SW Trails PDX Board Meeting Minutes

August 1, 2016

Topics: Letter to PBOT asking for a grant

The Watershed Building in Hillsdale
6388 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland OR 97239


Attendance: Don Baack, Glenn Bridger, Dave Manville, Sharon Fekety, Barbara Stedman, Barbara Bowers

Don called to order at 7:00pm.

This meeting was a working meeting for the SW Trails Board to work on a letter to the Portland Department of Transportation requesting a grant to work on trails in SW Portland. The final text of the letter is as follows:

August 1, 2016

Leah Treat, Director
City of Portland
1221 SW 5th Avenue
Portland, OR 97204

Dear Commissioner Novick

SWTrails is pleased to work with you and your PBOT staff to develop a 5 year pilot project plan to address maintenance needs of the developed trail segments of the Urban Trail Network in SW Portland, and jointly work to expand our maintenance to other important trails now called demand trails also on a pilot project basis. We hereby submit for your consideration a draft of our proposed plan.

SWTrails recognizes that urban trails offer an important public value–providing increased pedestrian safety and convenience, with improved access to transit, work places, schools, shopping, recreational resources, and other essential destinations and services. Urban trails are also a low-cost alternative to traditional pedestrian infrastructure facilities, and are a particularly effective and beneficial transportation option in SW Portland where the topography and environment, particularly storm water management, make traditional pedestrian facilities prohibitively expensive. Being expensive in the current fiscal climate means we are not likely to see significant public investment in infrastructure in the near future.

SWTrails is dedicated to supporting the goals of Vision Zeroand is willing to play a strong role, by way of maintaining urban trails, in helping to make “PBOT’s transportation system, the safest possible to move towards zero traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries.” The Urban Trails and other key trail connections provide alternative pedestrian routes for the public to get around without having to walk on busy streets with no or poor pedestrian facilities.

SWTrails also supports the goals contained in Section 8 of the Comprehensive Plan that specifically supports “…the role of public rights-of-way in providing multiple public services…” and the need to “Establish, improve, and maintain a citywide system of public trails.” Also, with regard to ‘trail system connectivity,’ Section 8 requires that the city “Plan, improve, and maintain the citywide trail system so that it connects and provides access to Portland’s neighborhoods, commercial areas, schools, parks, natural areas, recreational facilities . . . and other key places that Portlanders access in their daily lives.”

SWTrails offers to form a partnership with PBOT to ensure that the existing segments of the Urban Trail Network are maintained to high standards for public use and safety to meet the city’s transportation goals as delineated in the Vision Zero statement and the Comprehensive Plan.

Also important, SWTrails asserts that many property owners adjacent to popular demand trails and urban trails are likely eager to have SWTrails assume maintenance of the trail segments in order for the residents to qualify for limited liability (“immunity for certain landowners) as contained in House Bill 2865 (ORS 105.668).

Attached hereto is our proposal that we believe will form the basis of a formal partnership agreement. SWTrails looks forward to working with you and PBOT staff to ensure that Portland’s Urban Trail Network becomes an even more important component of the city’s vision for safe, active transportation.


Don Baack and SWTrails Board of Directors

CC: Leah Treat
Art Pearce
Michelle Marx
Alexis Gabriel
Erika Nebel



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