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Portland Water Bureau employees get new covered bike parking area

Posted by on February 2nd, 2016 at 1:13 pm

New bike parking at Portland Water Bureau-4.jpg

New bike parking at Interstate facility.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

As part of a $49 million renovation project at their Interstate Avenue facility, the City of Portland Water Bureau now offers its employees and visitors a covered bike parking facility.

The new parking area is covered and has 21 staple-style racks — that’s room for a minimum of 42 bicycles. From what I could see (peering over the gate from Interstate Avenue right where it joins with northbound Larrabee), the racks look well spaced. An employee I ran into who happens to be well-educated about bike racks, said he was concerned that standard hex bolts were used to fasten the racks to the ground, instead of anti-theft bolts. Here are a few more images:

New bike parking at Portland Water Bureau-2.jpg

New bike parking at Portland Water Bureau-1.jpg


(Photo: Portland Water Bureau)

(Photo: Portland Water Bureau)

A Water Bureau spokesperson says about 320 employees work in these buildings on Interstate, which houses the agency’s maintenance, construction, and operations facilities. During the Bike Commute Challenge last fall, the Water Bureau came in fifth place out of 56 agencies in their category. 52 employees logged a total of 725 commutes and rode a total of 7,833 miles. 21 employees notched a 100 percent bike commute rate during the challenge month.

In addition to the bike parking, this project also includes a solar array, an eco-roof, and many water and energy conservation measures.

Water Bureau employees also have areas inside the building where bicycles can be parked.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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  • JeffS February 2, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    “Water Bureau employees also have areas inside the building where bicycles can be parked.”

    That would explain why the outside racks are completely empty.

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  • Dan A February 2, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    I’m curious what kind of deal they got on the covers. We’d like to add covers like that at our elementary school, to cover 50-100 bikes.

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    • paikiala February 2, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      PPS has a standard plan for bike shelter that local parents can build.

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      • Eric February 3, 2016 at 5:22 am

        If you don’t live in Portland, is there a way to acquire these plans? Is there a URL?

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  • Easy February 2, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    I wish these U racks were connected at the bottom, so that even if a thief unbolts the rack, it’s still connected to your bike.

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  • David February 2, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    It looks like a couple of those may cause a bit of leakage during heavy rains due to the slope of the land and the last two sections being built higher than the rest.

    One thing I’ve noticed with every outside structure for bikes is the lack of rain gutters so you don’t have to walk through a shower of water coming off the covered facility. This one does look to be sloped to the back where you aren’t likely to exit, though I wonder how well the corrosion will be for the landscape it is running off to.

    It’s a great start, but like a lot of things it can be the little details that could make it awesome.

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    • Paul Z February 2, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      Good points about rain gutters, but I think you meant “erosion”.

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      • David February 2, 2016 at 3:11 pm

        You are right, I did mean erosion, too bad I don’t see an edit button to correct that.

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  • Todd Boulanger February 2, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    This parking looks like a great summer/ fall period “overflow” long term parking lot.

    As long term parking…It meets the code but perhaps not the intent as it is not a best practice for long term parking in the NW [if no indoor parking existed]…

    …as it one may need to think about the direction that weather/ wind typically approaches the site may make these rain covers less protective.

    The design used may be best for tropical/ southern intense heavy rainfall versus lighter continuous rains like the NW has…I would hazard a guess that at least half of the the bike will be wet or an additional wall / half wall will need to be added in the future (depending on how nice the indoor parking is and if it reaches capacity.)

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  • Todd Boulanger February 2, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    PS. is there a good design or operational reason why the roofing looks to be so high above the racking? (A lower roof would be better for keeping more of the bike dry.)

    [This relationship might be best to include in the upcoming bike parking code update.]

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  • Curtis Roth February 2, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    As a Water Bureau employee and regular bike commuter, I prefer to park inside. However, a windward wall on these new covered racks would be highly desirable for those who are willing to park outside. I want my raingear to dry out during my workday.

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  • Mossby Pomegranate February 2, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Ugh. You are so welcome Water Bureau. Looking at my latest water bill…

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  • B. Carfree February 2, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    I find it disappointing that so many public employees are driving. Looking at that, it appears that there are car parking spaces closer to the building than the bike parking, which should never happen, imo, and there are quite a few more spaces to park cars than there are bike parking spaces. This covered bike parking comes under the category of a very small baby step.

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    • Curtis Roth February 2, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      Those car parking spaces are actually for work vehicles. This is located at the field operations building – dump trucks and other utility vehicles park here.

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    • Dan A February 3, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      Half of the bike parking at our elementary school is by the portables in the back, with enough racks for about 1/4th of the kids. The rest of the bikes are leaned up on the building or just laid down in the grass (mud). The racks are not covered, or in view of any of the classrooms (anyone want to steal a bunch of kids’ bikes?). The path to school is crowded and partially underwater, forcing the majority of the kids to ride through 100 yards of muddy grass to school. I have had to keep our old bikes around (the ones our boys have outgrown) so that they would have crap bikes to take to school because I can’t keep up with the cleaning — it looks like they have finished a cyclocross race every time they come home. Their chains are filled with mud, grit & rust.

      There is, apparently, no money from the BSD to upgrade any of this, despite the fact that they cut multiple bus routes for our school.

      That said, the school does have a recently redesigned pull-through lot for DRIVERS, allowing those parents to drop their kids 40 feet from the front door. So we’ve got that going for us.

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  • doug B February 2, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Good for the Water Bureau, it would be great if more employers did something similar.

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