It would be tough to design a more unlikely spot for a park: a slug-shaped wedge of land squeezed between two freeways in East Portland, on the site of a former jail. But two years in, the 24-acre Gateway Green—and its buffet of off-road cycling features, including singletrack trails, jump lines, and undulating pump track—is a hit.
“We built it right up to the wire,” recalls Ross Swanson, a capital project manager at Portland Parks & Recreation, of the park’s opening day in June 2017. “We put the backhoes away that morning, and 1,000 people showed up on a day that was over 100 degrees.”
Turns out Portlanders, from newbie mountain bikers to cyclocross racers to BMX whiz kids, were eager to shred. The site, which Parks & Rec developed in collaboration with nonprofit partners Friends of Gateway Green and the Northwest Trail Alliance, will launch another round of construction in the fall. In the works: more trails (including jogging paths and an adaptive cycling trail), additional skills features, natural play areas, and, crucially, improved entrances. We're stoked.