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CCC in need of help after recent collision

Posted by on December 13th, 2007 at 10:36 am

The damage
(Photo: CCC)

Last Saturday, a truck smashed into the wall of the Northeast Portland-based Community Cycling Center (CCC). The impact caused major damage to a mural and to the interior of their office.

Since the collision, that office has been closed and half of the non-profit’s employees are now displaced.

According to the CCC’s Alison Hill Graves, they’re sharing desks and working from the coffee shop next door: “We’re doing what we can to make the space work until we find a permanent solution. Right now we are estimating a move at the cost of $10,000, although many of the details of moving/repair are still unclear.”

Alison has put out a list of specific things they need help with:

  • Volunteers with carpentry skills
  • Licensed volunteers with electrical skills
  • Contacts with office equipment suppliers (such as IKEA) who can help us replace desks, chairs, etc…
  • Volunteers who want to help us move. Let us know, and we’ll put you on our list!
  • Financial donations. (You can take care of that here or here.)

If you can help with any of the above or have ideas to share, please contact Alison at Alison(at)CommunityCyclingCenter(dot)org or by phone at (503) 288-8864.

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  • Darren December 13, 2007 at 10:52 am

    I think the next mural the CCC puts up might as well have a big target painted on. It sure gets its share of hits.

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  • Vance December 13, 2007 at 10:58 am

    10K seems pretty inexpensive judging from the photos I\’ve seen. But most of that is undoubtedly labor, right? I don\’t keep a kit any longer, but that is a very straight forward repair, given that it is not structural. Even in the event that there is structural damage, there is no prohibitive condition preventing a DIY. That\’s a two day job for three skilled workers. Re-rocking that wall, and the finish stuff inside will take longer. But any ding-a-ling could…

    If you all are careful with the demol. – that shouldn\’t be that big of a deal. Has anyone contacted City Works to inspect? Did they say it was structural? I mean, are they not using the space because they\’ve been advised not to, or are they just being cautious? I\’d be happy to consult. I\’d be happy to offer a second opinion. I don\’t carry a GCs license any longer, but I can still be helpful. I\’d have offered sooner, but I expected people to come out of the wood-work to lend a hand. I\’m a bit appalled that CCC is still asking for volunteer, \’backs\’, to move \’em. Come on folks. I don\’t even like most of this shit. And even I can see that these folks need some help. For goodness sake, didn\’t they just get done with their Christmas thing?

    FYI. That is an incredibly common accident. I virtually made a living for awhile doing this EXACT repair. Very common in apartment complexes with optional garage parking for residents, for cars to get driven into walls. Coincidentally, that is the very last job I did in that industry, was to repair a garage wall someone did the exact same thing to.

    I\’m no fan of the CCC. But I am from Portland. And this is a community. I hope there is an outpouring. Ridiculous if not. Anyway. I\’m available via email as always. Good Luck. Sorry about the timing. Hope you have happy holidays, none-the-less.

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  • Schrauf December 13, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Did the driver not have insurance? If not, hopefully the CCC pursues recovery against the driver personally. Gotta take these people to court when they are liable and don\’t pay up. If he has no assets, maybe the CCC can recover a portion of future wages.

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  • Moo December 13, 2007 at 11:27 am

    Ok Vance, see you down there- oh wait you should already be down there…so it sounds by your rant to all volunteer types. And Schrauf, forget about the driver- doesn\’t CCC have a policy for damage. Surely the building owner would have required that at the sighning of the lease. And, is the 10 grand for the rental and computer hook-ups for another space, or is this a contractors\’ estimate for the work?

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  • tonyt December 13, 2007 at 11:37 am

    So I take it that the CCC owns the building?

    I thought that the driver had insurance. Not that I\’m unwilling to help, but why isn\’t the insurance company providing funds for an office rental space etc??

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  • wsbob December 13, 2007 at 11:54 am

    It seems as though some additional answers could make this situation easier to understand. I\’ve also been wondering if CCC has to be out of the building during the repair period, whether they own the building, etc.

    Moo, I don\’t know why you\’re ragging on Vance…he\’s offering to help, and has related experience to boot. What more could anybody want. So what if he doesn\’t like everything about CCC. Who knows? His perception of CCC and its people might even improve if people like him work more closely with that kind of organization.

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  • Vance December 13, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    You know, Moo #4. Foul! My name is mud in my own hometown. I don\’t make it a habit to simply presume that I am welcome anywhere. This is what I was taught was manners, respect. Unlike many, I make it plainly known who I am, and what I believe. I do this so that there are no mixed signals, no questions lingering about my opinions, and personal agenda. Knowing full well that those opinions are not welcome among certain people, I make a concerted effort to keep my distance from those who do not agree with me. But please, feel free to jump to your own conclusions. After-all. You(?), and I know one and other so well.

    Furthermore, isn\’t the CCC comprised of volunteers, for the most part? Is it not a reasonable assumption that they have a plethora of people, with my credentials, already enlisted? Didn\’t they just give away over 500 bicycles? That\’s 500 volunteers by my count. Okay, you got me, I guess. I suppose I\’m stupid for assuming that these folks had more volunteers than they new what to do with. I\’ve had too much experience volunteering for projects just like this one. Have you? My experience has me convinced that this will be an, \”all chiefs, and no indians\”, endeavor which is incredibly tiresome for those who can contribute something real.

    I make an offer, only to be chastised. But my cynicism about the, \’cycling community\’, remains a mystery. Priceless. And if you think I\’m going to show up, out of the blue, to help someone, only to be ridiculed by people like you, well let\’s just say that I\’m not the only crazy person left in Portland, OR. Thanks for the encouragement.

    My offer stands. INVITE me and see what happens. Or continue to take pot-shots, your choice. I\’d advise less speculation about the orthodontic condition of your gift-horse, and more demolition, if I were you all. Just my, undoubtedly unpopular, opinion though. Sheesh.


    I too am a bit confused about the insurance and liability issue here. Since this was private property, the motorists automobile policy will not cover that damage. Pursuing this driver in small-claims may be less than moral, too. I don\’t know the circumstances. However, did the CCC not have some coverage? What\’s their status regarding property rights? Are they leasing, renting, is the space donated? I ask because if they are renting, or leasing, the property owner\’s home-owners insurance can likely be obligated to consider a claim. Same is true if the space is donated. Same is true if the motorist owns a home with a mortgage. My advice, find someone involved in this with some HOME OWNER\’S INSURANCE. Counter intuitive, I know; but, as I just said, I have a lot of experience with this sort of thing, and that is what I would be doing.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) December 13, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    Vance and moo,

    First, I want to say how glad I was to see Vance\’s first comment. Thanks Vance for stepping up and offering your skills to help out.

    And moo, I realize Vance has written some caustic comments in the past…and I realize he has a strong opinion and a certain style of communicating that can be rough at times.

    But let\’s all keep our eyes on the prize here and not let a comment or two from one specific person (remember thousands of people will read this post in the next day or so!) take away our focus.

    Please keep the comments constructive (that doesn\’t mean boring and without opinion!).


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  • Moo December 13, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    I\’m all for helping out, but I can keep my opinions about the cause to myself…not trying to invalidate or question the goals of the non-profit that I would be helping. What good does it do when your wondering if the person next to you is helping eventhough they don\’t feel they should have to…or?

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  • Alison December 13, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    Thanks, Jonathan for keeping people updated. I\’ll try to answer questions the best I can, based on what we know. First, please understand that we’re operating in crisis mode and we will send out updates as we have information.

    Since we don\’t own the building we are stuck between the three insurance companies. And we are last in line, since the driver and property owner will deal with the wall before they deal with our needs.

    We have chosen to keep the office closed because we don\’t want to put our employees in danger, either because of a structural issue and/or environmental (loose fiberglass and blowing heater is a bad combination). We will certainly need to be out of there while the office is being repaired. Apparently, three bids are being considered by the property owner to fix the wall. How long will that take? We don\’t know.

    All we know is that we cannot afford to lose time. We are launching new programs in January, we are planning events, writing grants, running a bike shop, recycling bikes. You name it. It’s still happening.

    Nine people who shared the six workstations in the office are working at home or at the local cafe or sharing desks in our other office (where five people work). And if that makes it sound like we\’ve got plenty of space, keep in mind it\’s a 20\’x20\’ office that we are left with.

    So, the $10,000 is our best guess at how we can continue working, recover lost time and equipment not likely to be covered by insurance, to cover the cost of fixing the mural, and then find, set up and move into a new office so that some staff can be off-site permanently. Maybe we’re too high, maybe too low. But it’s a number based on these needs that we could make sense of.

    To be clear, we *were* planning to move later this year, but since we can’t use that office and we don’t know how long it will take to get fixed we need to deal with it now. We have to keep working.

    Community Cycling Center

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  • Schrauf December 13, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    Alison – please consult an attorney regarding insurance. There is no reason you should not eventually be able to recover all damages, including short-term rental of space, from one or more of the existing policies.

    Vance – I don\’t understand your comment about auto policies not covering private property. That is definitely not the case.

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