It’s not the Esplanade, it’s the Philadelphia skyline and Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk seen from the South Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River. (All images courtesy Metro)
Written by Metro Parks and Nature Department Senior Planner Robert Spurlock. Robert is also a member of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Oregon Recreation Trails Advisory Council. This post first appeared on Metro’s Outside Voice blog.
A thriving metropolis at the confluence of two major rivers.
A world class bike path in the heart of the city, built over the water to bypass a tangled mess of highways and train tracks that had historically cut off the city from its river. [Read more…]
“If you had told me at that time that those tracks would one day be a bike path with 250,000 riders annually, I wouldn’t have believed it.”
The Salmonberry Trail is a project that will make use of a derelict rail line from the current end of the Banks-Vernonia Trail all the way to the Oregon coast. The trail has been in the planning stages for a long time, but if Virginia’s experience with the state’s 34-mile Creeper Trail is any indication, Oregon would do well to complete the Salmonberry sooner rather than later.
Back in the 1980s, the Virginia Creeper was itself an abandoned rail line that the US Forest Service decided to make into a recreation trail. Given the very rural nature of the area, this idea was met with some skepticism, but the trail has become wildly successful beyond anyone’s expectations. The trail holds special significance to me, as I once lived in Abingdon just a few blocks from the abandoned rail line. As neighborhood kids, we’d go over to the tracks and walk over the high trestles as a foolish/daring/scary thing to do. The only thing I ever saw on the tracks was a Drasine – a motorized vehicle about the size of an automobile.
If you had told me at that time that those tracks would one day be a bike path with 250,000 riders annually, I wouldn’t have believed it. That figure is over 25 times the combined populations of the two towns along the trail – Abingdon and Damascus. Trail-related tourism is estimated at $25 million per year, and each overnight visitor spends about $700 in the area. [Read more…]
The Banks-Vernonia trail is one of Oregon’s riding gems. Would we have more trails like it with a new advocacy approach? (Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)
Community advocates and government agency staffers throughout Oregon are working hard to develop world-class trails. But is that work failing to reach its potential without a statewide trails advocacy organization?[Read more…]
Latest plan drawing shows where the new path will go (in blue, existing path is in red).
They didn’t have to do it, but they did.
I’m happy to report that Tesla Motors has decided to pave a new section of the Willamette Greenway path that runs across a parcel they plan to develop in the South Waterfront neighborhood. [Read more…]
A Supreme Court ruling could open the door for lawsuits from landowners adjacent to popular rail-trails like the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. (Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on a rail-trail case — and thedoomsdayheadlines that followed — have caused a lot of concern among people who love cycling on paths built atop former railroad corridors.
In Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States the court ruled 8-1 in favor of the trust, who claimed their rights to the now-abandoned railroad should be reinstated. Their land is slated to become part of the Medicine Bow Rail Trial and the federal government argued that they have rights to the trail easement based on a “reversionary interest” which should go into effect once the railroad was abandoned. [Read more…]
The trail, whose cost would run into the tens of millions, has attracted early attention from touring organization Cycle Oregon and important legislators like state Sen. Betsey Johnson (D-Scappoose), who said in an interview last year that a trail through the Salmonberry River Valley would open up “some of the most beautiful land anywhere” to personal travel.
“I used to go up there before I was a legislator, when I had a life,” Johnson said.
The newly completed Rosemont Trail, a paved path that connects downtown Lake Oswego to West Linn in Clackamas County, should be cause for celebration — except for that fact that bicycling is banned on about half of its entire length.
After The Oregonian covered this story yesterday, we got several emails from readers who were disturbed by this lack of bicycle access. The ban is especially unfortunate given that the adjacent Rosemont Road is a narrow, high-speed thoroughfare without wide shoulders for bicycling on. According to The Oregonian, many people expected the path to allow bicycling, and there is considerable consternation now that it doesn’t. Hoping to better understand the background and context of this project, we reached out to Clackamas County and the group who paid for and created the trail, The Columbia Land Trust.[Read more…]
This old rail corridor deep in the Tillamook Forest will someday be a biking and walking path. (Photo: Salmonberry Corridor Preliminary Feasibility Report)
The third annual Regional Trails Fair will be held tomorrow at Metro headquarters from 1:00 to 3:30 pm. The event will bring together more than 35 trail advocacy organizations and government agencies to share the latest updates on trail projects throughout the Portland region. And there’s a lot to talk about!
Did you know there’s a major effort underway (with support from Oregon Parks & Recreation) to create a new rail-trail that would connect the town of Banks to Tillamook on the Oregon Coast? The Salmonberry Trail, which won a $100,000 planning grant from Cycle Oregon last year, would allow riders to travel 85 miles through the Tillamook Forest without ever seeing a car.