Saturday, April 26, 2014
The following is our letter to Hood River Parks and Recreation District regarding safety concerns on the Indian Creek Trail:
My wife and I are frequent walkers on the Indian Creek Trail between the access near Dutch Bros at 12th Street and the trail end at Hazel Street. We have some concerns about safety that we feel need to be addressed by all of you.
First, in just the last couple of weeks we have been nearly run over by people on bicycles coming very fast down the trail, at a couple of the blind corners, while we were walking up the trail. Only by quickly grabbing my wife and pushing her to the side of the trail did we avoid being hit. On Sunday that incident was caused by three men on mountain bikes.
The use of that portion of the Indian Creek Trail is probably a ratio of 25 or more walkers/runners to each bicycle. It is a walkers and runners trail, but bicycle use seems to be increasing, setting up a dangerous situation. Often we encounter families with small children, who could easily be severely injured by a collision with a bicyclist coming down hill.
We believe the use of bicycles on that portion of the trail is inappropriate. The trail is too narrow and steep for dual purpose use, and several blind corners make it even more dangerous. Something needs to be done, and soon, before a tragedy takes place.
Second, we have concerns about the use of the trail where it crosses Indian Creek just below Dutch Bros at 12th Street being used as a “hang-out” for street people. We believe there is a potential for criminal acts like assault taking place. When we walk the trail, if there is a group of street people there, we avoid that area and walk around on 12th Street.
Is there any city ordinance regarding loitering on Parks and Rec. property?
Further, we are concerned the obvious littering and pollution that the street people are perpetrating. Often when we can walk through that area, there is garbage, cigarette butts, beer bottles, etc. left behind.
And the fact that this is all occurs right where Indian Creek comes out of the culvert under 12th Street means that a lot of the garbage pollutants, cigarette butts, and even urine are ending up in the Indian Creek water. This creates a pollution issue that would likely be unacceptable to the Oregon DEQ, and definitely should be unacceptable to the Parks and Rec. District.
Please address both of these issues. Hood River has been cited as one of the safest, cleanest, and most desirable small cities in our region. We as a community all need to help keep it that way.
If not dealt with, the concerns we have raised here will soon depreciate that image.
Chris and Mayrie Welp live in Hood River.
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The band Planet Fly plays at Pfriem in an outdoor concert. Enlarge