The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

Ride draws attention to hazards, potholes

Posted by on June 3rd, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Those pesky drains.
(Photos: Ashley Mitchell)

On Sunday, a group of Portlanders took it upon themselves to make several popular bike routes a bit safer and more pleasant to ride on.

Daniel Johnson conceived of the ride back in January and the first one went so well he decided to do it again.

Writing on a local email list, Johnson explained that the premise for the ride is simple: “My plan was to make art around potholes in order to make people look at them, think about them, and talk about them… to show people that we don’t have to just live with wrecked streets, we can do something about it.”

Sweeping up the bike lane
at N. Williams and Killingsworth.

Armed with chalk, brooms, and cell phones, Johnson and a few others set out from SE Portland and rode to St. Johns — stopping along the way to draw, sweep, and report the hazards to PDOT’s pothole hotline (823-BUMP).

Ashley Mitchell was on the ride and reports that PDOT has already started to fix some of the potholes they called in.

Check out more photos from the ride here.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Mark P. June 3, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Yes Daniel! Thanks for doing the good work. I would like to participate in one of these rides!

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  • Paul Cone June 3, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    some other numbers of note…

    503.823.SAFE (7233) for traffic safety issues (things that need to be investigated like placement of stop signs, new crosswalk requests, etc.)

    503.823.1700 for maintenance issues such as damaged traffic signs, signals, pavement markings (including bike lane lines), street sweeping of bike lanes, sidewalk repair, and clogged catch basins

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  • Ashley June 3, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks for the write up Jonathan!

    We\’re going to try super hard to work together on making these a monthly event, and additionally work up some plans for that pesky bicycle street sweeper. There\’s something really awesome about drawing with giant sidewalk chalk.

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  • Joe Adamski June 3, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    what is the location of that wheel swallowing drain? I want to ride into it and sue the City..

    not really..but that is a liability suit waiting to happen, and could seriously injure someone. that is an issue that should be sent to PDOT with a followup call.. before someone biffs into it.Please make sure they (PDOT) is notified and document your call or email.

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  • David Feldman June 3, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Why chalk instead of paint?

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  • n8m June 3, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Has anyone, anywhere made a human powered bicycle-lane street sweeper? Would be great after winter ice/snow storms when all that gravel/dirt is in the bike lanes. Be rad to see the mutant bike folk cook one up.

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  • Daniel (teknotus) Johnson June 3, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    There were I think three intersections in a row on N Williams that had the wheel catchers. Look for them by the hospital if they are still there.

    This evening the ones by the train tracks on SE clay were still there, as were the wheel catching ruts on the same street.

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  • Ashley June 3, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    \”Why chalk instead of paint?\” Paint would get us in trouble with the folks who consider marking hazards defacing property (i.e. the guy who got fined for painting a crosswalk where people were speeding to keep kids safe)

    Maybe washable paint?

    \”Has anyone, anywhere made a human powered bicycle-lane street sweeper?\”
    Google bicycle street sweeper and a couple will come up, there\’s been some interest, but it hasn\’t come together with the resource and the people needed to make it happen. It\’s hard with so much bikeness goin\’ on in this town!

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  • Richard June 4, 2008 at 6:49 am

    The City of Portland maintenance bureau is supposed to have a number you can call for these {wheel eater} grates. They will be replaced or repaired within 24 hrs. Does anyone have this # ?

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  • E June 4, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Wow, talk about community in action! Having fun, creating art, & making stuff happen! You guys rock. I would be interested in a future ride. Thank You!

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  • mike_khad1 June 4, 2008 at 9:57 am

    I would like to help with future rides. You can add me to your mailing list

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  • BURR June 4, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    You should be able to get temporary chalk paint in spray cans designed to spray down from any of the local survey supply houses, or online, see examples below.

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  • KTesh June 4, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Anybody want to help me with the westside?

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  • Coaster June 4, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    If you want something done right, you can\’t wait for the government, you gotta get up and do it yourself!

    -Utah Phillips

    (or something like that)

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  • Dianna June 5, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Yay! Thanks for the writeup (and for featuring my argyle-clad feet up there). This ride was a ton of fun, and I\’m up for another one on the west side or anywhere else people want to see it done.

    We called in those wheel-catchers, but I haven\’t seen them replaced yet. One was partially covered with sand at the same time as the potholes, which is a nice gesture but makes it harder to see the hazard. I\’ll keep checking up on them on my way home.

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