Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Art bike corral coming to Woodlawn neighborhood

Posted by on October 27th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

A new bike corral slated for N Dekum Street near Breakside Brewery.
(Renderings by Buster Simpson/BusterSimpson.net/dekum)

North Portland’s Woodlawn neighborhood is set to get a new bike corral that will also serve as public art and a stormwater catcher. The new bike parking structure will be installed near Breakside Brewery on NE Dekum Street.

This is why a new parking structure
is needed outside Breakside Brewery.

According to notes from a recent Woodlawn neighborhood meeting where BES and PBOT came to discuss the project, the corral, dubbed “Dekumconstruction” will feature an ecoroof and the design will be something of a commentary on bicycles and cars. Plans (see drawings) call for the design to feature a partially desconstructed car sitting atop empty oil barrels as well as several painting on and around the structure. With stormwater retention in mind, the corral will also come with planted bioswales on both sides. There will be parking for 10-12 bicycles.

The Dekum Stormwater Art Bike Corral project (its official name) is a collaboration between the City’s Bureau of Environmental Services, the Bureau of Transportation, the Regional Arts and Culture Council, and neighborhood residents. Artists on the project are Peg Bulter and Buster Simpson.

Here’s another rendering by Simpson…

Money to pay for the project is coming from a mix of EPA grants, BES stormwater treatment funds, and public art funds administered by RACC. The corral is scheduled to be installed by this spring.

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

  • Whatthe October 27, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    OK, actually read the descriptions . . .

    So great idea, but why include another reminder of cars when they are the last thing I want to see on or near a bike rack? Kind of beating it over the head, right? Users are people who have given up their car for that ride (or altogether); I doubt they need the art to get them thinking about the benefits of bikes and the drawbacks of cars. Put a big bike on top of it!

    Now a bike rack MADE with car parts, that I can see . . . locking a bike up on a bumper, a steering wheel, an exhaust pipe . . .

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  • Red Five October 27, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    is the car shell supposed to be “art”?

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  • Ethan October 27, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    I like the idea of the message/symbolism of the car/barrels (esp since the racks take up former auto parking). Unfortunately it will probably be an eyesore, which might explain how the “hood” is lucky enough to get this work of art. Here’s hoping it looks better in person.

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  • Todd Boulanger October 27, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Talk about a blast from the past …I was wondering what Buster Simpson was up too after his long efforts in Seattle…I had missed him. Aloha Buster.

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  • Schrauf October 27, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    I like it, but it is a little provocative, and not necessarily in a good way. It has potential to ignite more “us vs. them” rather than simply encouraging sharing the road on all sides.

    And Ethan is right, if the vehicle carcass is not done right, it will look too much like a typical junker in someone’s driveway, and therefore be too common of a sight to qualify as art, and instead be an eyesore. The less it resembles a car, the better.

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  • driving that train October 27, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    What makes the roof “eco”?

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  • Chris October 27, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Wow make the street look like a junk yard, thats exactly what the Dekum triangle needs.

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  • cyclist October 27, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    That’s really ugly. Don’t be surprised if the neighbors aren’t happy with it after it gets installed.

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  • Hart Noecker October 27, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    For decades, everybody called this Art an eyesore too. Now it’s a world famous tourist attraction in the heart of Motor City.


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  • Aaron V. October 27, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    I live in Woodlawn and missed the neighborhood meeting where this was detailed.

    This is an eyesore. It destroys the sidewalk cafe vibe outside the Breakside Brewery by hiding and looming over people at the (not pictured) sidewalk tables.

    Instead of seeing an inviting sidewalk scene and people enjoying themselves inside the brewpub, people see a junked car. I thought we paid the city to *remove* junked cars, not put them in our neighborhood….I hate it.

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  • Gregg Woodlawn October 28, 2010 at 12:08 am

    …ummm, I’m not sure what I think about parking under car parts either. I bet it will make people talk about it, one way or another.

    There is a HUGE need for more bike parking here -Between all of the cyclists parking at Good Neighbor Pizzeria, Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry, Buffalo Gardens, Believe Movement Studio, the Firehouse, and Breakside… We’ve badly needed a corral. Just the employees parking in Bike Crazy Woodlawn alone need this much bike parking.

    There will be opinions about this one. Here they come…

    …Hey Jonathan, Do you know of any more plans for future bike related public art projects? Updates on Clinton St?

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  • Paul Tay October 28, 2010 at 12:30 am

    Thumbs…UP. Gotta do sumthin’ wit all dem old car-casses.

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  • beth h October 28, 2010 at 4:26 am

    Ick. I live down the street from this corner and would prefer that bikes help promote beautification. Yes to a covered bike corral, yes to catching rainwater/runoff, but definitely no to tossiing something ugly up on top that will only ignite and piss people off. Why not make it an eco-roof with flowers instead?

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  • Skid October 28, 2010 at 8:21 am

    I think a crushed car body would look better. Why do bikes and spaces for them need to be defined by cars anyways?

    How about a dinosaur made out of auto parts and oil barrels? That’s dead cars and fossil fuel being symbolized at the same time, without it overtly being a car and a barrel.

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  • Mark October 28, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Love the dinosaur fashioned out of auto parts and oil barrels concept. Nice!

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  • Skid October 28, 2010 at 8:43 am

    I swear that post above is not a sock puppet.

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  • jim October 28, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I could see using a roof from one of those old vw vans with all the little windows as a sky roof

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  • jim October 28, 2010 at 9:12 am

    maybe weld together some old car parts and powder coat them for a bike rack, kind of like the wall outside of the rebuilding center

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  • Skid October 28, 2010 at 9:25 am

    That’s about $1500 worth of sheetmetal, jim. No VW person is gonna give up a Deluxe Microbus roof section without a fight anyways.

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  • RyNO Dan October 28, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Since I’m not a big fan of cars, I don’t like the idea of one on the bike parking. Bad aesthetics. And it seems like an overly-antagonistic statement. But I’m happy for the new bike parking.

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  • aljee October 28, 2010 at 9:53 am

    smug alert

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  • jim October 28, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    VW’s are the stinkiest, most raw gas emiting cars we have. They are first in line right after scooters. I would think you would be real happy to have 1 less on the road. $1,500. is cheap enough for a project like this. Besides, how cool would it be to have a convertible bus?

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  • jv October 28, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    In defense of VW, they have consistently manufactured some of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market for their time, and pioneered many safety features. Of course driving a poorly maintained 50 year old VW bus is going to be stinky, but so would any poorly maintained vehicle of the same era. I think the art for this bike corral could be much more interesting than a single disassembled car perched on top. Perhaps if they crushed it and then reformed it into some of the structural supports it would have the same symbolism, but with better aesthetics. Also, technically oil barrels and dinosaurs have nothing to do with each other ; petroleum is formed from ancient zooplankton, not large terrestrial animals.

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  • jim October 28, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    how about a Ferrari on the roof? the neighbors might like that more than an old junked out vw rabit

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  • Aaron V. October 28, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I can imagine a design of barrels, mugs, or pint glasses like the tooth bike rack outside the dentist office on NE Fremont, the male/female signs outside Planned Parenthood, or the eyeglasses outside an optometrist’s shop (also on Fremont?)

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  • Red Five October 28, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    why not line it with the skulls of dead motorists?

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  • aaronf October 29, 2010 at 2:08 am

    It needs a dead deer in front of it. Or at least a dead cat. Something that really drive home the point:

    Cars are bad. We are better than you.

    Glad I don’t live near this!

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  • Tony Fuentes October 29, 2010 at 4:36 am

    I live in the area.

    The Abandoned Car hotline number is programmed into my cell phone because I don’t need a junked car on a pedestal in order to see one.

    And now I will run the risk of drunk dialing the hotline after a night at the Breakside….

    Please save me that embarrassment and put something purdy up there.

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  • jim October 29, 2010 at 7:06 am

    In Seattle there was an old gas station that had some roofs that looked like a giant cowboy hat and some boots, that was fun.
    I think the junker design needs lots of work still before it will look apealling

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  • jim October 29, 2010 at 7:16 am

    this reminds me of my trip to new york yrs ago. At the freeway offramps they would push/ tow the cars left broken down or abanded on the freeway, after a few days they would move them a little further to an empty lot. If the owner didn’t come get it right away it would be totally striped and then probably burned, then hauled to the river bank for use as bulkheads. On a harbor tour we got to see a guy striping out a car in broad daylight under a bridge.
    I wouldn’t want to see something in portland to encourage or promote this kind of behavior, we need a more positive type monument

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  • Red Five October 29, 2010 at 7:39 am

    We simply need to stop throwing up ugly junk and calling it “art”. Fine if you love looking at it in a gallery, but we all have to look at this ugly monstrosity in a neighborhood. What’s wrong just bike staples and a simple cover?

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  • Chris October 29, 2010 at 7:55 am

    I sure hope Buster is reading this input from the community and adjusts his design accordingly.

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  • Tomas Quinones October 29, 2010 at 8:50 am

    This is a TERRIBLE idea.

    There’s already enough “Us vs Them” or “Bike vs Cars” crap being slung around but now we have a piece of art that only reinforces it?

    Why can’t we have a “Pro-Bike” mentality to PROMOTE bicycles without having a “Anti-Car” mentality?

    I know I’m completely wasting my time in writing this but I couldn’t just stay quiet.

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  • Malex October 29, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Wow, when I followed Jonathan’s tweet about a “negative reaction” I was expecting that my opinion would be positive. Upon seeing the proposed design, I was surprised to agree with BikePortland’s other esteemed commenters.

    +1 to beth h: no need to piss people off. I’d rather see something cute and fun instead, like kids on bikes with lollipops and ponies.

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  • Skid October 29, 2010 at 9:31 am

    It was more about dependence on automobiles and oil inevitably moving towards extinction than oil being made from dinosaurs.

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  • Augustus October 29, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Not only is this ugly, but explain to me how an old car on top of a bike corral is constructive, positive or appealing to look at? It is disgusting and I would rather park in the rain elsewhere or simply never patronized the businesses associated with it.

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  • zilfondel October 29, 2010 at 10:17 am

    “Symbolism” seems to be too literal. Think bike roof should have been made out of recycled car-parts instead. 🙁

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  • mikeybikey October 29, 2010 at 10:47 am

    I’ll wait until I see the installation to decide if I like it or not. A quick look at the artist’s site confirms that you cannot judge the overall aesthetic of this installation from the conceptual images.

    I don’t mind if the installation is not under the banner of bike fun or even if it perceived as provocative. If society has regressed to the point that we can only appreciate installations that are positive/pretty/feel good/etc, then we probably have a lot worse things to start worrying about than a bike corral in NE Portland. However, IMHO something that is a little more abstract and that could be provocative on a more fundamental level rather than being so literal with a car skeleton and oil barrels would have been cool.

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  • jim October 29, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Who is responsible for approving or rejecting this design?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 29, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I’m sure the n’hood association was the place where the design was vetted out. I’ve heard from one person who was at the meetings who said the response was “very positive”. I’ve emailed PBOT and BES for more information and will update story when I hear back.

    remember… this is why it’s so important for folks to show up at n’hood meetings!

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  • Joey October 29, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    With a bonafide junkyard directly across the street, this seems like a strange choice.

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  • jza October 29, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    The car on top is truly, genuinely, completely idiotic. Sorry Peg and Buster, terrible idea, just awful.

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  • jim October 29, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    maybe if they put the car at ground level and cut the roof off they could turn it into a big barbecue pit?

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  • Woodlawn Resident October 29, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    The idea of a bike corral is great for our city where bikers reign supreme…fine. However, the broken down car is hideous! I live in the area and drive by this spot every day. I love to hang out at Breakside. I think this looms a bit too large next to the outdoor seating at the brewery. Does it really need to be so large and ugly? Can’t we just keep it simple? The area has been slowly getting nicer and nicer…this will not look nice. I hope the “artist” will reivise it.

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  • Kevin Turner October 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    There was a pretty low turn-out at that meeting, perhaps due to some combination of me not getting the word out and the President of the United States holding another event at the same time. But the presentation at the meeting was organized by David Allred (BES) to get some community input, and it sounds like it’s successful in that regard, even if the input is trailing the meeting somewhat.

    Those of us who were at the meeting were pretty excited about getting more public art in the neighborhood, the bike coral, and the green aspects … I did have a thought in the back of my mind about oil barrels not being too attractive, but I told myself I should leave the art to the artists.

    I think Kristin Calhoun is the RACC contact for this project. (She’s the one who was at our meeting, anyway.)

    Another thing the team mentioned is that they were hoping that the base of this design — durable, covered, stormwater-friendly bike parking — could be reused in other places around the city, with different art projects on top. But I suspect they have to finish this once before that can happen.

    – Kevin
    Woodlawn Neighborhood Association
    (and regular bike commuter)

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  • Chris October 29, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Well if there is anything positive to come from this: Maybe as more young hip people are looking for prospective up-and-coming Portland neighborhoods, they will be scared away from the Dekum Triangle by the decaying car shell up on stilts and decide to move to my neighborhood instead!

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  • Roland October 29, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    It’s a bit prosaic. Art should be more mysterious, and not try to force or spoon-feed the viewer some desired conclusion.

    Besides, if/when cars go away, it won’t need to be stated. (Anything that’s actually true doesn’t need to be stated, only observed.) And if their carcasses are to be turned into useful things, that will be determined by the needs and the ingenuities of the people who do it.

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  • Heather October 29, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    It blocks the nice looking updated buildings. I am not a fan of the wrecked car as art.

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  • Red Five October 30, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Well I’m sure this project will get rammed though and a ugly piece of junk will be hoisted up there. I guess the only good that could from this is if the thing fell off onto a few hipsters.

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  • matt picio October 30, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    +1 to the negative responses. This looks like it will be an eyesore, it reinforces “cars” when we’re trying to take the focus off cars and put it on people, and it promotes the image of a car on blocks in a neighborhood that has a comparatively high percentage of minorities. Did the neighborhood actually sign off on this? I live in Piedmont, not Woodlawn, but I really don’t want this 1/2 mile from my house – I don’t like the unintentional messages it’s sending.

    Ultimately, though, it’s the city, the businesses and the neighborhood association making the call. Personally, I give this installation a thumbs-down.

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  • Andrew October 30, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    I like the cistern/bike-rack notion, but the piece of poo atop it is an unnecessary eyesore. I will happily hire the Russian mafia to remove the car.

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  • Red Five October 31, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    The “artist” has really missed the mark on this one. Instead of making a friendly, welcoming place that says bikes are a fun, clean way to get around, they took the low road and decided to make a divisive “us vs. them” statement that adds absolutely zero value to the neighborhood.

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  • Skid November 1, 2010 at 10:11 am

    You’ll catch more flies with honey, Red Five.

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  • Carl November 1, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    I’m not a big fan of smug car vs. bike statements but, objectively, I think that rusty old things are beautiful. If Buster chose something sufficiently bashed up and destined for exquisite patina (doesn’t even have to be a car), I’d be happy to park under it AND sticker and tag it.

    It’s too bad to hear that Woodlawn’s too fancy for grungy crazy art. I’d welcome it over the racks at 34th and Belmont down in gritty gritty Southeast.

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  • resopmok November 2, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I get that we want more art in the neighborhoods, but agree that is in particular is a pretty ham-handed and controversial way to accomplish that goal. Sending negative messages usually results in negative responses, whereas sending a positive message is more likely to change people’s minds and behavior. Let’s make a pro-bike related piece of art, maybe something abstract from bike frames, wheels, parts, etc. instead of something anti-car.

    Also, 10-12 doesn’t like very much parking to me. There are at least this many bikes in the picture without a corral. Where’s the room for growth?

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  • Ayleen November 5, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Chris: During the neighborhood visioning process, when over 100 neighbors came to meetings to discuss the inevitable changesin teh neighborhood and how to help shape those changes into neighbor-driven outcomes, we decided that there is no Dekum Triangle. Dekum is merely a street. Woodlawn is a neighborhood, so we declared that area (and the city accepted) the “Woodlawn Triangle”. Semantics, perhaps, but naming a district after a neighborhood and honoring the neighbors seems like a great idea. Naming it after a busy street, well, that’s not nearly as endearing.

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  • Lynne May 2, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I think this a fantastic design. I think the concept is crystal clear without having to read the artists statement (car moved to make way for bike) and I think it will be beautiful.
    I will give you “art critics” a little break, as the image on this page is not very good. I saw the updated image on Simpson’s personal website and it should help those of you without imaginations get a little better idea of what to expect.
    Im normally darn picky when it comes to public art but I think Simpson’s work is quite good. Im honored to have this piece in my neighborhood and I look forward to seeing it every time i walk across the park to the triangle.

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  • El Biciclero May 3, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Since this thread has been bumped…I think it is actually a pretty cool design, even though I will probably never use it (or even see it in real life). I like the bi-level aspect depicted in the renderings; my only criticism would be with respect to this. It might be nice to have something to catch the drippy-drippy from wet, dirty tires so it doesn’t run down onto bikes parked in the “lower bunk”.

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  • wsbob May 3, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    I don’t think too much of the car hulk on the top of the bike shelter. I wrote an earlier, non-profane comment with humorous references to the car hulk. Bikeportland’s editors apparently didn’t appreciate the humor, so they deleted the comment.

    Nothing particularly offensive about the several comical suggestions I offered about what might become of the car hulk. One of them was that the car hulk might become a nesting home for birds. If there’s something offensive about that, I’m not sure what it would be. Wildlife needs more places in the city to nest.

    Having a cover over the bikes is just fine. The poles look to lend themselves well to locking up bikes. Other people commenting to this thread have also said essentially, ‘Go with the corral, leave the car hulk off the roof.’. It’s a nice looking structure without the car hulk on the roof.

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