Bow ties, butterflies, and bikes adorn new Lloyd mural

“The Lloyd District has been seen as less vibrant than it really is…we wanted to create a new entrance to our district.”

-Joshua Baker

If you’ve biked across the new carfree Blumenauer Bridge (and hopefully you have by now), you’ve probably noticed a huge, colorful mural welcoming you to the Lloyd neighborhood on the north side of the bridge. The mural — which covers a large swath of a Metro-owned parking garage on NE 7th and Lloyd Blvd — was done in collaboration between Metro, the Portland Street Art Alliance, the Lloyd Community Association and local artist Jeremy Nichols. It was completed earlier this fall, and we finally got a chance to find out a little more about it.

Joshua Baker, a Lloyd Community Association board member and Outreach Program Manager for the Lloyd EcoDistrict organization, shared some insights about the mural. He said organizations in the Lloyd neighborhood wanted to use the construction of the Blumenauer Bridge as an opportunity to collaborate on a project to represent the neighborhood and its many unsung virtues.

Muralist Jeremy Nichols stands in front of his piece. (Photo: Portland Street Art Alliance)

“The Lloyd District has been seen by the rest of Portland as less vibrant than it really is,” Baker told me. “We wanted to create a new entrance to our district.”

One of the reasons the Blumenauer Bridge installation was so exciting and prompted so much fanfare is because it provides a vital link between the Central Eastside and Lloyd neighborhoods across I-84. Now that people walking and biking have this new connection, it opens up many more opportunities for revitalization in both districts, which are currently lacking in some amenities compared to other inner Portland neighborhoods. Since the bridge opened in August, NE 7th has cemented itself as one of Portland’s most critical north-south bikeways and a major player in the Green Loop initiative.

One of the Lloyd’s most notable virtues is the presence of diverse public transportation options. The mural highlights the Lloyd’s status as a Portland transportation hub, featuring bikes — both upright and recumbent — and a TriMet map, as well as a white cane to represent transportation accessibility.

A September press release for the mural quoted Metro’s Capital Asset Management Director Ryan Kinsella discussing the transit elements of the mural:

 “It’s fitting that the Metro Regional Center can be a canvas for a mural that resonates with our goals and values of conserving natural areas and planning for the region’s long-term transportation needs! With this new mural, we look forward to inviting our communities across the Blumenauer Bridge, into the Lloyd District and their Metro Regional Center.”

Beyond the transit illustrations, the most prominent elements of this mural are all the depictions of flowers and pollinators — like bees, monarch butterflies and a lovely giant hummingbird. The Lloyd EcoDistrict organization has led a ‘pollinator corridor’ initiative, putting native plants in green areas on NE Multnomah street to create an environment where pollinating animals can thrive. (And in placing these plants along Multnomah, the street became the first ‘pollinator corridor’ bikeway in the country!)

These are just a few mural highlights — if you have a few minutes to look at it, try to spot some other more hidden elements. (My favorite are the Earl Blumenauer-inspired bowtie butterflies.)

It’s great to see the Lloyd district experience new life thanks to all the organizations invested in making it a hub for Portland coolness. This mural is emblematic of its rebirth, so make sure you check it out and brighten up a gloomy winter day.

Taylor Griggs (Staff Writer)

Taylor Griggs (Staff Writer)

Taylor has been BikePortland's staff writer since November 2021. She has also written for Street Roots and Eugene Weekly. Contact her at taylorgriggswriter@gmail.com

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

13 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
soren
soren
11 months ago

Lloyd Community Association

Nice mural but if the LCA really wants to support people cycling they could ask the Lloyd Center Mall, Double Tree Hotel, Hassalo on Eighth, and Kaiser to stop blowing massive piles of leaves into the Multnomah bike lane.

I’m really tired of being honked at or screamed at by drivers because I exited the bike lane to avoid piles of wet leaves in the bike lane (with the sidewalks and plaza areas mostly devoid of leaves).

And in placing these plants along Multnomah, the street became the first ‘pollinator corridor’ bikeway in the country!

I guess having flowers in the large concrete barrels is nice but they often leak piles of dirt and debris into the bike lane.

maccoinnich
11 months ago

Whatever happened to plans for a permanent design for NE Multnomah? Five years ago there was supposedly funding secured for design work, but if a design was done I don’t recall it ever being made public. I see that I also complained at the time about construction starting in “3-5 years” as being too slow. Alas…

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Admin
Reply to  maccoinnich

great question maccoinnich. will look into that and consider a story.

Serenity
Serenity
11 months ago
Reply to  maccoinnich

Maybe they’ll start thinking about it again after the downtown Ritz Carlton is finished.

Paloma M
Paloma M
11 months ago

Very pretty. I like it. But what I ask is this mural doing to further racial justice? Can we add BIPOC images to it? If not, it should be removed ASAP as an affront to all BIPOC.

Solar Eclipse
Solar Eclipse
11 months ago
Reply to  Paloma M

Yes, because plants, birds, and insects are major members of the White Supremacy Industrial Complex.

Matt
Matt
11 months ago
Reply to  Solar Eclipse

It could be argued that since BIPOCs do not have access to outdoor natural areas there is some inequity there for sure.

Big Agnes
Big Agnes
11 months ago
Reply to  Matt

How would you argue that BIPOCs don’t have access to outdoor natural areas?

Matt
Matt
11 months ago
Reply to  Big Agnes

Many BIPOCs lack the transportation to get to natural areas. Then add fees and other costs that further add to the financial strain.

qqq
qqq
11 months ago

I like the mural and the article.

FDUP
FDUP
11 months ago

Sure the mural is beautiful but it’s not gonna solve any issues on the street w/r/t cyclists’ safety or socially/culturally w/r/t BIPOC issues, what was anyone thinking?

soren
soren
11 months ago
Reply to  FDUP

Urbanists love abstract “anti-racist” murals installed with the people’s money that “activate” space in wealthy mostly-white inner Portland. They don’t love the redistribution that would allow the many black and latino/e people who work in the Lloyd district to afford housing in inner NE/SE Portland.

Betsy Reese
Betsy Reese
11 months ago

Beautiful. I love the fur and feathers.

It is nice to see a handcycle depicted.