The town of Milwaukie borders Portland just to the south, and it’s a lovely place to live. Besides its river views, great parks and gorgeous Craftsman houses, Milwaukie’s enjoying newfound popularity thanks to the recent arrival of the new Orange Line -- a light rail project that whisks residents to downtown Portland car-free in under 30 minutes. What it doesn’t have is a bike shop.
For a community so perfectly suited to low-car living, this is kind of a problem. According to local group Bike Milwaukie, the number of families using bikes to get around has shot up in recent years, but they have to head north for repairs and tune-ups. So Bike Milwaukie had an idea: they might not be able to start up a new bike shop, but wouldn’t a publicly accessible bike repair station be the next best thing?
Through a successful Kickstarter project, Bike Milwaukie and 33 (mostly local) donors banded together to raise $2800 for a high-quality bike repair stand, built by Minneapolis-based Bike Fixtation. The stand, purchased through Huntco, features Allen keys, screwdrivers, tire levers, pedal, headset and cone wrenches, and a heavy duty pump: everything you need to conduct basic maintenance and quick fixes. Better yet, the organizers at Bike Milwaukie worked with the local government to get the stand installed in a high profile location right in front of City Hall.
Even though we didn’t build this particular piece of infrastructure, it’s nice to be reminded how the right amenity in the right place can do more than just fill a need — it can help focus an entire community.