Bikes on the schedule at industrial design conference

How can the Industrial Designers Society of America’s 2008 Western District Conference help improve biking in Portland?

Well, like many events that happen here (whether they’re directly related to bikes or not), our favorite form of transportation has managed to work its way into the schedule.

Fresh Pot bike parking

Improvements to on-street bike
parking will be one focus of the

On Sunday, the last day of the three-day conference, attendees will take part in a design workshop titled, Yield! Bikes and cars, can’t we all just get along?.

The workshop was organized by the Oregon chapter of the IDSA and organizers hope participants will, “discuss and create options to create safer roads and eliminate bike-to-bike and bike-to-car accidents.”

According to Steve Chaney, a local industrial designer who helped organize the workshop, conference-goers will be presented with two design problems.

The first will deal with how to improve on-street bike parking. Chaney hopes the exercise helps answer these questions:

  • How can the shape of the bollards and reflectors [on the bike corrals] enhance the full experience?
  • How can we get more bikes in?
  • What other ideas do the teams have for bike parking in congested areas?

The next problem will attempt to improve how we can design complete streets, yet still allow emergency response vehicles quick and easy access. The designers will try and create and/or improve upon various traffic calming methods to find a solution that works for everyone.

A jury panel of local experts will offer insights into the problems and will help discuss the solutions and ideas. The panel will include: Greg Raisman, a traffic safety guru at PDOT; Bill Stites, owner of Stites Designs; Sacha White of Vanilla Bicycles, Natalie Ramsland of Sweetpea Bicycles; and others.

I’ll be there too, so stay tuned for a look at what solutions to these problems America’s best industrial designers can come up with.

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, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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15 years ago


Jessica Roberts
Jessica Roberts
15 years ago

Wow, these are great questions. I\’m impressed. Please let us know what solutions they come up with.

15 years ago

I can\’t wait to hear what comes out of this. Industrial Designers will be looking at this from a completely different angle compared to traffic safety people. Maybe they\’ll discover something completely new.

15 years ago

Very cool that the IDSA Western district is doing this. I am looking forward to hearing about the discussion.