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Northwest Trail Alliance Calls for MTBers to Speak Out, Remain Calm Regarding Recent Trail Closure

If you ride a mountain bike and live in or near Portland, you probably have heard about the recent decision to ban off-road cycling in the River View Natural Area. Here are the latest developments from IMBA and its local chapter, the Northwest Trail Alliance (NWTA).

Earlier this week, NWTA filed a legal Notice of Intent to Appeal with the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals regarding the ban. The NWTA Board of Directors strongly believes that the decision to ban bikes made by two city commissioners: Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish (who respectively oversee the city’s department of Parks and Recreation and Bureau of Environmental Services), lacked a rational basis for exclusion and did not offer due process to citizens.

NWTA does not take this action lightly. It writes: “We would much rather work in partnership with the city to resolve the issue. However, the gravity of this decision, the lack of justification, and the lack of answers has led the board to take legal action. We simply cannot stand idle.”

Act Now! Please lend your voice to this cause by sending a letter to Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. mayorcharliehales@portlandoregon.gov

NWTA has provided a letter template (scroll down the page to find the text) and is requesting that you send it to Mayor Hales after customizing it with pieces of your own personal story. NWTA has already filled in talking points regarding the mayor's own priorities: "complete neighborhoods" and "equity and opportunity."

NWTA is also calling for calm from the mountain bike community. “We encourage our members and supporters to continue to make their voices heard in an appropriate fashion. At the same time, we cannot condone and strongly discourage any acts which defy current regulations related to trail access. As frustrating as it has been, we are committed to working within the system.”

  • Read NWTA’s full letter to supporters to understand the forthcoming process, the history of the group’s work on Portland trail access, and ways in which NWTA is leveraging its influence to pressure the city.

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