River View Natural Area

River View is a formerly private 146-acre parcel jointly purchased in 2011 by the City of Portland Parks & Recreation bureau, the Bureau of Environmental Services, the Trust for Public Land, and Metro. The land was previously owned by River View Cemetery. While people have been riding bikes and hiking on the property for decades, that use was illegal but not often enforced. The City of Portland is now leading an effort to re-develop the land and make it a nature area and public park.

Mayor Hales wants to start ‘ASAP’ on $350,000 Off-Road Cycling Master Plan – UPDATED

Avatar by on April 22nd, 2015 at 9:57 am


(Photo J Maus/BikePortland)

Looks like Mayor Hales is willing to put money where his mouth is when it comes to addressing Portland’s extreme lack of trail riding opportunities.
[Read more…]

City files motion to dismiss River View land use case

Avatar by on April 21st, 2015 at 10:11 am

Riding and working at Riverview property-3

Photo taken in August 2012,
before biking was illegal.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland says the State Land Use Board of Appeals has no jurisdiction over its decision to prohibit bicycling on trails at River View Natural Area.

In a “motion to dismiss” filed on April 13th (which we obtained through a public records request, PDF here), Chief Deputy City Attorney Kathryn Beaumont argues that Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish acted within their “managerial discretion” when they informed the community via a letter on March 2nd that bicycling would no longer be allowed on the 146 acre parcel.

The decision shocked riders and biking advocates. People have been riding the trails at River View for decades. And, following its purchase by the City of Portland in 2011, advocates were working in partnership with the Portland Parks & Recreation and Environmental Services bureaus on a management and trails plan under the assumption that bicycle trails would be allowed. The Northwest Trail Alliance, a Portland-based non-profit that builds, maintains and promotes off-road bike trails, responded by filing a Notice of Intent to Appeal with the State Land Use Board of Appeals on March 23rd.[Read more…]

River View advisory committee forces Parks to address biking, access issues

Avatar by on April 14th, 2015 at 12:41 pm


Back to work.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

On Wednesday of last week, the Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau hosted a Project Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting for the River View Natural Area. It was the first such meeting in 14 months for the group charged with developing a management plan for the 146-acre parcel.

Mountain bike advocates have been eager to re-engage with the process and learn more about why their activity was banned by Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish last month. (Prior to the city’s purchase of River View, Portlanders had ridden bikes on its many trails for over two decades.) That decision came without warning and was made completely outside of the established public process.

The decision has made Portland a national embarrassment.

While he can’t keep Portland’s anti-mountain biking stances out of the headlines, at Wednesday’s meeting Parks Director Mike Abbaté did his best to make sure the topic of biking remained out of the public process around River View.

Here’s Abbaté attempt at doing that in his opening address to the committee and the assembled public:[Read more…]

Closed-door Parks bureau committee was set to recommend bike trails at River View

Avatar by on April 8th, 2015 at 3:05 pm


Detail from Portland Parks & Recreation River View Natural Area Habitat and Draft Trail map showing shared biking/hiking trail.
Full size PDF

As we continue to learn more about why Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish abruptly decided to prohibit bicycling in River View Natural Area (RVNA), there’s one large piece of the puzzle that has remained secret. Until now.
[Read more…]

Parks Board demands answers about River View decision from Commissioners Fritz and Fish

Avatar by on April 4th, 2015 at 5:09 pm


Add the 16 members of the Portland Parks Board to the list of people where blindsided by a decision last month from Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish to prohibit bicycling at River View Natural Area.

On Wednesday the Board sent a pointed letter (PDF) to both commissioners demanding to know why the two leaders made the unilateral decision without first consulting the project’s two advisory committees, the public, or the Parks Board itself. Even the Parks Board’s representative on the River View Project Advisory Committee, Mauricio Villarreal, did not learn about the decision until one day after it was announced.

Here’s an excerpt from the letter:[Read more…]

Parks bureau restarts River View planning process

Avatar by on April 3rd, 2015 at 11:46 am


New map released by Portland Parks bureau shows just one, hiking-only, trail around the outside edge of the River View parcel.

Portland Parks & Recreation has resumed the public process for the River View Natural Area project. This is the project that has been mired in controversy since a surprise announcement on March 2nd that bicycling would be banned in the park until further notice.

In an email yesterday, the Parks bureau announced a Public Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting that will be held on April 8th and an open house event that will follow on May 4th. This would be the first PAC meeting since January of last year.
[Read more…]

River View bike ban: NW Trail Alliance takes legal action against City of Portland – UPDATED

Avatar by on March 24th, 2015 at 12:08 am


The Portland-based non-profit Northwest Trail Alliance has decided to take legal action in response to the City of Portland’s decision to ban bicycling in the River View Natural Area. Yesterday, the group filed a Notice of Intent to Appeal with the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (PDF).

[Read more…]

In letter to Mayor Hales and commissioners, national orgs ‘object’ to River View decision

Avatar by on March 19th, 2015 at 9:58 am


Download PDF

Three of America’s largest and most influential bicycle advocacy organizations are not happy with Portland’s decision to prohibit bicycle access at River View Natural Area.

International Mountain Bicycling Association President and US Executive Director Michael Van Abel, People for Bikes VP of Government Affairs Jenn Dice, and League of American Bicyclists President Andy Clarke all signed their names to a letter (PDF) dated March 18th that was sent to Mayor Charlie Hales and all four city commissioners.

Here’s the text of the letter (emphases mine):

We are writing to express our concern with the recent decision to prohibit bicycle use in the River View Natural Area. Any decision to exclude bicycles is disappointing to our organizations as we truly believe that bicycles are an amazing tool for progress. They provide efficient and cost effective transportation, a family friendly form of recreation, and in the case of off road bicycling, a valuable connection to the natural environment. Yet despite that passion we know that sometimes other priorities for funding or even land use take precedence and bicycles are not given priority. We can generally accept those decisions. However, when those decisions are made in an arbitrary and capricious manner that cuts off due process, we must object.[Read more…]

Riders rally at River View, urge city to reverse biking ban

Avatar by on March 16th, 2015 at 8:09 pm

River View Protest Ride-25

“Raise your hand if you think we’re compatible with the resource goals at River View!”
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

69-year old Hillsboro resident Roger Lynn just found out about the bike trails at River View Natural Area a few weeks ago. “I’ve been looking for a place like this, so I’ve been here three times in the past week. It’s just such a shame that the trails are closed now.”

[Read more…]

River View update: Protest ride, OPB radio coverage, new video

Avatar by on March 16th, 2015 at 11:08 am

As of 12:01 am this morning — for the first time in well over 20 years — it became illegal to ride a bicycle in a 146-acre parcel just west of the Sellwood Bridge known as the River View Natural Area. We’ve got more info on today’s protest ride and other updates below…
[Read more…]