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Activist and radio show host trashes Tilikum Crossing, calls it ‘Auto-ban’ bridge

Posted by on April 18th, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Concept drawing of path on Tilikum bridge.
(Graphic: TriMet).

Rob Kremer, a talk-radio host and the Portlander behind a Republican-donor-funded movement to oppose “Portland creep” in Clackamas County, raised eyebrows on Friday afternoon when he said on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud radio program that TriMet’s new Tilikum Crossing bridge is a “symbol of dysfunctional transportation priorities.”

About 12 minutes into the program, Kremer shared his strong objections to the bridge because it won’t allow access for private automobiles:

“I’m not quite sure about this name Tilikum. They say it means people, tribes and relatives — I think it means streetcars, buses and bicycles in Portland. They can call it Tilikum all they want but the real name of this bridge, by the people, will always be the ‘Autoban’ … And it will always be a symbol of TriMet’s, Metro’s and Portland’s dysfunctional transportation priorities.

To think we’re building a bridge across the Willamette … the first bridge in who knows how long, and not allowing cars to cross it is not only insane, but it’s a symbol of dysfunction.”

You can hear the exchange below (begins at about 12:46):

A couple minutes later, while challenging support for the bridge expressed by another guest (Bitch Media Online Editor Sarah Mirk, who said she doesn’t own a car), Kremer claimed that the bridge is an example of “priorities completely out of whack” because “97% of the trips are by car.”

He was off by about 911,000 trips per day. In fact, non-car modes carry 16 percent of Portland-area trips, according to a 2011 survey of 17,000 Oregon households.


According to the Oregon Household Travel and Activity Survey, 9 percent of trips by Portland-area residents were on foot, 4 percent were by transit and 3 percent were by bike. That’s a bit different than the ratio for commute trips, which account for about one in five trips Americans make; 19 percent of Portland-area commutes are by foot, bike or transit, according to the same estimates.

Inside Portland city limits, meanwhile, 28 percent of trips are by walking, biking or transit.

Kremer and his wife Mary, a 2010 state Senate candidate, own a house near the Willamette in Southwest Portland, but it’s easy to see why he might be confused. Not every U.S. city has chosen to make walking, biking and transit so safe and convenient. Nationwide, their share of trips is only — well, actually it’s 14 percent.

Until last year, Kremer was a political consultant who also served as treasurer of the Oregon Republican Party and director of the Oregon Transformation Project PAC, which drove an anti-land-regulation majority into power in Clackamas County in 2012. Kremer stepped down from those roles in early 2013 to focus on advocacy for charter schools.

It’s easy to laugh at inaccurate grandstanding like this — he presumably remembered the ratio for biking and forgot that there are any other alternatives to driving everywhere — but I have to say: if I thought, even subconsciously, that after all of Portland’s work to make things better for active transportation, 97 percent of trips were still happening by car, I’d be pretty upset, too.

Kremer, who would obviously be in a better mood if he read BikePortland more religiously, didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment Friday afternoon.

Editor/publisher Jonathan Maus contributed to this story.

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Comments
  • Kenneth Brown April 18, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    As a professional operative Kremer, has given up the benefit of the doubt. Never assume speech like this isn’t intentional, especially with he company he keeps.

    I notice the Sellwood Bridge rebuild for the benefit of his Clackamas County friends doesn’t count as a “dysfunctional transportation priority”.

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    • Granpa April 18, 2014 at 4:53 pm

      Do you mean the Sellwood bridge that Clackamas County refused to contribute funding to? They refuse to put their money where their mouth is.

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      • Terry D April 19, 2014 at 9:50 am

        In response at every open forum where I have been over the past year when politicians ask, where should we ask for more money? I KEEP saying…..toll the Sellwood for Clackamas county users until it is paid off or until Clackamas ponies up. I always get a laugh….then they always dodge it.

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    • was carless April 18, 2014 at 11:37 pm

      Typical political rhetoric is to continue to repeat whatever fantasy you want in order to influence those who don’t fact check. Just like in advertising, truth doesn’t matter. :(

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    • davemess April 19, 2014 at 8:06 am

      He may change his mind about the Sellwood when he realizes they still plan on putting FOUR bike lanes on it!!!

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  • Nick April 18, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    I moved my family here from across the country in large part because of Portland’s “dysfunctional transportation priorities.” We couldn’t be happier. Kremer’s car-centric world exists in virtually every other large American city, where perhaps he too can find happiness.

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  • Alan Love April 18, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    I’m always amazed at the complaining regarding the lack of car capacity on the new bridge. The other 11, some of which don’t have any non-auto modes (Marquam, for example), aren’t enough?

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    • Paul Souders April 18, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      Yeah my first thought was, “Fair enough. So non-motorists can have a couple lanes on the Fremont, right?”

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      • Alain April 18, 2014 at 7:36 pm

        Some of the best views of the city (from the Fremont) are given over to motorist, who are unable to enjoy such views… eyes on the road please… and undeniable waste of visual pleasure and urban aesthetics.

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  • Colton April 18, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    “Concept drawing of bike path on Tilikum bridge.”

    Should that be “…multi-use path” or do we bicyclists get it all to ourselves?

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  • Justin April 18, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    The city could also start allowing cars on the bus lane. If priorities really changed.

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  • scott April 18, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    That bridge name is so awful.

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    • Mossby Pomegranate April 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      Agreed. But honestly it could have been worse.

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    • jim April 18, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      It’s a hundred times better than the other three names. Too bad they just didn’t name it after the street like they do with the other bridges. Caruther street bridge makes sense. It also makes it easy to find on a map.

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    • was carless April 18, 2014 at 11:42 pm

      Unlike the state of Washington, which has adopted many native American names for rivers, mountains, lakes, towns and cities, etc – Oregon has chosen to impart ethnically Anglican names for our geographic features and cities. I think that says volumes about the people who settled this state and had little respect for the people who were already here.

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      • dave April 19, 2014 at 8:32 am

        “Anglican” is a church, not an ethnicity. But you’re right, Multnomah and Clackamas counties, the whole Willamette Valley for that matter, are devoid of native names.

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        • Chris I April 19, 2014 at 3:48 pm

          Oh, please. He has a fair point. The vast majority of our peaks, towns, and cities are named for white settlers. It’s noticeable for anyone that has travelled a lot in the NW.

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        • was carless April 20, 2014 at 12:19 am

          Sorry, brain fart. I meant “Ango-Saxon” names.

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    • Todd Hudson April 19, 2014 at 9:22 am

      I think it’s a good balance of creativity, actual regional history, and Portland’s mandatory white guilt.

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      • Terry D April 19, 2014 at 9:52 am

        Absolutely.

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    • 007 April 22, 2014 at 10:42 am

      I have a new name for the bridge! The Autobahn! That is what I will be calling it. Thank you, Kremer!

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  • Carl April 18, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    At 15:05 Kramer also points out that the CRC failed because “they were not going to add a single lane of traffic to that bridge” but, instead, wanted to cram light rail and new urbanism down Clark County’s throat.

    Not a single lane! That number’s even further off than his mode split number.

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    • davemess April 18, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      Sounds like a real open-minded guy!

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      • 007 April 22, 2014 at 10:43 am

        Sounds like a talk show host.

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    • jim April 18, 2014 at 11:34 pm

      Actually the proposed CRC had the same number of through lanes as we currently have. That proposal made no sense at all.

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    • Evan Manvel April 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      This misunderstanding is in part because CRC apologists kept repeating this statement – stating the new lanes weren’t real lanes, as they didn’t continue past the ends of the project. They weren’t “through lanes” but add/drop lanes. Of course, the highway mega-project could also have been called a 17-lane project, looking just at one cross-section at one place.

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      • Racer X April 21, 2014 at 11:51 am

        It was very hard to spin a project in two directions…especially when there is only one media market…it made it very confusing.

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    • Oliver April 19, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      Not one!

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  • Dave Thomson April 18, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Kremer’s only objective is to create controversy that will attract like-minded people to his show. Bike Portland reacting to it just helps his cause. Kremer is a troll and the only thing you can do with trolls is ignore them.

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  • Andrew Seger April 18, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I hate to say it, but I largely agree. This bridge wasn’t needed. If politicians had the courage to reallocate car lanes to mass transit this project wouldn’t be needed at all. From a biking perspective, pedestrian/bike bridges (which cost an order of magnitude less than the new bridge) are more urgently needed other places. Somewhere north of the broadway bridge, a NW flanders bridge, and a NE 7th bridge would all generate more trips/help the bike network more than this project.

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    • davemess April 18, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      I’m curious what the retrofitting to make the Ross Island or Hawthorne bridges MAX accessible would cost, compared to the new bridge. I really wonder if they would be as cheap as you might think.

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      • Terry D April 19, 2014 at 9:58 am

        When the discussion of the MAX line to Milwaukee was started Tri-met first suggested using the Hawthorne. Multnomah county looked at them like Tri-met had two heads and said “We just spent many millions retrofitting and modernizing the Hawthorne and now you want to tear it up again? Are you crazy…ah, no”…..Hence, the new bridge. We also need a light rail bridge that is not going to fall into the water during an earthquake. No one like to talks about it, but the Steel is structurally deficient and will shake apart. Part of the goal here was to have an emergency response route that will hold up to the “big one.”

        Currently the only bridge downtown that has been seismically retrofitted properly is the Burnside. The Hawthorne, would almost be cost prohibitive to do because of its design and age.

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        • Reza April 20, 2014 at 11:10 pm

          Consider that if you want to make the Morrison or Hawthorne more structurally resilient in the event of a big earthquake, you also need to spend money to upgrade the Eastbank Freeway viaduct too. Because having an intact Willamette River bridge does no good if the east approach is impassable due to an I-5 collapse.

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        • Reza April 20, 2014 at 11:12 pm

          Clarification, I-5 mainline is under the Morrison, but there are flyover ramps at risk of collapse that would have to be retrofitted.

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    • was carless April 18, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      A bridge was absolutely needed, are you kidding? The Ross Island bridge is backed up every single morning during rush hour. There is no way to retrofit the any bridge into downtown for MAX – you would have to remove 2 or 3 carlanes, and completely redo the bridgeheads. Which would require them to be closed for at least a year. Could you imagine the RI bridge closed for a year, only to be reopened with half the car capacity and 2-minute long light cycles at each end?!

      This new bridge is 100% owned by Trimet, which means they do not have to share with anyone else. That is important for transit operations, unless you like massive delays all the time.

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    • wsbob April 19, 2014 at 12:18 am

      “…If politicians had the courage to reallocate car lanes to mass transit this project wouldn’t be needed at all. …” Andrew Seger

      Most streets and roads in Portland do allow use by mass transit, in the form of buses. Some streets have the trolley, or light rail. It’s not clear from your remark about reallocating “…car lanes..”, what else exactly it is that you have in mind.

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    • Jessica Roberts April 21, 2014 at 9:30 am

      That’s just not true. The Steel Bridge is at capacity, which puts a huge limit on growth of our mass transit system – not to mention reduced resilience when something does go wrong on that bridge.

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  • spare_wheel April 18, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    i blame diane yee. they hate use because of the bike scofflaws!

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    • Harald April 19, 2014 at 6:04 am

      Every time a cyclist runs a stop light or doesn’t wear a helment, Kremer makes a mark in his notebook. Every one hundred marks he then makes a bike-trashing episode of his show. So yeah, Diane and your stop-sign-running ilk, it’s all your fault!

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      • Dan April 19, 2014 at 10:58 am

        Doesn’t wear a helmet? Why, is that illegal?

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        • spare_wheel April 19, 2014 at 2:37 pm

          of course not. but then many motorist complaints about cyclists have little to do with the law (see witless o-live comments for countless examples). if “bike ambassadors” really want to be liked by angry motorists (or clackistani tea partiers) they should sell their bikes and start driving.

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  • John Landolfe April 18, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Tilikum Bridge is directly adjacent to the much larger, car-only Marquam Bridge. That is all.

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    • jim April 18, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      Actually, I think those cars have people inside of them. Not that the evil cars ate them or anything, they are in there though.

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      • 9watts April 21, 2014 at 9:22 pm

        “Actually, I think those cars have people inside of them.”

        You’re right, jim. At least one person per car, unless Google is already sending out the ones without any people inside.

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    • lyle w. April 19, 2014 at 11:30 am

      Yeah, but, when was the last time you rolled down your window and screamed at a cyclist to get out of the way/GET OFF THE ROAD/preferred nomenclature d’abuse on the Marquam?

      It’s a lot easier to do when that mixed modal is in full effect.

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  • dwainedibbly April 18, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Bridge of the People, as opposed to the nearby Marquam, “Bridge of the Cars. I love the juxtaposition.

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  • Adam April 18, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    So…. we can all assume he’s down with bicycles, pedestrians, light rail and streetcars on the Marquam and Fremont bridges now, since he’s sooooooo into transportation equity?

    Woohooo!!

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  • Joe Adamski April 18, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Kremer is a self appointed spokesperson for Clackamas County, but I doubt he speaks for anyone other than his own self and his Arbitron ratings. Attention, good or bad, is attention, on which he thrives.

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  • kittens April 18, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Well, he has gotten what he wants:
    People talking about him and his dumb views.

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    • Mindful Cyclist April 19, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      BINGO!!

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  • jim April 18, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Even if it was as high as 16%, that still isn’t a very big portion of the public they are servicing. He kind of has a valid point there.

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    • El Biciclero April 23, 2014 at 9:50 am

      Well, and who ever wanted electricity until it got discovered and generating it on a large scale became possible, and lines were run? There wasn’t a very big portion of the public that was serviced by telephones prior to their invention or the building out of their infrastructure. Not too many people had much use for computers in their homes until it became more convenient and affordable to have them–now people carry them around in their pockets.

      Just because someone (or a certain percentage of someones) doesn’t do something now, doesn’t mean they won’t start doing it when it becomes convenient enough to do. Plus, think about this bridge as “servicing” motorists by sucking just a few cars off the streets as hopefully more folks decide to train it, bike it, or walk it to where they are going.

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  • was carless April 18, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Yeah, I heard his comment on the air. He also claimed that 97% of all transportation in the Metro region are by car, yet transit holds a healthy 45% of the commute mode share for downtown.

    Unfortunately, noone on the radio show knew any actual facts, so his misinformation went unchallenged.

    Also, his Metro number is wrong: only 84% of people in the Metro area drive

    source: http://blog.oregonlive.com/commuting/2012/10/metro_study_84_percent_of_port.html

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  • wsbob April 19, 2014 at 1:11 am

    Rob Kremer’s remarks expressed about the new bridge not providing use for car travel, as posted to this bikeportland story, seem strange. Maybe I’ll get a chance to listen to the OPB interview sometime later, where perhaps his full remarks in that context will seem less strange.

    I’m interested in whether he explains why he believes the bridge not providing for use by car is a symbol of what he finds are TriMet’s, Metro’s and Portland’s dysfunctional transportation priorities. Also, what he believes the objective of TriMet’s, Metro’s and Portland’s transportation priorities should be.

    The act of intending every road to be one on which people will primarily travel by car, can carry with it, a very wicked, self inflicted sucker punch. Building new, or expanding old roads for more use of motor vehicles, tends to result in people paying through more travel congestion and loss of area livability.

    Portland has kind of reached its limit of how much travel congestion and loss of area livability it can handle, so it built this bridge that doesn’t allow travel by motor vehicles (except for emergency vehicles.). Lessons are learned slow, but this bridge was a smart move by the city. Too bad Mr. Kremer doesn’t seem to have yet figured this out.

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  • lyle w. April 19, 2014 at 11:15 am

    “Maybe I’ll get a chance to listen to the OPB interview sometime later, where perhaps his full remarks in that context will seem less strange.”

    That’s the part where being a political bloviator like Kremer gets really great– because, see, you don’t actually have to go any deeper than you’re facile talking points and shouted opinions. Nobody amongst your listenership will demand it, none of your bosses want it from you, and your career depends on actually not backing up anything you say. Better to just chew chew chew up your talking points into nice little round balls of easy to swallow nutrition that you then regurgitate back into the mouth’s of everybody listening raptly, at which point they then turn around and regugitate all over their facebook walls, Thanksgiving dining room table conversations and Oregonlive message board posts.

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  • Evan Manvel April 19, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    All these surveys tend to understate the lack of choices for the one-quarter of Oregonians who cannot drive.

    About a million Oregonians are too poor, too young, too old, too infirm to drive – and their lack of transportation independence and choice are often designed out of the surveys, which usually don’t survey kids or those without homes, for example.

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    • 9watts April 20, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      You are exactly right, Evan. But I’d be careful phrasing this category as made up only of those who might prefer but can’t drive. I don’t think we know what percentage choose not to drive, but my guess would be that the number is rising.

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  • GlowBoy April 19, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    What’s wrong with a new bridge for trains, bikes and pedestrians?

    Considering the most recent bridge to go up across the Willamette (the Marquam) prohibits trains, bikes and pedestrians, that seems about fair.

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  • Chris I April 19, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    If people like Kremer are upset, you know we are on the right track. I work with many people that complain about Portland, or are afraid of it. If anything, I try to boost their negative perception. I want them staying as far away as possible. The worst cities in America are the ones that are only bustling when people from the suburbs drive in for work or entertainment. We don’t want to be Atlanta.

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  • Doug Klotz April 19, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    I work in the Central Eastside near the home of an ambulance provider. I can imagine the Tilikum bridge and thus the Milwaukie light rail (and a few bus lines quickly becoming dysfunctional when every single ambulance crossing the river wants to use it. They will probably have to hold all trains and buses at either end any time an emergency vehicle wants to use it. Could take 5 to 10 minutes to initiate and clear such a procedure. Will Tri-met train all ambulance and police car drivers in the procedures of the bridge? (Century Link trucks responding to a downed power line? NW Natural trucks when someone smells gas? Where will they draw the line?)

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    • GlowBoy April 19, 2014 at 11:53 pm

      The set of emergency vehicles that drivers have to pull over for is pretty well defined: police, ambulance and fire vehicles. Do you have to pull over to let by a speeding CenturyLink or PGE truck with flashing amber lights? Of course not.

      And why would they shut down the bridge for an entire 5-10 minutes to let a vehicle go by? They don’t shut down freeways or other bridges for that long to allow emergency vehicles to pass. Frankly, I’m having a hard time processing your concerns.

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      • Doug Klotz April 21, 2014 at 6:38 pm

        I’m thinking that because of the LRT and Streetcar using the same lane, they’d have to stop both westbound trains, at 8th on the east side, as the lanes are shared from there. Perhaps ambulances could share with buses. Unless there are other preparations, eastbound trains would stop before crossing Moody. I doubt they’d let trains follow the ambulance over the bridge before they cleared the trackway on the east side. We’ll see, but I certainly anticipate longer delays than you’d reasonably think. Safety bureaucracy works that way.

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  • Andrew Holtz April 19, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    I gotta wonder why someone who favors less government and lower taxes would have preferred a bridge design that included interchanges at each end to connect to the car/truck street grid… thus requiring eminent domain takings of private property of several blocks on each bank and saddling taxpayers with perhaps $100 million dollars in additional costs? Sad how often conservatives abandon their avowed principles when it comes to transportation policy.

    The fact is that leaving private cars & trucks out of the Tilikum design minimized the government intrusion and tax burden of the bridge.

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    • 9watts April 20, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Yeah, now you’re talking way too much sense, and thinking. Neither of which seem to be high on Mr. Kremer’s list of priorities.

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    • Chris I April 21, 2014 at 7:36 am

      This.

      They built this bridge for just about half the cost of PLANNING for the CRC. That really puts things in perspective. We could have built a local access bridge with a similar design between Hayden Island and Vancouver for the amount they spent PLANNING the CRC project that will never happen.

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    • 007 April 22, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Agreed. They have adulterated the definition of conservative and co-opted the Republican party, which decades and centuries ago actually contained sane people and intelligent, compassionate leaders.

      Strange how the “moral majority” “Christians” took over the Republican party and now it is a party of hate — for anything and everyone that is different from them and their lifestyle. Kremer, Lumbaugh…hate.

      Let us have our one oasis.

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  • Bjorn April 20, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    I wish someone had mentioned the cars only bridge that we just built in portland…. Iowa street viaduct ring any bells Rob? Tens of millions of dollars were spent and it is illegal to ride a bike across the bridge.

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  • Stretchy April 21, 2014 at 7:51 am

    I would be curious whether he is citing an actual study or, giving his own personal “guesstimate”. Before we are too quick to judge, let’s remember Mark Twain’s adage that there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

    For instance, what constitutes a “trip”? If you include walking the dog then, the overwhelming majority of my trips are by foot. Do you count a trip to see a friend? My next door neighbor is a friend and obviously I would never drive to visit them. Do you include or exclude trips under some arbitrary distance (say 100 yards)?

    It is possible he is citing numbers based on a study that uses different criteria for what constitutes a “trip”. That doesn’t make one better or worse, it’s just important to understand the differences.

    On the other hand, it’s possible he was just making stuff up as he went.

    I am curious if you can get a response regarding the source of his statistics.

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  • Zaphod April 21, 2014 at 8:34 am

    This guy is a ***word deleted. personal insults are not tolerated – Jonathan**.
    The bridge is beautifully designed and will act as a beacon to bring the sort of talent, as in people, to move here. This city is growing so it’s not a function of *if* population will expand but what sort of citizens will call PDX home. As those who believe in livability over exhaust grow as a percentage, those who complain about non car-centric facilities will become outliers and thus… able to be safely ignored.

    In Portlandia terms, “Rob Kremer is OVER!”

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  • Joe April 21, 2014 at 9:54 am

    bridge for the people awesome. took brave effort to make it I feel! cars drivers have other choices to get across the river right? thanks for sharing :)

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  • Todd Boulanger April 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    As a transportation professional, one could say that private motorized vehicles (aka cars) are kept off of this new bridge for purposes of driver safety…we already know what damage happened to drivers and they 3,000 to 10,000 lbs. cars when they hit a MAX train. It is not good…just like keeping bicycles off of the Fremont Bridge. (Though I guess we could allow car drivers on the new bridge ONE DAY a YEAR during Bridge Pedal…we could call it Tesoro GASPedal.)

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  • patrickz April 21, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    …meanwhile I’ll wait for Bikesnob —or someone like him— to propose a bridge with no lanes at all for anyone at any time…Ride safe, everyone.

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  • GlowBoy April 21, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    How much of a dent in traffic does Kremer think it would make to add a couple of car lanes to this bridge? In the downtown area alone, there are already 41 car lanes on Willamette River bridges. The total number surprises even me:

    - Fremont: 8 car lanes
    - Broadway: 4 car lanes
    - Steel: 2 car lanes
    - Burnside: 5 car lanes
    - Morrison: 6 car lanes
    - Hawthorne: 4 car lanes
    - Marquam: 8 car lanes
    - Ross Island: 4 car lanes

    In comparison, this new bridge will bring the total number of dedicated transit lanes across the river to four: two at the north end (Steel bridge), and two new ones at the south end. Not out of proportion really.

    Seriously, if all the drivers trying to cross the river (and I often count myself among them) can’t fit in 41 lanes, pushing more of them onto a transit bridge is not the answer.

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    • wsbob April 21, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      Road and street lanes consist of Main Travel Lanes, Left Turn Lanes, Right Turn Lanes, Center Turn Lanes, and Bike Lanes. All of which are allowed use for travel with bikes. There are no “car lanes”.

      “…car lanes…” GlowBoy

      Repeated use of this incorrect name for lanes of roads and streets may seem to some people to be some kind of joke or a well deserved slur directed toward people that believe little or no provision for use of the road should be made for travel by bike. Realistically, use of the name risks confusing people about their right to use lanes of the road for bike travel.

      I suppose with his radio show, Rob Kremer is sort of a conservative or Libertarian shock jock, or at least, maybe hopes his words can carry with some of the power shock jocks can muster with theirs. That’s a guess from what I’ve been reading here, as I don’t listen to those type shows. It’s hard to beat someone at their own game, using the very tactics they use. Responding to those type tactics by stooping to use of the same, is a sign of failure.

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  • GlowBoy April 21, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Point taken. There are 41 Main Travel Lanes open to cars across the Willamette in the central city.

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    • wsbob April 22, 2014 at 12:05 am

      With the possible exception of those on the Burnside, the main lanes on the bridges are ones that very few people would choose to use with a bike.

      Before renovations to the Hawthorne, I rode the grated lane across the Hawthorne a number of times. Doable, but quite the unnerving experience. Most people wouldn’t and shouldn’t be obliged or consider trying to ride that sort of thing, even if technically, the law allows it.

      Nor the main lanes or far to the right side of the right lanes of the other ones. Conditions for riding there are lousy, due to the overwhelming manner of car use on them. The Markham, forget it, being part of I-5, probably not even legal to ride that one.

      Bringing this up to people faulting the city for not having the new bridge designed, built and funded for use with motor vehicles, is probably worthwhile. For a change, people talking and laughing, and generally enjoying themselves as they cross this bridge, may equal or even exceed the sound level of the only motorized mass transit vehicle using the bridge: Light Rail.

      I haven’t heard what speed the bridge has been designed to allow the MAX to travel across it at. If it’s under 20 mph, there’s likely to be only a soft whispering of the wheels on the steel track. That will be wonderful for people walking and biking on the bridge.

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  • Ty April 21, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Seems to me like a bridge built for OHSU. It’d be nice if they built these things for the people and not special interests…

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    • wsbob April 22, 2014 at 12:15 am

      Just OHSU? Together with the waterfront esplanade and the south waterfront area, to me it looks like it’s got the potential to be quite a tourist attraction. Could work well with Bike Share bikes.

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    • davemess April 22, 2014 at 11:56 am

      And people that live in SE (The hawthorne bride is pretty popular with cyclists).

      Even if they did build it for OHSU they are the biggest employee in the county.

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  • GlowBoy April 21, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Another perspective on why private vehicles aren’t part of the Tillikum picture. This bridge is getting done for $134 million. The Sellwood crosses a similar span of water, carrying just two main travel lanes in each direction, and is going to cost well over twice that.

    A lot of the Sellwood’s cost is in the interchange on the west end — and the Sellwood’s connections for cars are arguably simpler than car connections on the Tillikum would need to be. Imagine what it would cost to connect the Tillikum properly to the grid system if it carried general vehicle traffic.

    If you include those costs plus actually making the bridge capable of carrying two lanes of traffic, and I’m guessing that the over overall cost of the Tillikum would end up in $400-500 million range.

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  • Brad Parker April 23, 2014 at 2:08 am

    Soo, the important question. Who is joining to wheelie the whole thing first?

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  • Bill Walters April 23, 2014 at 11:33 am

    The new bridge starts from way down near shore level — lower than the other bridges — yet still must rise high enough to let ships/boats/barges pass below. So it must have a steeper grade than the other bridges, and it does look steeper. (I’m guessing 6%, maybe more.) Therefore, the crystal ball indicates:

    - Lots of riders will be put off rather quickly by the rigor of the climb and will return to the other bridges.

    - Riders who don’t adequately grasp the big picture will indiscriminately go all “Woo Hoo” with speed on the descent. The large speed differential will intimidate walkers, ADA folks and other low-speed users — or maybe even lead to devastating collisions with them, in the worst case.

    And because of that, the new bridge will become an important new front in the clickbait offensive spearheaded by O-Live but pursued by many other local media. This is just the warm-up.

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