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First look and an update on Oregon’s (redesigned) Share the Road license plate

Posted by on February 22nd, 2008 at 11:17 am

Coming soon to cars near you.

After a mix-up over the initial design led to a temporary halt in sales, Oregon finally has a Share the Road license plate design that all parties can agree on.

The original design; as interpreted by the DMV.

When the plate was first launched back in January, Steve Sandstrom of Portland-based Sandstrom Design was not satisfied with how the DMV interpreted his design. The disagreement put the plate’s design back on the drawing board and left many Oregonians who had ordered the plate in limbo.

After extensive negotiations between Sandstrom, the DMV, Oregon State Senator Floyd Prozanski (the plate’s political sponsor), and other backers of the plate, all sides have finally agreed on a design.

From here, the DMV will make a sample of the new design and, after getting final approval from the Oregon State Police, the DMV will once again make the plate available to the public (anyone who currently owns the original design will be sent a new one). Jerry Norquist, the event director for Cycle Oregon and a veteran bike advocate who has worked hard to make this plate a reality, says he expects the new plates to be back online and for sale in 10-14 days.

Norquist hopes the plates are popular, not only because proceeds from sales are split between the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Cycle Oregon, but if 1,000 of them can be sold in the first 12 months of issue, the DMV will refund the application fee of $10,000.

Visit the DMV website for more information.

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  • K-Man February 22, 2008 at 11:27 am

    YEA! Finally!

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  • wsbob February 22, 2008 at 11:34 am

    That works! The cyclist graphic really stands out. Nice colors. Amazing how something seemingly so simple could turn into such a complicated process.

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  • Carl February 22, 2008 at 11:34 am

    So much better looking!
    I can\’t wait until Terry Parker forces me to put one on my bike.

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  • Phillip February 22, 2008 at 11:42 am


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  • Phillip February 22, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I think I\’ll go back to my old plates
    if that\’s the best they can do

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  • erikv February 22, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Ah, much better. Still not super, but it works for me.

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  • Metal Cowboy February 22, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    I was raised in Pittsburgh – it reminds me quite a bit of the old plates from PA. navy blue with yellow graphics and words. So for that reason alone, I like it. Trouble is, we\’re going carfree over here so unless they require one for my tandem, trailabike, trailer beast, I\’ll just have to appreciate these from afar.

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  • Mark February 22, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Ohhhhh, WOW, a license plate! Again, put your money to better use by donating it directly to BTA, CCC, etc. Put a \”share the road bumper sticker\” on your vehicle and call it good.

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  • Jessica Roberts February 22, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    I like this better than the last one…

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  • Donald February 22, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Can we get the good inmates to crank out a few bike-sized versions so the next time some crank says \”all you flippin\’ tree kissing two-wheelers oughtta be licensed\” I can point to my saddle\’s undercarriage, smile and pedal on with a smug share the road, baby, smile?

    And @ Mark #8: In every breakfast, there is a chicken and pig. The one with the bumper sticker is involved. The one with the custom plate is totally committed.

    Or at least that\’s how I\’m going to couch my expenditure argument at the next family budget meeting.

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  • Mark February 22, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Yo Donald #10. I don\’t understand your logic, or lack there of. How does buying a cute license plate make you soooooo committed?

    I think simply hopping on you bike makes one committed.

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  • BooBoo February 22, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    That is such an improvement. I\’m considering buying a second car just to display this piece of art and promote riding your bike.

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  • Klixi February 22, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    I wanted to like the redesigned plate, but it is just as ugly as the first one.

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  • Dorky Roadie February 22, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    #10 makes sense to me. Despite wanting to play chicken on a daily basis reality forces me to often drive the pig. My new custom plate will accompany the discreetly-placed \”Practice Seeing Bicycles\” window sticker, and the $10 to the BTA is icing on the cake. The more folks spreading the message the better, regardless of how often or seriously they ride.

    IMO this one\’s a decent design. I liked the old one but can see their rationale in the changes.

    And about commitment, we all know how crazy cycling is – we should all be committed!

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  • wsbob February 22, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Geez, don\’t some of you people understand that some people still drive cars? The license plate is for those people\’s cars. That a car driver will spend the money to have their car display one of these plates, sends a distinctive message to other car drivers that observance of the philosophy of sharing the road with bikes is something that the driver of the car displaying the bike plates is going to embrace.

    This isn\’t a fashion show. Beyond a minimum acceptable standard of appearance, one of the most important things things that these plates can help accomplish is communication. These plates look like they\’ll be able to do that just fine.

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  • Donald February 22, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    My breakfast chat was all greasy tongue in cheek. Promise.

    Yes, riding is the final statement.

    With you on that 5 by 5.

    With a wink AND a nod.


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  • Scott the other one... February 22, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    I like it better than the last one. Now we can call it \’retro\’ …is that what I\’m hearing? vinate? that means it\’s cool…

    re: Mark #8 what if we don\’t like bumber stickers? license plates are a great way to spread the word for you cause. oh yeah… and don\’t forget the affinity credit card programs too… 🙂

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  • nuovorecord February 22, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Way better effort this time. All it needs to be perfect is \”Pacific Wonderland\” slapped on it! 🙂

    I\’ll be getting a set of these next month when I renew my car\’s registration.

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  • SH February 22, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    it\’s beautiful

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  • Spanky February 22, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    I think it is fine, but the graphic is a bit \”fine\” for visual impact. Why not a spoked wheel in place of the cyclist? I think it looks greta, just not highly visible until fairly close to it. Which strikes me as a tad ironic.

    I\’ll consider it when my reg. comes up.

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  • Spanky February 22, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    I meant Great. Not Greta.

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  • wsbob February 22, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    \”….just not highly visible until fairly close to it.\” Spanky

    And \’close to it\’, is exactly where many motor vehicle drivers will be every day, when they\’re stuck, bumper to bumper in stop and go traffic. The visibility and the message is going to be great.

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  • RJ February 22, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Well, it\’s an improvement from hideous to merely ok.
    My comment is: How is it that salmon supporters get an artistic multicolor fish, Crater Lake supporters get a beautiful panorama, Cultural supporters get some trippy abstract art and we get a simple three color stencil? If Oregon wasn\’t printed on it no one could even possibly associate with our state. Even our basic plate has an evergreen.
    I\’m glad I already send money directly to the BTA – because I see nothing about this that moves me to put one on my car. The plate I have at least looks like it belongs on a vehicle from Oregon.

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  • Crash N. Burns February 22, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    I\’m honored that we have this plate option. It could be puke pink with a recumbent on it, and I would still get one. Function over form, in my opinion. If people are so turned off by the redesign then I don\’t really consider them cycling advocates. If you ride a bike, please get this plate.

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  • Joe February 23, 2008 at 12:04 am

    mine is on order. 🙂 good cause also

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  • Helen Wheels February 23, 2008 at 11:09 am


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  • Dabby February 23, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Why is a percentage of this profit going to Cycle Oregon?

    This I highly question.

    I am sure it has something to do with financial involvement in design, etc., but there are many more deserving and needy cycling organizations a percentage of this money should go to.

    Cycle Oregon does not need this influx to operate. Unless the ride is poorly run, and losing money, but all signs point to the fact that this is not the case at all.

    Someone needs to ask the question.
    I guess that someone is me.

    Commence \”virtually\” yelling at me.

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  • a.O February 23, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Hey Dabby, remember when you said that Cycle Oregon was a for-profit corporation and that they didn\’t do anything for their community? That was great. You wouldn\’t have gotten one even if all the money went to alley cat races, would you?

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  • Metal Cowboy February 24, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Cycle Oregon is a not for profit, Dabby, which does a ton of stuff for the cycling community. That\’s been coveredd on this site quite a few times. Do you actually live in the Portland area? Perhaps you commute in on a special bus… you could ask the driver to purchase one of the cycling designed plates .

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  • Dabby February 24, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    I was simply asking why, for it seems they do very well for themselves, non profit or not.

    Is there really a problem with asking that question?

    In asking, I am simply looking for an answer. I could not ask the question and just assume….

    Instead I ask.

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  • wsbob February 24, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    There\’s a link right on the front page of this weblog for CycleOregon. It might be possible to go to CycleOregon\’s website and see just how they might be planning to re-allocate the proceeds they receive from their share of the sale of the special license plates. CycleOregon\’s name familiarity may help people be inclined to get one of these plates, more so than if the recipient were a less well known not for profit.

    It\’s always reasonable to carefully scrutinize the care and responsible manner in which a not for profit uses and distributes their economic resources. As well, it seems only right to know something about what that consists of before dismissing the appropriateness of a not for profit receiving money such as this, from the Share The Road license plates.

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  • Metal Cowboy February 24, 2008 at 3:12 pm


    I think it\’s more about the tone in your posts – I agree that not for profits should not get a pass, that every organization should be studiedd to see how mcuh of the donations are going to overhead, admin, advertising, execution of a project and most important, to the actualy causes it is intended to help. That said, a quick email to the cycle oregon website would be the route to take( THE BOARD MEMBERS AND STAFFERS EMAILS ARE RIGHT ON THE SITE) rather than posting to bikeportland casting doubt about the use of funds and/or whether the organization is even not for profit, IT COMES OFF AS PETTY, AND A BIT IGNORANT OF THE BASIC STRUCTURE OF PROMINENT, WELL ESTABLISHED GROUPS IN PORTLAND – THUS MY ASKING IF YOU EVEN LIVE IN THE AREA. – ( christ, sorry for the caps, it locked up on me) My special bus comment, while it amused me, was not in the best taste. At any rate, Dabby, it\’s your consistent and regular downbeat, conspiracy style tone on these threads that got me to respond. BTW, When I asked if anyone had seen you at the bikeportland fundraiser the other evening ( I wanted to introduce myself) I heard some disturbing comments about you from more than one camp. I will not post those comments because I have nothing to confirm them and don\’t roll that way, but would have not problem emailing you about them privately. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and hear their side of the story, so email me at mtcowboy@teleporrt.com if you want to know what got back to me and to clarify, dispute the validity. I know I\’d want that extended to me if folks were kicking my character around out there like an old shoe.

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  • Dabby February 24, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    I sent you an email, though your link wouldn\’t work………

    I hope you got it. If not, then

    johnnyrocket29@yahoo.com is mine.

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  • Bill February 25, 2008 at 8:54 am

    I cant say I like the new plate either. The least they can do is get rid of the purple trim. However, I like to show support for cyclists in whatever way I can, so I am getting a set. Money going to the BTA is just icing on the cake.
    I agree that the title not-for-profit doesnt make an establishment credible (non-profits are able to spend their money in many ways, one of which is to pay organizers exceedingly well with much less $ going to the programs), however anyone is able to look into such an establishment if they are so willing.

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  • vespa February 25, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Late to the party, but some of you posters are incredibly negative. Purchasing the plate does many things besides put money into BTA\’s pocket. Among others, it sends a message to drivers (just like the bumper sticker that is also on my car), it sends a message to the state that this issue is worth supporting), and it gives another option and location for people to support a cause that they might not otherwise support (just like the salmon, crater lake, and trail plates). Not everybody who buys this plate rides there bike to work 365 days a year and reads bikeportland.org.

    And I highly doubt that purchasing this plate will take away from the other finding sources that the beneficiaries of this plate use.

    In fact, the increased awareness achieved by the plate might even increase donations. Sure, those that can only afford to donate the additional 10 bux it takes to get the plate might not donate that amount to BTA, but I anticipate that circumstance is rather rare. Give twice, once for the increased advertisement, once for the cause.

    As for the design – if its so bad that you won\’t get the plate, then donate an additional 10 bux to BTA. I, for one, would purchase the plate regardless of the looks, as I don\’t consider license plates artwork that needs my approval before purchasing. That said, I do prefer the new design.

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  • sh February 25, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    A def. improvement from the last round. Not particularly inspiring, but no longer offensive.

    Go get\’em cyclists!

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  • Garin February 27, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Well put Vespa ! ( post 35 )

    I went to the DMV today and they are not issuing them yet. You bet your Brooks saddle I am getting one.

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  • Keith Walker June 3, 2008 at 2:07 am

    I just got my set last week.

    Even if you do have plates that aren\’t expired, I would recommend that you don\’t be a cheap bastard – crack open your wallet and buy a set, and here\’s why from the OR DMV site (also paraphrased at the end of the article):

    \”Each group must pay an application fee of $10,000 in addition to any costs DMV may incur for vendor costs or computer programming prior to creating or issuing the group plate. If 1,000 sets of plates are purchased within the first 12 months that the plates are available for sale, DMV will refund the $10,000 application fee.\”

    So if you want to screw over BTA and Cycle Oregon for $10k in addition to showing how negative and ignorant you are, just sit on your cheap ass and don\’t do anything…

    imo, the only excuse is that you are car-less.

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