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Getting Together on Alberta: Recap and photos

Posted by on August 26th, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Get Together on Alberta-7
Mike Cobb holds the floor.
-Slideshow below/Gallery-
(Photos © J. Maus)

We had another great Get Together event last night on NE Alberta. We packed the patio of Radio Room and had their generous bike parking facility overflowing.

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.

Get Together on Alberta-10
Magnus Johannesson

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).

Get Together on Alberta-13
PBOT’s Greg Raisman and his visuals.

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.

More photos in slideshow below:

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

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Comments
  • fool August 26, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    twas a fine time, jonathan. thanks for setting it up! really pleased about the turnout in my new neighborhood, lots of good conversations taken part in =)

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  • Seamus Campbell August 26, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Was there a timeframe mentioned for the Going bike boulevard? I was under the impression that it was going to start in the spring, but so far, nothing.

    It’s good to know that it’s still in the works.

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  • Mark C August 26, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Last night was my first get together, and I’m really glad I attended. Met a lot of interesting people and heard about a bunch of cool things going on around town. My only regret was that I had to take off at 7:15 to collect my daughter from swim lessons.

    Regarding Going Street, I think Greg said that construction was going to take place in June 2010.

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  • Borgbike August 26, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Very cool vibe. I liked the democratic feel of the gathering. I felt Magnus indirectly captured that spirit of the meeting when he stated flatly that he would step down from being part of the Last Thursday if and when rules and regulations were imposed on the event. This is off topic but the evening had a similar vein. Just like Last Thursday is an anarchistic event where people from all walks come together to make a community, the bike meeting was a friendly space where diverse folks from the bike scene came together to share what they were up to.

    Jonathan, thanks for scaring up Greg Raisman from PBOT to talk about the Going Street Bike Boulevard. I’m not so sure everyone fully appreciates how significant this thing will be to the NE area once it’s in place. It’s much more than simply a new designated bike route. Greg said they will turn something like 14 stop signs on the the street to help bikes maintain their momentum. Cars will be prevented from turning onto Going, particularly at 33rd and MLK. Also, special bike-specific crossings will be built at MLK and 33rd. (The Boulevard is planned to go east all the way into the 70s Avenues somewhere.)

    The Going Boulevard will dump directly into Vancouver/Williams. It will be a major bike artery dumping into a major bike artery. Let’s Get Going!

    It was awesome to get away from the computer and see and talk with people about this stuff. Definitely recommend it to all even to those who are not professionally connected with the Portland bike scene.

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  • Brian A. August 27, 2009 at 8:44 am

    What a fine group and a great meetup, Portland style.

    Well done Jonathan.

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  • gabriel amadeus August 27, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Twas my first meetup, but won’t be my last! Thanks!

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  • Greg Raisman August 27, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Thanks for another great get together, BikePortland team!

    Also, thanks for the feedback about the Going Bike Boulevard project. It is one of 8 that will be installed by the end of June, 2010.

    For background on our approach, see: http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=50517&

    For information on the 8 projects that will implement 15 miles of new bike boulevards, see: http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=50518& — (this page is still being updated and the person who is working on the update is on vacation this week)

    We will be in touch with BikePortland readers again when the next round of bike boulevard projects begin. (similar to this article about this year’s projects: http://bikeportland.org/2009/07/02/city-brings-bike-boulevard-plans-to-neighborhoods/)

    It’s very valuable to have local cyclists attend boulevard project open houses.

    Thanks.
    Greg Raisman
    Community and School Traffic Safety Partnership
    Portland Bureau of Transportation

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  • Oregometry August 27, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Hey look, that’s me in Photo 2 in the slideshow! I’m famous!

    Great event, Jonathan. I had a blast and learned a ton!

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