Big sale at Community Cycling Center

Here’s how Multnomah County promotes bicycling (video)

Posted by on May 25th, 2016 at 1:56 pm

The vast majority of stories about road projects and transportation policies we publish here on BikePortland are about the City of Portland. The Oregon Department of Transportation is probably in second and Metro would be a close third. And then, way behind them all is Multnomah County. Because the County doesn’t control many newsmaking bikeways and they don’t hold as much sway over important transportation policies as PBOT, ODOT, or Metro, we can go months without even mentioning them.

But don’t forget about Multnomah County!

On that note, the County shared a new video with us today that we felt was worth a look. Given how rare it is that we cover County Chair Deborah Kafoury, we were excited to see how she’d talk about cycling.

The video is short and sweet. It features an intro/outro from Chair Kafoury and quick takes from several County employees who ride bikes to work.

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County employees getting ready to ride.(Photo: Still from County video)

County employees getting ready to ride.
(Photo: Still from County video)

Here’s what Chair Kafoury says:

“Biking to work, to school, or to run errands is a stress-free way to get around Multnomah County. It’s also a great way to have fun with my family without a car and connect with our community up close. Biking also helps to keep our air clean by reducing car pollution. I rode my bike into work today and instead of burning fuel, I burned calories.”

And employee Mary-Margaret Wheeler-Weber:

“I like to ride because it can get me to where I want to go, faster than the bus can a lot of times, and it gives me a little fun time while I’m getting there.”

And employee Olivia Quiroz:

“I overcome barriers by practicing. I think that you need to get on your bike, feel confident, go at your own pace, read up before it if you don’t know the routes, get some maps, it’s OK there’s friendly bikers all over the city. I’ve gotten lost before and they’ve directed me to the right place.”

And employee Sam Baraso:

“When I get to ride with other people there’s this clan, when I’m riding in a bike way, there’s this sort of acknowledgement that we’re all in it together so I do like riding with people.”

And someone who goes by “Dan the Man”:

“Have fun. This is all about relaxation, taking care of yourself, taking care of your community. There’s nobody putting pressure on you, except you. Start slow, figure it out, just enjoy.”

As promotional videos from government agencies go, this one isn’t bad. There’s not an over-emphasis on safety and the employees make good points about why they bike. Not sure why the video has to live under the “Sustainable” umbrella. Bicycling is a transportation mode but for some reason agencies love to frame it as an environmental thing for some reason.

What do you think?

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

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27 Comments
  • Avatar
    JeffS May 25, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Brought to you by the helmet lobby.
    Better be safe when you’re running those stop signs. 😉

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. May 25, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Biking to work, to school, or to run errands is a stress-free way to get around Multnomah County.

    Stress free is a bit of an overstatement…

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      Charley May 25, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      Word. But there are more low stress routes in the city these days. Clinton, for example, has gotten better.

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      Dan A May 25, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      No doubt. I rode in yesterday at 8am instead of 5am and it was an eye-opening experience. Holy cow drivers be crazy. Had a woman nearly u-turn into me, and someone in a Honda Element come around a blind corner directly towards me in my lane in Washington Park, among numerous other odd scenarios I never see in the wee hours. I don’t know how some of you keep your cool.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. May 25, 2016 at 3:47 pm

        Yep, welcome to my world… Lots of impatient and aggressive drivers in the Southeast morning rush hour. I had a driver pace me driving on the wrong side of the road for four blocks on Clinton yesterday. I’ve had drivers make U-turns right into my path, honk and scream at me, and chase me down just to scare me. After a while, it gets to you.

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          andrew May 25, 2016 at 9:36 pm

          I had some d-bag drive on the wrong side of the road so he could cut in front on me 30 feet before a red light a few nights ago. Not nearly as bad or dangerous as the lets’s-see-how-close-I-can-drive-behind-this-cyclist folks

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    Kittens May 25, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Well done little video! Do you know why they made it?

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) May 25, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      pretty sure just for Bike Month and Bike More Challenge reasons. This is the month all the gov’t agencies are trying to show how bikey they are.

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        Dan A May 25, 2016 at 3:20 pm

        The school districts could show how bikey they are by closing off the school parking lots for a month. Make it harder to drive, and parents might make other choices.

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    Sam May 25, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Dan ‘the Man’ is Sheriff Dan Staton. Interesting.

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      nuovorecord May 25, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      Well, he DID just give up his car. 😉

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      rider May 26, 2016 at 9:18 am

      I don’t think it is, the characteristic whistle on the “S” sound isn’t there.

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      el_timito May 26, 2016 at 11:33 am

      I know Dan ‘the Man’. I’ve ridden with Dan ‘the Man’. He, sir, is no Sheriff Staton.

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    soren May 25, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    I applaud Multnomah County for putting out this Idaho Stop Promotion Video!

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    Dan A May 25, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    “Dan” the Man? His nickname is Dan?

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    Carl May 25, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    This video is such a relief — such a departure from the usual fearmongering safety lecture. Its focus seems to be on fun, health, and doing things at your own pace. I love that these are real county employees on their real bikes, too. Nicely done, Multnomah County.

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    Holtz May 25, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Meanwhile, Chair Kafoury deleted general fund support for the Willamette Bridges bike/ped access study. Staff requested $100,000. Kafoury settled on zero. Background on the study and future project plans: http://bikeportland.org/2015/04/24/countys-bridges-may-get-33-million-biking-walking-upgrades-2020-139877

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      JeffS May 25, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      I don’t know what here motivation was, but Portland could do with a few less studies, discussions and trials.

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        Holtz May 27, 2016 at 5:32 pm

        The study is meant to help the county plan for effective spending of many millions of dollars on bridge projects over the next decade or two… taking into account the growth in biking and walking on the Willamette bridges.

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      still riding after all that May 26, 2016 at 1:03 am

      A politician said one thing but did something else? Say it ain’t so!

      Yet Portland will now have a new gas tax, putting many more million$ of our dollar$ on the table. That money will probably find its way into the pockets of our “leaders” and their cronies instead of being used for things that might actually help some of us. SMH – I think that’s the acronym being used by the younger generation these days.

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    danny May 26, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Nice video overall. But obey stop signs, at least in government promotional pieces!

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    pdxbikeworm May 27, 2016 at 2:03 am

    I worked in the county for many years, and bike commuted for much of that time. County facilities are particularly well placed for bike commuting, being closely located to MAX stations/frequent bus lines, with good bike access, and good bike parking accommodations. From the beginning, the county solidly supported my bike commuting. They respected why I wanted to do it, and they gave me space to figure out how to make it work. The link to Sustainability has particular resonance – Amy Joslin was the county’s first Sustainability Manager; a wonderfully energetic trailblazer and a big early supporter of bike commuting, who tragically died far too early. The Multnomah Building’s green roof is named after her.

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    nate May 27, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Aren’t they the ones who park a vehicle blocking over half the path across the Morrison Bridge every day?

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    Andrew Kreps June 8, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    You know, that “stress free” comment struck a chord with me and I was ready to call it out, but then I thought better of it. If we really want to get people on bikes, we’re going to have to play the same game the folks who sell cars are. Here are some recent examples of reasons why the makers think you should buy a new car:

    – Brute Intelligence (Audi)
    – This car can help you attract women (VW)
    – Big ideas take a little getting used to (BMW)
    – The perfect getaway vehicle (Kia)
    – Poised, precise and powerful. How it moves is also how it moves you. (Mercedes)
    – Right now, this time is mine. And that’s why I just drive. (Renault)
    – The 2015 Ford Focus believes in more. (Ford)
    – Freedom, sex, being cool. (Pick any)

    No talk of how stressful it is to sit in traffic in a car, nary a word about high-speed head-on collisions. Certainly nothing mentioned about dwindling natural resources, except that they often say it uses ‘less’ than last year’s car. Not even any mention of seat belts, the car world’s “were they wearing a helmet”.

    Using those techniques, global manufacturers sold 2.34 cars every second last year. Think about that for a moment, and you’ll realize the marketing is working.

    I’ve decided I’d like to see more of these. Take the marketability of this ad, and add a healthy dose of the creativity I saw at Filmed by Bike this year, and you might just have a winning combination.

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