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Family Ride at Gateway Green (Photo: Portland Parks and Recreation)
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 04 April 2024

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is beginning a new phase of accessibility and park improvements to Gateway Green, the hiking and off-road cycling park at the confluence of I-84 and I-205 in East Portland.

When complete, Gateway Green’s new south end will feature:

  • A new entry plaza with benches and wayfinding signage
  • An additional 1,000 linear feet of new bike trails
  • Restoration of oak habitat
  • A new trailhead
  • Rock retaining walls
  • An extended 5% grade path through the parktrail

The work, scheduled from early April through fall 2024, is the third phase of the Gateway Green project. It wraps up the extensive park development which began nearly a decade ago (2016). The first two project phases featured dedicated trails for hiking and off-road cycling, park amenities, and infrastructure. This third phase will feature improved access, habitat restoration, more single-track mountain biking trails, and a new southern entrance to Gateway Green. The entry plaza terminates at a direct bike/pedestrian bridge connection to TriMet’s nearby Gateway Transit Center.

"I'm most excited about the new, expanded direct access from Gateway Transit Center for park users and first responders,” Gateway Green Board Member Linda Robinson wrote to PP&R. “No more crossing multiple tracks to get to the I-205 multiuse path. In addition, the combination of the new access trail and the main path through the park will be at 5% grade, making it easier for many people to get to/from the park - especially families with young children, those using mobility devices, and old folks like me! The more experienced mountain bikers are sure to be excited about the increase and improvements to the downhill bike trails."

"Trails are always evolving,” says Lisa Olivares, executive director of Northwest Trail Alliance (NWTA), a key PP&R partner in Gateway Green. “And NWTA is excited to be part of the next evolution of these community trails that bring more riding opportunities to Portland." 

Vibrant Communities Commissioner Dan Ryan has directed $308,000 in Park System Development Charges (SDCs) to bring the project to completion.

“Gateway Green is a unique destination that offers great hiking and off-road cycling opportunities,” says Vibrant Communities Commissioner Dan Ryan. “It is wonderful to see the improvements coming to this site, as they have long been envisioned.”

Park SDCs are one-time fees assessed on new development. They are not General Fund tax dollars. SDCs help ensure that, as the city’s population grows, its quality of life keeps pace with its infrastructure needs. The funds may only be used to improve and expand park features and capacity. This phase of the Gateway Green project is completely funded by SDC fees.

“This park has something for everyone,” says PP&R Director Adena Long. “I’ve ridden the trails, seen Portland Parks & Recreation staff help Gateway Green evolve and improve, and have been inspired the smiles on people’s faces as they enjoy it. It’s a wonderful place, and this is a fantastic project.” 

TriMet has been working on their A Better Red MAX Extension and Reliability Improvements Project, partially in and adjacent to Gateway Green, for several years. With substantial completion of A Better Red’s improvements in the Gateway area, PP&R is now able to proceed with further park development.

The park is accessible by bike, on foot, and to people using mobility devices. Soon, visitors will be able to enter Gateway Green from the I-205 multiuse path and the new TriMet transit bridge, which opened to MAX trains in March 2024. The new access is in partnership with TriMet’s A Better Red project. The bridge will connect the north end of the new Gateway North MAX Station and the south side of Gateway Green.

Note for park visitors: Cycling trails on the south end of the park will be temporarily closed from now into summertime for this project.

For more information about Gateway Green, visit www.portland.gov/parks/gateway-green

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