Regional trails connect people with stores, parks, schools, jobs – and each other.
Planners more than a century ago envisioned a 40-mile network of trails around greater Portland. Today, residents can enjoy more than 350 miles, and long-range plans call for a 1,000-mile network.
“Regional trails give people more options and choices to explore and get around without a car,” said Robert Spurlock, a senior regional trails planner at Metro.
Regional trails are typically separated from roads. Their off-street nature makes trails more pleasant for recreational users by reducing interactions with drivers, which also makes them quicker routes for pedestrian and bike commuters.
Here are some measures trail users can take to stay safe:
- Always wear protective equipment, such as helmets when bicycling and skateboarding and personal flotation devices when paddling and boating.
- When using a trail in the early morning or at night, wear reflective clothing and use front and rear bike lights.
- Bicyclists should also consider installing rearview mirrors.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Know where others are around you.
- Plan ahead and know your location. Some trails, such as the Marine Drive Trail, have limited cross-streets and access points.
- Pay attention to sounds. Remove earbuds and headphones, especially near street crossings and rail lines.
- Share the trail. Stay to the right if you’re moving slowly, so people can pass in the middle of the trail.