City puts cycling on sidewalk for safety at tricky northeast intersection

This is the route to safely access the crosswalk in the background for people cycling across Prescott at 37th.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

An off-set intersection and a sweeping curve combine to make the crossing of Northeast Prescott at 37th very unsettling. To make matters worse, 37th is an important north-south connection in our cycling network.

A before shot to show what PBOT was dealing with.

Three years after we first shared the plans, the Portland Bureau of Transportation finally updated the crossing last month. After reading negative reviews on Twitter and previously reporting skepticism of the initial designs, I rolled over yesterday to take a closer look.

Elements of the $10,000 project include: caution signs on Prescott (a relatively fast neighborhood collector with no dedicated space for cycling) to warn people of vulnerable cross-traffic, painted curb extensions to create a narrower road and provide buffer space for bicycle users, two wide crosswalks that have space for walkers (white) and bicycle riders (green), green bike lanes to direct bicycle traffic onto the sidewalk, and plastic wands and curbs to help define space and protect vulnerable users.

Here’s how it looks in video form:

We were skeptical from the start about a design that forces bicycle riders onto narrow sidewalks and does very little to car users by comparison. In 2016 our former news editor Michael Andersen wrote, “It’s a little odd that instead of doing anything to change the angle of auto traffic or force slower, sharper turns by people in cars, this plan will divert bike traffic on and off of the sidewalks in each direction.” When we reported on the project again in 2018 we shared strong concerns about the design from members of the PBOT Bicycle Advisory Committee. BAC member Catie Gould (also a BikePortland contributor) pressed PBOT bike coordinator Roger Geller on the design because it didn’t go far enough. Initial designs didn’t even include the plastic posts and curbs and people wanted to see more aggressive measures to change traffic flow on Prescott.

But given the project budget and other constraints, PBOT’s hands were tied.

“The issue Roger mentioned was that Prescott is classified as a Major Emergency Response Route and fire trucks would not be able to navigate the turn with significant changes were made to the footprint of the street,” she shared in a comment below a few minutes ago.




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While it’s rare for PBOT to route a bikeway onto the sidewalk, it’s not unheard of. And in this case, PBOT bike coordinator Roger Geller said they did it because the sidewalk is, “The one place where it’s possible to see both directions of traffic and be out of the wheelpath [of drivers].”

This man is on the sidewalk headed southbound. He gestures to another road user to signal his intention to cross.

The view across my left shoulder as I crossed northbound.

This is not a welcoming space.

The width of the bikeway at the transition onto the sidewalk.

On the sidewalk headed southbound.

I don’t like being corralled into a narrow space when I’m biking — especially onto a sidewalk. When I’m on my bike (especially my electric bike) I feel much more akin to a car driver than a walker. And as you can see in the photos above, it’s a pretty tight squeeze. I wondered about people carrying kids and groceries on a cargo bike, or pulling a trailer, or riding a tricycle. I don’t think they’d be able to make the transition from street to sidewalk. And this is to say nothing of the problem of trash and debris piling up in a space that the city cannot or will not sweep.

And Geller is right, it is possible to see both directions from that corner of the sidewalk where the new crosswalks have been striped. However, it’s not easy. For many people, it will require a full stop and dismount to make sure there are no people driving by. While I was out there drivers were very polite and would stop as I approached the crosswalk. But that type of behavior cannot be counted on.

Overall, the narrowing of the driving space and addition of the striping, pavement colors, signage and plastic posts will definitely slow drivers down and make them more alert when driving through this intersection.

Have you ridden this? What do you think?

Below are a few more photos to help illustrate the design and context:




— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Weekend Event Guide: Bridge Pedal, Chrome sale, goldsprints, and more

A chance to take over the city awaits you at Bridge Pedal.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The weekend is right around the corner. Check out our selection of rides and events below…

Friday, August 9th

Rideable Film Screening – 7:30 to 9:30 pm at Mountain Shop (NE)
Come get inspired by two guys who loaded surfboards on their bikes and rode to the Oregon Coast and back. Event includes presentation and Q & A session. More info here.

Saturday, August 10th

Luminosa Metric Century – All day at Champoeg State Park
This beautiful state park south along the Willamette River south of Wilsonville will be a perfect backdrop to a day of riding. Choose from four different routes. Ride benefits Morrison Child and Family Services. More info here.

Goldsprints at Alberta Street Fair – 11:00 am to 5:30 pm at Community Cycling Center (NE)
The nonprofit CCC is taking the bike party to the streets. Swing by and sign up to spin your heart out at this goldsprints competition made possible by a partnership with Western Bike Works. More info here.

Chrome Annual Parking Lot Sale – 11:00 am to 5:00 pm (Saturday and Sunday) at Chrome HQ (NW)
If you need bags, shoes, or apparel, don’t miss your chance to score high-quality Chrome gear at a great price. Note that sale will be held at their HQ on NW 15th, not at their retail store. More info here.

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Sunday, August 11th

Providence Bridge Pedal – 6:00 am to 1:00 pm
It might no longer have a 10-bridge route, but this annual Portland rite of passage can still deliver the goods. Join thousands of riders on a carfree citywide jaunt and see the city like you’ve never seen it before. More info here.

Sauvie Shootout – 9:00 am at Ovation Coffee & Tea (NW)
Portland’s premier training ride promises to deliver all the pain and race-like tactics you need to hone your craft. An excellent way to get tuned up for cyclocross season. More info here.

Gresham Family Ride – 11:00 am at Main City Park in Gresham
Portland Bicycling Club is leading this ride that promises a relaxed pace of 10 mph and a route that’s only on carfree paths and will stop at gardens and murals along the way. More info here.

Stay plugged into all the bike and transportation-related events around the region via our comprehensive event calendar.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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PBOT ‘unlikely to advance proposal’ for 9th Avenue diverters after heated meeting

PBOT got an earful from concerned residents of the King Neighborhood in north Portland at a meeting on July 25th.

The City of Portland is once again headed back to the drawing board for their Lloyd-to-Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway project. Back in March, the bureau of transportation dropped a proposal that would have used 7th Avenue as the main, low-stress bicycling connection between the forthcoming carfree bridge in the Lloyd District and the ever-growing Woodlawn neighborhood. Saying they, “Underestimated the role [7th Avenue] plays in the hearts and minds of Portland’s black community,” PBOT switched their proposal to 9th Avenue.

Now, after a meeting with residents of the King Neighborhood on July 25th, PBOT says even their latest proposal for 9th lacks support and won’t be advanced until changes are made.

In an email sent to meeting attendees on July 31st, PBOT wrote: “It is clear that we missed the mark with the proposal and that there is little support in the community for the traffic pattern changes as proposed. Given the response last week it is unlikely we will be advancing the proposal we developed… PBOT is committed to working with neighbors to identify changes that can improve safety for everyone, and to do so in a way that is less disruptive for the community.”

Detail of proposal for 9th Avenue released in March showing two diverters between Alberta and Killingsworth.

This “disruption” seems to hinge on two diverters planned between Alberta and Killingsworth that would reduce access for auto users and make 9th a “family-friendly, low-stress” place for walkers and bikers. I was not at the meeting last month, but there appears to have been vehement opposition to those diverters (and other aspects of the project) based on PBOT’s email, subsequent statements from the agency, and accounts from people who were in attendance.

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PBOT Project Manager Nick Falbo (sleeves rolled up in foreground) on a walking tour before the July 25th meeting.

“A whole bunch of people in this room are insisting, ‘This is not good for me!’ But you’re insisting, ‘But this is for the betterment of you,’ when I’m telling you it’s not good for me.”
— Meeting attendee

In their email, PBOT acknowledged several concerns they heard: “Concerns about the planning process and wanting an opportunity to shape the project; Concerns from residents on nearby streets about accessing homes and streets; Desire to continue to use NE 9th Ave by car to reach NE Killingsworth St; A general sentiment that the changes were too dramatic given the scale and goals of the project.”

I’ve seen videos of the meeting where attendees are shouting at PBOT staff. In one of the videos, a woman says, “A whole bunch of people in this room are insisting, ‘This is not good for me!’ But you’re insisting, ‘But this is for the betterment of you,’ when I’m telling you it’s not good for me. And I’ve got a whole lot of other people saying the same thing. But you’re insisting it’s for the betterment of me because in the long run I will see that it is, Instead of asking me.”

A heated exchange during the July 25th meeting.

In another video a man and a woman claim PBOT failed to notify them about the project. “We got one note, then we had to inform a school because they didn’t even know [about the project],” a woman said. A different clip showed a tense exchange with a PBOT staffer where a woman said with exasperation, “We don’t need another bike path in northeast!”

The project was slated to begin construction next year. Asked if that timeline still holds following the meeting, PBOT said, “We are definitely not starting over or putting things on hold.”

PBOT Communications Coordinator Hannah Schafer claims the emotional disagreements at the meeting were only focused on a small segment of the project (Alberta to Killingsworth) and that, “This is just part of the standard design refinement process.” As for the segment between Alberta and Killingsworth that’s causing the most concern, Schafer said, “Our traffic engineer is reexamining this segment to see if there may be an alternative proposal that can support the greenway and also respond to what we’ve been hearing from neighbors.”

While diverters claimed most of the attention, PBOT says neighbors expressed support for speed bumps and safer crossings on busy streets.

“We have more work to do,” PBOT wrote in their email, “and we will be hosting additional meetings to listen to neighbors, share more about the project and discuss potential alternative design concepts.”

It’s hard to watch this unfold and not think of the emotions and dialogue around racism and gentrification PBOT faced eight years ago during the North Williams Avenue project. Did PBOT learn anything from that experience?

Were you at the July 25th meeting? If so, let us know your impressions. And stay tuned for notice of future meetings.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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New website details excellent roads and routes in The Dalles

This bold claim greets visitors to the front page of TheDallesRoads.com.
(Photos: David Boerner)

Ever loved riding in an area so much you became obsessed with it? So much so you found yourself poring over lines on maps, dreaming and scheming on how to ride them all?

Hard to argue.

That happened to David Boerner, a 37-year old copywriter and resident of northeast Portland. He’s got a major crush on The Dalles, a city on the Columbia River Gorge about 85 miles east of Portland. Thankfully for us, instead of keeping the city’s many excellent roads secret like a surfer reluctant to share a great break, Boerner has built a website devoted to them and is eager to share the bounty.

TheDallesRoads.com ranks what Boerner considers the 25 best roads in the area. He also shares a few routes (“guaranteed bangers” he promises) if you want to connect them into memorable rides.

“I’ve had this idea kicking around in my head for a few years, so I finally made it,” Boerner shared when I asked him why created the site. Why The Dalles? “The roads in The Dalles just have an improbable feel. Like, ‘How are there so many good roads here?! And why is there no traffic?’”

Boerner thinks The Dalles has the best road riding (paved and unpaved) in Oregon and Washington. After spending a few minutes clicking and scrolling through his site, It’s hard to disagree. Of course I’m biased. I’ve spent many days riding there myself and have come away with a similar impression.

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“What makes the Dalles so good is its perfect convergence of all of these things in one place. So many roads that lead to so many more. Each road seemingly better than the last.”
— David Boerner

“It’s not just that The Dalles has really good roads,” Boerner writes on the site. “Nor just the absence of traffic. It’s not just the scenery — chiseled out by the 1,000-foot-high Missoula Floods, set amidst rolling palouse hills with forests towering above and volcanoes punctuating the skyline. Not even the drier weather or the nice people or the history. What makes the Dalles so good is its perfect convergence of all of these things in one place. So many roads that lead to so many more. Each road seemingly better than the last.”

The site leans on Boerner’s writing, photography and design skills. He’s also integrated Ride With GPS maps for a clean and detailed look at each road. He says he plans to add more routes in the weeks and months to come, as well more itineraries and info about local destinations.

Bookmark this page and remember to look it up when the weather turns wet again. “They say it’s always sunny in The Dalles,” Boerner writes. “That’s not totally accurate, but I’ve experienced multiple times when we’ve driven down the gorge in the rain, and the weather broke just after Hood River, and we rode all day in The Dalles in the dry. Then we drove back into the rain to get home to Portland. It feels like you’re cheating the system or something.”

Speaking of cheating, having this site is like copying the homework of the smartest person in class. Thanks David!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Film chronicles Portland duo’s ride to the coast with surfboards in tow

Brian Donnelly looking for waves.
(Photos: Steven Mortinson)

Portlanders do the craziest things on bikes. Remember the guys who loaded ski gear on their bikes, rode from Portland to the summit of Mt. Hood, then skied all the way down?

Here’s a new one: This past June, Brian Donnelly and his friend/filmmaker Steven Mortinson loaded surfboards onto homemade bike trailers and rode to the Oregon Coast. They spent a week, “stealth camping, surfing, and surviving road sharks.” Then they pedaled home.

One of the best parts of this adventure is that they captured it beautifully and want to share it with all of us. Rideable: A Bikepacking, Surfing Adventure is a 15-minute film based on their trip that will screen for the first time in Portland this Friday (8/9) at Mountain Shop. It’s a free event (yes, even the beverages).

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Brian and Steven will give a presentation, answer questions, and host a raffle (to benefit Surfrider Portland). Check out still images from the film and a teaser clip below. More info about the screening event on the BikePortland Calendar:




— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Time to weigh in on future carfree bridge between Oak Grove and Lake Oswego

Looking north from Foothills Park in Lake Oswego at the potential future site of a new bridge. (Existing railroad bridge in in the background).
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Clackamas County wants to know if they should move forward with a new, carfree bridge over the Willamette River that would connect Oak Grove/Milwaukie to Lake Oswego. Known as “OGLO,” the project has been on the radar since 2009 when a Metro study found strong public support for the idea.

Clackamas County has opened an online open house and will host two open houses next week to garner feedback as part of a Metro-funded feasibility study.

Possible alignment locations.

While the County knows people want a new connection over the river, questions loom over how and where to do it . Challenges include: a lack of publicly-owned property on both sides of the river; questions over who would fund, own, and maintain the facility; how to connect a bridge to existing paths, and so on.

A railroad bridge exists just north of the study area; but it’s not an option because it would be difficult to access with biking and walking paths and its owners say they don’t want the added liability of public use. That leaves a nine-mile stretch of the Willamette River — from Sellwood to Oregon City — without a way for bicycle users to cross. The OGLO Bridge has the potential to dramatically improve our regional bicycling network by making a direct connection to the existing Tryon Creek and Trolley Trail paths.

Clackamas County has come up with 10 alignment options for a potential new bridge (see them all below). The online survey gives future bridge users basic details about each option and asks whether or not it’s worth pursuing further.

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The only decisions that have been made so far is that the new bridge would be for walkers and rollers only. Transit vehicle use has been ruled out due to cost concerns and emergency vehicle access is still a possibility.

Here are the 10 alignment options under consideration (click to enlarge):










According to Clackamas County, feedback from the online survey and upcoming open houses will be taken to the project’s policy committee later this month where they’ll narrow down the alignment options and “dig deeper into the feasibility of a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across the Willamette River.” This feasibility study process will be completed by the end of this year. If it’s a “go”, the next steps would include design, permitting, and more public outreach.

The online open house is open through August 9th. Open houses are set for Monday August 5th, 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Lake Oswego Maintenance Center and Wednesday August 7th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Oak Grove Performing Arts Center. Learn more at the official project website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Weekend Event Guide: Historic Highway, criterium, Rough Stuff Ramble and more

The path on 17th Avenue makes a very fine connection between Portland and Milwaukie.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The weekend is right around the corner and we’ve got a few ride suggestions for you.

Just imagine, you could have never explored Milwaukie (a great city just south of us) or the Columbia River Gorge before this weekend — and by Monday you’ll be an experienced veteran.

Check out this week’s menu of rides and events below. And have a great time out there…

Saturday, August 3rd

Red Line Criterium – 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Swan Island (N)
The last local crit of the season promises to be a great day of racing action — whether you are behind bar tape or course tape. Presented by the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association. More info here.

Ride to Historic Highway Trail Dedication – 9:00 am under Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks
The time has come to cut the ribbon on another new section of the Historic Columbia River Highway. Join members of the Portland Bicycling Club to ride to the celebration! More info here.

Historic Highway Trail Dedication Ceremony – 10:00 am at Wyeth Trailhead
Join ODOT and community leaders for the official opening ceremony of the new path from Wyeth to Lindsey Creek. More info here.

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Sunday, August 4th

Columbia Park Family Ride – 10:00 am at Columbia Park (N)
An easy and fun route that will help you discover the charms — and great bike routes — of north Portland. Post-ride picnic for Portland Bicycling Club members. More info here.

Carefree Sunday – 11:00 am to 4:00 pm in Milwaukie
It’s Milwaukie’s version of Sunday Parkways and with new extensions of the Springwater Corridor and the carfree path on SE 17th Ave, it’s easier than ever to get there by bike (see next ride). More info here.

Ride to Carefree Sunday – 11:30 at Piccolo Park (SE)
Portlander Tom Howe will lead a group ride from southeast Portland to Milwaukie’s Carefree Sunday event. More info here.

Rough Stuff Ramble – 4:30 pm at Beaumont Market (NE)
Led by Shawn Granton of the Urban Adventure League, this ride will explore “pockets of country” right here in the city. Expect a 15-mile route full of unexpected twists, turns and other unexpected bits of fun. Wide tires recommended. No one will be left behind. More info here.

Stay plugged into all the bike and transportation-related events around the region via our comprehensive event calendar.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Family Biking: You can’t go home again, but bicycling helps

First glimpse of the ocean! Three Arch Rocks in the background at Netarts Bay.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

This week’s column will be a bit more introspective than usual, so please bear with me…

I think a lot about my kids and my own lost youth in the summers.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

I’m a single mom and spend 80% of the time with my two sons and have yet to get used to the 20% we’re apart, a big chunk of which is in the summer. My go-to methods for dealing with the distance are moping, excessively fretting, and pedaling my bike long distances. What’s more, I feel like a family biking phony when I’m not actively family biking.

Summer has always been my favorite season. As a kid I loved playing outdoors in my neighborhood, free to go wherever I could walk until the sun finally set. As a parent I love biking all over town — Poet’s Beach, Salmon Street Fountain, Wunderland Arcade in Milwaukie — knowing we have long days to fill but that it’s a short window of time before my kids will want to explore on their own.

Bike, forest, bliss.

This summer, like last summer, because everything is easier the second time around, I biked to the coast. The Trask Trail hasn’t gotten any less steep, but it was nice to know what to expect and do things on a different schedule (starting with a 4:00 a.m. wake up, ouch!) to spread the trip out. Sticking my feet in the Trask River brought me back to my childhood when we spent many a summer driving from Santa Barbara to British Columbia, camping along the way. This is probably the same river I swam in as a kid filled with descendants of the same crayfish I frolicked with back then.

And it turns out you can (sort of) go home again: My father just informed me we used to camp at Cape Lookout State Park so now I know why it felt oddly familiar.

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Me and my childhood bike.

But it’s bigger than the nostalgia that hits me in the gut when I smell the salty air, hear seagulls caw, and feel sand beneath my feet when I’m anywhere on the Pacific Ocean, it’s bigger than spending time at this beach I newly know was one of my childhood faves. Having reached this beach via pedal power (and the MAX blue line) and having done so by chugging through the same beautiful forested terrain of my childhood road trips gives it an extra oomph.

People who get back on their bike after having been off them a while say it makes them feel like kids again, and when I’m not too busy moping, I work to channel that feeling every day. I’m pretty sure feeling like a kid again while visiting a place special to me when I was a kid is what caused me to have such an emotional experience.

So that’s my summertime bicycling-returned-me-to-my-youth story. Do you have one, too? I have a few more kidless days so I’d sure appreciate some sweet stories. Thanks for reading!

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

Remember, we’re always looking for people to profile. Get in touch if it sounds like fun to you. And as always, feel free ask questions in the comments below or email me your story ideas and insights at madidotcom [at] gmail [dot] com.

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

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The Monday Roundup: The costs of car culture, enforcement skeptics, tired pros, and more

Welcome to the week. Here are the most noteworthy items we came across in the past seven days…

Must-read: From oil wars and road deaths, climate change and racism; the New Yorker presents a compelling case for questioning our relationship with cars.

The price we pay: On a similar note as above, the Washington Post reports that since the year 2000 we’ve lost more people to fatal car crashes than we lost in both World Wars.

Get to work: Portland ranked 8th in a new report on how good the bike network connects people to their jobs.

Skin in the game: For years bicycle riders have been scolded for “not paying their fair share” of road taxes, now that same question is being asked of electric car users.

Climate action: Crosscut says if Seattle wants tackle the ravages of climate change city leaders must start with the number one polluter: the transportation sector.

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Where bikes are public transit: The Netherlands’ nationwide bike share system OV-Fiets doesn’t grab as many headlines as their legendary cycling mode share; but its success is arguably just as impressive.

The case against enforcement: Portland isn’t the only city in America that’s ambivalent about the role of law enforcement in Vision Zero efforts: Here’s why advocates in Minneapolis are against it.

How do they do that?: The Tour de France is one of the most grueling endeavors on the planet. VeloNews took a closer look at how the pros deal with crushing exhaustion and fatigue.

Bill “Vision Zero” De Blasio: Facing a mounting death toll and pressure from activists, New York City’s mayor and presidential candidate Bill De Blasio said it’s time for Vision Zero to go national. De Blasio also promised $58 million in road projects as part of a bike safety plan.

Tweet of the Week: This is the future of some Portland streets (and on others, replace the bus with bike riders):

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NW Trail Alliance signs lease to manage 3,000-acre parcel north of Portland

Lease boundary map. Multnomah Channel and Sauvie Island are on the right.
(Click to enlarge)

Portland-based nonprofit Northwest Trail Alliance has signed a lease agreement with Weyerhaeuser that allows them to manage nearly 3,000 acres of forested land between Highway 30 and Skyline Road just 15 miles north of Portland City Hall.

To put the size of the parcel into perspective, it’s roughly equivalent to a section of Forest Park between the Thurman gate in northwest Portland and the St. Johns Bridge.

This is literally and figuratively a very big deal.

Known as the Rocky Point parcel because it straddles Rocky Point Road, the land offers a trove of opportunities for both gravel and singletrack trail riding. The northern part of the property (about 20% of total land on the lease) is already a well-known spot for mountain biking with access via turnouts on Rocky Point Road; but the trails are informal, undeveloped — and due to forestry operations — access is often closed without warning.

Riding in the Scappose mountain biking area.
(Photo: jordan_n22/Flickr)

This historic agreement offers great new riding relatively close to Portland — something in very high demand given the lack of access in Forest Park and River View Natural Area. The lease also strengthens the relationship between the largest timberland owner and largest off-road bicycling organization in the region — a major coup for the NW Trail Alliance that illustrates the group’s maturation and growth over the past five years.

As part of the agreement, NWTA will complete an inventory of existing trails and will have the ability to build new ones. They will also assume responsibility for maintenance of the trails and maintain a list of people authorized to use them.

“We appreciate NWTA’s cooperative approach to Rocky Point and look forward to cultivating a long-term relationship.”
— Michelle Metcalf, Weyerhaeuser

NWTA will supply Weyerhaeuser with a list of members who have access privileges to the property effective August 1st of this year. That means if you want to ride the Rocky Point area you must be an NWTA member (memberships are $39 a year for individuals, $50 for families). Members who want to ride at Rocky Point will need to sign a liability waiver and agree to certain conditions before being granted a “Rocky Point Access Permit”.

To oversee the project, NWTA will assemble a Rocky Point Stewardship Team made up of staff and volunteers. They’ve also agreed to develop a trail management plan that will be coordinated with Weyerhaeuser to avoid conflict with Weyerhaeuser’s forestry operations.

There are other limitations in the agreement such as no biking access during fire risk closures and periodic closures during active forestry operations. NWTA will maintain an up to date web page detailing the most current conditions, and the general limitations of the lease.

Michelle Metcalf, Weyerhaeuser’s manager of recreation programs, said the company looks forward to working with NWTA to create a fun, safe and well-managed area for non-motorized recreation. “Weyerhaeuser values all types of recreational activity and welcomes opportunities to balance recreational access and land management activities,” Metcalf shared. “We appreciate NWTA’s cooperative approach to Rocky Point and look forward to cultivating a long-term relationship.”


NW Trail Alliance organized a volunteer clean-up day at Rocky Point in 2011, laying the groundwork for this historic partnership.
(Photos: Andy Jansky)

“We’ve been working on this relationship for many years.”
— Andy Jansky, advocacy director NW Trail Alliance

In 2015 we reported that Weyerhaeuser began a permit program for their local parcels. At that time, they offered a lease on a portion of this Rocky Point area to the public. NWTA considered signing on, but ultimately declined due to insurance liability and organizational capacity limitations. Thankfully, an individual advocate stepped up. John “Dabby” Campbell purchased the lease in 2015 and has managed it ever since. Campbell, a NWTA volunteer and veteran Portland bicycling advocate, has willingly stepped down from his lease so that NWTA could enter into a larger scale agreement.

The partnership benefits Weyerhaeuser by bringing a highly motivated group of land stewards onto their property and by strengthening their connection to the community. It’s just the latest example of how the NWTA has earned the trust of a land manager.

In 2016 the NWTA successfully advocated for mountain biking trails in Metro’s North Tualatin Mountains (just south of the Rocky Point parcel) and the group has been instrumental in the success of ridings areas like Stub Stewart State Park, Gateway Green, and the Sandy Ridge Trails where they’ve established productive working relationships with Oregon State Parks, Portland Parks & Recreation, and the Bureau of Land Management respectively.

NWTA Advocacy Director Andy Jansky helped organize a work party at Rocky Point in 2011 to clean up trash and other debris that had been illegally dumped in the forest (photos above). “We’ve been working on this relationship for many years,” he wrote in an email to BikePortland. “And the volunteer effort of our members and past and current boards have helped build a solid foundation with our partners.”

Stay tuned for details from NWTA for exciting stewardship and riding opportunities at Rocky Point.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

 

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