Signs and free bells encourage courtesy among commuters

A stream of bike commuters roll by an awareness action on the approach to the Hawthorne Bridge.
(File photo)


During peak morning commute hours, the Hawthorne Bridge walkway is buzzing with an ever-growing stream of pedestrians and cyclists making their way into downtown Portland.

In order to help prevent potential conflicts between users, community members kicked off a series of “Share the path” events on the bridge this morning.

Near the intersection with SE Grand Ave., Janis McDonald, Margaret Weddell, Stephanie Routh and Thomas Rousculp held up signs with messages like, “Don’t be a silent passer,” and “Bell free? Free bells ahead.”

Free bells and breakfast on the bridges!

Pit crew at work. Bike Gallery owner Jay
Graves and employees give a free tune-up.
(File photo)

On the west end of the bridge, employees of the Bike Gallery gave cyclists free tune-ups, installed “I love my bike” bike bells, and offered hot Peets coffee and muffins.

The Bike Gallery crew worked with the precision of a NASCAR pit crew; pumping up tires, adjusting brakes, and screwing on new bike bells.

The message of “share the path” was certainly made stronger this morning.

More share the path action is planned for today. Meet at the PDOT building at noon for a ride to the Esplanade to observe and discuss issues for cyclists and pedestrians sharing off-street paths.

Below is a quick slideshow of photos from the bridge this morning…


Created with Paul’s flickrSLiDR.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Options Guy
16 years ago

Yea for bikes! Yea for bells!
And yea for Bike Gallery – they helped save my relationship (with my bike).

Ruby and I had been quarelling about how many gears I actually needed to use. I thought I should be able to use 7 out of 7 – she thought the middle 5 were enough. Much cursing and fuming ensued.
Jack and Jay from the Bike Gallery did a little counseling, and now Ruby and I get on fine, and we\’re rolling along on the road to happiness.

Thanks J & J from BG! And thanks Barb for the tasty treats – and the cool new bell!

Martha R
Martha R
16 years ago

Another yea for fun on the morning commute! The coffee was great, and like Ruby, my bike also got a fine tuning — thanks!

My one regret is that I missed out on the free bell because it didn\’t fit my handlebars. Ah, well.

Charles
Charles
16 years ago

Kudos the The Bike Gallery & all of the volunteers. Where can us \”Early Morning\” commuters (6 AM) get a free bell ?

NewmaForma
NewmaForma
16 years ago

Bells are great. I-pods not so much

Anonymous
Anonymous
16 years ago

Jonathan,

Any idea when the COP is going to widen the bike lane from SE Madison as it approaches the Hawthorne Bridge?

Murray
Murray
16 years ago

Jonathan,

Any idea when the COP is going to widen the bike lane from SE Madison as it approaches the Hawthorne Bridge?

Greg Raisman
16 years ago

Murray:

The project is a City funded and managed project, but the bridge is actually a Multnomah County facility. We are almost there on getting the lane change installed.

There were some work coordination issues that arose that held us up (they resurfaced the asphalt section of the viaduct). Also, the County is requiring that we use a different method to remove the stripes than we normally use because it\’s on the bridge stucture. We don\’t own the necessary machinery for the lower impact stripe removal, so we\’re working to get the stripe removal lined up so we can move forward with the rest of the project.

I think we\’re all looking forward to getting this project completed.

Thanks.
Greg Raisman
Community and School Traffic Safety Partnership
Portland Office of Transportation
(503) 823-1052

Murray
Murray
16 years ago

Greg,

Thanks for the update on the new bike lane. This project is long overdue. Sorry to pester you, but do you think you could give me an ETA? End of summer? Fall?

Greg Raisman
16 years ago

Dear Pest ;-):

We\’re moving as fast as we can. It\’s going to be one of those things where it will move very quickly once the peices fall into place. Unfortunately, I can\’t tell you when those peices will come together. I\’ll be surprised if we haven\’t been able to pull it off by the fall. Preferably, it will be done by the end of the summer.

Thanks again.
Greg Raisman
Community and School Traffic Safety Partnership
Portland Office of Transportation
(503) 823-1052

Murray
Murray
16 years ago

Thanks Greg!

zilfondel
zilfondel
16 years ago

Oooh, I want a bell! Hmm…

Todd B
Todd B
16 years ago

A very nice event! Music to my ears.

Another successful step closer to the Amsterdam of the West. 😉

What is next…a nice slice of apple pie and cream with each cup of coffee. (Right Michelle!? Mmmmmm – Lekker!)

Thanks BikeGallery, PDoT and the volunteers!

(It was nice to see those bells in the box during the Bikestation visit to the BikeGallery HQ tour yesterday (Wed) and now they are on scads of handlebars flying around the city.)

Perhaps now every new/ used bike that leaves a local shop will have a bell/ horn…per state law. Hmmmm.

DK
DK
16 years ago

Hey! Who kept this a secret from me? I wanna bell, muffin, coffee, tune-up and exercise…all in one stop. When\’s the next a.m. partay??? Great chance to get more butts on bikes.

Bearhat
16 years ago

woooo Bike Gallery love!

erin g.
erin g.
16 years ago

Well, I did *not* stop for a bell on my commute into work this week….

…..because I already *had* one, thanks to some fabulous community organizers and the Bike Gallery crew, who conducted the same hands-on/grass roots approach to addressing the bridge traffic/passing issue earlier this season. I did, however, give an enthusiastic “Brr-r-r-ing! B-r-r-ring” shout-out to what looked a very happy crowd of morning volunteers and bell partakers. Nice! Also, thank you, Jonathan, for raising awareness about this sort of event. I knew precisely when to get my shiny new bell earlier this year, because you’d run an advance story on bikeportland.org.

I use the bell nearly every time I ride, especially when passing pedestrians (I still use the old “On your left” standby for cyclists who look like they’ll get it, rather than careening *to* the left). People respond very well to the bell, and I’m thankful to have obtained it in such a fun, friendly way. This forum is doing a nice job of raising awareness about an important shared-path safety issue. Signaling while passing really all comes down to courtesy, patience, and common sense. I’m glad that the issue is being addressed in so many creative ways, and I’m already experiencing some of the positive outcomes (i.e. peds saying “Thank you!” when I ring before passing, cyclists being a little more patient on the crowded bridges, etc.)

Perhaps we should all step back, set aside any bike commute-related frustrations, and take a moment to revel in how cool a city/community this is. Portland is the best! Where else is the U.S. is commuting by bike made easier? Where else do community organizers, local businesses (thanks, Bike Gallery and Peetes!), and web-based news outlets pull off something so fun and effective in so little time?

We’re in a pretty darned good place, and we’ll keep getting better…keep up the good work and positive energy, everyone!

Enjoy your rides,

Erin G

arcellus
arcellus
16 years ago

I recently spent some time in Denver and during several long runs on a few of the city\’s many multi-use paths, I was amazed that almost every cyclist that passed me gave a loud and clear verbal warning. It seems to just be a part of the local bike culture – it was much appreciated, and I think we can take it as a model for our own community.

Resident
Resident
16 years ago

You need a mirror more than I need a bell! Stay to the right and \”start seeing bicycles\” (other than your own)! The world doesn\’t revolve aroung you, you are only part of it! Cars don\’t honk as they pass each other, Why should bikes. Do an over the shoulder head check every 30 seconds or so and be aware of your surrongings. You\’ll be safer for it!