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Reduced fares, cash payment part of new ‘Biketown for All’ program

Reduced fares, cash payment part of new ‘Biketown for All’ program

New public plaza on SW 3rd and Ankeny-2.jpg

Now available to more Portlanders.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A $3 per month membership, the ability to pay with cash, and partnerships with social service and housing organizations are all part of the City of Portland’s new Biketown for All program.

The plan debuted this morning makes good on the city’s promise to make it easier for Portlanders with low-incomes to use the 1,000 orange bike share bikes that hit the streets last summer.

Under the new plan, qualifying individuals get access to a monthly membership price that’s 75 percent lower than the $12 per month standard fare. These reduced cost memberships will be available in three-month blocks instead of the usual 12-month commitment. The new program also allows people without bank accounts and credit/debit cards to use the bikes.

In order to qualify, people can be referred by organizations where they receive social services like housing, their Oregon Trail Card, job training, and so on. After making that connection they must attend a workshop that covers how to use the system and includes a hands-on riding skills clinic. These workshops will also soon be available to people not affiliated with any social service organization as long as they fill out an application and attend a workshop.







The City released this video today of Jon Horton, one of the first Portlanders to take advantage of a Biketown for All membership:

There are 500 of these reduce-cost memberships available thanks to grants from the Better Bike Share Partnership and Motivate, the operator of Biketown. The Better Bike Share Partnership gave $75,000 to the Community Cycling Center back in May and the City of Portland announced today that Motivate has kicked in another $54,000.

Northeast Portland-based Community Cycling Center will run the skills workshops and handle the social service organization referral program. This is something they are already adept at as they’ve done something very similar with their Create-a-Commuter program for many years.

This announcement comes just days after a similar program was launched by Bay Area Bike Share (a system also run by Motivate). Portland is now just the third city to offer a cash payment option for bike share membership.

The new program is just the latest in Portland’s effort to spread the benefits of bike share to a wider spectrum of income levels. Their operating contract includes provisions to hire employees from underserved populations and pay them a living wage. Biketown also got an equity boost when Nike’s $10 million sponsorship allowed the system to cover a 60 percent larger service area that now extends well beyond the central city.

Five years ago the City of Portland got pushback from community advocates who said equity concerns were not being addressed proactively. Biketown for All makes good on promises made and is now being hailed by some of the same people who used to oppose it.

For more on why bike share makes such a positive impact on wealth inequality in cities, read this excellent article by Michael Andersen published a few days ago at BetterBikeShare.org.

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

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

The post Reduced fares, cash payment part of new ‘Biketown for All’ program appeared first on BikePortland.org.

That one time, when they raced cyclocross on Biketown bikes

That one time, when they raced cyclocross on Biketown bikes

Last night at the Portland Trophy Cup cyclocross race we had an unexpected visitor: Dozens of bright orange bikes with a Nike swoosh on the side of them. Yes I’m talking about Biketown bike share bikes.

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

When I first saw the booth and a few bikes I figured they were simply on hand to do some marketing, pass out stickers and swag, and maybe answer a few questions. I was impressed that they came out to a cyclocross race. After all, I’m all about cross-pollinating the cycling crowds.

But then more bikes rolled out of the truck. And more still. Suddenly the entire tent was packed. Something had to be up; but what could it be? Surely they wouldn’t be planning to race those things?! After all, not only are they 60-pound beasts ill-suited for off-road speed, the muddy conditions would muck them all up. Nike wouldn’t be amused.







Turns out I am not a good judge of the lengths the folks who run our bike share system will go to have a good time (and do a bit of guerrilla marketing), because suddenly a bunch of people showed up, threw a leg over the orange bikes, and assembled at the start line. They raced those things in the dark and slippery mud, carried them over the barriers, wiped out repeatedly, and did their best to pedal them through the twisty course.

I’m still not sure who had more fun; the riders or the spectators.

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

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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Portland now using pedal-powered trikes to help rebalance bike share stations

Portland now using pedal-powered trikes to help rebalance bike share stations

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Motivate employee Troy Leighton on the inaugural ride of the new cargo trikes being used to rebalance Biketown bikes.

Biketown is now using bikes to refill bikes at bike share stations. Makes perfect sense right?

Yesterday we scored a sneak peek at a new program that the City of Portland and Motivate (the city’s bike share operator) is working on: A small fleet of pedal-powered trikes that will help make sure Biketown stations have enough bikes available to potential users. In the bike share world this task is called rebalancing.

As bikes get used and left around town, some popular stations tend to run out of bikes. It’s a tricky issue for all bike share systems, and a costly one. Rebalancing is the single largest operational expense for bike share systems. Operators of Washington D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare spend about 55 percent of their operating costs on rebalancing efforts which includes the wages of 20 van drivers and four dispatchers (we rode along with one in 2013).

Biketown cargo trike-2.mp4

But Portland’s system is different. Our “smart bikes” have on-board technology and don’t have to be parked at a Biketown station. This takes pressure off the operator to make sure stations have spaces to return bikes and bikes to use.

Instead of relying on costly vans and a dispatch system, Biketown is using real-time GPS data and financial incentives (users can get a $1-2 account credit for returning bikes to stations, see tweet below) to keep the system balanced. Now they’ve added a few cargo bikes with trailers to that effort.

As we reported last year, the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s bike share program manager thinks our system’s flexible parking feature will elimate half of the rebalancing costs.







Portland is also using more traditional methods.

Portland is also using more traditional methods.

The city wants to keep the system balanced in order to get more customers. And the system operator Motivate is required by their contract with the City of Portland to “increase the probability” that stations never sit empty and to have no fewer than 10 percent of the 1,000 bikes in the system in each quadrant of the city at any given time.

Yesterday was the first time their new trike hit the streets. According to a PBOT spokesperson what we saw was part of a test and the full program is ready for prime-time just yet.

Here’s what we do know about the trikes so far:

– Biketown will use them for rebalancing and to respond to bike service and repair requests.
– They will complement vans already in use.
– The one we saw yesterday was made by Main Street Pedicabs, a Denver-based company.
– They have electric assist and can pull two trailers and up to six fully-assembled Biketown bikes (compare that to a van which can hold about 15-20 bikes).
– The trike and trailer has a cool, working turn signal!

One question looming among insiders is whether or not we’ll see the Portland-made “Truck Trike” used by Biketown. This cargo trike is made by southeast Portland based Stites Design and has already been shipped to New York City for use in its Citibike program.

We’ve reached out to Stites Design and PBOT to ask about the Truck Trike and will update this post when/if we hear back.

UPDATE, 11:20 am: We’ve heard back from Bill Stites of Stites Design. He confirmed that he wasn’t asked to bid on the contract. According to Stites, his Truck Trikes are heavier duty than what’s required for Biketown. The Stites trike can canb carry 600+ lbs. of cargo plus 200 lbs. of driver. This capacity is way more than what’s needed for Biketown and as a result the price of Truck Trikes is more than Motivate needed to spend. For Biketown, Motivate decided to go with a smaller capacity trike from Main Street (which Citibikes in NYC is using too). Stitles says he’s glad to see the city using trikes, “even if they aren’t Portland made.”

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

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

The post Portland now using pedal-powered trikes to help rebalance bike share stations appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Busy in Biketown: Top 10 bike share stations and first month stats

Busy in Biketown: Top 10 bike share stations and first month stats

We’re just going to come right out and say it: By every measure that matters, bike share in Portland is an unmitigated success (and yes we’re so confident in that statement we don’t think we’ll jinx it).

In case you missed our story yesterday about how behavioral science explains it, check out this new piece in The Oregonian where reporter Eliot Njus shares this wonderful little gem:

“The program is on-track to be self-sustaining, paying for its operations with user fees and corporate sponsorships. The transportation bureau has said the program won’t depend on city funds.”

So there’s that.

Now let’s take a closer look at the numbers behind all this great news.







Below are some statistics after the first month of operation followed by a list of the top 10 busiest stations (as per Portland Bureau of Transportation data between the launch date of July 19th through August 19th):

    Number of Unique Trips: 58,834
    Trips per Bike per Day: 1.90
    Miles Traveled: 136,412
    Average Trip Distance (Miles): 2.32
    Time Ridden (Minutes): 1,706,973
    Average Duration (Minutes): 29.01
    Annual Members: 2,477
    Single ride users: 14,397
    Day Pass purchases: 6,010
    % of trips by annual members: 36%
    % of trips by casual users: 64%

Top 10 Biketown stations (and number of total rentals):

    1) SW Salmon at Waterfront Park – 5332
    2) SW Moody at Aerial Tram Terminal – 2753
    3) SW River at Montgomery – 2631
    4) SW 3rd at Ankeny – 2543
    5) SW 2nd at Pine – 2466
    6) NW Couch at 11th – 2448
    7) SW 5th at Morrison – 2290
    8) SW Naito at Ankeny Plaza- 2248
    9) NW 13th at Marshall – 2173
    10) NW Flanders at 14th – 2156

A few thoughts about these stats:

New public plaza on SW 3rd and Ankeny-2.jpg

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

– The revenue from annual memberships ($297,240), day passes ($72,120), and single ride passes ($35,993) is $405,353. That doesn’t include overage charges and other fees (which is likely a very significant amount) and it doesn’t include group and corporate memberships.

Hello Waterfront Park! Three of the busiest stations are as close to Waterfront Park as you can get. This isn’t a surprise. PBOT has also said that according to GPS data, Waterfront Park is the most popular place to ride. Remember back in April when we reported that the Portland Parks Bureau didn’t allow stations in the park itself? They felt like there was not enough room in the 30-acres between Riverplace Marina and the Steel Bridge fit them (even though there’s a full-blown bike rental shop at Salmon Street Fountain — the busiest location in the park). We can’t help but wonder if, given the popularity and success of Biketown, the Parks Bureau will change its tune. (Thanks to Jessica Roberts for pointing this out to us.)

Trips-per-bike is a key metric. Ours is 1.9. Not bad at all for a new system, but there’s room to grow. And in the long run it must. Research shows that trips-per-bike rise as station density increases. This is because when it comes to bike share, convenience is the #1 factor in whether or not people use it (according to a 2013 survey of CitiBike users in New York City).

By way of comparison, trips-per-bike on New York City’s CitiBike system is 5.2 and it’s 3.8 on Chicago’s Divvy. Those systems have 23 and 8 stations per square mile respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, NiceRide in Minnesota has 1.4 trips-per-bike with just four stations per square mile. Portland’s system has about 12 stations per mile.

Casual versus annual: So far it’s a 64/36 split in terms of casual users (day-trippers and single trip riders) versus annual members. This proportion is likely to change a lot when skies turn wet and cold. Right now tourists and spontaneous users are buoying the system, but those rides won’t be as common when the weather is bad. However, because the Biketown bikes are excellent all-weather machines due to their lights, fenders, durable drivetrain, and safe, upright position — it’s likely that the number of people who use them for commuting will rise.

East versus west: You’ll note that all of the busiest stations are on the west side. This isn’t a surprise given the aforementioned points about the importance of station density (it’s 19 stations per mile on the west side, and just nine stations per mile on the east side) and the user types mentioned above (tourists and opportunists versus commuters).

What jumps out at you with these stats?

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

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subsriber today. You can also make a one-time donation here.

The post Busy in Biketown: Top 10 bike share stations and first month stats appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Over 2,300 trips taken on Biketown bike share in first 24 hours

Over 2,300 trips taken on Biketown bike share in first 24 hours

People are warming up to bike share in Portland.(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

People are warming up to bike share in Portland.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It hasn’t taken long for Portland to embrace bike share. Just 24 hours after it launched yesterday Biketown is already getting lots of praise from users on social media and in the streets. And the initial statistics back up the enthusiasm.

Not everyone is a fan of course, but I’ve visited a few dozen stations already and everyone I’ve talked to has had a positive reaction. Now we have our first glimpse of data to see how the system is doing.

According to numbers released by Biketown’s operator Motivate Inc. today (at our request), there have been 2,366 trips taken on the system since it was launched yesterday at 11:30 am.

Here are the numbers in more detail (as of 11:00 am or so) along with some other fun stats:

Trips taken: 2227
Trips per bike: 2.30
Average Trip Length: 1.63 miles
Average Trip Duration: 22 minutes
Miles traveled: 3,623 miles







It’s still very early and the numbers will get more useful once we’ve got a full month of data — but we can’t resist doing a bit of comparison.

So far Portland’s bikes get more rides per day than the ones in Minneapolis’ Nice Ride system got after five years in service. Nice ride, which has much lower station density that Portland, got 1.6 trips per bike per day on average in 2014 (source: NACTO). On the other end of the scale, Chicago’s Divvy bike share system and Citi Bike in New York City got 3.8 and 5.2 trips per bike in that year, respectively.

From a membership perspective, Biketown seems to be doing quite well. 1,252 annual memberships have been sold since they went on sale June 14th. Contrast that with Seattle’s bike share system which had 1,154 members at the end of its first full month post-launch.

Dani Simons, director of communications for Biketown’s operator Motivate Inc., said they’re happy with the initial numbers. “It was a strong first day in terms of ridership and we look forward to trying to build from here.”

How is Biketown treating you? We’re following many different bike share story threads and we’d love to hear your feedback. Feel free to email, Tweet, text or whatever else to share your thoughts. And follow our ongoing Biketown coverage here and on Twitter @BikePortland.

NOTE: We updated the 24-hour data on this post at 1:20 pm July 21st after we received more detailed numbers from Motivate. Sorry for any confusion.

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

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The post Over 2,300 trips taken on Biketown bike share in first 24 hours appeared first on BikePortland.org.

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

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

Biketown bike share launch-29.jpg

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.
Biketown bike share launch-7.jpg

Commemorative helmet from Nutcase.
Biketown bike share launch-8.jpg







Biketown bike share launch-9.jpg

Portland’s U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer said bike share, “Is the cherry on top of our livability sundae.”
Biketown bike share launch-10.jpg

A day to remember for sure.
Biketown bike share launch-11.jpg

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.
Biketown bike share launch-22.jpg

Bicycle Transportation Alliance Board Chair Justin Yuen.
Biketown bike share launch-23.jpg

TriMet GM Neil McFarlane.
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Steve! It’s launched! You did it! Congrats!
Biketown bike share launch-27.jpg

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.
biketown on Morrison.jpg

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.
Biketown bike share launch-30.jpg

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.

It’s bike share day in Portland. Here are a few things to expect

It’s bike share day in Portland. Here are a few things to expect

Passersby check out the Biketown bikes in the station at SW 5th and Oak.(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Passersby check out the Biketown bikes in the station at SW 5th and Oak.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The day has finally come for bike share to spring forth on the streets of Portland. We have waited nearly 10 years for this (our first post about Portland’s plans for bike share was in February 2007) and now it’s time to take the plunge.

Come on Portland. We can do this!

We’ll be at the launch party this morning and will be tracking any developments and updates as needed. But before the crazy starts, here are few things you can expect to happen today:

Glitches

Even though the Portland Bureau of Transportation has done their homework and our system (run by Motivate Inc. with bikes by Social Bicycles) is relatively simple, we might see some technical glitches here or there. Keep in mind that we are launching the largest “smart-bike” system in North America (that’s a reference to the fact that the operating software is on each bike instead of at a central server/kiosk). The bikes themselves are pretty bombproof (they even have a shaft-drive which is much more reliable than a chain), but you just never know what might come up.

Will the on-board software work smoothly? How about that new app? The good news is that Biketown is a top priority for PBOT and for Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick so we’re confident they will throw everything they can at making sure the system works — and/or fixing an unforeseen glitches — from the get-go.

Pranks and vandals


People will surely vandalize the bikes and the stations. We’ve already seen some grafitti (someone wrote “Nike = Hitler!” on a station marker) and what looks like a bike-tipping incident on Twitter. The bikes are novel and high-profile so they’ll attract the wrong kind of attention for as long as they’re on the street. There will probably be more pranks tried in this first month or so but it will subside in the months to come. Then it’ll be no different than the damage mean people do to bus or MAX stops from time to time.







Some people — even “cyclists” — will absolutely hate it

This is a tradition when Portland launches a big bike thing. Someone will be on TV saying how bike share is dumb and will fail. And that person will likely be wearing a helmet or will be labeled by the media as a “cyclist” to give their opinion more weight. This happened in a big way back in 2008 when Portland debuted our bike boxes. The TV news swarmed the one guy at the City Hall launch event who was absolutely enraged by them and made it seem like they were a big controversy when in fact they weren’t.

Orange bikes and their riders doing strange things

If Biketown works we’ll have a lot of people who don’t often ride downtown suddenly on two wheels. Even — gasp — tourists! This means there will be people riding in ways and in places we’re not used to. And yes, some people will do things that are illegal or generally not appreciated by other road users. I know this will happen. My only hope is that courtesy and kindness prevails. Let’s be patient and extra nice to Biketown users. The last thing our world needs now is more anger.

“Chaos!” “Controversy!”

There’s a strong possibility that the local news media will eagerly report on everything I mentioned above in alarming and breathless tones. Despite their good intentions the media might find themselves making a mountain of controversy over a molehill of an issue. This happens so often with high-profile bike-related stuff that it’s become a tradition. Remember the “Bike path to nowhere” story when the Holgate buffered bike lanes opened or the “Sewer money for bike lanes” hysteria when the Bike Master Plan passed?

If/when things get ugly out there, you might want to keep Copenhagenize’s Bike Share Whine-o-meter handy. Then wait about 48 hours and all the insanity will have stopped.

Can’t believe this day has finally come. Fingers-crossed for a successful launch!

Stay tuned.

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

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It’s bike share eve in Portland: Tips, new app, latest on parking, and more

It’s bike share eve in Portland: Tips, new app, latest on parking, and more

Crews are working overtime to get the final stations installed. This crew worked fast on Salmon Street on Saturday.(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Crews are working overtime to get the final stations installed. This crew installed a station on Salmon Street on Saturday in about an hour!
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Less than 24 hours from now Portland will have a bike share system.

Let that sink in.

OK. Now let’s get focused and think about what we need to know about this Biketown thing. Below is a roundup of news tidbits we’ve been collecting for the past few days:

Get the app

biketown-app

The official Biketown app became available for download this morning and is available for iOS and Android smartphones. You don’t need to have the app to use the system, but it has some nice features that you might want to take advantage of.

The map of the system is the most important feature of the app. Open up the slick interface to quickly see where you are in relation to Biketown stations. The app displays a live inventory of not just where the racks are, but more importanly, how many bikes are available at each one. If you want to ride one of the specially-branded bikes (like the current sneaker bikes), look for a special icon on the app.

Other cool features of the app include the ability to reserve a bike (with a 10 minute window), see a history of your rides, and get push notifications about the status of your ride. Notifications are handy if you want to get a message at the end of your ride that you’ve successfully locked the bike and you’re good to go.

How does this thing work anyway?

Biketown is super simple to use. I won’t explain it to you because they’ve released a one-minute video that lays it all out.

Monday Night Bike Race Series

A few extra tips I’ll throw in: Remember you don’t have to lock the bike back to a designated station. If you use a standard rack or lock it to anything other than an orange station, you will be charged $2. If you lock it outside the system area you’ll be fined $20.

Speaking of parking

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Note the special orange sticker.

So far the biggest “controversy” has been parking issues in neighborhoods. While some inner southeast residents have been up in arms about how the racks change the street in front of their homes, the issue appears to have died down.

There have also been concerns about how the city removed existing bike parking where they installed Biketown racks. (I have one reader who keeps texting me pictures of his bike locked to them as an act of civil disobedience.) If you’re upset about that, you’re not likely to appreciate this: There are a few standard blue staple racks where bike share bikes can park without the $2 fee. I saw some on 3rd Avenue just south of Ash near the station in the new Ankeny plaza. So yes, in these limited situations Biketown bikes can use standard racks for free, but if you lock your bike to a Biketown station rack it could be impounded.

And here’s a fun parking fact I just learned: If you return a Biketown bike locked away from a designated station, you will receive a $1 account credit.

Biketown, meet TriMet

This station at SW and Oak is on the transit mall. The lane closest to the rack however, is off-limits to bicycles.

This station at SW and Oak is on the transit mall. The lane closest to the rack however, is off-limits to bicycles.

Bike share is really just another type of public transit and all the studies show that it works best when it’s tightly integrated with existing bus and rail service. That’s why I wasn’t surprised to get an email from TriMet’s bike planner Jeff Owen this morning about how the two systems can play nicely together.

Due to limited space on MAX trains, TriMet has always encouraged people to park-and-ride instead of bringing bikes on-board. Now with many bike share stations located near light rail, TriMet is stating directly that they do not want you to bring Biketown bikes on the train. “One of the best things about bike share is that you only use it when you need it,” Owen wrote in his email today. “Just park or pick up a bike wherever you’re connecting to the bus or train. (Plus, it doesn’t make sense to pay for bike share time on top of your transit fare.)”

Two more notes about Biketown and TriMet have to do with how to ride safely: If you ride on the transit mall (5th and 6th Avenues downtown), remember to stay in the shared lane on the left side of the roadway. The right lane is for motorized transit vehicles only. And if you’re new to biking, or new to Portland, remember to watch for streetcar and MAX tracks. Cross them at a perpindicular angle and be very careful to avoid a crash.

That should do it for now. Any other questions about bike share? Ask away.

There’s a launch event for dignitaries and founding members tomorrow at 11:00 am in South Waterfront with a ceremonial “first ride” over the Tilikum. Then the system launches for the general public at 11:30 am.

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

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Nike announces first Biketown branding campaign: Sneaker bikes

Nike announces first Biketown branding campaign: Sneaker bikes

BMC Demo Day and Shop Ride

Tucked into Nike’s exclusive $10 million bike share contract with the City of Portland is a clause that allows the company to put its considerable marketing prowess on display.

Nike has the right to place occasional “wraps” on 100 of the 1,000 Biketown bikes. This means they can change the color scheme of the usually bright orange machines in order to promote whatever they please. Today they announced their first wrap scheme.

Say hello to “sneaker bikes.”

When Biketown launches next week some of the bikes will echo the stylings of three historically significant Nike sneakers.

Here’s the announcement from Nike:

When the first verifiable bicycle made its debut in 1819, it was deemed a “running machine.” When the City of Portland Bike Share Program, BIKETOWN, launches July 19, this old moniker takes on new relevance, as 10% of the program’s bikes will feature a limited-edition bike-wrap design inspired by one of three beloved Nike sneakers: the Nike Air Max 95, Nike Air Trainer 1 and Nike Air Safari. And while only one of the silhouettes was explicitly designed for running, all were made to move.

The Air Trainer 1 and Air Safari, creations of the renowned Nike designer Tinker Hatfield, both released in 1987. The Air Trainer 1, famously worn by John McEnroe, redefined cross-training shoes, while the Air Safari has become a cult classic thanks to unmistakable print detailing on its toe and heel. Meanwhile, Sergio Lozano’s Air Max 95 broke new ground in 1995 with Nike’s first black midsole, forefoot air and its immediately recognizable gradient upper.

They also released the three different colorways along with the video. Behold, sneakerheads!

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Nike_BIKETOWN_safari_HERO_main_V2_rectangle_1600

Nike_BIKETOWN_trainerone_HERO_main_V2_rectangle_1600

It will be interesting to see how Nike’s march into Portland neighborhoods is accepted by locals. After all this is a town famous for its disdain of global corporate juggernauts. There’s already this one person on SE Taylor and Cesar Chavez Blvd. who’s making his/her feelings widely known with signs that say, “Don’t Brand my Block!” and “Urban Blight” with an upside-down Nike swoosh. Check out these photos sent in by a reader:

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CORRECTION: This post originally used the old name of Cesar Chavez Blvd. We regret the error.

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

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The post Nike announces first Biketown branding campaign: Sneaker bikes appeared first on BikePortland.org.

City responds after bike share station locations spur complaints

City responds after bike share station locations spur complaints

Biketown station on North Mississippi and Skidmore where an on-street bike corral used to be. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Biketown station on North Mississippi and Skidmore where an on-street bike corral used to be.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Besides the bikes themselves, the stations are the most visible part of the Biketown bike share system that’s set to launch six days from today. And not surprisingly, as the bright orange stations are installed on streets and sidewalks throughout Portland, their presence has stoked anger and confusion.

We’ve already covered the confusion: People are locking their own bikes to the racks which are intended solely for Biketown bikes. That issue is likely to disappear once the Biketown bikes show up next week.

Then just as that story died down a bit, we heard concerns from readers via comments that the City of Portland has torn out existing bike parking corrals in front of businesses and replaced them with bike share stations. Also yesterday, I fielded a call from a southeast Portland resident who was angry when she woke up, looked outside her house and saw that the space where she used to park her car was now a row of 18 Biketown racks.

What’s going on? Here’s what the city says…

Portland now has four fewer bike parking corrals

The new station in front of Widmer on North Russell at Interstate has replaced a bike corral.(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The new station in front of Widmer on North Russell at Interstate has replaced a bike corral.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

We’ve confirmed that the Bureau of Transportation has removed four bike corrals in order to make room for Biketown stations. The locations are: North Mississippi and Skidmore (at Prost); North Russell and Interstate (at Widmer Brothers Pub); NW 21st and Johnson (at City Market); and NW Thurman and 24th (at Dragonfly Coffeehouse).

According to PBOT Communications Director John Brady the decision to remove the corrals was based on conversations with business owners and an analysis of demand at the corrals and availability of nearby bike parking options. “In removing the corrals, our overall goal was to balance the needs of all users,” Brady said via email yesterday. “We will continue to monitor the situation, and we will revisit our decision if we find that it is warranted by the demand for bike parking.” If one of the businesses wants more standard bike racks on the sidewalk, PBOT is ready and willing to install them (note the the removed corrals and the new bike share stations were located in the street, not on the sidewalk).

Brady went on to say that the city still has over 3,000 bike racks within the Biketown service area map and more than 6,000 bike racks citywide. And for people who feel like the city should have kept the corrals and added the bike share stations alongside them, Brady added, “It is important to note that the demand on the public right of way in each of these locations is high. Our challenge was to balance the need for good parking with the need for Biketown stations and car parking.”

Want more bike parking? Brady says there’s an email address for that: bikeparking@portlandoregon.gov.







Welcome to the neighborhood, Biketown!

Image of residential Biketown station posted to Twitter by @twjpdx23. (The number is the city's Biketown hotline).

Image of residential Biketown station posted to Twitter by @twjpdx23. (The number is the city’s Biketown hotline).

We’ve also heard directly from one Portland resident who says she and her neighbors are not pleased (at all) with the bright orange bike racks in the street in front of their houses. KGW-TV ran a story this week about a similar complaint.

As you might guess, residents of inner Portland who have seen tremendous growth in nearby commercial districts and lots of infill development are already highly stressed when it comes to parking spaces. Now they’re waking up and seeing strange orange bike racks where they used to park their cars.

We asked Brady to respond to these concerns. He stressed that all 100 bike share stations are being installed in the public right-of-way “which is shared space.” When PBOT and their contractor, Motivate Inc., chose station locations Brady said their goal was to, “balance the needs of the different types of travelers who use this shared space.”

As for the claim that Anderson and her neighbors were never notified, Brady pointed to the extensive public process PBOT started last spring. “We received over 4,600 comments on the station locations between the online interactive map and five open houses. In addition, we presented at over 40 stakeholder meetings and events,” he said. And while he acknowledges PBOT did not notify individual households, he says they did email every neighborhood association, district coalition, and business association about the project’s open houses. “We then hand walked a postcard to every business along all the main street corridors on the east side of the river,” Brady continued, “along with NW 23rd and NW 21st. To further communicate with the public, we issued a news release about the station siting process and the open houses. As a result, the planning process received widespread media coverage.”

A station on SE 7th at Burnside that one of our readers says negatively impacts walking and wheelchair access space.(Photo: David Goodyke)

A station on SE 7th at Burnside that one of our readers says negatively impacts walking and wheelchair access space.
(Photo: David G.)

Despite PBOT’s defenses, these stations are likely to continue to be unloved and highly scrutinized by some Portlanders. We’ve also heard from people concerned about stations placed on sidewalks where the bikes are likely to impact the walking and rolling (for wheelchair uses) space.

In my opinion, this debate is reasonable, worthy and completely expected. Make no mistake about it: Biketown is a new transit system that’s being overlayed onto existing infrastructure. It represents major changes to our city on many levels — both physical and mental. Add to that its hi-viz orange color and Nike branding (remember that just 12 years ago Portland residents firebombed Starbucks when it moved into inner southeast) and we shouldn’t be surprised that these changes will be uncomfortable for some people.

The good news is that Portland isn’t the first city to experience these bike share growing pains. In fact where the 66th city to go through it. And the wisdom of experience tells us that usually the pains subside dramatically once the system is actually launched and we have that collective “a-ha!” moment as happy people start pedaling around on shared bikes.

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

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