bicycling in forest park

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…]

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…]

At rally, Trail Alliance says Forest Park will remain a “focal point”

by on October 18th, 2010 at 2:01 pm

A large crowd turned to the Share the Park Ride and Rally at Forest Park on Saturday Morning.
– Video/Slideshow below-
(Photos © J. Maus)

[Read more…]

Forest Park roundup: OPB special tonight, rally on Saturday

by on October 14th, 2010 at 9:13 am

PUMP's Forest Park mountain bike tour

Forest Park.
(Photo: J. Maus)

Commissioner Nick Fish’s big decision to put off improved bike access to Forest Park may have come and gone, but the issue is still in the news.

Oregon Public Broadcasting is set to air a special episode of Oregon Field Guide tonight on Forest Park and the Northwest Trail Alliance has released more details and a statement about their “Share the Park” event that’s happening on Saturday.

You might recall that it was an OPB crew that stumbled upon the illegal trail working on this special that set off a media frenzy and ended up having a major impact on the ongoing discussion about bicycling in the park. The special airs on OPB tonight at 8:30 p.m.. Here’s how OPB frames the bicycling portion of the show (via a press release):[Read more…]

Northwest Trail Alliance will hold demonstration ride in Forest Park

by on October 4th, 2010 at 11:23 am

Forest Park-1

Traffic intermingles on Leif
Erikson road in Forest Park.
(File photo © J. Maus)

After expressing their disappointment with last week’s decision by City Commissioner Nick Fish to not grant any new or improved singletrack trail access for bikes in Forest Park, the Northwest Trail Alliance has announced a “Share The Park” ride.

The event will be held on Saturday, October 16th. According to the NWTA, it will be a rally and a group ride in Forest Park (on roads where riding is allowed of course) that is intended as a “peaceful action”.

From the event announcement:[Read more…]

Op-Ed: Northwest Trail Alliance responds to Forest Park decisions

by on October 1st, 2010 at 10:33 am

[Portland-based off-road cycling advocacy group, the Northwest Trail Alliance, has a long legacy in Forest Park. In fact, they came onto the scene over 20 years ago (as PUMP, the Portland United Mountain Pedalers) in order to make sure cycling wasn’t completely prohibited from the park.

That history gives you some idea of how long and how hard local advocates have worked to improve access for bikes in Forest Park. Several members of the NWTA were on the Forest Park Single Track Cycling Advisory Committee whose recommendations influenced the big decision yesterday by Commissioner Fish and Parks Director Santner. Below is an op-ed from the Board of the NWTA.]


[Read more…]

Interview with Commissioner Fish about Forest Park decisions

by on September 30th, 2010 at 3:40 pm

City Council candidate Nick Fish-2.jpg

Nick Fish
(Photo © J. Maus)

The City Commissioner in charge of Parks, Nick Fish, announced a set of “actions” earlier today about off-road cycling in Forest Park. I spoke to him on the phone from his office in City Hall about that announcement…

You told Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) today that Forest Park isn’t ready for new bike trails. Why not?

“I don’t think the park is ready to have an expansion in bike trails right now for two reasons. Number one is that we don’t have all the data that we need to make thoughtful decisions; data about who uses our parks, the health of our park, and so on. This was a significant problem I discovered through this process. The second part is that anything I propose for the future is going to be subject to a Type II or Type III land use review, so if we don’t have the science ironed out than nothing gets through land use review. Nothing would be more cynical for me than to announce a breakthrough today that I know will be stalled in litigation tomorrow.”

[Read more…]

League of American Bicyclists President says Forest Park decision “disappointing”

by on September 30th, 2010 at 11:59 am

National Bike Summit 07

League President Andy Clarke.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Reactions are starting to come in from this morning’s big announcement by City Commissioner Nick Fish that there are no plans to improve singletrack bicycling opportunities in Forest Park. The President of the League of American Bicyclists, Andy Clarke, has expressed his disappointment in the decision. Here’s a statement from Clarke:[Read more…]