Support BikePortland

Event will rally brooms and bikes for cleaner streets

Posted by on February 24th, 2010 at 8:34 am

Could use a sweep.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Portlander Jake Cummings is tired of riding by trash and debris on his favorite bike routes each week, so he’s decided to do something about it. On March 20th, Cummings has planned the first “Saturday Sweep” event where he and other volunteers (like you!) will ride around the city with trash bags, brooms and dustpans on a mission for clean streets.

Cummings has about 25 people already signed up to join him and he’s got a group of volunteers from both the Showers Pass Cycling Team and the non-profit Bike Farm. I asked Cummings why he wanted to spend a Saturday sweeping up streets…

“Some people might say, ‘Why not just get the City involved, and have them clean the streets?’ That seems like a hassle, and taking care of the streets on my own is another way to make Portland feel like home.”

Here’s the event flyer:

With their bike maps close at hand, groups of 2-4 riders will focus on popular bikeways like SE Clinton, SE Lincoln, N. Williams/Vancouver, Broadway, and streets in Northwest like Johnson, Overton and Naito Parkway. Cummings says he’ll take requests for routes and assign others, hoping to cover as much ground as possible and avoid overlap.

This event reminds me a small meet-up of Portland Bike Forum members back in May of 2007. They got together and cleaned up a stretch of I-205. At the end of that event, one participant wrote, “I think we did something to be proud of.”

Cummings says he’s still hoping to hear from more groups and organizations who are willing to commit time and/or lend him some brooms and dustpans. If you’d like to help, drop him an email at pdxsweeps@gmail.com.

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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kiwimunkiL C EJake CummingsSteve B.starmichael Recent comment authors
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Mark P.
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Mark P.

I love this idea. I’ll be out of town during this event but I’ll look for future events!

P Finn
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Anywhere the bike lane is right next to the curb, guaranteed debris.

a.O
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a.O

This is a great idea — and long overdue! Nice work, Jake!

Now if I could only get back all the tax money I pay for street cleaning that doesn’t get done by the people who are supposed to do it…you know, the people who work for the “Platinum Bike City.”

Joe Metal Cowboy Kurmaskie
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Way to go, Jake. You could be the SOLV of the bike world.

K'Tesh
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K'Tesh

Funny, I was thinking this morning about tackling SW Canyon over by the Goose Hollow MAX Stop this Saturday (again).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/sets/72157622813070816/

1pm.. weather permitting?

KWW
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KWW

Just make sure that you dump all that refuse at the front door of city hall to let them know what a good job they are doing on clearing the streets.

K'Tesh
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K'Tesh
Joe
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Joe

my fav when people blow stuff into the bike lane/road when cleaning. in this case its just normal wear from autos. 😉

Evan Manvel
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Evan Manvel

I’m quite sure this has been going on since the 1990s periodically. As was told to me, a set of cyclists in the early 1990s just carried around mini brooms and dust pans on their bikes and swept up debris.

But for those who can’t do it, remember street maintenance’s number – 823-1700.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

City needs to buy some bike lane sweepers like this:
http://www.bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3149

Bent Bloke
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Bent Bloke

Great idea! Hope it gets some mainstream press to counter the arguments that cyclists don’t contribute to street maintenance since we don’t pay a fuel tax when biking.

Here’s an idea: Google should mount their “Street View” camera on a street sweeper. Kill two birds with one stone.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

#11: fuel tax
It’s obvious to all levels of gov that fuel taxes revenue declines as efficiency increases independent of increased road usage.
So as vehicle miles increase while revenue decline we can easily conclude: cars aren’t paying their way!

starmichael
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starmichael

I volunteer with Jake Saturdays at bikefarm, and think this is really great. i laid eyes on a cyclist who stopped and busted out mini broom and dust pan to clean up a broken bottle (in the bike lane), right in front of the teens who just broke it. I thought that was something, and have wanted to do something like it ever since.
I also think this city’s streets are really clean comparatively, and would like to say that i appreciate the job the city’s street sweepers do for the most part.
And as for the fuel taxes, we are paying them, and our share too, every time we buy new parts or have used parts shipped (ebay!). Anyone who thinks biking is petroleum product free is being a little short sighted. Besides most cyclist drive some too. (most, not all, and not me!)

Steve B.
Guest

This is awesome! Sign me up.

Jake Cummings
Guest
Jake Cummings

Wow, thanks Jonathan for the spot! Also, thanks Star :0

Everyone who’s interested to help out, please send to the posted email so we can get this organized!

-Jake

L C E
Guest
L C E

Jake – you rock!!! My two cents: I don’t feel such a project is necessary on bike boulevards (Clinton and Lincoln are mentioned above) where we can easily take the lane, but quite imperative on busy, fast moving streets where we must occupy the bike lane – which is only 3 feet wide and bordered by the curb. I commute daily down Barbur Blvd, which is generally awful, but when there are large quantities of debris in the bike lane, I choose between gritting my teeth and riding over it with a prayer, or swerving around it and colliding with a 40mph vehicle. Good times.

kiwimunki
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kiwimunki

L C E – So sad, so true! Barbur is also my main transit route. Aside from general road trash, the gravel and frequent tree branches give you many opportunities to practice your side-of-the-road tire changing skills. You get the thrill of mountain bike trail terrain and the fun of nearby 40-mph car traffic!

It’s a really long stretch of road, but if anyone wanted to work on the section just south of downtown, I’ll join you 🙂