Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Metro Council unanimously backs mountain biking trails north of Forest Park

Posted by on April 21st, 2016 at 5:10 pm

tualatinmap

Portland’s regional government unanimously approved a plan to allow mountain biking trails in the North Tualatin Mountains Natural Area Thursday in a session that gushed with praise.

“This project took a lot more work than I thought it was going to,” said Metro Councilor Sam Chase, whose district includes the natural area just north of Forest Park, to chuckles around the room. “We have really come to a fantastic place.”

The vote came despite organized objections from a cluster of people who live nearby, in some cases with property immediately bordering the public land. As we reported last week, some of them held a protest outside Metro’s headquarters to argue that allowing mountain biking trails in the natural area would do undue harm to local wildlife.

“Yes, any time a human being enters a natural area, that has an impact on the environment,” Chase conceded Thursday. “But by creating access, we’re also creating stewards for this natural area.”

Allowing limited development enough to let the public enjoy a natural area also helps the environment by reducing pressure for urban sprawl, Chase said: “It allows us to have a compact urban form, because instead of everybody having to have their own big backyard, we all share a big backyard.”

metro council

Metro President Tom Hughes speaks Thursday in favor of the trail plan.

Outside Metro’s council chambers after the vote, people exchanged hugs and high fives.

“I’m so proud of our members for handling this process in an adult, professional way,” said Andrew Jansky of the Northwest Trail Alliance, who was the only member of the public to testify at Thursday’s meeting.

Jansky, the mountain-bike recreation group’s advocacy chair, said Metro’s plan was a milestone in part because it’s the first time a Portland-area agency has validated “the idea that bikes and nature are compatible.”

“It’s always been thought that bikes and nature can’t coexist,” he said. “This planning effort shows that they can coexist and are not mutually exclusive.”

You can read about the possible routes planned for the area here.

Advertise with BikePortland.

Shirley Craddick, who represents East Multnomah County on the council, was the only council member to express some skepticism of the plan, which she said emerged from public testimony last week from people who oppose biking trails in the area.

“I thought all of those comments were really valid, and I have to say I left the hearing with some skepticism, saying is this really the right plan?” Craddick said. But the arguments from Metro staff that biking trails can be designed in a way that will be sensitive to wildlife habitat won her over.

“This is a master plan,” she said. “It begins the process.”

The other six Metro councilors expressed less ambivalence.

“This is a great plan,” said Kathryn Harrington, who represents western Washington County. “I am thrilled with it.”

“People are passionate about this land and they have different ideas for how to make the most of it,” said Dan Moeller, Metro’s conservation program director and the top staffer on the project. “Whether you’re a neighbor, a hiker, a cyclist, a conservation advocate or some combination of those, you’re an important part of Metro’s work going forward. Together, we will serve as stewards of the North Tualatin Mountains.”

mcnameemetro

One of the existing entrances to the North Tualatin Mountains on NW McNamee Road just up from Highway 30 in Burlington.

Jansky, the biking trail advocate, said the advocates who joined forces to support the Metro plan will be better citizens because of this debate.

“They are the future policy regulators, city staffers, planners, voters,” Jansky said. “That younger generation is going to move in with this attitude, and probably in 10 years we’re going to look back and say, ‘Why did this take so long in Portland?'”

Jansky warned that this plan will now need to be followed up with a land-use process to arrive at the details of where the trails will go. It could involve quasi-judicial review by the county government.

“This could just be the false summit,” he said. “We’re going to need members to still be engaged and still provide support for Metro through that process. There will be more public comment opportunities in the Multnomah County land use process. So we can’t quit and rest on our laurels and think that we’re going to be riding on trails in two years. I think that’s an easy mistake to make.”

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

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88 Comments
  • I wear many hats April 21, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    YEEEEEEEEEEES!

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    • Hayden April 22, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      Yes! I’m a gonna add some jumps and tweaks to make it what metro won’t. So pumped!

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  • Dan A April 21, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Woo!

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  • Tony T
    Tony T April 21, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    I think it was the Tualatin Wildlife Alliance that had that FB post talking about us having a “dark nature” and the wackadoo talk about the “mountain bike industrial complex.” I mean, seriously? Glad we can move forward.

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    • Cyclekrieg April 21, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      The “dark nature” comment was from the Riverview Natural Area Conservation Project, not the TWA people. You’ll like the follow up where they (RVNACP) take agency from women by arguing that if you are woman and mountain bike, your husband/boyfriend tells you what to do. Those posts were taken down, but not before the Portland Mountain Bikers In Nature FB page took screenshots. Its worth a read, trust me.

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      • Dan A April 22, 2016 at 7:23 am

        I think the RNACP took a big misstep aligning themselves with the Tualatin Wildlife Alliance on Facebook. It made them look like loons.

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        • Brian April 22, 2016 at 8:10 am

          The RVNACP is one person (I believe), most likely a neighbor, who started a facebook page. There are now alternative facebook pages (Portland Mountain Bikers in Nature and another River View Conservation Project) that interested citizens can visit in order to have open, honest, and uncensored discussions about these local issues.

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          • Dan A April 22, 2016 at 8:39 am

            Thanks. Yeah, the RVNACP Facebook page is just propaganda and censored comments.

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          • axoplasm April 22, 2016 at 9:58 am

            I know of 2 people who manage that FB group. They are former neighbors of mine (I have since moved). They are sweet, nice people with a low tolerance for disagreement and a little too much free time. I once had a surprisingly heated discussion with them wherein they insisted RVNA was a wilderness and humans should be forbidden from it entirely, except perhaps scientists with a kind of observation platform where they could observe Pacific giant salamanders frolic.

            IME that little group is not representative of the general opinion in of RVNA neighbors regarding the use of the natural area. A few want bike trails. A few oppose bikes but want dogs & hiking. No one wants “no one.” Most are kind of whatever, they never went in there anyway. RVNA has almost no direct neighbors, except about a dozen houses across Palatine road.

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            • Phil Richman April 22, 2016 at 2:00 pm

              There is a plethora of demand for MTBing amongst many, many SW families. There was so much hope in Riverview to be able to ride off-road with kids in a safe environment. We did it for a while, when it was legal. Most of our roads have no shoulders and speeds are high. Nextdoor.com conversations suggest the vast majority in SW support MTB, whether they ride or not. In 30 years of MTBing I’ve never had a conflict with another trail user.

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            • Cyclekrieg April 23, 2016 at 8:02 pm

              Wish the BikePortland comments had private messaging because I would love to know if my suspicions of who it is are correct.

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        • TimmG April 22, 2016 at 9:55 pm

          This is something i dont understand. Obviously you disagree with them, as does pretty much everyone who would read this site, but the Tualitine wildlife people raised some enivornmental concerns that im glad were addressed. Im happy there will be new trails, but mostly im glad this will be the end of bike portland’s really shitty coverage and Maus’ clearly personal brigade against mccurdy. This was a truly embarrassing couple of articles to read.

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          • Cyclekrieg April 23, 2016 at 12:50 pm

            What point or points do you feel the TWA brought up that where environmental concerns?

            Also, I want to defend BikePortland a bit here. They have shown some pretty remarkable restraint actually. More than I would in their case. BikePortland clearly has a viewpoint, but they have been more than fair to the members of the TWA, McCurdy included.

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          • I wear many hats April 23, 2016 at 2:38 pm

            McCurdy was caught in a sticky situation. To be a NIMBY, you must go public, but anyone can investigate anyone, and JM provided coverage that illustrated the NIMBY connection. ODFW ruled that the elk live in farmer’s fields and are “well habituated to people”. McCurdy’s group manipulated environmental concern to shut hundreds of acres down next to their private property. This is a half win, because now the TWA will continue to have pseudo private space abutting their private properties, which include terrain not hospitable to Elk. And the planned trail connecting skyline to the Burlington property has been shelved.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty April 23, 2016 at 2:41 pm

              Hold on there… there’s a list of rules to be a NIMBY? And here I thought it was just a dismissive insult to be deployed when you ran out of arguments.

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              • Dan A April 24, 2016 at 3:08 pm

                That’s backwards. A NIMBY is someone with no arguments to begin with.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 24, 2016 at 5:15 pm

                That’s not how it’s used here. Here, NIMBY is a slur used to say “I don’t care what you have to say or why you think what you do. You aren’t important.”

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              • TrailLover April 24, 2016 at 5:55 pm

                But Kitty, that doesn’t seem fair. Many Hats qualified his use of the term NIMBY well beyond a simple slur. NIMBYism is a rather well-documented phenomenon in policy and social issues and it’s not exactly a stretch to use it in this context. Many Hats is applying it to people who, literally, face the North Tualatin Mountain parcels from their backyards. Granted, that could qualify the views of those individuals in some ways, but it also raises legitimate questions about their motivations. You may have personal insight that motivates you to defend TWA members but the use of the term NIMBY may also be very much on target for a number of the reasons discussed above.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 24, 2016 at 9:41 pm

                I don’t defend TWA; I know nothing about them or their reasons for opposing trails in this case. Maybe they have good reasons (in which case it would be good to hear them addressed), or maybe they have no reasons, in which case I think it would be better to just say so without resorting to insults.

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          • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 26, 2016 at 10:10 am

            Hi TimmG,

            Thanks for sharing your opinion. Sorry you feel that way about the coverage. I feel good about how I handled things here on the site. We shared McCurdy’s concerns. It just so happens that I feel he and others in opposition never made the case that they were indeed concerned about the environment. Based on my reporting I believe they simply didn’t want to share what they feel is their “backyard” with other people — especially people (bike riders) who they don’t understand or relate to at all.

            If you can share specific examples of my “really shitty coverage” or “personal brigade against mccurdy” please do. I’d like the chance to address your concerns.

            Thanks.

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      • I wear many hats April 22, 2016 at 10:22 am
  • bjorn April 21, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    I’ll believe it when I am riding on the trails, been fooled to many times to celebrate yet.

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  • Dwaine Dibbly April 21, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    About freakin’ time!

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  • GlowBoy April 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Oh, pleeeeeease don’t yank the football this time, Lucy!

    FWIW, I’d like to personally thank Tom Hughes for his role in this. When he was running for his seat, he invited me to his office to discuss the lack of mountain biking in the Portland area and the role Metro could play in it.

    I was just a Joe citizen who’d emailed him with a concern – not representing any organization, donor or otherwise – and he met with me for over half an hour to talk about this. He seemed genuinely interested in the issue, and in seeing what he could do, as head of Metro, to help.

    And it looks like his concern was genuine. Thank you, Mr. Hughes, for listening, for helping make this happen, and for making me feel great about my vote for you.

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    • I wear many hats April 22, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      I didn’t know this GlowBoy. That makes more sense now. Mr. Hughes had quite a chuckle when the RVNACP Facebook comments were read aloud in a public forum :”Vigilante like gang of a dark nature”; “manipulated women of child bearing age” etc. Its good to know that some levels of government are still working (ahem Portland City Council).

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  • Charley April 21, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    YES!
    The next generation of conservation voters, natural area bond supporters, and neighborhood activists will know our wild lands by foot, by canoe, by saddle, and even by bicycle. Our diverse experiences of the land help to inspire us to protect it, and when all of us work together, we can protect our wild lands from the real threats, like climate change, resource extraction, and careless development. Metro is leading the way, in this region, by demonstrating that collaborative spirit on the ground, literally. Congratulations!

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    • axoplasm April 21, 2016 at 9:21 pm

      Well said! We need more people — kids — out IN the trees and bugs and critters and mud if we want more people who LOVE trees and and bugs and critters and mud.

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      • Charley April 22, 2016 at 7:52 am

        Off the computers and out in the woods! Lots of young kids aren’t that into hiking. That’s okay. Give ’em a bike and a trail to ride!

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        • q`Tzal April 22, 2016 at 7:35 pm

          Give (return to) their parents the legal right to not be required to be within 100′ at all times.

          When parents can and do get sued by family protection services for letting their kids out to play (unsupervised like so many of us survived unscathed) they are encouraged to keep their kids indoors.

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          • longgone April 23, 2016 at 1:12 pm

            As a skateboarders parent, I agree. I have to allow my child the opportunity to feel autonomous freedom. The world is a mess, but I can’t live in fear 24/7.

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  • TrailLover April 21, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Congratulations and many many thanks to all the letter writers, concerned citizens and tireless volunteers from Northwest Trail Alliance and beyond. Well done, everybody. Between this and the city-wide Off-Road Cycling Master Plan still underway, 2016 could be the year that Portland finally emerges from the dark ages of trail planning. Keep up the good work!

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  • wsbob April 21, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    By the people as registered voters, it was a metro wide vote in support of the idea of obtaining these lands for uses that could include biking, that is bringing about the use of some parts of the North Tualitan natural park lands for mountain biking.

    Whether the eventual result of this decision by the public turns out to be good or bad, I think the way of deciding was a fair one that had a far greater ability to involve a broader segment of the public, than a primarily, administratively made decision would have.

    Registered voters of the city of Portland, ought to have a similar opportunity, a city wide vote, to allow them fair opportunity to decide whether some use for mountain biking, of city owned Forest Park, should be made.

    As a registered voter within the Metro area, I voted in favor of the measure to acquire the North Tualitan lands, based in part on the ballot measure description that included a brief reference to “…biking…” as being one of the likely uses, that would be made of some part of the land. Many voters may not have been, but I was somewhat aware back then, that the type of biking that would be provided for on the land, likely would be one or more of a range of different types of mountain biking, that have evolved over the years of existence of the sport.

    I don’t feel bad about use of these lands for mountain biking, though I can well understand that some people at the time of the vote, not realizing well what types of biking might come to the new park land…may be concerned and upset now, having realized after the measure passed, what kinds of mountain biking the land may be obliged to become host to. It might have been helpful for many area voters, if the ballot measure description of what types of mountain biking might be provided for on the land…could have been given in greater detail.

    At the least, mountain biking offered on the North Tualitan park land, is likely to be an interesting experiment for area voters, of whom many likely hold a long standing traditionally held high regard for lands’ natural intrinsic character, and uses of it that help retain that character.

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    • TrailLover April 22, 2016 at 9:23 am

      Here’s a question for you WSBOB. Did the registered voters of the city of Portland get to vote on the formation of Forest Park or it’s current Management Plan or the current exclusion of bicycles from singletrack trails even though cycling is an approved use of the park? When was any of that on the ballot? I (or my parents) must have overslept that day.

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    • Gary B April 22, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Wasn’t the RVNA acquired through exactly that process?

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    • Alex April 22, 2016 at 11:04 am

      You keep saying that mountain biking should be put to a vote, but always fail to recognize that is not how any other sport is treated. Why single out mountain biking? Should we vote on every tennis court? Every skatepark? Overall, I see your tactic as completely impractical and just adding more red tape – which is exactly what Les Blaize and Marcey Houle want.

      Also, mountain biking does not damage the land’s “natural intrinsic character” any more than hiking (and especially not any more than people living in the middle of it).

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  • Burk Webb April 21, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Nice! Honestly I’m a bit surprised 🙂

    Congrats to all involved in doing the hard work of getting this thing through.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. April 22, 2016 at 12:24 am

    Thanks, Metro, for not caving to the NIMBYs!

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  • Mike Quigley April 22, 2016 at 6:00 am

    Mmmmmm. Mountain bike trails. Noise, mud ruts, ***A portion of this comment has been deleted because it was insulting, unproductive, or just plain mean. Please be nicer next time. Thanks. — Jonathan. Bicycle equivalent to ATVs and big tire pickups. Can’t wait!

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    • Brian April 22, 2016 at 6:12 am

      Thanks for this post! You gave my Volvo driving, mtb’ing wife a good laugh this morning. She needed it badly as she is getting over that nasty cold that has been going around.
      Cheers!@

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    • Zimmerman April 22, 2016 at 6:25 am

      Guess we won’t see you out there Mike. Everyone will be worse off for your lack of good company, I’m sure.

      ***This portion of the comment has been deleted by moderators because it was insulting, unproductive, and/or mean-spirited. – Jonathan***

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      • Zimmerman April 26, 2016 at 10:30 am

        Well, thanks for leaving my comment alone long enough to have 23 people give it a thumbs up. Mike’s comments relating to mountain biking has been unproductive every single time but they’ve all been allowed to stand until now.

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    • Charley April 22, 2016 at 7:54 am

      Is that all you have? No science, no logic, no rationalism? Just personal animus? You’re a great symbol of the anti-bicycle movement: all bluster and anger, no solutions, and no real solid arguments.

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    • Karl Dickman April 22, 2016 at 11:22 am

      Yes, just look at the city of Bend, a hellscape for anyone who wants to recreate outdoors. (Sarcasm.)

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    • GlowBoy April 22, 2016 at 11:57 am

      “Bicycle equivalent to ATVs and big tire pickups”.

      Watch a lot Mountain Dew commercials, do you?

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    • sean April 22, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      Comments like these are actually GOOD for the anti-exclusion of mountain bikes cause. It shows just how out of touch with reality the opposition is.

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    • I wear many hats April 22, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      Every time I ride IN Portland I see candy wrappers, dog poop in bags, dog poop out of bags, social trails, cut switch backs, mud bogs with 90% human foot prints and 10% bike tire prints. The trail heads are crowded with cars while I ride from my house. You are welcome to trash biking, but practice what you preach Mike and make your hiking brethren take care of the trails. I cant tell you how many times I’ve seen braided trails to avoid mud turn into 10 foot wide bogs filled with Nike prints.
      If failing trails were decommissioned (Wildwood/ every trail in Forest Park) and then re-implemented with drainage and multi-use in mind, the trails would be usable year round, and an army of mountain bikers would legally be able to pick up after their hiking brethren.
      As it soon stands, the best cared for trails in Portland will be biker trails.

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  • Brian April 22, 2016 at 6:39 am

    This is great news. Thanks to everyone involved from the email writers to the blog authors to the folks at NWTA (past and present), but especially to the folks at METRO for partnering with all of us. We appreciate it immensely. The paradigm shift in Portland is in full swing and I look forward to the future partnerships and trail opportunities to come.

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  • Granpa April 22, 2016 at 7:54 am

    This is a good thing. I trust the trails will be designed/engineered to minimize negative impact to the most fragile area, to keep erosion to a minimum, to keep speeds reasonable and to allow access to good views, good nature and good exercise. It has been a long time since I rode off pavement, and I have frequently posted displeasure with adrenaline addict style riding and using natural areas as thrill rides, but I have witnessed the NWTA doing good work on the Riverview Natural Area, and watched their patient, relentless efforts to bring this recreation to Portland. NWTA have been honest and forthright which is more than could be said for a lot of the City representatives who manage urban public lands. I may just have to put some knobbies on my commuter and give the new trails a spin.

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    • Brian April 22, 2016 at 8:00 am

      If you need a guide I’d be happy to take ya out for a nice, mellow spin in the woods when these trails are completed.

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    • Dan A April 22, 2016 at 8:41 am

      Yeah, personally I hope these trails are more cross-country style, not so much freeride style. But maybe that’s just me — I actually prefer to ride uphill more than downhill.

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      • Brian April 22, 2016 at 9:16 am

        I am pretty darn sure that these will be XC style trails. My only hope is that there is some challenge sections to practice skills and progress as riders, even if that means an easier “B” Line alternate around them. It’s quite easy to do, keeps things interesting for a variety of riders, and simply requires a few extra signs at those sections.

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        • I wear many hats April 22, 2016 at 12:59 pm

          Rolling xc is a blast to ride. If we can influence Metro to make them directional, there is little conflict to be had, even with hikers.

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    • axoplasm April 22, 2016 at 10:02 am

      Ironically the few trails available in Portland (mostly firelanes) are fall lines with lousy flow. Which encourages & reinforces the adrenaline culture. Many times I’ve hiked on the contour or ridgeline trails in FP like Wildwood or Wild Cherry & thought about what a great ride that would be with kids. Low grades, not too technical, slow enough to keep it sane.

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      • Dan A April 22, 2016 at 10:42 am

        Yup. If you want bike commuters in the future, get the kids biking on dirt today.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 22, 2016 at 11:26 am

          How does that follow? I think if anything, it teaches the opposite — that biking is something you drive to.

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          • Brian April 22, 2016 at 12:24 pm

            I began as a mtb’er and so did many of my friends. As did my son, for that matter. None of them began with a road/commute bike first. Now I commute year ’round, as much as time will allow, from NE PDX to Beaverton.

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            • Dan A April 22, 2016 at 1:03 pm

              Ditto, but with a commute in the opposite direction.

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              • Brian April 22, 2016 at 1:23 pm

                Do you go up and over the Sylvan hill? Perhaps we cross paths?

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              • Dan A April 23, 2016 at 10:58 am

                Yep, the hwy 26 path to washington park is the jewel of my ride.

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          • Brian April 22, 2016 at 12:29 pm

            A good friend of mine, a downhill rider/racer, is now researching the switch to an e-bike to get from his home in WA to work in OR. I seriously doubt he would have made the leap from car to e-bike without a mtb background.

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          • I wear many hats April 22, 2016 at 12:44 pm

            That’s why we need trails IN Portland that are open to bikes. The only thing better than a bike commute is a bike commute done on dirt. The new trails will be a resource and boon for NW Portland, and some will be able to ride to them, specifically the residents of Skyline who were overshadowed by their NIMBY neighbors.

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          • axoplasm April 22, 2016 at 1:26 pm

            Me too.

            http://www.axoplasm.com/web-log/mountain-bikes/

            Also it would be easy (geographically, not politically) to create a dirt trail network under the trees from westside communities into downtown, e.g. parallel to I-5, US-26 and US 30

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          • Alex April 22, 2016 at 1:54 pm

            Mountain biking does not require driving, that’s just a Portland thing.

            Free Forest Park.

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          • GlowBoy April 23, 2016 at 7:38 pm

            Wrong, kitty. In many cities mountain biking is something you bike to. And the ride to the trailhead teaches mtbers how to ride for transportation.

            Driving to mtbing is just a Portland thing.

            Btw, in Minneapolis where I now live, I ride to trails all the time, and almost never drive. Ironically, I’m in Portland at the moment, typing this from the rental car I took out for the weekend to go mountain biking.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty April 23, 2016 at 9:39 pm

              Ha ha… Ironic, yes.

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    • Zimmerman April 22, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      I would love to go on that ride with you!

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  • Jordan Norris April 22, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Yeah! After so many years of bad news on the MTB front!

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  • Jocelyn Gaudi April 22, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Friends, good news! After more than a year of support, attending meetings, writing emails, and testifying at hearings, we’ve scored a win! We heard from Metro staff that they were impressed with the quantity and quality of the letters from our community – super good of us to stay the higher course in the face of the loonies.

    Consider emailing Metro again to thank them for their leadership in providing inclusive recreational access in Portland. Also, *please* consider joining or renewing your membership to the Northwest Trail Alliance (http://nw-trail.org/join/) – a lot of volunteer hours were given to progress this plan and a lot more are needed. And let’s keep working together to get more singletrack access in town and beyond. Thank you!

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  • Kate April 22, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Hurray! Wrote a thoughtful letter in good faith and am so heartened to hear that many thoughtful, rational voices lended to the successful passage of the plan. Of course it’s only the first step, but I hope things progress so we have a few single track miles a little closer to town. (Typed as i contemplate sneaking in a ride at stubb stewart before work sunday, but that hour drive each way makes it tough!!).

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  • RH April 22, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    This is great. So would I be able to eventually bike up hwy 30 from the St. Johns bridge to reach the trails? I haven’t done much biking on hwy 30 althought I know it’s called dirty 30.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 26, 2016 at 10:19 am

      Yep. Highway 30 will become even more popular for biking on. … Which is why myself and another activist have been trying to encourage ODOT to make it better when they repave the entire highway from the bridge to NW McNamee this summer.

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  • JohnHend April 25, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    I have been following BikePortland’s coverage of this issue closely, including reading the public comments on these articles. I am shocked by the level of discourse in this discussion, beginning with the coverage of the issues itself. I am an avid cyclist, including a sometimes mountain biker, and understand the issues of access across all cycling disciplines in the Portland-Metro area. I am glad people will have more opportunity to mtn bike within a reasonable distance of downtown.

    With that said, when the debate devolves into slinging the term NIMBYISM around, its clear that there really is no debate at all. Fundamentally, everyone is a NIMBY. If you tell me that you would not organize on a community level to fight the siting of a toxic waste treatment facility in your neighborhood, you are being dishonest. Essentially, NIMBYism is a meangingless argument. Please, strike it from your leixcon.

    Additionally, the ad hominen attacks, detailing the number of sheds or buildings on a community-member’s property, demeaning/attacking how they make a living, and casting aspersions on their “motives” is something I expect of Fox News or worse, Bill O’Reilly. It is not something I expect of BikePortland or J. Maus. Hopefully this is a learning experience for Bikeportland. The coverage has likely alienated people who would otherwise be allies of mountain bikers, but really, based solely on this forum on this issue, the mountain biking community has not shown itself to be entirely worthy of allies. Hopefully this changes.

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    • Dan A April 25, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      Toxic waste treatment facility = mountain bike trail?

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    • Alex April 25, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      > Fundamentally, everyone is a NIMBY. If you tell me that you would not organize on a community level to fight the siting of a toxic waste treatment facility in your neighborhood, you are being dishonest.

      I think comparing mountain biking to a toxic waste treatment facility is being dishonest.

      > Additionally, the ad hominen attacks, detailing the number of sheds or buildings on a community-member’s property, demeaning/attacking how they make a living, and casting aspersions on their “motives” is something I expect of Fox News or worse, Bill O’Reilly. It is not something I expect of BikePortland or J. Maus. Hopefully this is a learning experience for Bikeportland. The coverage has likely alienated people who would otherwise be allies of mountain bikers, but really, based solely on this forum on this issue, the mountain biking community has not shown itself to be entirely worthy of allies. Hopefully this changes.

      When I went and protested the “conservationist’s” protest I was called a “rich white anglo-saxon rich male” and was repeatedly asked how much my bike cost as well as physically intimidated. Also, did you read the Friends of River View facebook comments regarding mountain bikers? It is nothing compared to anything done here.

      The mountain biking community has worked within the guidelines, created the most modern and effective ways of building trails (adopted by the NFS) and has been very courteous through this ordeal (_especially_ when you consider how the other side has acted. Have you participated in any of this process and seen both sides? If you have, you would know the mtbers were the less aggressive ones.

      Jonathan did a great job covering this issue. The people who put themselves in the limelight by starting groups (McCurdy for example) should probably get used to public scrutiny about what they do with the land they own when they are claiming to be a conservationist. That is just par for the course. There was great report on NPR about living/building in wild places and how these people want to be conservationists, but are actually the worse things for the environment. Here is the link: http://www.npr.org/2016/04/18/474658536/is-yellowstone-national-park-in-danger-of-being-loved-to-death

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 26, 2016 at 10:28 am

      Hi JohnHend,

      Thanks for following our coverage. First, please understand that we at BikePortland never use the term “NIMBY.” You might read it in the comments, but we don’t control what people say in the comments. (That said, I would definitely consider deleting/moderating comments that use “NIMBY” depending on the context and tone of the entire comment.).

      Let me correct that, we absolutely do control how people comment by the tone we set in the story itself. And on that note, I stand by our reporting (Michael wrote this story, but I’ve written all the others). ‘

      When someone (like Mr. McCurdy) takes a public position and organizes opposition to an important plan that impacts bicycling, I think he opens himself up to scrutiny. And when he raises the issue of wildlife conservation, I think the community deserves to know how his own decisions (like where he lives and what he does with his own property on the same “sensitive” land he publicly opposes any trial on) impact that issue.

      I gave McCurdy the opportunity to address the fact that he has cleared land for his own property in these mountains, yet he doesn’t want Metro to do any development for public access. I asked him if he felt like that was hypocritical. He chose to not answer my question.

      As for the “mountain biking community” “not showing itself to be entirely worthy of allies” let me just say that people who care about mountain biking have been by far the more civil and sensitive bunch. Just ask Metro councilors who said they got lots of nasty emails and letters from people opposing the plan. And they received lots of supportive letters from people who support the biking trails.

      And unlike people who don’t support improving public access to these areas, I have not seen or heard any biking supporters use blatant propoganda or resort to spreading lies just to accomplish their political and public relations goals.

      I hope this helps clarify our perspective of this issue. Thanks for your comments and for reading BikePortland.

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  • Johnhend April 25, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Ok, instead of toxic waste dump, which admittedly is an extreme example, take anything that lowers a home’s value and there will be unanimous neighborhood opposition. As a rhetorical tool, the argument and label is absolutely useless.

    I too find the insults leveled at mtn bikers frustrating, but that’s no excuse for returning the volley.

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    • Brian April 26, 2016 at 10:04 am

      True, but in this case there were neighbors in favor of the Management Plan and no reason to believe that having a quality natural area nearby would, in fact, lower home values. Many readers here believed that the neighbors simply didn’t want other visitors adjacent to their backyards, hence the term being tossed about. Quite frankly, it seems to be a relatively safe conclusion that the “visitors” that neighbors are worried about are really only those “mountain bikers.”

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    • Cyclekrieg April 26, 2016 at 11:28 am

      Hate to tell you, but trails and outdoor amenities to tend increase home’s value. http://assets.ngin.com/attachments/document/0043/2616/Economic_Impact_Study_1997.pdf

      As to the discussion of the members of the TWA’s impact on the ecological health of the area vs. the trails, that seems like a legitimate concern. If a person argues that the reason they are opposed to an use is because of the ecological impact and they themselves are having a larger ecological impact, then that is relevant. Sort of straw in your eye, rafter in mine sort of thing.

      There is nothing wrong in hating something, including mountain biking. I hate soccer for instance. But it would intellectually dishonest for me to argue that the reason I’m opposed to that new soccer field down the street is because I care about frogs, not because I hate soccer. It would be doubly dishonest of me if I cleared a forest to build my home, created a yard with invasive species (non-native grasses) and then turned around and said that soccer field’s impacts in construction and usage would be unacceptably high.

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      • GlowBoy April 26, 2016 at 11:56 am

        I have watched the same scenario replay itself for decades … a new trail is proposed, and nearby property owners oppose it because it will lower their values. In most cases they cite fears of noise, garbage, illegal camping, wildfires, etc.

        And every single time, not only do those concerns prove unfounded after the trail is built, but property values disproportionately go up. When those owners sell, invariably the real estate flyers trumpet their proximity to the trail

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 26, 2016 at 1:44 pm

          Why do these people repeatedly advocate for policies that run directly counter to their financial interests?

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          • Alex April 26, 2016 at 1:52 pm

            Because they value their solitude more than they need the boost in financials?

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          • GlowBoy April 27, 2016 at 4:48 pm

            Ignorance.

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      • Johnhend April 26, 2016 at 6:38 pm

        I think you are holding people to an impossibly high standard to be considered (in your eyes) a serious conservationist/preservationist. I think you should look at who owned the land in the area surrounding McCarthy creek. The area was decimated by logging. Through careful guidance from a handful of conservationist groups, the county, and community members the area has made a dramatic comeback.

        Try to not jump to conclusions about people based solely on where they live and whether they have a lawn.

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  • JohnHend April 26, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    or *gasp* they actually do value the environment . . .

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    • Brian April 26, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      Possibly, and the same can be said *gasp* of the mountain bike community.

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    • Zimmerman April 26, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Clearcutting your property and building fencing to prevent animal movement across it doesn’t really seem like the actions of a person concerned with the environment in that area, does it?

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      • Johnhend April 26, 2016 at 6:33 pm

        Who clearcut their property? Most of the land surrounding McCarthy creek was owned and previously logged by Hampton lumber. Are the homeowners who now live on that land somehow responsible for that?

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        • Zimmerman April 26, 2016 at 6:58 pm

          Regardless of timing, moving living on a clearcut within the wildlife habitat you’re claiming to want to “save” doesn’t really make much sense, does it?

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