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A new bike corral and happy hour for bikers

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 27th, 2009 at 1:05 pm

The new bike parking, just
minutes after it was installed.
(Photo: Bryan Steelman)

You've got to love local business owners like Por Que No Taqueria's Bryan Steelman.

In July 2007, when he wanted on-street bike parking in front of his first location on N. Mississippi, he didn't wait for PBOT, he did it himself.

Then, to encourage folks to fill up his DIY bike parking, he gave away a free taco to anyone that showed up by bike. A few months later, when PBOT installed an official bike corral, Steelman was so happy he gave happy hour prices on food and beer to bike riders for over a week.

Story continues below

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Fueled by taco-loving, bike-riding customers, Steelman has since opened a second location on SE Hawthorne (at 47th). And today, Steelman wrote in to tell us that PBOT crews have just put the finishing touches on another bike corral right in front of his business. It takes up two car parking spaces and has room for 18 bicycles.

Steelman is ecstatic about the new parking. "It's so great for bicyclists, pedestrians, businesses, neighborhoods, communities...the list goes on...so much good for such little cost!" he writes.

To celebrate, Steelman says he'll offer Happy Hour prices any time of the day to anyone who bikes to either of his Por Que No locations today through Sunday (that's $1 off chips/guac and chips/salsa, $.50 off each taco, $1.50 off margaritas, and $.50 off all beers & micheladas & aguas frescas).

So roll over to Por Que No on N. Mississippi (3524 N Mississippi Ave) or on SE Hawthorne (4635 SE Hawthorne) and enjoy the sun, the great tacos, and the bike parking!

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Comments
  • Dave May 27, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Mmmm, might have to re-think dinner plans :)

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  • sue May 27, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    OMG! I am so stoked! I love PQN and have longed for bike parking even near it. Always had to use a pole or the little rack in the lot next door, which usually had a car with it's nose parked in it. Yeah! Definitely going there this weekend, at least once, maybe twice!

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  • flowb33 May 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    In one sense, its great to see another high-profile bike corral on Hawthorne. And no doubt this one will see good bike traffic.

    But in another sense, its a little slanted that both PQN places have corrals when there are so many other restauranteurs and shop owners trying to get one installed front of their business right now. Among many I know, there's a perception that they are "good for business."

    I'm sure it all comes down to handling current bike traffic, but I hope the city continues to spread the love to many other deserving spots around town with the same frequency and zeal we've seen this year.

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  • amos May 27, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    I see your point, flowb33, but have you ever been to the Hawthorne PQN on a nice day?

    I've had to park my bike several blocks away, so the demand is definitely there.

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  • Lenny Anderson May 27, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Brian did not wait for the City to get the ball rolling...that can be frustrating. Credit him for taking the initiative up on Mississippi.
    Now we need to stripe Hawthorne between 39th and 50th with bike lanes...there is plenty of room on that ugly three lane stretch of asphalt. Just meet at 2am some night with some paint. No sweat.

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  • Joe Rowe May 27, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Awesome Story Mr. Maus.
    Bryan said: "the list goes on"

    I suggest we document that very long list and make the reasons well known. Why not a little hanging laminated card on the coral?

    A bike coral is important because of what it prevents. It prevents 2 large SUV's parked in front of your business, blocking the view of customers at a sidewalk table. The parked SUV's are also an ugly eyesore for everyone on a street.

    another example: Even the sometimes empty bike coral outside Ethos Music is a great help to pedestrians. It prevents a big vehicle blocking the safe line of sight for pedestrians and drivers who make a speedy left hook. Line of sight is more important on a one way street with a tendency for speeding cars. I feel much safer as a pedestrian with that bike coral on the corner of my hood.

    I'd love to hear why others love these corals.

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  • ScottG May 27, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Thank you, Bryan Steelman! I like to make an extra effort to support businesses that support bicycling. I'll be sure to stop by for lunch soon.

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  • Dave May 27, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Even as a driver, bike corrals on corners of streets help improve visibility. For instance, it's easier to see traffic coming from the left on 34th and Belmont than on, say 36th and Division (assuming a car is parked there), because the bike corral is lower and more transparent.

    I love that, as a cyclist, they make it so convenient to visit these places. The parking around 36th and 38th on Hawthorne pretty much guarantees that it will be more convenient and quicker to park my bike than a car.

    They also offer meeting places in a way that car parking doesn't - just a place to interact with other people.

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  • peejay May 27, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Good for Bryan! And good for Portland! I have a feeling those car-crazy people who made such a fuss about the first few corrals getting put up downtown have pretty much shut up, because the corrals are always full or close to it. They were just waiting to complain about the resources wasted on a need that wasn't there. Well, we showed them! It's one of the most pleasant visual reminders of positive induced demand.

    And, tacos tonight!

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  • Serviceburo May 27, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Kudos to this guy!!! We definitely need more business owners like this. Now we just have to get him to make food that isn't terrible.

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  • buzz May 27, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    I will certainly be stopping over there sometime soon.

    Along with the other reasons people have stated why they like the bike corrals, I like them because I don't have to deal with the ones on the sidewalk. I don't have to worry about dodging pedestrians. It is easier to take off because they are on a corner and I don't have to edge my bike out between two cars to see if something is coming.

    I think some of those drivers that demanded we pay for parking the bikes have quieted because they realize how much the corral can improve visibility.

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  • craig May 27, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    A bit off-topic, but not by much...

    Installed bike parking is a real asset to businesses and cyclers alike ("cyclists" is beginning to sound too serious, and "bikers" rings of motor-bikers), as long as the cyclers park politely.

    I snapped this cell pic yesterday outside of the Lloyd Safeway. It was still parked like that two hours later when I passed by again. Made me think of adding my U-lock to the configuration to **really** secure this dude's ride for him.

    https://accounts.craigslist.org/post/shwpst?pii=1192043508&db=lv

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  • craig May 27, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Sorry, here's a good link to the pic...

    http://images.craigslist.org/3kc3o53l2ZZZZZZZZZ95rdd5c79c36dde147f.jpg

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  • Chris Sullivan May 27, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Very cool. We had to park the bikes against the parking lot sign last week.

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  • Dave May 27, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    ...just posted about that :)

    http://www.portlandize.com/2009/05/bike-parking-etiquette.html

    interesting point someone brought up that is going to become a bigger problem in the future - how do we accomodate large (like, larger than xtracycle) cargo bikes with bike parking?

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  • Mark Riskedahl May 27, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Does anyone have a link to a map of all Portland's bike corrals? I'd love to regularly frequent businesses that are as supportive of the creative/efficient use of parking space as Mr. Steelman is.

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  • Spencer Boomhower May 27, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Hot damn, that's great to see. That PQN is the one place where I've suggested to the people working there that they really needed a corral (to which they replied that they were working on it). The bike parking around there was seriously lacking - until today, olé!

    Now my only dilemma is that it's so close I usually walk... Is it unethical to ride my bike there just for the happy hour prices?

    Oh, and Serviceburo, the people waiting in the lines stretching out the door - myself included - would STRONGLY disagree. It's great food, enviro-friendly, and locally sourced. And while you're certainly welcome to your opinion, why bring the snark to a happy, feel-good story about a bike-friendly local business?

    A business that's also to be commended for having the tiniest trash can I've ever seen; most everything gets composted, and it's pretty much only straws that end up in the trash.

    Oh, and the agua fresca, I love that stuff. Stomach growling...

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  • Elly Blue May 27, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Mark R., here's a map and listing of 12 bike corrals -- it doesn't yet seem to include the new Hawthorne & 47th one, though. It was made about a week ago.

    http://pdxstump.com/site/Bike_Corral/852bacda3d5bcc3ab90c37ee

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  • gamesink May 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    On top of the ones Elly Blue linked to, there's also one in front of St. Johns Twin Cinemas.

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  • benschon May 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    craig--if I remember correctly, that "wave" rack at the Lloyd Safeway was installed too close to the wall, making it impossible to use it correctly. That could be why that guy hogged the whole rack by parking his bike sideways instead of perpendicular. Installation details can make a big difference.

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  • ben foote May 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    I updated the Bike Corral entry on pdxstump to include the new corral and I corrected the St Johns Cinema one.

    Seems like more than a few of you are checking out that page so it will take a little while for it to update since it will need to clear the server's page cache (yeah I should fix that).

    FYI - you can edit the Bike Corral page, or any other directory listing, including adding locations, by following the [edit] link at the bottom of the page.

    Cheers,

    ben

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  • craig May 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    It's a close fit, but not impossible. I always park my touring rig there correctly--front wheel and frame locked to the rack--and everyone else seems to do okay there too. When I stopped by there the second time, another cycler who was parking there made a remark about it, and then took it upon himself to swing that guy's U-lock over the hump of the rack and turn the bike perpendicular.

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  • Sarah Figliozzi May 27, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    FYI - With the installation of the corral at SE Hawthorne and 47th, Portland now has 15 on-street corrals and 5 covered oases.

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  • Anonymous May 27, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    I like the food, I just think it's overpriced. $8.50 for a tall margarita?

    I'm happy that the business if bike friendly, but other places (I'm not so impolite as to mention them by name) have just as tasty food and better deals.

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  • Hart May 27, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    'Cycler' sounds too much like 'recycler'. There's nothing wrong with 'cyclist'.

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  • Joe Rowe May 27, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Another benefit of a bike coral. No exhaust in your face at curbside tables. I've been to many places in Portland where someone pulls into a parking spot and keeps the engine going, and smokes out everyone eating at sidewalk tables.

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  • morgan scott May 27, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    To #3 (flowb33 and any business owner) if other business owners were as proactive about getting bicycle corrals installed, maybe they could reap the benefit of cyclist's excess cash they save from not driving their cars around. Some insistent cyclists in Vancouver brow-beat the owner of Woody's Tacos into buying his own rack for bikers off craigslist for $25. To #13 (craig) Bike Parking Ettiquete was covered by Portlanize a few days ago http://www.portlandize.com/2009/05/bike-parking-etiquette.html But places like Safeway and Freddies on Hawthorne do not have enough bike parking, even if all the bikes are parked correctly. Some things at PQN are overpriced, but it is GOOD, try the Bryan Bowl for 6 bucks, it fills you up = ride all day :)

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  • Zaphod May 27, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Anonymous #24 ... name anyone in PDX who can touch Por Que No's fish tacos... I dare you? ;^) The only problem I have with PQN is after I enjoy their guacamole, I cannot go anywhere else for it, cause it's so much better.

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  • Coco May 28, 2009 at 2:53 am

    So awesome!

    I live a mere eight blocks away from PQN, but have only eaten there once. One of the reasons? To date, it was impossible to lock your bike up within about four blocks of the establishment on a nice summer day.

    When it opened last year, there were bikes locked to every conceivable pole and sticking-up thing within a five block radius. Not good, considering the sidewalk is already too narrow and too cluttered with signs and tables and bus stops and so on.

    Really, really needed here! Glad to see it go in! Might now go and get that long-awaited taco...

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  • [...] to our friends at BikePortland.org, here’s this fun story of the owner of Por Que No, a tacqueria with locations on Mississippi [...]

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  • craig May 28, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Hart, I agree, there's nothing wrong with the word "cyclist" for those who like it.

    But I think that for some, "cyclist" sounds too difinitive, like a chosen identity or perhaps a devoted hobby, versus just being the way that someone transported themselves that day; it even has a ring self-importance or elitism.

    Whereas "cycler" is more everyman--it sounds active instead of difinitive, and therefore more inviting, open, available, and adoptable by non-cyclists.

    Not everyone identifies with being a "cyclist", but everyone who gets on a bike is, for that moment at least, a "cycler".

    And if they're a "recycler" as well, great! Perhaps they'll adopt that practice as a way of life and eventually take it seriously enough to become a true recyclist!

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  • Hutch May 28, 2009 at 9:53 am

    FYI, Tapalaya on NE 28th has a similar offer called Two-Wheel Wednesdays--Happy Hour prices all night for bikers. The Muffuletta sliders are deelish.

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  • Spencer Boomhower May 28, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Hmm, is there a compiled list of businesses offering deals to bike riders? Could be nice to have... Ziba's Pitas cart downtown offers 25 cents off for bikes (and another 25 if you bring your own container), which isn't huge of course, but it's a nice, welcoming gesture.

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  • buzz May 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Just to let people know, if you want the happy hour prices, you need to eat your food there. I went there last night and had to get it to go and did not get the deal.

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