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Oregonian editorial calls on city to ‘reconsider its bike ban’ in River View

Posted by on March 5th, 2015 at 12:22 am

river view natural area

River View Natural Area, looking north.
(Photo: City of Portland)

The City of Portland’s defensive legal move to ban mountain biking in Southwest Portland’s River View Natural Area is an unfair breach of trust with mountain bikers, according to The Oregonian’s editorial board.

“River View, where cycling has occurred for years, remained the best city option for serious, if limited, mountain bike trails,” the newspaper wrote in a scathing editorial published online Wednesday. “To that end, cyclists attended meetings, participated enthusiastically in the public process upon which Portland places so much emphasis and trusted the city to act in good faith. The city did not.”

As we reported on Monday, Commissioners Amanda Fritz (who runs the city Parks Bureau) and Nick Fish (who runs the Bureau of Environmental Services, which manages stormwater runoff) announced that although “passive” activities such as “hiking, wildlife viewing, stewardship, education, research, etc” will continue to be allowed in the natural area along the Willamette River after March 16, mountain biking no longer will.

For many in Portland’s large and rapidly growing community of mountain biking lovers, the response was outrage and despair.

Riverview Cemetery

A ride last fall in Riverview Cemetery.
(Photo: Paul Souders)

Southwest Portland resident Paul Souders seemed to crystallize many feelings in a comment on this site:

I (and many other IMBA/NWTA members) volunteered to remove ivy, improve trails, and plant native flora. All with the good faith that by being Good Citizens we could sway hearts and minds. I involved my kids with this process, for example my son and I planted vine maples along Palatine Hill road last winter. He was REALLY EXCITED to ride here — that’s why he bought a mountain bike, and indeed he talked me into NOT selling mine, so we could ride together on the trails almost literally out our back door! Sorry little buddy, you can’t ride here anymore either.

I put literal blood and sweat (no tears yet…) into showing that I’m a good guy and can I please have a little singletrack? Well, sorry, chump!

For 20 years I’ve recommended this course of action: work within the system, be a good citizen, etc. vs poaching trails. I feel like a sucker. You can see where that will get you.

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The Oregonian’s Kelly House followed up with a report Tuesday that added some back story: the root problem here is that the city purchased the land in 2011 with money from stormwater utility fees. The purchase was pegged on a disputed claim that protecting the 146-acre riverside parcel from development would protect habitats in the Willamette.

From House’s coverage:

City officials acknowledge their decision puts the squeeze on mountain bikers, but they contend keeping the trails open creates environmental hazards that could put the entire property in jeopardy.

River View was one of multiple city projects called into question in a 2011 lawsuit alleging the city improperly used utility ratepayer money on items that didn’t qualify for the funds. A judge ruled the property’s ecological importance makes it an appropriate purchase.

City attorneys warned Bureau of Environmental Services leaders that allowing “active recreation” like mountain biking at River View could jeopardize that ruling, said Jim Blackwood, Fish’s policy director.

The city attorneys presumably consider biking down a hill to be active and/or recreational in some way that walking or running down a hill is not — or at least they fear that a judge might say so.

It’s the convoluted cause of this bike ban that seems to have pushed the Oregonian’s editorial board to weigh in on Wednesday:

The problem isn’t that mountain biking threatens to do meaningful environmental harm. Properly managed, it doesn’t. The problem, rather, is that the city is worried about the legal ramifications of using utility funds to buy parkland for the purposes of enhancing watershed health, then allowing aggressive, if badly needed, recreational use. … Cyclists aren’t the problem, in other words. They’re collateral damage.

The editorial closes with sentiments that echo Souder’s (and also of mountain-biking leaders like Kelsey Cardwell, board president for the Northwest Trail Alliance):

The memo concludes by promising to seek money for a “Citywide Off-Road Cycling Plan” and – gallingly – noting that “community advocacy will be necessary to encourage the Mayor and Council to fund this request.” Pulling the rug out from under a constituency that had been playing by the rules is a pretty strange way to enlist its assistance. It should come as no surprise to Fritz, Fish and other city officials that cyclists don’t trust them much.

There is a way out, however: If the city wants to re-establish faith with mountain biking advocates, it should exercise an abundance of leadership – heck, even a little will do – and reconsider its bike ban. On the off chance that this creates legal complications – and this is far from a certainty – at least commissioners can say they went out on a limb for their constituents.

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Andyc of Linnton
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Andyc of Linnton

Now you’ve got the tears!

wsbob
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wsbob

Where exactly between the city and mountain biking enthusiasts, did the so called “breach of trust” occur? From the Oregonian editorial:

“…At no time did the city ever guarantee cyclists anything, says Sponsel, but “it was absolutely made clear that their goal” was to make a decision through the use of “a democratic, citizen process.” oregonian

Sponsel is a guy the O says is a pro cyclist and who has done work over years to build trail at Riverview. His feeling it seems isn’t that the city backed out on a promise to MB enthusiasts, but that the city didn’t use “a democratic, citizen process.” to determine conditions for use of the property.

Another quote from the editorial with a quote from the NWTA board president Kelley Cardwell:

“…Bureau of Environmental Services, overseen by Commissioner Nick Fish. Even as they were being told that bikes would be banned as of March 16, Fritz and Fish released a memo to the public explaining their reasoning.

“We had no idea that this would happen,” says Cardwell, who was far from alone in her surprise. …” oregonian

Cardwell had no idea whatever exactly it is she’s referring to, would happen. Why?

What did Cardwell expect from the city, and why?

As I wrote in an earlier comment to another bikeportland story about Riverview, I’d figured the city would just sign off on allowing this relatively small parcel of land to be used for mountain biking. It was a surprise to me that the city didn’t do that. If the city never promised or implied that use of land for mountain biking was going to be allowed, a breach of trust claim, on that point, doesn’t add up. If a promise was made that the conditions of use of the land would be determined by a democratic, citizen process, apart from whatever contractual obligations tied to the money the city was granted to buy the land, that may be where a breach of trust has occurred.

The city better figure out where it stands on whatever promises it made, and get squared away on that.

dave
Guest
dave

The city promised, implicitly and explicitly, that the community and stakeholders like NWTA would be involved in the decision making process. Several advisory committees were created, meetings were held, and people worked in good faith on recommendations and planning. And then they made this decision unilaterally, with no consultation, and no forewarning that it was even being considered. Making a sudden u-turn from soliciting public involvement and using a democratic process to making sweeping decisions like this without any public involvement or process is a breach of trust. The validity or lack thereof of the factors used to make the decision don’t even matter – the real, underlying problem is that, as the O says, the rug was pulled out from under people who were trying to play by the rules in a democratic process.

davemess
Guest
davemess

And they made a decision that seems to be contradictory to the recommendations and recognized threats that these committees (which included experts) came up with.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Comment hi jacking to get at the top is pretty bad etiquette. I would love to see BP not tolerate this behavior. Wsbobs comment has nothing to do with the comment he replied to and he always seems to like being at the top.

matt picio
Guest
matt picio

wsbob’s comment appears to be a top-level comment, not a comment hijack. Not seeing the issue here.

Mike Quiglery
Guest
Mike Quiglery

It would be nice to be able to walk those trails in quiet without some jacked up mountain biker yelling get out of the way! How about a separate trail for bikers nearer the road?

Zimmerman
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Zimmerman

And this has actually happened to you? I sincerely doubt it. Mountain bikers know that they need to yield to hikers and equestrians.

Stretchy
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Stretchy

This has happened to me. Hiking with my dog, a string of mountain bikers came tearing through without even slowing down. Several narrowly missed my spooked dog. To be fair, they didn’t yell, “get out of the way” but, they also didn’t give me so much as a heads up that they were coming or give me time to get out of the way.

I’ll contrast this with my experiences hiking on winter trails open to snowmobiles. Every single time (and I mean that literally) the lead snowmobile rider slows down and puts up a hand signal for trailing riders to slow down too. They pass at a reasonable speed and then speed up again when they are well clear.

phreadi
Guest
phreadi

This has happened to me: I’ve been on my mountain bike on single track, pulled over to the side and stopped to let a hiker with her dog off-leash pass, and the dog lunged at me and bit my ankle. Despite that, I’m currently not seeking to marginalize hiking or dog-walking activities on those trails.

This also has happened to me: I’ve been on my mountain bike on single track, pulled over to let a group of hikers pass, offered a ‘hello’ with a smile, and got in return stink eye and even accusations that I was riding illegally and shouldn’t be on the trail, when in fact it was open to bikes. I’m currently not seeking to ban these hikers or move them to different trails.

the moral of the story is that assholes are everywhere, regardless of whether their on foot, with a dog, or on a bike — which are all forms of legit trail usage (as long as the dog is on a leash, but that’s another discussion.)

Stretchy
Guest
Stretchy

So, perhaps I should have just answered the question, “And this has actually happened to you?”, with a yes.

Then I should have pointed out that the statement, “Mountain bikers know that they need to yield to hikers and equestrians.” does not apply to ALL mountain bikers.

Instead, silly me, I gave a specific example of this happening.

Bill Walters
Guest
Bill Walters

Plus one on the dog bite, at Powell Butte. The jacked-up hiker doggie just kind of said, “And by the way — chomp!” as it passed.

Stretchy
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Stretchy

To clarify, my experience with mountain bikers is that roughly half the time they barely bother to slow down. I feel like I’m nothing more than one more inanimate obstacle to traverse on their adventure day. Basically, I feel like I do when I’m on my bike in traffic.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Sorry to hear that. Where are you hiking when this is occurring?

Stretchy
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Stretchy

Mainly the Badger Lake area. Usually, when I encounter bikers out there, they’re polite enough but, seem to have an attitude that it’s my job to get out of their way. I’ve never seen someone dismount to get around a hiker. I don’t go on the surveyors ridge trail because I know it’s a popular bike trail and I’m looking for a quiet hike.

I have seen a couple of groups out there though that are frankly, dangerous to other trail users. One in particular, near boulder lake, pretty much left me with no choice but to get off the trail or, put myself in serious risk of being hit by someone riding downhill too fast. I found out later that one of the women in the group is some big-deal mountain biker. Not much of an ambassador though.

phreadi
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phreadi

You would have less cyclists driving all the way out to Badnger/Boulder lakes area 90 minutes east of town if there was more viable single track in town.

Brian
Guest
Brian

If I’m not mistaken, that area has been off-limits to bikes for quite some time now. Wasn’t that area part of the switch to wilderness that banned bikes?

davemess
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davemess

“I’ve never seen someone dismount to get around a hiker.”

This is not necessary most of the time though. It’s very common for a hiker to just automatically voluntarily move out of the way for me once I let them know I’m there. I don’t even expect them to (and am glad to let them by or just get around them somewhere okay to pass), but it just happens (kind of like getting waved through a stop sign by a car).

Dan
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Dan

So would you make the point that cars should be banned from the roads?

Stretchy
Guest
Stretchy

Have I made any such point about either cars or mountain bikes? I’ve responded to the assertion “Mountain bikers know that they need to yield to hikers and equestrians.” with my experience that mountain bikers often fail to yield or even slow down.

I feel like you’re drawing a wrong conclusion. That somehow because I’ve had negative experiences with mountain bikes that I want them banned. This is not the case. My girlfriend is a mountain biker and I’d love for her to have more and better trails closer to home.

Brian
Guest
Brian

It sounds like some outreach is needed if you are having that many negative encounters. What trail(s) is this happening at so we can try and address the problem?

Dan
Guest
Dan

Thank you, just trying to clarify what you were getting at with your anecdote.

invisiblebikes
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invisiblebikes

Then go walk your dog on one of the hundreds of miles of trails that don’t allow mountain bikers! Its not enough for you that there are hundreds of miles of trails for “Hikers only” within Portland that you have to walk your dog on a multi use trail that You know will be busy with other people using it at different levels of exercise!

I can’t count how many times I’ve used trails mountain biking and had motorcycles come flying around corners and almost hit me, with out saying a word they Brrrap Brrap off into the woods…
Is it fair for me to get my undies in a bunch and ban motorcycles from a trail because a few people can’t respect other trail users? NO because everyone deserves the benefit of humility!
And Public trails are exactly that… for Public use if you want to continue the prejudice of banning people from using public lands because they don’t always smile and kiss your A _ _ when they roll by then go join a country club and walk a golf course chasing a little white ball around instead!

Stretchy
Guest
Stretchy

I see that you’re concerned I want to somehow ‘ban’ mountain biking. I’m sorry to have given you this impression. My statements were intended to dispute the notion that mountain bikers are aware of the need to yield to pedestrians and equestrians. Whether they are aware or not, I often observe them failing to yield to hikers.

I can assure you, I have no intention of banning mountain bikes.

invisiblebikes
Guest
invisiblebikes

My mistake,Thanks for clarifying.

And I agree that we need to work on education and making sure all trail users treat each other with respect and be courteous. But a big part of changing the few people that are disrespectful happens from leading by example and peer pressure/support.

There is nothing wrong with speaking out and calling those people out (when its possible) by using language consistent with it being “in the name of trail access and protection of those trails.

In other words ” hey DH jack A_ _ every time you pass another trail user at least let them know your coming and try and respect their space! because for every person you piss off WE lose trail access!”

Dennis
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Dennis

Running forest park last week I saw six people with dogs, none on leashes, two dog fighting while their owner tried to catch up to them. Dogs are the identified problem by the involved committees, not bikes

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…Mountain bikers know that they need to yield to hikers and equestrians. …” Zimmerman

What they know, and what many of them commonly do to find themselves at odds with trail users not using trails with bikes, has become mountain biking’s long standing legacy. That’s a legacy that mountain bikers in Portland are up against as they try acquire use of land in Portland for mountain biking.

If Portland really did have “…legions…” (bikeportland’s choice of word to estimate numbers mountain bikers in Portland.) of people interested in mountain in Portland, they’d have a strong case for lane to be set aside for that purpose. Prove to everyone that you do have the numbers, and you’re likely to have a better chance of getting somewhere.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

https://www.imba.com/resources/risk-management/shared-trails

I’ve ridden many, many places in North America and have seen and obeyed this signage every time, just as every rider I know does. The kind of constant trail conflict you imagine there to be just doesn’t exist. You want to keep spewing your unproven opinion because of your bias against mountain biking, though.

Why is it that almost every other major city in the US has shared trail systems but Portland does not? Are the inhabitants here so selfish that they’d be unable to do something as basic as showing common courtesy or share a natural resource responsibly? Why has no one taken seriously the commitment to sustainable trail building and stewardship that the mountain bike community has shown in areas all around the country but will continue to hike and dog walk on muddy, poorly designed trail systems open to only hiking? The hypocrisy is astounding.

That’s the end of my engagement with you. Your only goal on any mountain bike related thread is to to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt without any actual data to back it up.

I hope the first legal MTB trail in Forest Park is named WSBOB in your honor.

invisiblebikes
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invisiblebikes

Hear, Hear! I second that motion!

wsbob (The Contrarian) trail! “ride at your own risk of being contradicted at every turn!”

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Zimmerman…reading your comment, and some of the terms you’ve used to respond to mine, I’ve got to tell you that your attitude is not consistent with somebody that’s tolerant and considerate towards people different than themselves. That sort of thing, carrying over into the character of some of the people mountain biking, which they display to people not using trails with bikes, is another reason mountain biking has acquired the negative legacy it has.

There’s far, far more people in Portland, and beyond, that participate in and support use of natural lands for a wide range of recreational activities accessed by walking. That is, non-vehicular recreation. The general public in Portland is not, and has never jumped up in support of mountain biking on land within Portland. Regardless of what I or you and Portland’s so called ‘legions’ of mountain bikers think.

If you want to go off in a big huff and not read or respond to what I have to say, that’s fine with me. In doing so, you’d be making discussions about off-road biking here at bikeportland, simpler and potentially more constructive.

Brian
Guest
Brian

“The general public in Portland is not, and has never jumped up in support of mountain biking on land within Portland. ”
They have never not supported it, either.

davemess
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davemess

“The general public in Portland is not, and has never jumped up in support of mountain biking on land within Portland.”

Nor have they ever jumped up in rejection of it either. Outside a few VERY vocal opponents (I think we all know who they are) there isn’t a mass, general dislike of mountain bikers.

Brian
Guest
Brian

“The general public in Portland is not, and has never jumped up in support of mountain biking on land within Portland.”
Not true. I am the general public. I support mountain biking. The numbers of people who show up to meetings and work parties show me that there are other members of the general public, like me, who support mountain biking. I would argue it is the non-general public, the bureaucrats, who do not support mountain biking.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

The only negative attitude I’m showing is towards you, personally. Are you someone in power that I should fear being insolent to?

On trail I ALWAYS stop, insist other trail users pass and make polite conversation. That’s ALWAYS. I also insist on it from people I’m riding with.

You, on the other hand do nothing but bait everyone you can on these MTB threads.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“The only negative attitude I’m showing is towards you, personally. …” Zimmerman

And why are you showing that negative attitude? A negative attitude is not what I’ve responded to you or to other mountain bikers with. You’ve couched your remarks with rudeness. I’ve declined to respond in kind, choosing instead, to respond to your thoughts with a level of respect they really don’t deserve.

You and other mountain bikers can continue to be rude, and try bullying people whose views you disagree with. This being a semi-public forum, you’re putting the conduct and temperament of mountain biking on display.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

Interesting. I see your incessant paternalistic, patronizing badgering as extremely negative and I believe I’m not only person that believes so.

Like I said, I’m extremely polite on the trails and polite to people that choose to comment productively, without a thinly veiled agenda “couched” in language that might seem reasonable to someone that doesn’t have experience with your past comments.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

Also, I am not “mountain biking.” I do not claim to speak for every mountain biker out there, just as I don’t believe all hikers are people like you. That’s an important distinction to make. I have never had a negative interaction with another trail user while mountain biking but apparently you have. How much of that is due to your misconceptions about mountain biking, I can’t say. Either way, it’s unfortunate because you’re missing out on making the acquaintance of some quality people interested in experiencing nature, maintaining trails and stewardship of natural areas. Making enemies of us is just sad.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…Like I said, I’m extremely polite on the trails and polite to people that choose to comment productively, …” Zimmerman

Given your conduct in comments to this discussion, your claim is not believable. If you’re polite on the trails, then prove it by being polite in discussions with people here.

If you don’t like something someone says, figure out how to say so constructively without being rude and disrespectful. That’s how you can present a positive impression of yourself, and of somebody that enjoys mountain biking and believes that form of vehicular recreation on natural land within the city, is worthy of broad public support.

phreadi
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phreadi

Recent surveys don’t support your bias about what the general public calls for.

J Bone
Guest
J Bone

I’m on your side as an mtb’er, but as a hiker I’ve many times seen rude/dangerous conflict on behalf of mtb’ers. Really wish it wasn’t so, but too often it is. Dedicated trails solve that problem. Or at least designated the trail for primary use, i.e. Sandy Ridge is mtb primary, but allows hikers…those hikers should understand that in a dh environment they have the burden to yield. I ride and hike there frequently with my family, but understand my responsibilities as both types of user.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…but as a hiker I’ve many times seen rude/dangerous conflict on behalf of mtb’ers. Really wish it wasn’t so, but too often it is. …” J Bone

Exactly it, J Bone. And why is that many mountain bike enthusiasts do not make it their very first priority to address even the slightest suggestion of that kind of conflict arising from mtb’ers. Because they seek to use trail for vehicular recreation, mountain bike enthusiasts should be making every possible effort to be the gentlewomen and gentlemen of the trail. They, should be setting the high bar for good behavior on the trail.

Instead, they respond with insolence, bullying remarks and behavior, further alienating themselves from the many people whose support they need to acquire use of land within Portland and beyond, for mountain biking.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

“Insolence”

I didn’t know you were the emperor of trail access. Care to share your identity so we can all bow and scrape appropriately?

Brian
Guest
Brian

“And why is that many mountain bike enthusiasts do not make it their very first priority to address even the slightest suggestion of that kind of conflict arising from mtb’ers.”
We do. With signs at every single trailhead, by bringing it up at meetings, putting the rules of the trail on websites, and by holding each other accountable on the trail. You choose to assume that we do not as it fits your negative worldview of mountain bikers.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Here’s the thing, Brian, relative to the Portland public’s support of mountain biking within Portland: that support is minimal at best. Very minimal. If mountain biking had broad support from the Portland public, it would be provided.

I doubt very much that tens and hundreds of thousands of Portland residents have this great desire for mountain biking in this city, but aren’t coming forward with that because of comments I raise in the comment section of bikeportland stories about mountain biking.

By far the vast majority of people that get a break from their workday, and seek a bit of quietude in a natural setting, do so once in that setting, on foot. That’s why, when metro bond votes and park levy votes comes up for the acquisition of more natural lands for conservation and recreation, the public readily votes for them. Not for vehicular recreation that is mountain biking. I’m going to say I think most people, when they seek respite from the pressures of day to day life in the city, don’t look forward to finding natural areas which they’ve paid their hard earned dollars to acquire, be used to bring in mountain bike vehicular traffic.

I think a big part of the reason for this, is that people not riding bikes out in natural areas, have had far too many bad experiences with people that do ride bikes, who fail to manage themselves or their bikes in a way that would establish a positive experience for everyone.

So you say you post signs and rules at trail heads to encourage, I’ll say, since you didn’t, responsible behavior, considerate of other trail users not riding bikes. And that you hold yourselves accountable. That’s a start, but probably a long way from being enough to turn around a deep seated uneasiness with and resistance to mountain biking, from the vast majority of people that vote for and use natural lands for recreation.

davemess
Guest
davemess

“I doubt very much that tens and hundreds of thousands of Portland residents have this great desire for mountain biking in this city, but aren’t coming forward with that because of comments I raise in the comment section of bikeportland stories about mountain biking.”

Bob, you’re making so many guesses, generalizations, and flat out postulations, that there really is no way to take some of your comments seriously.

There might not be hundreds of thousands of people who demand mountain biking, but there might not be hundreds of thousands of people who oppose it.
Not being 100% for something does not equate to you being 100% against it.

I know it’s a lost cause with you, but I wonder if you feel this way about any other form of recreation that you don’t like. Disc golf? Tennis players? Trail runners? How about kids on playgrounds? Sometimes they run into people that are walking by.

To think that Portland is incredibly different from the entire rest of the country (and many places of the world), where people coexist on trails daily, and don’t have much animosity for each other, is just silly. This is a problem manufactured by a few overly loud, self-righteous luddites posing as environmentalists (even though they don’t have much of any scientific data on their side).

(I don’t know I keep breaking my own rule and engaging you, it’s just not worth it).

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Davemess at: http://bikeportland.org/2015/03/05/oregonian-editorial-calls-city-reconsider-bike-ban-river-view-135258#comment-6239070

Dave, I’m not going to tell people here, that is, mountain bike enthusiasts something just to pacify them, when the reality right before their faces, apparently does not support what they seek. You can do that if you want to, but I’m not going to.

With the exception of trail running, enthusiasts of none of the recreational activities you offer as examples, seek the use nature parks and natural lands to engage in those activities. And trail running is not vehicular recreation, unlike mountain biking.

“…To think that Portland is incredibly different from the entire rest of the country (and many places of the world), where people coexist on trails daily, and don’t have much animosity for each other, is just silly. This is a problem manufactured by a few overly loud, self-righteous luddites posing as environmentalists (even though they don’t have much of any scientific data on their side). …” davemess

Mountain bike enthusiasts in Portland have for a long time, sabotaged their efforts to expand mountain bike opportunities within Portland, by making the city’s oldest, biggest nature wilderness park, their primary objective to be used for mountain biking. Each time they they make that effort, or even make the suggestion of using that park for mountain biking, they’re resoundingly rebuffed.

Also how mountain bike enthusiasts have sabotaged their efforts to expand mountain bike opportunities within Portland, is by being rude, and insulting towards people that don’t embrace their objective to use that park for mountain biking. Maybe you know better, maybe you don’t. Remarks in your comment above, which I’ve excerpted in this one, are an example of that self defeating insulting behavior. Stop injecting adversarial elements into an effort for which you need the support of people that see things different from yourself, in order to gain success.

In terms of values and priorities, history shows that Oregon is different from the rest of the nation. I suspect that to some extent, Portland is too. That may account in some part for why there has been no great rush on the part of the greater public to support mountain biking in Portland, using the city’s oldest, largest nature wilderness park for that form of vehicular recreation, or any other.

If mountain bike enthusiasts truly believe they somehow have the support they need for the objective they seek, from a majority of Portland residents, put the option on the ballot. Simple. Otherwise, stop the complaining that’s creating an ever worse perception of mountain biking.

invisiblebikes
Guest
invisiblebikes

wsbob I have a new name for you, you should change your handle to “The Contrarian!” it suites you perfectly!

And We did bring the numbers or “legions” of Mtn bikers out when NWTA asked to support and shape the future of the North Tualitin Mountains natural Area!
Did you go? of course not because your “the Contrarian!”

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

The Long-winded Contrarian. Kudos to anyone that can get through the entire comment.

Alex
Guest
Alex

I am also going to call bs on this. Mountain biking is not always some “Mountain Dew” extreme sport that it has been portrayed as and we share the trails peacefully. I have never had a bad interaction with another trail user in my life.

Nicholas Skaggs
Guest
Nicholas Skaggs

THANK YOU!

Some people don’t understand that maybe I just want to ride my bike on dirt. “Mountain Biking” has become synonymous with full-suspension high-speed downhill XXXTREME SPORTZ!!!! when in reality, some of us like backpacking and hiking, and also like bikes, and have realized we can combine the two in a wonderful way.

(That’s not to say that riding down Sandy Ridge on a full suspension rig isn’t great, because it is, but “mountain biking” is a very large umbrella with many styles of riders under it.)

davemess
Guest
davemess

“Mountain Biking” has become synonymous with full-suspension high-speed downhill XXXTREME SPORTZ!!!!”

This is mainly true in Portland though. Something I’ve tried to get across on here many times is that this city has somehow gotten this reputation, while most other areas have come to adopt a more family-friendly, moderate cross country view of mountain biking. Those latter areas have been many of the ones that have seen increases in trail access and general acceptance in society. Portland is unfortunately still stuck in the former, 1990’s view of mountain biking.

Charley
Guest
Charley

I think this is due to the fact that there aren’t many easy places to ride- if there were nice, legal, easy places for new riders and young riders (children) to ride, the macho attitude would diminish. The only easy trail to ride in this city is the Wildwood, and it’s closed. All the legal trails go straight up and down. Even Powell Butte, though it’s considered “easy,” requires pretty stiff climbs. So, we’ve self-selected for a hard core crowd.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Excellent point, and very true. Hard to get the families and beginners in when there aren’t many places to ride. Even the few places we have aren’t much of a selling point to new riders, because frankly, they’re not that nice.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Exactly. I am trying to figure out a place to ride with my son besides Cascade Locks, and there are none. None! I have to drive 45 minutes to ride on dirt with my five year old. Asinine.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Gateway Green might be good for that at least.

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

Plus the terrain itself encourages high speed.

TonyT
Guest
Tony T

So we’re determining access based on some worst case scenario? I don’t doubt that it has happened, but in 25 years of mountain biking and hiking I have NEVER encountered that.

So what happens when we find “a separate trail for bikers nearer the road” and someone says, “How about a separate trail for bikers somewhere else?” And then we find another trail and someone says, “How about a separate trail for bikers somewhere else?”

Your argument could be used to forever push us out. When do we get a trail? Just give us a freakin trail! The ratio of hiker-only trails to biker trails already HIGHLY favors your quiet walk in the woods. Give us a break.

davemess
Guest
davemess

If only there were a state park near River View where bikes weren’t allowed……..

elpenguino
Guest
elpenguino

If sharing the trail with mountain bikers keeps you from enjoying hiking, there is a wonderful solution. You can choose to hike EVERY OTHER TRAIL system in Portland (with the exception of Powell Butte) without the chance of your peace and quite being compromised…unless of course you run into one for those jacked up hikers, then your out of luck. Tough times for hikers in portland, tough times.

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

I don’t think telling someone to go hike somewhere else does anything to help our cause here.

Amber
Guest
Amber

It would be just as nice for mountain bikers to have single track to ride within city limits without having to worry about running into hikers.

Public resources are shared resources.

Dwaine Dibbly
Guest
Dwaine Dibbly

I guess this means that they’re planning on opening Forest Park, right?

I NEVER thought that I’d find myself in agreement with the Oregonian.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Bicycling as recreation is something the Oregonian’s editorial board can get behind. Just not the kind that is a realistic alternative to the automobile. Go figure.

Granpa
Guest
Granpa

The City has not been an honest broker in this process. The more I find out about this land deal the worse it smells and Mt. bikers are getting a raw deal. As stated in the previous thread, I don’t Mt. bike and don’t have a dog in the fight, but the ban is ill conceived and riding in this area, with thoughtful stewardship, is a right and proper use.

Oregon Mamacita
Guest
Oregon Mamacita

I was fooled by Fritz. I thought she was the one council member who was not a pathological liar like Steve (We Have A Bike Share Sponsor” Novick.
I thought she had to weigh different concerns and strike a balance.
Nope. They fibbed when they bought the land.

Here is what the memo should have said: “Dear MTB: we are discussing whether we can let you use the land for MTB under the terms of the City’s purchase agreement. ” That would have been the truth.

This story has become a story about lying. The MTB dudes were owed the truth. Trails? Maybe yes, maybe no. The truth- oh yes.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…Here is what the memo should have said: “Dear MTB: we are discussing whether we can let you use the land for MTB under the terms of the City’s purchase agreement. ” …” Oregon Mamacita

Sounds about right. When did the city come to feel that the purchase agreement would preclude the use of the land for mountain biking? If it knew, a considerable time before the memo was released, that could be a problem.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…Here is what the memo should have said: “Dear MTB: we are discussing whether we can let you use the land for MTB under the terms of the City’s purchase agreement. ” …” Oregon Mamacita

Sounds about right. If the city knew, some time before release of the memo, that it wasn’t going to be able, by the purchase agreement, to allow the land to used for mountain biking, the city should have offered that info to the public.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…Mt. bikers are getting a raw deal. …” Granpa

Granpa…how do you think mountain bikers getting a raw deal? Doesn’t appear so far, that the city promised these people that this land would continue to be used for mountain biking. Doesn’t seem as though use of the land for mountain biking was ‘grandfathered in’.

Here’s what the city could do if it wanted to avoid problems with terms of the money source, and allow the land to officially be used for mountain biking: Go ask about the possibility of an exception to the terms of use upon which the money is conditional. Simple. They get a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, and go from there.

Fivefrud
Guest
Fivefrud

Or, they could just rely on actual science instead of antiquated anti-bike bias, and admit that they should ban dogs and not bikes.

PdxMark
Guest
PdxMark

**9watts March 5, 2015 at 7:17 am
Bicycling as recreation is something the Oregonian’s editorial board can get behind. Just not the kind that is a realistic alternative to the automobile. Go figure.**

I think we’ve just learned that the OEB dislikes Portland City Council even more than they dislike bicyclists. In this case mountain bikers are a tool in an OEB diss on City Council. Don’t worry. The OEB doesn’t like bicycling anymore than it did.

I reference to it’s now philosophical twin, the Orange County Register, I now think of the Oregonian instead as the “Oregon Country Register.”

9watts
Guest
9watts

“I think we’ve just learned that the OEB dislikes Portland City Council even more than they dislike bicyclists.”
I thought about phrasing my post this way. But I do think that the distinction between transportational and recreational bicycling is large enough to permit the OEB to make this particular argument.

Stretchy
Guest
Stretchy

I don’t know that I would call mountain bike trails “badly needed”. Good schools, a competent, respectful police force, clean water and a working sewer system… these are “badly needed”. Mountain bike trails are about as “badly needed” as golf courses. Sure, they’re nice to have. It’s better to have them than not. Definitely not “badly needed”

Sean
Guest
Sean

Fortunately you don’t have to spend time and money building trails (just like you don’t have to pay greens fees if you don’t golf), but we aren’t ALLOWED to spend our own time and money on trails we can ride.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

The mountain bike organizations are offering their expert ability in building sustainable trails for free. What’s the problem here? It’s not like we’re asking for the police to build the trail system for us or demanding that school funds be diverted for building bridges across streams that bicycles aren’t causing to warm in the first place.

bjorn
Guest
bjorn

Looking at a local site about golf courses it appears there are 279 holes of golf available at courses in Portland, the reason that golf courses aren’t badly needed is that we have a bunch of them, including some that are owned by the city and managed as parks. If there were 279 singletrack trails in Portland you would have more of a point.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

We have too many golf courses, and they cost the city too much to maintain. They are in the process of closing several.

Tim
Guest
Tim

I wonder if it would be feasible to turn any of the golf courses into mtn bike trail centers. Done well, and with even a little terrain variability, I would imagine that a mtn bike trail center could be more profitable than a golf-course. It would certainly cost less to keep up, and I think it would attract a lot of use.

Joseph E
Guest

Assuming Golf = MTB, consider that there are 17 golf courses in the city of Portland, providing hundreds of holes of golf. There is now only 1 area of singletrack mountain bike trails in the city (Powell Butte).
http://www.oregongolf.com/courses/portland

And the City of Portland owns 5 of those golf courses, on public land! http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/63560

rick
Guest
rick

Plus, the Red Tail golf course is completely surrounded by Washington County and it has zero walking and biking trails.

dan
Guest
dan

I think everyone who’s totaling the # of golf courses vs. the # of MTB trails in town is missing the point. The point is that no one is dying, receiving a poor education, or unable to turn the tap and have clean water come out when we don’t have MTB trails or golf courses.

elpenguino
Guest
elpenguino

no, I think the assumption that mouton bike trials are going to some how pull resources from schools, police and keep people from food and water is missing the point.
There is HUGE opportunity here. Kids who don’t fit the foot ball, basket ball, cheerleader model could have an opportunity to try something else. People without resources to drive to the trail could ride from their door or hop on the bus. In a time when kids are getting type II diabetes before they are ten I cannot believe there is so much push back against healthy outdoor recreation (i don’t really believe there is that much push back, just from some folks with disproportionately loud voices).
Mountain biking saved my life. Without it I would be lost, and you know what, without River View I am feeling little bit lost…I just urge everyone to try to be a little empathetic and not so dogmatic about this. I view mountain biking in Portland as a public health opportunity, a chance to offer something fun to help people unplug. I absolutely think outdoor recreation should be a priority in any city.

Joseph E
Guest

Cities do more than 1 thing. In this state, the city has very little involvement in Education, but it IS responsible for Parks and Recreation, and water management. This city has an impressive park system, including hundreds of acres of land devoted to Golf, Baseball, Soccer, Hiking etc.
There is plenty of room in the park system for MTBs, and hundreds of volunteers ready to give time and money to build a trail system. It’s reasonable for the city to allow this to happen.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Dan, with that kind of argument though, we shouldn’t have a parks department at all, because it’s not a real “need”.

phreadi
Guest
phreadi

badly needed WITHIN CONTEXT of portland parks trail policies, which is what we’re talking about here. This isn’t about Public Schools / equatable utility rates / world peace , etc.

J Bone
Guest
J Bone

As soon as there are decent trails in Portland, I plan on starting a youth mtg program like I used to run in Dallas, Texas, where the local bike club does an excellent job of building and maintaining trails in city parks. The educational and empowering impact that program had on youth and volunteers in the community addressed so many social issues. Too bad there is no legit ‘classroom’ here in Portland.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…Mountain bike trails are about as “badly needed” as golf courses. …” Stretchy

Golf courses can make a lot of money, which does quite a lot to justify their existence. And, it costs a lot of money to play golf at a golf course. That’s one way to get land for a desired form of recreation that isn’t badly needed.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

Here are just a few examples of the kind of money mountain biking and related tourism can bring to an economy:

http://bikeportland.org/2013/05/22/research-mountain-biking-boosts-rural-oregon-economies-87114

http://m.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/mountain-biking-injects-8-million-into-squamish/Content?oid=2543461

Portland has the potential to be reaping these kinds of economic rewards but can’t because of selfish, backwards ideas about mountain biking.

Jason VH
Guest

I disagree. For me, having a close place to ride my mountain bike is a priority that directly correlates to my quality of life. It keeps me sane and honestly, you don’t want to catch me at the wrong time if I can’t get out to blow off steam.

I ride my bike or use public transit locally but own a car so I can drive my mountain bike to recreate.

rick
Guest
rick

Dog poop causes far more damage to parks and creeks than a handful of mountain bike trails.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

This decision also seem like a slap in the face to the engineers that work for Parks and BES. It implies there is no way to mitigate for the faster, active use of cyclists.

Evan
Guest
Evan

I’d really like to see some new leadership in City Council. Why are we settling for the same lack of political will that has filled these council seats for several terms now. I’ll be using my vote this next election cycle, please use yours.

elpenguino
Guest
elpenguino

If sharing the trail with mountain bikers keeps you from enjoying hiking, there is a wonderful solution. You can choose to hike EVERY OTHER TRAIL system in Portland (with the exception of Powell Butte) without the chance of your peace and quite being compromised…unless of course you run into one for those jacked up hikers, then your out of luck. Tough times for hikers in portland, tough times.

Electric Mayhem
Guest
Electric Mayhem

The biggest problem with the decision is that it is based on concerns that mountain biking will be more destructive than hiking, which seems like it should be true, but it’s not. If you really want to reduce human impact in this area, you need to eliminate all users.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

If you want to continue to ride your bike there, just do it; I seriously doubt there will be much if any enforcement of the ban.

Gary
Guest
Gary

The city got some really bad legal advice, IMO.

If you’re prospectively positioning for a legal challenge that the use of the property (hiking, biking, etc.) doesn’t conform with the legal justification for buying it (watershed protection), about the worst thing you could do is arbitrarily disallow some of those uses. The city’s defense should be: the uses we allow are compatible with the purchase basis. They’d be able to claim both biking and walking have similar impacts with respect to erosion (and walking has some additional impacts if dogs are factored in), and we determined that limited impact is compatible with the rationale for purchasing the property. But they chose to knowingly allow some uses that they’ve determined (as I understand from other commenters) to be the greater harm. That makes their justification both ethically and legally indefensible, and thereby demonstrates that their choice wasn’t in fact aligned with the purchase justification. It really was an all or none proposition, in my view, and they took a middle road that may cost them.

Edward
Guest
Edward

If the city’s honest response is that it can’t allow biking due to the way it bought the property, then maybe it is time to litigate.

After all, when the city bought the property, it was well known that trails had been used by bikes/bikers in an open and notorious fashion for a period of years and decades. That means there could be a very good claim that what the city bought was property which was subject to an easement. That the easement may have been established by adverse possession doesn’t change its validity. That the easement was for biking doesn’t matter. This kind of thing happens all the time in property law. Somebody buys a property with a road accross it, and then the new owner fences off the road, and then it goes to court.

We just need to round up some named plaintiffs who have been riding there for years and decades. It’s just law and politics. Its not rocket science. If the city is afraid of what a judge might say, it looks like it is time to get a judge to say something.

ean
Guest
ean

Prescriptive rights don’t quite work that way.

Edward
Guest
Edward

I’d be interested in seeing/hearing in what way you think they don’t work that way.

I could make a bunch of guesses as to why you don’t think so, but it’s hard to respond to just a bland general assertion of wrongness because you just think I’m wrong. I was reading a 2009 case of Motes v. Pacificorp, where the court determined that prescriptive easements do work that way, in particular, if the landowner couldn’t stop the power company from increasing the voltage in the power lines in that case, how could the city stop bikes in this case? I think that there’s a good argument to make that it cannot, and there’s a good reason to make the argument.

ean
Guest
ean

I am no expert on prescriptive rights and as with any legal issue it often comes down to the luck of the draw on the judge and how far you are willing to appeal a case. I don’t think governments are subject to prescriptive rights in many cases. Not to mention it would require someone with money enough to hire a good lawyer and be ready for several appeals. The city has not owned the property for very long, I am not sure how that comes into play. Prescriptive rights and adverse possession are confusing topics with many contradictory court rulings. My gut feeling is it wouldn’t work in this case but if someone had the financial means and free time it might be worth pursuing.

ean
Guest
ean

also with it being a recreational path and not a path for transportation that may factor in. Additionally the city is not closing the trails they are just banning certain uses. I’d love to see the trails open to all users but it seems to me the prescriptive rights battle is a long shot… probably have better luck voting people out of office.

ean
Guest
ean

Furthermore I am not sure that the use of the trail was ever hostile. If an owner grants someone permission to use a trail then they have the legal right to take that permission away. Like I said it is confusing and depends a lot on the judge you get. I should know more as this topic relates to my job but I don’t. Sorry for giving you a short answer earlier and sorry for giving you a halfway informed answer now. If you are serious about a lawsuit make sure you have the time and money and also find a good lawyer.

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Guest
Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

Being on the same side of an issue with the OEB makes me nervous…

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

A pile of studies have shown that on trail MTB does not lead to worse outcomes that allowing hikers. Portland itself has found that on and off leash dogs are worse than OFF trail biking and hiking, never mind on trail use.

A series of trails already exist, it seems some are not up to standard as a hiking or biking trail. Allow the NWTA and volunteers to move/fix the trails away from the fall line and streams. Plant trees to shade the streams in any place they need them.

This would show an improvement to whatever habitat exists regarding the lawsuit. From the other thread it looked like the judge used the actual words “mountain bike,” but if a judge can’t read the science and see the improvement, they probably shouldn’t be a judge.

Lenny Anderson
Guest
Lenny Anderson

This land was bought with BES ratepayer funds for watershed purposes, and should be managed for such. Maybe it can accommodate recreation, but that has to be secondary. I don’t recall any promises in that regard.
Land with “made trails” that is managed for watershed needs to be restored as much as possible and that must take priority.
In as much as mountain biking is best served by dedicated facilities, I think the gold course model makes sense. The City operates and maintains four courses with green fees for income. Why not the same for mountain biking? The daily rag got this wrong as usual.

J Bone
Guest
J Bone

Because a lot of mtb’ers would rather pay with sweat than $. Building and maintaining trail is actually part of the passion for some…why outsource it to an inefficient bureaucracy when we are willing to do it out of love? I imagine most golfers have no interest in golf facility maintenance.

davemess
Guest
davemess

So why weren’t dogs and people (hikers and “bird watchers” also excluded from this land? Surely those would also help the “watershed purposes”.

If that is the true reason for banning cyclists than I would think it would be an obvious course of action.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Using this logic, the City should close Palatine Road, the road that abuts the property at its highest elevation!

If you want to talk about “damaging ecosystems” and all that jazz, perhaps having a road that creates huge amounts of surface runoff, including damaging pollutant particulate matter, at the summit of this property isvmptbthe smartest thing!

So hundreds of cars a day are fine whizzing past, but a couple of well-built trails basically signal the apocalypse for the property.

Can anyone spell “hypocrites”?

ac
Guest
ac

sandy ridge is right next to our most delicate natural area, bull run watershed (where our water comes from)

http://bcreek.us.cloudlogin.co/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Sandy%20Ridge%20Trail%20System%20Map.jpg

Slow Joe Crow
Guest
Slow Joe Crow

Color me surprised that the Oregonian actually came out pro-bike in an editorial. I’m really bothered that the true reason for this bike ban is the city playing CYA after they pulled a fast one with tax money. I think that is even more despicable than the elitist NIMBYism we run into in Forest Park.

Mark McCall
Guest
Mark McCall

The City didn’t “pull” anything when they bought this property.

Joe
Guest
Joe

FREE River View Natural Area!

ShareTheF!@#inPark
Guest
ShareTheF!@#inPark

FYI – VIA the NWTA facebook page – a local MTB advocate got some bumper stickers ordered for all that are interested in expressing their outrage in sticker form. http://teamrobot.bigcartel.com/product/portland-hates-mountain-bikes-sticker

#portlandhatesyou

Mark McCall
Guest
Mark McCall

Hey Folks – some types of activities are done on the fringes of the City or in rural areas. I think whitewater boaters have a lot in common with mountain biking in this case. You have to drive a bit to get there, but it is worth it. Sometimes the natural conditions or types of land use just don’t work for some things.

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

Do you have any evidence to back up your assertion that mountain biking is incompatible with conservation at Riverview? The only study done there didn’t even list trail riding as a problem. how is it possible that Sandy Ridge is compatible with the Bull Run Watershed, but sustainably built & maintained trails are Riverview aren’t?

If Fritz was being truthful about her desire to protect the watershed she’d have banned the culprits named by the PAC: on/off leash dogs, partying/camping and OFF-TRAIL hiking and cycling. Personally, I don’t know anyone that rides a bike off-trail. Why would you? It seems horrific. Bicycle riders want to stay on sustainably built trail systems, that’s the best experience you could ask for.

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

We don’t have a lot of whitewater in the city, though some is nearby. We do have a ton of flatwater, that you’re allowed to use. Willamette, Columbia, Tualatin, parts of the Sandy/Clackamas are whitewater too. Smith and Bybee are a natural area, they even allow fishing there!

Unlike WW, he have the terrain for mountain biking here, so there is little need to make people drive to Sandy Ridge.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

I wouldn’t be eating any fish from Smith and Bybee lakes, they are in a heavily industrial area and are right next to one of the largest leaking landfills in the state. I believe there are already warnings posted in multiple languages.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Yet most cities that do have the capabilities usually accommodate their citizens.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quv7bnCnIXw

Got any other weak excuses?

davemess
Guest
davemess
Pat Franz
Guest
Pat Franz

You always have to be careful when you ask lawyers for advice. Their job is to give legal advice, not practical, reasonable, or political advice.

In this case, it seems to me if the city feels the land needs to be managed for runoff, it should be entirely possible to manage it with the assistance of enthusiastic users. Since people are going to go there anyway, the issue is managing what goes on there. Having motivated, responsible people going there regularly is a good thing if it keeps undesirable activities down and gets problems noticed sooner. Entirely defensible as a management plan, probably more sustainable over time, and almost certainly cheaper.

One of the best things that can happen for a place is for people to feel a connection to it. Only then does a place get valued and taken care of. Seems to me there is already a connection there, why not nurture it and direct it to the results you want? Acknowledge the lawyerly advice and proceed in the real world to an actual workable solution. As a politician and a manager, throwing up your hands and saying “the lawyers won’t let us” is not doing your job, it’s just throwing up your hands.

A little creativity and this could be solved Portland style.

Gabriel Amadeus
Guest

What really irks me about this mountain biking furor is that it’s just mountain biking. It’s not racial discrimination, class disparity, or gentrification. And it’s not a factor in the dire climate change scenario we are universally facing. I have been an active member of Trout Unlimited and Audubon. I’m a trout fisherman, bird watcher, and staunch environmental advocate. I’m also a mountain biker.

Most exasperating is the gross ignorance of scale in this world full of injustice. Mountain biking is what you choose to rally against? You should be ashamed to alienate people with a love for the same land you love. Our forests and rivers have been abused beyond belief over the past century. We’re making great strides to restore these gems to their former glory and fighting new threats on a daily basis. Mountain biking is not one of those threats. We are your allies, not your enemies.
That fact that I even need to get mad to defend such a benign activity in the first place is infuriating. It’s just mountian biking.

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

What if Monday morning, the city council sent you a memo that says you can’t bird watch anymore at your favorite place to bird watch, the only reason being that the city council personally hates bird watchers, but they tell you that it’s because bird watching is bad for salmon. I bet you’d be pretty pissed off.

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

After reading your comment a few times, it seems that you’re defending getting mad about mountain biking, I didn’t catch that the first time I read it. Carry on!

Brian
Guest
Brian

“that support is minimal at best. Very minimal.”
That is the opinion of one man ( a man with a bias) with no data to support it. The public has never been asked of their opinion on the subject. That is a fact.

Adam
Guest
Adam

I just wrote to Amanda Fritz and received the following reply – heh:

——————————-
Thank you for your message. There are 29 miles of trails open to cyclists in Forest Park. The proposed Master Plan is the way to identify appropriate additional places for mountain bikes all over Portland.

Amanda
—————————
If you want to tell the commissioners how you feel:

Amanda Fritz amanda@portlandoregon.gov
Nick Fish nick@portlandoregon.gov

Brian
Guest
Brian

That reply is exactly what we are up against. That demonstrates complete ignorance, despite having been told MANY times that those are NOT trails. There is 1/3 of a mile of trail in Forest Park. She should have a better understanding of what a trail is if she hopes to move this Plan forward.

bjorn
Guest
bjorn

Did Amanda Fritz just unilaterally open Wildwood to mountain biking? That’s how I read it.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Man, I totally misunderstood it. Thanks for the clarification. Speaking of, on my commute home nearby the zoo I have seen multiple older gentleman (in their 50’s or 60’s) riding the WW Trail down to the road. Makes me smile every time.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Wow, that is just insult to injury, right there!

Beth
Guest

Lots of lessons here. The ones that stand out for me:

1. Participating in the public process does not guarantee that a government will act “in good faith.” Governments, funded as they are by both public and private interests, have their own agendae. It does not always overlap nicely with the agenda of a particular constituency.

2. No matter how nicely you participate, if your constituency is seen as smaller and/or less important to the overall picture of the government’s agenda, you stand a poorer chance of really being heard. Sorry. There must aren’t enough reecreational mountain bikers to throw enough weight around in this instance, and the city knows it.

3. In a city with SO many other pressing issues — poverty, crime, a lack of affordable housing and living wage jobs, educational inequity — this issue falls rather far down the list of things that I would wring my hands and gnash my teeth over. I am guessing that a number of other Portlanders may well feel the same way.

4. I’m a little surprised by the abundance of sour grapes posted here. All the “good faith” in the world will not always get everyone what they want. We live in an imperfect world, and while we can work to make it better, we cannot make it perfect. That’s life. Learning how to live with that and still move forward is a good thing.

Paul Souders
Guest
Paul Souders

Participating in the public process to guarantee that a government will act “in good faith” is practically the textbook description of democracy. Will that process always please me? Certainly not, and you’re right, that’s life. But in this case, the process was halted abruptly a year ago, and the outcome delivered by royal edict. Not even a nice edict. A faxed memo.

If we can’t expect the government to respond to public interest, however trivial, we should be worried about the kind of government we have.

davemess
Guest
davemess

“In a city with SO many other pressing issues — poverty, crime, a lack of affordable housing and living wage jobs, educational inequity — this issue falls rather far down the list of things that I would wring my hands and gnash my teeth over.”

You’re right! And that’s why MTB groups have and are willing to continue to do most (maybe all) of the work to build and maintain trails. This is not an issue of diverting funds from other more meaningful projects (whatever other parks projects those are (and remember that we just approved a parks bond that had 50% of its money completely unplanned and accounted for)).

Michael Whitesel
Guest
Michael Whitesel

Beth, the reason for the “abundance of sour grapes” is that PDX MTBers have been working diligently for 20 years for trail access in Portland and have gotten squaduche.

Geoff Grummon
Guest
Geoff Grummon

I have been thinking about the City’s decision over the last few days. It is clear that there are many people that are upset by it based on the comments on BikePortland. There are also people who brush off the reactions with a “boo-hoo” and remarks about entitled mountain bikers.

For many mountain bikers, the act of riding a bike through the woods is not only fun, it is a meditative experience – mountain bikers speak of a Zen state and being “in the moment”. Some might even consider it spiritual. This is why the people who ride mountain bikes are so passionate about it. People who don’t ride mountain bikes generally do not understand this aspect about the sport. It is easy to trivialize mountain biking as a disruptive thrill-seeking activity. But that is a one-dimensional, distorted interpretation, and that is not why people ride.

For some context about what this decision means to mountain bikers, pick any activity that people are passionate about and then imagine the City of Portland restricting it for a questionable reason. Let’s say they decide to ban running on city streets and sidewalks because onlookers are offended by seeing exposed skin and tight clothes. Or that the City passes an ordinance cutting the number of Blazer home games in half because each game causes significant carbon emissions and generates tons of garbage. How would people in those groups react to those decisions?

Mountain biking has had a huge influence on my life, starting when I was in high school in 1991. It has given me years of joy, kept me fit, given me friendships, and introduced me to the wider world of cycling. I do not know if I would be a bike commuter/transportation cyclist today if I had not gotten my start in mountain biking. That’s why this decision is upsetting to me.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Thank you for this thoughtful comment. Well said.

Eric H
Guest
Eric H

This is a great response and I certainly hope you’ve emailed the mayor and all of the city commissioners with this. If not, it isn’t too late to do so. No reason for us to stop emailing or calling and keeping the pressure on them.

Jeff Turner
Guest
Jeff Turner

My son and I also have done trail maintenance out at the Riverview trails, my son and I will be extremely disappointed if we are not able to ride the trails we helped to build and maintain. How is biking on the trails any different than hiking and walking with dogs?????

Another big blow to Portland and the anti mountain bike mentality!!!

Makes me want to sell my house in Portland and move back to Dallas Texas where my son and I can choose from 15 different trail systems to ride our mountain bikes on.

irked
Guest
irked

I feel sorry for all the kids in Portland missing out.
See the video from WA:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7UIiXOivSvE

The environmental effects of well-managed mountain biking are minimal.
I’m still hopeful that more opportunities to ride single track closer to home will come soon … but not stoked about supporting current PP&R leadership.

phreadi
Guest
phreadi

Amanda Fritz on KGW, muddying up the city’s reasoning for the ban:
http://www.kgw.com/story/news/local/2015/03/05/portland-bans-mountain-biking-at-city-park/24436943/

so… which is it, ecological defensive-moves ? or is it user-conflict and ignorant bias afterall? Way to throw all the cyclists involved with the planning and rehabilitation under the bus.

Kudos for KGW for really digging deep on this issue to expose the strings attached to the purchase funds and poor faith on the city’s behalf.

BB
Guest
BB

It’s really sad that my 6 year old kid has to grow up being told mountain biking is this bad, illegal activity. Just as sad that I’m not going to be able to mountain bike with him unless we drive over an hour to get to real trails.

Trail Rat
Guest
Trail Rat

In 30 years of mountain biking all over the country I’ve had only a handful of negative encounters with other trail users including one where someone decided to dig a wheel sized hole on a trail which caused me to go over the bars. Since I’ve been living in Portland I’ve been mostly riding the coast range trails where I’ve never had a bad experience with sharing the trail users, in fact I hot a high five from a hiker a couple of weeks ago while descending Storey Burn. I find that treating people with respect weather I’m on a bike or on foot gets me the same respect in return.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Attorneys are paid to consider the worst case. Don’t believe the hype. Policy makers weigh the balance of positive contributions against the worst case. Trail riders can contribute (and are already at Riverview) more than their impact.

Send an email or call the Commissioner.

spencer
Guest
spencer

+1 for feeling betrayed by Amanda Fritz. At its best, Amanda’s KGW interview was disingenuous. Cycling is no more an active use in River View than that of hiking. What on earth can the Mountain Bike community provide that counters all the anti MTB propaganda being thrown around? I’m at a loss.

Dan
Guest
Dan

The Forest Park Natural Resources Management Plan says, “Recreational use at Forest Park is PASSIVE [my emphasis]; that is, walking, running, hiking, biking and equestrian trail use.”

bjorn
Guest
bjorn

Great find Dan, reading in context in the Management Plan it is clear that passive use refers to the use not involving tearing out the forest to install turf and sprinklers for sports fields, not the exertion level of the recreator.

J Bone
Guest
J Bone

I like how the Forest Park Conservancy used an image of someone mountain biking in their ad campaign last year.

Rick
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Rick

they did?

Zimmerman
Guest
Zimmerman

The hypocrisy of the Forest Park Consevancy is exquisite:

http://www.bpninc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/FRPK_Mockup-billboard.jpg

There’s also an FPC ad that shows a photographer, off-trail next to his camera. I’m waiting for the billboard showing a large group of trail runners excercising their off-leash dogs.

Again, so much hypocrisy.

bjorn
Guest
bjorn

Yeah they put up one of those billboards on the road back from Sandy Ridge which made it all the more obnoxious.

Pee jay
Guest
Pee jay

You’re next, trail runners.
runhaven.com/…/banning-trail-running/