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Can you tell what’s missing?

Posted by on September 18th, 2007 at 10:55 am

Located at the SW corner of NW 16th and Lovejoy (Radio Cab building).
(All photos by Jonathan Maus)

Located at the NW corner of NW 11th and Lovejoy (Streetcar Lofts building).

Located at Union Station.

Yes, the time has come to figure out how to get a “Go by Bike” sign (similar to these) put up somewhere in the city. I have heard this mentioned around various tables in the past, but to my knowledge no one is currently working to make this happen.

The Bike Gallery has recently integrated the “Go by Bike” mantra into their marketing efforts, although I’m not aware of any effort on their part to do a neon sign (although owner Jay Graves would seem like a natural person to take the lead on this).

I asked Radio Cab General Manager Steve Entler about the “Go by Cab” sign that hangs from the side of his building at NW 16th and Lovejoy. He said he copied the other two signs (and also pointed out that the “Go by Streetcar” sign is larger than the code allows). Entler said he just called up a sign company and made it happen.

Dylan Martin, a project manager at Security Signs (the folks who made the “Go by Cab” sign) told me a “Go by Bike” sign would run $6-7,000. I think if all the ducks lined up, we’d have no trouble raising that much money.

So, shall we form a volunteer committee to make this happen? Does anyone out there know a business owner or building owner with a good location that might be interested in doing this?

I’ve heard people say it should go on the Hawthorne Bridge, but I think there would be way too much red tape to put a sign on a county (or state) owned facility versus a privately owned building.

So who’s in?


UPDATE: Check out the new signs (installed in Spring) at the Bike Gallery Stores in Division and Woodstock.

(Photo: Bike Gallery)

(Photo: Bike Gallery)

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tonyt
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tonyt

So something came to my mind with those bike racks on that last post that I think could also deal with this little project.

I agree that those City Hall racks are ugly. Immediately I thought that it would be cool if a certain Portland \”Bike Constructors\” organization sponsored a rack building contest/symposium. Imagine big lugged-style racks.

And perhaps those folks would have some cool ideas for a \”Go By Bike\” sign. Of course neon isn\’t exactly in the skill-set (unless Sacha\’s working on a lowrider with full neon kit for the next show).

It\’s asking a lot from that organization I know. But perhaps some other businesses could chip in with some sponsorship, covering the costs of materials.

Total pie in the sky, but it came to mind.

a.O
Guest
a.O

I\’d love to help with this. My time is limited, but I could probably help with the lease or other legal issues.

If it needs to be lit up, what about the cost of electricity? Also, are you thinking of getting the rental cost for free?

Maybe on one of the Bike Gallery stores? Or River City? Etc?

Paul
Guest
Paul

On the roof of Rivercity! Or maybe on the indoor soccer building that is on the northside of the approach to the Hawthorne when you are headed downtown.

vanessa
Guest

I think there should be a few of them around town. One at the airport by the bike rental station (wouldn\’t that be sweet?),
one near Powell\’s books, since it is a mecca for so many, one by the old Wonderbread factory in NE.
How about making a zillion little ones in neon, like \”open\” signs in every storefront window. People could have them in their houses, in their windows….
Brian Borello, neon artist extraordinaire, might be the man for the job.

Me 2
Guest
Me 2

How about the Ecotrust building? It\’s on NW 9th and Irving.

They house the city\’s office of sustainable development. They also have by far the best bike commuter facilities I\’ve ever come across (racks outside, a room in the basement that holds 40-50 bikes and change rooms with showers).

Spanky
Guest
Spanky

Why not some decals – for both bikes (fender strip sized) and for cars?

I have a contact in the decal biz.

Lenny Anderson
Guest

A new office building is going up right at the west end of the Hawthorne Bridge; plans include excellent bike facilities. Seems like an ideal place; maybe a sign can be folded into that project.

Jessica Roberts
Guest
Jessica Roberts

Oooh, I like the idea of neon ones, the size of a beer sign. Imagine if they sprouted all over town!!

joy
Guest

excellent idea! Spanky, were you suggesting the decals as a means to raise money for a sign?

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

Clearly it should be atop the new bike hub/station/central, wherever it ends up being!

BDG
Guest

..or we could give the $6-7,000 to Bikes To Rwanda (http://www.bikestorwanda.com) or something that acutally needs that type of money.

Max
Guest
Max

Some of the Bike Gallery locations *do* have \”Go By Bike\” signs. Woodstock does, and apparently so does Division (http://www.bikegallery.com/BG-locations.php). Dunno about the others.

Not quite red neon, but still.

vanessa
Guest

Concerning Bikes to Rwanda…
You know, I\’m all for helping out peeps, and I have received much help from people in my life.
Why does Bikes to Rwanda take precedence over having a sign in Portland encouraging people to ride bikes? Why do you have to pounce on this idea as bad, and promote your idea instead? Why can’t both exist?
I personally am addicted to coffee, try to quit all the time, it\’s a damn drug that has me in its clutches. Coffee shops with delicious coffee all over town, charging a ton for the drug, got us all hooked on the stuff….
I would rather throw some cash at a bright neon sign encouraging people to ride bikes in our town. Traffic is getting to be as bad as Seattle almost, and soon will be that bad.
Whatever we can do to encourage more people to ride and more people to ride more often is a step in the right direction in this town.

Mmann
Guest
Mmann

Isn\’t there a plan to turn the old Mccall\’s on the waterfront into a kind of bike rental/repair/etc. hub? That seems like the ideal spot, though I\’d be surprised if there wasn\’t a city regulation prohibiting neon near the waterfront (unless it\’s attached to a carnival ride).
And as much as I love the look of neon, I\’m kinda with those who think something a little more \”bikey\” would be appropriate. I agree – after Sacha\’s creative display at the NAHBS, he should at least be invited to be part of the planning.

Minda
Guest
Minda

Yes, one should definitely be on the roof of River City where the metal bicyclist sculptures are. Then maybe one viewable from I-84 somewhere? (Or some frequently traveled commuter route where there is a good bike path people could be using instead.)

KIM
Guest
KIM

Instead of Go By Bike, how about

Go By Cycle? tee hee…

Adam
Guest
Adam

I am an employee at The Bike Gallery located on Division St. Just to second what someone else already said, we do have a \”Go By Bike\” sign. It isn\’t neon red but it does catch your eye pretty well. Here\’s a link to the picture of our location
(http://www.bikegallery.com/BG-locations.php#Division)

Scout
Guest

KIM: you\’re a genius!
=)

true
Guest
true

Put one at 82nd and Foster, on top of the La Rog jewelry store. It would brighten up my day, and like 12 others…

I like \’Go By Cycle,\’ too.

Ian Stude
Guest
Ian Stude

With a high price tag and the necessity for city permits, it seems likely this type of sign could only exist in one location. I think that location should be central to the city and in visible proximity to our excellent bike network. The waterfront park/McCalls location (which will hopefully become the home for the excellent project known as Bike Republic) would seem to me to be far and away the best possible spot. Visible from the both sides of the river, the Hawthorne bridge, and Naito parkway, I just don\’t think any other location can top that. Plus if you consider the number of events that happen there (on Portland\’s front lawn) you\’ve got a great case for maximum exposure of Portland\’s cycling persona. That being said, I also think the idea of small versions to be displayed at local business would be really awesome. The sale of the smaller neon signs could help fund the larger sign, if that should become a necessity. The only downside to all this (that I can think of) would be the power consumption required to light such a sign (and all those supercool smaller ones).

Anonymous
Guest
Vanessa Renwick
Guest

My friend Brian Borello is interested in the sign making discussion. He made me some neon for this piece at Reed a few years back about the Patriot Act that I did.
He also has a lot of signs around town, the metal sun on Belmont with neon behind it..by the Paradox Cafe.

He did the trees at the Max station by the coliseum that have solar powered lights on em.

Here is what he says about the small bike signs as well as big ones.

Absolutely!
I can handle window signs, anything the size
of what you could carry (on a bike)
-large outdoor I\’d need to job out
metal work and installation (UL listing, insurance, etc…)
-very interested, esp design and siting…
see my signs @ North Portland Bikeworks, Fresh Pot, Vita Cafe, Moloko Plus, Spank, etc…
BB
brian@brianborrello.com

neonjones
Guest
neonjones

Hey, how about cycle mounted LED \”POV\” displays of \’GO BY CYCLE\” ?
They can be solar or pedal-powered, 6 – 12 volt…
http://www.instructables.com/id/EQ8CBZBN7DEP286MR8/

BTW, city sign code would require permits for outdoor illuminated signage on bldgs, but inside yr window anything goes

Christopher Harley Radio Cab 98
Guest

I\’d say don\’t change anything about the design other than the wording. Keep the red neon, try for the same font, and use the same speedy italics. Go big and ride the brand recognition. You don\’t want a sign that tries to reinvent itself, but rather a sign that integrates with the other messages about abandoning the idea of the single driver.

Emily
Guest
Emily

I totally agree with #23 and would say that – with all due respect to the Bike Gallery – this is why their \’Go By Bike\’ signs are a total miss for me. Yes, you can say they use the same phrase – but that\’s it. Color palette, font – its all Bike Gallery and fails to build on the brand of the existing signs. If I were really mean I would say Bike Gallery is trying to co-opt the phrase and build a connection between \’Go by Bike\’ and Bike Gallery, but really I think its just a good idea that went too through many comittee meetings and ended up hamburger.

Donald
Guest
Donald

Plus one for the Franz bakery on Vancouver or on the old gas station/car detail garage at Fremont and Vancouver.

Go Bike. Buy Bike. Drive Bike.

Dan (teknotus)
Guest
Dan (teknotus)

My pick would be the roof of Disjecta. Would be clearly visible to all the people stuck on the bridge watching bikes zip by. I think it would also be visible from a good chunk of the waterfront, and people working in big pink.

Phil Hanson (aka Pedalphile)
Guest

Let\’s not overlook the obvious. There are, at various strategic locations along Portland-area freeways, those electronic warning-message reader boards that warn motorist of potential hazards ahead. Why couldn\’t a \”Go by Bike\” message be configured to display on these signs during rush hours (when no emergencies exist)? Seems like that would be particularly effective in getting the message across to drivers that are trapped in snarled traffic, and it could be done at relatively low cost.

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

Emily,

I totally agree. The success of GO BY BIKE is all about the font. The cab/train/streetcar signs aren\’t exactly the same fonts, but they\’re darn close, and yes, this is one of those few examples when all-caps is the right choice.

And if anyone submits a GO BY BIKE sign in comic sans, shoot them. Please.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

I talked to one person I know who owns a sign company, and got this quote:

Scope of work:
Manufacture one (1) set of 36\” H x 13\’ Long Channel Letters with 2/t 6500 white neon illuminate, Black 5\” returns, 1\’ trim cap and Red acrylic faces or open faces, remote transformers are included but not wired to signage.
$4,500
50% down payment required, balance due prior to install.
City and electrical permit are separate.

CT Signs

Joser
Guest
Joser

So last weekend I thought of a great spot for a Go By Bike neon sign. The only problem is that, so far, it is just a great idea and depends on a few \’ifs\’. Dp you guys remember Jonathan\’s post about the Bike Republic possibly taking over the old McCall\’s restaurant spot? Well I think if that were to happen (or anything bike friendly in the space) that that would be an absolutely wonderful spot for a Go By Bike neon. It\’s centrally located, could be designed to be seen by boats on the river, cars on Naito, all pedestrians & cyclists on both sides of the Willamette and by all cyclists & drivers coming over the Hawthorne & possibly the Morrison.

So if everything were to fall into place, I think that the old McCalls on the waterfront would be the best location!!!

Jenn
Guest
Jenn

Hah! I second the person for the sign on SE 82nd/Foster.

Seriously…for those of you who brave 82nd, we need a little joy on our rides 🙂

n8m
Guest
n8m

It would be so cool to see this sign dream come into reality. And even cooler to see it built as a legitimate landmark that all Portlanders can be proud of, as opposed to the \’me too\’ cab sign. Why not shoot for \”Made in Oregon\” signage glory?

My vote for the location would be next to Cinemagic on the Coventry Cycles building on SE 20th and Hawthorne. The sign would appropriately welcome people into bikey SE Portland as they travel east on Hawthorne. One initial obstacle would be that god awful (clear channel?) billboard above the Coventry. Nevertheless, where theres a will theres a way.