Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Hawthorne bike oasis no longer an illusion

Posted by on June 6th, 2007 at 9:58 am

Hawthorne Blvd. Bike Oasis!

New bike oasis on SE 36th
and Hawthorne.
(File photo)

This morning on the northwest corner of SE 36th and SE Hawthorne Blvd., crews installed the longawaited bike oasis parking structure. The $40,000 project is part of PDOT’s Hawthorne Boulevard Project.

The new bike parking structure sits on a newly-extended curb (that took away 1 1/2 motor vehicle parking spaces) and offers cyclists a covered, protected area to lock up. The facility consists of steel framework (that will eventually be covered with glass that will extend six inches beyond the ribbing) and there are 10 mini-staple racks placed in an offset pattern.

I met Project manager Jean Senechal-Biggs at the location this morning and she says the offset alignment of the mini-staples was done to maximize the capacity of the facility. She also said that the bike oasis coming to Sandy Boulevard (at NE 43rd) will be a carbon-copy of this one (except for being a different color).

In addition to ten staple racks, the bike oasis will have a sign with educational resources for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Hawthorne Blvd. Bike Oasis!

Project manager Jean Senechal-Biggs
(File photo)
Hawthorne Blvd. Bike Oasis!

(File photo)

The concept for the bike oasis was develop by Rick Browning of Portland-based Browning Shono Architects and the PDOT structural engineer on the project was Manchi Lai.

Lai told me this morning that the structure has a 6′ x 6′ x 2′ underground footing that has been designed to withstand a 10,000 pound impact (which is what highway structures are rated to).

Although the racks and the structure will be securely anchored to the sidewalk by this afternoon, project manager Senechal-Biggs asks that cyclists refrain from using the facility until the glass roof has been installed (it’s not yet known when that will happen).

For more photos, check out my photo gallery, or view the slideshow below.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Bob June 6, 2007 at 10:06 am


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  • Resident June 6, 2007 at 10:10 am

    Great, another concrete parking structure… Just what this city needs! Just cause its for bikes doesn\’t make it any better, just smaller.

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  • aaron hayes June 6, 2007 at 10:11 am

    bravo indeed- and I look forward to the day when this is NOT news!!

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  • pushkin June 6, 2007 at 10:19 am

    Although it rains a lot in Portland, up until now we have been able to deal with uncovered racks; are Portland cyclists really so fragile as to need this structure? And $40,000 for 10 racks?

    This project was an utter waste of money (times two for the Sandy installation).

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  • OnTheRoad June 6, 2007 at 10:28 am

    The Bike Oasisi project received a $50,000 contribution from Paramount Pictures, which filmed \”The Hunted\” in Portland.

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  • Claire June 6, 2007 at 10:46 am

    Geez, lighten up, guys!
    I bet the Hawthorne retailers are really happy that a few less bikes will be locked up to signs and pipes and blocking the sidewalks.
    We keep saying that bikes are vehicles too, so dedicated parking is just another step in that direction, which is a good thing.

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  • Martha S. June 6, 2007 at 10:58 am

    I think this is a good thing. And to Resident, yes it\’s another parking structure, but I would submit that smaller IS better. And while I don\’t think the majority of those of us who cycle year round really mind our bikes getting rained on, but it is nice to keep them dry isn\’t it?

    Also, such a thing might help those fair weather cyclists feel a bit better about riding when the weather is not so fair; though I recognise that the majority of what\’s turning them off to the idea is riding through the weather, not leaving their bike in.

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  • Dropped June 6, 2007 at 10:59 am

    Can\’t please some people.

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  • pushkin June 6, 2007 at 11:00 am

    Well then, Paramount Pics money was ill spent; though I will concede that to do so was a compliment to their tradition of throwing heaps of cash at fluffy projects.

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  • Cecil June 6, 2007 at 11:09 am

    \”are Portland cyclists really so fragile as to need this structure?\”

    I\’m not, but my bicycle is. I love it!

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  • Kirsty June 6, 2007 at 11:30 am


    And for what it\’s worth, my take on the covered versus non-covered bike parking debate…

    I would say it\’s about protecting the bicyclist from the elements as much as it is about protecting the bike itself.

    In a city where we have pants weather for nine months of the year, covered is really the only way to go.

    Humour me if you will. Go stand next to your bike in the pouring, freezing cold rain and wind. Now try to get on your raingear, including your rainpants, raincoat, waterproof shoe covers, and gloves, scarf, hat, and helmet. Now wrestle with keys, undo your two bike locks, attach your bike lights, cyclomter, and water bottles, load your panniers with all of your groceries and all of your other shopping, and then wrestle them onto your bike….

    Now go do all of that under a dry shelter.

    Trust me. Covered bike parking makes the experience infintessimally more enjoyable, and will hopefully get far more people who are currently sitting on the fence so to speak to get out and try biking!

    Remember folks. If we want to achieve Platinum status here in Portland, it\’s not just about the bike journey anymore. It\’s also about the end-of-trip facilities.

    Awesome! I hope to see more of these around town 🙂

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  • Martha R June 6, 2007 at 11:43 am

    I\’m looking forward to trying it out! I can see how someone who doesn\’t bike for transportation day-to-day might not understand the value of such a project.

    Clearly, though, this oasis means a lot to those of us whose primary means of transportation is a bicycle. It\’s a statement from the city that I\’m not only welcomed here, but that my bicycle is valuable enough that it shouldn\’t be sitting out in the rain. Thanks, PDOT and others!

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  • Elliot June 6, 2007 at 11:46 am

    I\’m going to drop by there this afternoon to check it out in person, but those racks look like they\’re too close together. Maybe I can\’t see the scale, but it sure looks like there will be handlebar conflicts that will prevent the theoretical capacity (10 racks x 2 bikes = 20 spots) from being reached, just like those faulty wave racks.

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  • Dour June 6, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    I\’ll admit that the covering is kind of excessive but I\’ll take more secure things to lock my bike to any way I can get them.

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  • Me June 6, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    I definitely appreciate a covered bike rack! Those of you who don\’t just relax!

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  • Anonymous June 6, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    The University of Oregon has many similar covered bike structures and it really makes it nicer for bike commuting. If only Portland State University could get something similar going on their campus!

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  • cdb June 6, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    The University of Oregon has many similar covered bike structures and it really makes it nicer for bike commuting. If only Portland State University could get something similar going on their campus!

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  • Jeff June 6, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    I would never ride on Hawthorne past SE 12th. The location of this bike park structure seems out of touch with the realities of safe cycling in Portland. That whole area is really congested with cars and seems to rely mostly on foot traffic. Hawthorne Blvd has little room to give to cyclists on the street or the sidewalk. Cycle safe, cycle smart.

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  • Oregon Cycling June 6, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Great headline, Jonathan.

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  • Elliot June 6, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Re: my comment earlier (13), I did go and check it out, and indeed the spacing is awkward. I\’m afraid that the facility will condone itself to irregular parking behavior that limits its capacity. I think they would have been better off with a single line of 6, regular-width staples with ample spacing between instead of the current configuration. I bet the effectual capacity will be the same (about a dozen), but I\’d rather see it happen in an orderly fashion that\’s less likely to see someone\’s bike damaged.

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  • Klixi June 6, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    $40k?! Wow…

    I think it looks very unappealing (all that concrete, blick) and it is more of an idea or statement than something worth its pricetag. Stuff like this looks so out of place in the Hawthorne area. I love my bike but I don\’t want the clusters of these things popping up all over Portland. Should\’ve used that 40k to invest in a better project that will get more people into riding a bike.

    I doubt there are many people who will finally be swayed to give up their car and ride a bike now that we have the great \”Bike Oasis\” on Hawthorne.

    The whole idea behind this structure seems more or less aimed at the average weekend rider, but those are the same leisurely riders who don\’t dare touch their bikes when it is raining out, so why the visually painful roof covering over this structure?

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  • JayS. June 6, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Jeff I rarely ride on Hawthorne but I ride too the Hawthorne business district regularly. THere are very few good places to park in that area most of the bike staples are on narrow sidewalk with the street side spot well within bumper range of parking cars. Out of respect for pedestrians, I won\’t even try if I have the trailer with me. I often park at Ben and Jerry\’s and walk to my final destination. This new facility is a huge improvement, I bet the area could handle a few more or even better in my eyes some on street bike parking. Glad to see Hawthorn bike improvemens begining.

    Way to go Belmont can\’t wait to see your on street bike parking finished.

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  • Cecil June 6, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    Jeff said \”I would never ride on Hawthorne past SE 12th.\” Me neither. But I ride TO Hawthorne, and particularly the section of Hawthorne served by the new oasis, a lot.

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  • Kronda June 6, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    Finally! Parking close to Cold Stone? I\’m for it.

    Kirsty (11):

    Way to hit the nail on the head with your example!

    Jeff (18): Try Clinton, Harrison or Salmon. There\’s more than one way to reach your destination. 🙂

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  • Resident June 6, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    At $40k to build, how long til they figure out they need to \”meter\” the parking spots. Shhhhhhh I didnt say that out loud did I. Quick, Randy Leonard, cover your ears!

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  • Tbird June 6, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    I think if you build it they will come. (I know…)
    Things like this will speak to the \’casual\’ cyclist or the \’concerned but interested\’ crowd as if to say, \”Bike here. Go on, you can do it..\”
    As far as biking on that section of Hawthorne (Jeff), I hear ya… but there LOADS of folks that come up the \’bike route\’ streets and the OVER to Hawthorne. Now that\’s riding smart…
    I have to say I am not a fan of staple racks tho\’. The mini\’s are better, at least, cause you get more racks in a tighter space. But the regular staples fit 2 bikes and that\’s it (at least 2 that are not traveling together). The minis can get 2 each if you go head tube to head tube, that is as long as the street side is far enough inland to allow it.

    All in all; very cool!

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  • sh June 6, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    Heck yeah! Covered bike parking is great for a rainy town! We could use a lot more of these, despite the pricey cost attached.

    The aesthetics though…goofy!

    Tsk-tsk. Dear architects: the 90s are over, as is the over-built pseudo-industrial vibe of those years (we\’re not ready for a come-back quite yet). Portland is a boutique design town; we\’re visually sophisticated enough to not need bike wheel vernacular on a bike parking station, thank you.

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  • Hatorade June 6, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    Where I come from we say \”thank you\” when somebody does something nice for us. Thank you PDOT and the rest who made this possible.

    P.S. The concrete is too gray, the paint is to shiney and the sun was in my eyes on the way home from work.

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  • BURR June 6, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    IMO angled parallel staple rack is the way to go. ribbon or wave racks are marginal. but I\’ll reserve my judgement on these until I have a chance to see them first-hand.

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  • BURR June 6, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    as far as the architecture, well, they were designed in the 90s and it\’s taken this long for them to be installed….

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  • sh June 6, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    Well Hatorade (great name, by the way), while it may be true that you come from more genteel, lemonade-sipping environs than some of us (\”I do declare!\”), it\’s not entirely out of line to say that this is a grand idea, maybe next time we can do it better. Or in this case, \”Great! But why isn\’t the design of the thing as good as the idea?\”

    Some of us, who did not come from where you did (Merciful Land of the Unqualified Thank You), but live here now, firmly in the world of good ideas made better by design (TM), are saddened by erected monuments (or in this case, bike stations) that appear dated the moment they\’re built.

    Of course, this won\’t stop me from using it, but i\’ll always wish that it looked cooler and more considered.

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  • ME June 7, 2007 at 8:53 am

    I was all in until I misread the \”glass roof\” part…I thought it said GRASS roof, which for a nanosecond made me smile. But just as our planners so often do, they still think inside the shoebox…by themselves.

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  • Jonathan Maus / BikePortland June 7, 2007 at 8:55 am


    I was told that the roof is glass in order to let in light from the street lamps above.

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  • ME June 7, 2007 at 10:58 am

    Understood Jonathan, but really, wouldn\’t an eco-roof been the cherry on the top of the whole project? Surely some sort of solar type lighting could have been incorporated inside the structure. We are supposed to be cutting edge and weird anyway.

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  • Hawthorne Rider June 7, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    One of the things I truly value and feel spoiled by is my covered bike parking where I work. On spring days (like the last couple of days) where the sky lets loose a shower, but then lets up when I leave work, I am glad to not have to face a soggy seat and dripping frame.

    I am glad those who work on Hawthorne now will also have this option. I am sure many of the employees on Hawthorne bike (especially those in retail/restaurant jobs), and perhaps this will encourage them to bike more often. Think how many employees there are that come to work on Hawthorne everyday in that immediate area (mid-30\’s of Hawthorne) – it seems like this is also about getting them to bike commute to work. We\’re probably less likely to get the weekend shopper from Lake O to bike to Hawthorne, but we can certainly help those in the local area to be encouraged to bike in.

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  • Cecil June 7, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    \”monuments . . . that appear dated the moment they\’re built.\”

    Yeah, one Portland Building is enough for any city.

    At least the bike oasis isn\’t covered with blue tile that makes it look like a public restroom.

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  • Michael June 7, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    Riding on Hawthorne is INSANE in this area. And, that is exactly why we should do more of it. The choice is to take back the street for bikes and peds, or else let it turn into another 82nd \”Avenue of Roses.\”

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  • japam June 8, 2007 at 2:45 am

    i hate it and i\’ll never use it. waahhhhh. i don\’t find it to be aesthetically pleasing. boo hoo.

    you have either been here long enough to forget how bad biking sucked where you are from or if you grew up here like i did and are bitching maybe you need to move away for a while and realize how sweet we have it (relative to uh, basically anywhere you decide to move). wtf?

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