Lack of electrical outlets at Portland parks

Sounds like more of a problem with transit access in their neighborhood than anything. Gateway Green is remarkably accessible for everyone else as long as you’re not starting in SW and trying to deal with a cargo bike.

As usual, I have to remind myself not think too long or dig too deep into these stories. Plenty of ways to get one’s kids and bikes to the trails if that’s what’s we’re really discussing. Instead we get the obfuscated edge case, piggybacking on the popularity of GG’s reopening to push ebike charging infrastructure…


Limited sidewalk in the critical path to get to the destination, lack of street parking and lack of sidewalk makes it unfriendly to pedestrians and bicyclists. Lack of public transportation that offers easy fare evasion (MAX). Homeowners in Southwest Hills and other elitist neighborhoods consider these things a feature, not a limitation. Some of those roads on SW Hills are sketchy to ride as you’re shoulder to shoulder with traffic, but the steep hills and the limited clearance also prevents pedestrians from pushing up grocery carts unlawfully acquired from Burlingame Fred Meyer or Safeway a mile or two south from there. If you read this Collins View Neighborhood Association meeting minutes, the VIP status these elitist neighborhoods have with the police is also quite apparent.

It’s not reasonable to add amenities that attract massive nuisance behaviors to an area just to support the comfort of very handful of rich folks from Southwest Hills when they’re on leisure outings at public expense.

In SE Portland at SE Belmont and SE 17th, Parks department installed gates to resolve neighborhood concerns about drug related criminal offenses, trespassers in park after closing time, and other violation of park codes such as non-park related use of park grounds at Colonel Summers Park.

Before the alteration:

after pavilion

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I think a practical approach would be devices similar to coin operated dryers at Laundromats or credit card machine equipped tire pumps you’ve probably seen at gas stations. ($3.00 or so?) I think the fee should be comparable to the tire pump. Battery or solar powered authentication device and wirelessly activated relay box on the pole or in the vault, so tampering with the station wouldn’t yield access to 120v. Tamper proof is of the utmost importance to keep unwanted persons activity at bay. $3 isn’t bad. The fee would have to cover the installation, maintenance, and the monthly basic charge for the PGE/PacifiCorp account, which may exceed the energy charge.

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I like it, personally. I hope to never see charging stations installed in any of Portland’s parks.

I hate e-bikes, and don’t consider them real bikes at all but more on a par with motor vehicles. They contradict in both theory and practice what cycling should be all about: getting some exercise and sparing this poor human-beleaguered world more mindless consumption and environmental degradation while taking up less room doing so. E-bikes are just another techyuppie gimmick of class-conscious conspicuous consumption.

Before you think to rebut me, of course I think they’re a godsend for people with health and mobility issues that render them unable to use regular muscle-powered bikes. But, who do you see riding these things? Dilbert- and Eggbert-looking dweebs in their 20s and 30s, who probably also spend over $50 a month on gym memberships — people who have no problems pushing pedals.

I think e-bikes and scooters shouldn’t even be allowed on our streets, and that e-bikes should require a permit a doctor signs off on to be owned by anyone. In the meantime, I don’t share my road with them because they don’t belong there. Why not return home from shopping at the New Seasons (a couple blocks down the road lol) in a Gemini space capsule?

That doesn’t stop me from smoking weed and drinking at the picnic table just forty feet away.

I love how NIMBYs always have to engage in a sort of scorched-earth solution to (mostly petty!) vagrant miscreance. Punish everyone because you’re a precious coward with a broken threat-assessment system, instead of forking over some money for surveillance and (quality! not Pacific Patrol or Signal 8) security — they’ve still got their living rooms and balconies, anyway. So it doesn’t matter, right?

Why not just sell the land to out-of-state developers, and keep up with the California model of “progress” and improved quality of life? Make ALL property private, so’s to really show those marginalized people who their betters are! You made them marginalized by making it impossible to afford to rent here, to begin with, and now you make sure they have nowhere to sit down or sleep. It’s a goddamn pogrom.

I like it. We could then go the BIKEYTOWNE route of offering discounted / subsidized access to the disadvantaged.

Ultimately though if you’re clever, you’ll find power sources. Many 7-11s have unguarded power out front and I’ve seen multiple folks charging phones / etc off Trimet display kiosks.

Also of note… the prevalence of gas-powered generators.

@televod, the one thing I found extremely objectionable about the BikeTown for All program was the complete waiver of “out of hub” parking fee prior to the Lyft acquisition which unsurprisingly resulted in antisocial and disorderly behaviors. I have seen transients parking them in ODOT onramp at their encampment basically preventing other people from being able to use it. You would have to trespass to retrieve it.

Thankfully, after the acquisition, the out of area/out of hub fees are reduced, but not eliminated. Unsurprisingly, you see considerably less completely absurd parking behaviors like this when the account holder is held responsible to some degree.

Many 7-11s have unguarded power out front and I’ve seen multiple folks charging phones / etc off Trimet display kiosks.

Also of note… the prevalence of gas-powered generators.

If this was a location I use or in my neighborhood and I see vagrant phone charging activity, it would warrant a complaint to corporate customer relations that advises them of unauthorized use and potential for safety related concerns if someone plugs in a sketchy device, leave it out in the rain and a kid was to grab the wire.

How about you know, not concentrating the problem in one area? There is never vagrancy on the Eastmoreland Reed Parkway or the Berkeley Park. There’s plenty of parking in that neighborhood too and if we can bring more services out there, re-tune police enforcement discretion to line up with how they do things in Old Town, we can start attracting folks into that neighborhood. Berkeley Park might be a good spot for public e-bike and phone charging stations. Invite them to just park their RVs, plateless vans etc in residential streets around it.

I don’t want to haul my charger along with me.

Maybe if there was a standard for chargers so that I could be sure it would work with my bike then I’d be interested. Currently I can’t charge the battery while it’s on the bike, so I’d have to sit next to the charger the entire time.

However, I don’t go that far just to go to a park (unless there’s a special event).

I don’t see the e-bike as a tourer, due to the limited range. Sure, it’d be fun if you didn’t have to charge every 20 miles or bring along heavy and expensive extra batteries.

The only time I’ve charged the e-bike at a destination was when I visited a friend in Vancouver for most of the day.

Ryobi, Milwaukee and Ridgid are owned and made by the same company. Their batteries and chargers are fully compatible with each other except for the mechanical connection. This is intentional so you’re forced to duplicate batteries to make you buy profitable batteries.

If e-bikes can be standardized to use one of the most popular power tool batteries or somewhat standardized, then rental option for spare batteries from the Home Depot or bike shops would be a better option than wasting public funds on adding charge stations.

This sounds logistically challenging. What’s needed is a one-way rental (ala UHaul). The places that might participate don’t have multiple or enough locations to be useful, so it needs to be a shared program across multiple businesses. There’s significant overhead in rebalancing and administration even if that weren’t a concern. And as you note, what’s already a tiny market is further fragmented by battery type.

You can avoid the difficult issue of standardizing batteries (a concept that was once proposed for electric cars, too, but never got traction) by just renting the whole bike. Which brings us to the now-electrified Biketown. Service area becomes an issue, but it does at least border Gateway Green.

Biketown gives a sense of the scale of infrastructure and support needed for a one-way rental program to operate (even for just batteries). There’s no comparison to installing a fixed charging station; the two are orders of magnitude apart. The fixed charging station might be feasible; I don’t think an entire rental network is.

So make it work with Ryobi 40v garden batteries or 18v tool batteries in a pair or something. I suspect batteries are big profit for eBike brands, so I don’t think they’ll roll with that. Ryobi is known for sticking to their battery platform. The present 18v batteries is backward compatible with pre puke green tools.

A kit to convert an e-bike to some kind of cheaper/more standard battery might be a good Kickstarter project. One could probably 3D print a mounting bracket and adapter insert for various models. I don’t have an e-bike, so I quickly googled battery capacities. Your typical Ryobi garden battery looks to be 250-300 WHr for around $200. It looks like a typical ebike battery is more in the 500-800 WHr range (at a pricey $800, to pick on Bosch). So capacity might be a problem in trying to use hardware tool batteries, unless you want to carry multiple.

Some hungrier tools like shopvac or bigger angle grinders do take two batteries.