Latest city bike stencil pays tribute to a turn of phrase

fish bike

(Photo: Greg Raisman, Portland Bureau of Transportation)

Fish don’t need bicycles. But hey, once in a while they can be useful.

Portland city workers have been putting the fun in infrastructure for many years now, but the generation of color-enhanced thermoplastic stencils that started hitting the streets in 2014 reached new levels of complexity, detail and topical references.

Advertisement

As we wrote last year, the cool thing about this tradition isn’t that the public is getting a little cultural and economic value (which these definitely provide) for free. The cool thing is that Portland is the sort of city that hires the sort of people who are motivated to do things like this on their own time.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
38 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
dan
dan
6 years ago

nice bike salmon, shouldn’t it be facing the other way though?

Dan
Dan
6 years ago

I love the animals on bikes…think I saw a moose earlier this week. The RACC (Regional Arts and Culture Council) should put some funds into this kind of thing instead of spending all their arts tax revenue on hideous sculpture like the “Pile of Rusting Girders” statue at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge.

/rant off.

Spiffy
6 years ago

a great Portland picture… road maintenance, bicycling, and illegal parking… all it’s missing is 2 row houses next to a craftsman…

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
6 years ago
Reply to  Spiffy

Or skinny houses.

Middle of the Road guy
Middle of the Road guy
6 years ago
Reply to  Spiffy

Well, someone complaining on BikePortland does kind of tie it all together.

Adam
6 years ago

I too, often feel like a fish out of water when I cycle on Portland streets.

Travis Fulton
Travis Fulton
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Maybe they can put a violin on a bike for you too.

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  Travis Fulton

I feel like it would be difficult to play a violin and ride a bike at the same time.

Eric Leifsdad
Eric Leifsdad
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Just slow down a bit.

maccoinnich
6 years ago

This reminds me of the last few seconds of this Guinness ad from the 1990s:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRMgMXA1xuc

Mike Johnson
Mike Johnson
6 years ago

Are we really still pretending like this is not done on City time? It’s kind of silly.

matt
matt
6 years ago
Reply to  Mike Johnson

>It’s kind of silly.

And that’s precisely why we should do it. I think we could use a bit more silliness around here.

Eric
Eric
6 years ago

Yay for Gloria Steinem representing!

Joe
Joe
6 years ago

one fish

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  Joe

two fish

Alan Love
Alan Love
6 years ago
Reply to  Joe

Red fish

Dan A
Dan A
6 years ago
Reply to  Joe

Blue fish

CaptainKarma
CaptainKarma
6 years ago

You can tune a bicycle, but you can’t tuna fish.

Brian
Brian
6 years ago
Reply to  CaptainKarma

Woah, an REO allusion. Well done.

Jay
Jay
6 years ago

What I love about these, is, like all good art, the interpretation lies with the viewer… so far we’ve had folks reference Gloria Steinem, “salmon-ing”, Dr. Seuss, fish out of water, and a tuna fish joke.

Awesome.

B. Carfree
B. Carfree
6 years ago

With almost none of our motorists understanding what our basic MUTCD signage means, I’m not a fan of adulterating the signs and pavement markings no matter how cute.

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  B. Carfree

Especially since sharrows are meaningless anyway. 😉

B. Carfree
B. Carfree
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Not quite. They are an explicit statement by the controlling traffic engineer that the lane is too narrow for a motor vehicle to safely (or legally) pass a cyclist while remaining in the lane. This also removes the requirement that cyclists ride as far to the right as practicable.

Sure, it should be obvious that any lane narrower than fourteen feet can be treated this way, but sharrow markings just make it explicit.

paikiala
paikiala
6 years ago
Reply to  B. Carfree

B.

where did you get that interpretation – citation please?

Sharrows, in Portland, denote a street motorists should expect to find higher numbers of cyclists on, as well as provide guidance to cyclists on the greenway bike route.

MUTCD 9C.07 is the ‘official’ statement of purpose.

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  paikiala

Where in the MUTCD does it state that drivers must aggressively zoom around cyclists riding on streets with sharrows?

Chris I
Chris I
6 years ago

Paging BikeSnob…

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris I
Buzz
Buzz
6 years ago

A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.

CaptainKarma
CaptainKarma
6 years ago
Reply to  Buzz

My ex used to say that like it was deeply significant. Now she is without a man, but has a bicycle. So that’s something.

Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  CaptainKarma

Speaking as a man who owns a bicycle, I can definitively tell you that bicycles are more useful. 🙂

soren
6 years ago

It’s nice to see PBOT tacitly endorse bike salmon!
Along with metro’s endorsement of the Idaho stop this reinforces the progressive attitude of our local governments when it comes to cycling behavior.

patrick
6 years ago

Looking forward to the day when we have actual functioning bike infrastructure that whimsically pays homage to sharrows, that silly useless faux-infrastructure craze of the teens.

Portland's Electric Bicycle Shop

I once asked Gloria Steinem if she had an aquarium.

She said she didn’t. Smiling, she asked me why I asked.

I told her if she did, I was going to give her a tiny bicycle for her aquarium with an even smaller little rear license plate that said ‘Just in Case’

Adam
Adam
6 years ago

Anyone know what street this is on?

Pete
Pete
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

SW Salmon?

37Dennis
37Dennis
6 years ago

As a man, I can live without fish, or women…but not my bicycle. Honestly.

Gary B
Gary B
6 years ago

Ah yes, as useful as a bicycle to a fish. Some might say a useful idiom for describing sharrows. Any idea if the worker responsible was seeking the satirical commentary, or just having fun?

Cynthia Manchester
Cynthia Manchester
6 years ago

Where is this green fish art please?