Big sale at Community Cycling Center

Funding campaign launches for singletrack and ‘Dirt Lab’ at Gateway Green

Posted by on September 13th, 2016 at 8:00 am

Gateway_Green_Birdseye_South

New rendering of Gateway Green’s Dirt Lab shows the view from the northern end of the site.

The time has finally come to grab our shovels and turn on the trail-building machine. If all goes according to plan we’ll be riding two miles of fresh singletrack trails at Gateway Green, a 25-acre parcel of land in east Portland between interstates 84 and 205, by this winter.

The Friends of Gateway Green have just launched a crowdfunding campaign that will allow them to finally build trails and other features that will open the site for public bicycling and hiking access.

Here’s the new promo video that explains the “Dirt Lab” concept:

The City of Portland’s Parks Bureau acquired Gateway Green from the Oregon Department of Transportation two years ago — and that big step came one year after advocates and volunteers kicked off this current planning and fundraising effort.

We first shared the vision for Gateway Green here on BikePortland over eight years ago.

A crowdfunding effort in 2013 successfully raised money to create the trail plans and public space designs. With that, the Friends of Gateway Green were able to apply for funding and received a $1 million matching grant from Metro. Now they’ve cleared all the hurdles necessary and all that’s left is to move some dirt around and start riding (or walking if that’s your thing!).

So, what exactly are the plans for this Dirt Lab? Here’s how the Friends group describes it:

We are creating a dynamic destination for our community to get kids and adults outside to explore nature, play, learn, socialize, and ride bikes.

Dirt Lab is all of the foundational elements of Gateway Green – it’s the new neighborhood dirt pile, the place you played as a kid. Like Gateway Green itself, these features are dynamic and fluid, and the trails, jumps, and tracks can grow, change and move as the whole park is developed. Gateway Green will create new homes for bees, bugs, birds, and bikes in Portland’s most nature-deficient neighborhood.

Here are a few more of the latest renderings and the full concept plan:

Gateway_View_02

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Gateway_View_01

Gateway Green Concept Plan DraftRevised

As you can see in the renderings, the two-mile singletrack will loop around the property. They also plan to build a number of other features to appeal to a wide range of rider styles, ages, and abilities. There will be a jump line, a skills area intended for little tykes on balance bikes, a precast concrete pump track, and more.

The current crowdfunding campaign is hosted by Oregon’s Kitchen Table and has already raised over $11,000 toward a goal of $100,000.

Stay tuned for volunteer work party announcements and other developments. Learn more and find links to donate at the Friends of Gateway Green site.

— 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

50 Comments
  • Avatar
    rick September 13, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Horray

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    Spiffy September 13, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    when are they clearing the houseless out of there?

    KATU says that’s where some of the displaced Springwater residents went…

    http://katu.com/news/local/dozens-of-new-homeless-camps-popping-up-amid-springwater-corridor-clean-up

    I rode by last night and there were multiple camp sites there…

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. September 13, 2016 at 7:40 pm

      I’m almost thinking that a homeless camp is a better use of this land than a bike trail park locked between two highways.

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      • Ovid Boyd
        Ovid Boyd September 13, 2016 at 8:14 pm

        I frequently go by here on my way to work, and I am definitely surprised to hear that this’ll happen this fall. There’s always been some homeless tents here, especially back in the trees, but the number has boomed in recent weeks after the Springwater sweep. There’s a lot more that’d need to happen to get the site ready than just “moving some dirt”. It doesn’t seem like this site definitely has “cleared all hurdles” to me…

        I also kinda agree that while it’s ridiculous that we have homeless camps in a developed country, it is actually one of the most sane places for one. There are no neighbors to get annoyed, and yet it has great access to town with Gateway Transit Center a short jaunt away and access to food and stores there as well. I’ve actually thought that if I ever ended up homeless that this’d be the spot I’d pitch a tent.

        So, I am just a bit perplexed by the news article. What’s going to happen to the homeless there? Are they going to be swept? Are they going to build the trails there and let them stay (they’d definitely be the primary users of them if they were built)? The quote says this is going to be a great place for kids–I’ve never seen any kids or families there, and I assume the main reason is not the lack of trails, but the homeless camps. What’s the real thinking of how this is going to all work? I think there should be a followup article…

        And Randy, it’s a big open green area; it is really separated from the highways and kind of a generally neat spot. It doesn’t feel like traffic is buzzing next to you at all. Although folks drive near it all the time, but I think don’t realize it’s sitting there next to them.

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. September 13, 2016 at 9:24 pm

          Right, the way I see this is why build a bike park here when this is a great place for a homeless camp? For all the reasons you stated, this plot of land really is ideal for a campsite, yet we will again be displacing people who have nowhere to go so that some people can ride mountain bikes for fun? It really is off-putting for the city to be pushing forward on a recreation project for this site in the midst of a housing and homeless crisis.

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            Charley September 13, 2016 at 10:03 pm

            I can’t even believe this conversation is happening. Years after this project was greenlighted, some people started illegally camping on this property, so you suggest to allow them to continue to camp illegally and forgo building this park. That’s a recipe for disaster. I cannot just move onto my neighbor’s yard and then expect the City to decide, “Well, that’s Charley’s now.” There IS a housing crisis; trashing every other project in the works in this town is not the solution. You might as well say, “Why should I buy this nice cycling cap, when I could be sending $12 to orphans in India?” Maybe you need the cap. The city could spend every last penny on housing the homeless, and turn every vacant lot in the city into housing. More and more smart travelers would come here to enjoy the largesse, and then we’d be out of parks, pensions, clean water, and the many other things that make our lives here possible.

            This park is in an underserved neighborhood with a large minority and large lower income population. This park will provide recreational activity that is healthy, safe, and inexpensive for people of lower income. This park will provide miles of singletrack for people to ride, in a neighborhood which currently has absolutely none. And you want to turn it into a homeless camp? Do we not have enough homeless camps? I’m incensed. Here’s something good finally happening on this issue in the city, and you’re heaping scorn as if the community backers of Gateway Green personally killed your puppy. Give me a break. This is the kind of response that gives Portland liberals a bad name: when someone can find fault with any little thing, they’ll cease to support anything actually useful or practical. I’m going to give money to this project tonight just because of you. $20 to Gateway Green in your name. Ha!

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              Middle of the Road guy September 14, 2016 at 8:39 am

              Well stated Charley.

              There seems to be this prevailing attitude that because others have it worse, we all need to lower ourselves to that level so that everyone is equal.

              I work so that I can have the things I want. Some of the homeless are truly pitiable cases deserving compassion but others are making choices to be that way. I don’t feel that I need to lower my self to be on their level so that we’re ‘equal’.

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              rachel b September 14, 2016 at 1:35 pm

              “I cannot just move onto my neighbor’s yard and then expect the City to decide, “Well, that’s Charley’s now.””

              SO many lucid, well-expressed thoughts in this post, Charley–thank you. Portland is making me feel crazier and crazier.

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            Charley September 13, 2016 at 10:16 pm

            It’s this casually belittling line that really got me irked: “yet we will again be displacing people who have nowhere to go so that some people can ride mountain bikes for fun.” I want a place where kids can ride a bike without getting hit by a car, but apparently what I’m really doing is taking housing away from innocent homeless people. The community backers of Gateway Green are trying to build their park in a neglected corner of the most neglected part of the city, and you only find fault. “When moral superiority combines with billowing ignorance, they fill up a hot-air balloon that’s awfully hard not to poke.”-Barbara Kingsolver

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              Middle of the Road guy September 14, 2016 at 8:40 am

              Love that quote!

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            Alex Reedin September 14, 2016 at 10:26 am

            A portion of City-owned Rose City Golf Course would be an OK, nearby (but in a significantly wealthier/less vulnerable neighborhood) replacement location for a homeless camp. Given that the City owns SIX golf courses, and that golf courses’ benefits are low per acre and concentrated among wealthier users, I’m amazed that using portions of them for homeless camps hasn’t really been considered.

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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. September 14, 2016 at 12:52 pm

              I would fully support converting most if not all of the city-owned golf courses to a use that can benefit far more people. Maybe one of them might even make a nice “adventure bike” park?

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              dwk September 14, 2016 at 5:18 pm

              I do not golf but enjoy the green space in the city. Same with cemeteries. How about we treat fellow human beings humanely and actually find and pay for real shelters?
              It is shocking how many people here feel that the answer to people sleeping outdoors in squalor is to just be Ok with it and in some cases defend it.
              Is this a third world country?
              The city and county need to ante up and get enough shelter space. Those who refuse to take up the offer to get help and can go camp in the national forests (and pay the camping fees.)
              There should be no outdoor camping in public spaces.
              If those here really feel that camping and squatter villages are the answer to this problem, give up your own yard….

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              Alex Reedin September 14, 2016 at 6:20 pm

              Finding and paying for shelters and permanent housing is a great idea and I’m in full support of it, but Oregon’s crazy-quilt of severe restrictions on taxation is a huge obstacle to finding the money for it. And, actually opening enough beds for the current houseless folks + future increases is probably at least a year off even if we did have the money. The fact is that people are living outside now. The current reality is that they’ll be pushed mostly to low-income areas and given no permanency even there. Giving up a few holes in each inner-Portland golf course temporarily while we work to provide enough indoor beds seems like a no-brainier to me. Or a downtown parking garage. It just galls me that the only places considered so far are vacant – thereby excluding all the rich parts of town, where there are no vacant buildings or parcels.

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                Eric Leifsdad September 14, 2016 at 11:47 pm

                We somehow have $43M for parking. http://pdxshoupistas.com/portland-is-building-parking-for-cars-that-wont-ever-park/

                And all of the parking we already have. How about a little house on wheels for under $50k/each? Get some bulk pricing, labor and/or cash from the buyer and that $43M is maybe 2000 units we’re not building because we want parking? http://tinyhouseblog.com/

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                Lester Burnham September 15, 2016 at 7:57 am

                Would the free house on wheels just be another place to get high/drunk without getting wet?

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            dwk September 14, 2016 at 12:50 pm

            Your compassion for people sleeping in the rain and mud is very appreciated….
            “Great placed for a homeless camp”…
            Why don’t you join them for a few nights and see how pleasant it is..

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              Eric Leifsdad September 14, 2016 at 1:05 pm

              No need for anyone to sleep in the mud. We have way more pavement than we need, most of it set-aside as counter-productive free parking spots. While that’s a bit harder surface for tent camping, it is a better foundation for mid-to-long-term structures, lower environmental impact, and in better locations for law-abiding people to get back on their feet.

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                dwk September 14, 2016 at 1:32 pm

                I agree. The apparent almost joy that AdamH exhibits when he champions homeless people that are camping in the dirt is beyond me. Just some weird pseudo “progressive” idea he thinks he has. Amazing….

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        Lester Burnham September 14, 2016 at 6:57 am

        Sure, once again foist more of the homeless problem on east Portland residents. We already have a homeless shelter in the old sheriff’s building on 122nd and let me tell you we are sure reaping the rewards from that! Workers in the Safeway across the street have told us the store is being shoplifted more than ever. Oh and the Gateway Fred Meyers is also a hell hole.

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        wsbob September 15, 2016 at 12:47 pm

        Undeveloped campsites for a lot of people living close together, aren’t a good idea. No water system, no sewage system, no electricity, heat, garbage service. Portland, and Oregon, knows how to develop livable campgrounds, if the people in the state wanted to invest the money in that kind of thing to house people without means. Take a look at Ft Stevens state park near Seaside, for example.

        Gateway Green for a mountain bike specific park, sounds like a good idea. It’s comparatively small, but it’s a start. Build it, get it working, see how the public responds. If favorably, public interest in either acquisition of additional land within the Portland city limits, or some use of the city’s natural land parks, for mountain biking, may grow.

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          Alex September 15, 2016 at 5:34 pm

          I am surprised to see you aren’t calling it vehicular recreation.

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            Zimmerman September 15, 2016 at 6:00 pm

            It’s only vehicular recreation when it’s in Forest Park.

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            wsbob September 18, 2016 at 11:40 am

            “I am surprised to see you aren’t calling it vehicular recreation.” alex

            It goes without saying, that mountain biking is vehicular recreation, whether in this park, or any other.

            That mountain biking is that type of recreation, is not the problem at Gateway Green that it is at other natural land parks, given that the land for this park has been specifically designated for mountain biking.

            Not just Portland, but in towns surrounding this big city, population is increasing steadily it seems. I hope to see more undeveloped, natural land acquired and designated for outdoor activities accessible within by walking…and vehicular recreation limited to mountain biking.

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              Zimmerman September 18, 2016 at 5:03 pm

              The reason it goes without saying is because you’re the only person saying it. Please continue going without.

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        Craig September 15, 2016 at 6:00 pm

        Yeah, you are almost thinking alright.

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    Spiffy September 13, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    I like the concept of the path being level with the MAX… when the red line went in they moved the trail downhill so they didn’t have to build bridges…

    it’s not a huge hill, although slightly steeper on one end… just an annoying design…

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      Jayson September 13, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      IIRC, the Red Line was largely paid for by the builder Parsons Brinkerhoff in exchange for the rights to develop Cascade Station. A better grade of elevation would have been nice. The hill between Parkrose and Gateway is tough but I have come to enjoy it on occasion when I ride Going Bikeway to the 205 Bikeway to the Springwater, which I done a few times since the clean up of the Springwater began.

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        Jayson September 13, 2016 at 8:56 pm

        Looking back, it was Bechtel (not PB) and they paid about a quarter of the cost to design and build.

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    Tom September 13, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Will there be a place to practice cross?

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    Randy September 13, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Why a bike “recreation” area sandwiched between two smogways?
    How ya gonna breathe with all that air pollution?

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      Andy K September 13, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      I ride several miles on us26 everyday, and you can TASTE it.

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      J_R September 13, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      Right. Better to locate it as far as possible from all sources of pollution. It probably ought to be at least 100 miles from any road. No. Wait. That would be too far. It should only be accessible by bike with no parking lots. No. That would be inconvenient. And, of course, it should be free.

      Gosh. Here’s a site that was made available at low cost and is convenient to lots of potential users. So, we have to come up with something else to complain about. Too many commenters will not be satisfied with anything.

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        jered bogli September 13, 2016 at 10:01 pm

        I mean… Forest Park is accessible by bike, has no parking to speak of and is free. AND it would be better than 2 miles of flat single track in a field. Just saying. But yeah, agreed BP commenters are a rare breed…

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. September 13, 2016 at 10:32 pm

          And Forest Park is in an actual mountain, which surely would be better for *mountain* biking.

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            Charley September 13, 2016 at 11:41 pm

            Ha! We agree on this one!

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            T. Rex September 14, 2016 at 8:01 am

            Last time I checked, mountain bikes were allowed in Forest Park. Not everywhere but there’s lots of off-pavement cycling you can do on Leif Erikson and some trails.

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              Dan A September 15, 2016 at 10:49 am

              You must not be into mountain biking.

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            JP September 14, 2016 at 12:06 pm

            You understand that to ride to Forest Park from the Gateway neighborhood is 11 miles, yes? It’s a pain in the ass in the best case scenario, and impossible for many.

            Take a look at a map of the area around Gateway Green. There are a lot of neighborhoods nearby that don’t have parks. This isn’t going to be just a bike park but a community park. The kids on my block ride up and down the street on their bikes, dodging cars. They dream of going to the Lumberyard, but they can’t afford it. This would be an amazing resource for them, and for other lower income kids and adults alike in the surrounding, lower-income neighborhoods.

            I have compassion for the homeless folks currently camping there, but there have been a number of violent incidents in the area recently. I’ve been threatened more than once while riding through. What’s more, it’s pretty clear that the current policies allowing for large, longer-term homeless camps aren’t necessarily in the best interests of the homeless campers, and the burden of such camps has fallen disproportionately on working class and lower-income neighborhoods. Now, you’re tut tutting those of us who live out here for wanting to move forward with developing the lot into a park on plans that were approved in 2014?

            In any case, there are plenty of nearby green areas that could accommodate campers that aren’t currently slated to be developed into community parks.

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              Lester Burnham September 14, 2016 at 2:32 pm

              This part of town so badly needs a morale boost like a new park. It has seen nothing but neglect by the city for decades. Lets please not make everything about catering only to the homeless.

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            Brian September 16, 2016 at 4:08 pm

            The type of mountain biking that may some day be allowable at FP is much different than what will be taking place at Gateway Green. The City needs a variety of riding options for the different types of riders, in every part of the city. Did you look at the plan for Gateway Green?

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          Chris I September 14, 2016 at 6:46 am

          Forest park is great for people that live close enough to it to ride there. Remember that a solid percentage of Portland’s population lives east of I-205. This particular neighborhood has very little park space.

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        jeff September 14, 2016 at 11:48 am

        welcome to Bikeportland.org. Where the whining is thick and never stops.

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          rachel b September 14, 2016 at 1:37 pm

          We’re like some magical gravy boat!

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      Charley September 13, 2016 at 10:18 pm

      I live in Southeast. I do it every %^&%&#@ day. This place ain’t perfect, but we’ll take what we can get, in spite of the naysayers.

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      Spiffy September 14, 2016 at 8:28 am

      exhaust fumes are why I don’t like the I-205 MUP…

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        Barry September 14, 2016 at 10:20 am

        Is air quality any worse along the Eplanade? Not last time I checked. If it is good enough for bike-ped improvements downtown than why not in East Portland?

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      Jim Labbe September 14, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      The air pollution at Gateway Green is not worse of a health hazard than other areas of the City where we have made big investments in parks and bicycle and pedestrian trails. See: http://map.treesandhealth.org/. For example the Traffic Related Air Quality (TRAQ) is worse along the Esplanade where we have made substantial investments. To say we shouldn’t make improve GG in East Portland because of bad air quality is a misplaced concern and unfairly penalizes a park-deficient district of the City.

      It also denies East Portland a chance to improve its air quality in a way not really possible in places like the Esplanade. The GG project plans to continue vegetation enhancements that have begun along the i-205 corridor by creating and restoring habitat at GG. These roadside vegetation enhancements that, according to the EPA, can reduce traffic-related air pollutants immediately downwind of roadways. http://www3.epa.gov/otaq/nearroadway.htm#content1).

      Long-term trends suggest that urban air quality along the I-205 will improve with as cleaner automobile fuels become more widely use. Until then, poor air quality conditions along I-205 are reason for the very tree planting and other environmental enhancements at GG that will be catalyzed by this crowd fund.

      The air quality case against Gateway Green- perpetuated by some who wrongly think it is an alternative to Forest Park- is a misplaced concern that would deny the same investments in parks and trails in East Portland that have already been provided in other parts of the City with the same or worse air quality.

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    Jim Labbe September 14, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    It is also worth noting too that the Esplanade was a smart and worthy investment cost $33 million and the total cost of improvements along the I-205 trail and proposed for Gateway Green are a fraction of that, combined.

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    Randy September 15, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    J_R A majority of metro area respiratory ailments/healthcare costs are linked to smogway air pollution. Great idea to promote bike use and recreation… just in the wrong place.

    Quite often I observe parking lots of cars, moving slowly, in both directions near the GG area. Many cars moving slowly in a large manufactured trough = big air pollution.

    Is there a plan to install a smog meter at the site that real-time air quality data directly to this web site so we can see what really going on before construction begins? When that happens, I could be convinced otherwise.

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