Contest: Design your own bike lane person

DesignABikeLanePersonThumbA couple months ago, I asked Seattle’s Chief Traffic Engineer, Dongho Chang, if Seattle could get some fun, joyful bike lane people like those in Portland.  He said I should send ideas, and so now I need you to help me.

Portland’s bike lane people are awesome.  It all started a couple of decades ago with a curmudgeon maintenance worker (who didn’t bike) thought bike lanes were too boring, so he started modifying the symbols.  His supervisor didn’t oppose it, and then later fully embraced it.  Recently Portland even held a design competition for the markings.

Here are a few Portland examples (not my photos, they’re PBOT‘s):


Women's March Bike PersonSo, I’m challenging you to help SDOT create the most awesome bike lane people ever.  I have some ideas, such as creating a row of “Women’s March” people with pink hats from Judkins Park to the Seattle Center on Jackson Street and Fourth Avenue to commemorate last year’s march. And we obviously need bike lane people for Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Chief Seattle, and Bertha Knight Landes.  But I really would love to see your ideas.


  • Using this PDF, either digitally or in-real-life draw your person.
  • Write a short narrative telling a story about your person. Who are they? What makes them special? Where does your person live (i.e., where should they be installed by SDOT?)
  • Email your drawing to me at by December 12, 2017.
  • After you’ve emailed me your drawing, tweet an image of your person with the hashtag #HappyBikeLanePeople and CC @BikeHappyPNW.


I will pick the best bike lane people and the winners will win gift certificates to Peddler Brewing, where you can either enjoy delicious beer or sweet shirts & swag.  Winners will be based on originality, creativity, whimsy, and storytelling.  Bonus points if you have a specific location in-mind for your person.

Will SDOT install them?

There’s no promise by SDOT that any of our bike lane people will get homes across the city.  But fingers crossed, it’ll happen.  I’ll submit all (PG-rated) ideas to Dongho for his consideration.

Submissions are due to by Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at 7 p.m.

*All photos on this page are from the Portland Bureau of Transportation under its Creative Commons licensing.

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