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Artists Help Restart Tradition of Whimsical Stencils on Portland Bike Lanes

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

 

Stencil designed by Addie Boswell and Damon Eckhoff, marks the return of a Portland tradition. Photo Credit: PBOT

After a long absence, Portland street maintenance crews have once again begun installing bike-stencil characters on city streets and two local artist are in the mix.

Three new stencils have been installed on the streets, a homage to Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, a ‘Super Heroine’ and a biker with animal ears and a hamster in his wheel.

The recently installed super heroine stencil was designed with the help of local Portland artists Addie Boswell and Damon Eckhoff, according to Diane Dulkins, spokeswoman for the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Portland once had a plethora of little bike characters spread out across its expansive bike lane network.

Many of the older stencils have been covered up or paved over.  A PBOT staffer recently noted that crews had not done any in a while, according to Dulkins

“We called down to the maintenance crew and said ‘how about that?’’ Dulken said.

Newly installed stencil on SE 122nd Street and Foster Road. Photo Credit: PBOT

During the recession the stencils fell to the bottom of the priority list, as crew were stretched thin and working long hours, according to Dulken.

The stencils are made from scrap material and are designed by maintenance crew in their spare time. Dulken said the stencils weren’t the work of any one particular person. But recently crews got together to plan for the resurgence of the happy road markers and enlisted the help of Boswell and Eckhoff. 

“You’ve heard of Do It Yourself, this is Do It Together,” Dulken said. “They are really fun and creative additions to the Portland’s streetscape.”

The comeback has gotten some attention from local media as local news agencies widely noted the Mariota stencil after it was installed.

“This is what happens when you take pride in the city,” Dulken said.  “This creative spirit is what happens.”

 

 

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15. Minneapolis- St. Paul

95 million average public transit trips in 2013 

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14. Denver-Aurora, CO

102 million average public transit trips in 2013

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13. San Diego, CA

104 million average public transit trips in 2013

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12. Baltimore, MD

106 million average public transit trips in 2013

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11. Portland, OR

112 million average public transit trips in 2013

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10. Atlanta, GA

140 million average public transit trips in 2013

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9. Miami, FL

171 million average public transit trips in 2013

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8. Seattle, WA

202 million average public transit trips in 2013

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7. Philadelphia, PA

371 million average public transit trips in 2013

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6. Boston, MA

402 million average public transit trips in 2013

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5. San Francisco-Oakland,

443 million average public transit trips in 2013

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4. Washington DC

476 million average public transit trips in 2013

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3. Chicago, IL

648 million average public transit trips in 2013

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2. Los Angeles-Long Beach

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1. New York-Newark, NY

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