Portland ponders PSAs and some inspiration from Hungary

Posted by on May 7th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

I’ve got a thing for Hungary. My wife Juli was born there and we’ve visited her family several times (they live in Budapest). The old-world romanticism, the food, the history — I just love being there.

I also like catchy, bike-related PSAs that use creative hooks to get the message across. I’ve highlighted several in the past months — one from London that brings a bike lane symbol to life, the uber-popular Awareness Test video, and even an effort from the Portland Office of Transportation (PDOT).

So when someone passed along a link to a pro-bike PSA from Hungary, I was happy to check it out (probably not safe for work! — translation below (but it’s not really needed ;-)):

My other reason for doing this story is word from several sources that a group of advocates in Portland are working with PDOT on a new bike safety PSA campaign. Currently discussing the project are folks from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Portland State University, PDOT and the Water Bureau. Sources tell me that the new PSAs will expand on PDOT’s existing See & Be Seen campaign and the media partner will be KPTV, Portland’s Fox affiliate.

Stay tuned for more details.

Here’s a translation of the video above, lifted from the comments of the blog where it was posted:

First of all, on the biker lady’s bag it says: Bike to Work.

Then the lady asks the old man: would you like some tea? He answers: thank you, that would be lovely. As she is listening to the noises coming from the other room, she mutters under her breath: “you should rather be biking, too, Rezso”. And then at the end, the tag line is almost the same: You should rather be biking, too or (ride your bike instead as well – which is a more literal translation).

[Via Osocio, thanks to Jennifer D. for the link!]

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Matt Picio

That is the greatest bike video yet! Thanks, Jonathan – that makes my day. I\’d love to see Portland come up with something like that, if we Americans weren\’t so culturally uptight about that sort of thing.

Elly Blue (Columnist)

Budapest hosted the Towards Carfree Cities conference in 2005.

Budapest\’s last Critical Mass had a jaw-dropping 80,000 riders!

A recent EU poll showed that Hungarians have more sex per capita than any other European nation.

Coincidence? I don\’t think so!

Like Jonathan said…probably not safe to watch this one at work.


Any place that airs NSFW commercials kicks ass.

advantage: Europe.


Budapest has fantastic public transportation which only encourages people to walk everywhere. I don\’t remember if bikes were allowed on the subway.

What a beautiful country.

Paul Souders

I was in Budapest (on my honeymoon!) during a Critical Mass in 2005. (This may have been during the Carfree Cities conference?) My wife and I stood on a corner for well over an hour watching bikes. It was like Rose Pedal but much faster and with fewer helmets.


This is great! Wouldn\’t it be great to have a series of PSA\’s made by Portland peeps at Pedalpalooza or next year\’s Filmed by Bike?


I love that video. Nothing says sustainability like a jolly good roll in the hay. (Why save the planet if you are not having any fun.) Tying that sentiment to bike riding and joie de vivre that cycling promotes is brilliant. I encourage all of you to take your S.O. out for a ride and enjoy feeling sexy about it.

Racer X
Racer X

Hmmm. … I can see Rev Phil cast as the postino in the Portland version of this PSA.

Such digital fun.


How nice to see a Portland-Hungary connection! I\’m a Oregonian/former Portlander living in Szeged, Hungary, without a car, of course. More and more people are biking here in our town and the bicycle infrastructure is slowing growing, but at the same time more and more people are buying cars and trying to drive everywhere… on gas bought at this week\’s price of an astonishing $6.90 a gallon. There is great potential here for biking in Hungary!


If you want to keep a Hungarian spin on a future such video, just use a soundtrack from Anima Sound System\’s song \”Még, Még\”. the song is nice, and the main refrain of \”még, még, igen, igen\” shouldn\’t be too hard to translate (more, more, yes, yes).

for more hungarian critical mass videos, also take a look at http://www.urbanizer.hu or http://www.alleycat.hu/kisfilmek