“Isn’t this fabulous?!”
— Amanda Fritz, Portland city commissioner
“Allow me to share a visual representation of our mission statement,” said Northwest Trail Alliance board member Joceyln Gaudi as she waved her hands toward a crowd of onlookers at the opening of Gateway Green on Saturday. “You are in it!”
Never again will off-road cycling advocates have to try and explain what they’re working for. Never again will they have to scour the Internet for stock images showing kids enjoying an urban mountain bike park. Now we have one of our own.
Gateway Green isn’t just the realization of an 11-year vision by community advocates, it’s the embodiment of the benefits urban off-road cycling can bring to Portland. It’s like the off-road version of Sunday Parkways.
And like Sunday Parkways, it appears to be an instant hit.
Even before the event officially opened on Saturday, NW Trail Alliance President Chris Rotvik said people were streaming in. They’d been waiting in anticipation of a previously vacant and abandoned parcel of 25 acres north of the Gateway shopping center in east Portland being transformed into a city park they could be proud of.
I met a local resident on the I-205 path while biking to the event. He said he recently moved and decided to remain in the Gateway area in large part because of the new bike park. It’s this type of destination attraction that real estate developer Ted Gilbert envisioned 11 years ago.
“You can walk here, you can bike here, you can ride a skateboard here, you can run here — but you cannot drive your vehicle here. That fits our ethos.”
— Mike Abbaté, director of Portland Parks Bureau
Gilbert first shared his vision with BikePortland in 2008. “We hope this park becomes the branding tool that helps people take a fresh look at East Portland,” he said back then, “and once people are out here recreating, then they might want to move here.”
Saturday’s crowds were impressive despite heat well in to the 90s. The turnout speaks not only to how popular the park is — and will increasingly become — to Gateway residents. It’s also a sign of how easy the park is to get to. Tony Pereira and his six-year-old son Oscar live in North Portland. They rolled down to the Lloyd Center and hopped on a red line MAX train to Gateway. The total trip took around 30 minutes.
Portland Parks Director Mike Abbaté embraced the fact that the park doesn’t have direct automobile access. “It’s notable that this is a carfree park. You can walk here, you can bike here, you can ride a skateboard here, you can run here — but you cannot drive your vehicle here. That fits our ethos.”
Another way Gateway Green is decidedly Portland is how it came to life. Ted Gilbert, a real estate expert with an eye toward community development, wisely allied with veteran east Portland advocate Linda Robinson 11 years ago. Together, they built an impressive coalition of support that went from the grassroots all the way to the Governor’s office in Salem.
Over 1,200 individual donors stepped up to help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars through crowdfunding campaigns. The park was also funded by Parks Bureau system development charges and a “Nature in Neighborhoods” grant from Metro.
Robinson, chair of the Friends of Gateway Green, said the journey from vision to reality led to the adoption of a new personal motto: “Patient persistence.”
“Crazy ideas can become a reality,” Robinson said during a speech Saturday.
It took much more than money and political support to make Gateway Green. It also took a lot of physical labor. Thousands of volunteer hours have been spent pulling ivy, clearing brush and logs, and cleaning up trash. That labor continued right up to Saturday as professional trail-builders worked to finish the job.
Shea Ferrell and his team from Denver-based FlowRide Concepts, worked 20 straight, 12-14-hour days to shape and smooth Gateway Green’s trails, flow-lines, ramps and jumps. Dirty and tired, Ferrell was still working the excavator in Saturday’s blazing sun. “I didn’t want to disappoint anyone,” he said through a big smile, clearly excited to see so many people enjoying his creations.
And boy did they ever…
I’ve been excited for this project for the past nine years, but seeing it all come to life managed to exceed my wildest expectations. There are so many fun trail features to explore: the forested single-track, the gravel road climb up to a fun downhill descent, the pump-track, the flowy skills area, and the jump lines.
Combined with the huge and diverse crowd, it was enough to make even Commissioner Amanda Fritz go off-script: “My goodness!” she exclaimed in her English accent in a speech during the dedication ceremony, “Isn’t this fabulous?! I was here pulling ivy months ago and I could never have imagined it was going to be this today.”
“You know what’s going to happen don’t you?” she continued. “Everybody in the rest of the city is going to say, ‘They’ve got the best place, can we have one of those?’”
The opening of Gateway Green is a watershed moment for cycling in Portland. What it means in a physical, mental, and political sense is incalculable and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
The Gateway Green Bike Park is open everyday from dawn to dusk.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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Typo under the group photo: Cithy Commissioner Amanda Fritz – City
also – I-25 bike path instead of 205
It was a total blast to be there!
Yes. Did you see those big turkey vultures by Rocky Butte?
Well done everyone! This is a watershed moment. Keep up the hard work and continue to pressure Fish an Fritz to accommodate trail riding throughout the city.
I find it noteworthy that Amanda Fritz, who has consistently thrown sand in the gears of anything that smells of cycling-for-transport, is so thrilled by this effort.
I know many of you don’t share my feelings about the recreational/transportational distinction in the realm of cycling, but her bifurcated stance I think suggests perhaps we take a closer look at this matter.
I was perturbed to see that she showed up for the photo op, but has thrown sand in the gears of mountain bike advocacy (and cycling advocacy) throughout her tenure as a commissioner.
She has pulled English Ivy and weeds at this park.
Inspiration for and construction of Gateway Green mountain bike park is a great accomplishment, and Commissioner Fritz supports it. That support as well as the support of many other people throughout the city for possible creation of additional parks like this one, ought to be resoundingly appreciated for prospects for mountain biking within the city that may hold.
It’s highly doubtful that sour grapes expressed over the people of this city declining to concede use of natural area parks such as Forest Park, Riverview, and other natural area parks in the city, for mountain biking, will help towards bringing about more of this type of bike park. A base of support for this type of riding in the city…perhaps a growing base of support, and a positive outlook for the possibility of future bike parks…should be recognized as the important thing to keep in mind.
I’m glad to read the park’s grand opening was well attended, and that people had a great time with their bikes !
The thing is that we (as a city) shouldn’t have to be crowd-funding public parks in lower income areas.
Fritz supported it enough that we had to crowdfund to get it done…
“Fritz supported it enough that we had to crowdfund to get it done…” bjorn
Are you saying there is something wrong with people helping to fund on a grassroots level, particular types of parks they want?
Excuse me if I’m not remembering all the details on how this park was put together but didn’t the city use taxpayer’s money to buy this land? The city had the land for awhile, got it from the railroad, BLM or some such previous ownder, but lacked the money to develop it into a mountain biking park. That’s where crowdfunding came in, and that people enthusiastically came through by this method with the additionally needed money seems to me like nothing other than a good thing.
I’m surprised and disappointed that you aren’t happy, and at least a little gracious for the help you received. You wanted a mountain bike park, and with many people’s help, mountain bike enthusiasts now have a park for this particular type of recreation. S E Rider…pulling the “…lower income areas.” card is kind of low. This isn’t your standard, lawn, park bench, basketball court type of park that neighborhoods across the city have. The type of recreation this park is specifically designed to provide for is comparatively unique, and as a result, is likely to draw visitors from beyond the immediate area, from a range of income levels.
I’m curious how many crowd-funded parks and sports fields there are in Portland….
The soccer fields built by OPI (an org spun out of the Timbers Army’s 107ist) come to mind. Unsurprisingly, they’re also in underserved communities.
We shouldn’t have to crowdfund to create a park in and under-served part of the city. That is why we pay taxes. I contributed to Gateway Green because I felt it was important. I wish our city councilor would focus more on streamlining the parks department so we have more funding for east Portland. She seems to be focused on other issues.
“We shouldn’t have to crowdfund to create a park in and under-served part of the city. That is why we pay taxes.”
In the New Economy, there is not enough tax revenue for public works projects. Those with corporate support get built easily and quickly. Those without require crowdfunding and thousands of volunteer hours. Don’t expect your tax dollars to be sufficient — or wisely used — anymore. This park got built through sheer force of will, a lot of patience and a group of volunteers who stuck it out.
All such efforts in the future will require this sort of persistence in order to happen.
These types of specific parks can help build up lower income areas by bringing attention to them from people who would otherwise not visit them. Pointing out that it was built in a lower income area is not out of line in this discussion.
You’ve made your anti-mountain bike bias very clear here for years.
> It’s highly doubtful that sour grapes expressed over the people of this city declining to concede use of natural area parks such as Forest Park, Riverview, and other natural area parks in the city, for mountain biking, will help towards bringing about more of this type of bike park.
What will then? Not talking about it? How can we talk about it and not sound at least somewhat upset about the City (mainly Fritz) from pulling access silently from RVNA, a place where MTBs had been using for many years and where the local organizers had been, in good faith, working with the city and spending money to plan trails in this location? When the city asks people for a vote, the majority of the voters signal they want more mountain bike access in Forest Park and then the city just denies it – what do we do then?
It’s one thing to “not get exactly what they want from Fritz” and another to be taken down a path and abandoned after spending money and precious time on things. I will be a fan of Fritz once she genuinely starts supporting cycling in Portland. I suggest you go over her history with cycling in Portland and see just how much she has “helped” it.
“The cycling community seems to be doing little or nothing to educate riders or reduce these dangerous behaviors” — Amanda Fritz
We don’t necessarily want more of this type of bike park, we want to mountain bike in natural area parks such as Forest Park, Riverview, and other natural area parks that have elevation, trees (and tree cover), basically an pretty and enjoyable place to ride that is peaceful and quiet and take in the sights and smells, within the city without the need to drive to the place.
A parcel of land between 2 freeways and an off-ramp is not the most pleasant place to be, yes it’s fun to ride and it’s a start, but it is a skills park, not necessarily that much single track mountain biking, and you are surrounded by the hubbub of car traffic, so not a place to ride and get away from it all.
Trails. Trails that might even, you know, go somewhere.
Marshall park maybe?
In SW? That would be cool.
Yes. It’s great that she was there for this, but I don’t think you will find anyone in Portland that believes she is a great friend to off road cyclists.
A journey starts with a single step.
Great point. Would have been nice if she had tried riding at this event.
Do you realize how spoiled and self indulgent your remark likely sounds to anyone outside of your small circle of mountain bike enthusiast friends? I wonder how you throw that attitude in people’s faces, and then wonder why they aren’t as willing to help you out as you think they should be. Keep up the smear campaign of contempt, and you’ll continue to alienate yourselves from the kind of help and support mountain bike enthusiasts need from people of this city to bring about more opportunities for mountain biking, in the city.
Yours and some other people’s comments here sound like they insist upon taking the attitude that if biking enthusiasts don’t get exactly what they want from Fritz, regardless of how that might negatively impact everyone else in the city, whom she’s also obligated to answer to, then the commissioner must not be supportive of better conditions and opportunities for the range of biking that people in this city are interested in.
Gateway Green’s opening is a great day for off-road biking in Portland! Be happy and gracious in thanking everyone, including Fritz, that helped bring it all together.
One is delusional if they think Fritz contributed to this project beyond the obligatory photo ops. Her track record of undercutting, obfuscating, and defaming the cycling community in this city is ample evidence of bias. Should she see the light and support access for bikes on trails in an actual natural setting, I’ll be the first to sing her praises. Ample trail mileage exists in this town to share ‘some’ of it. Everyone, hikers, birders, bikers, and the natural setting itself can have their cake, and eat it too.
I wear many hats
One is delusional if they think Fritz contributed to this project beyond the obligatory photo ops. Her track record of undercutt…
I have to disagree with your assessment of Frit’z support for the project. While she hasn’t been intimately involved with the project to this point, she was instrumental in PP&R dedicating $2MM of Parks SDC funds, which was needed for the Metro Nature in Neighborhoods grant. Without that money being allocated, the Metro funds would have vaporized. Those funds will be utilized during the next phase of this project, which is the more “formal” park buildout.
I’m not a huge fan of Fritz, but you have to give credit where it is due.
Weren’t those funds required to be used in East Portland anyway? Sure they could have gone somewhere else, but it’s a bit less noble if they were already ear-marked for East Portland.
Off-road bicycling encourages way too many riders to view the natural world as a plaything to be intentionally abused, neglected and discarded. It’s bicycling as macho entertainment more than exercise and a good way to get around. Off-road bicycling is the same as off-road RVs, jet-skis, snowmobiles – a blindly egocentric toy.
This is great. Please go on.
Oh I see… Brian gets 5 ‘likes’ for a simpleton cell phone text/comment.
The group think of small minds never ends.
Up to ten, and please continue. I’ve never here any of these complexiton thoughts before.
@Wells – perhaps because his comment isn’t a crazy rant that is out of touch with reality?
Sounds like road cycling to me.
Appreciation of the natural world comes in many forms. Off road cycling has encouraged me to become an ardent steward and supporter of wild spaces. I happen to see those wild spaces both on foot and on a bike. Your comment touches on a problem that we all face with our dwindling resources and human consumption patterns. Off road cyclists are but one of may forms of outdoor appreciators. To pigeonhole the mountain biking group as wanting to abuse, neglect, and destroy the natural world is erroneous and disingenuous. The Gateway Green Park rehabbed a blighted space. Forest Park rehabbed a blighted subdivision and clear cut. These spaces allow us to appreciate the natural world. There are places to play and there are places to appreciate nature. Some coincide with one another, while others are (and should be) kept separate.
That area off Gateway wasn’t blighted. It was just a few acres of lawn alongside the trail to Parkrose. I don’t mind the new use there, but I doubt it’ll ever become a truly family-friendly because of its isolation. And as for the macho bicyclers there to shred, I have a friend who’s a wheelchair-bound paraplegic after falling from a jump on a bike.
Did you not see the above pictures? All those families seemed to make it there just fine. I saw many kids and parents there last night as well. This is just a red herring.
@wells you really are a dark cloud of rain on a sunny day. What are your intentions about bringing up a friend who got hurt riding his bike? I know commuters who have died while commuting by bike – should we stop commuting by bike?
Just stop Wells. Please. We all use the earth. Our existence is but a slight on this planet. You and I will both be gone in less than a heartbeat of the earths existence. The earth itself DOES NOT CARE. … go take your concerns to your own corner and learn to deal with them. Got it?
Please don’t tell me what to do. I’m a regular bicycler who believes it’s highest use is as an alternative to driving (thus fundamental infrastructure) needed to guide development, rather than another entertainment that minimizes the responsibility we should feel toward our natural environs. Have fun destroying the planet and bringing on WWIII.
Mountain bikers starting WWIII sounds like a segment Alex Jones would have.
Dirt trails = more kids on bikes.
More kids on bikes = more future bike commuters.
More bike commuters = we get to keep living on earth.
I don’t see how your WWIII hyperbole helps.
Wells = Vandekook-lite.
Brian, your first and second reply were totally condescending. I tried to make fair points about bicycling, but you resorted to stereotyping me as ‘rabidly’ against mountain biking. I am against the abuse of our natural environs and place mountain biking in the category of ‘entertainment’ which does little to address the problems associated with travel and transport, energy consumption, pollution, traffic, etc. You are obviously unable to conduct fair discussion and you’re as rudely dismissive of contrary viewpoint as President Trump.
Project much, Wells? You seem to think you have a near-psychic ability to know the thoughts of mountain bike riders.
Mountain bike riders have thoughts?
Mr. or Mrs. Wells, do you have any other generalizations or put-downs for us, our children, our partners, our parents, your neighbors, the people you interact with on a daily basis around town, etc? Please, do go on.
Don’t forget his wheelchair-bound paraplegic former friend.
Brian, if my comments have given the recklessly destructive and rude mountain bikers among us any sense of responsibility for their actions, I’m satisfied. It’s likely they’ll have to grow up before they realize how much impact our transportation systems have on the planet. Get back to me if and when you’ve aged beyond adolescence.
Jonathan – out of curiosity, what benefit do you see from letting someone like wells to continue to post his comments here personally insulting people?
@Wells, I don’t think you have given anyone reading these comments a single thing to consider just yet. Perhaps some more name-calling, condescension and generalizations would help. Or, get back to us when you have the ability to have a mature, rational discussion about this topic. Cheers!
Brian, I specifically attacked mountain bikers who indeed recklessly destroy natural environs (by cutting unauthorized trails) and who ‘rudely’ fly through narrow paths past hikers who’d better just get the hell out of the way. There’s plenty of bicyclists out there who likewise treat pedestrians and other bicyclists like road obstacles on designated shared pathways. You’re just looking for an argument and in adolescent fashion, are trying to rally others to support your shoot the messager tactic. I made an attempt to be specific. You generalized my complaints as if they were meant for everyone. You probably bicycle around like driving in the passing lane.
Yeah, I’m the one who came to tbis positive story to pick a fight. In case you forgot your first comment: “Off-road bicycling encourages way too many riders to view the natural world as a plaything to be intentionally abused, neglected and discarded. It’s bicycling as macho entertainment more than exercise and a good way to get around. Off-road bicycling is the same as off-road RVs, jet-skis, snowmobiles – a blindly egocentric toy.”
And this kind, non-generalizing question “Mountain bike riders have thoughts?”
But please, do continue.
“I specifically attacked mountain bikers who indeed recklessly destroy natural environs (by cutting unauthorized trails) and who ‘rudely’ fly through narrow paths past hikers who’d better just get the hell out of the way.”
This is literally the first mention of these issues (that I think most mountain bikers would agree are problems) that you’ve presented here. If you’d lead with these, and not been so antagonistic (and at the same time defensive) people would have been willing to have a real conversation with you.
Brian, your first reply to my first post – “This is great. Please go on” – was just a tad condescending. It didn’t bother me until I noticed that it got 5 (now 20) thumbs up. So, I concluded that such comments are approved by regular posters on this site. My come back “group think of small minds” described those who want to make this bicycle club forum private, like a religious institution, like class and political division or a high school clique led by cheerleaders rooting for their team. I tried to make points about how we abuse our natural environs, but you chose to make any discussion a contentious argument. Some people never grow up.
So Wells, you’re just angry because people agreed with Brian’s post more than yours? Talk about needing to grow up, wow.
The reason Brian’s comment was so well-received is that we have heard those same tired, unfounded, unqualified and debunked opinions concerning mountain biking in these comment threads that there’s no need to challenge them. It’s best to simply let people like you vent without the dignity of a long response.
PS. Welome to the internet.
Zimmerman, Brian accused me of being “condescending” after his first reply to me was just that plus hypocritical. Brian’s comment was well received because this forum is closed to all those who don’t chant the same mantra. Off-road bicycling is a futile temporary escape from the dire reality of our world being overrun with motorized vehicles degrading the environment. Off-road riding won’t change a thing. Have fun watching the world burn.
“Brian’s comment was well received because this forum is closed to all those who don’t chant the same mantra.”
Piling on does happen here, to be sure, and it isn’t the nicest feature of bikeportland, but in this case the tone of your comment signaled to a lot of people that you were spoiling for a fight, not seeking to be constructive in the least. Bikeportland is many things, but it in my experience it is emphatically not a place where group-think dominates, where dissent is not tolerated. There are a lot of differing opinions here, despite what some assert.
Normally, mountain biking doesn’t cause fires, but according to you I might be doing it wrong. I might install some flint chips in my tire tread in order to make for better viewing later. Heck, maybe the fire will burn down an auto dealership somewhere so I can spin my non-motorized recreational experience into some kind of ecologically positive crusade.
Wells, I do enjoy your hyperbolic nihilism. It’s inspiring.
Zimmerman, off-road bicycling is a futile temporary escape from the dire reality of our world being overrun with motorized vehicles degrading the environment. Moreover, as pure entertainment, it encourages degradation of natural settings by cutting unauthorized trails. These are facts. I’m not sorry to burst your little bubble, but I think maybe you’re just too young or too inexperienced to see the bigger picture.
My reply wasn’t condescending in the least. It’s good for all of us to hear from the rabidly anti mtb clique. I have had hundreds of mature conversations with those who oppose mtb’s. It was clear from the start that this was not to be one of them. Have a great weekend, and feel free to jump into future conversations in a way that encourages actual dialogue. Who knows, your mind might just the one that experiences a paradigm shift.
“These are facts.”
Where? I see lots of proclamations, followed by insults. Ignoring the insults, I challenge you to cite a source for any of these proclamations:
* Off-road bicycling encourages way too many riders to view the natural world as a plaything to be intentionally abused, neglected and discarded.
* [Off-road bicycling is] macho entertainment more than exercise and a good way to get around.
* Off-road bicycling is the same as off-road RVs, jet-skis, snowmobiles – a blindly egocentric toy.
* I specifically attacked mountain bikers who indeed recklessly destroy natural environs (by cutting unauthorized trails) and who ‘rudely’ fly through narrow paths past hikers who’d better just get the hell out of the way.
* Off-road bicycling is a futile temporary escape from the dire reality of our world being overrun with motorized vehicles degrading the environment.
* Moreover, as pure entertainment, it encourages degradation of natural settings by cutting unauthorized trails.
I happen to live an area of town that has many trails. I would love to bike commute on them legally because it is far safer, cleaner, quieter, and more fun than dodging cars on the roads. There is room to share, or to allow some trail riding. No one wants to abuse the environment. We wish to appreciate it. The whole Off Road Cycling Master Plan has avoided commuting as a viable use of trails and its a shame. Accidents happen. They are not a reason however, to suggest that every rider is hell-bent on destroying our natural world. Your comments are comical in their impropriety.
The thing is bob, you seem convinced that the “circle of mountain bike friends” is small. Maybe this event is showing that not to be the case.
It’s worth noting that under Fritz’s direction, the working group for the River View property was explicitly prohibited from discussing mountain bike use at the public meetings for that project. She was doing everything she could to try to hide the fact that the professional advisory committee had found no real problems with on-trail biking at the site. Kind of the opposite of accountable public representation or fact-based decision making, eh?
“Yours and some other people’s comments here sound like they insist upon taking the attitude that if biking enthusiasts don’t get exactly what they want from Fritz, regardless of how that might negatively impact everyone else in the city, whom she’s also obligated to answer to, then the commissioner must not be supportive of better conditions and opportunities for the range of biking that people in this city are interested in.” – wsbob
I would argue that some of commentators aren’t reacting to “not getting what they want” from Fritz (and she is only one commissioner after all) . They are reacting to Commissioner Fritz’s active disenfranchisement of a legitimate passive use. Whether we are talking about shelving a completed public process (2010/2011 Forest Park Single Track plan) or changing the rules of a on-going public process because it seemed to be on track to deliver a certain outcome, one which it could no longer deliver after the rule change (Riverview), Commissioner Fritz has been there at the forefront. To my knowledge, she also the only commissioner to go on a televised tirade against mountain biking.
So, yeah, people have some feelings when she shows up at Gateway Green to get her picture taken. They might express that in way that isn’t as positive as you would like, but that doesn’t mean they are spoiled or self-indulgent.
As to your comment regarding mountain biking, how it “might negatively impact everyone else in the city”, remember not all of us on this comment forum live in Portland. We know better. We see the positive aspects that urban mountain biking brings. I will offer this to you again: lets exchange information and I will invite you to a place that has full out on urban mountain biking in parks, natural areas, wildlife refuges and the like. I guarantee once you see what its really like, all your worries and fears will evaporate.
She has been a steady supporter of EPAP, if not always reliable. East Portland community leaders would have taken it badly if she hadn’t shown up. Also she and Linda Robinson have been good friends overs the years.
I think she is simply an attention seeker.
She’s also in charge of the parks dept. And given that this is the opening of a new park she is pretty much required to attend.
It is always fun and exciting when something new starts out….much like Sunday Parkways. A couple of years ago the numbers of people riding it made it difficult to move safely. Yesterday my family and I rode down Willamette Blvd and we were completely alone. I am sure the heat kept many away but the activities at the parks were half what they were and there were hardly any lines.
Gateway Green looks great but time will tell as to its lasting impression on Portland. It looks like something that will require a good bit of maintenance and if it’s. It maintained, it won’t be used as much.
Yeah that was because it was 130 degrees out
“Isn’t this fabulous?!”
— Amanda Fritz,
Yes, now imagine how awesome it’d be if Forest Park had some of this.
Yes. Dirt jumps on the Leif Ericson trail. and more.
Yeah, because that’s exactly what people are asking for in Forest Park: dirt jumps. Give it a rest.
Some people do want dirt jumps on mountian bike trails.
Yes it’s true. They help me clear the dog poop.
I for one, do not wish to ride jumps on multiuser trails. I just want to ride trail. I fear the broader community will use the jumps at Gateway Green to say “NO” to trail access in Forest Park and other areas.
The property at Gateway Green formerly had loads more trash. It is a park where it was formerly a place where people who take motocross bikes.
***This comment has been deleted by request of its author.***
You are so correct, Jane. Many of us have seen the time, dedication, and care that Tom has put into not just GG, but to the entire mtb scene here. We all owe him a huge thanks, or a beer or two. Here is a comment I posted on the previous GG article. “In addition to those already mentioned, I’d like to give a shout out to Mr. Tom Archer. Thad dude has worked tirelessly over the last ten years from the mtb side of things to help the others make this happen. Thank you. You helped to make Portland a better city for all of us.”
It was from off Tom’s lips years ago that I first heard of Gateway Green. Tom is a great person, and an asset to our community.
Same. He brought me in to the local advocacy scene right at the start of this project.
It was awesome being there. I heard the sewer department might have plans with ODOT to make a wetlands to filter stormwater runoff from the adjacent freeway.
Been watching, anticipating for years. So excited to roll through the gate Saturday morning and see the reality and the smiles. This is huge for East Portland and off-road cycling in PDX. and less than10 minute roll from my house in Montavilla, well that’s gravy!
I’m not crying, you’re crying. Just so amazing! Linda and Ted are heroes. The place was already hopping by 8:00am, and this is just Phase 1. #heartswelling
So you’re telling me that mountain bikers aren’t just 20 year old men?
So awesome to see these kinds of crowds and this level of excitement. Can’t wait to ride over and check it out this week.
So great to see all this happening, even with the heat on Saturday. We rode from our house in M’villa, over 205 at Glisan, and up the I-205 trail. Wish there was better access around Tillamook/Rocky Butte. It’s easier for us to just ride the max one stop from 82nd ave station than it is to loop north/south on bike. Hoping that 92nd ave/Halsey underpass path happens sometime soon, it’s not scheduled until 2020 or so.
“Wish there was better access around Tillamook/Rocky Butte.”
Lack of safe/convenient access to the Madison South neighborhood (Rocky Butte) from the 205 path has vexed me for years.
There is access. but you must go through a hole in the fence off Tillamook – Hancock Dr, ride south through the grass pit, under the highway and up the embankment to the South end of the parcel. This ‘could’ be linked (already is via transient foot path) along the East side of Rocky Butte also. A few intrepid explorers could link/ ride the loop into existence.
I’ve lived in Portland now some 16 years. I arrived with seven types of off-road bicycles in my quiver …I’ve sold them all for lack of out the door amenities.
This is in my opinion one of the most important bicycle related accomplishments the city has managed to put together.
I do not identify as a “mountain biker” even though I’ve ridden , raced, toured and lived with them all my adult life. I’m a cyclist.
Portland will never be a true cycling town until it’s leaders understand how important it is to stop ignoring the gold mine off road cycling is. Not in just revenue, but in overall balance to the culture of cycling.
I applaud all the people who made this happen. Hats off to you.
There’s no need to examine the issue further, the rest of the nation is leaving us in the dust. We aren’t included on one single list of top destinations for mountain biking. That is an embarrassment.
Let’s move forward.
So tell me again why we’re subsidizing golf courses but not MTB trails?
Red Tail Golf Course in Washington County is owned by Portland Parks, but there are no public trails to allow people to avoid ODOT’s Hall Blvd. It doesn’t have the public trial like Glendoveer golf course.
The city golf courses have been more than self funding, for several decades they’ve generated a surplus that funds other city programs. This year’s crazy weather set them back and they needed some funds, which was less than they’ve contributed over the years (in other words, if the golf courses had been allowed to accumulate their surplus in the past, they wouldn’t have needed any help this year at all.)
I wonder if city MTB trails will ever be self funding?
They may be “self funding”, but that isn’t good enough. They consume huge amounts of space and are only used by a small percentage of the city. The fences restrict general access and destroy the city grid, making it more difficult to walk and bike. They should be leased out to private companies to operate, and if they can’t pay property tax for the space used, the parks should be converted for general access.
Same for the sports fields at Delta Park, the basketball courts and rose gardens, public swimming pools and libraries, boat launches and nature areas, even the Gateway Green MTB trails. Many public amenities are each used by only a very small percentage of the overall population. Because we are a population of very diverse interests. I don’t personally use most of the public amenities in our city. I don’t play golf, sail, swim, use libraries, play basketball, etc. But I’m aware that others do, so I support their continued ability to engage in their preferred activities.
There is a kind of class warfare that permeates BP comments. Many here take a narrow, righteous, and self-centered view of our community. If you’re not a utility cyclist, then your needs and wants are belittled.
If the city won’t provide the city’s golf players, who collectively play 400,000 rounds (days) annually on municipal courses, with facilities which are actually self-funding, then why should it provide the sport of mountain biking with facilities which won’t be self-funding? Maybe Gateway Green should pay property taxes and be required to charge enough user fees to pay for its upkeep and policing? Shall we go down that path? I’ll be surprised if, ultimately, the regular users of Gateway Green amount to more than 1% of Portland’s population. That’s a “small” percentage, right?
“There is a kind of class warfare that permeates BP comments. Many here take a narrow, righteous, and self-centered view of our community.”
Curious. That is not my impression. I wonder if you could be a little more specific.
“If you’re not a utility cyclist, then your needs and wants are belittled.”
Not sure how I could have missed this. I tend to be the only one (I think) here who raises the distinction between transportation and recreation, tries to problematize it every so often. And I certainly don’t fit your derisive characterization.
You might be surprised as to how you come across to someone that only knows you through your comments on this site.
Perhaps. But I could learn more if you were specific. Gave an example or three. Hold up that mirror. Offer constructive pushback.
My working assumption is that automobility and its apologists can handle my critique, is orders of magnitude stronger than my occasionally strident chirping. Or am I misunderstanding your oblique criticism of my comments here?
9watts… Really? Give it a rest. You love for this crap. It’s been ten years. Just stop. Bicycles will not save humanity. As much as you and I love them. Give up. Understand?
Then pray tell why were you first to reply? I think the answer here is obvious.
“If you’re not a utility cyclist, then your needs and wants are belittled. ”
people who cycle for transport are, what, a couple percent of the Portland public? I suspect that 19 of 20 Portlanders, never mind Oregonians, are not in that category. As one of the tiny minority apparently shrieking unkindly about everyone else (might be worth being a little more specific who we’re talking about – soccer moms? shut ins? toddler? mountain bike enthusiasts? people working two jobs that are not close to where they live?) I’m having a hard time following this train of thought; exactly how harm is being done?
It’s the need to divide up what you point out is already a small minority. Like derision of recreation, weekend warriors or your need to comment on mountain bikers here. We’re all cyclists. Many of ride a lot of different kinds of bikes, so we’re not easily pigeonholed into a single category. It also seems that you don’t want to recognize that recreation riding can lead to commuting for many folks (it’s a lot easier to bike commute when you already have the bike).
“It’s the need to divide up what you point out is already a small minority.”
I have already stated my reasons for distinguishing different types of riding. You either don’t understand why I think it useful or you disagree, but either way we’d learn more if you spoke to the thinking I’ve articulated here rather than inventing straw men.
“Like derision of recreation”
I am not aware of having done this. Noting that recreation is distinct, that there are political reasons we might want to differentiate different types of cycling, to raise the profile of the kind(s) that is (are) least well understood in our state, is a far cry from what you are (or appear to be) accusing me of doing.
“your need to comment on mountain bikers here.”
Lots of people are commenting on mountain bikers here. What about my comments are you objecting to, or are you saying I should not comment at all?
“We’re all cyclists. Many of ride a lot of different kinds of bikes, so we’re not easily pigeonholed into a single category. It also seems that you don’t want to recognize that recreation riding can lead to commuting for many folks (it’s a lot easier to bike commute when you already have the bike).”
You are tilting against windmills. I’m not arguing with any of this. My point has never been to pigeon hole but to suggest why presenting a more nuanced understanding of the diversity of bicycling to the public that doesn’t bike and unhelpfully assumes (or appears to assume) that all biking is discretionary could yield dividends.
9watts is his world, and his world only. Maus protects him as well. I’ve made comments that are far from confrontational, only to be moderated off. It so bias at times here, sadly enough
People ride bicycles outside Oregon. Do you not realize this? Please stop. Please stop,
“Same for the sports fields at Delta Park, the basketball courts and rose gardens, public swimming pools and libraries, boat launches and nature areas…”
Those were all crowd-funded?
I’m glad you brought up sports fields. Let’s use a turf soccer field as an example. With 11v11 soccer with spectators, roughly 8 games per day; that is hundreds of users of a single field in just one day. That is more users than an entire golf course will see in one day, and you could fit dozens of soccer fields in the space of an 18-hole golf course. And that would all be fine, if golf courses functioned as natural areas for wildlife, but they don’t, because the greens require extensive chemical applications and water.
I recognize that there is demand for golf, even though its popularity has been steadily dropping over the years (Less than 9% of Americans regularly golf). I golf a few times each year. My problem is with courses like Rose City and Glendoveer. As the city adds density, we have to critically analyze how we use public space. These courses (especially Glendoveer) consume vast amounts of public land in neighborhoods that lack public parks and green spaces. They literally fence off access, so you can’t even walk or run through the park during off hours. How would you feel if the city converted the back 9 of Rose City into a “Yoga Habitat” with exclusive access for Yoga participants? It has to be fenced because they can’t have other people disrupting their meditation. But don’t worry, their entry fees pay for the maintenance. That seems fair, right?
Seriously? City golf courses have been losing money for at least 5 years.
I missed the Grand Opening, but I went over there yesterday (Sunday) and wore myself out after a couple of hours of exploring all the fun… I could barely make it home afterwards in the 101 degree heat, but I’m not complaining, not one bit!!! (Buuuut, all I have is a gravel bike, so I guess now I need yet another bike, plus one. Dang.)
Ross just happened to be there, and I talked with him for a while. Great guy, great enthusiasm, great park.
(PS, I was the only one there. Get out there and take advantage of this asset, all you Hep-kats and Kool-Kittens! It is a blast!)
You certainly earned your moniker yesterday. 🙂
Good tip- I assumed it would so crazy crowded this weekend that I thought I should give it a bit of time to let the crowds die down.
It is easy to underestimate the importance of a place like gateway green in building the off-road cycling skills we will need to get around after the big earthquake. Once the overpasses and bridges have fallen down, and the gas has dried up those who have honed their skills at Gateway green will rule the land.
Good thinking. Now let’s teach people to shoot, loot, scavenge, and ambush.
Exactly. There will be two classes – those who have and those who do not. But we aren’t talking about nice homes and bicycles – we are talking about food, water and medicine.
Yes. And we are coming for you first.
You better learn more survival skills than pedaling around on a bike.
Yea, I agree. Buy more guns and ammo. It is all you need.
This is an odd take……
I was there at 8am sunday morning. There were three *families*, and three individuals riding. I was definitely impressed by the demographic. Still scratching my head tho as to how this is any step towards single track for bikes in Forest Park.
You think too much, and your thinking is wrong.
Having families and kids there definitely helps our cause, Crankwork videos on Youtube do not. I get annoyed when people think MTBers just rip everywhere, it’s a bit like thinking all drivers can only turn left at 200mph, when only a very small percentage do.
I went down there Sunday to check it out and there is a lot of potential here for lots of different skill level riders. Great start but I would like to see how this will be maintained and if they will pipe some water down there for the up keep on the jumps.
I’ve seen a few pump tracks and parks with jumps starred up in portland only to be left in disarray after their initial start up.
Then volunteer more, and complain less ass wipe.
Worth noting that the pump track is concrete, and the lips on the drops and jump lines are wood. All smart stuff that reduces the maintenance workload.
Have to ask… are there plans for any more trees? It looks a little more Gateway Brown than Gateway Green!!
Black Cottonwood trees are easy to spread.
So negative. You sir suck.
What’s going to be done to ensure camping doesn’t start all over again in this area? During the trail builds and clean ups the vast evidence of past camping and drug use was all over the place. In fact I think I picked up more needles than ivy at times.
This will be critical. We cannot keep allowing public spaces to be taken over by vagrants. Our city leaders must be held accountable and uphold the law.
Nothing. Nothing will ensure any of your worst fears . What will keep the neighborhood threat from camping in your alley? Nothing. If you wish to keep Gateway Green as it is, be there every day and help nurture it. If not, why worry about it? You people are nuts…..
Just got home from my first visit there with my wife – it was great! Thank you all again for all of the hard work and dedication you showed. It is greatly appreciated.
Up to ten, and please continue!
I rode there yesterday for the first time and had a blast. The skills area is great and has a little something for everyone. I wasn’t expecting much from the trails in the woods and enjoyed them a great deal, as well. Nice work, everyone!
Yeah, I was there last night for the first time too. I can’t wait until we get a few rains to firm up some of the trails, but it was a lot of fun!
Can we Pleeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzeeeee have some summer before the rains come to firm up some of the trails?
What do you call the last week?
A good start!
This is literally the first mention of these issues (that I think most mountain bikers would agree are problems) that you’ve presented here. If you’d lead with these, and not been so antagonistic (and at the same time defensive) people would have been willing to have a real conversation with you.
Really? Then you’re not reading the same BP the rest of us are. This forum is the very definition of an echo chamber. Then again, you 9watts are one of the “special ones” under the protection of Maus. It must be nice.
“you 9watts are one of the ‘special ones’ under the protection of Maus”
I have no idea what that means, and I’m pretty sure you don’t either. I’ve had hundreds of my comments moderated over the years, some for good reason, others not. I have no idea how many others’ have their comments moderated; it is by definition kind of hard for us to know, isn’t it?
“This forum is the very definition of an echo chamber.”
I think it would be useful and interesting to have a conversation about this here sometime, though probably not underneath a story about the Gateway Green. I really would like someone who holds this view to offer up examples, elaborate on what it is you are thinking of when you make this claim. Because to me, who has, at times, disagreed with most who comment here regularly this strikes me as absurd.
Commenters here run the gamut. We have a core cadre of articulate, erudite bikey folks with deep knowledge of all things related to traffic and bicycling and infrastructure; folks who commute by bike through town; non-local folks, some of whom used to live here and still sometimes chime in; a handful of contrarians who seem to think the rest of us don’t understand or have forgotten how the world looks through the windshield; movers and shakers in the transportation field, the small contingent of vocal died-in-the-wool defenders of bicycle rights(!), and the occasional and persistent channelers of right wing talking points. This is far from a complete list, and of course some excellent contributors to the comments here haven’t been heard of lately. You speak of an echo – what point of view is it that you see echoed here?
I appreciate your defense, so put into words fairly considered, and I agree,
plus apologize for the offenses I’ve engendered. My original intent and follow-up effort was to broaden the discussion toward world conditions and bicycle use; which in most other nations – is more practical than reckless entertainment that incidentally leads to habitat damage every time and near everywhere they’re built. You all must’ve missed that with a vengeance and played pile-on. Even my worst derogatory remark and who has thoughts and who doesn’t was answered with comments that missed my main point submitted for a discussion that didn’t happen.
Again, sorry for my offensive comments but my complaint stands: I’ll never be a fan of ‘showy’ ‘dirt jump’ crumpled vegetation, broken leg Dirt trail biking.
Let’s not call it Mountain biking when its mostly Dirt biking.
Next time you climb your mountain, do it on foot.
Congratulations on the Gateway facility. It’s great.
That’s fine if you are never a “fan of ‘showy’ ‘dirt jump’ crumpled vegetation, broken leg Dirt trail biking” – whatever that means. I hope you can understand that mountain biking has a pretty low impact compared to so many other things going on in the world right now and we all need a little escape from the state of things – some of us find that in nature on a bike, some of us find it sitting quietly in a room and others find it hiking. We are all in the same struggle and I know the mountain biking community at large puts the environment first – even if you disagree with how we do it. Most of us not only mountain bike, but hike, volunteer in our forests and bike commute.
Quite honestly, I am surprised you even advocate hiking when it has the same amount of impact on the environment. I would have suspected you would advocate shutting down the hiking, too. Hope to see you on the trail some day and have a friendly encounter.
“Next time you climb your mountain, do it on foot.”
This weekend my family and I decided to exchange the wheels for some hiking shoes and hit Ramona Falls. It had been a while since we had been there and I was excited to show my son the Falls. I couldn’t believe the condition of the trail. It was like hiking up a road, as wide as 10′ in some places. It was the complete opposite of the mtb mantra to “keep singletrack single.” Any time there was a “technical challenge” alongside the trail, there was a new trail hiked in. Any time there was something interesting to see, a new informal trail was cut in to get to it. The footprint of the trail was huge. We saw food scraps along the trail, as well as discarded dog poop bags.
Maybe we need more people on wheels?
Checked it out yesterday. Great location and access. Lots of people of all ages and all types of bikes, having a great time. I was surprised at some lack of etiquette here and there (people generally standing in the way, cycling the wrong way, two abreast etc.) but overall it looked like a great time, so I’m really surprised by some of the killjoy criticism here. I was on a gravel bike, so did some of the single track and the dirt path- then continued on my way into the Gorge. As a skateboarder- I’ll be back on a quiet day to check out that concrete pump track on skateboard- after all bikes have been using skateparks in this town for decades… he he…
I took my boys, 4 and 6, out to Gateway Green today – our first visit and we are so impressed! Close to home, great tracks and tricks, well-designed and I felt completely safe the whole time. Thank you to the volunteers who made this possible.