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The Tram is closed! How do I go by bike? (Day 3)

Friday, June 29th, 2018

Day 6 of the tram closure, and my third day of commuting to the hill without riding the tram. It’s a cool, overcast 60 degrees — perfect for a walk up the hill! OHSU and Go By Tram have provided walking maps for folks wanting to get up and down the hill by foot.

My first decision point (well, after deciding to walk up)! Do I take the stairs or the elevator?

The stairs. There are 132 steps to the Gibbs Street Pedestrian Overpass. This overpass connects South Waterfront to the Lair Hill Neighborhood, crossing over I-5.

There are plenty of wayfinding markings on the ground. Some look official, but others look more like more instruction was needed.

Walking through the Lair Hill neighborhood is wonderful! It would be even better if auto traffic wasn’t pushed through. There is lot of interesting artworks on display at the homes there, and wonderful gardens and plants. It’s interesting to see the view of the neighborhood on ground level rather than from above.

A tunnel!

More stairs.


Crossing Barbur Blvd. I wish this crossing had a call signal and flashing lights.

Once past Barbur I was on the last leg. This path goes through the houses at the base of(and on) Marquam Hill.

I’m glad it was a cool overcast morning, because that was a workout! Way more effort than riding the ebike yesterday! But other than crossing Barbur it was a peaceful and enjoyable walk. I actually have been using this route leaving the hill each day. It’s a good way to wind down, do a brain clear and prepare for the ride home.

So that’s it for this series. There are other ways (bus, shuttle, riding my own bike) to get up to work during the tram shutdown but I don’t feel the need to document them all. I hope you enjoyed reading about my commute. Please let me know if you have any questions and say hi if you see me riding (or walking) around!

The Tram is closed! How do I go by bike? (Day 2)

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

My first time using bike share and my first time on an e-bike. Wheeee!
(Photos: Armando Luna)

Today is day 5 of the Portland Aerial Tram shutdown, but for me it’s only the second day I’ve had to deal with getting up the hill without riding the tram. Monday I telecommuted, yesterday I rode one of the shuttles and today I am taking an e-bike. Today was actually my very first time using bike share and riding an ebike.

I chose the Jump bike because I had already downloaded the app and the Lime bikes just arrived yesterday and I don’t have the app yet. OHSU has partnered with these companies to let students and staff use the bikes to get to OHSU, so the usage area is confined to the South Waterfront and the OHSU campus.

After checking my bike in at the Go By Bike valet (Whitaker lot), I opened up the Sobi app and reserved a Jump bike. There were only two, so I got lucky. I as I was trying to remember my pin, my coworker Jennifer showed up and reserved the other bike. She used the Jump bike yesterday to ride up the hill, so I asked her if we could ride together. I loaded my bag and speaker into the Jump bike basket and we were on our way.

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The tram is closed! How do I go by bike? (Day 1)

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

As a weekday commuter to OHSU, I am admittedly excited for the tram to be out of service until July 30th. Why? Because I will have a chance to shake up my normal bike commuter from the Hollywood neighborhood to the tram. Most of the commute will be the same but once I cross the Tilikum bridge I will have a few options on getting to the hill.

What’s happening with the tram? The track ropes need to be shifted. This is scheduled about every 10 years. Here’s a video about the process and you can also learn more from Jonathan’s post last week.

Today I rode into the Whitaker lot. The is the lot nearest to the tram’s regular Go By Bike lot, which is where I usually park. Shuttles queue up here to take employees, patients and guests up to the hill. The wait this morning was short, but if you don’t want to stand in line and wait there’s a cornhole game set up to pass the time.

As I was parking my bike with Go By Bike, Lime Bike was unloading their ebikes for folks to use to ride up the hill from the South Waterfront. They are joining the Jump ebikes that have also been made available for people wanting some e-assistance in riding up the hill.

Since today was my first day, I decided to take one of the shuttles up. The shuttle I rode did not have a bike rack, but as I reach the Kohler Pavilion on the hill I saw that the shuttle behind me did, so I could have loaded my bike if I wanted to bring it with me.

Tomorrow I am planning on leaving my bike at the Schnitzer Lot and riding an ebike up to the OHSU Student Center, where one of the auxiliary bike valet locations is located.
As I reached the tram level of Kohler Pavilion, I got to see some of the rope workers out for a walk.

Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll try to answer them.

Subscriber Post: An interview with Friday-morning funsters PDX Coffee Outside

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

attackcowboy attacking a donut

Will Christenson

This is a subscriber post by Armando Luna.

PDXCoffeeOutside is a group of bike riders and coffee lovers who meet every Friday to grind, brew and enjoy their coffee in the great outdoors of Portland. The organizers pick a different spot each week, which you can learn about on their Instagram feed, @pdxcoffeeoutside. I’ve attend a few of these gatherings this summer and asked one of the organizers, Will Christenson, a few questions.

What started PDXCoffeeOutside?
PDX Coffee Outside started because a group of friends had a desire to meet up in the mornings before work (hence the 7am start time), make coffee, and socialize. Most of us have a bunch of camping gear anyways, so it’s a good excuse to use that, and we’re also pretty passionate about coffee.

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