Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bike Path Committee Meeting

I'm going to remain fairly nondescript in this post just in case there are people out there googling away looking for info. However, I need to vent.

In this sometimes backwards town, I do my part to promote cycling, healthy lifestyles, and alternative transportation. For the past fourteen (14) months I've been on a bike path committee. We have a decent path that we are looking at expanding along the river. Where we are expanding is coming under MUCH scrutiny from a couple of land owners. Understand that this bike path is a CONSIDERABLE distance from their houses. Could the homeowners SEE people on the bike path? Most of them could, although a couple might only see heads.

The good news is that their are only seven land owners to deal with that far back to the river. Five of the seven have signed on to allowing the path to go through. One ALMOST signed but then lost a bid to have his land rezoned to allow a horse on it if he wanted and then he got mad and won't sign. The other person, well, let's just say he's difficult.

The alternative plan would be to NOT go along the river for that stretch and use a city right of way and put an eight foot sidewalk/bike path in front of all these houses. While an option, it's not the option that the committee desires, but if all else fails, it is there. We would lose a scenic view of the river for a not so scenic stretch by the fertilizer plant and grain elevator.

Last night a decision was made to have the architects of the path use their arbitrator for the final two land owners. If that doesn't work, we are looking at condemnation proceedings. That would be when it would get ugly.

I don't want to get into too many details as of yet. I probably have let too much out already just in case there are locals who do read my blog. Not that it's a major secret, but I should let things get rolling before divulging so much. Just in case the Google spiders are in high gear, we are talking about the PORTLAND Bike Trail system. There, that should throw off searches for a bit.

My main reason for the rant is that this "game" has been played out for 14 months. I don't blame anybody on the committee/city of PORTLAND at this point. They/we are just trying to do what's right. What's right for the city is this bike path. This path should already be built or in the process of being built. This is just the next section of a grander plan and it needs to get going NOW.

Once this section is over, we should have much easier sledding as most of the land in the next stretch is owned by the county and they are already on board. More rants to come I'm sure. Hopefully next time it will be good news about the PORTLAND bike trail.


The Designer's Prospective said...

Well, good luck. I know here in RC, there is one really nice section of bike path that goes almost from one side of the city to the other, however, the other "bike trails" are nasty sidewalks that are so far off the beaten path that you can't hardly even call it a path to anywhere. Long story short, why can't everyone think like cyclist's think. Maybe arrogant, but we're always right ;-)

SD_pedalpower said...

Darn Portland

Anonymous said...

The pettiness of some landowners in Portland is appalling.
"If I can't have what I want, neither can you"
Jeez. Grow up Mr. Landowner.
The city ought to condemn his house too. just kidding.

CDV said...

The real kicker is that some of these PORTLAND land owners are not even paying taxes on the land the bike trail would cover. It is accretion land which has never been added to the tax roles. I know I did all the backgound work for the City of PORTLAND

bikingbrady said...

That was one of those "later" details :-). If they don't submit soon, ALL that accretion land will be platted and taxed. You think they are pissing and moaning now, just wait!