After roller-coaster year, Portland Design Works looks ahead to 2017

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
The Portland Design Works team: (L to R) Jocelyn Gaudi, marketing manager; Matt Cittadini, sales manager; Hazel Gross, office manager; Chris Smitherman, warehouse and customer service coordinator; Erik Olson, founder.(Photos: J. Maus & PDW)
The Portland Design Works team: (L to R) Jocelyn Gaudi, marketing manager; Matt Cittadini, sales manager; Hazel Gross, office manager; Chris Smitherman, warehouse and customer service coordinator; Erik Olson, founder.
(Photos: J. Maus & PDW)

Just over eight years since he founded Portland Design Works, 37-year-old Erik Olson is about close out one of the toughest ones yet. In the past six months he’s endured the departure of his co-founder and business partner, lagging sales thanks to a global downturn in the bike industry, pesky counterfeiters, and an unexpected cross-town move. Despite these hurdles, Olson is sanguine about the future.

“We’re moving in the right direction as a company,” he shared from the floor of his warehouse on Southeast 21st Avenue during a visit yesterday. They’re located just a stones-throw from the new Lafayette Street Bridge (which he and other employees use with their bikes every day) and the Orange MAX line.

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Collision Chronicles: A ‘traumatic’ close call while biking down Interstate Ave

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
North Interstate before Russell.
North Interstate before Russell.

This story is part of our Collision Chronicles, an ongoing series to shine a light on the constant stream of scary street interactions we hear about but that you won’t read about in the news.

This account was posted by the victim Jocelyn Gaudi to her Facebook page yesterday. Gaudi, a very experienced rider and well-known local advocate who sits on several city transportation advisory committees, has given us permission to publish it here.

This morning, I experienced the closest call I’ve ever had while riding in Portland. To say that it was a traumatic experience is to short sell the negative impact that it had and will continue to have on me.

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