Ask BikePortland: What’s that pile of bikes doing in the city’s maintenance yard?

Ask BikePortland: What’s that pile of bikes doing in the city’s maintenance yard?

A pile of bikes at the City of Portland's Albina maintenance yard in North Portland. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A pile of bikes at the City of Portland’s Albina maintenance yard in North Portland.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A reader recently asked us about a mysterious pile of bikes that I’ve often wondered about myself.

At the City of Portland’s Albina Yard — a maintenance crew and supply base in North Portland just south of the well-known Mississippi Avenue district — there are piles of all sorts of things. (I know because I ride by it everday on my way to-and-from work.) There are piles of traffic cones, cinder blocks, pipes, concrete planters, and more. All the stuff a city needs.

And there’s also this haphazard mound of bikes.

The pile sparked my curiousity. Was it where all the abandoned and impounded bikes end up? Was it the bike library for a fun and adventurous group of maintenance employees who like to ride down Mississippi Avenue Zoobomb-style?

I sent PBOT Communications Director John Brady the photo above and asked him to track down the answer.







Turns out the bikes come from the city’s efforts to manage the many outdoor camps sprouting up all over the city.

“Most of these bikes come from homeless camp cleanups,” Brady shared via email.

It’s not clear why people don’t choose to take their bikes with them when they move. Some of the bikes look to be in fine shape.

Before the bikes get to the pile the Portland Police Bureau is contacted to cross-reference the bikes on stolen bicycle registries. According to Brady, none of the bikes in the yard have been registered or listed as stolen. (If you see one that looks familiar, let us know and we’ll connect you with the right person.)

From here, the bikes will be photographed and documented and ultimately donated to the Community Cycling Center for re-use in their programs.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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The post Ask BikePortland: What’s that pile of bikes doing in the city’s maintenance yard? appeared first on BikePortland.org.

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