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Troutdale supporting bike tourism

Bike path along Historic Columbia River Highway will be improved

A bikeway through Troutdale on the way to Wyeth already exists, but the Friends of Historic Columbia River Highway wants to create a more bike friendly bath through the area.

“I think we have a really superior ride than Cascade Locks,” said Dave Skilton, of FHCRH.Photo Credit: OUTLOOK PHOTO: TROY WAYRYNEN -  motorist drives along a curvy and narrow stretch of the Columbia River Highway east of Troutdale on Dec. 15. To support tourism, the Friends of Historic Columbia River Highway are asking support from the city of Troutdale to improve the road and make it more bicycle friendly.

The group asked the Troutdale City Council to support its decision moving forward with promotion and improvement of the bike path.

Eventually, the council voted to support bike tourism, but they had concerns with the bike path as it exists now.

“I'm very afraid of the number of bicyclists,” said Councilor Eric Anderson. “Putting more people on there, on a road that can barely handle two cars side by side, it seems to be to me cavalier.”

The council elected to include their desire for improvements on the roadway if the project moves forward, which they fully support.

“It does fit the city's vision of being more bike friendly,” said Mayor Doug Daoust. “It's a very popular route for the bicyclists who come through Troutdale.”

Improving bike tourism may also help with economic development.

“(Having) a city bike lane gets you access to special treatment from Travel Oregon, they promote it much more,” Skilton said.

Although he said he doesn't expect the number of riders to increase much, merely the quality of the ride.

The Oregon Department of Transportation also has pledged support of the effort and development.

“ODOT would like to express our general support of this proposed scenic bikeway. Though narrow, the Historic Columbia River Highway is suitable for bicycle travel and the separate trail on the east end of this connection winds through forested lands,” said Larry Olson, District 2C manager in a submitted statement. “This proposed bikeway is being marketed nationally and internationally as one of the best places to ride in North America.”

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