Proposal for Riverview Natural Area

The Northwest Trail Alliance (NWTA) is pleased to present our proposal for the Riverview Natural
Area. Our proposal consists of an illustrative map and a summary of the proposed system of
trails and bike features. Riverview presents a unique opportunity to provide a range of diverse
experiences for mountain bikers in the urban core which is currently lacking, and implement
policies outlined in Portland’s Bicycle Master Plan and broader planning goals.
 

Background
Northwest Trail Alliance’s motto is “Ride, Connect, Build, Advocate.” Our organization of more
than 600 members has been doing just that at the Riverview Natural Area; organizing and
participating in five work parties totaling almost 500 hours of labor since the City took ownership
of the property.
Another concept we have adopted with regard to trail access within the urban core is “Ride to
Where You Ride.” This motto and urgency is being reinforced daily as more of our members go
carless or choose to limit their carbon footprint. Currently, the Portland Metro area does not
provide any trail options for off-road cyclists who have gone beyond the “beginner” category with
their skills. Additionally, there isn’t a single dirt jump in the entire Portland Metro region that allows
kids of all ages to ride their BMX and mountain bikes.
The Riverview Natural Area is perfectly situated between neighborhoods on both sides of the
river that will be joined by a new bike and pedestrian friendly linkage across the Willamette River.
This project will also provide a much needed trail riding opportunity for cyclists near the
Springwater Trail, a major public bicycle transportation corridor. This proximity to commuting
corridors and existing paved trails will reduce parking demands on local neighborhoods and
reduce traffic on local streets, as cyclists can ride their bike to a nature trail experience in their
own neighborhood.

Proposed Network Summary
To meet these and future needs, the Northwest Trail Alliance proposes the following
sustainably-built trail network that will provide a diverse, all-season, and increasingly challenging experience for all off-road cyclists. Following best design practices, the system should bedesigned as a nested loop to allow flexibility and diversity of experience. Several of the trails would be multi-use. However, design would be tailored to meet specific goals and optimized for user experience. We feel that in a relatively compact, urban setting such as this, it may beprudent to separate uses on certain trails.

The proposed network consists of two key nodes located at the top and bottom that would
provide connection and opportunity for wayfinding and signage. The following is an overview of
the trail elements we propose for the trail plan (see accompanying map for clarification).

1. Multi-use intermediate xc trail. Could be ridden/hiked up and down.
2a/2b. Multi-use beginner xc trail and loop. This would also provide an easier ride/hike to
the top.
3. Mountain-bike specific “flow” trail. It can be ridden and enjoyed by any level of rider. A
local, high quality example of this type of trail is Lower Hide and Seek at Sandy Ridge.
4. Intermediate/Advanced, unidirectional, mountain bike-specific trail. This trail is meant to
be ridden down only to prevent user conflict.
5. Challenging ride/hike climbing trail. The focus of this trail would be providing a trail that
is fun and challenging to climb back to the top, and a pleasure to hike in either direction.
6. Connector trail from Riverview Cemetery to Riverview trail network. This allows people
to “Ride to Where You Ride” without having to use the cemetery road, and avoids the
need to ride through neighborhoods as well. Access from the bottom will encourage
riding to the trails using existing transportation options, thereby lessening neighborhood
conflict.
7. Bike skills area. This could include an off-trail feature(s) to practice bike handling skills
such as a pump track or dirt jumps. These are great for kids of all ages, and will help to
prevent future jump building in more sensitive areas.

NWTA Riverview Pledge
NWTA and the larger mountain biking community want this to be a successful project. As shown
by the level of participation in recent work parties and the public open house, we are willing and
able to bring resources to make that happen. With that in mind, we are prepared to make the
following commitments to the project when it is approved:
? We pledge to build the proposed skills area and both mtb-oriented trails (#4 and #5 plus
#7 referenced above). We are prepared to provide planning, technical resources, low
impact trail machinery and skilled operators (if needed), and labor to do so.

We pledge to assist in the building and ongoing maintenance of all trails in the Riverview
Natural Area, as agreed upon by NWTA and Portland Parks & Recreation. We will
provide specialized maintenance machinery, if needed, for these trails as well.
? We pledge to always have a responsible and knowledgeable Trail Steward for the
Riverview Natural Area who will be the point of contact for all communications.
? We pledge to provide National Mountain Bike Patrol volunteers trained in first aid to
educate fellow riders about natural area stewardship and the etiquette of sharing trails
according to International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) guidelines
http://www.imba.com/about/rules-trail.

Conclusion
If implemented correctly, we are confident that this project can serve as a model and can be
replicated in other parts of the City and region. In order to be considered a success from the
perspective of mountain bikers, the trail system must provide a variety of experiences and range
of difficulty. Once built, NWTA is confident that we can garner the necessary support of the
mountain bike community to carry out our pledge to construct, maintain and care for the
Riverview Natural Area.

parking?

What's the idea for parking?  I've heard that's a hot issue with the local residents near trails.

Possibility of partnership with the college, or is there a recommended parking area along the greenway path (do the climb first, then the descent back down?)

 

Parking

From what I've heard, there is no parking planned. The park is intended as more of a neighborhood park and as such, it is not planned for high traffic. Best place to park in my opinion is along Macadam ave, just south of the Sellwood Bridge. Look for the small sign on the east side of Macadam for Marine Powers Park. The entrance is a short ride south. Careful crossing Macadam, there is no formal crossing.

Easy ride from the East Side

Great work! This looks fabulous. You could also park on the east side of the Sellwood Bridge or the industrial district near OMSI and ride to it. The new bike crossing will open this summer.

parking

I'm not familiar wirht the area, but the idea of ride to whwre you ride conflicts with the idea of needing parking. I wonder if there is a close public park and ride facility that woild allow for a safe bike route to the trail entrance. That route could be posted for users to see at the trail entrances to instruct them for the next time they plan to visit the park.
Regardless, parking should be addressed.
This is great work nwta, kudos.

parking

I'm not familiar wirht the area, but the idea of ride to whwre you ride conflicts with the idea of needing parking. I wonder if there is a close public park and ride facility that woild allow for a safe bike route to the trail entrance. That route could be posted for users to see at the trail entrances to instruct them for the next time they plan to visit the park.
Regardless, parking should be addressed.
This is great work nwta, kudos.

Parking

Dennis,

Agreed, and that issue is addressed in the NWTA proposal by suggesting a linkage from the Sellwood Bridge bikepath (When it's completed).

Unidirectional Trails to prevent conflict

In Atlanta all the new SORBA trails were unidirectional loops and changed each day of the week, ie: Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun is clockwise. This prevented the "who has right away" conflict for riders going up vs down, since every rider has a different opinion on this, and most importantly it was safer for the other trail users because they were required to go in the opposite direction and were able to see the mountain bikers coming.