway Green move forward… It will be an important addition to our infrastructure that enhances wildlife habitat and recreation for children, families and seniors.”
And PP&R Director Mike Abbaté said the new park will fill some of the demand from Portlanders who have been clamoring for more off-road biking opportunities. “The Portland cycling community has long asked for more recreational opportunities across our system,” he said, “Gateway Green will provide a place where bicyclists of all ages can gather, develop their skills and enjoy the outdoors, all while increasing their physical health.”
Last month, Gateway Green won a $1 million grant through Metro’s Nature in Neighborhoods program.
Linda Robinson, who along with developer Ted Gilbert, has been working toward this vision for over six years, said today was an exciting day and a “perfect example of how ‘patient persistence’ can pay off.”
— Learn more at GatewayGreenPDX.org.
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So what happens with the kickstarted money raised? Does this change anything there?
glad you asked davemess,
The $1 million Metro grant they got has a 2-1 matching requirement. Which means, they have to raise $2 million in order to get the $1 million. Like I reported last month, Robinson figures they’ve raised about $400,000 so far — and that crowdfunding campaign is a big chunk of that.
So is Parks kicking in any money? Isn’t their maintenance budget supposedly already stretched too thin?
I’m really excited for this, just a little sad that so much private money has to be raised for it.
In general on the couple of parks meetings/committees I’ve sat in on, I’ve not been overly impressed with their budgeting. And now we get to vote to renew the parks bond this fall. Maybe they could put a reservoir on top and get Portland Water Bureau to foot the bill!
Parks has a System Development Charge, likely the SDC funds used to acquire the lane, since their SDC is collected to develop parks.
I can’t find a link to back this up, but I believe they are able to count volunteer hours at some specified cash rate towards the $2 million matching requirement.
Right… so the big question is when is this going to happen? In the meantime, perhaps we need to turn our focus to developing the riverview area. The politics of this one needs a nudge…
they also need people to participate to make these things happen; not just wait for it so they can use it like that story of “Chicken Little” asking for help making pies or whatever.
EPAPbikes, Portland in Motion, Friends of Trees, Gateway Green, (The Lumberyard even!) are all part of making this and projects like this happen. Go to meetings, advocate for better infrastructure, participate – don’t just reap the rewards.
(Not saying that you personally don’t do that. There’s just a lot of mentality that does.)
NWTA has doe A LOT in this regard.
Ok, mountain bikers, you get 25 acres wedged between highways. So shut up about Forest Park already.
The air quality is grrreat out there.
Why? It’s a legitimate gripe – Forest Park is a city park, it’s huge, and can handle multiple uses. There *should* be mountain biking in Forest Park, and it should be separated from other park users so that folks can hike in reasonable peace without having their wits scared out of them by mountain bikers.
The real issues in Forest Park in my opinion is all the unleashed dogs, and the people adjacent to the park who view it as their personal backyard.
This is great. I do wish we had the funding for a ped/cycle bridge over 205 to get to the wooded acres on the other side (tons of unused land there too), but this is exciting progress!
Isn’t the plan for a couple of tunnels under 205?
Oh that would be so darn cool, but as far as I know, I don’t think anything like that’s on the docket.
I love riding areas that I can, you know, ride to!
Here check out Friends of Gateway green for more detailed info and updates http://www.gatewaygreenpdx.org/
Love this idea! Sending a check to:
Friends of Gateway Green
PO Box 16692
Portland, OR 97292
It’s nice to see a project we can all get behind.
$19,300? $772 an acre? that’s dirt cheap, er, cheap dirt…
I hope the sales contract came with a clause stating that the land had to be used for an off-road bicycle park… otherwise this could become another issue of the government undervaluing their property and not giving the community a chance to purchase it at a more reasonable rate…
I’m sure that Friends of Gateway Green would have paid $20,000 and lots of local off-road cycling advocacy would have volunteered to bring it most of the way to development…
First question about this park: should I get a 29er or is 650B here to stay? I don’t wanna get TOO rad, but it would be nice to roll some fat, knobby tires over something other than asphalt and gravel.
Apparently, campsites are available too and no set time limits for the length of stay. Just leave your trash and needles where you camp and someone will come by and clean it up, eventually, after you leave.
(Sorry for the dark rain cloud on the picnic, but this past year has seen a major increase in camps all over this area).
Still, I’m hopeful for the future potential of Gateway Green. It’s really a nice place for what’s been proposed. I used to ride it years ago before the Max line went through and there was a lot more room to roam.
When people with forthright intentions turn this area into an activity center the campers, who usually want seclusion, will move elsewhere
Yes, use usually deters camping.
And if they don’t, well, you’ll have that 29er…
If we build an off-road bike park and it does not compete, or come close to the style of Colonnade Bike Park of South Seattle, it will barely get used!
You can quote me on this!