Monday, January 29

Access through Mt Tabor Park

The Mt Tabor safety committee is working on several issues to improve safe access between 60th and 76th avenues. Among them is the novel idea of creating an 'elevation friendly' path through the south side of Mt Tabor Park. This is an idea that I wish I had thought of, but credit actually goes to John Turner who is an active member of the Mt Tabor community. I had the opportunity to hear some thoughts from him on the proposed path.

In a few words, what first got your attention that there was a need for a new path through Mt Tabor?

Two issues; the number of auto-related deaths in the neighborhood, and my own increasing sensitivity to hills.

First of all, there have been three bicyclists killed on Bellmont. As a cyclist myself, when I looked for a safe route through the neighborhood, I found that there was none. Secondly I was myself hit by a vehicle and this has caused mobility issues for me.

I've seen a few women in the neighborhood pulling kids along with them in trailers, xtracycles, or tag-alongs, and I want them to be able to safely travel to the local schools or to Mt Tabor Park itself.

I realized that for people who are not physically confident, when they come to terrain such as cyclists are forced onto, they're not willing to try it.
On the other hand, many handicapped and less physically strong people head over to the Oaks Bottom Trail to get some outdoor time because it's flat and very accessible.

How would you respond to the people who say that the people who ride a bicycle are strong enough to go over the hill, and there's no need for another path?

As I get older, it's harder for me to get over such hills, so I can sympathize with other people who have a harder time traveling over difficult terrain. Whether they are children, handicapped, elderly, or innexperienced.
Everyone benefits from a comfortable recreational trail.

What groups are you looking to connect with in order to get support for a project like this?

I'm mostly talking with people in the bike community, parents, neighbors and the Mt Tabor neighborhood association. I plan to speak with folks at Warner Pacific College, Glencoe School, Mt Tabor School, and Atkinson School.

Do you have ideas yet about where you are going to look for funding?

I don't. I'm not terribly familiar with all of the different types of funding that is out there. Since we're currently in the exploratory phase on the project, I've kept my focus on garnering support.

What is the greatest challenge or unanswered question that you have about a Mt Tabor path?

The greatest challenge is bringing all the different interests together (property
owners, Warner Pacific, the Parks Dept., dog owners, etc) in order to build a will to get it done.

I still need to connect with more people (such as handicapped folks) and there are many resources there that I am waiting for. Certain interests have to fall into place. At this point we need to build an understanding of the benefits that a path like this has for people of many different interests.

What is your next step now?

I plan to attend a meeting with Warner Pacific College to discuss options for running part of the path on their property. The college is looking at ways to create a stronger connection with the neighborhood, and I believe that this will be an ideal course for both of us.

The meeting is at 6:30pm on February 12th at Kardetzke Hall, 2219 se 68th

Here's a map with car directions. Or you can take the existing path to the college by following this route.

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