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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 20, 2011 10:42 AM. The previous post in this blog was Streetcar pushes cars off Lovejoy. The next post in this blog is L.O. budget panel: "Stop the streetcar insanity". Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

"My street is a bike ho"

Where are all your tax dollars going, Portlanders? A note we got the other day from a reader on Clinton Street provides at least a partial answer to that question:

My street is a bike ho.

It all started back when. We got speed bumps because we were a "designated bicycle route."

Last summer, it was resurfaced, even though most residents living along it knew not why.

Then, my street, she became a corporal in the street corps.

Then, this week... Tuesday, it was, a six person crew with three stepvans installed important new additions to the bicycle route.

Frills to the signs. Like this.

I walked the street. They are on each "Clinton St." sign.

Evidently different bicycle type designs... at least three.

Basketed, ten-speed, banana-seat... some already obscured... all in dayglo colors.

Then, I got to Cesar Chavez Boulevard... Lime green, of course. But that wasn't the biggest new attraction....Oh, nooooo.....

That was overhead. That's right... About 12 to 15 feet up the city's light standard, PDOT installed a dayglo cherry and lime half bicycle.

I'm not sure why.

Particularly in light of their desire to jack up my water rates and jam their grubby little hands deep into my pockets on the behalf of construction contractors and flim-flam artists.

They've made my street into a bike ho.... all tarted out in dayglo colors, waving a half bicycle on a major crosstown thoroughfare.

Leave it to Portland to put a new spin on an old profession.

Comments (24)

I like how there is clearly visible graffiti on the street pole.

Order of operations seems skewed on this one. Maybe tackle the easy problems first.

Graffiti? No problem, what this street needs is a bike instead, it'll make the graffiti look better!

Interesting use of art on traffic poles, I will say. Never thought of that before.

"A corporal in the street corps". I love it. From now on the "Sharrows" for me will be corporal chevrons in Portland's Bicycle Street Army.

Seem like Portland isn't weird; it's bipolar.

We can't build sidewalks without forming a neighborhood LID. But hanging bikes from utility poles and painting green "bike boxes" is paid for by the City of Portland.

We can't open Wapato for lack of funding, but Multnomah County is still talking about the Convention Center Hotel, has financed luxury retirement condos, and they're building two new courthouses.

PPS can't afford to maintain their physical plant, but they refuse to sell their surplus real estate to the highest bidder.

The Sellwood Bridge's funding is in jeopardy, but we're going to spend over a $1 billion for a light-rail bridge to Milwaukie.

http://www.portlandonline.com/oni/index.cfm?&a=348978&c=29385

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Bureau of Transportation will convene a public meeting to receive input on potential applications for federal transportation funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects under Metro's Regional Flexible Funds (RFF) program. The meeting is scheduled for June 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. in Room B of The Portland Building at 1120 SW Fifth Avenue.

Well folks, you can be sure the bike lobbyists and followers will be there in huge numbers for their input!

Will pedestrian needs be in proportion to the bicycle wants?

....and will citizens with auto needs have such meetings or even be informed of meetings?

OMG this is depressing.
No money to fill pot holes, fix the schools, repair the bridges, pay off the ever mounting debts, and SO many other things; but there are apparently tens of thousands of dollars for this cr*p.
Loved the corporal in the Bike Corps comment!

Codes, regulations and aesthetics be damned! Unless one of us common serf tries to attach something to a utility pole.

I'm sure that thing will look real impressive after 5 years of rain, wind, thermal heating and cooling, etc.

Chipping paint, and rust stains: coming to a SE Portland neighborhood near you!

"Put a bike on it"

How much do these special "bike" kind of things cost?

Have noticed in some areas the white lines necessary on roads for the safety of auto drivers to distinguish one lane from another are almost invisible, yet the lines for bicycles and bike logos are freshly painted and visible.

Mayor designated his Chief of staff to head Portland Transportation Bureau, sure does look like a lot more emphasis on bikes and walking.

How secure are these bicycle parts hanging up there with wheels whirling in a storm?
Who will be liable should it all come crashing down?

Some day those objets d'art will look like the old Miracle Mile signs that used to be around downtown...

Seriously though, that neighborhood is virtually a settlement of pilgrims who relocated here for the explicit purpose of pursuing a lifestyle that they believe the Earth Goddess will smile on and who will annoint them with blessings of superiority amongst mortals, better sex, and better tasting coffee.

There's a reason we call that neighborhood bicycle Kandahar and SE Clinton runs smack down the middle of it.

Might've been a concession on the part of the city to silence the more vociferous and pious.

I just looked at the pictures of the street sign "art" again and was reminded of the old song about the housing developments that Pete Seger sings..." there's a blue one and a pink and a green one and a yellow one and they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same".

That's actually an apt description of one of the 'condo bunkers'.

I think the street's gone past being a bike ho. At this point, the street is coming after passersby with a six-foot sandstone strap-on lubed with habanero juice, screaming "Squeal like a pig! SQUEEEEE!"

Ewwwwwwww....Sandstone? Do they really make them out of sandstone?

I believe the word is "Pig-eeeeee"

But we digress...How can we hold our City Council accountable for all the spending on Psychobabble Charettes and non-essentials (Trams/theaters/stadiums/bike art) when our basic infrastructure is being neglected and (in some cases) diminshed in the name of multi-modal progress?

Maybe it's just an advertising expense for the marketing brochure covers.

Please, please tell me that this was done in Photoshop. Please.

A sturdy rope and a few good men ought to take care of that problem.

I lived in PDX for many years. I now live in Central Oregon. All I can say is Portlanders get what they vote for.

Portland Native, the song you are referring to "Little Boxes" was written and first recorded by Malvina Reynolds

http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/MALVINA/mr094.htm

And yeah the song might just fit.

Thanks for the link LucsAdvo.
It is nice to see all of the lyrics. And yes I think it fits on many levels.

Re: "All I can say is Portlanders get what they vote for."

Stan, were we able to vote for "None of the Above," then we might not be burdened by a shameless Gang of Five.

Better, if we were not burdened by an obsolete, expensive, embarrassing, debased form of representative governance, then we would not be stifled by a shamelessly inadequate Gang of Five.

I think I have it...

Portland is being carved up into themed zones like Disneyland.

What we used to call Old Town, now the LEGO inspired "The Pearl" and NW is now Streetcar Town, "Go By Streetcar".

Inner SE is going to be BikeTown. I can see the arched sign stretching over Clinton at 12th, "Welcome to Biketown".

I wonder what NoPo, and NoBu, and SoBu, NoFo, and SoFo will be?

Regarding the City(PBOT, elected panders)'s profligacy and dangerously inadequate anticipation of the slaughter it has engendered upon the streets of this city, this comment appended to a piece in the current WW about a bicycle accident speaks volumes:

"Let us all take care to not bash New Seasons... who reading this could say that they have experienced any insurance company to act in the interest of their clients or those making claims against them? Be honest now! The worst is when the two parties are insured by the same company, in those cases the true grossness of insurance company policy comes out.
I lived with the Luikart [sic] at the time of the accident, to put things in perspective. I have not stopped shopping at New Seasons and in fact shop there more since they have opened a new location near my SE PDX home.
I am also the wife of a cyclist who was severely injured 3 years ago. Ironically Luikart's own husband was involved in a bike accident just months following her own. In my husband's case the driver involved was DEVASTATED. He demonstrated this at the time of the accident and fell into a depressed state in the aftermath as his insurance company "represented" him. They were successful at projected [sic] that he was greedy and placing blame on my husband (who was left disabled with a brain injury... unable to speak for himself). This only devastated him further.
I can say that my family maintained a lot of grace and compassion for the driver despite our enormous personal loss and load of insurance BS. This same theme seems to have reoccurring [sic] in this article.
I urge you all reading this to step back form [sic] the fault factor and instead take more responsibility in the movement towards more bike friendly roads and traffic systems. I have no question in my mind if New Seasons or any of their owners are ethical people... look at their company and the community that developed around it. I do however have a lot of beef with people blaming cyclist for the car-friendly culture that they navigate through every day... ESPECIALLY INSURANCE COMPANIES.
Take care peole [sic], ride safe and share the road!"
http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-17514-cyclist_vs_new_seasons.html

Ironically, the WW piece, which has been attacked by many commenters, concerns the company with which a potential mayoral candidate asserts affiliation --a potential mayoral candidate who has not managed to suggest a political position on any issue at all, much less an issue of concern to residents of this city.

Re: "Please, please tell me that this was done in Photoshop. Please."

Sorry, k2, it is not Photoshop. Drove past it yesterday. It would be tangible were it not so high above the street, which may be a precaution against the fate of the yellow bicycles. It will weather poorly, although it will long outlast its extremely modest novelty.

The total cost of all of these trinkets would be...?


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