(Photos © J. Maus)
I happened upon an interesting scene while biking into work yesterday. Two Downtown Clean & Safe crew members were raking up several piles of leaves that had accumulated in an on-street bike parking corral.
One of the issues with PBOT’s bike corrals is that the curbs and staple racks inhibit street sweepers and debris often builds up. I was happy to see the Clean & Safe workers (who are funding by a business tax and managed by the Portland Business Alliance, not the City) filling bags with mucky wet leaves so that people would have a better parking experience. So happy in fact that I turned around and rolled up to them to say thanks.
The man I spoke to said, “Well, we just want you folks to have a nice place to park. The City doesn’t do it, but I ride a bike too so we figured it should be cleaned up.”
The situation made me wonder about PBOT’s policy for keeping corrals clean.
Bike corrals are installed by PBOT; but only by request of — and in partnership with — adjacent business owners. According to PBOT’s bike parking manager Sarah Figliozzi, the businesses sign an agreement prior to installation that commits them to maintaining the corral.
The maintenance agreement states that the corral must be “swept and otherwise cleared of all debris at least once every other week,” and that the corral, “will receive a visual inspection at least once per week.” If the business fails to keep the corral clean and PBOT receives a citizen complaint about it, they will send out an investigator. If the conditions don’t improve, the agreement gives PBOT the right to revoke the permit.
“Entering into the maintenance agreement is generally not an issue for most businesses,” said Figliozzi in response to my questions, “as the appearance of their business frontage is often an important element of business.”
In this case, Figliozzi said the adjacent business (Saucebox) was likely just a bit late in sweeping the leaves and the Clean & Safe crew took their own initiative. “It was wonderful to hear that Clean & Safe was sweeping leaves out of a corral. I will notify Saucebox’s owner so that he can also thank them,” she added.
— Learn more about Portland’s on-street bike corrals here.