French Prairie Bridge Task Force

posted Oct 6, 2016, 9:52 AM by Simon Springall

The City of Wilsonville is seeking interested members of the public to serve on an advisory task force for the French Prairie Bridge Project.

The City will strive to appoint project task force members who represent diverse stakeholder interests and perspectives. The advisory task force will meet at least four (4) times over the next two (2) years to discuss public input, technical analyses, and project recommendations. Task force applications are due October 14, 2016.

For questions or additional information regarding this project, please contact Zach Weigel at 503/570-1565,

The application form is at the city's page listed here

Ice Age Tonquin Trail recommended alignment

posted Dec 7, 2012, 10:54 PM by Simon Springall

Metro has recently renamed the trail from simply 'Tonquin Trail' but, more importantly, has now published recommended alignment and a master plan.

The full website is here and contains more details.

Interestingly, the alignment maps feature a marker to the south of the river labelled "Future Connection to Champoeg State Park", and a connection across the river conspicuous by its absence.

City of Wilsonville TSP Update Open House

posted Dec 3, 2012, 1:31 PM by Simon Springall

Wilsonville is now holding a 'virtual open house' providing info about a number of planned or potential transportation and connectivity projects in Wilsonville.  This online open house is only available until December 14.

The list of recommended projects includes the (already funded) feasibility study for the French Prairie Bridge, but currently excludes the actual construction of the bridge.   What this means in practice is not clear.

Please take a look at the extensive materials provided and leave your feedback for the city, the planning commission and the city council who will take this up.

The City of Wilsonville is nearing the last phase of updating our Transportation System Plan (TSP). We are looking for your feedback on the plan for transportation investments to support Wilsonville’s growth and livability. Which projects or improvements do you think are a priority? Are there any projects that should be added or removed from the Plan

Clackamas County Commission Candidate responses

posted Oct 2, 2012, 9:56 PM by Simon Springall   [ updated Oct 4, 2012, 11:58 AM ]

Only Jamie Damon, Candidate for County Commission position 4, replied to the questions.

Chair Charlotte Lehan indicated that she would not have time to answer the questions; however it's well known that she has historically supported and advocated for this bridge and bike/ped connectivity in and around Wilsonville.

Jamie Damon

Wilsonville Mayoral Candidate responses to questions

posted Oct 2, 2012, 9:53 PM by Simon Springall   [ updated Oct 4, 2012, 2:44 PM ]

All three candidates responded to the questions.  Tim Knapp is the current Mayor, and is challenged in this election by Councillor Richard Goddard and Stanley Wallulis.  Goddard and Wallulis did not provide answers one-for-one to the questions, so I have applied their words to the appropriate questions.  This leaves several questions unanswered by Goddard and Wallulis.

Mayoral Candidate Responses

City Council Candidate responses to questions

posted Oct 2, 2012, 9:51 PM by Simon Springall   [ updated Oct 3, 2012, 9:53 AM ]

There are four candidates and two open seats for WIlsonville City Council.   All four candidates responded to our questions, and they are included below.

Wilsonville Council Candidate Responses

Appendix: Thoughts on Wilsonville's Bicycle-Pedestrian Bridge

posted Sep 10, 2012, 1:35 PM by Simon Springall   [ updated Sep 10, 2012, 1:36 PM ]

Steve Van Wechel has completed a significant addition to his document "Thoughts on Wilsonville's Bicycle-Pedestrian Bridge" which is a 120-page Appendix.
This includes details on a proposed 'Bicycle Boulevard" from the WES Station to the Bridge, discussion and maps of trail/access alignment, and much more.

     Table of Contents For the Appendix

APPENDIX 1      Route of the Bicycle Boulevard from the WES Train Station

APPENDIX 2      Thoughts of Crossing the Railroad Tracks

APPENDIX 3      Thoughts of How Much the Bridge Will be Used

APPENDIX 4      The Importance of the Holograms

APPENDIX 5      Funding Plan

APPENDIX 6      Questions for the Engineers 

APPENDIX 7      Day Use Trails

APPENDIX 8      Research of Economic and Other Positive Aspects

APPENDIX 9      Questions and Answers
APPENDIX 10    Potential Bridge Events, Races, etc.

APPENDIX 11    Wilsonville’s Loss

APPENDIX 12    Related Maps and Info

Thoughts on Wilsonville's Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge

Victory: City Council approved funding

posted Apr 17, 2012, 3:43 PM by Laurent Rochette

I was not exactly sure what to expect from the working session of the Wilsonville City Council on April 16th. Despite the fact that none of us could provide comments or ask question, a fairly big group was in attendance to show support for the Metro feasibility grant of bridge to cross the Willamette river in Wilsonville.
Earlier in the day Simon Springall (@simonspringall), the chairman of the Wilsonville-French Prairie Bridge Campaign has sent to the City a petition we started 5 days earlier with 700 signatures.

Chris Neamtzu gave a staff presentation to the council. The presentation is available below. Councilors took turns asking questions. The full work session has been recorded and is available here and the discussion about the bridge starts around 5:30.
I think the key argument was the potential for tourism dollars to be spent in Wilsonville as the city could be the gateway to the French Prairie.
The important point is that the council unanimously agreed to direct the city staff to move forward with the $1.25M study. This is a keystone decision as we’re afraid the council would stop the project altogether by simply refusing the grant. It does not mean the  end of hurdles but at least the first one has been cleared.

After the work session, the council went into the “normal” meeting where public input is welcomed. I took the opportunity to thank the council for their decision emphasizing the huge local support and the potential for visitors as shown by the big number of comments on the petition from people outside Wilsonville but living around it. “Build it and they will come!”.

Check our calendar for our next events. Don’t forget our Twitter feed and Facebook page to keep abreast of new developments.

The Economic Impact of Cycling

posted Apr 9, 2012, 12:44 PM by Simon Springall   [ updated Apr 10, 2012, 10:43 AM ]

From Travel Oregon; distributed at the Clackamas County Bicycle Tourism Studio.

What are the economic impacts of tourism in Oregon?

Tourism is the state's largest traded sector employer (exporting the experience)

    • 88,000 employed directly / 39,600 employed in-directly
  • Oregon's total travel market (overnight and day trippers) equates to a 67.5 million people traveling in the state of Oregon (2009)
  • Equates to $8.1 billion in direct travel spending (2010)


What is the economic possibility for bicycle tourism?

Internationally bicycle tourism provides a large tourism niche; Oregon has identified cycling tourism as a key economic development strategy. Here's why:

  • Bicycle travel is becoming an increasingly visible part of the global adventure travel market which generates $89 billion annually1
  • In 2009, Oregon's outdoor recreation and entertainment market had $803 million in visitor spending2
  • In 2009, 1.3 million tourists3 bicycled while visiting Oregon
  • Those 1.3 million tourists spent $223 million primarily on lodging, meals, and retail; overnight cycling visitors spent 8 times more than day travelers ($199 million vs. $24 million)

Cycling tourism anecdotes

  • Thousands of spectators line streets to watch Portland Twilight Criterium each year
  • Bicycle National Championships pump $1.3 million into Bend economy over one week
  • In 2012, Cycle Oregon sold out, 2,200 registrations, in 32 minutes

But more research is needed!
l Oregon in collaboration with statewide partners has scoped an extensive economic study that would more clearly calculate the economic impacts of cycling in Oregon. The research will consider of the primary bicycle and cycling related economic aspects of the Oregon economy, including but not limited to: bicycle and related equipment manufacturing, including sales, employment and earnings; repair and maintenance to the extent they are related to in-state travel and to visits from out of state; travel and recreation, both by Oregon residents and out-of-state visitors, focusing on sales, employment, earnings, and tax receipts.

Contact Kristin Dahl, TravelOregon: or 503.378.2104 

[See expanded packet on Bicycle Tourism here]

1 Adventure Tourism Market Report by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, August 2010

2 Oregon 2009 Cyclist Visitor Analysis, Longwoods International, August 2010

3 A tourist is defined as someone traveling more than 50 miles from their residence or staying overnight. 

It's about the Tourism

posted Apr 8, 2012, 9:56 PM by Simon Springall

I just submitted this to the Wilsonville Spokesman.

Wilsonville had a good start with planning for the Wilsonville-French Prairie Bridge in early studies from an in-depth studies performed by the advisory committee.  There was very strong support from the community, businesses, emergency services, neighboring cities, dating back to 2006.  A couple of years ago we received the news that the city secured a $1.25 million grant in flexible funds for a feasibility study and design of the bridge.

The City’s Transportation Systems Plan Update open house and citizen feedback process was held in February this year, and produced a flurry of feedback in favour of progressing with design and construction of the bridge. Around 50% of all citizen comments received on any subject were in favour of the bridge.

In the same month the Chamber of Commerce with Travel Oregon and the Clackamas County Tourism and Cultural Affair held a ‘Bicycle Tourism Studio’ for Clackamas County, right here in the Wilsonville Library.  This was well attended by local businesses as well tourism representatives from the Wilsonville Chamber.  Economic impact of 2009 bicycle tourism in Oregon is estimated to be $223 million, and this sector is growing rapidly.

Meanwhile regional trails are being developed, many in part in response to the city’s stated plan for this bridge (it is in an all the city-wide master planning documents).  The Tonquin trail will end at the Willamette River on Boone’s Ferry Road.  The Champoeg trail will eventually pick up from the other side.  

But for the tourism dollars, look to the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.   This idyllic long-distance bike trail extends to Salem and then to Eugene.  The opportunity for Wilsonville as the jumping-off-point for out of state bicycle tour groups taking advantage of this trail network cannot be ignored.    Groups could stay in Wilsonville Hotels, eat in Wilsonville restaurants, stock up on supplies from Wilsonville stores, before hopping over the bridge to tour the nationally famous scenery, vineyards and historic sites of the northern Willamette valley.

Without this bridge, none of this will happen.  Clackamas, Washington, and Marion counties would find another way to connect the accessibility of Portland to the tourism destination of the Willamette Valley.  Oregon City, Sherwood and Newberg would be winners instead.

If the city council fails to accept the $1.25 million grant for the bridge study we would be leaving much more than that on the table.  Up to $200 million, per year.

More information is at

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