Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on August 26th, 2009 at 2:10 pm
(Photos © J. Maus)
As per usual, we spent the first part of the night meeting new friends, re-connecting with old ones, and sampling some fine Oregon microbrews before happy hour came to a close. Once everyone had settled in, I introduced several interesting folks in the crowd and asked them to share what they’re up to in the world of bikes.
We heard from the Community Cycling Center (whose bike shop is located just down the street), messenger/fabricator Mike Cobb (he’s heading to the Cycle Messenger World Championships in Tokyo), writer Mykle Hansen (he shared his new bike zine, “Joyride” and plugged his SpeedVest invention), and many others.
Magnus Johannesson — the man who single-handedly turned Alberta’s Last Thursday art fest into a carfree event — shared with us that last night was his 35th anniversary of coming to America. He spoke eloquently about how much he loves Portland’s spirit and that he, like most everyone in the crowd, moved here specifically to be a part of it.
Portland Police officer Robert Pickett kept up his perfect Get Together attendance streak (he’s the only one who’s been at all 7 events). At the last few events, Pickett has taken an informal poll of attendees. It’s always the same set-up: If you were the Sergeant at Traffic Division, how would you tell your officers to respond to a citizen complaint about people running a stop sign? Would you A) tell them to enforce the letter of the law or B) have them use their best discretion in choosing who to stop? (nearly everyone voted for B).
After all the mini-presentations, the night got wonky. From PBOT staffer Greg Raisman, we heard about some exciting things the city has planned for the N Going bike boulevard (turning lots of stop signs, new traffic diversion, etc…).
Following Raisman, I brought up the issue of riding on Alberta. PBOT bike coordinator Roger Geller was there and he added some of his insight into the issue. The problem now is that people on bikes have very little room between parked cars and fast-moving auto traffic. Taking the lane is the best way to ride on the street, but that doesn’t work for everyone. Geller said removing parking is politically tough, but that it could happen as the culture shifts down the road. He also mentioned sharrows as a possibility.
The night was full of interesting information and conversation shared among people with a common love for bicycles. Thanks to everyone that came out last night and stay tuned for the announcement of our next Get Together.