Airport adds public bike parking

airport bike parking structure

[New and improved PDX bike parking*]

In response to your feedback from my post, Airport bike parking “for employees only”, I have just learned that the Portland Airport has re-designed the employee bike parking area to accomodate the general public. Here’s the scoop from Aviation Planner Jason Gately:

We recently modified our employee bike parking area to include an area for the general public. It is now split 50/50 between the general public and airprot employees (about 40 spaces each side). The employee side is still behind a secure gate, while the general public side is open (for now). We are looking into ways to secure this area, but still make it easy for the public to access at any tme of the day. It is located in a somewhat visible area near the terminal across from administrative offices below the E Concourse. It is located at the end (or beginning) of the new off-street multi-use path that parallels Airport Way into and out of the terminal.

Many thanks to all the readers who emailed and called Jason to voice your concerns. Your actions had a direct impact on making the airport a better place for bikes. Congratulations to you and thanks to Jason Gately and PDX for listening and doing something about it!

If you’d like to say “thank you” to Jason you can email him at

[See more photos of the re-designed bike parking structure.]

*Photos courtesy of Jason Gately

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Jessica Roberts
16 years ago

I encourage folks to thank PDX for being willing to revisit this issue. Jason said they would build customer parking if demand was there, and apprently they meant it, which is all too rare.

Jason can be reached at:

Jason A. Gately
Aviation Planner III
7000 NE Airport Way, 3rd Flr.
Portland, OR 97218
Work: 503.460.4570

16 years ago

Portland shares the road, and PDX shares the parking!

Nice work Jason, and thank you for making long term bike parking a reality. This makes biking to the airport a real alternative to driving, and I am sure that everyone here can appreciate just how quickly this done.

16 years ago

I’m just curious, what is the situation in which one bikes to the airport as a non-employee? I’m not trying to criticize here, just understand, as even when I’ve only flown for weekends, I’ve still needed a carry-on that I couldn’t have put on my bike, and it’s not like you can pick somebody up from the airport with a spare bike (unless you ghost-ride it!).

Business day-trippers who can conduct business in bike-friendly clothes?

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
16 years ago

verasoie, a bike trailer can haul upwards of 200 pounds of stuff. That’s enough luggage for a trip around the world! And with a little creativity you could stash a bike in one too if you wanted to pick up a friend. ;-).

Scott Mizée
16 years ago

This is great. I do have to admit–as someone who flies quite frequently for business, I share some of Verasoie’s curiousity. I understand hauling the stuff in the trailer (or even better, in a Dutch Bakfiets). My next concern is theft.

Thanks to PDX and the Port for installing these, but this seems like a more than ideal location for bike lockers like the ones we see near many of the MAX stations. I would be very leary about leaving my bike and expensive trailer out in the open for a week while I am away on a business trip. I suppose if I were in Amsterdam, I would just leave my “disposable” city bike in such a situation–but alas, PDX is not Schipol.

Does the Port have any idea if lockers might be in the budget? Are there security cameras installed, to “TRI-METize” the situation?

Thanks again to Jason. This is great progress!

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
16 years ago

Scott: I wouldn’t worry about security. This parking structure is very close to the terminal and directly in front of Port of Portland offices. It’s a pretty secure location. I just don’t think petty thieves mess around near airports these days. I used it with no problem for a 3 day trip back in September (before they’d installed the security gate). You can read about my experience in this post.

And as for lockers in the budget…PDX has a long-term bike plan that they are implementing step-by-step. As part of that plan they will be starting a citizen’s advisory committee and they’d love a representative from the bike community. Stay tuned for details.

16 years ago

I often take weekend trips where all I bring is a daypack…I love to travel light. And every time I do, I wish I could just bike to the airport, leave my bike, and have it waiting when I come back.

Now, to be fair, TriMet has really served me well, and I love taking the MAX to the aiport when it works (e.g. when I leave right from my downtown office). But I can think of many situations where it would be more enjoyable or more convenient for me to bike there instead of busing/MAXing.

In particular, I hate having to beg a car-owning friend for a ride when my plane arrives after TriMet stops for the evening around midnight. Now I’ll be able to get home on my own steam.

Scott Mizée
16 years ago

Flexcar at PDX — Flexcar needs to get some cars parked at the airport. This is just one more reason why. Sometimes MAX isn’t running, or the conditions simply do not allow for one to comfortably get on a bike after hours on the plane. It would be nice if there were somewhere to leave your rain gear in case it is raining when you return.

Or, if I get in late at night and don’t want my wife and kids to have to get out of bed and come get me or to pay for a taxi. It’d be really nice to have a Flexcar available…

Regarding security: Thanks for the info in your previous comment, Jonathon. I would still be a little leery leaving my bike and trailer there, but you make some good points.

Jessica Roberts
16 years ago

Flexcar is great, but it doesn’t work as you describe, Scott. You have to return it to the same location you took it from, and at $9/hour, you’re not likely to take it back the next morning.

It can be a down side to the system, but sometimes it’s an advantage (like when that’s where you left your bike), and anyway, it seems pretty central to their success (so you can count on the cars being at their regular locations).

I was recently in Berlin, and they have a new cool bike rental program where bikes are left standing around the city, and if you want to take one you just call this cell number and the pin thorough the rear wheel releases. You pay for it from your cell phone account until you call the number again and give it up. This means that you can go point to point, but it also means that you can’t be guaranteed that a bike will be where you want one to be, or that it will still be there when you get out of the movie or wherever you went. I wanted to try it, but I didn’t have a European cell phone.

Scott Mizée
16 years ago

At Risk of sounding like a Flexcar Commercial…
I’d like to clarify my point. I have been a Flexcar member for nearly 1 1/2 years now and have used it both here and in Washington D.C. There “roaming” feature works pretty well once your account is set up to use in that particular city. Also, the system can be a little confusing at first, but once you figure it out, it works great!

Yes, it is true that you have to return the car to where you picked it up and yes the general rule is to pay by the hour. However, if you are on one of their monthly rate plans you don’t have to pay for the hours between 11pm and 7am. This is when it is definitely to your advantage to use the Flexcar. i.e. Your flight arrives at 12:30 in the morning, you checkout the Flexcar to cart your luggage home. Then you return it to the airport by 7AM if you do not want to pay for additional checkout time. If you need it to run some errands in the morning, then you simply extend your reservation as necessary.

I have now used it for emergency situations several times. …it’s much cheaper than buying a second car and they pay for all of the gas!

Jessica: I love your information about the bike rental program in Berlin! Is there anyone willing to bring that concept to Portland?

Jason Gately
Jason Gately
16 years ago

Thanks for the complement.

While we were able to act quickly in this instance, you are right that it can take years to make infrastructure improvements for numerous reasons. As I mentioned to Jonathan yesterday, the process to bring better bike and pedestrian connectivity to the airport area of the city has been evolving since about 1998. First came an Alternative Modes Analysis of the airport, then a specific Bike and Pedestrian Plan for PDX, then a few improvements (such as light rail – which was a big catalyst, the signaled at grade pedestrian crossing of Airport Way at 82nd, a sidewalk on the Frontage Rd (from 82nd Ave east), bike lanes in Portland International Center (PIC), etc. The most recent bike path and parking project is just part of this ongoing trend.

I think what made it relatively easy for the Port to act quickly on the suggestions from was timing and good luck. We still had the capital project open and so it was easier to justify the changes as a modification to something we were already had funding approved for. The the forum on the website made some good suggestions and there seemed to be support from the community for the improvement we just finished. We had envisioned a better public bike parking area at the airport for a long time, but all these elements just happened to come together at the right time.

Next summer we plan on making a connection from the round-a-bout out by the Economy Lot and the overpass to PIC – this will connect the multiuse path to the Marine Drive multiuse trail. This will allow cyclists to avoid the Airport Way/I-205 interchange and have better access going west from the airport (via Marine Dr) and will give better access to the I-205 bike path and Clark County.

Have a nice sunny weekend,

el timito
16 years ago

Verasoie and Freddy,
With family in the Bay Area my trips tend to be of the long-weekend variety. Though I don’t pack as lightly as Freddy, I can put a medium-sized backpack on my rack with some careful inner-tube tying, and a messenger bag on my back. I’ve parked at the spot in front of the baggage-claim/Trimet kiosk door (on the way to the MAX) and had no problems with theft.
And, yes, I have met a friend at PDX, pulling the spare bike in my trailer. When he arrived the bike came out and his luggage went in.

Scott Mizée
16 years ago

Thanks again for responding. I didn’t see any mention as to whether or not there are security cameras installed there. Please confirm.