No Cars Will Be Allowed on This Stately New Bridge in Portland

Illustration for article titled No Cars Will Be Allowed on This Stately New Bridge in Portland

It was 1973 the last time a new bridge opened over Portland's Willamette River: a double-decker span with eight lanes of freeway. Times have changed. When the Tilikum Crossing Bridge opens later this year, it will be one of the few in the U.S. that's purpose-built for transit, bikes and pedestrians—no cars allowed.

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Bike Portland's Jonathan Maus got a sneak preview of the bridge, which is a gorgeous steel affair. Dedicated bike and pedestrian paths travel along either edge, with the city's MAX light rail line slicing through the center. Even more impressive is all the bike-only tech, with sensitive signals triggered by sensors embedded in the concrete below.

Illustration for article titled No Cars Will Be Allowed on This Stately New Bridge in Portland
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I've been wracking my brain and I can only think of a handful bridges in the center of major US cities which are not open to cars. (There's the Big Dam Bridge in Little Rock, and the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga.) It reminds me a bit of Copenhagen's gorgeous bikes-only Cykelslangen bridge, which opened last year.

Head over to Bike Portland to see plenty of photos of the bridge and read more details about its glorious mandate to connect one of the bike-friendliest cities in the world. [Bike Portland via Streetsblog]

Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland

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Meanwhile we continue to have huge swathes of the vcity that don't have sidewalks on major roads.. which is killing people.

We continue to paint little white lines on the side of major roads and pretend that protects bikes from heavy traffic. This of course makes us a 'bike friendly' city. /s Of course it actually does the complete opposite as bikers like to ride shoulder to shoulder in the lanes, backing up traffic, and making our congestion problems even worse. Oh and lets not forget the $6000 green boxes we paint on each of our intersections now.

Of course there is the continuing mystery of how we cant keep our bridges covered or potholes paved but mysterious private/public partnerships get funded to the tune of millions of dollars. ..thus funneling millions of federal road funds into mysterious black holes. This remains a mystery for the few minutes until you realize our current mayor arrived in the city and rose to prominence by selling us on the 'portland streetcar'. A slight variant of light rail which has lost money since ineption but keeps enriching its initial investors.