Portland Century - August 18th

After protest, Metro Council set for public hearing on Tualatin Mountains plan

Posted by on April 13th, 2016 at 3:39 pm

Tualatin Mtns Trail Plan protest at Metro HQ-8.jpg

Protestors in front of Metro headquarters last Friday.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In over 10 years covering bike issues in Portland I had never been to a protest outside Metro headquarters. That changed last week when about two dozen people marched and held up signs in opposition to Metro’s plans to build new trails on two parcels in the hills north of Forest Park.

Now the debate will head into Metro Council Chambers where a public hearing will be held tomorrow (4/14) on the North Tualatin Mountains Access Master Plan.

As we’ve reported, this plan will set into motion the development of trails on two (out of four) parcels Metro purchased with funds supplied by voters via a 2013 levy. Out of 1,300 acres purchased in the North Tualatin Mountains, Metro wants to build less than 10 miles of new trails that would be accessible by bike and foot.

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A man who showed up to counter the protest.

The off-road cycling advocacy group Northwest Trail Alliance supported that levy specifically because Metro made it clear that they’d consider new biking trails – something that the City of Portland has failed to deliver in the adjacent 5,000 acres of Forest Park. The NWTA, along with other conservation and neighborhood groups, helped craft the plan. The committee met five times over the past 16 months and Metro held over 20 community events in total and read through over 500 official comments before finalizing the plan that will be in front of Council for the first time tomorrow.

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Hank McCurdy at Friday’s protest.

While there’s widespread support for the plan, one group that wasn’t involved in the official public process is vehemently opposed. The Tualatin Wildlife Alliance, led by the man who organized last week’s protest, Hank McCurdy, has created a website and has garnered media attention to raise awareness of their opposition.

McCurdy and his supporters held signs last week that read “Science before politics” and “Metro breaks promise to voters with adventure park plan.” Their arguments against the plan are remarkably similar to those that fought against trails in Forest Park in 2009. In fact, one of the architects of the Forest Park opposition, Les Blaize, was at Friday’s protest.

The principle argument Blaize made six years ago and the one McCurdy is making now has to do with science. They feel Metro needs to do more studies about the impact of new trails before moving forward with any plans.

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Tualatin Mtns Trail Plan protest at Metro HQ-2.jpg

These women told me they have no opinion on the trail plan specifically, but the “love science.” The woman in green lives near River View Natural Area and also opposes trail development there.

On Friday I talked with several of the protestors. I asked one woman why she was protesting. “I want policies to be based on science,” she said. “My issue is, I love science. I feel it’s the best way to make policy.”

“They haven’t done the science.”
— Hank McCurdy, Tualatin Wildlife Alliance

McCurdy echoed that sentiment. Asked what his main concern with the plan was, McCurdy told me that, “Metro has turned this into a political matter and has done woefully insufficient science on it.” “They haven’t done the science,” he continued. “If you don’t know what’s there, you can’t assess what the impact is going to be.”

McCurdy also says Metro needs to put conservation first and he’s concerned that the plan will compromise wildlife habitat. McCurdy lives adjacent to one of the Tualatin Mountains parcels that’s up for development in this plan. Publicly available maps show that his property includes a driveway, three buildings and about 1.5 acres of cleared land. He declined to answer questions about how his own property impacts wildlife.

“Given the extensive studies that have already been done on site and concerning this type of habitat it is unlikely that additional studies would produce significantly new information that would affect management decisions.”
— Olena Turula, Metro project manager

Metro staff stand by the science in their plan. They acknowledge some level of impact is inevitable with any project that improves public access to natural areas; but they maintain that the proposed trails have been aligned in a way to minimize impacts on wildlife habitat.

In an April 14th letter (PDF), Metro project manager Olena Turula recommended that members of Metro Council adopt the plan. “Given the extensive studies that have already been done on site and concerning this type of habitat,” she wrote, “it is unlikely that additional studies would produce significantly new information that would affect management decisions.”

Another notable vote in support of the plan comes from Mike Houck, the executive director of the Urban Greenspaces Institute and a City of Portland Planning and Sustainability Commissioner. In a BikePortland comment posted last week, he said he supports the plan for two reasons: because, “Metro ecologists have adhered to policy of protecting core habitat and their mandate to put ecological health of their sites first” and “They listened to those concerned about elk and modified the trail.”

Tomorrow’s hearing will be held in Metro Council Chambers (600 NE Grand Ave) from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. The hearing will be followed by a Council work session next Tuesday (4/19) and then will be up for adoption on Thursday (4/21).

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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

57 Comments
  • Avatar
    Jocelyn Gaudi April 13, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Thanks for the excellent coverage on this issue, Jonathan.

    To be clear – the hearing tomorrow is public, so all are welcome to attend and voice their opinions on the master plan.

    If you can’t make it in person, please consider emailing the Metro councilors to share your thoughts on the proposed trails.

    Address it to:
    tom.hughes@oregonmetro.gov; sam.chase@oregonmetro.gov; bob.stacey@oregonmetro.gov; kathryn.harrington@oregonmetro.gov; shirley.craddick@oregonmetro.gov; carlotta.collette@oregonmetro.gov; craig.dirksen@oregonmetro.gov and CC the project team, parksandnature@oregonmetro.gov

    If you agree with the plan, consider including this points in your email:
    – We (YOU) strongly support Metro’s plan to include shared use trails on the Burlington property. These family-friendly trails will help grow healthy lifestyles, create environmental education opportunities, and provide close-in access to nature for all urban communities.
    – We (YOU) appreciate that the current plan considers cycling on the McCarthy property if and when there is compelling evidence that it is safe for the elk habitat. We believe the trails on Burlington will act as a great pilot to assess whether environmental and recreational goals can complement one another.

    Thank you!

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      Kate April 14, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      Thanks! My comments were sent this morning, but personalized. I really hope they don’t give in to a few grumpy neighbors at the expense of shared use for the wider region.

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      shannon April 15, 2016 at 9:47 am

      Email sent! I hope everyone can find a few minutes to shout out to Metro. Hearing from constituents really matters to decision-makers.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. April 13, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    McCurdy told me that, “Metro has turned this into a political matter

    Literally everything an elected political organization like Metro does is a political matter. Is is instead Mr. McCurdy who is turning this into a major issue. At any rate, I used his website to get the emails of Metro councilors to show my support of this project, so joke’s on him I guess.

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      Tom Hardy April 13, 2016 at 4:19 pm

      This neighborhood group has the same mentality and aim that the Bundy’s had in the wildlife preserve. To have dominion of the park/preserve like it is their own private property without paying any fees or taxes or purchase of the actual property.

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    Bjorn April 13, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    I only supported and voted for the levy because it specifically allowed cycling in these areas. Comments here are great guys but also be sure to email all the metro councilors about why you supported the levy. The neighbors who are trying to kill access to the area are attempting to play it off that if access is allowed they won’t vote for the next levy. I think the really important thing to communicate to the council is that they got a lot of active support for their last levy because it included off road cycling access and if that promise gets broken that support is going to be gone the next time around.

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    Velograph April 13, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    I’ll be there.

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    Bjorn April 13, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Also while you report that the group has not been included in the process that seems disingenuous, this has been an open public process and no one has been excluded. It really feels like this group’s strategy is copied from what was used in Forest Park, let a lengthy public process take place and then try to monkey wrench the outcome of that process at the last minute.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. April 13, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      When a group says they were left out of a public process, it almost always means that the process just didn’t go in their favor.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 13, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      Bjorn,

      Sorry if my text was unclear.. .My point was to say that McCurdy was not involved as an official representative on the committee during the public process. When I asked him where he was with his concerns prior to Friday’s protest and why he didn’t bring them up during the long public process he said he was unable to take part because he was recovering from cancer.

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    David April 13, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    It seems ironic that these protesters are using the science argument for protecting this space. How many of them drove in their SOV to get to this protest?

    If you’re not willing to protect the environment when it comes to your transportation decisions when staging an “environmental” protest then it’s difficult to take your argument seriously.

    Also have they even considered the environmental impact of future mountain bikers driving an additional 20-30 miles to get to paths outside the metro area if this plan does get delayed or canceled? These are the things they probably aren’t thinking about because that’s not the point but it’s all connected.

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      Bradwagon April 14, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      A trip to these trails from downtown or the eastside would be in the 20-30 mile range… You really think single track riders are gonna pedal that? Yes it’s closer than Gales Creek and Sandy Ridge but lets not start pretending mountain biking is some environmentally friendly activity even if you don’t have to drive far to a trailhead. Make these trails CX bike friendly and now you’ve got a case…

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        Brian April 14, 2016 at 3:59 pm

        It is about 15 miles from my East side home. 15 miles is a lot better than driving to ride with my son and wife the 45 miles I currently drive to Cascade Locks or 60 miles to Hood River. If it was just me, I could drive to the Thurman gate of FP and ride out to it for some loops.

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          Bradwagon April 15, 2016 at 8:48 am

          Yeah, the 20-30 I gave out was thinking a round trip and more in response to someone being critical of the protesters driving that far. Totally agree it’s closer than having to drive up the gorge. Was more trying to point out that the concerns people have about this becoming a drive to destination for biking aren’t unfounded. And I’m not saying that’s a totally bad thing, just don’t expect most people to ride from town to these trails.

          That’s great you would ride from NW but when someone suggested using Leif Erickson to access this on a previous article I pointed out that it’s currently an 11 mile ride just to get to Germantown from Thurman using Leif Erickson Rd. If they were to extend LE road to this area (unlikely) or if someone were to take Germantown and Skyline the remaining distance that’s roughly 15 miles minimum to the top of Newberry. More power to you but I just don’t see many people tacking on 30 miles to their day of riding single tracks.

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          • Adam H.
            Adam H. April 15, 2016 at 9:16 am

            You can take the 16 bus almost all of the way there. Last stop is Sauvie Island.

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            Brian April 15, 2016 at 9:31 am

            How about if we get a mtb trail parallel to Wildwood? Then we can ride singletrack all the way out!

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              Bradwagon April 15, 2016 at 12:16 pm

              That’d be awesome but I don’t know how much support there would be for it outside of cyclists as there kinda already is a parallel bike route.. Leif Erickson Rd itself haha. It’d be such an undertaking and the park is relatively dense with trails and firelanes / old roads until you get out Germantown already.

              I think the best bet would be to extend a few firelanes or get some connecteors between them in strategic places and MAYBE widen a few small sections of the wildwood that could handle bike cautious bike traffic to facilitate being able to navigate a mostly continuous North South bike route with minimal need to use Leif Erickson. But then again I personally don’t see the issue with Runners / Dog Walkers / and Bikers sharing sections of trail as long as you don’t make it narrow techincal / downhill areas and cyclists know it’s a reduced speed section… I know that cyclists on the wildwood is like a major taboo topic it seems though..

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                Dan A April 15, 2016 at 1:15 pm

                I would drive there from Beaverton with my kids to ride. 15 minutes away, versus 40 minutes to get to Reeher’s Camp or Stub Stewart.

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        Brian April 14, 2016 at 4:00 pm

        And aren’t most XC trails CX bike friendly (depending on your skill level)?

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          Bradwagon April 15, 2016 at 8:58 am

          I suppose it depends on the trail, in this area I would imagine the trails they make would be more similar to Trail / Downhill riding. CX is more comfortable on wider paths that are relatively soft / smooth when compared to a narrower compacted dirt trail that has rocks and roots to contend with. Of course you could ride CX on a trail but I imagine even skilled riders wouldn’t regularly enjoy riding on anything you would hesitate to ride a hard tail mountain bike on. Hope they do consider some tamer routes in this area but looking at the terrain it would require some work…

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            Brian April 15, 2016 at 9:29 am

            That’s exactly what I was thinking these trails would become, something more on the mellower side for beginner/intermediate riders.

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              Bradwagon April 15, 2016 at 12:19 pm

              That’d be great but seeing as this area is pretty much an extension of Forest Park terrain wise it’s gonna be quit an undertaking to cut out smoother / flatter / easier trails. No doubt it could be done but I don’t want to over estimate the follow through haha.

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        David April 15, 2016 at 9:26 am

        Sorry I wasn’t specific enough in my original comment. I was saying that if they deny this trail that mountain bikers would have to continue driving further to get to “sanctioned” trails. It was meant to be a criticism of the protesters taking a very narrow interpretation of environmental impact.

        Having more trails within the metro area would be a large positive because ideally everyone would have a trail they could bike to instead of having to load up the bike rack and get in the car every single time you want to go off road.

        At a minimum it would be a much shorter drive, which according to other stories on this site turns out to be one of the best ways to make roads safer for all modes of transportation (decreasing auto miles).

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          lop April 15, 2016 at 9:08 pm

          That’s only true if the number of mountain biking trips remains constant. Induce demand with better facilities and more people will ride. If they are driving to the trailheads, even if the average drive is shorter you can’t assume it would reduce VMT. And how many will get into mountain biking on short trails nearby then start driving to the better trails outside the metro? There are better arguments in support of mountain biking trails in/near the city.

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          Bradwagon April 19, 2016 at 3:16 pm

          Yeah that’s fair. I was mostly just giving some perspective to the fact that dedicated single track trails in this area would result in people driving there to ride them. At least they will be bike oriented folks passing me as I ride out skyline…

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            Bradwagon April 19, 2016 at 3:18 pm

            And I’ll add to it that if people care a lot about and really want to be able to ride from their house and get to good mountain biking… Portland isn’t the best place to live.

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        Alex April 16, 2016 at 11:09 am

        Yea, because even driving 1/4 of the distance isn’t at least good start. Also, I _would_ ride up there on a mountain bike. That’s not that far, especially if it is more xc oriented.

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        Alex April 18, 2016 at 5:23 pm

        On another note, please do not make these trails cx bike friendly, you already have forest park.

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          Bradwagon April 19, 2016 at 3:14 pm

          I would call Forest Park more gravel grinding than CX riding… Not exactly a premier option.

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      Bradwagon April 14, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      I would also hesitate to group fossil fuel pollution with potential harm to wildlife / natural areas. Kinda apples and oranges, although still “save the earth” fruit so to speak. I do find their use of the term “science” a bit uneducated and sounding like a last ditch effort though…

      Would personally rather see more miles of off road trails in the metro area although perhaps with less clustered density so that one small 1000 acre area doesn’t have miles of trails cutting it up.

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    Ted Buehler April 13, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Thanks to all who showed up at Metro to share your concerns, participate in government decisions, and exercise your right to free speech.

    I recently renewed my membership in NWTA.
    http://nw-trail.org/

    Ted Buehler

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    Ted Buehler April 13, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Jonathan — you wrote
    “Tomorrow’s hearing will be held in…”

    Question for Jonathan or anyone else in the know —

    Who is the governing body that is sponsoring the hearing? Metro Council?

    And, if we are unable to attend in person, can we contact the members of the governing body by email or voicemail between now and then?

    Thanks,
    Ted Buehler

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    Dan A April 13, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    “Adventure Park”? That sounds a lot more awesome than it will probably be.

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    Dan A April 13, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I feel sorry for those kids in the photos. They could have some nice trails to ride on near their houses, except their parents don’t want them to.

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      gutterbunnybikes April 13, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      Don’t kid yourself, they probably already have the trails to ride down, they just don’t wanna share.

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    Cyclekrieg April 13, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Thank you Jonathan for your continued reporting on this.

    Its such a shame that such a minor and simple trail plan would get any opposition, especially with something like 60%+ of the area will no trails/no access.

    I think its telling that when asked about his own impacts, “He declined to answer questions about how his own property”.

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    Buzz April 13, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    These are the same arguments Rob Anderson used to hold up the San Francisco bike plan for years.

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    I wear many hats April 13, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Thank you Jonathan for covering this!

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    rick April 13, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Why should Metro and others use tax dollars to subsidize an auto parking garage in the Lloyd District by all of the public transit routes, sidewalks, and bike routes?

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    Jeff April 13, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Are we sure they aren’t trying to pull an end run here and secure equestrian access? Throughout the west, the horse owner lobby has been behind nearly every effort to block bicycle access on open lands… I’m not sure how that would work in this situation but it might be worth a look.

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    flightlessbird April 14, 2016 at 12:15 am

    remember when one women said she wouldn’t donate 33 of her acres of land to METRO if they allowed MTBing? WOW…how does she think that is ok. How come because she has 33 acres to will she has more influence in the public process than me, acreless? These folks are shameless. This kind of BS hurts the environmental cause as much as it hurts MTBing in the area.

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    wsbob April 14, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Rd; statements on Tualatin Wildlife Alliance’s signs: by preparing for some use of the land for biking, I don’t think Metro necessarily has broken a promise to voters in favor, but it is a fact, the nature of what levy descriptions tend to be…often short and not sometimes not specific on important details…that only the briefest of reference to what type of biking trail on the acquired would be provided, was included in the levy ballot description.

    That absence of type of trail to possibly be produced, opens the door to speculation that biking trail on the lands may be designed to offer the banked curves, jumps, fast descents that some people biking, want in an off road bike park.

    I differ some with people maintaining that uses of the park should be decided exclusively, or primarily on ‘the science’, as some of them more or less seem to frequently say. It’s the inherent natural character, aesthetics and user experience the lands are able to offer visitors to them, as well as science associated with wildlife and natural land conservation, that’s important to defend, conserve, and allow to guide how the land might best be used. Specific to its close proximity to a high proximity to a high density population area, as compared to further reaches in the state.

    I’m interested in seeing the plan for biking in North Tualitan proceed in some form, particularly because it’s a metro wide citizen voter involvement, rather than only a Portland involvement as is the case with the areas’ largest natural land park, Forest Park. However use of biking trail in North Tualitan turns out, it may serve far better to help get the word out about mountain biking and use of natural lands for that activity, to a much larger group of people than use of Forest Park for mountain biking ever could.

    Whether the consequences of it are good, bad, or in between, the North Tualitan plan may help a lot to answer questions first hand, as to the impact mountain biking in the metro area could have on the character and quality of experience natural lands will be able to continue offering to people visiting them.

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    Pete S. April 14, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Typical.

    In the mean time I’ll keep poaching trails in Forest Park.

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    Brian April 14, 2016 at 11:56 am

    # of local mtb voters > # of land owners adjacent to this parcel of land

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    Fred April 14, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Brian
    # of local mtb voters > # of land owners adjacent to this parcel of land
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    But, the adjacent landowners $ and political capital > that of local mtbers. As we saw with Forest Park and Riverview.

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      Brian April 14, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      Good point.

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    gutterbunnybikes April 15, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Metros Optin panel just sent out a parks survey today about continuing the bond and is asking for your input. If you aren’t already a part of the survey panel I highly recommend doing so. Mountain biking is one of the check boxes in one of the questions on this one. Lots of opportunities to fill in the blanks too.

    http://optinpanel.org/

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    Mike Houck April 15, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Jonathan, I appreciate your mentioning I supported the plan on behalf of the Urban Greenspaces Institute and Mark Wilson, landscape ecologist and Ted Labbe, ecologist, both represented UGI at the hearing as did several of my board of directors individually.

    However, Bob Sallinger, conservation director at Audubon Society of Portland, also supported the plan for the same reasons I did; Metro staff did a good job of addressing ecological integrity of their sites. That said, I do have to point out the one site most heavily trailed in the proposal does look pretty “hammered”, which I have to admit gave me pause. However, it did appear to be the least ecologically intact of the sites, which combined with pulling back on other sites tipped the balance for me.

    Thanks

    Mike Houck, Director
    Urban Greenspaces Institute
    mikehouck@urbangreenspaces.org
    http://www.urbangreenspaces.org

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      Dan A April 15, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      One might think the northernmost part of the loop was removed because it would interfere with this homeowner’s view. It was originally laid out to cross through the lower portion of that open field: https://goo.gl/maps/st1h1FDHG152

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    TimmG April 15, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Ive got to be honest, your coverage of this has weirded me the fuck out. Id like to state that i am for mountain bike trails, especially when paid for by metro. But this site has approached what i feel to be an extremely important cause in a really petty way.

    Instead of talking about how metro designs or decides on these trails or what we all can do to make these a reality( i had to go into the comments to find metro councilors emails), they seem to primarily focus on one guy. An older guy who is operating within the democratic process and seems to be recovering from cancer. He clearly isnt throwing money behind this, his website and video are laughably amateur. But somehow his job and how many structures on his property are worth reporting? Honestly, as a someone who has followed this site for a while and has recommended it to others, its embarrassing. Not to mention that Mccardys points are not completely without reason. Shitting on someone who concerned about environmental impact doesnt really seem to be inline with the thinking of most of the cyclists i know.

    In anycase, im glad you brought this to our attention. I just wish it was approached differently

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      Dan A April 15, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      Here’s a snippet from the “Who We Are…” page on the website.

      “Outdoor recreation is important. We’d be happy to support development of recreation facilities, including single-track trails, in less sensitive areas. Because these facilities have an impact on the land, the places we choose to develop them is crucial. They should not be in our most sensitive habitat areas, the ones that Metro promised to protect.”

      I’m sorry, but I have a hard time believing that THIS particular area, boxed on three sides by Cornelius Pass, Skyline, and McNamee, along with numerous urban farms and mansions, and with roads already running through it (which the proposed trails would nearly run parallel to), is one of ‘our most sensitive habitat areas’.

      If it’s so sensitive, why do we allow people to drive through it and live in it? If McCurdy is an environmentalist, what other causes has he taken up, or does he strictly focus on things in his own neighborhood? These are legitimate questions that put their motives into question.

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      Alex April 16, 2016 at 11:11 am

      McCurdy put himself out there – don’t blame Jonathan for reporting on the leader of the movement.

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    TimmG April 15, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    Im not sure why im feel like im in the position to defend this group, but Who the fuck cares what positions this guy takes up? does that even remotely matter?

    i get that you are trying to find some level of hypocrisy to discredit these people, but its really isnt the issue. These are some people who disagree with us, which is fine. Id much rather learn what i can do to make sure these trails get built than to hear about if this guy has a FUCKING SHED on his property. That is so petty and small. its such an embarrassingly childish point to make. If you cant see that, there is really no point in even having a conversation

    Listen, ive been road biking in that area for almost 20 years now. Ive seen a ton of elk. and anecdotally, the frequency in which ive seen them has decreased over the last couple of years. id imagine these people have experience this on a scale that impacts their life much more than my occasional ride through the hills. They are probably worried they arent going to see them anymore, and that seems reasonable to me.

    I want there to be bike trails. But id also like articles that deal with legitament issues, other than the career of one old guy who disagrees with us. Do you understand what im saying?

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 19, 2016 at 9:07 am

      I think I understand you TimmG. But I can’t be sure until we talk a bit more in person.

      I hear your concerns. I’ll point out that I do think it’s important for people to know that most of the loud voices against these trails are people who live adjacent to where the trails would be built. And yes, I do think the question of hypocrisy is relevant and should be raised. I have covered this plan many times on the site and have only made mention of Mr. McCurdy a few times. He’s far from the focus on my coverage but he is the leader of the opposition group and therefore I feel he deserves scrutiny.

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    Dan A April 16, 2016 at 6:48 am

    People in my own neighborhood put up a fight against the Westside Trail being built. They’ve said it will bring graffiti, loud noises at night, vagrants, additional parking traffic to our neighborhood, dangerous fast-moving bikes, and could cause conflict between cyclists and kids throwing lacrosse balls back and forth across the path (yes, they literally said this). Are these people against bike paths? NO. They just don’t want a bike path built near their houses, and will say anything to discourage it being built. Nobody said, “Bike paths are great but don’t build it near my house” because that would sound pretty selfish, but that was exactly the point.

    I really could care less about whether the guy has a shed on his property.

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      Charley April 17, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      Yeah. I get it. I understand McCurdy’s feelings. I hate change myself; also, some changes are just bad all around. Here, in his backyard (not really, but, since the land had been unoccupied previously, it probably felt like an extension of his backyard), there would suddenly be people recreating and having a good time. He probably felt like that was too close for comfort. I mean, he probably moved out to the country to get away from the rest of us, right? I can’t blame him. It’s just that, it’s not Metro’s job to preserve his feeling of “I got mine.” Metro’s job is to allow the rest of us, those without the means to live in such a place, access to beauty and nature of the kind that Mr. McCurdy was able to buy for himself. He can be upset about having to share. I just don’t think Metro should listen to him any more than they listen to those of us who aren’t as wealthy. (The whole “science” argument is a red herring. They’ve failed to show any study that proves a differential in impact between hikers and cyclists. As Hitchens so elegantly put it: “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”)

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