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PBOT offers bikers a ‘Quick Fix’ of donuts, coffee and conversation

Posted by on May 20th, 2014 at 10:07 am

PBOT Quick Fix event-3
Sunday Parkways? Nope. Just the
morning commute on N Willamette Blvd
(with a free donut stop).
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

It was like a mini Sunday Parkways this morning on N Willamette Boulevard. As part of their National Bike Month outreach efforts, The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) set up a “Quick Fix” station to offer free coffee, donuts and lube jobs to anyone who happened to be biking by. And business was brisk.

Andy and Cheryl Kehrli where two of dozens of people who stopped by. Andy held a mug of coffee in one hand and his bike in the other while PBOT staffer Abra McNair lubed up his squeaky chain. “We were just riding over to get coffee and we knew this would be here,” said Andy. He told me he bike commuted to work for nine years before he retired a few years ago. Now he and Cheryl ride every day. “We just sold our Prius,” he said, “Because it never gets driven.”

This part of north Portland (the Overlook/Arbor Lodge/University Park neighborhoods) is booming with bicycling these days and quiet, calm streets like Willamette are a big reason why. It also doesn’t hurt that some of the city’s best neighborhood greenway streets — like Concord, Bryant, and Wabash — criss-cross the area. There were so many people biking out on Willamette this morning that when a car did come rumbling by, it seemed out of place. Or, as PBOT’s McNair put it, “Cars just seem awkward on this street.”

PBOT Quick Fix event-12
Christopher, a sixth-grader, stopped for a donut on his way to school.

PBOT Quick Fix event-11
PBOT’s Abra McNair wore her “Jammy Pack” — a fanny pack
with a speaker that hooks up to her iPhone.
PBOT Quick Fix event-6
Retiree Andy Kehrli enjoying his coffee and free lube job.
PBOT Quick Fix event-9
Sweetness from nearby Heavenly Donuts.
PBOT Quick Fix event-1
Official city vehicle which doubles as composting/recycling station.
PBOT quick fix
Chocolate sprinkle to-go.
PBOT Quick Fix event-4
Scott Mizee and Cheryl Kehrli enjoy some conversation while
standing in the middle of the quiet street.

While I was there this morning, I noticed riders of all ages and abilities. There was the retired Kehrli couple, several families (including one small girl who rolled away on her balance bike with a chocolate sprinkle donut in one hand), and even a 6th-grader riding by himself to a nearby school. University Park neighborhood resident Stephanie Turner stopped by with her first grader Oliver (on his own bike). She’s lived in the area for 10 years and says there’s been “exponential growth” in the amount of people biking.

But infrastructure is only part of the equation when it comes to creating a pleasant cycling environment. The power of events like this Quick Fix is in the community and conversation. In just the few minutes I was there I learned about an upcoming bike event, saw several friends who happened to be biking by, and enjoyed several nice chats. For PBOT, they got to tell their story (many people have no idea our city has dedicated staff whose job is to promote biking, walking and transit) and connect with the citizens they serve.

There are still several events left on PBOTs PDX Bike Month calendar, including the final “Quick Fix” which will be held on Saturday, May 31st at SE 136th on the Springwater Corridor.

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Comments
  • RH May 20, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Dang, I would have loved to have known about this since it’s near my route. How can someone like me keep track of all these fun events? I checked the shift 2 bikes website and didn’t see it there.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Rob Chapman May 20, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Cool Jammy Pack. Finally a fanny pack that I can’t make fun of!

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • James Sherbondy May 20, 2014 at 11:47 am

    “Cars just seem awkward on this street.”

    I wish everyone at PBOT felt that way!

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • 9watts May 20, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      Yeah. Or more to the point, if they acted on those feelings, allowed those feelings to overwhelm the Bureau’s persistent urge to defer to the horseless carriage cabal.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Blake May 20, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Good for PBOT to do that, and there are nice routes around that area. Still lots of work to do to connect this area with Southeast & Downtown Portland: http://bikeportland.org/2014/01/10/citizen-activists-work-to-fix-narrow-bike-lanes-on-interstate-ave-99687

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Rob Chapman May 20, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      Blake do you have contact info you’d be willing to share?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • MaxD May 20, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I love riding that stretch of Willamette! Unfortunately, north of Rosa Parks Willamette gets used by motorists as a speedy shortcut/alternative to Lombard. Imagine in Willamette was converted to one- way northbound with a parking lane from Rosa Parks to UP. The southbound half of the existing street could be converted to a shared bike/ped. 2-way path. At Portsmouth, the trail could head to the river and extend to Cathedral Park, and the rest of Willamette could get some decent bike lanes striped on it.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • paikiala May 20, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      As a Major Emergency Response Route and Neighborhood Collector, eliminating one direction of travel is unlikely to happen. However, there is a segment between Chautauqua and Wabash that is classified as Local Service, so, if it’s not operating in accordance with the current plan, perhaps some diversion that is fire friendly could be implemented. That UP traffic should be using Lombard anyway.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

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