forest park

City drafts new ‘Project Evaluation Method’ for Forest Park

by on August 5th, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Vernonia Overnighter

The City’s new evaluation tool could have
wide-reaching impact on the future of bicycle access
in Forest Park.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland’s Parks & Recreation bureau recently unveiled a draft document that could act as their guide to the future of how Forest Park is used. The goal of the new Forest Park Project Evaluation Methodology (PEM) is to provide, “a systematic and consistent method to evaluate projects” in order to, “screen construction and capital projects that propose alterations to the current landscape.”

For people who care about bicycle access in the park, this is an important new document because it will help Parks staff decide if and how existing and new paths within Forest Park should accomodate bicycles. The new tool synthesizes the findings from several recent studies and surveys about Forest Park and the Parks Bureau says they plan to use it in conjunction with the existing Forest Park Natural Resource Management Plan.
[Read more…]

Forest Park activists to City Council: “Wilderness” at risk and biker crackdown needed

by on June 27th, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Marcy Houle testified to City Council that
Forest Park’s “wilderness values” are at risk.

Just 16 days after Commissioner Amanda Fritz was put in charge of the Parks Bureau, people who are opposed to improving bicycle access in Forest Park have begun to pressure her to crack down on illegal riding and limit any policy changes that might result in more riders in the park.

Noted anti-bike activist and author Marcy Houle — who claimed back in March that trails in Forest Park were being “ruined by cyclists” and then teamed up with friends at the NW Examiner newspaper on a biased, hit piece against mountain biking — and local pediatrician Catherine Thompson, addressed Mayor Hales, Commissioner Fritz, and the rest of City Council during the citizen communication period before last week’s meeting.
[Read more…]

NW Examiner highlights “illegal cycling” in Forest Park

by on April 9th, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Cover of NW Examiner April issue.

The NW Examiner, a free monthly newspaper with a circulation of 30,000 homes and businesses in various neighborhoods of northwest Portland, has made mountain biking in Forest Park it’s cover story for the second time in three months. In the April edition (PDF only), editor and publisher Allan Classen has penned an article titled, Illegal cycling muddies drive for greater use of Forest Park.

Classen’s article comes just a week after author and Forest Park activist Marcy Houle emailed Mayor Charlie Hales, city commissioners, and Parks bureau staff photos of bicycle tracks through the mud of what she claimed to be Wildwood Trail (which is off-limits to bikes). Houle is featured throughout Classen’s article, which reads more like an editorial against mountain biking than a news story. (Note that Classen wrote an editorial in June 2010 where he likened people who ride in Forest Park with “bicycle zealots” with “evangelistic fervor” who “love to ride bikes down steep mountain trails at high speed on Sunday mornings.”) [Read more…]

Activist claims Forest Park trail being “ruined by cyclists”

by on March 27th, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Photo by Marcy Houle sent to Mayor Hales
and other City Council members. It shows bike tires
in the mud on what she says is Wildwood Trail.

As we shared last month, the debate over improving bicycle access in Forest Park seems to be heating up once again.

On March 14th, Marcy Houle, an activist and author of One City’s Wilderness: Portland’s Forest Park who has been very outspoken in opposition to bicycling in the park, emailed Mayor Charlie Hales and the rest of City Council urging them to do something about people who ride illegally on Wildwood Trail.

Houle’s email (sent on March 14th) focused on the Wildwood Trail, which she describes as being, “arguably the most pristine, natural, and heralded city park hiking trail in the United States.” Houle shared photos she says show damage to the trail from bicycle tires and she called on the Mayor, City Council members, and Parks Director Mike Abbate to stop the “criminal activity.”[Read more…]

Forest Park update: Wildlife report, new Parks Director chimes in, media goes crazy

by on February 5th, 2013 at 11:27 am

Bikes vs. Nature! Run for your lives! Front page
of February 2013 NW Examiner newspaper.

The debate about bike access in Forest Park has heated up once again. Last time we checked in on the issue we reported on a positive statement from City Commissioner Nick Fish. Then in December, Portland Parks & Recreation completed a Forest Park Wildlife Report that found, among other things, that bicycling does not pose a major threat to the park’s ecology. Following on that, the Director of Parks, Mike Abbate shared his perspective on future recreational use in the park in an email to park stakeholders (which we’ve obtained).

With what seems like clear momentum from Portland Parks & Recreation for moving sensibly forward to expand bicycling opportunities in Forest Park, those who don’t want that to happen are once again making their feelings known.
[Read more…]

Reader Story: Get a quick-fix of mountain biking in Forest Park

by on January 4th, 2013 at 3:15 pm

The magic of Forest Park’s northern reach.
(Photos by Hudson Henry)

After I shared a story about a recent ride in Forest Park, I heard from many readers with fun routes of their own. The story and photos come to us from southwest Portland resident Hudson Henry.

Do you desperately need a mountain bike ride, but don’t have the time to get to the coast range or Gorge? Do you close your eyes and picture that knobby tire leading you carefree through the woods? When I feel the stress build up and really need a quick dirt ride, I head out Highway 30 to the northern reaches of Forrest Park. While the legal riding there is technically on firelanes, the northern lanes are often very rugged and trail like.

[Read more…]

Finding Forest Park

by on November 26th, 2012 at 4:41 pm

No joke.

Is it possible to have fun on a mountain bike in Forest Park? Ask five different people and you’re likely to get five different answers. In the end, I think it depends on what you consider fun.

On Sunday, I ventured out to discover some new (to me) roads and found that the park — despite having only 1/3 mile of singletrack open to bicycles — still has something to offer knobby-tired visitors.

I first considered exploring Forest Park’s northern reach nearly three years ago. Back in February 2010, I joined a park ranger to survey damage of an unauthorized bike trail that had been carved south of where BPA Road intersects with Newton. On Sunday, I returned to that locked gate, which is right off Highway 30 less than a mile north of Linnton. My plan was to stay on BPA Road and connect up to Skyline Rd about 1,000 feet and 2 and 1/2 miles up. [Read more…]

Bike tour company offers guided Forest Park ride

by on July 19th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

PUMP's Forest Park Mountain Bike Tour

Tour company will bring you here.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Forest Park, Portland’s 5,000 acre urban park and wooden wonderland, might not offer the type of trail access many off-road advocates would prefer; but it’s still a great place to ride a bike.

Now, Portland-based Pedal Bike Tours is taking advantage of the park’s many miles of gravel and dirts roads by offering twice-daily guided tours.

Calling it the “ultimate Oregon combination of primeval forest and vibrant city,” Pedal Bike Tours owner Todd Roll says, “This ride appeals to both casual riders who want to enjoy the greenery and solitude of the park without a long drive to the mountains, as well as more aggressive riders looking to get a good workout on the gravel and dirt road.”

For $49 you’ll get a bike (if you need one), a lift up to Leif Erikson Road (ride starts at 600 feet) and then be led 11 miles through thick forests and ferns. The tour heads south into Portland and after rolling on dirt and gravel roads, you’ll end up just above NW 23rd Street and then wind through the Pearl District back to Pedal Bike Tours’ shop in Old Town.

Stay tuned for more news about bike access in Forest Park.

Bill asks State of Oregon to consider acquisition of Forest Park

by on March 16th, 2011 at 11:43 am

Forest Park-7

Much-loved Forest Park: better off in the
hands of the State?
(Photo © J. Maus)

State Representative Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland) is sponsoring a bill (HB 2250) that would require the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission to enter into talks with the City of Portland about the possible state acquisition of Forest Park.

Here’s the entire text of the (very brief) bill:

“The State Parks and Recreation Commission shall make reasonable efforts to arrive at an agreement with Portland Parks and Recreation to acquire Forest Park.”

Greenlick lives adjacent to the park (it’s also in his district) and during a public hearing on HB 2250 held last month, said the park’s long-term health and stability is, “Extraordinarily important to me.”
[Read more…]

In defense of Platinum, Fish responds to League on Forest Park issue

by on October 25th, 2010 at 11:26 am

“As Parks Commissioner, I take this challenge seriously—and I am pleased to report that we are making progress on city-wide solutions.”
— Commissioner Nick Fish, a letter to Andy Clarke

City of Portland Commissioner Nick Fish, who oversees the Parks Bureau, has responded (read in full below) to League of American Bicyclists President Andy Clarke about the issue of bicycling in Forest Park.

When Commissioner Fish announced at the end of last month that he would not improve trail access opportunities for bicycles for at least two years, Clarke called the decision, “disappointing“.[Read more…]