April meeting

Highlights: Sunday Parkway is coming to Hillsdale Sept 29.  Access Recreation talked about trails for people with disabilities.  Trail proposed near SW Humphery.

April 25, 2013

Attendance: Don Baack, Arnold Panitch, Bruce Murray, Rich Cassady, Richard Bosch, Georgena Moran, Sharon Mitchell, Glenn Bridger, Lee Buhler, Sharon Fekety, Michael Kisor, Keturah Pennington, Barbara Bowers, Barbara Stedman, Andrew Holtz, Dave Manville

The meeting was called to order at 7:05

There were introductions and Dave talked about the trails in Woods Park. He said there will be four new trails

The agenda was approved.

Rich Cassidy talked about the 2013 Sunday Parkways event. He handed out a map of the route. The walking route did not change from last year. He said there were a lot of complaints from drivers last year. They have changed the biking route a little to improve things. Also, some of the businesses in Multnomah were not happy as their business was down a little. They have changed the route a little to help with that. Don suggested a small route change on Nevada Courth and Capitol Hwy. The hours are the same as last year. It will be on September 29th. Glenn asked about the route through the farmer’s market. Rich said he also leads hikes for the Ten Toes program. Arnie said last year the bike route was hard. Rich said they have taken out some of the steep parts of the route. Lee suggested signs warning drivers on 35th just before the Nevada pedestrian crossing. Rich asked Sharon how many SWTrails volunteers there were last year and she said 18.

Access Recreation

Richard, Sharon and Georgena gave a presentation on Access Recreation. They displayed a PowerPoint on overhead. Sharon said Access Recreation is and ad-hoc group to benefit hikers of all abilities. The group received an award in 2012 for improving trails for people with disabilities. They would like people to look at the issue differently than the way they look at ADA requirements. Richard said people get very concerned about ADA requirements. He said they do not want to tell people what people shouldn’t do but rather work with them on how to make trails better. They want to provide universal guidelines rather than set rules. Richard said about 34% of people want to hike and the same amount of people who have disabilities also want to hike. He said there are 200,000 miles of trails in the US but only 2% are accessible. Glenn said the problem is that the ADA law was designed by lawyers .

Georgena talked about her love of hiking in the Pacific Northwest. She showed some obstacle on the Wahkeena Falls trail. However, she was able to make it to the top and found there was a fully ADA accessible bridge there. She said she looked for information on trail accessibility several years ago and could not find any. She decided to start the Access Recreation group to work on this problem. They found it was best to describe accurately what a trail is like rather than just say whether it is ADA accessible or not. The website is www.accessrecreation.org. They have a grant from the State of Oregon. Richard who is an architect with Portland Parks and Recreation talked about guidelines for trails. He said they came up with eighteen recommendations. There are primary and secondary recommendations. The primary recommendations do not add any cost. The first recommendation is to provide contact information. He said information about location is important. For example, it may be hardest just getting to the trail head. He said signage is very important. He said identifying features with both shape and color are important as some people are color blind. He said it is hard to rate trails as disabilities can be different. However, he suggested people give it their best shot at rating trails. He said it is important to list amenities and experiences on the trail. The physical characteristics of the trail are also important. He said it is important to keep feedback as current as possible. He said it is a good idea to have a way to provide feedback on websites. He suggested trail site photos. He said the worst conditions of the trail are important for people with disabilities. For example, if there are stairs, one can plan ahead. He said interactive/enhanced maps are important. He said GPS and smart phones are very useful. He said distance markers are important and they should also be on trail maps. He said blind hikers have different concerns and benefit from different information. He said people who are blind can be very avid hikers. He said trail maintenance is important.

Glenn said thanks for showing common sense on the issue. Barbara said a family with kids could use this information as well. Sharon said that was important and they want to make the information usable for everyone. Don asked if there was a trail that SW Trails could start with and Sharon suggested the 4T trial. Glenn said we can start out by describing trails. Richard said there is an app on iPhone to record a hike. They are making a Google map with trails they have personally hiked on. He said if we only did one trail per year it would be very helpful. Don suggested the Stephen’s Creek trail to start with. Michael said Google Street View might be helpful. Richard said these are things they are looking to work out. Sharon said it would be good to start out small. Arnie said Tryon Creek Park is a good model. Georgena said the US Forrest Service is working on this as well. Glenn suggested a link to their webpage on our webpage. The app MotionX-GPS. Lee will implement. Mark will put on the new website as well.

Proposed Trail Near SW Humphrey

Andrew passed out maps on a trail near SW Humphrey. He said there is a six acre development planned. The owner is asking the city to create two new parcels. The City said normally there would have to be a connection. If a road is not feasible then a path would have to be put in. However, the City did not uphold that requirement. The Southwest Hills Residential League is asking the City to require the trail. Andrew said the City did require an easement. Keturah asked the width of the easement and Andrew said fifteen feet. Arnie pointed out the developer is not really giving anything. Andrew asked the developer for a walking tour of the area. The City excuse is that it is too difficult to put in a trail and if we could find an easier way they would not have that excuse. Andrew said the parcel is on the edge of city limits. He said Humphrey Blvd is jointly managed by the city and the county and they did a report showing that connectivity was important. He said it is important to get permission from the developer to walk the property and find a good location for a trail. Andrew pointed out a route that might not involve excessive sloops. Andrew said the owner is not opposed to the trail. He is opposed to paying for it. Arnie asked who was the intended user was. Andrew said the Humphrey Park neighborhood has 100 homes and this would provide accessibility. They are not given bus service and there are no sidewalks on Patton.

Keturah made the following motion:

SW Trails supports Southwest Hills Residential League in developing a trail on the proposed development at 4700 SW Humphrey Blvd. to connect Humphrey Blvd. To SW Green Hills Way.

Lee seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Comprehensive Plan

Glenn talked about the Comprehensive Plan. He said there are parts that concern SW Trails objectives. He passed around a document with three portions of the plan that would be of interest to SW Trails. The first one concerned the use of public right-of-way. He said it was important to make sure that people do not build on public right-of-way and that right of way be kept clear of invasive species. The second item was green and active transportation hierarchy. Item number three concerned bringing services to under-served communities.

Glenn moved adoption of those items.

Keturah second the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Don suggested adding community gardens in the Community Uses section. Glenn agreed and said the City does allow private use of public property in some cases.

Walks: Sharon said Virginia lead the April hike. She said Pete will lead May and hopefully Chris and Dianne will lead the hike in June. Don said he could be an alternate.

Minutes: The March minutes were approved.

Other Business:

Don said there will be a work party at Wilson next Saturday. Don said he Glenn and Arnie talked with the school district about removing brush on the north side and replacing it with something that is easier to maintain. Don said they will re-roof Wilson this summer, and it will the school district want to work til 10 pm, starting at 6 am.

Glenn said the the SW Portland Bike/Walk map is available as an app for iphone if you purchase the maplets app.

Don said the state and the city are modeling a road diet on Capitol Hwy. Glenn said there are gaps in sidewalks from Lane to 405 on Barbur.

Glenn made a motion to write a letter to City Council asking that the city follow the policy in the 2030 bike plan requiring key pedestrian improvements be made at the same time as the bike improvements. Barbur north of Gibbs and Cheltenham Ct were cited as examples Lee seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Don said there was a letter from the IRS asking questions about SW Trails and he, Carl and Glenn have worked out a response. Glenn said there is a reference on our website to a “PAC” which is pedestrian advisory committee not a Political Action Committee, a lobbying group.

Glenn said there was a problem on a connection on Tunnelwood. BES created some erosion that washed out the trail. This is being repaired. The last problem is that the trail does not match up with the opening in the fence. Glenn is following up.

Don said Mark has been working on the website. He would like comments on the site. Barbara suggested a Facebook page.

Barbara Bowers asked how she would find out about new members and we had a discussion on how to keep track of membership.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:16pm



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