Hacienda’s PhotoVoice project strengthens bicycle advocacy and active living in NE Portland

By Melinda Musser, Communications & Marketing Manager

In January of 2010, residents of Hacienda CDC participated in a PhotoVoice project by taking over 150 images that documented barriers to active living for children and families living in their affordable housing community.

PhotoVoice is a powerful advocacy tool that brings to life the voices and concerns of a community. This project was part of a larger Healthy Kids Healthy Communities initiative funded through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to reshape environments to support healthy living and prevent childhood obesity. The focus of this project, which was led by Oregon’s Public Health Institute, is to evaluate how amenities at multi-family affordable housing sites contribute to physical activity and healthy eating and seek policy changes that improve environmental conditions for families.

The project documented many barriers to active living, including lack of bicycle storage space. In March of this year, ABC organized a bike census – a survey about bicycles in Hacienda housing – to demonstrate the need for bike storage in their neighborhood. Survey results indicated an average of 1.5 bikes per household. Over the past 2 years, 85 bikes have been stolen from the respondents, an average of nearly 1 bike per household. The complete results of this survey can be downloaded here.

In May, ABC took measurements at two potential site locations for a bike storage space and they are now raising support and funding for a better bicycle storage facility in their community.

We are thrilled to see that the PhotoVoice project has blossomed into an advocacy tool for Hacienda residents. Check out some of the images and quotes from the PhotoVoice project below:

“Puede ser que la gente no sabe para que sirve. En México no existe, ni tenemos un nombre para este tipo de estructura. Sería mejor poner un letrero diciendo para que es.” – Claudia
“It could be that people don’t know what this bike rack is for. In Mexico they don’t exist, nor do we have a name for this type of structure. It would be good to put a sign to explain what it is.” – Claudia

“Esta familia pone todas sus bicicletas en un pequeño espacio atrás del sofá y eso no deja espacio para que los niños juegan. Es un apartamento de un cuarto y tiene un salón muy chiquito. Nos gustaría tener un lugar segura donde podremos dejar las bicicletas sin estorbar a nadie.” – Yolanda
“This family puts all their bicycles in the small space behind their sofa, which doesn’t leave any room for their kids to play. This is a small one bedroom apartment with a really small living room. We would like to have a safe space to put bicycles where they wouldn’t be in anyone’s way.” – Yolanda

“Muchas personas solo dejan sus bicicletas en frente de sus casas.  Pero a veces no es una buena idea, porque pueden robarlas.”
– Luis, 10
“Lots of people just put their bikes out in front of their houses. Sometimes it’s a bad idea because they can get stolen.”  – Luis, 10

“Se inicia peleas. Los niños ‘prestan’ bicicletas de otras familias cuando no están con candado. Muchas bicicletas se ven igual, así que los niños se pelean sobre quien es el dueño. Dos familias llamaron a la policía.” – Muna
“It starts fights.  Kids ‘borrow’ bikes from other families when they are not locked up. A lot of bikes look exactly the same, so kids fight over whose they are. Two families called the police.” – Muna


“Es probable que esta familia recibaría un aviso ‘14/30’ si tiene mucha cosas en su balcón. Cuando reciben la noticia, tiene 14 días para corregir el problema y si no, recibirán un aviso de desalojo. Si se repite el problema entre los 30 días, igual recibirá un aviso de desalojo.”  -Tanya
“It’s likely this family would get a ‘14/30’ notice if they have a lot of clutter on their balcony. Once they get the notice, families have 14 days to correct the problem, after which they get an eviction notice. If they repeat the problem within 30 days, they will also get an eviction notice.”

“En esta área hay muchos accidentes.” – Claudia
“No hay luz. Siempre nos dice, ‘No hay presupuesto, no hay presupuesto, y así” – Andrés
“There are lots of accidents in this spot.” – Claudia
“There is not a light here. They always tell us, ‘There’s no budget, there’s no budget and that’s it” – Andres

“Ha habido muchos casos de robo en estos apartamentos. No hay luz. Necesitamos lámparas para mejor seguridad.” – Claudia
“There have been many cases of robberies in our apartments. We need lamp posts to improve security.” – Claudia

“Usamos este camino mucho para hacer money orders y para ir a Head Start y Harvey Scott. A pesar de todo estos peligros se tiene que usar este camino. Yo mando a mi esposo para hacer los mandadas o voy con el.  Casi siempre los hombres van o las mujeres van en grupo.” – Claudia
“We use this path a lot to place money orders at the store and to take our kids to Head Start and Harvey Scott school. Despite all of the dangers, we have to use this walkway. I send my husband to do the errands or have him go with me. Almost always the men go or women go in a group.” – Claudia

Connect with Us

Hours: Open Wednesday-Friday 11AM-7PM & Saturday/Sunday 12PM-5PM. Closed MondayBike Shop Address: 1700 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

Phone: 503.287.8786