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Call for city to create off-road biking plan draws 550 signatures in 36 hours

Posted by on November 20th, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Sandy Ridge

Sandy Ridge, one of the many places Portlanders travel to ride mountain bikes.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Hundreds of local mountain biking lovers are piling signatures into a new petition saying Portland is “decades overdue” on writing a plan for “how to meet the overflowing demand for recreational cycling access.”

The petition, which picks up a suggestion from city Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz, was created by the Northwest Trail Alliance, which focuses on building and advocating for mountain biking routes. It’s the latest overture in a years-long debate over where to designate new mountain biking facilities in the city and surrounding lands.

At the center of that debate is Forest Park, the huge hilly, wooded and largely undeveloped area northwest of the city. After taking over the Parks and Recreation Bureau last year, Fritz rebuffed an effort to add a new mountain biking trail there.

In her blog post explaining that decision, Fritz wrote that “a citywide Master Plan for cycling recreation is needed prior to embarking on individual projects.”

Northwest Trail Alliance President Kelsey Cardwell said in an interview Thursday that after months of sharing their objections to that decision, the group decided to change course and urge the city to take up Fritz’s suggestion, which the group estimated would cost $200,000.

“We wanted to keep the conversation positive,” she said.

Whatever the reason, the idea has caught fire among mountain biking fans. Cardwell forwarded the link to four Northwest Trail board members Wednesday morning and asked them to share it. The proposal drew 298 signatures on its first day and was up to 551 by 4 p.m. Thursday.

Here are some samples from the comments people left, from David Messenheimer of Portland:

A city with our parks and our outdoor-oriented population desperately needs in town trails to ride. Let’s stop forcing cyclists to drive over an hour out of town just to ride trails.

and Max Miller of Portland:

The problem and solution are identical. Build trails. If the city does it, we all win. Pdx allready houses a veritable militia of trailbuilding resources. Why not be the west coast capital of urban off road cycling opportunities. Why not put a bike park in forest park. Mt biking is the fastest growing action sport and women’s and kids segments are exploding. A Pdx off road cultural renaissance could create massive economic gains for the city as well.

and Sean Corey of Vancouver, Wash.:

I speak for many others when I say I would love to volunteer to build and maintain LEGAL and environmentally conscious trails in Portland City limits!

and Ian Ness of Beaverton:

If there were more off-road cycling trails available closer to Portland, I believe we would benefit from increased revenue from people wanting to visit the city for its off-road cycling! But for now, all of that business is going to Hood River and the Mt. Hood communities.

and Susan Sherman of Portland:

Unbelievable that in the wonderfully progressive and vibrant city of Portland, we have to drive an hour to ride single track. Let’s make a change!

and Ryan Francesconi of Portland:

The need for off-road recreational trails open to bikes is obvious. Take this example: I was riding my road bike in Washington Park one day and was stopped by a mom who had two kids with her. All had beginner mountain bikes. She asked me if there were any trails there which they could ride, pointing to the Wildwood. ‘Sorry, no. There are no trails here you can ride on. In fact, it’s illegal to ride your bike in Washington park except on paved surfaces like this road here.’ ‘But there’s nowhere to learn how to ride with the kids besides the road?’ ‘No. Your best option is to drive 45 minutes to Cascade Locks.

and Patrick Fink of Portland:

Portland is one of the few cities on the West Coast which has not realized the boon that mountain biking brings to the community. Look to Seattle, Bellingham, Vancouver, BC and Whistler, and you’ll see that it’s an untapped industry. It’s time to move past the stagnant land management policies that have mired Forest Park and limited its uses. For every dollar spent expanding riding opportunities there, many more will come in to local businesses well beyond the biking world. The tourism behind mountain biking is enormous. Worried about costs? There are other models than pay-from-the-pocket. In Squamish, BC, the local riders foundation supports a full-time work crew that builds and maintains trails without municipal money. Worried about land management? Look to Sandy Ridge, Duthie Hill, or Galbraith mountain to see how small areas can be managed to provide world-class cycling opportunities. That there is no good mountain biking here is absurd. We are in the same forest that supports Whistler’s destination riding economy.

and Melissa Chernaik:

It’s time, friends.

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Cardwell said the energy for progress among advocates comes from a widespread feeling that Portland has no good places to mountain bike. She described a recent conversation with a stranger in a restaurant.

“He had just moved to town and gotten rid of his mountain bike because it wasn’t needed here,” Cardwell said. “Another gal I met recently said she doesn’t even bother bringing hers to Portland. She’ll leave it in Bend. … People who are new to town all say the same thing. We just want to be working toward a place where we’re not all saying that.”

There’s strong evidence that mountain biking, including mountain-bike tourism, is a fast-growing economic force. In a press release about the petition Wednesday, Northwest Trail Alliance observed that “Sandy Ridge, a trail system an hour outside of Portland, will see between 80,000 and 90,000 visitors in 2014, up from 32,000 in 2012, according to the Bureau of Land Management.”

Cardwell said they decided to address the call to the entire Portland City Council out of a feeling that direction needs to come from the city’s top leadership.

“We don’t feel like we have a champion within Parks,” she said.

Cardwell added that trails advocates also want to show the city that they’re “ready to sit at the same table and talk to any and all groups that want to be part of that conversation.”

“A lot of our members are in support right now of Forest Park being what’s going to meet the growing demand,” she said. “But there are a couple other opportunities. … Basically we just need a plan that’s going to meet the needs of a group that’s felt shut out.”

If you’d like to add your voice, here’s the link.

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

54 Comments
  • Avatar
    davemess November 20, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Well we passed the Parks bond (with almost 50% of the voter approved funds not being accounted for already). So let’s start working on this Amanda.

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    wsbob November 20, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    It’s a great idea to open additional areas for mountain biking near urban centers in Multnomah and Washington counties, as long as the target for mountain biking use, isn’t nature parks, of which Forest Park is one.

    I don’t know what barriers there may be to availability for use, but there does still seem to be plenty of undeveloped, forested land on the south face of the Tualitan Mtns, northwest of Laidlaw Rd and Skyline Memorial Gardens up on Skyline Rd. Looks like these lands are outside the Urban Growth Boundary, currently. By this older now, paper Bike There! map, I have, these forested south face lands go way out to and past Springville and Germantown roads.

    I’ve hoped for a long time that these lands won’t gradually be converted to housing developments. The view over the valley is the big selling point for people with extra bucks. It’s beautiful now, looking eastward towards the mountains, even from the lower roads, such as NW Germantown Rd at 185th, and also just north of Germanton on Kaiser.

    If mountain bike enthusiasts are determined to insist that Forest Park be used for mountain biking in hopes that someday it could be offered up for that use, they could perhaps help work towards securing new south face forest lands for additional park land. That is, with an agreement that in exchange for south face lands secured, some trail in Forest Park, closer to the city, if that’s essential, be assigned to mountain biking.

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      Dave November 20, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      What exactly is different about your argument compared to the argument of bike-haters who say they’re all for bikes, as long as everybody stays on the sidewalk and out of the way of their car?

      “Ah yes, these intrepid mountain bicyclers want to experience nature without spending hours in a car! Bully! I say full speed ahead, as long as they don’t go anywhere with nature!”

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      Ryan Francesconi November 20, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Actually… we are. There is a meeting Dec 2nd with Metro about those very properties.

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      DNP November 20, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      “as long as the target for mountain biking use, isn’t nature parks, of which Forest Park is one.”

      Can you cite this nature park designation of Forest Park? You bring it up frequently and last time we discussed “nature parks” on the Smith Optics story you didn’t really address the issue. The City of Portland doesn’t share your objection to mountain bike access in nature parks. See for example Powell Butte Nature Park, which has shared-use trails for mountain biking and hiking. I don’t see any consistent anti-mountain biking access with “nature parks” vs regular parks in Portland Parks.

      Our last discussion at the bottom of the comment section:

      http://bikeportland.org/2014/10/20/smith-optics-chooses-portland-new-designmarketing-headquarters-112459

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        davemess November 21, 2014 at 9:13 am

        Not to mention mountain biking is certainly allowed at Powell Butte Nature Park.

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          davemess November 21, 2014 at 9:14 am

          Sorry, I need to read through the whole comment……. 🙁

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        wsbob November 21, 2014 at 10:32 am

        “Can you cite this nature park designation of Forest Park? …” DNP

        Research the history of the park. You’ll discover why it’s regarded as a nature park by generations of residents of Portland. Read Marcy Houle’s book about the park. In past discussions about the park, some people writing have said that Portland Parks hasn’t, on their web page or elsewhere, officially ‘designated’ or referred to the park as a nature park. If that’s so, you’ll have to ask the head of the park why that is. I don’t believe it’s because Portland Parks doesn’t consider the park to be a nature park.

        The history, nature and character of the park being a nature park speaks for itself. Mountain bike enthusiasts attempting to diminish that status and strengthen their argument that the park should be used for the vehicular recreation that mountain biking is, by saying the park isn’t a nature park, by emphasizing misuse of the park by people and their dogs, by noting presence of ivy in the park, and on and on, do themselves no favor.

        Enthusiasts of mountain biking seem to keep on hoping they can persuade Portland Parks, or city council, to administratively decide that Forest Park will be used for mountain biking. Obviously, the city has no desire to make such a decision.

        That leaves the city’s residents to decide. Most likely, six hundred people, a thousand, etc, signing a petition favoring use of the park for mountain biking, is not going to be the deciding factor. Putting the decision to a vote of the people in a city wide election could make the decision.

        Smarter thing to do, will be to look elsewhere for land for mountain biking.

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          Dave November 21, 2014 at 10:56 am

          That’s the best you can do? Claim it’s just some innate characteristic of the park and it’s history that’s not written down or recorded anywhere – it’s just, like, obvious man. The Olmstead Brothers never heard of mountain biking, so it should never be allowed in these hallowed halls! I also really enjoy the way you always manage to smear mountain biking as “vehicular activity” as if it were in the same category as building Jeep trails and motocross courses. You’d make a class A politician, I’ll give you that.

          And then there’s this idea that allowing more people to enjoy a public resource like Forest Park somehow “diminishes” it. You desperately need to get out and see the good work people, including but not limited to mountain bikers, have done in places like Sandy Ridge or Deschutes National Forest or the McKenzie River Trail. If inviting more excited and passionate people into your playground is diminishing it, it wasn’t much of a thing to begin with.

          If Forest Park is lost someday, it will be because a few grumps like you insisted on hoarding it to yourselves until nobody was left to care about it.

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            wsbob November 21, 2014 at 1:02 pm

            “…If Forest Park is lost someday, …” Dave

            Explain what you mean by “…lost…”. The land isn’t going anywhere, and neither is the park. Again, study up on the park. It’s not just some casual whim that has brought this land to be a nature park.

            The land’s conception as being a nature park dates to the park’s early origins and has continued on to this day. It being so, is why people throughout the years, have committed themselves to protecting the integrity of that status, even going so far as to join together to buy up and donate to the park, property somewhere in the middle of the park that some enthusiastic developer had sights on for a housing development.

            And please: In any future comments in response to mine you wish to offer, I’d appreciate if you did not do so in a rude, obnoxious manner. I believe I’m being civil and considerate to people here, and don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect the same in return.

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            TrailLover November 21, 2014 at 1:33 pm

            WSBOB’s constant repetition of the term “nature park” to describe FP, just like Marcy Houle’s rhythmic chanting of the word “wilderness,” are nothing more than marketing tricks that they are using to sell the public on their selfish view of the park.

            The good news is that it makes no difference if they want to call it a “nature park” or a “wilderness” because off-road cycling is completely consistent with both those concepts. Neither the nature nor the wilderness qualities of FP will be diminished by accommodating some mountain biking. The WSBOBness and the Houleness, on the other hand, may suffer a bit.

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          DNP November 21, 2014 at 4:41 pm

          And you seem to think calling Forest Park a “nature park” is some sort of magic bullet. Why? Mountain biking has historically been allowed in nature parks in Portland. You have set some personal standard of “nature parks” that doesn’t exist in policy. Enjoy you’re semantics.

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      Alex November 21, 2014 at 8:35 am

      There you go again, trying to make up facts. Please point me to any legal documents where FP is designated a “nature park”.

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      fivefrud November 21, 2014 at 9:16 am

      So you’re categorically against allowing trail riding in FP, but you wouldn’t mind if cyclists would do the legwork to expand the park for your hiking?

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    Brian November 20, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Portland doesn’t have a single, legal dirtjump. The five or so miles of trails are all beginner trails, in terms of their technicality. There is one pumptrack in the entire city. In 2008 Portland Parks created the Skatepark System Plan. The time has come to do the same for mountain biking. The need is there, and it is growing and diversifying. Portland Parks and Rec is OUR government agency. Get involved. Please take 30 seconds to sign the petition and help spread the word via your various outlets.

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    Aaron November 20, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Woo Hoo…A mtb article on Bike Portland. I’d love a 10 to 15 mile singletrack loop in Forest Park. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy like Sandy Ridge, just some singletrack that is close enough that I don’t have to get into the car get to the trailhead.

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      Todd Hudson November 21, 2014 at 6:45 am

      Likely we’ll have to wait for someone else to head parks before anything pro-MTB happens in Forest Park. Amanda Fritz is not interested in that.

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        davemess November 21, 2014 at 9:15 am

        That was my thought. It’s going to happen when we get a motivated commissioner.

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        Brian November 21, 2014 at 10:02 am

        She works for us. If not, it is our job as citizens to make her meet our needs.

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    Ryan Francesconi November 20, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Thanks Guys! Here is info for the Dec 2nd meeting with Metro in regard to the North Tualatin Mountain development: https://www.facebook.com/events/719278561487656/

    This in itself is worth another story!

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      wsbob November 20, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      Ryan Francesconi…from reading the bikeportland story on North Tualitan, I’m not completely sure yet, but I think the lands included are on the north face of the mountains rather than the south face. I’ll recheck to be sure. Maybe you know for certain.

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    Dmitriy Zasyatkin November 20, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Please share the petition with your friends and lets see how many signatures we can rack up.

    Its really hard for politicians to ignore that kind of noise.

    If you’re interested in helping with MTB advocacy, please sign up for our new Advocacy Alerts Emails:
    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/nwta-advocacy

    Great job summing it up Kelsey!

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    Chris November 20, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I am sure many members of the local mountain bike community are trail maintenance folks and can organize support for trail clean up at Forest Park.
    In return for their service, is there any reason why the PRB wouldn’t allow a trail festival once or twice a year on Wildwood Trail or a similar path in Forest Park? Two days out of the year to ride the trails in Forest Park shouldn’t be an issue.

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    Rob Kerr November 20, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Trail cycling is a natural experience. Forest Park is an abandoned housing development choking in ivy and unhealthy from fire suppression. Great trail stewards could spread users out and use the educational opportunities to revive the land. Wildwood users would never see the four mountain bike trails 35 feet adjacent to them. Cyclists should enjoy nature and not be associated with cars and roads, though I champion those that reduce traffic and parking problems.

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    gutterbunnybikes November 20, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    I know that Forrest Park is kind of the gold standard, however it seems like you could do some side trails on the future I-84 bike path from Lloyd to Gateway. Looks like there are some fairly large undeveloped (and likely not possible to develop because of the slope areas) on the hills there.

    Honestly haven’t spent any time on the tracks through there, but perhaps a possibility.

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      Bella Bici November 20, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      And filter the air of spent car exhaust with your precious lungs in that highway depression?! Plus, all that incessant car traffic noise!

      If that’s what we’re left with, it’s not even table scraps. Bleeeeechhhh!!!

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        davemess November 21, 2014 at 9:19 am

        In urban environments that is mostly what you’re going to get though (See Gateway Green and even the Colonnade in Seattle). Granted FP could buck this trend (and we’re lucky to one of only a few cities with this kind of close in park access.

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          Brian November 21, 2014 at 10:43 am

          A better, more diverse, riding experience at Powell Butte would help too.

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            davemess November 21, 2014 at 1:02 pm

            Amen.

            (Granted, PB is currently underutilized for what easier trails are there, though I have seen a good uptick of cyclists there over the last year).

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              Brian November 21, 2014 at 1:12 pm

              Agreed. The numbers are on the rise there, too. Unfortunately, riders have no way to progress. Every single trail is a groomed sidewalk. They can be fun (and are better than nothing), but the experience is kinda dull. Eighteen years ago when I started riding there, certain sections of trail and their challenges brought me back time after time to try and “master.” It was a really fun place to ride for me as a beginner/intermediate rider. Now, not so much. I can’t understand why not one single trail there could have included some challenging sections, with ‘B Line” ride arounds. If signed appropriately, it isn’t an issue to have more difficult trails (or sections of trail). Anyway, I could go on an on…… My experiences with other users at PB have always been 100% positive, including hikers making me ride past them by despite me being pulled over, great conversations with groups of Seniors and families, etc, etc.

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                davemess November 22, 2014 at 9:38 am

                Definitely. For what it is though, and the fact that it’s an easy four miles from my house, it’s still better than nothing, and I enjoy getting out on weeknights.

                (It’s also at least a little more fun on a rigid SS)

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      Dave November 20, 2014 at 9:47 pm

      I’m fer it. I ain’t agin’ it. I would love to be able to actually ride out to Gateway green from downtown (or vice versa) on dirt.

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    mh November 20, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Please don’t beat the life out of Forest Park.

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      Charley November 20, 2014 at 11:58 pm

      Umm, have you visited recently? The Park is marvelous, but covered in plastic bags full of dog feces and English ivy, too. Cyclists riding on trails isn’t the problem! Just take a look at the McKenzie River Trail, down near Eugene. The trail flows through a beautiful old growth forest in quite good health. The trail is full of cyclists, too, and happens to be one of the premier trails in the state. Note how little damage the riders cause. Now compare the environmental quality of that area with Forest Park. Notice how little an effect singletrack riding has?

      Cyclists cause so little harm, for all the outrage we stir up. It’s funny. Many an environmentalist thinks that a cyclist riding on a paved road is fine, but thinks a cyclist riding on a dirt trail is an environmental abomination. Have they stopped to think about the gross impact of the paved road? It’d be better if every paved road in the world was ripped up and replaced by trails. . . but then no one would be allowed to ride a bike on them, unfortunately.

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      Alex November 21, 2014 at 8:40 am

      The intent of mountain bikers and any conservation minded people is not to beat the life out of Forest Park. We would like to share it and enjoy it in the ways that we know best.

      I really think your attitude is prevalent, but I don’t really understand where it comes from. Would you care to elaborate? Perhaps bring up some examples where mountain biking has “beat the life out” of a park? I can point to a lot of examples of people happily sharing trails. What would beating the life out of it look like? What can we do to mitigate that feeling?

      One final note, this comment isn’t that useful in general – it just kind of spreads hate. Please participate in the conversation so we can move forward in a positive way where we can all find a piece of happiness and goodwill towards the people around us.

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      Cuyler Abrams November 21, 2014 at 8:52 am

      I find many person’s perception of what legal urban mountain biking looks like and what it actually looks like to often be very different.

      There are many examples of urban mountain biking across the country. Please don’t let a false perception cloud the reality.

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      Matt F November 21, 2014 at 9:10 am

      *** Hi Matt. Please don’t insult other people’s perspectives. mh has the right to her opinions and she certainly doesn’t deserve to be called out in the way that you did in your comment. I hope you understand. Thanks. — Jonathan***

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    greg November 20, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    This needs to go to Metro Parks too! There is a regional deficiency in recreation opportunities for mountain biking. The grass roots efforts and persistence will get results. I’m really impressed with IMBA and NWTA. Support them!

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    Ian November 21, 2014 at 8:41 am

    If a trail system in Forest Park diverted 10,000 car trip annually (a conservative estimate) it would save close to 500 metric tons of CO2 from entering the Earth’s atmosphere. I am not sure how someone could call themselves an environmental advocate and not support a trail system here.

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      Barney November 21, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Stop being so sensible!

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    Brian November 21, 2014 at 8:56 am

    If this issue was dealt with in a wise manner here in Portland, imagine the time we (those for and against off-road cycling) could divert to conservation and maintenance of our natural areas by working together. Imagine the strength of the Forest Park Conservancy with the members, dollars, person-power, and machinery that the mountain bike community brings to the table. Imagine the great parks we could have for kids to play in with their bikes throughout the city if bike parks were considered as important as basketball courts, soccer fields, and skateboard parks. The time has come to stop imagining and start demanding of our government that they work for us, too.

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      Alex November 21, 2014 at 9:59 am

      This is a prime example of groups with very similar interests in-fighting and not moving the real problems to the front. The hiking lobby (not to be confused with environmental groups), needs to start sharing, thinking in a larger ecological picture that extends beyond themselves and begin to really work with people that have the environment and sustainability in mind. Cyclists are huge advocates for the environment and participate more directly helping to lessen our impact on the world than most people – I really don’t understand why a “conservationist” like Houle and the such see us any differently.

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        wsbob November 21, 2014 at 1:20 pm

        “…I really don’t understand why a “conservationist” like Houle and the such see us any differently.” Alex

        I’m not absolutely certain, but am fairly sure you’re the Alex that’s been following bikeportland stories on Forest Park for a long time. So, I think you understand very well why use of Forest Park for mountain biking, has not been allowed.

        Bikes are vehicles. Mountain biking is vehicular recreation. Forest Park was not conceived to be or dedicated to serve the purpose of providing an area for vehicular recreation. Forest Park is a nature park.

        Convince the city and its people otherwise, if you think that’s possible. Letting go of being sarcastic, mean and nasty in your efforts to do so, may find you a more favorable response.

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          mran1984 November 21, 2014 at 3:37 pm

          Bob, who does not reside in Multnomah County, how can you claim factual information from Marcie’s book. She is not an expert, but she does have an agenda. Too bad neither of you were there to defend the park when the landowner at the top of Salztman Rd. directly caused a landslide. The prostitute that was buried just off FL 4 and Maple trail could have used your help as well. Where was your defense when the fiber optic cable was installed by destroying what was once a much more “natural” double track trail on Saltzman?Go ahead and fantasize about your nature park from the drivers seat. You have no more right to utilize the park than anyone else. At least I do not require a car to get there. The nature thing is pretty darn funny… Btw, I spend more time in nature than you can imagine. Wildwood is better on a bike, three squirrels, one owl and fourteen homeless people told me. Hard to argue with such a strong backup from the real locals.

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          DNP November 21, 2014 at 4:49 pm

          “Bikes are vehicles. Mountain biking is vehicular recreation. Forest Park was not conceived to be or dedicated to serve the purpose of providing an area for vehicular recreation. Forest Park is a nature park.”

          Ooooh, more semantic fun. Calling bikes vehicles hasn’t kept them off of sidewalks (except the downtown core) or all of the multiuser paths across the city. Obviously there is a subjective decision as to when they are appropriate for shared narrow path use. It’s not so clear of a line as you would like.

          Again, you think calling Forest Park a nature park precludes a use when it hasn’t. Powell Butte Nature Park allows shared use trail access by mountain biking and hiking…at the same time!??!!?

          You better get on top of that. Apparently the City of Portland is unaware of wsbob’s policy on nature parks.

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          davemess November 22, 2014 at 9:48 am

          “Bikes are vehicles. Mountain biking is vehicular recreation. Forest Park was not conceived to be or dedicated to serve the purpose of providing an area for vehicular recreation. Forest Park is a nature park.”

          Yet the city disagrees with you on both points. Simply repeating untrue statements does not make them true.

          https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/103939

          Check out page 73. “Recreational use of Forest Park is passive: that is walking, running, hiking, biking and equestrian trail use.”
          Then on page 75. a titled section “Bikes allowed”

          Also might want to check out this city-sponsored map:
          https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/finder/index.cfm?action=ViewFile&PolPdfsID=81&/Forest%20Park%20Mountain%20Biking%20Map.pdf

          Bob how do you explain the city’s own disagreement with your claims? Are you suggesting that the city of Portland just doesn’t understand their own assets?

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    mran1984 November 21, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Forest Park is not a nature park. There is a road right through the middle. Rule of thumb… any group that refers to themselves as “friends of” is suspect. Garbage, ivy, human excrement… sounds like the park needs new friends.

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    Zaphod November 21, 2014 at 10:40 am

    It seems that a vocal minority is having their way in FP

    Imagine this wild proposition: Suppose we keep Wildwood trail as it is with a hiking-only designation while opening up everything else?

    I know… the horror right?
    But if you are a serious trail runner or an avid hiker, Wildwood is a lovely piece of trail. And riders/runners/hikers can peacefully coexist. There are countless examples of such.

    The stereotypes on all sides are skewed. Mountain biking is often co-opted in advertising as an adrenaline filled endeavor. The reality is that our most talented human astride the very best mountain bike, on average, travels more slowly than nearly all creatures in the forest. The average speed for a typical rider is 6mph.

    It seems a reasonable request to have citizens of PDX use the park as they collectively deem appropriate.

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    Petra November 21, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    What about preserving and reconstructing some of the Scapoose trails? I think the plan is to log there, but maybe it can be bought? It’s a beautiful area and it would be sad to see it clear cut. I wonder who owns it?

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      Alex November 21, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      That is owned by a paper company and is located quite a distance outside of Portland.

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        davemess November 22, 2014 at 9:50 am

        Yet still some of the best winter riding in the area!

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    Alex November 21, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    wsbob,

    You don’t have to play coy – you know exactly who I am. I have not been sarcastic, called you a name or anything and here you are slinging mud. If you don’t want that type of behavior aimed towards you, perhaps you shouldn’t aim it at others – which you do on a regular basis.

    The city actually did speak and they said they wanted more bicycle access to FP. Perhaps I should link you again to the results that we have discussed many times before that showed users wanted more access as part of the FP single track advisory board (of which Houle was a member and was completely hostile at meetings). The city council, on the other hand, keeps putting up red tape but hasn’t really “stopped” it – it is just political maneuvers that they have been pressured into from some outside sources (I have some guesses as to which organizations and people).

    Please link me to articles where Houle talks about bikes being “vehicles” as a reason to keep them out of FP – I have not seen that in writing or anywhere. The last thing I saw her write was an op-ed piece to the Oregonian that was completely passive aggressive and didn’t mention bikes by name, but was rather a thinly veiled attempt to keep mtbs out of FP. The ironic thing about the argument that bikes shouldn’t be in FP because they are “vehicles” – if it is indeed one of her arguments – is that bikes _are_ allowed in FP and as others have pointed out, there is no designation for “vehicles” to not be allowed in “nature parks”. Your misleading rhetoric and semantic games are a complete waste of time for you and everyone else – please engage in some useful conversations about how we can move forward instead of just calling names.

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    Ryan Francesconi November 22, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    No vehicles in Forest Park? Someone tell Parks and Rec! They are always driving their trucks right through it in the name of “maintenance”. How dare they!

    We need all of you to come to the December 2nd meeting about the new Metro parcels. Lets start with that and enter into a productive conversation with them first. When that makes some inroads, lets approach the Forest Park issue directly. Have you all signed the petition? Have you joined NWTA? That’s the stuff that’ll help. We need numbers united. Not arguments.

    While the petition seeks to implement this Master Plan that Fritz put us off with, what’s more important is that the community stand up to this issue. There is little reason for City Council to bother with this as it’s damn unlikely that any of them mountain bike anyways. So what do they care personally? Not much. It’s amazing that an issue as simple as a bicycle get people so riled up. This shouldn’t be an issue at all and it’s crazy that we have to tackle it in the first place. It’s just a path through the woods.

    There is enough emotion around this that if they don’t pay attention they’re going to end up with an Occupy Forest Park and trails will get ridden regardless. Unless they’re muddy. We’re too responsible for that. You can’t say the same for the legal dogwalkers and their plastic bags of crap they leave for everyone.

    Thanks!

    http://nw-trail.org/petition/

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