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Three new bikeway characters come to life in north Portland

Posted by on April 23rd, 2021 at 3:11 pm

A PBOT maintenance staffer installs a character on North Blandena Street.
(Photos: City of Portland)

The latest members of Portland’s cute and quirky cast of bikeway characters have come to life.

Earlier this month Portland Bureau of Transportation crews installed the three winners from the 2020 Bike to Books contest. Launched in 2017, the competition is a partnership with Multnomah County Library (with funding from Metro) to encourage youth cycling during National Bike Month.

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The three new designs were installed in north Portland.

As you check them out below, notice how good PBOT crews have gotten at implementing the designs. They’ve become highly-skilled thermoplastic artisans!

Design by Nathan Monroe-Ramberg.

“Rainbow Trout,” was designed by Nathan Monroe-Ramberg is the winner in the 7th – 12th grade category. This design is swimming along on N Concord Avenue at Ainsworth Street. Swipe to see this design come to life.


Design by Lola May Watters.

“Too many babies,” designed by Lola May Watters is the 3rd – 6th grade winner. This is design is clucking away on N Blandena Street at N Kerby Avenue. Swipe to see this design come to life.


Design by Corinne Barclay.

“Strawberry on a bicycle,” designed by Corinne Barclay is the Pre-K to 2nd grade winner. You can find this berry good design jammin’ at N Bryant Street west of N Missouri Avenue. Swipe to see this design come to life.


Portland has been creating bike lane characters since 1999. It started on a whim by a maintenance employee and has evolved through the years to become a “museum of random bike art” and beloved tradition among PBOT staff and the public. Learn more about the Bike to Books program at Portland.gov.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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David Hampsten
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David Hampsten

It’s become a nationwide trend for bored maintenance workers. In my community of Greensboro NC we have at least one smoking rider and various university colors ones. The other fun thing to look for are the designs that pavement sealers make with black tar, to seal the cracks in asphalt – some of them are really hilarious and even obscene.

Maria Lartz
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Maria Lartz

Smoking rider in NC. Very fitting. Can one still smoke in the grocery store there?

David Hampsten
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David Hampsten

Nope. In fact, I’d say the smoking rate is lower here in NC than what I saw when living in Portland, with no smoking in bars or restaurants of course. Most of the tobacco processing plants are long gone – cheaper to process the weed overseas. But they still grow it here, just not as much.

What is interesting is that when you bike into a neighborhood near a closed tobacco processing or storage facility, all the houses nearby still reek of stale tobacco – in predominantly Black neighborhoods, of course, where they were allowed to live by the governing whites, downwind of the smelly factories. The poor neighborhoods downwind of closed textile and furniture plants on the other hand have no lingering smell. And the new factories have scrubbers, such as at Proctor & Gamble, Volvo, or Honda Jet.

Josie Wilms
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Josie Wilms

Super Cool. Love ‘em! The fish is my favorite. Very Portland of old.
Now I just wish PBOT could sweep the gravel from the bike lanes, ticket those who park in them and get rid of all the burned out and junked cars I see all over.
Get back to the city motto of “the city that works” That plus these fun bike sharrows will make me very happy.

mh
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Picture(s), please!

FDUP
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FDUP

Cute but too many layers of thermoplastic is uncomfortable to ride over.

John Mackelnary
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John Mackelnary

Another year of rampant pedestrian & cyclist fatalities while PBOT is focused on doodles

squareman
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The people facilitating putting these doodles down are not the ones in power to approve major projects (particularly the large budgets), nor are they ones deciding city policy. Don’t hang them for providing what little joy we get from them in the lanes.

Steve Hash
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Steve Hash

Thanks PBOT, I don’t agree with a lot of your decisions, but continuing this “tradition” is fantastic!!

Laralyn Ellsworth
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Laralyn Ellsworth

The strawberry has four arms instead of arms and legs. They installed the leg pieces in the wrong spot… Whoops!

joan
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I get that people are grumbly about this, but I find it quite charming and appreciate the whimsy.