“This is awesome!” Photos and notes from the Biketown launch event

“This is awesome!” Photos and notes from the Biketown launch event

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Mayor Charlie Hales and his wife Nancy are followed by a host of other dignitaries including Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish, Nike shoe designer Tinker Hatfield and U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer on the inaugural Biketown ride on the Tilikum Bridge.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“This is awesome!”

Those three words by Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat at the launch event for Biketown summed up many people’s feelings. It is indeed awesome to finally launch a bike share system nearly 10 years after the idea was first hatched.

Today in South Waterfront hundreds of people gathered to mark the occassion. There were the requisite dignitaries, electeds, and advocates. After a few speeches about 150 of them rode across the Tilikum Bridge and back to mark the ceremonial first ride.

Scroll down for photos and notes from the event…

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A man named Steve brought one of the old Yellow Bike Program bikes to the event. He said he’s friends with the creators of that defunct program and the bike has been in his garage since it launched in 1994.
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“We put $2 million into this program and all I got was a helmet,” said a joking Metro Councilor Bob Stacey.
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Commemorative helmet from Nutcase.
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Portland’s U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer said bike share, “Is the cherry on top of our livability sundae.”
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A day to remember for sure.
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Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Metro President Tom Hughes.
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PBOT Director Leah Treat with a strong showing of political support behind her. There were three (ouf of five) members of Portland City Council at the event.
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PBOT staffer in charge of the Biketown project Steve Hoyt-McBeth has put more time into this than anyone else. It was a huge day for him. To his right is PBOT’s Active Transportation Division Manager Margi Bradway, a key part of the Nike deal that made the system a reality.
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PBOT Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick.
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Biketown General Manager Dorothy Mitchell.
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Portland’s First Lady Nancy Hales.
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A very big day for Director Treat. Along with Vision Zero, bike share is her top priority and the most important piece of her legacy so far.
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Bicycle Transportation Alliance Board Chair Justin Yuen.
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TriMet GM Neil McFarlane.

Steve! It’s launched! You did it! Congrats!
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This is how many Portlanders feel today.
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Met these guys on the Tilikum. They said they were waiting at the station so they could be first to ride when it opened.
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And just like that, Portland has bike share. Snapped this on my way back from the launch event. Now it’s just another part of the city fabric.
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Shot this image from my desk in my office. I can see the station at SW 5th and Oak from here and it’s been fun watching everyone interact with the station.

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

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The post “This is awesome!” Photos and notes from the Biketown launch event appeared first on BikePortland.org.

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