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Comment of the Week: Bike trail advocates should take a lesson from dog parks

Posted by on April 8th, 2016 at 5:05 pm


No leash in Normandale Park, no problem – now.
(Photo: Michael Lin)

“When everyone breaks the rules, the rules bend.”

That was the hesitant declaration of BikePortland reader axoplasm, responding Friday morning to Thursday’s report about the organized resistance to mountain biking trails by people whose private property abuts the public land where they’d be built.

Axoplasm isn’t so much responding to this latest twist in Portland’s quest for singletrack, but more to the seeming futility of the quest itself. (As another reader, Charley, put it, “We’re not trying to build a lego tower to the moon, just open some trails to people who ride bikes.”)


Here’s the comment:

MTBers are some of the most play-by-the-rules types you will ever meet. In places with less cronyish local politics that works in our favor. But in Portland we’ve been playing by the rules for 25years and our reward is ever less singletrack.

I will return as I always to my analogy with dog owners (I am one). There is no Northwest Dog Alliance or advocacy group. We have no unified voice in demanding essentially unlimited access for dogs to every park, playground, school, and natural area within 100mi of Portland. We just take our dogs there and do whatever we please. So many people do it, so blithely and with such entitlement, that the government response has been to try to lure dog owners & our pets into abundant, well-supplied, well-distributed public dog recreation zones.

I’m one of those play-by-the-rules types so this is hard for me to say. But somehow I don’t feel conflicted letting my dog off-leash at the baseball diamond. When everyone breaks the rules, the rules bend.

Mountain biking is a legitimate recreation activity with demonstrated demand. If our public officials can’t get it together to designate some public spaces to accommodate that demand, we should not feel conflicted to use those spaces anyway. If enough of us do it, we might find ourselves actually winning these battles for a change.

Here at BikePortland, we don’t advocate rule-breaking. But axoplasm’s analogy to dog parks is worth thinking about, and not just in the context of mountain-bike singletrack.

Yes, we pay for good comments. This regular feature is sponsored by readers who’ve become BikePortland subscribers to keep our site and our community strong. We’ll be sending $5 and a little goodie bag to axoplasm in thanks for this great addition. Watch your email!

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 –

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  • David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC April 8, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Here in Greensboro, mountain biking is “allowed” (tolerated) in any city park, including ones with designated trails, for the very reasons that the commenter brought up – people just do it, and police don’t stop it. But god help you if you should skateboard on any street or city park, or ride your bike on a sidewalk downtown – they will arrest you and confiscate your board or bike.

    Welcome to the new age Republican world of Donald Trump, at least here in right-wing homophobic North Carolina.

    As far as the statement at the end, “Here at BikePortland, we don’t advocate rule-breaking.” Maybe, but you will publicize the latest exploits of PDXTransformation with enthusiasm.

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    • colton April 11, 2016 at 9:02 am

      They literally arrest people for skateboarding? Haul them off and lock them up?

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      • David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC April 11, 2016 at 2:51 pm

        Yes, no joke. This city is over-policed. They have even been documented for pulling people over for “driving while black.” Both boards and bikes are confiscated, persons charged, though it’s usually a misdemeanor, but the searches can lead to a felony, as can resisting an officer. Meanwhile, drivers usually go 20 mph over the limit, including the police.

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    • Bradwagon April 11, 2016 at 9:54 am

      So you see PDXTrans efforts in enforcing bike lane demarcation as breaking the rules?

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      • David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC April 11, 2016 at 3:02 pm

        Only in the same way as a business putting a reader board out in the bike lane (I’ve seen it done in Portland), a car parked over a bike lane, or a resident marking out their viewing spot for the Rose Parade with duct tape – it’s illegal, but tolerated. The benefit to society of PDX’s efforts far outweighs any illegality on their part (violating various City codes), but BikePortland’s reporting moral statement itself is pretty suspect.

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  • 9watts April 8, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    A very thought-provoking comment.

    “We just take our dogs there and do whatever we please. So many people do it, so blithely and with such entitlement, that the government response has been to try to lure dog owners & our pets into abundant, well-supplied, well-distributed public dog recreation zones.”

    That is no doubt accurate, but a tough sell for me. Entitlement is such a troublesome trait. I guess it all depends on whether someone else is harmed by the entitlement, the pushy subgroup. With mountain biking I have my doubts that anyone is harmed; with dogs running everywhere the subject seems a little less clear but if people have well trained dogs, sure.

    “When everyone breaks the rules, the rules bend.”

    This cuts so many ways. This is how ODOT determines the safe speed on Barbur and other locations, too. If most people speed then that is good enough for them.
    But at Ladd’s, famously, we don’t get yield signs because the same percentage of people on bikes roll the stop signs at the circle.

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    • Alex April 8, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      Dogs are known to spread invasive species – yet they are allowed everywhere in FP and tolerated off-leash. I don’t know what is unclear about that.

      I will say this – both of the issues you bring up are big problems that need to be solved and are highly visible _only_ because people break the rules, not because they abide by them. No matter which way it cuts, it increase visibility, which isn’t there for mountain biking in Portland. Some of the people protesting mountain bike access in the Tualatin Mountains today weren’t aware of the long struggle and politics that mountain bikers have faced in the Portland – and they actually support mountain biking! The biggest thing that can be gained from all of these issues is awareness and once people are aware, only then will things change in one way or another.

      My point is this – it isn’t about feeling entitled and doing it. It is about creating visibility into a problem so that the problem can be solved. Right now, there is no visibility.

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      • 9watts April 8, 2016 at 6:30 pm

        “Dogs are known to spread invasive species”

        Not to mention people… oh my.

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        • Justin Carinci April 11, 2016 at 8:32 am

          Dogs spread people?

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty April 11, 2016 at 9:30 am

            Only when they’re having an outbreak.

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    • Tom Hardy April 8, 2016 at 6:51 pm

      And one of the members of the homeowners association is the one that is usually letting his pet Llamas wander the neighborhood and the park un-escorted.

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    • Justin Carinci April 11, 2016 at 8:53 am

      I think “entitlement” is the key word here.
      Just because you can’t imagine the harm doesn’t mean there isn’t any. If you’ll allow me a tangent that doesn’t mention bicycling:
      I once had a dog that needed to stay on leash at all times and that got freaked out by any “friendly” “well-trained” dog that approached off leash. He knew he was at a disadvantage on leash and was defensive. If he felt threatened, he’d growl or snap. Sometimes the other dog snapped back, and I’d be tangled (literally) in a full-on dog fight while trying to keep myself and my dog safe.
      So maybe the rules aren’t there for the average dog that frolics joyfully with other well-adjusted dogs. They’re there for the neurotic greyhounds and other rescue dogs who want to enjoy a walk to the park without fear.

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      • Ann April 11, 2016 at 5:37 pm

        man I’m tired of those “friendly” off leash dogs jumping on me. I walk a lot and I think I’m above a dozen incidents at this point. I’m not so friendly, myself.

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  • bjorn April 8, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    I wonder what would happen if people just started building pump tracks in the actual backyards of NIMBY’s like Marcy Houle, then maybe they would be a little less agressive about keeping people from enjoying public property. I don’t advise it but can you imagine the look on her face if she woke up and looked out the back window of her house at a dozen people pumping around her backyard.

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    • Rain Waters April 8, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      Check out the mess in Ashland as it nears the bottom known as BTI, if you dare. I can see why some people don’t want such.

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      • bjorn April 8, 2016 at 6:27 pm

        I have never ridden in ashland, but a google search brings up a group called RVMBA that appears to be working to build well drained, low erosion trails while advocating for decommissioning illegal trails. Pretty much exactly what NWTA is advocating for here. The whole point is that eventually if you keep pulling the rug out from under people over and over again when they work within the process to build sanctioned trails eventually they are going to get worn out and decide that it would be easier to just go ride their bike, and maybe build a secret trail in their neighborhood…

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        • Bryan April 11, 2016 at 10:11 am

          I ran into RVMBA a couple weeks ago while hiking on Roxy Ann, a mountain park in Medford. They were trimming the brush back along existing hiking trails and intend to add nearly 40 miles of both MB-dedicated trails and shared MB-hiking trails. Medford Parks manages Roxy Ann (Prescott Park), is doing an amazing job of building facilities that attract visitors from all over the western US (baseball and soccer). Roxy Ann could be a destination within a few years.

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      • Spencer April 9, 2016 at 12:51 pm

        Couldn’t disagree more, BTI in Ashland used to be shared, now there are braided trails to keep conflict minimized. I learned to ride there, encountered many hikers while going high speeds, and never encountered as much vitriol as here in Portland

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  • Alex April 8, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    I have been advocating this and saying this for years. I hope more people take this to heart. The reason the government officials don’t do anything about it is because it isn’t a “problem”. We need to make it a problem. Only problems get solutions.

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    • jerome April 10, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      Great! Just like the Anarchists with their insulting slogans and behaviors. So who will be responsible when some off-leash dog mauls a walker or hiker? Not you! Responsiblilty doesn’t seem high on your ethics list.

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      • Alex April 11, 2016 at 5:12 pm

        How do you know anything about my morality or my feeling of responsibility if I ever hurt someone while riding a bike? Keep throwing out the unwarranted accusations, it reflects well. Just because I don’t see the harm in riding a bike on a trail doesn’t mean I don’t see my moral responsibility to help people around me (and I have helped many hikers out while mountain biking).

        Great troll, though!

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  • B. Carfree April 8, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    The seemingly inevitable giving up on laws/rules when a large number of people refuse to obey them has me thinking about our bike paths. These were originally called bike trails in Oregon (as were bike lanes) and were designated as roadways. The nomenclature was soon changed to the more common bike path/bike lane terms. As roads without sidewalks, Oregon right of way was clear: pedestrians had no right of way other than the usual intersection crossing rules and were required to proceed single-file as close to the edge as possible or on the shoulder.

    Pedestrians simply refused to obey the law. Our bike paths became snarled with dogs and people spread out across the entire width, a problem that grew with the width of our population. Worse yet, as our streets became less pleasant to walk on, many people decided that bike paths should be off-street sidewalks.

    What’s the difference? Well, on a sidewalk the pedestrian has absolute right of way and can block the way with impunity. Now that we have renamed our bike paths shared use paths, we have essentially made them off-street sidewalks, at least in name (as far as I know, they are still legally roads in Oregon). Little wonder cyclists are being intimidated, harassed and even beaten for riding on “their” off-street sidewalk.

    If the MTB folks start taking over the unpaved paths, it’s really just a bit of turn-about. The same people who will complain about the scofflaw trail riders violating the law will walk down the middle of a bike path and block the way of traffic without a second thought about the fact that they are violating the law as well.

    Perhaps we’re long overdue to take back more of our public space from cars and give it over to people on foot and bikes. The tiny paths in the corner just aren’t working for us.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 9, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      This is why I make it a point to drive on the Springwater occasionally. It’s a bit slower than the main auto routes, but someone has to stake out a claim, and getting closer to nature is really nice; there’s just not that many opportunities for nature-driving in the city. It’s amazing how ill-mannered cyclists and pedestrians are. All that yelling and hollering! It’s like no one taught them how to share!

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      • flightlessbird April 9, 2016 at 11:22 pm

        wow…if that comment doesn’t demonstrate how misunderstood mtbers and the mtb situation is in portland, i don’t know what would. If you live in portland and wanna ride a bike on dirt you better like your trails poached…

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  • J_R April 8, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Ironically, there’s an editorial in the O today describing that Metro has decided that dogs are not compatible with regional parks. It seems that dog owners were not vocal about their needs so dogs are being excluded even when they’ve been accepted or at least tolerated in many parks for years.

    It seems that in light of the potential for offending anyone many governments are starting to interpret their rules such at unless something is specifically allowed, it is not.

    We even have the US Forest Service deciding that photography for commercial use is prohibited without a permit. I’m not sure how it you might be in violation if you post a photo of your bike ride in a National Forest without having gotten a photo to take it.

    I’m not sure that the comparison to dogs is the appropriate one now that dogs and their owners are under attack, too.

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    • Psyfalcon April 8, 2016 at 11:01 pm

      Metro has banned dogs from many of their parks for a long time, at least officially.

      Blue Lake, Oxbow (can’t even take your dog to the start of your float trip)…

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      • bjorn April 10, 2016 at 5:07 pm

        but everyone does it anyway and so every park is a defacto dog park. I watched a dog take a dump in the middle of a school baseball field on my ride this morning, I could see the no dogs sign and the owner who was literally too busy doing tai chi to notice and had zero control over their two dogs. I offered her a dog bag to clean up the mess and she seemed quite annoyed that I had interupted her “workout”.

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  • rachel b April 8, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    “When everyone breaks the rules, the rules bend.”

    This could be Portland’s motto. And it’s a big reason why Portland’s gotten so tearing-out-my-hair frustrating to live in, in my opine.

    I’m all for mountain biking trails but not this aggressive passive aggression.

    p.s….I will never walk barefoot in a Portland park or schoolyard again. Nor on the beach, which makes me sad indeed. I’m amazed when I see kids running around and falling on that park/school grass. Bleccchhh!

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    • Alex April 8, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      Agressive passive aggression? please go on…What does that mean?

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      • rachel b April 9, 2016 at 1:58 pm

        Hi Alex–I guess I should’ve put a wink there. ; Was just playing with words for my own amusement.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 9, 2016 at 5:30 pm

          I knew what you meant!

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          • rachel b April 10, 2016 at 1:59 am


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  • q April 8, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    One drawback to dog parks is that their existence legitimizes taking a zero-tolerance stance in regard to dogs off leash everywhere else in the minds of people who might otherwise be more tolerant of dogs off leash in areas where they’re not bothering anyone.

    It’s like bike lanes–if there is one nearby, some drivers view that as meaning bikes lose all rights to be anywhere on the street except inside that bike lane.

    Of course in the case of mountain bikes, people are already taking the stance they can’t legitimately be anywhere, so opening some trails probably doesn’t have that same drawback.

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    • David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC April 9, 2016 at 1:37 am

      That attitude drawback exists here in Greensboro and many other cities with poor on-street bike infrastructure. The attitude of most elected officials and transportation bureaucrats here is, “if you want to bike, go bike in a park, where we have city-maintained trails and hardpack. Streets are for cars.”

      Creating and designating specific areas for mountain biking is a lot like creating dog parks, homeless camps, or Indian reservations: you’ve contained the perceived problem, now you can forget about the problem.

      As a consequence, its very hard to get this particular city to invest in any new basic bike infrastructure, such as “bikeways” (“Greenways” in Portland speak), bike lanes, or MUPs (“Greenways” in Greensboro-speak), let alone anything innovative, such as protected bike lanes, bike boxes, or bike-specific signals. On the other hand, this city is paying for a brand new freeway bypass, with very little federal aid, so it has plenty of money.

      So I have to agree with the original writer, “Charley”, that you need to mountain bike everywhere you can get away with it, including and especially in all public parks, golf courses, open spaces, down alleyways, in unused PBOT right-of-way, and on ODOT lands, and be an “in-your-face” kind of problem, like homelessness, pandhandling, Starbucks, and brewpubs; otherwise, you risk getting nothing from the City of Portland, since you can be ignored, as you have for 30 years of “being nice”.

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      • q April 9, 2016 at 11:30 am

        David–you got my point 100%. As a particularly disheartening example, Parks narrowed a regional trail so that bikes and runners couldn’t easily pass people walking dogs. Parks staff told me the dogs shouldn’t be on that trail because they should be in a dog park. I actually had to point out that the existence of a dog park does not make it illegal to have dogs outside of one, and in fact the ones in the dog park have to get to and from it. This was news to them. But that’s the attitude towards mountain bikes–they’re toys you take to the mountain bike park to play on.

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      • Spiffy April 11, 2016 at 2:10 pm

        “in unused PBOT right-of-way”

        if we start building pump tracks and the like under all the unused underpass areas then we might start having a good network of trails…

        it’s also tough for houseless people to pitch a tent on a jump…

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        • David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC April 12, 2016 at 9:06 am

          Actually, I was thinking of the spaces along residential streets in East Portland and southwest Portland were sidewalks would normally be, but aren’t, and probably won’t be for the next 50 years. They would be good places for single-track, but then again, maybe perhaps a good place to pitch tents? In those same areas are also “paper streets”, pieces of right-of-way that were never built as streets, as they tend to be isolated within huge super-blocks, back in the county days before annexation in the 80s. PBOT still has these parcels scattered around, especially in the wilds of East Portland. In addition, BES and the Water Bureau have numerous unused and underused parcels all over the city, but especially in East Portland, that would make for excellent, ready-to-use, mountain bike parks. For example, the Halsey Hydropark, a triangle just north of Halsey and just west of 148th. Kelly Butte is another prime candidate.

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  • mran1984 April 8, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    Why discuss mountain biking on a “active transportation” forum? Good luck with common sense Alex!

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    • Brian April 9, 2016 at 6:54 am

      I think you may be confusing this blog with the BTA website?

      “ is an independent daily news source that covers all aspects of the Portland bike scene.

      Our mission is to inspire people in Portland and beyond to realize every facet of cycling’s vast potential.”

      Mountain bikes are bikes, too.

      I will still give you two reasons that I can think of, however:
      1. Many of us who use bicycles to commute began as mountain bikers. Getting more people into any type of cycling will improve the overall cycling scene.
      2. Some trails could be worked into an active transportation system. I commute up and over Washington Park and would love to be able to spend some of that commute on dirt, rather than share the road with cars. Perhaps having more trail options for portions of a commute (those fun sections to look forward to) would entice more people to hop on their bike to get to work/school in the morning.

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    • Spiffy April 11, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      mountain biking is one of the most active types of transportation I can think of…

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  • soren April 9, 2016 at 6:21 am

    Here at BikePortland, we don’t advocate rule-breaking.

    to the detriment of bike advocacy, imo.

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  • Brian April 9, 2016 at 6:41 am

    A couple weeks ago I heard a gentleman offer this piece of advice for mtb’ers in Portland who are struggling to gain any acceptance: Odd Days On. It definitely got me thinking.

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    • Spiffy April 11, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      it’s got me thinking too… thinking what it means… never heard of it, search comes up empty… no idea what you’re talking about…

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  • Spencer April 9, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    There is a ton of ODOT greenspace in town, it would likely offload any fears of “adventure parks” per the McCurdy group. Heck they may even be an ally with this if it meant fewer people out in McCarthy creek

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    • bjorn April 10, 2016 at 5:04 pm

      There is sure to be another NIMBY neighbor for any greenspace, especially now that they all seem to be teaming up.

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      • David Hampsten, now in Greensboro NC April 10, 2016 at 8:45 pm

        It’s ironic, but I had a conversation with Linda Robinson of the Friends of Gateway Green (future cycle cross park between I-205 & I-84) a few years ago, from within the park. The biggest opposition to her project wasn’t from TriMet, ODOT, the City, nor Metro, but it was from the immediate neighbors to the north, in Maywood Park and the nearby Portland neighborhood of Parkrose. It seemed that the neighbors’ main concern was that a new mountain bike park/cycle cross park would conflict with their present (illegal) use of the area as an open 37-acre dog park, where they didn’t have to clean up their mess.

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  • wsbob April 9, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    In Portland, most likely, there are many more people owning dogs that they want to run on fields in their local park, then there are people that want to ride bikes on natural area trail within the city. So the support from the public for providing some use of parks with fields for dog exercising, relieving themselves, etc, may be far greater than support for using existing natural area parks for mountain biking.

    There’s a big, crucially important difference between parks developed for field games, parties, concerts and so forth…and natural area lands within Portland and other metro area cities, secured to provide natural environment accessibility and experience to urban residents. A big priority generally associated with the latter, is excluding activities that detract from the quality of natural environment experience those lands are capable of offering visitors to them.

    I’m curious whether mountain bike enthusiasts, contrary to rules and widely accepted and supported values inherent to natural area parks, deciding to appropriate trail in say Forest Park, would win support for use of that park’s trails for mountain biking.

    A legitimate appeal to the city’s residents, as in a city wide vote to use some limited portion of that park for mountain biking, might succeed. Depending upon what type of mountain biking, use of that land was sought for.

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    • Alex April 11, 2016 at 9:51 am

      Did we vote on whether or not we should allow dogs in parks? How about voting on whether or not we should be building skateparks? Why single out mountain bikes?

      > A big priority generally associated with the latter, is excluding activities that detract from the quality of natural environment experience those lands are capable of offering visitors to them.

      You mean like allowing dogs which bring in invasive species into these parks?

      > A legitimate appeal to the city’s residents, as in a city wide vote to use some limited portion of that park for mountain biking, might succeed. Depending upon what type of mountain biking, use of that land was sought for.

      There has been a lot of votes that have wanted more off-road cycling access – including the Metro levy that specifically mentioned cycling in it. That and the vote the single-track advisory committee voted on. Also, it looks like we now have an official city group and a mountain bike master plan. Seems to me the city has spoken, you just don’t like the result.

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    • Spiffy April 11, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      and why is that?

      is it because there are a lot of dog facilities and so more people are willing to get dogs and take them out? or because a lot of existing dogs needing a place to go?

      is it because there are not a lot of MTB facilities and so less people are willing to get a MTB and take it out? or because a lot of existing MTB riders need a place to go?

      if you build it they will come?

      how will we show the need if there aren’t so many MTB riders that they’re overflowing into the parks?

      do we really need all this bicycle infrastructure when it’s only used by 5% of people during their commute? or do we build a lot of bicycle infrastructure so that we can get more people to commute…

      whether there’s a need for MTB trails or not, there should be… so we should build more trails to encourage their use… get people off their motorized toys and into better health…

      just because a lot of people aren’t doing it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t build facilities for it and encourage it if it is good for the people…

      there’s a reason that local parks don’t have huge parking lots… we want people to walk there… and it works…

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  • MaxD April 11, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Dogs and people have co-evolved together. I will take off-leash dogs over leashed dogs any day. People need to be able to control their dog (leash may be required in certain circumstances) and they must clean up after them. Leash cause conflicts with other dogs and with other people walking and biking.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 11, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Neither evolved in cities, so both face some less-than-perfect compromises that let us all live together and share common resources.

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      • Alex April 11, 2016 at 10:30 am

        Yes, evolution has stopped since people have lived in cities. Good point.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 11, 2016 at 11:04 am

          Evolution hasn’t stopped, but the time frames are such that there hasn’t been very many generations where humanity and doganity have been inherently urban species (though I suppose one could argue that the proliferation of tiny dog breeds is a direct response to urban living — they’re better leashed so they don’t get stepped on).

          When we start seeing similarly tiny humans, we’ll know we’ve caught up.

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          • Alex April 11, 2016 at 11:08 am

            It sounds like you have a great understanding of the subject.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty April 11, 2016 at 11:23 am

              Indeed. I consider myself one of the leading experts on the miniaturization of humans.

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              • rachel b April 11, 2016 at 4:41 pm

                Hah! 🙂

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      • Spiffy April 11, 2016 at 2:29 pm

        they’ve been together since before the term “city” so it’s safe to say they’ve evolved together… they’ve been dodging the feet of the fellow clan for ages…

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 11, 2016 at 2:41 pm

          Indeed, although I would contend that miniature dogs were not fully evolved until the advent of the modern oversized handbag, which has become their primary means of urban locomotion.

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          • Alex April 11, 2016 at 6:08 pm

            Oh you.

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        • Alan 1.0 April 11, 2016 at 6:09 pm

          Thanks, MaxD! Restoring my faith in dogbikehumanity. Cities (non-nomadic villages) with garbage as a stable food source are very likely the eco niche where wild canines evolved to dogs. ref: Raymond and Lorna Coppinger, _Dogs:…_

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty April 11, 2016 at 6:19 pm

            Yes, however it has been established that those paleolithic villages contained common green areas (that we might recognize as something like parks), and that those areas were governed by strict leash laws and mountain biking prohibitions.

            The other issue is that the proto-hounds of the period were somewhat larger than we are today, having not yet begun the miniaturization process. It took, after all, over a hundred millennia for the oversized handbag to be developed, allowing for the final evolution of the modern apartment-dwelling dog.

            Sorry to bore you — I’m sure you know this all already.

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            • Alan 1.0 April 11, 2016 at 6:26 pm

              “We?” What sort of Kitty are you, anyway? (my dog wants to know…)

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  • Gary B April 11, 2016 at 10:20 am

    McCurdy has 5 acres of land, and it looks like 4 of them are forested. I, for one, think a proper place for rule-breaking would be to ride his property.

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  • Dwaine Dibbly April 11, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Take the lane! Oh, wait…. Well, if it worked on the streets, why not on the trails?

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  • Sean Chaney April 11, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Here’s a good example of this in my old town

    There have been trails in the Frederick City watershed for decades that have been unofficially maintained by mountain bikers. The trails are unsanctioned, not exactly legal, but well tolerated by the community. It’s a fantastic trail network, that happens to border Gambrill State Park, another area near DC with a great MTB friendly trail network.

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  • lop April 11, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    On my ride home tonight I saw a couple parks officers had stopped two people with a dog in waterfront park. They had a chuckit launcher with a ball in it, so I assume their dog was off leash at one point and they got busted for it. Maybe the dog was running up to people. Maybe it was behaving well and its owners were keeping it out of the way in the grass. I don’t know. Not sure if they got a warning or a ticket. I didn’t see the parks officers talking to any of the many people who were smoking, even though that is prohibited as well. There are other park rules that get flouted routinely that I never see any enforcement against. But dog owners get a decent bit of it. How many people here who like the idea of poaching trails are going to feel singled out and outraged if they get a ticket, or even just a warning? Check parkscanpdx and you’ll find plenty of dog owners complaining that they shouldn’t have gotten a ticket.

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    • Dan A April 11, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      Suppose we give money to NWTA, and earmark it for them to pay off tickets for riders caught poaching. That might be a tax deductible contribution well-spent.

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  • Skid April 12, 2016 at 12:08 am

    Except that MTN bikers have “leave no trace” and dog owner leave their poop bags everywhere.

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  • Skid April 12, 2016 at 12:09 am

    A better analogy would be how there are skateparks everywhere now.

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  • Alex April 12, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Please attend this meeting and voice your support for mountain biking:

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