PORTLAND, Ore -- They are big, orange, and popping up all over Portland, but not everybody is thrilled with the new bike racks for Biketown.
“It’s unsightly, for one,” said Tab Waterman.
Waterman has lived at the corner of Southeast Cesar Chavez Boulevard and Taylor Street for 17 years. You will be hard pressed to find anything that has bothered him more than the orange bike racks.
“I just don’t want it in front of my house,” he said.
Biketown is Portland’s new bike sharing program, which makes available 1,000 bikes at 100 stations all over the city.
Waterman says the bike rack in front of his house takes up several parking spots in an already parking-poor neighborhood. He said he was notified about the project only three weeks ago.
“Felt like it was very intentional that the people most impacted were excluded from the conversation,” said Waterman.
City leaders say that was not the case at all, and there was a robust public engagement process. There were dozens of meetings with community groups and businesses and there were a handful of public workshops.
“This is a system for Portlanders and we wanted that input,” said John Brady of the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “We wanted to know where people thought bike stations should be.”
Waterman thinks the bike rack in front of his house should be moved a block north to a big parking lot, but he is not holding his breath.
“If it happens to be here it happens to be here,” he said.
Biketown launches on July 19.