(Photo: Jesse Gwinn)
The City of Portland counted 385 bikes at and around Jeld-Wen Field for the Portland Timbers soccer match yesterday.
With a capacity of over 18,000 in a dense part of downtown that has very limited car parking, the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), TriMet, and the Timbers organization have been worked hard to prevent a traffic quagmire. Bicycling to the game was a key part of that effort, with the Timbers even offering secure bike parking as a perk for season ticket holders.
At the Timbers’ home opener on Thursday, April 14th, PBOT counted just 185 bikes, a number they chalked up to nasty, wet weather.
PBOT’s Sarah Figliozzi, who worked with volunteers on the bike counts, said Sunday’s game saw a more than two-fold increase in that number. Of the 385 bikes counted, 228 used the temporary racks provided by the Timbers and PBOT, 105 used staple racks, and 52 were locked to “non-rack objects.”
TriMet spokesperson Mary Fetsch says between 6,000 and 6,500 rode MAX or express buses to the match on Sunday, and that number doesn’t include people who might have walked from the game from the end of the free-rail zone which stops a few blocks away (PBOT puts the transit mode split at about 40%).
If these trends continue, driving a car to see a Timbers game might soon put you in the minority.
It is likely that others people did what I plan to do when I attend a Timbers game – park my bike a few blocks away to avoid the crush of bikes and the risk of getting locked in or damaged by someone else.
I walked to the stadium from Irvington, and then hopped the 77 from Lovejoy back home. I think their metrics have no way of accounting for anomalies like me, or Paul in the ‘couve, or anyone who lives in the area and walks over. In essence, driving a car to the game might already make one part of the minority. Awesome!
I rode my bike on Sunday to the match, the best part perhaps riding home with crowds of other Timbers fans!
any idea of the actual attendence?
nevermind. Actual attendance was 18,627. While 385 bikes is impressive it results in a mode share of about 2%….
No hard numbers, but I descended Vista/Park from the Ronde at about 2:45 and the car traffic was thick, with lots of people dressed in Green circling round and round and round…
2% mode share seems kind of dismal at first, for a mid-day game in good weather, but I bet more than half of the fans travel more than ten miles to the event. There is a big suburban draw. Many of those come over the West Hills, another barrier for some.
And finally, if I did not know the streets so well, I would think Jeld-Wyn Park would be a really hard place to ride to, at least for less experienced riders. It’s not (Hawthorne Bridge and then up Jefferson is one good option), but the location could be intimidating for some.
But we can do better than 2%!
Yeah, my favorite way to approach is to come down NW 19th ave south-bound from the Pearl. I purposely biked by at game time just to check it out, even though I wasn’t going to the game. Looked like a good time!
I should add, maybe to increase mode-share, a “Jeld-Win specific” map of biking directions could be put up on the Timbers site to show the best cycling routes from all directions of the city terminating at the stadium, with estimated “cycling time”, and perhaps even a list of parking spots if the main bike parking areas fill up.
Many, many people arrive by MAX. Don’t forget that too!
I was there both games and can assure you that not many people rode on Thursday! Easy parking. Sunday was full, but I’ve been to games with many more bikes. Don’t worry, that seemingly low percentage will go up for sure.
Those racks on the street are supposedly reserved for season ticket holders. So if all those bikes will be there most games, they will need additional spaces for the occasional bike riders. Or they could stack them on the fence like past years.
All I know is, that was one fun Sunday afternoon in Portland! Go Timbers!
Like somebody already mentioned, the racks on the picture where for season ticket holders, but virtually every bike rack, signal pole was jam packed two bikes deep in a good three block radius from the stadium, I would say it’s double the city’s estimate
I rode to the game, and it worked out well. Unfortunately, it will be hard for me to ride to the night games because it’s an hour home for me and I have to get up at 5:30 for work. But for day games it’s awesome. Thanks to the Timbers for making bike parking available.