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Parks bureau pledges $2 million for Gateway Green

Posted by on December 21st, 2016 at 12:21 am

All the pieces to Gateway Green are finally in place.(Photos by Portland Parks)

All the pieces to Gateway Green are finally in place.
(Photos by Portland Parks)

Christmas has come a bit early for Gateway Green, the 25-acre parcel of land between I-84 and I-205 that’s slated to be Portland’s first bike park (a.k.a. the Dirt Lab).

New cycling trails are already taking shape.

New cycling trails are already taking shape.

On Tuesday, Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Director Mike Abbaté announced $2 million in System Development Charges (SDCs) will be dedicated to the project — enough money to complete the first phase of the project.

After years of planning, red tape, and fundraising, work began on off-road bike trails in the new park back in October.

This new infusion of funding brings the total for the project to about $4.3 million so far. A $1 million Metro grant was awarded in 2014 and over $1 million has been raised in cash donations and other contributions.


Thanks to these SDC funds, the full build-out of phase one will include singletrack built specifically for off-road biking, a hiking trail network, a small play area. habitat restoration, a bike skills area, a pump track, and more.

“Gateway Green will be a regional destination in park-deficient east Portland, and a working example of how active recreation can be balanced with natural restoration and preservation,” commented Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz in a statement.

26,000 Portlanders live within one and-a-half miles of the site and it’s directly accessible by MAX light rail and the I-205 path.

Now that funding is in hand, there’s a lot of work to be done! You can be a part of this amazing new community destination by joining one of many work parties. On February 11th the Northwest Trail Alliance and Friends of Gateway Green are hosting the Big Dig at Dirt Lab. They need help pulling ivy and digging in new trail. The even will include coffee and doughnuts in the morning followed by a BBQ lunch as well as a prize giveway.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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  • rick December 21, 2016 at 6:52 am

    Any details on the mountain bike jumps?

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  • Lester Burnham December 21, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Great news on the east side for a change. Hopefully it doesn’t become trashed by another homeless camp.

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  • Alex December 21, 2016 at 8:14 am

    While I am glad this is happening, I would rather see 1 million for this and 1 million for access in Forest Park.

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    • rick December 21, 2016 at 9:47 am

      what about nimby?

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  • Mark S December 21, 2016 at 8:28 am

    BBQ lunch and drunks(?)

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    • Brian December 21, 2016 at 9:19 am

      Sounds like a mtb party!

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  • Snowden December 21, 2016 at 8:32 am

    For update on the build see this:

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    • Kate December 21, 2016 at 11:32 am

      Thanks for this link. The photos and updates just got me super excited! I hopped over to NWTA to sign up for the Feb work party. Hurray!

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  • Glenn December 21, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Would be great to link it up with the other side of 205 then to the Rocky-Butte area…
    There is a pretty big chunk of land the west of 205 and north of Halesy that should be used for something sometime too…

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    • rick December 21, 2016 at 9:48 am

      More pedestrian and bike bridges are needed in this part of town.

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      • Oliver December 21, 2016 at 10:25 am

        Agree. Access to Rocky Butte from the I-205 path east side is abysmal. Access to Gateway Green from the north west side is surely just as bad.

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    • Bart December 21, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      Last I’d heard, there was indeed a plan to do exactly that, with a tunnel under 205 near Tillamook. I really hope so. This would provide a connection to Rocky Butte as you point out, but also would provide a nice way to access the 205 path and Gateway Green from the sharrowed connections heading east on Tillamook. It’d also be a great access point for those of us heading west that would avoid traversing the Halsey overpass.

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        • Bart December 22, 2016 at 9:15 am

          Ooh!! Thanks for the link 🙂

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          • hopeful December 22, 2016 at 11:00 am

            Thanks for posting. From the link I can’t find when construction will begin/ end. Do you know?

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        • SurleyDave December 23, 2016 at 9:26 am

          Wow. I hadn’t heard about this project. This will be amazing when it is built. I live in Parkrose and a principal reason I’ve had a hard time riding around with my kiddo is that there are not many safe-feeling ways to get across 205.

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        • Mossby Pomegranate January 2, 2017 at 8:01 am

          Not thrilled about a “tunnel”. How will this not end up with campers, trash, and smelling like urine?

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  • Steve December 21, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Can’t help but see this as Fritz’s attempt to placate MTBers’ desire for access to Riverview and increased access to Forest Park.

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    • I wear many hats December 21, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      Exactly. Don’t forget the elephant(s) in the room. What about River View, and what about Forest Park? This is great for the East Side, but does nothing for the West side. I’ll be digging on the 11th, but I wont forget about the massive green spaces that we are banned from. Be polite out there, and stay involved in the process.

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      • christopher December 21, 2016 at 1:22 pm

        River View is running great right now.

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      • rick December 21, 2016 at 5:30 pm

        Woods Memorial Park has some space that wood would great for bmx / mtb / skateboard close to the Barbur transit center.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. December 21, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      Of course it is. “We gave you bike people a narrow strip of land locked between two highways, what more do you want?!”

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    • Alex December 21, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      This is exactly what this is. This is the can she has been kicking down the road and it’s completely beat up and can’t hold water any more. I am all for places like this, but we have way better and more appropriate places for mountain bike access.

      I don’t kill, I don’t steal, I just ride bikes where I feel. Free Forest Park.

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    • wsbob December 22, 2016 at 11:56 am

      Fritz has a public to respond to, and odds are, many more of the people of that public are opposed to use of Forest Park for mountain biking, than are in support of it. Varying degrees of opposition is part of what city council has to deal with, on any issue that comes before it.

      The money finally being gathered together to develop GG for off road biking, is cause for great celebration. Break out the champagne.

      If the people coming to bike in this park can help to bring a positive spin on mountain biking on natural lands within the urban setting, that would stand a good chance of building support among the public for acquisition of and use of more natural lands for mountain biking, within the city.

      The new mayor, Ted Wheeler, might have some ideas about the mountain biking in the city. Looking forward to reading about what those ideas may be.

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      • Ted Timmons (Contributor) December 24, 2016 at 1:14 pm

        “many more”?

        [citation needed]

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        • wsbob December 30, 2016 at 9:58 am

          Ted..what kind of citation do you need, that many more of the city’s population are opposed to the use of Forest Park for mountain biking than in favor of that activity there…other than which exists at present and has for decades, which is the public’s nearly complete and longstanding lack of support for use of Forest Park for mountain biking?

          Except for mountain bike enthusiasts speaking out on this website about using this park for mountain biking, and some from the NWTA…there seems to be virtually ‘0’ support across the city for using Forest Park for mountain biking. And, when the topic does come up in a broader public discourse than this weblog, bikeportland…opposition to use of this park for mountain biking seems to consistently be widespread and overwhelming.

          It’s great that people as individuals and in organizations, groups, local and state entities could rally together in a positive minded manner, to plan for and create opportunities for mountain biking at Gateway Green. Celebrate that positive mindedness on the part of everyone so inclined and involved in the effort, for the accomplishment it is, in itself.

          It’s not inaccurate I think, to note that in terms of potential public support for use for mountain biking, of the lands comprising both Gateway Green and Forest Park, the land and heritage of the two parks are entirely different from each other…their time of conception and creation as parks, longstanding identified purpose, type of terrain…to name just a few.

          Gateway Green had none of the parkland, natural land recognition legacy that Forest Park has…and had essentially become surplus land that not much of Portland’s population likely were aware of or even had strong feelings about. Entirely different situation with regards to Forest Park, which has existed for many decades as a recognized natural lands park designated to be sustained as a refuge for wildlife and the public from the encroachment of the trappings of urban excess, including vehicular recreation, which mountain biking is an example of.

          The city’s public by and large, has for decades, opposed using Forest Park for mountain biking. This hasn’t been determined by public vote at the ballot box, which maybe it should be, and which I’ve suggested in past comments to this weblog.

          It’s possible though, I think, that various things could occur to help change the public’s view about using this park for mountain biking. That’s why it seems to me that the attitudes and impression in a positive way, made by people supporting, organizing, building and eventually using Gateway Green for off-road biking are so important to a longer and wider availability of opportunities for mountain biking within Portland city limits…if not in Forest Park or the Riverview land, then on other natural land within Portland…and on natural land in other cities within the tri-county area, particularly for example…Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tigard, and so on.

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          • Alex January 2, 2017 at 8:51 am

            > that many more of the city’s population are opposed to the use of Forest Park for mountain biking than in favor of that activity there

            You have no idea if a majority of the population is for or against more access. In the past, when the public has been polled and asked to vote on the subject, over 50% wanted more mountain bike access. You have no basis to make the claims you do, so before you go and spout “facts”, please prepare to back them up.

            > The support for acquisition of very nearly all, if not all, of natural land for parks in Portland, and Beaverton that I know of, has been for uses that did not include mountain biking as among the recreational opportunities planned for those lands

            If you are referring to the Metro bonds, it was in the bonds and stated clearly. The “protestors” should have read the bonds and then made their decisions. It was pretty disingenuous of them to make the claims that they weren’t told up front – they were.

            You are fake news at its worst. Your whole post was either not true or full of conjecture of unprovable points. I wish posts like this would get moderated. I get people wanting to have a voice, but can we stick to the facts and not just opinion stated as fact.

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      • Cyclekrieg December 25, 2016 at 9:36 am

        If the people coming to bike in this park can help to bring a positive spin on mountain biking on natural lands within the urban setting, that would stand a good chance of building support among the public for acquisition of and use of more natural lands for mountain biking, within the city.

        First, why would a positive “spin” be required? Maybe the concept is foreign to a few people in Portland, the fact a lot of other places have been doing so (MTB in city urban natural spaces) for years, decades. They details of how to do this have already been figured out.

        Second, why would Portland need to acquire any more land? It has plenty of parks and other natural space that could build a really robust system. Its easy to think about Forest Park and Riverview (hot button locations), but even Marshall or Kelly Butee would be awesome.

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        • wsbob December 31, 2016 at 12:54 am

          “…First, why would a positive “spin” be required? Maybe the concept is foreign to a few people in Portland, the fact a lot of other places have been doing so (MTB in city urban natural spaces) for years, decades. They details of how to do this have already been figured out.

          Second, why would Portland need to acquire any more land? It has plenty of parks and other natural space that could build a really robust system. Its easy to think about Forest Park and Riverview (hot button locations), but even Marshall or Kelly Butee would be awesome.” cyclekrieg

          You asked me, so I’ll offer my guess as to why a positive spin on mountain biking in the urban setting in Portland in Gateway Green would be helpful. By the way, I didn’t say ‘required’.

          First of all, Neither Portland or Oregon, are those ‘other places’ you refer to. The people of this state have a long standing tradition of doing things their own way, not necessarily the same as people in other parts of the country do. It should go without saying on this weblog, that the city’s population hasn’t been exactly jumping up and down begging for the city’s natural land parks to be opened to for use with mountain bikes. Perhaps because many people in this city have seen and heard of the various impacts of mountain biking on urban located natural land parks, and feel they do not like the idea of what that would mean to the parks in their own city.

          The support for acquisition of very nearly all, if not all, of natural land for parks in Portland, and Beaverton that I know of, has been for uses that did not include mountain biking as among the recreational opportunities planned for those lands. My guess would be that people supported acquisition of those lands with the understanding that the lands would offer non-vehicular recreation. Telling people up front, when proposals for acquisition of new natural land for parks is proposed…that mountain biking is one of the intended recreational opportunities planned, is a way to possibly garner support for that type of recreation that might otherwise be lost, if something else instead has been suggested.

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          • Cyclekrieg January 2, 2017 at 8:11 am

            Being different doesn’t automatically make something better. Often times things are a lot alike because a methodology has been developed and that method is the most reasonable way to do a thing. To do something different for the sake of being different, regardless of the negative effects, isn’t a thing to be proud of, it’s something to avoid.

            Who says Portland isn’t clamoring for more mountain biking opportunities? Nearly every time a property even has chance to have mountain biking added, the number one request is for mountain biking access. Look at the survey data for Riverview, North Tualatin Mountains or Chehalem Ridge, all that came up for discussion in the last 2 years. Mountain biking access is number 1 or 2 in all those potential user surveys.

            “Many people in this city have seen and heard of the various impacts of mountain biking on urban located natural land parks, and feel they do not like the idea of what that would mean to the parks in their own city.” Really? Where are these trails located and what are the impacts? Citation needed. Unless you mean the myths of anti-mountain bikers.

            As to parks and natural spaces not being designated for mountain biking, there are 2 different issues there. First, mountain biking as a passive activity is younger than most parks in the Portland area. It wouldn’t be included because it didn’t exist. Second, Portland has had the chance to go through the process that other cities have, but due to aforementioned “be different… because”, hasn’t. An organic growth of urban mountain biking, with it starting small and growing over time. However, individuals like yourself have maintained pressure on the City to strangle any attempts at creating urban mountain biking in Portland. Forest Park is obvious example, but the more egregious one may have been Riverview. Either way, urban mountain biking access was stalled. Other places didn’t magically get miles of trails overnight. It started small with few miles of trail, they worked out the bugs, built some more somewhere else, worked out the bugs and so on and so forth. Soon they had a process down for green lighting trails, for managing those trails and for engaging the larger community. Over time, those trails became beloved by all users. It’s easy to argue that Gateway Green is that first step, it’s just that first step could have been done a decade ago if Portland wasn’t so backwards about urban mountain biking access.

            I’ll make this offer to you again. If you really want to see what urban mountain biking is REALLY like and not the myths of the anti-mountain crowd, let me know. I will take you on tour that will show you the “impacts” that anti-mountain bikers claim is a mirage at best, boldfaced lie at worst.

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      • Alex December 27, 2016 at 10:54 am

        Oh yes, if only we held some type of forum where we could get feedback if people want more public access to FP. Oh wait, we did! And over half of the voting public wanted more.

        Quit it with your fake news.

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  • patrickz December 21, 2016 at 9:39 am

    coffee and doughnuts in the morning followed by a BBQ lunch and DRUNKS as well as a prize giveway. Really??

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    • Brian December 21, 2016 at 9:42 am

      The “I” key is next door to the “U” key. Really.

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    • mran1984 December 21, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      So, YOU capitalize DRUNKS, but begin your sentence with a lower case “c” for coffee. Really?

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  • Scott Mizée December 21, 2016 at 11:31 am


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  • Redhippie December 21, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    It would be interesting if this could be developed into a world class venue for cyclocross racing. They need more berms in cyclocross!

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  • Todd Hudson December 21, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Hopefully a better over-205 connection will be built. The Halsey flyover “bike path” is awful.

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    • rick December 21, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      What do you not like about it?

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      • Steve December 21, 2016 at 8:28 pm

        Halsey Eastbound over 205 is a joke. An elevated sidewalk on the wrong side of the road when you have to take a right at the light through Gateway Center anyway to access these trails, or really anything around there. You have to cross back over Halsey no mater where you’re going.

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      • Chris I December 21, 2016 at 8:40 pm

        What do you like about it? Now that the Sellwood bridge has been replaced, I can’t think of a more inhospitable crossing for cyclists or pedestrians in the city.

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        • David Hampsten December 22, 2016 at 1:58 am


          122nd under I-84
          I-205 path at Glisan
          102nd over I-84
          82nd under Halsey and over I-84
          the I-205 path at Washington & Stark
          any crossing on Division between 96th & 176th

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          • Chris I December 22, 2016 at 6:56 am

            Crossing = bridge, at least that was what I meant. I understand that there are many underpasses with more-restricted ROW. I have ridden all of the ones you listed.

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          • Teddy December 22, 2016 at 2:31 pm

            164th under I-84

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      • Lester Burnham December 22, 2016 at 10:45 am

        Have cars fly at you on a downhill curve usually way over the speed limit is sort of a turn off.

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  • Paolo December 22, 2016 at 10:06 am

    This is just used to take the focus away from Forest Park.
    It could have been done by now and with little money, a few volunteers and some coordination.
    Instead they have spent a huge amount of money on fencing the whole area and building 1/2 mile of wide trail, now adding a dirt jumping line!
    I think someone is going to profit from all of this and we will be left with not much, just an other version of Powell Butte between two highways…

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    • Lester Burnham December 22, 2016 at 10:47 am

      I wish more focus could be put on the infrastructure around this new park. As it stands now it’s horrible.

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      • SE Rider December 27, 2016 at 6:51 am

        A key MUP runs directly through it. I know some more connects need improvement, but let’s not get hyperbolic.

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        • Mossby Pomegranate January 2, 2017 at 8:33 am

          A key MUP that oddly enough is not very easily accessed by the surrounding neighborhoods.

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  • Terry D-M December 22, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Everyone who has commented that this is a tactic to placate the Community about Westside single track acess is really showing their geographic biases. Gateway Green has been organized by a dedicated group of volunteers for years, has raised $1 million of private donations, and even formed a non profit organization for it. East Portland is where 40% of our housing growth is zoned over the next generation and this is dead space right in the middle of the most diverse and affordible Neighborhoods in the city.

    Pitting one side of the city against another by assuming some conspiracy is really short sided, counter productive, ignores the real work done by east Portlanders and makes the “bike community” look as elitist as city council. This park is getting funded due to a dedicated group of volunteers that have worked for years on it. Gateway Green is part of the East Portland Action Plan to mitigate some of the damage done by city hall ignoring their needs.

    Please, Look at this project through an east Portland lens….Now onto access.

    The Hancock to 92nd to underpass connection to the I 205 path is funded through STIP with the 70 s Bikeway, probably in 2020.

    The Halsey over pass has city funding to convert the outer eastbound lane into a two-way cycle protected cycletrack. Outer Halsey will get protected Bikelanes to the city limits as well.

    The Prescott bike lanes need to be build ASAP, but could be striped fast to provide acess from the north.

    Building an overpass to the Rocky Butte side has been discussed in a long range context…..Very expensive, but very doable long term…..But let us get the base park and acess built first.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. December 22, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      While I agree with you that East Portland needs more facilities and that Gateway Green will be an improvement for the area, I think it’s short-sighted to ignore the impact the wealthy West Hills NIMBY’s have. It’s worth asking ourselves if Gateway green is supported by City Council because they believe in equity, or because they expect less resistance. Likely a combination of both. I disagree with the notion that whatever the NIMBYs don’t want gets put in Gateway.

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      • Terry D-M December 22, 2016 at 4:11 pm

        These are different facilities, for different if overlapping demographics. I don’t buy that they are connected at all. I am saying that the issues are different and assuming that this got funded because of west side NIMBY neighbors takes away the organizational agency of East Portland. The west siders should emulate east Portland and what they accomplished to get needed facilities as well, not criticize this project as a “consolation prize.”. It is simply condescending and is an example why east Portlanders don’t trust inner Portland bike activism….

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        • Alex Reedin December 22, 2016 at 4:34 pm

          I agree with what you’re saying, but I also think that the advocacy strategy for Forest Park needs to be different, and it is a much harder nut to crack, not least because of the classism of Portland politics. As far as I know, Gateway Green had little organized opposition. That is not going to be true of ANY Forest Park trails proposal, no matter the advocacy strategy.

          It’s like the difficulty of building the Springwater on unused land (hard to get the money, but otherwise not too bad) vs. building protected bike lanes and dedicated bus lanes using space that’s currently used for auto travel and parking. It’s a whole different level of political fight once you’re talking about a (perceived and/or real) taking away of something that a class of Portlander values and is currently exclusive use of for free (in both cases, someone generally richer and more powerful than Portlanders on average).

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          • Cyclekrieg December 23, 2016 at 7:38 am

            The issues with Forest Park and advocacy are surmountable. What it would require more than anything is the advocacy for those trails based on a problem solving approach that uses other locations as a real example. And “other locations” ain’t Bend, OR. Its places that have been doing this for years, decades even. When the antis raise an “objection”, it’s time to bust out the solution that someone else has been using for X years.

            Like this:

            Note: in MN we roll our own, so this video is a fundraising video for next year’s build.

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          • Alex Reedin December 23, 2016 at 9:15 am

            Totally, I think Forest Park can absolutely happen, but I just want people to be realistic about what it’ll take. From David Hampsten below, it sounds like Gateway Green needed extensive, patient, and problem-solving-oriented outreach to institutional stakeholders along with awesome fundraising. Forest Park will take that, plus extensive, patient, and problem-solving outreach to neighbors including some non-didactic education about how well mountain biking trails (shared and not) work in other places. Plus patient, kind, voluminous, and diverse (not just young white men!!) outreach and testimony from potential users of Forest Park trails to Commissioners and other decision-makers – this to counteract the inevitable organized opposition, no matter how extensive, patient, and problem-solving-oriented the outreach to neighbors.

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            • David Hampsten December 23, 2016 at 2:19 pm

              I no longer live in Portland, and I last lived on the west side (Goose Hollow) in 2002; and Gateway Green, at 37 acres, is nothing in size compared to Forest Park. However, I am quite familiar with many areas of SW Portland, having ridden all over the place when I first moved to the city in 1997. if was living in west Portland and I wanted something like East Portland’s Gateway Green, I would locate it away from areas that are already popular with hikers. The first thing I’d do is consult with Don Baack of the SW Trails group, to find areas that are less popular with hikers. I’d then try to find a set of locations that are along designated existing or future multi-use paths, such as the Red Electric Trail, and somewhat centrally located in them thar hills, to eventually allow greater community access. Personally I’d focus my efforts either along old Slavin Road between Barbur and I-5, or else the area just south of I-5 between Terwilliger & Taylors Ferry. And then I’d get some PSU MURP workshop students to figure out the problems associated with each site, some PSU engineering students to make preliminary designs, and some UO architecture students to suggest a nice final design, to sell the idea to Parks & Rec.

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              • Alex Reedin December 23, 2016 at 2:28 pm

                I think that is a very pragmatic approach – but why is it that biking must always be shoehorned in where existing uses are not? (And generally there is a reason that existing uses are not… being right next to a freeway being a huge one). The balance of how people get around and recreate has changed over the years. Why is it not just a given that legacy uses may have to adjust just a little bit to accommodate new uses to some extent? Why are our SIX city-owned golf courses seemingly inviolate while people sleep on the ground for lack of places to live? Why can’t we make bold moves to improve our city based on the huge changes that have taken place, rather than just squeezing new things in where the rich, powerful, and content existing status quo won’t be upset?

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. December 24, 2016 at 12:56 pm

                Agreed. Pragmatism is great, but when going up against the established institutions of the wealthy ruling class that refuses to listen to reason, a bit of radicalism is what’s needed. Let’s not pretend that NIMBYism isn’t about maintaining power and control over the lesser-privileged.

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              • David Hampsten December 24, 2016 at 3:27 pm

                Adam & Alex, it depends upon if you want to achieve something practical and useful soon, at least within your lifetime, if not by next the next decade – versus fighting for some ideal situation against well-organized opposition, such as west-side trail hikers and/or west hills city councilors who seem to have a vendetta against mountain bikers. Personally, I prefer fights that I and the community I work with can possibly win, rather than fighting for an ideal that I know I’ll never see. I’m pretty sure a west side “Gateway Green” is perfectly possible, even doable. But the Battle of Forest Park still rages on, at least since the early 80s, and will likely never end.

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              • David Hampsten December 24, 2016 at 3:41 pm

                Or to put it another way, I’ve got the opposite problem here in Greensboro NC: Local folks, most city staff, and all 9 city councilors view bicycling in general, and mountain biking in particular, as a “recreational sport” rather than as “transportation”, and welcome all bicycling to all parks, with many miles of well-groomed off-road trails specifically designated for mountain biking, even at the exclusion of hikers in certain areas. However, those same city parks ban skateboarders at any time, and ban all users, including bicycles and pedestrians, after sunset. By encouraging bicycling in parks, and spending public funding accordingly, the city then feels they need not bother providing reasonably safe on-street facilities. Great mountain biking here, but good luck biking to those trails. Portland basically has chosen to provide relatively good on-street bicycle facilities, with off-street facilities being a much lower priority. Given limited funding, which would you choose?

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              • Alex Reedin December 24, 2016 at 8:02 pm

                What if I fight to elect a truly progressive city council that will actually move our city dramatically forward on issues across the board (mountain biking not really mattering in the grand scheme of things)? That seems to me to be a valuable way to spend my time.

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              • Alex December 27, 2016 at 8:12 am

                I would honestly argue that mountain biking is important in the grand scheme of things. It promotes a healthy lifestyle, which decreases costs of healthcare; it gets people more in touch with the environment and environmental issues and engages people to remove invasive species and treat the world with respect; it gets people having fun on bikes, which will, in turn, get more people commuting by bike and less reliant on cars.

                So, in the grand scheme of things, it really is important. I get that you see it “just” as recreation, but I see cycling as a holistic lifestyle and if we can embrace it on many different levels, we can get more people to take part in it and it will bleed into mainstream society at a quicker rate.

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              • Alex Reedin December 27, 2016 at 9:10 am

                I think mountain biking is important, but an order of magnitude less important than, say, non-car transportation, affordable housing, and what the City can do to stand in for our nation’s tattered social safety net. But then, I’m not a mountain biker (although I do enjoy riding Powell Butte and other easy dirt trails on my non-mountain-bike).

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              • Alex December 27, 2016 at 10:58 am

                Again, I see mountain biking as non-car transportation and it also deals with some very “grand scheme” issues (affordable healthcare (which is part of our nations tattered safety net, which you label high), getting more people to use non-car transportation (which you label high), environmental policy (which is not on your list, but should be)). So while it does not always directly deal with it, it is, in my opinion, a great component that should be supported.

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              • wsbob December 31, 2016 at 1:15 am

                “…Why are our SIX city-owned golf courses seemingly inviolate while people sleep on the ground for lack of places to live? …” alex reedin

                Hmm…now there’s an idea, since you mention city owned public golf courses…that’s interesting. Sorry golfers, but it’s an expensive sport, environmentally not friendly compared to natural land with dirt trail, and land that doesn’t have lawn that tends to get treated with nitrogen fertilizer and herbicides to create uniform turf to golf on.

                Didn’t the city actually close down a city golf course on the east side a few years back because it had become a big money loser? A little digging and I could find the name of it, but maybe some here might be interested in doing that. Golf courses cover some fairly big chunks of land, which might make for mountain bike parks in the city.

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              • Alex Reedin December 27, 2016 at 12:13 pm

                That’s true… just like transportation biking, it is a cheap way of helping address (not completely solving, just helping address) a large number of huge problems. So I’m moving it up on my list 🙂

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    • Alex Reedin December 22, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      Yeah, I have to think that there is a distinct possibility that, while the community effort and equitable nature and other merits of Gateway Green were the primary drivers bringing it to prominence, an additional “benefit” in the political calculus of top PP&R staff and Commissioners was the ability to provide some sort of off-road biking opportunity that was not Riverview and not Forest Park. Not because the decision-makers really care about where off-road biking occurs, but because they want to be able to say “See, you can bike off-road in Portland!” while also not facing the wrath of Southwest/Northwest NIMBYs.

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      • Alex Reedin December 22, 2016 at 4:11 pm

        And to include my main feeling about this whole topic – YAY for Gateway Green, and oh my goodness thank you to the awesome volunteers pushing this to fruition! I am WAY more likely to use this than I ever would be for trails way over on the westside. My kids are gonna love it once they’re old enough!

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      • I wear many hats December 23, 2016 at 2:07 pm

        Well said Alex ! You’ve succinctly defined the debate. The NIMBY group is vocal, confrontational, and exceedingly irrational in this context. We need access to trails all over the city, and yes, in existing natural areas. Gateway Green is awesome, but it is no panacea in this situation.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. December 24, 2016 at 1:03 pm

        Great point. It is certainly possible to be happy about all the positive benefits Gateway Green will bring to an underserved community while simultaneously criticizing the specific issues around displacing the houseless and City Hall’s NIMBYism that came with it.

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    • Jason Skelton December 24, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Thank you for an informative post! I was at gateway green yesterday and it is surrounded by a large fence. Do you know if it will be fenced when it is open? Do you think it makes to fence it now to protect mounds of dirt? I was disappointed I could not ride around a bit. Thank you!

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      • SE Rider December 24, 2016 at 7:49 pm

        The fence is there because they had to remove a number of campers from the site. The fence prevents them from coming back. It will not be there when it opens to the public.

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  • Jocelyn Gaudi December 22, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    So, I know haters are going to hate and all, but I honestly can’t believe how often folks like to poo-poo on Gateway Green or other “good” news stories on this site and use them as “Yeah, but what about this other problem” fodder.

    Gateway Green is a project over a decade in the making, led entirely by active neighborhood volunteers. Heck, the first two that really committed to making this site a reality and continue to offer countless hours to the cause AREN’T EVEN MTBers. This is not a park (Paolo) that could have been completed with a “little money” and “few volunteers” and if you think so, you’re limiting yourself from seeing the amazing resource this park will be for the local and greater community. Please further your understanding on the background and complexities of the project here:

    In regards to Forest Park – did you all really just expect the City Council to do a 180* on their policies overnight? Why would they do that? Why WOULDN’T the mountain bike community see Gateway Green is an incredible opportunity to build rapport with PP&R – to show them what we can accomplish when we work together on a project – and then continue to work with them to find more spaces and places to build valuable recreational outlets?

    The Off-Road Cycling Master Plan will be digging into the issue of off-road riding in Forest Park and so it will be BPS and their consulting team that makes the next recommendation of what riding will be there. Learn more about that process here:

    If you care about mountain biking in Portland, here are some things you can do instead of posting negative comments here:
    1) Write a letter to Commissioner Fritz and PP&R thanking them for the funding. Let them know that their investment is appreciated and valued by their constituents.
    2) While you’re at it, write a letter to Metro to thank them for all of the support they’ve offered the off-road cycling community in 2016.
    3) Join us on February 11th for the Big Dig build day at Gateway Green.
    4) Come out to a NWTA meeting and learn what else the active volunteers are working on to improve riding in Portland and beyond.
    5) Come to the next Off-Road Cycling Master Plan committee meeting to see what that process is like and consider providing a public comment in support of mountain biking in Portland.
    6) Go ride your bike – here’s hoping it will improve your attitude.

    (Full disclosure – I am on the FoGG and NWTA Board and this comment is not representative of the position of their organization. Just my own 2 cents.)

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty December 22, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      Yeah, but what about Forest Park and Riverview?

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    • Terry D-M December 22, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      Thank you. As someone who spends as must time east of Tabor as west, east Portland needs to be commended for this.

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    • Kate December 22, 2016 at 4:14 pm

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    • Kate December 22, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      (Praise hands emoji)

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    • Snowden December 23, 2016 at 8:12 am

      Thank you for the voice of reason here Jocelyn. Spot on…

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    • I wear many hats December 23, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      I think many skeptical readers and commenters are wary of any support from Commissioner Fritz, as she has time and time again balked at serving the mountain bike community. Gateway Green is an amazing project and its great news that its being funded by the parks. Its about time all of our advocacy folk get a “W”. I just hope that the momentum of the PORCP doesn’t stop at Gateway Green.

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      • Alex December 27, 2016 at 7:20 am

        I would also note, I didn’t see many “haters”. As someone who has been involved in this process and has done everything on the list of things to do (which I think are worthwhile), I am not biased about location (east/west) and I support more access, wherever that may be. That being said, I have seen the way things have gone for the past 14 years and definitely reserve the right to be incredibly skeptical – don’t confuse it for hate.

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  • David Hampsten December 23, 2016 at 1:09 am

    While I agree with what Jocelyn and Terry have said about this project, I think one has to give even stronger kudos to the project organizers, Linda Robinson and Ted Gilbert, for recognizing early on the opposition to this project and their mapping out on how to deal with it, step by step. They also knew the difference between dealing with organized opposition and unorganized opposition.

    There is opposition to this project. There is local unorganized opposition, such as neighbor NIMBYism (just as strong on the east side as the west, but much less well organized); dog walkers losing an essentially free informal dog park; and homeless campers who have been using the land since at least 1992, when I-205 was built, if not longer when I-84 was built in the 50s.

    And then there is (or was) organized opposition from several key players, any one of whom could have effectively killed this project. Ted & Linda quickly figured out which entities would be easier to deal with, and which would be harder. Essentially they mapped out step-by-step what they would need to do to convince the hardest entities to at least not oppose the project. In this case, it was the Union Pacific Railroad, who has joint control for the only access point that allows heavy vehicles to the site, a little-known concrete bridge just south of Fremont and east of 102nd over I-84. The other joint owners are the Portland Water Bureau, PBOT, and ODOT, TriMet. By working with each agency in turn, they gained allies and contacts for each subsequent agency. TriMet has a good rapport with UPRR (as much as anyone can) while ODOT partners with UPRR for the AMTRAK Cascades service.

    The other main entities they had to deal with was ODOT, who owned all the land, for future highway expansion; the State of Oregon, especially the governors office, who helped broker the land transfer deals; Portland Parks & Rec, who would be eventually receive the land; and the City of Maywood Park. I know we all joke about Maywood Park not really being a “city”, but it is incorporated and recognized as such by the state and by Metro. If they had tried hard, they could have effectively blocked this project, but Ted & Linda early on got them on board.

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    • Alex Reedin December 23, 2016 at 5:46 am

      That’s a really interesting side of the story, David! Thanks for the insight!

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  • Middle of the Road Guy December 23, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Help support the project with your hands. Trail building on Feb 11.

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  • Paolo January 1, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    From builder Jason Wells:
    We will be out building trail at Gateway Green tomorrow Monday thru Wednesday this week. If anyone wants to help please come on out. Beginner woods line is mostly done. We will be adding rock and logs to the second woods line this week. The north entrance to the park will be open and we will be there from 8 to 4:30 every day.

    Time to put your hands at work beside on the keyboard…

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