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Off-road Cycling Master Plan Internship Opportunity

City seeking an intern to assist with public events and outreach

The City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is seeking a Community Service Aide to assist with the development of the Portland Off-road Cycling Master Plan. BPS develops creative and practical solutions to enhance Portland’s livability, preserve distinctive places and plan for a resilient future.

The Portland Off-road Cycling Master Plan will develop a citywide plan for a system of off-road cycling facilities – such as sustainable trail networks, skill parks and pump tracks – where kids, adults, and families can ride for fun, exercise and to experience the outdoors in the city.

Community Service Aides are typically graduate students or recent graduates seeking entry-level work in the field of urban planning. They work under the guidance of professional planning staff on a variety of assignments.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Organizing and staffing public events (including possible evening and weekend events), including outreach to historically under-represented or under-served communities
  • Assisting with meeting coordination and note taking
  • Maintaining testimony/comments database
  • Synthesizing public feedback
  • Completing research and analysis

Basic qualifications:

  • Knowledge of public outreach principles and practices
  • Familiarity with equitable urban planning principles
  • Ability to work with a wide variety of people with different professional and cultural backgrounds
  • Comfort representing the project and bureau in public
  • Clear and concise writing and strong verbal communication skills
  • Flexibility, initiative, and ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

Desired skills and experience:

  • Direct personal or professional experience working with historically under-represented or under-served communities, such as communities of color, Portlanders with limited-English proficiency, low-income residents, youth, and Portlanders with disabilities
  • Experience with public outreach
  • Experience with research and data collection, organization and analysis
  • Valid state driver’s license and a driving record that meets the City’s good driver criteria
  • Ability to speak another language (Spanish, Vietnamese, Somali, Chinese, etc.)

Start date: January 2016

Hours: Approximately 30-40 hours per week

Duration: Through June 2016. This position is classified as a Community Service Aide, and is limited to no more than 1,400 hours per calendar year. 

Compensation: $15-$18/hour depending on experience and qualifications

Benefits: Employee will be eligible for limited sick time and paid holidays

Application: Please submit a cover letter and resume describing your qualifications to 

Michelle Kunec-North
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
1900 SW 4th Avenue #7100
Portland, OR 97201
michelle.kunec-north@portlandoregon.gov

Application Deadline:  December 20, 2016

Equal Opportunity: The City of Portland (also referred to as the City) is fully committed to the concept and practice of equal opportunity and affirmative action in all aspects of employment.

Veterans: If you are requesting Veteran’s Preference, include a copy of your DD214/DD215 and/or Veteran’s Administration letter stating your disability with your resume and cover letter. Veteran’s Preference documentation must be submitted no later than the closing of this recruitment.

 

How is the Off-road Cycling Master Plan project identifying potential off-road cycling sites?

The site screening process is a key part of planning for a citywide network of places to ride a bicycle off-road.

The site screening process is a key part of planning for a citywide network of places to ride a bicycle off-road.

This process is underway and is happening in multiple steps:

First, the project team screened out properties that would not be appropriate for off-road cycling for an easily identifiable reason (such as properties that were very small, incredibly steep, fully developed, predominantly wetland, or designated as industrial land or archaeologically significant).

Next, the team categorized remaining sites as potentially suitable for off-road cycling trails, parks, both, or neither, based on considerations like slope, size, and the extent of existing natural areas.

As a third step, the project team, the Project Advisory Committee, and agency partners will identify initial sites that might offer good opportunities to provide a connected network of diverse off-road cycling experiences. This step will also consider important factors like:

  • Existing regulatory restrictions that prevent or limit recreational use.
  • Community priorities and other guidance established in existing master and management plans.
  • Environmental factors, such as habitat, soils, and waterways.
  • Other existing or planned recreational facilities on the property.

The final step will combine community knowledge and feedback with on-the-ground site assessments. 

As part of a broader community engagement strategy, community members will be able to explore and comment on all potential off-road cycling sites via an online interactive map. Sites that were screened out in previous steps will also be displayed and identified as such. Community members will be asked to help shape the plan by voicing their priorities for Portland’s parks and trails; commenting on potential sites; identifying ways to create a varied off-road cycling system that meets community needs; and noting potential management opportunities or challenges that should be explored further.

Specialists in environmental conservation and off-road cycling facility design will also complete field assessments of potential sites that have unique features or challenges. They will confirm suitability for the types of riding experiences proposed based on environmental conditions and other site-specific factors.

Off-road Cycling Master Plan Focuses on Sustainability

Learning about the best practices and guidelines for trail design and management to protect people and natural resources.

The intent of the Portland Off-road Cycling Master Plan is to develop a citywide system of off-road cycling facilities, including sustainable trails. Creating sustainable trails starts with selecting the right locations, and requires designing and managing trails to protect natural resources and other users.

A screening and assessment of City-owned properties as potentially suitable for off-road cycling facilities is just getting underway. To inform this process and to help develop guidelines for sustainable trail development and management, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff and the Off-road Cycling Master Plan consulting team researched and summarized studies from around the nation related to the impacts of off-road cycling, and the best practices to address impacts.

The reports describe impacts to soil, vegetation, wildlife, water and safety, and provide an array of best practices for the planning, design and management of off-road facilities to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts. The reports also find benefits of off-road cycling to health and the economy.

Take a look at the Off-Road Cycling Master Plan website for more information about off-road cycling issues and project progress. You can follow the discussions of the Project Advisory Committee, sign up to receive project emails, and fill out our online questionnaire about off-road cycling needs and priorities. Once the initial site screening process is complete, there will be an online mapping tool to provide input on potential sites for off-road cycling.

You can also send the project team an email at offroadcycling@portlandoregon.gov with questions or general comments.

Help define the future of off-road cycling in Portland

Share your ideas and needs for off-road cycling facilities throughout the city

BPS is developing an Off-road Cycling Master Plan to help meet community recreation needs and to provide Portlanders more opportunities to be active and experience nature in the city.

The project is working to create a plan for future off-road riding facilities, such as trails, skill parks and pump tracks, for children, adults and families of varying skill levels. It will make recommendations for the development and management of trails and facilities based on community needs and input.

An assessment of community needs for off-road cycling facilities is the next step in the process and will be the basis for planning a City-wide system of off-road cycling opportunities.

The project needs your input to help identify the types of off-road cycling trails and facilities that make sense for Portland. This summer, BPS is providing a variety of ways for Portland residents to get involved and share their ideas and feedback.

An online questionnaire will help gather information about off-road cycling needs and priorities.

Staff will offer the questionnaire and conversation at Sunday Parkways and other events around the city, and will be reaching out to underrepresented communities to learn from people whose voices are sometimes not heard in public planning processes.

Residents can also send the project team an email at offroadcycling@portlandoregon.gov with questions or general comments.

For more information about the project, browse the website to find the project vision, an overview of the types of off-road cycling trails and facilities, and project news and updates.

And explore the new Off-road Cycling Master Plan interactive map where you'll find an inventory of existing places to ride off-road in Portland.

If you would like to receive monthly emails about the progress of the Off-road Cycling Master Plan, please sign up to receive project emails. 

Laying the Groundwork for the Off-road Cycling Master Plan

Off-road Cycling Master Plan facilities overview and inventory

Developing Portland’s Off-road Cycling Master Plan requires a strong foundation. This foundation starts with a collective vision and desired outcomes, and understanding the types of off-road cycling trails and facilities and what types are currently available in Portland.

Vision and Desired Outcomes

The Off-road Cycling Master Plan Project Advisory Committee developed a shared vision, goals and outcomes to guide the planning process.

Existing Off-road Cycling Trails and Facilities

The City of Portland allows off-road cycling in seven City-owned locations. These include trails in Forest Park, Powell Butte Nature Park, and Mt. Tabor Park, as well as bike parks at the New Columbia Bicycle Skills Park and Ventura Park. In addition, the Portland International Raceway is open to off-road cycling for competitive events. Gateway Green is planned for off-road cycling trails, but is not yet developed.

The inventory maps the off-road trails and bike parks at each of these locations that are open to people on bicycles.

Types of Off-road Cycling Facilities

The Off-road Cycling Master Plan is planning for a system of different types of facilities to meet the range of off-road riding experiences sought by Portland residents. Trails and bike parks can differ greatly in type and in technical challenge and experience offered. This overview describes the factors that help define the spectrum of off-road experiences: preferred riding style; age and skill level; setting; scale and type of facility. The typology table lists the universe of facility types, from small neighborhood-scale bike skills parks, to various types of off-road trails, to large competitive venues. Not all types of facilities will be appropriate to community needs and sites in Portland.

Through community input and technical analysis, the planning process will identify the types of trails and facilities that make sense for Portland and meet the needs of the community. These community needs will be defined in a needs assessment. This information and further community input will drive the discussion about which of the possible types of facilities, at what scale and setting, should be included in the Master Plan for the City.