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PDOT partners with Kryptonite for Pearl bike parking

Posted by on June 6th, 2007 at 5:21 pm

U-lock maker Kryptonite is partnering up with the City of Portland Office of Transportation (PDOT) to develop and install two new on-street bike parking “corrals” in the Pearl District.

The new bike parking structures will go in front of Pacific Northwest College of Art at NW 13th and Johnson and in front of Acorn Cafe at 539 NW 13th.

The deal calls for Kryptonite to fund the staple racks. The staples will be considered art racks and will be styled in the form of u-locks (which look like standard staple racks to begin with). They will also have a small (2×5 inch) Kryptonite sticker on them and, as per city policy for art racks, a plaque will be placed near the structure that says something likes, “Racks donated by Kryptonite.”

According to PDOT’s art rack program coordinator Linda Ginenthal, the partnership with Kryptonite was “serendipitous”,

“We’ve needed to do something in these areas for a long time. The current racks are always overflowing and we’ve already been in talks with business owners in both locations to find a solution. When Kryptonite came along and expressed interest we were thrilled.”

This is not the first time PDOT has worked with a corporate partner to fund bike parking. Fred Meyer has funded four different art racks throughout the city.

This news follows recent word that on-street bike parking on SE Belmont is moving forward and this morning a new bike oasis was installed at SE Hawthorne and 36th.

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  • bikemonkey June 6, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    Love the idea, hate the partner. Kryponite\’s handling of the \”hey I can open my bike lock with a pen!\” ordeal was weak. They only took returns for 1 year!

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  • BURR June 6, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    more bike parking in the pearl is great, sucks that it has to be corporate branded, though.

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  • Bill Stites June 6, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    It does \”suck that it has to be corporate branded\”. Cause it doesn\’t.

    Why can\’t the local businesses have first shot?

    This is a discussion for the community at large to have.

    More on this to come …

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  • wsbob June 6, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    This seems like an alright idea, especially if Kryptonite were to contract with a local bike rack manufacturer to design and fabricate the racks. I\’m not too crazy about the idea of designing the racks to look like u-locks with Kryptonite stickers on them, in fact, I don\’t like that idea at all. The brand conditioning aspect of corporate sponsorship often goes way too far. A simple placard would be just fine.

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  • Martha S. June 7, 2007 at 1:06 am

    I admit that it is annoying that the new bike racks will be a permanent advertisement… on the other hand, it\’ll be good to have a secure place to lock up my bike when I\’m in the area. At least it\’s a useful advertisement.

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  • ME June 7, 2007 at 8:46 am

    The only place such an ad/rack would fit in Portland… as we knew it. The Pearl as a whole is amazingly gross!

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  • Bill June 7, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Kryptonite is not only a bike lock manufacturer, they are owned by Ingersoll Rand. Yuck, this idea sucks. How much could it cost to install a couple racks? the city really cant pay for it or wouldnt offer this up to a local business? Im ashamed of the city planners on this project and dont think its serendipitous. I wouldve pledged decent money for this project instead of selling our city out to a large corporate advertisement. Jonathan, can we get ahold of the city employee in charge of this and talk about different options? Why would the city sell-out our un-marked public streets and sidewalks to corporate donors? Especially on something so small an affordable!

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  • Bill June 7, 2007 at 9:04 am

    Furthermore, I think its a sham and an abuse to call this \”art\” and allow it to have a plaque to commemorate the donor of this \”fine piece of art\”. its not such a hefty donation that it should get so much respect. Its an advertisement campaign! it\’d even be the slightest bit different if the piece in question differed from the most basic, cheap design of a bike rack or if Kryptonite wasnt honored with a plaque to commemorate their \”tremendous gift\”. My big question is, is the city paying more for the plaque than what it wouldve cost to purchase the racks in the first place?????

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  • Mike June 7, 2007 at 9:22 am

    If Kryptonite wants to spend $40,000 on a complete bike oasis such as the one just installed on Hawthorne, then perhaps they deserve a plaque. Otherwise, whats the cost of a couple bike rack staples? Not worth me selling my share of the sidewalk to a corporation.

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  • Jessica Roberts June 7, 2007 at 9:27 am

    Whoa, that\’s an awful lot of high and mighty rhetoric floating around. Isn\’t there a possibility that more on-street bike parking is good for biking in Portland? I\’ll use it and be glad for it.

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  • NPBike June 7, 2007 at 10:35 am

    I\’ve said before and I\’ll say it again. Bicyclists are the most difficult population to please in this city. No good deed goes un-punished by this bike community.

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  • Purple Toes June 7, 2007 at 11:09 am


    Sorry if I\’m in the minority, but I\’d rather lock my bike up to something secure donated by Kryptonite, than a wooden rotting fence post or some such thing! And I think U-lock shaped bike racks are kind of quirky!

    Flexcar has bikeracks. Fred Meyer donated bike racks. Quit whining so much and say thankyou for more the space to safely lock your trusty two-wheeled steed!

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  • Kristen June 7, 2007 at 11:39 am

    I agree with Jessica– since when is more bike parking in the city a bad thing??

    Kryptonite is a recognized name in bike locks– specifically bike locks. One would think that\’s a good thing.

    And if it took you more than a year to resolve your bic pen recall with them, then you\’re the one being unreasonable, not them. 365 days (12 months) is a long enough period of time for a reasonable person who wants to return a recalled piece of merchandise.

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  • ME June 7, 2007 at 11:56 am

    More bkie parking is great, but why do we have to sell ourselves out to a corporation and where will it stop? Bike staples…come on!

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  • Michelle June 7, 2007 at 11:56 am

    I\’d want a little bit of design control for it to be tastefully done, but hey! Adding real built improvements to our bike facilities is a nice way to advertise if you ask me!

    Kryptonite has realized that the real growth in bicycling will be trips to the burrito place, not high-end roadies who only ever park their bikes on the backs of their SUVs (to whom they used to direct their marketing efforst). So they, like many other bike related companies, are now focusing both on marketing to us burrito bikers AND on increasing the number of people using bikes for around-town trips. Which is great! We want more people using bikes around town, they want more people using bikes around town.

    It\’s a natural pairing. I don\’t have a problem with it as long as it\’s not ugly and it\’s truly helpful and durable. Advertising isn\’t, after all, inherently evil.

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  • ME June 7, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    I agree that ads drive the products which drive the economy. But why can\’t we keep some things to ourselves in Ptown, especially things that are unique to our lives here, unlike anywhere else? Eventually Krypto will be sponsoring alot of these nationally, so ours will be just like everyone elses. And we are the ones on the verge of blowin\’ this bike thing way into our culture. Kind of like the Hawthorne bike parking…see #32 to #34 there…can you kind of get my point? And yeah, I am spending way too much time on this site today.

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  • Elise June 7, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    You know what? We in Portland are lucky. I moved here recently, don\’t have a car, try to live by the bike. I spend at least ten weeks a year in Houston, where I also try to live by the bike. I\’m not saying that we shouldn\’t fight for the good of the bike and bike facilities, but I\’ll wish for ANYONE, corporate or not, to sponser a staple rack in Houston the next time I\’m locking my bike to a street sign down there. And then I\’ll REALLY miss Portland when I have to leave the bike behind because there are no racks on the bus and the city is planned so ramblingly, or the next time I nearly get run over because there\’s little place to ride safely.

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  • Bill June 7, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Kryptonite knew about the vulnerability of their locks for MANY years. I believe something like ten years. That is not called doing business in a responsible manner… Then to put a one year cap on doing replacements???? How about all those consumers that didnt find out about it til after that time limit, such as many I run into??? weak sauce, not responsible business practices.

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  • Jeremy June 7, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    Everyone has an opinion and bikeportland.org provides a quality home to voice said opinion. Thank goodness people have another place to \’share their thoughts\’ (aka: whine and moan). I have to agree with another poster that you simply cannot please everyone, but for those who use the bike racks –regardless of whom the racks are sponsored by (or not)– there will be pleasure; the pleasure of knowing you have a secure place to lock your steed. To everyone else, please keep your opinions flowing and if you don\’t like this type of change, run for office, or work to get a job in the places that make these decisions. Live free or drive. More bikes = less cars.

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  • rainperimeter June 8, 2007 at 2:20 am

    i have no idea how long kryptonite knew their locks were (pen) pickable. whatever. but seriously…one year! i had 3 locks replaced by them in that year. i didn\’t pay shit for it either. if someone couldn\’t pull it together in a years time, that sucks. if you didn\’t hear about the recall (?!?) you were in a cave or a coma or who knows where.

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  • Donna Tocci June 8, 2007 at 6:53 am

    Wow ā€“ there is a lot of passion here, which is why we love Portland so much!

    Iā€™m sorry if some of you are offended by the racks that will be going in later this summer. Truly, I am. We never thought they\’d be controversial! Our whole focus for the last year (and will be in the future) has been to become more involved in some of the great cycling communities around the country. Portland is always at the top of our list when we think of great cyclists.

    Rather than spend our money on an ad in a local magazine or two, we wanted to do something that would benefit your community. We want to be part of the community as much as we can, even from way back here on the East Coast. Last year we supported the fabulous Women on Bikes program and this year we are supporting the bike valet programs at the Platinum Bicycle Master Plan public meetings and at the Bicycle Film Festival later this summer. And then there are the bike racks. We think they will be helpful to cyclists in Portland for a long time to come. We hope you all have the chance to use them, when they are installed.

    Happy, safe riding this weekend!

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  • wsbob June 9, 2007 at 1:37 am

    Yo, Donna of Kryptonite! Nice of you to respond at all, although I\’m disappointed that you weren\’t more specific in addressing the substance of the concerns expressed by those commenting here.

    Sure, a bike rack might be a more conscientious expenditure of money than a magazine ad, but is the design Kryptonite has in mind a reasonable balance of service, functionality and the company\’s hopes of having people think of Kryptonite products the next time they buy a bike lock?

    Also, some people are uneasy with companies having connections with multi-billion dollar corporations involved with the production of equipment designed to stripmine the earth. It would be interesting to hear Kryptonite\’s thought on this in regards to the possible concerns of their customers in that respect.

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