‘Bicycle living’ on Alberta Street

Casey Martell of Rose Pedals Pedicabs gives a few kids a free ride during the Alberta Street Fair on Saturday.
(Photos © J. Maus)

There is perhaps no street in Portland where bicycles play a larger role in the daily fabric of life than on NE Alberta. Despite lacking adequate bike access (in my opinion) the amount of bike traffic and evidence of bike-related culture on the street is exciting and inspiring.

On Alberta, bicycles seemed to be embraced by the entire community; a fact that was extremely evident during the annual Alberta Street Fair on Saturday.

I roamed the event for hours with my family and it seemed like every time I turned around bikes were somehow part of the scene. From items sold by vendors to the many full bike parking corrals, to the bikes being ridden by event-goers — and even bikes being used as businesses.

Check out more photos below for how bicycles are a part of living on Alberta Street…


Frock, a locally owned boutique, is full of bike-themed merchandise. An employee in the store said, “We feel like it’s very pro-Portland, and we’re very pro-Portland.”


The Umpqua Bank branch at NE 18th doesn’t shy away from bicycles in its branding…


The official event t-shirts make it clear that bikes are a large part of Alberta Street’s identity…


And then, of course, there are the people on bikes. On Alberta they come in many varieties…


On Alberta, bikes also mean business…

Clif Bar had employees towing trailers dubbed “Energy Carts” that passed out free samples.

The Taco Pedaler(s) – Melanie McClure and Erica Kraner — have been in business since February and their bike-based business model seems to be rolling along quite well.

This mural and this bike caught my eye…

… and upon further inspection I met Bryan Davidson. Bryan has just launched Rinky Dinks, yet another bike-based business. Bryan has partnered with 21st Avenue Bicycles and plans to serve hot and cold coffee drinks from his Haley cargo trike at group rides and other events.


Hope you enjoyed these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.

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Schrauf
Schrauf
11 years ago

Alberta is fantastic. The bikeyness adds to the flavor, as does the greater cultural diversity compared to some other parts of the City.

It’s hard to talk about Alberta with gentrification coming up, so I will mention that it would have been nice if some of the historical diversity in the neighborhood could have been preserved. But I don’t think Jonathan’s post is about that.

Back on point, I would argue Alberta has decent bike access simply due to the Going Street route two blocks away. However, given the density and low speed limit in the heart of Alberta, sharrows on Alberta itself would be nice to remind people in cars to expect people on bikes, and that those people on bikes even have a right to the lane when necessary for safety.

fiat_luxe
fiat_luxe
11 years ago

Well, you pretty much *have* to take the lane on Alberta due to the number of parked cars.

I live in the neighborhood and only ever bike on Alberta itself for the shortest period possible, usually just to arrive at my destination, which is usually on Alberta. Otherwise, I ride Sumner or Going. It’s not that I don’t feel safe on Alberta — I do — but rather that it’s so easy for me in that neighborhood to move a street over and not slow the traffic on Alberta down to 10mph.

Dabby
Dabby
11 years ago

As a resident of, and regular cyclist on, NE Alberta, I can safely say that their is no bigger relief than when such a thing as the Alberta Street Fair, or Last Thursday, is over and done for the day….

I kind of wish they would just be over and done in general….

Go to another neighborhood and wander sideways…..

Hugh Johnson
Hugh Johnson
11 years ago
Reply to  Dabby

I feel for you. I really do, having witnessed the behavior of many people who just don’t seem to have any concept of common courtesy or manners of any kind.

Dabby
Dabby
11 years ago

On another note it is nice to see two of the above photos being of Bike Polo Boys…

Sweet shots Jonathan..

jeff
jeff
11 years ago

As a resident of, and regular cyclist on, NE Alberta, I enjoy the Alberta Street Fair, which is still about art and is well represented by the entire community. Last Thursday however, the neighborhood would be better off without, as it lately an excuse for general drunkenness and disrespectful behavior.

dmc
dmc
11 years ago
Reply to  jeff

Elaborate for some of us that are not familiar please.

craig
craig
11 years ago

Put a bike on it!

efairlay
efairlay
11 years ago

Johnathan, How does one get that merchandise? I was there but didn’t see the tshirts for sale. Can you post a link in the story?

jyyerby
jyyerby
11 years ago
Reply to  efairlay

Alberta Main Street was selling the t-shirts. http://www.albertamainst.org/

Cheers,

Jackie

Racer X
Racer X
11 years ago

The event t-shirts with tall circus bikes are nice as a statement (and looks)…but that Alberta Street really died when the Clown House decamped for higher rent.

Rol
Rol
11 years ago

How nice to hear that Frock is “very pro-Portland.” Portland can heave a sigh of relief that a dress shop approves of it. The odds of this must be astronomical… people live in a city, do business there, yet also simultaneously APPROVE OF said city? Teh mind reelz.

maxadders
maxadders
11 years ago

“Only on Alberta”….and every other hip white enclave in North America