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Things people asked BikePortland this week

Posted by on November 9th, 2018 at 5:09 pm

“I found a stolen bike the other day at the Rose City Golf Course. Any suggestions on what to do with it?

BikePortland is really neat.

One of many things about my role in the community that I don’t think most people appreciate or realize is how much of a concierge BikePortland has become.

From the mundane to the ridiculous and everything in between, BikePortland is the place people come with all sorts of requests and questions. I love that this happens. It’s a sign that people are aware of BikePortland and it reinforces how much this site means to our community. And as a reporter, this is how I find many of my best sources and stories.

On that note, I thought it’d be fun to share just a tiny sampling of the emails I get. Keep in mind that these are just some of the inquiries I received in the past seven days or so…

It’s great that the Springwater Corridor is back open, but not so great that the homeless continue to be menacing farther east. I rode it from Sellwood to Gresham and back yesterday and there were trashy camps and people blocking the path just west of 82nd and around the intersection with the I205 bike path. What can I do as a cyclist? Report what I see? To whom?

In the past few days I have encountered bike lanes that are so chock full of leaves that it is impossible to ride through them, forcing me out in the street.  Is there someone to contact about this?

I was hoping that you may be able to give me some advice. I had the most unfortunate experience this morning of being nearly run over not once, but twice. The first time was by a garbage truck, the second was by a trimet maintenance truck. The garbage truck ran a stop sign and cut the corner, the trimet truck blatantly ran a red light… This is all part of the larger issue of the inherent danger of motor vehicles and perhaps I’m just peeved because this literally just happened. But I would like to lodge some sort of complaint to the city about this behavior and I’m totally unsure of where to send it!

We’re a group of graduate students working on a research project about the [redacted] project… After reading your articles on the project, we hoped that you could direct us to someone who could give us some perspective on the dynamics that went on behind the project.

I found a stolen bike the other day at the Rose City Golf Course. I brought it home and then posted it on ‘Next Door’. No one has come forward for the bike. It’s a kids 20″ BMX bike. Any suggestions on what to do with it?

Do you, or do you know of any business they will accept bicycle helmets as a donation? I work at a preschool /after school care facility and I have about 20 bike helmets. Thank you!


I’m looking to talk to Steven Mitchell regarding the video he posted on SW Terwilliger. We would like to talk to him about the incident with the truck driver and issues on that road as it relates to all the leaves. If you could pass along my info to him or send me his email, I would greatly appreciate it!

I just got a new Metrofiets [cargo bike] but no rain canopy. Do you know where I can get one or who built them or if another one fits? Thanks for an answer in advance, from Germany.

We at The University of [redacted] are conducting a study of bikeshare policy in cities such as Portland, and my team and I are seeking to interview those individuals with influence or input over the process of regulating/managing bikeshare programs… Would you be interested in taking part in a phone interview to discuss the subject?


And yes, I do answer as many of these as I can. I’m honored that people trust me with these questions and I feel it’s an important service BikePortland can provide to the community. I wish I could keep up with all of it, but it’s just not always possible. I feel bad for the people who I’ve left hanging! Seriously. It’s me, not you. Please feel free to re-up your email. Your messages never bother me.

I’ve shared these to show the crazy variety of what people ask about. I also wanted to remind you that BikePortland is just me and that it takes a lot of work to do this job. Most people assume BikePortland is an organization with staff. But it’s just me. I would love to have someone on staff to take over concierge duties (and a million other things!); but I haven’t been able to make that happen yet. It’s a real struggle to keep this operation afloat financially right now, but I love what we’ve created here and I’ll fight for it until the very end.

If you think BikePortland matters and that it has value in our community, please support it. Now’s a great time to do some advertising of your brand or business. You can make a one-time contribution or become a monthly subscriber here.


— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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    David Hampsten November 9, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    You are a great resource, even when we disagree with you.

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    Caitlin D November 9, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    You are such a great community resource. Thank you for doing what you do!

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    9watts November 9, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Agreed. Agreed.

    And yes, support bikeportland!

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    Mark smith November 9, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    You could be the city of Portland and respond in 8 to 16 weeks…..

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    Eric Leifsdad November 9, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Such great questions, many of which I would also like to know the answers. How about an FAQ feature?

    Why does the city insist on having a complaint-driven process to keep leaves and vegetation out of the bike lane in places where the problems are predictable and seasonally recurring? Sure, I can put it on my calendar to file a complaint, but what if PBOT did that instead of paying someone to sort through 50 reports of the same thing?

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      9watts November 9, 2018 at 8:37 pm

      My favorite comment – of the month!

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    Steve November 10, 2018 at 7:45 am

    The Springwater Corredor trail is governed and maintain by the Portland parks. You can call Portland Park Rangers at (503) 823-1637. Someone will answer and you can explain what you see and they usually send someone out within a few days. I’ll call when the encampments become to large so as not to allow them to become established or when they are blocking the trail and I see excessive garbage and or glass. They have been pretty responsive since the big standoff two years ago.

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    Don't Stop Be-Glenn-ing November 10, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    Unfortunately to get an intern or helper, you may end up having to answer a bunch more emails…

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    Resopmok November 10, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    What about a weekly “ask BikePortland” which contains a collection of questions to be answered by commenters? I realize the answers might not always be a tactful, but the wide range of experience may produce answers you don’t have on your own. And, it’s a lot less time to collect and post the questions than to try responding to them individually.

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      9watts November 10, 2018 at 9:54 pm

      “might not always be a tactful…”

      …we could be on our best behavior.

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    Andy K November 12, 2018 at 10:44 am

    Jonathan, can you just make a list of rules and guidance tailored for Biking in Portland, like this?


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    dan November 12, 2018 at 11:15 am

    How about bringing back the forum? I assume that it went away because moderation was too time-consuming, but surely you could find a moderation team that could take the burden away from you? You could even (and I’m not sure this is something that would be appealing because it involves an external site) start a /bikeportland subreddit, which means the technical details would be handled for you and you just need to find moderators.

    Just my $.02. Thanks for creating this great resource for Portland cyclists!

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    Catie November 12, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    I live in Rose City Park and have successfully reunited two people with stolen bikes that turned out to have been purchased from Bike Gallery. I recommend adding it to the Rose City Park/Roseway Buy Nothing group as well and calling the local bike shops.

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