Will new City Hall bike racks stay or go?

city hall bike racks

City Hall bike racks; will they stay or go?
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

Earlier this month, the BTA’s Karl Rohde reported that a bunch of new bike racks had been installed in front of City Hall’s main entrance (on SW Fourth Ave.).

The racks were installed as a temporary measure to handle the increased demand during the Bike Commute Challenge, which runs through this month.

Scott Moore (the Portland Mercury news writer who practically lives in City Hall) now reports that the racks might have a chance to become permanent.

Here’s what he just posted to the Mercury’s blog:

“..on Friday, Commissioner Sam Adams was making the rounds of his colleagues’ offices, asking bike commuters to put pressure on the Bureau of General Services (BGS, which manages city buildings) to keep the racks around past September…”

Moore says Adams’ idea would carry more weight if the racks were actually being used. He quotes building manager John Acker as saying, “I’ve seen no more than three bicycles at any one time parked there since they went in.”

According to Moore, Acker claims City Hall is historic (which I assume means he thinks the racks detract from its architectural integrity) and thinks there’s plenty of other, more suitable options for bike parking in the area (don’t tell that to PDOT employees, who continue to grumble about the lack of bike parking available at their building just across the street).

If the racks are going to stay, Moore says that it would have to be brought to City Council for a vote. No word yet on whether or not it will come to that…stay tuned.

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Donna
Donna
14 years ago

Well those are ugly racks. How about some pretty ones in a color that matches the building?

wsbob
wsbob
14 years ago

Second Donna\’s comment. They\’re ugly. At least, how about bronze? And would they have to be quite so close to the entrance to City Hall? Having them there is about as stupid as when in former days, City Hall staff were allowed to park their cars just outside the portico.

andy
andy
14 years ago

Hello? How many landscape architecture, architecture, product design, furniture design firms, and artists are there in town? And there\’s a good foundry in Tacoma that specializes in site furnishings – I\’m sure they\’d be happy to do a batch of custom bike racks (although I don\’t know if the city would cough up the dough to pay for then). Anyway, seems like somebody could come up with a good design for those things. Lord knows there are way too many \”innovative\” bike racks that don\’t function worth a damn.

Tony, you want to work on a design with me?

Mike
14 years ago

I think you need to have a city sponsored call for public art.

Here is the result of such an effort here in Burlington, VT:

http://www.dpw.ci.burlington.vt.us/dpwimages/ArtOfParkingABicycle.jpg

BURR
BURR
14 years ago

These racks wouldn\’t be needed if certain unnamed people in the City\’s Bureau of General Services (who maintain the City\’s buildings) got off their butts and doubled the amount of bike parking available next door at the Portland building, which is where most cyclists who work in City Hall park their bikes.

The Portland building\’s bike racks have been full to overflowing all summer long and it\’s well past time for some serious bike parking upgrades at the Portland building; otherwise all \’the city that works\’ is really saying is: \’do as we say, not as we do\’.

🙁

Downtown Worker
Downtown Worker
14 years ago

The Pacific Building could also use more bike racks.

matt
matt
14 years ago

I sometimes attend evening meetings at CH, and there\’s never anywhere to lock my bike in the summer months. I lock it to the railings outside, but I\’m not sure this is actually allowed.

I think these new bike racks send an awesome message to visitors to City Hall that Portland really *is* proud to be a bike city.

But yeah, painting them bronze wouldn\’t hurt!

Lenny Anderson
14 years ago

Move most of the racks inside City Hall…the ground floor has plenty of room and would offer covered, secure bike parking. Keep one or two out front…or move those \”historic\” ranks on 5th Avenue to the 4th Avenue side.

Mmann
Mmann
14 years ago

City hall is a great start for artistic, Portland-centered bike racks, something iconic but not obnoxious. But they should spread out from there around the core. Think Benson Bubbler drinking fountains; something we\’re proud of and, while they blend in, we smile to see when we need a drink. Should be the same when you need to lock your bike.

T Mike
T Mike
14 years ago

What this city needs is more bike racks. Lately, throughout the city there is no room at the established racks. We are forced to use street signs and such. The racks in question should at least be covered. They would be filled up at City Hall if they were covered and protected from the elements and thieves.

You should see the bikes in the basement parking of the Portland Building. This is the only provided secure, covered bike parking for both City Hall and Portland Building employees and there are bikes lining the walls because all the designated spots are used up. The city needs to step it up and provide more racks in the basement. C\’mon BGS – get with the program!

Jessica Roberts
Jessica Roberts
14 years ago

I agree, T Mike. Biking has made a huge leap forward, but bike parking is not keeping up with us. I\’ve actually had to not go to a couple of businesses lately because I couldn\’t find anywhere to park a bike within 5 blocks of the place. Recently I went to Vendetta and counted 39 bikes locked to each other, hanging from fences, stacked on top of each other…It\’s ridiculous. A good problem to have, but still one that needs to be solved.

Options Guy
14 years ago

You want to talk parking? Come on down to the PDOT Bike Brown Bag today! \”Innovations in Bikeway Design and Parking\” – stories and pictures from at home and abroad. Hear what great minds in the hinterland of US biking (e.g., Chicago, NYC, etc.) and innovators in Europe have been doing to address the problems we\’re facing.
Bring your lunch!
** Portland Building – 1120 SW 5th Ave, 2d floor Auditorium – noon to 1 pm – 9/20/07 **