The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

City puts marketing muscle behind marquee bike boulevard

Posted by on May 24th, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Detail from a PBOT mailer sent to people who live near the Going Street Neighborhood Greenway.

One thing you might have missed amid the huge crowds at Sunday Parkways earlier this month was PBOT’s launch of a marketing campaign for the Going Street Neighborhood Greenway.

Coming soon to street signs.

As bike boulevards go, the City sees Going as the top of the heap; the marquee bike boulevard in Portland’s impressive (and always growing) network. But what good is a low-stress, family-friendly street that prioritizes bicycling, if no one knows it’s there? That’s the question motivating a new push by PBOT to further promote Going and make it stand out among its paved peers.

PBOT is using part of the $2.1 million federal grant they received for the Going to the River project to do an outreach campaign focused on the Going Street Neighborhood Greenway. The campaign includes mailings to nearby residents, a series of events, new marketing materials, and new signage coming to the street this summer.

The five events will run through mid-September and they include: “Going to Play”, a card game at the May 13th Sunday Parkways that had a chance to win a new Trek bike; “Going Shopping”, a promotion throughout June that will come with special coupons to local businesses; “Going Exploring”, a scavenger hunt in July the with prizes and free treats and coffee at the Concordia Neighborhood Yard Sale; “Going to Work”, which will include free bike repair stations along the street in August; and “Going to School”, which promises to be a “giant fair for kids and parents” at King School Park on September 14th.

At the beginning of May, PBOT sent out a mailer with details on these events to the 5,500 households within 1,000 feet of the bike boulevard. Those residents will continue to receive mailers as part of this campaign through September. Here’s another detail from that mailer…

Another nifty thing PBOT unveiled at Sunday Parkways were these cool seat covers (as seen below on my daughter’s bike):

Sunday Parkways - Northeast -10

Portlanders will also get visual cues that Going is a great street for biking. PBOT plans to add “street sign toppers” along Going this summer (similar to the ones already installed on SE Clinton St.). Bureau spokesman Dan Anderson says there will be four designs, three bike-focused designs already in use on Clinton Street and, “a new pedestrian-focused design.”

Policymakers Ride-10

The crossing at MLK Jr. Blvd and Going St. is often in use by people riding bikes.

In just a few short years, Going has already established itself as a great example of the city’s renewed bike boulevard efforts. With stop signs turned to keep bike traffic flowing, speed bumps to keep auto speeds down, sharrows, and improved infrastructure at crossings, biking on Going is a breeze. Between 2010 and 2011, bike traffic on going rose 34%. With more awareness that the street exists, even more people might head out and give biking a try.

— Learn more at

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

  • Hart Noecker May 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    How about using some of that cash to resurface Going? Good grief, it’s like riding on the surface of the moon. Clinton, Lincoln, even Ankney are far better bikeways than Going.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 24, 2012 at 4:05 pm


      I’ve heard city staff at meetings explain that — with the budget they are currently dealing with (which is about $950,000 a year) — we could either resurface a few blocks OR have bike boulevards with all the trimmings stretching for several miles and criss-crossing the city. They have decided the latter and I think most reasonable people would agree with them.

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      • John Lascurettes May 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm

        Fair enough.

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      • spare_wheel May 24, 2012 at 10:17 pm

        Sorry but this is an utterly pathetic excuse. If they cannot afford to resurface Going then they should get rid of parking on Presscot and paint a goram buffered bike lane.

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        • El Biciclero May 25, 2012 at 9:48 am

          This sounds like there is a belief that cyclists will tolerate any kind of route degradation in the name of “safety”. Fast? What do you want fast for? You’re on a bike! Smooth? Why does it have to be smooth? There are hardly any cars! Longer route? Why would you want a shorter route if there are cars on it?

          Waiting for the “just get fatter tires” suggestion…

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      • Middle of What Road? May 26, 2012 at 12:54 pm

        Additionally, if more and more people bike on Going, maybe that will increase awareness and add some political pressure in the future to focus repaving dollars on this boulevard.

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    • John Lascurettes May 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      Even though I live between Going and Prescott, I prefer to take Skidmore, two blocks south of Going, between 33rd and 42nd. The surface of going is very bad between 38th and 42nd – bad that it’s barely even a full lane wide (the broken pavement has given way to silt and grass at the southern curb, wider than a vehicle lane. And the washboard effect of the remaining asphalt prevents me from riding at full speed. The concrete sections of going farther west are no party either.

      All that said, there are rare times where I choose to take the gradual incline of Going from Williams over the steep Alameda ridge climb farther south. And I do appreciate the city finally putting in a serviceable Greenway in this area of NE which was severely lacking a designated E-W route.

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    • CaptainKarma May 24, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      Off subject, but the other evening I saw your name in the credits for the bee movie 😉

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  • Ely May 24, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    how do I get one of those bike covers?
    and when will people learn that all the cash they see flowing to other projects would not make the least difference to the condition of the road? resurfacing is expensive.

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  • Michael, Portland Afoot
    Michael, Portland Afoot May 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Awesome. For what it’s worth, in late 2010 Portland Afoot ranked the neighborhood greenways by counting each uncontrolled intersection or traffic stop on the east side. Going’s greenway, which was brand new at the time, won by a mile.

    At some point I hope we’ll do an update of this study that includes recent stop sign changes and elevation changes. If anybody has further advice, I’d love to hear it!

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  • CaptainKarma May 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Wonder why Portland doesn’t have volksmarches, like in Germany? Maybe they do…..

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  • Steve B May 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I ♥ Going

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  • Aaron May 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    I love Going.

    Yes some parts have awful pavement. A friend of mine won’t ride it above 20th or so. I messed up my wrist something awful last fall riding on Going, because I forgot about the placement of a particularly bad pothole.

    And yes it’s particularly awful from 38th-42nd.

    The key is to soak up all the bumps with your legs. But you have to know where the bumps are, and it’s not that fun the learn. 🙂

    Also, Prescott above 36th is plenty fine to bike on. No reason to go to Skidmore.

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    • On The Road May 24, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      I recently started a job that is at 42nd and Alberta Court. Home near 20th and Division.

      To find a bike route, I used both the city bike maps and Google. I gave the Going Bikeways a try and soon discovered the roughness others above have spoken of.

      Since I was only going west as far as 29th to intercept Regents Drive (best approach to Alameda Ridge I’ve found — learned it was an old streetcar street which explains the relatively gentle grade) I tried some of the other east-west streets. Skidmore is far better. Prescott itself isn’t that bad.

      Haven’t tried Going further west. But the feeling I got is the city picked a lousy thru street that isn’t used by drivers to “dedicate” to bicycle riders.

      It might be better in the long run to teach the less fearsome riders how to ride in traffic than to mark a bumpy street as the bike route that drivers then think all bicycles should use.

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    • John Lascurettes May 24, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      Prescott above 37 (where the chicane is) is fine, plenty wide. But from MLK to 37th, it’s rather narrow. I used to take it from MLK to 42nd before Going was turned into a greenway – I liked its lack of interruptions (only a stop at 7th, 15th and 33rd between MLK and 42nd and it’s paved rather well in contrast to Going. But Prescott where it is narrow (MLK to 37th) is still very high speed with car traffic and some drivers are overly aggressive about the space they’ll give.

      I now take Knott between Williams and 20th for the same reason I used to take Prescott (few interruptions, smooth pavement) but it’s much wider and easier to share the space with car drivers. I cut up to the top of Alameda ridge going up Regence and then make it out to 42nd via skidmore from there (no need to go to Going because, again, it’s smoother and I can pedal at full speed). I used to avoid the hill on Regence before I was as strong a rider as I am now.

      Once in a while, after a long day at work, when I just don’t feel like climbing the abrupt climb on Regence and I want to take the easy gradual climb, I’ll go up Williams all the way to Going instead of turning onto Knott. That does add a few tenths of a mile to the distance travelled and a several minutes for what it’s worth.

      I’ll take Going if I’m headed into the Alberta Arts district or anything else west of 42nd but north of Fremont (and it’s fantastic for that), but for anything south of Fremont (such as my downtown workplace), I’ve been more fond of my Knott route for the last few years.

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    • Adam May 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      If there are particularly bad potholes, I believe you can call 503 823 BUMP. It is the City’s pothole repair hotline. And it really works!

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    • El Biciclero May 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      Are you being sarcastic?

      How’s this:

      I love my driving route. Sure there are places where your entire wheel could get knocked off, and I hit my head pretty bad against my side window once (but that was my fault because it was dark and I forgot where all the potholes were). The trick is to disconnect your airbags so they don’t deploy accidentally, and remember that your exhaust system can serve as its own “crumple zone”, helping to absorb some of the shock when you get high-centered.

      Do we ever hear drivers talk like this? Does it really seem fair that to hear a cyclist give advice like this seems “normal”?

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  • Josh G May 24, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Living on Going near 42nd, I feel like y’all are insulting my driveway! I have all the potholes memorized, but I sympathize.
    I was psyched to play the “Going to Play” card game at NE Sunday Parkways, but they ran out of cards to collect at some point.
    Regents Dr. is a sweet way to get off the grid in either direction going over the Ridge. I’d like to see some pictures of when the streetcar went that way.

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  • John Landolfe May 25, 2012 at 8:09 am

    I lived on Going & 7th when they were removing stop signs. Going, how I miss thee! I’m sure I’ll be up there quite a bit this summer. One nice thing about Going for those of us with day jobs: as a long, east-west street, it gets direct sunshine into the late, late afternoon if you’ve been a desk during most of the daylight hours.

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  • Phil Kulak May 25, 2012 at 9:20 am

    The road doesn’t bother me. I love the Going route and take it in to work downtown from it’s beginning at 72nd. Are you guys running 23mm tires at 120 PSI? Slap some 32s on there and let some air out!

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    • Steph May 25, 2012 at 9:33 am

      Why, yes, I AM running 23s at 110 psi…because, for me, that’s a heck of a lot more comfortable and reliable than a fat-tire cruiser on my commute. I’ve used both, and choose to ride a fixed gear for the 7 miles each way. Guess what? You shouldn’t need a mountain bike or cruiser (or road bike or recumbent or…etc) to take any city road. You should be able to use whatever bike you’re on, and have it be safe and reliable. I refuse to use Going for actual east-west travel, and only pop on when I need to get somewhere close-by that’s south of Alberta. I live just north of Killingsworth and just east of 42nd and I cross over from Williams on Killingsworth – a high car-traffic and bus street that, amazingly, is frequently resurfaced.

      It’s more the principle than the fact: The crappy surface is a pretty evident example of the city making choices to half-ass bicycle infrastructure and expects us to be appreciative for unfinished and poorly planned projects. No dedicated light at MLK was another half-implemented design…what good is a dedicated bikeway that lets you play frogger across highway 99?

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    • was carless May 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Yeah, 32mm are SOO last year. Get with the program!

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    • El Biciclero May 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      …Annnnnnnd…there it is. “Get fatter tires, y’all!”

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  • NF May 25, 2012 at 9:59 am

    While we’re criticizing pavement quality on bicycle boulevards, how about SE Woodward (the extension of Clinton) around 61st at again at 71st. Yikes.

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    • Paulie May 25, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      I always wondered why Clinton was repaved a couple of years ago, but not Woodward. Clinton didn’t need it, Woodward is terrible. The city keeps repairing the same potholes 2-3 times a year. Seems like a waste …

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    • A.K. May 25, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      Yeah when I get high enough on the Clinton/Woodward bike route I eventually just jog over a block and take a lane on Division until the bike lane starts shortly before 82nd. No problems yet. Those dirt/gravel roads are passable on a race bike when dry, but I don’t risk it when it’s wet, as you can’t tell how deep the little lakes are that form!

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  • random_rider May 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    I ride Going between Vancouver/Williams and 30th every day each way on my commute. I love the near total absence of car traffic traveling east/west. I tolerate the lousy pavement surface. I hate the fact that the majority (no, not hyperbole, I would estimate it to be over 75%) of cross traffic fails to come to a complete stop at the north/south stop signs along the route.

    I’ve had significantly more close calls with people either in cars or on bikes on Going than on Williams. You’re lucky if people slow down at the stop signs, much less come to a complete stop.

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    • John Lascurettes May 25, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      Again, why I prefer Knott going W-E than Going. Motor vehicle drivers crossing Knott fear being t-boned by another motor-vehicle more than they do on Going.

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      • spare_wheel May 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm

        this is the #1 reason why i now avoid greenways for my fast transportation cycling.

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  • Adam May 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I used to live on Alberta.

    When the Going St bike boulevard was first unveiled, there was no diverter at 15th.

    Auto traffic quickly realized it could shave a few precious minutes off by taking the bike boulevard (no stop signs, woo!!) for thirty blocks, to avoid the lights on Alberta / Prescott.

    Residents on Going Street put up six foot high signs tied to their front shrubs, pleading with motorists to take the street they should have been on Prescott, & not Going.

    I am SO HAPPY to see the new diverter at 15th & Going. I hope to see many more of them installed. It is the diverters that make Going a PLATINUM bike boulevard.

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    • Middle of What Road? May 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Completely agree – that diverter also seems to be a boon for foot traffic, too, as people pay way more attention to the crosswalks there than just about anywhere else I have observed in the Alberta area.

      It would be nice, though, if they could plan a proper N-S connection to the Holman BB. I live a half block off Holman, but don’t use it because it peters out near MLK. I just go south the six blocks and hit Going instead. Maybe they could use 9th to connect the two?

      I normally cut south from Going through the Irvington neighborhood near 12th/11th because it’s a much more pleasant ride through the quiet neighborhood and low traffic and it links up with Tillamook and then downtown.

      But if I’m in a hurry – it’s Going to Vancouver to downtown and it truly feels like a bike highway. Simple, fast and busy during rush hours. It works.

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  • John Beaston May 25, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I regularly travel on the Going BB from 72nd to Williams around 9pm. More often than not, I won’t encounter a single car. The pavement sucks in spots but the car-freeness is heavenly. Just last night heading westbound, you could see many blinking headlights off in the distance coming my way.

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  • Ted Buehler May 26, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    re: potholes —

    Portland encourages you to send in a maintenance request for potholes to be fixed.

    Call 823-SAFE with the street address of the nearest house to each pothole, email (with a photo if you have a smart phone.)

    Rather than sending in a blanket request for “all potholes between 20th and 33rd” send in specific requests for the worst offenders, worst blocks, etc., to make sure the maintenance crews know which one tweaked your wrist and get it fixed.

    Ted Buehler

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    • John Lascurettes May 27, 2012 at 10:56 am

      The smartphone app that the city has works very well too. I’ve reported sinkholes on my route and they’ve been repaired in weeks-to-months timelines.



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      • John Lascurettes May 27, 2012 at 10:59 am

        However, the issue with parts of Going is not a single pothole here and there, it’s entire blocks that are either made up of old, broken concrete or asphalt that is so deteriorated that it can’t simply be patched. I’ve reported the section between 38th and 42nd before. I also reported the truly horrible conditions between 33rd and 34th before they turned it into a greenway, but that got fixed as part of the conversion.

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  • Charlie May 28, 2012 at 8:43 am

    What amazes me is the constant whine in the comments on the road surface. I take Going all the time and it’s fine. Not PIR smooth, but completely acceptable and I’m on a road bike. If this is the price for more Greenways, I’ll take more of them in lieu of paving what we have.

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    • On The Road May 28, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Given a choice between taking Going (from 42nd to about 28th) and any other street covering the same territory — Prescott, Skidmore, Mason — I’ll pass on Going. If it works for you, great. Doesn’t work for me.

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