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Orange Line/Tilikum Bridge opening day open thread

Posted by on September 12th, 2015 at 9:51 am

bike dress

Today is the Big Day. TriMet’s new Orange Line MAX and the Tilikum Crossing Bridge opens for regular service.

There are a ton of free activities happening all along the new line, from South Waterfront down to Milwaukie.

We’re putting up this post in hopes you’ll share your experiences out there — whether you’re biking, walking, taking the bus, riding streetcar, or riding the MAX.

And of course the real test will begin Monday as thousands of people re-route their commutes to take advantage of the new bridge.

Will the Tilikum change how you get around?

What do you think of the incline/decline on the bridge?

How are the crossings of the tracks in inner SE Clinton area?

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Mark September 12, 2015 at 10:07 am

    I hope this day will be noted as the point in history when the metro area truly took a stand against vehiclism. My hat is off to trimet for standing against the haters and Lars Larson listeners. May true freedom ring. The freedom to travel without the aid of a vehicle.

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    • davemess September 12, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      Are you not calling a bike or train a vehicle?

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      • soren September 13, 2015 at 8:29 am

        Is a horse a vehicle? Are my dusty roller blades vehicles? A bike is a simple accessory that enables human-powered transport!

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    • Josh September 13, 2015 at 5:46 am

      WoW…”vehiclism” and “Lars Larson” ? Glass houses….glass houses.

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      • Dead Salmon September 13, 2015 at 11:00 pm

        I remember, in other threads, many people trying to explain how commenters on this website weren’t car haters or car driver haters, etc. Hilarious.

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    • Dead Salmon September 15, 2015 at 4:03 am

      Lars opinion:

      I have to agree with much of what he says about the cost being asinine.

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      • wsbob September 15, 2015 at 11:02 am

        Lars way of thinking sounds similar to that guy wanting to get the repub nomination for president, about whom some people admiringly remark they believe he says ‘Some of the Things that Should Be Said’.

        As long as people don’t think very deeply about what’s suggested by such people, those types of oration sound kind of good…excellent even. Look into what their ideas would bring about, and their ideas begin to fall apart.

        Both the light rail extension and the bridge cost a lot of money. At the very least, despite that cost, they are efforts to explore possibly good ways of doing something beyond the standard operating procedure that threatens to overwhelm cities with asphalt roadways congested by excessive motor vehicle use.

        It’s extraordinarily nice to be able to walk and bike across a bridge and not constantly have the roar of motor vehicle wind, tire and motor noise in your ears. Being able to ride light rail to Milwaukee sounds marvelous. I never go there because the drive has always been bad, and sorry, but a ride there on trimet’s rough riding buses is worse.

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      • lop September 15, 2015 at 9:10 pm

        Costs for US rail projects are out of whack. What Trimet spent on the orange line would get you a subway in some countries.


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        • Concordia Cyclist September 16, 2015 at 7:52 am

          Sooooo…..its like US healthcare? ; )

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        • wsbob September 16, 2015 at 4:24 pm

          I would be at a loss to try compare and explain well, reasons for cost differences to build Portland light rail with costs to build subways and light rail in various other countries around the world. Obviously though, working class people in some countries, get paid far less than they do in the U.S. Is the comparatively low level of pay they receive, and the standard of living that pay can provide them with, a good thing for everyone?

          As for Portland’s Orange line to Milwaukee, even though I don’t live there and haven’t even ridden it, despite the cost, I guess I’m glad they built it instead of another freeway. There’s got to be a better way than freeways to move people between Portland and surrounding cities. For decades, NYC has had train service between it and cities surrounding it. What percent of people commuting daily in and out of the city that service serves, I don’t know. Seems to go without saying though, that NYC streets just could not handle the additional numbers of motor vehicles that would be required to transport train riders into and out of the city if the city didn’t have it’s train system.

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          • lop September 16, 2015 at 6:43 pm

            “For decades, NYC has had train service between it and cities surrounding it. What percent of people commuting daily in and out of the city that service serves, I don’t know.”

            This annual report is a good place to start if you’re curious. Gives estimated volumes by hour and mode into Manhattan south of 60th street, including by bike.


            “working class people in some countries, get paid far less than they do in the U.S.”

            Like Canada and France?


            The orange line was very expensive for the transit service it provides.

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            • wsbob September 17, 2015 at 12:13 am

              Why not give a short, even one line, general summary of what the article says about train commuter service to NYC? If people reading, question your summary, they can click on the link and read for themselves.

              Funny, but no Canada and France are not examples of other countries that came to mine where working class people make less money than the same in the U.S. …though whether they do or not, I don’t know. Korea is the country that came to mind. Brazil may be one too. Some years ago, I saw a fascinating show about a technological marvel, high speed train built in Korea to allow workers far away from the city, a realistic length commute. Fairly controversial because of the rural countryside the trains route crossed over.

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              • wsbob September 17, 2015 at 12:13 am

                Correction: “…that came to mind…”

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              • lop September 17, 2015 at 1:58 am

                It’s a large report with a lot of data. How many take trains? ~3.8 million entered the CBD over 24 hours. ~2.5 million on trains. 8-9am ~622k entered the CBD. ~492k on trains.

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                • wsbob September 17, 2015 at 10:29 am

                  In short, if the figures you’re offering indicate what they appear to, a vast majority of people enter NYC’s CBD (central business district?) by train for commuting purposes. Because big highways and freeways in the area already are filled to capacity during rush hour, that’s exactly what could eventually be a good option for cities in the Tualitan Valley, or Portland Metro Area.

                  NYC has for so long been one of the world’s top economic dynamos. That city has generally always had the level of economic activity that has been able to justify grand scale urban and interurban transportation systems.

                  By general rule of thumb at least, it seems Portland’s not in the same category though, so maybe people that say the city shouldn’t be making highly expensive investments in alternative transportation system development, are right.

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  • ethan September 12, 2015 at 10:55 am

    The bridge won’t change how I commute, but it will change the way I recreate, now that I will be able to take my bike on a train to trails south and north of where I live without wasting my energy slogging through city streets (fatbike problems).

    The incline and decline is great in my opinion. Perfect for riding or walking.

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    • ethan September 12, 2015 at 10:58 am

      Oh and, the Clinton area, that’s a, uh, …. Cluster. The whole east landing is very unintuitive with various surfaces, directions, signal types, extreme variances in the level of traffic, etc.

      East of Clinton station isn’t bad for a bit, but then the drivers on 17th don’t stop for people on bikes very often.

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      • Ed September 12, 2015 at 7:42 pm

        Agree completely. The bridge is a nice piece of infrastructure but the Southeast connections to it are poor. Despite living in Southeast I cannot fully take advantage of it. Part of it is that the freight rail line severely limits access points. Also agree the connection is an awkard patchwork of multiuse paths, segregated paths, sharrowed roads, with sharp unnatural turns and inconsistent types of pavement. When all that improves we will finally have relaxing bicycling!

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      • q`Tzal September 12, 2015 at 8:46 pm

        Fluster Cluck… Jeepers! Learn some vocabulary!

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  • Ted Buehler September 12, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I sent in a safety improvement request to TriMet and PBOT in April about the “spikes” on the bridge railings.

    (Look at the woman in the photo — just to the right of her chin is a pair of “spikes” in the railing. If she was to crash against the railing, her head would be impaled on the spikes).

    I also asked for a “Rub Rail” on the railing, so if your handlebars brush against it they won’t snag on the posts.

    Yesterday I followed up with TriMet and spoke with Jennifer Koozer, the Community Affairs Manager. She said:

    1) My concerns were reviewed by the “Safety and Security Committee” which is an internal committee of TriMet staff. She stated that they were very knowledgeable engineers.

    2) Their findings were that some mitigation of the hazard was warranted. Their response was to add a second white stripe on the bridge pavement on the left side of the bike lane to guide people on bicycles away from the railing. I replied that I respectfully disagreed, and that a white stripe wasn’t going to help when crossing the bridge with a 30 mph crosswind and buses going by, or small children darting around on a sunny day. I asked how to have my concerns reconsidered. She wasn’t sure.

    3) But she did clarify that she is the point of contact for all concerns. If any of you other folks have concerns about the operational safety of the railing, with the hazard of impalement on spikes, snagging handlebars on the railing, the effectiveness of the white stripe as a mitigation measure, or anything else, you can contact her directly.
    KoozerJ@trimet.org or 503-962-2116

    Enjoy the ride, everyone, and be safe!

    Ted Buehler

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    • Ted Buehler September 12, 2015 at 11:52 am

      I’d like to add that overall it’s a fabulous bridge, and I look forward to riding it.

      Just because I think it should be made better, and could be made better with very little $ and effort, doesn’t mean I’m not grateful that they built it.

      & Jennifer was pleasant to deal with on the phone, and responded promptly to my request for an update on request.

      Just a clarification…

      Ted Buehler

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    • B. Carfree September 13, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      The proposed stripe will further narrow the already too narrow bike space and, since it will be slippery when wet, will increase the odds that someone will be impaled. If that’s what passes for knowledgeable engineers, someone save us from the stupid ones (who all seem to work for ODOT).

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  • noah September 12, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Some months ago, there was speculation in this forum that cyclists would be discouraged because the bridge’s grade is the same as the Morrison Bridge’s, and the Morrison is considered steep. Those who rode today, what say you?

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    • Eric Leifsdad September 12, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      It’s about as steep as the ride up to River Pkwy and Harbor Dr, so I’m guessing those with routes which more closely fit Hawthorne bridge will continue doing that. Coming from SW, often with electric assist, I’ll probably default to crossing here if I can ever make any sense of the bikeways on the east end of it.

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    • gutterbunnybikes September 12, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      The grade is fine, it’s nice and easy. Tried racing a bus up going west once…I lost. There really aren’t that many bikes on it today.. less than 1000 I was I23 over after it opened last time over I was 987 when I last crossed about an hour ago (1:30ish).

      Way more foot traffic which will slow you down on bicycle particularly at the landings , lots of people are riding the Orange line and walking it then maxing it back home.

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      • was carless September 13, 2015 at 8:19 pm

        I rode over the bridge around 5pm, and it said 3,200 riders today (Sunday).

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      • Spiffy September 14, 2015 at 9:56 am

        sounds like you’re saying the white line isn’t keeping the modes separate…

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    • mikeybikey September 13, 2015 at 9:11 am

      My impression of the grade: its not terrible but its not great. At the end of the day this crossing is engineered for trains and busses first which is to say it is not human scale. It is primarily a transit investment. Id like to see the same level of investment in world class cycling facilities.

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      • B. Carfree September 13, 2015 at 8:29 pm

        I would argue that the grades that trains can climb are certainly human scale. Who wants to ride on flat surfaces all the time? In the real world there are inclines and this one is not exactly a taxing one.

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    • RushHourAlleycat September 13, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      I say they missed an opportunity to connect it father up the hill on either side of the river, thus flattening the grade. Singlespeed here, and the Hawthorne (with a cut under the superstructure on the east side) remains my route of choice. I never use the Morrison, only sometimes the Burnside, and I’ll go out of my way, especially when the river runs high to snake up the eastbank esplanade and cross the steel.

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      • Chris I September 13, 2015 at 3:45 pm

        The grade is completely reasonable. Trimet didn’t need to spend $100 million more on this bridge because people don’t want to ride bikes with gears.

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        • RushHourAlleycat September 13, 2015 at 11:19 pm

          The rail infrastructure is in the right place. The pedestrian/bike walkway could have passed right over the heavy rail, light rail and roads. Plus all of the money from the confusing crossings at the east side bike path could have been better utilized in this way. Then there is the 30 Million they left in the trough. This new MAX line is a win for developers who can now better attract uncertain monied out of towners to the South Waterfront (only place more Disney than the Pearl). The extra effort it takes to get over that hump, is just one example of how bikes were a secondary concern here. My singlespeed was the right price for my budget (donated to me by a friend) and it’s informed the way I learned to ride. I think it’s kept me more in touch with the novice mindset, which is the group we ultimately want to help most with these advancements in infrastructure. I didn’t hear anyone, rookie or veteran whose bike life has been made easier by this. Wait there is that one guy who has been using the Ross Island. This is a safety win for him and his kind.

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          • Chris I September 14, 2015 at 12:53 am

            Every single cyclist that rides this bridge is a cyclist who’s life “has been made easier “. They are choosing this crossing over all of the other bridges. Personally, this bridge allows me to angle through Ladd’s when riding from NE to SW (saving several minutes), and eliminates conflicts of the waterfront path south of the Hawthorne.

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            • RushHourAlleycat September 14, 2015 at 9:48 am

              Then I guess it will be born out in the numbers. Off to the races. My money is on the Hawthorn.

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    • was carless September 13, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      I rode it today and walked over it yesterday, and its really not that bad. I’d say no worse than the Hawthorne Bridge eastbound viaduct. Then the bridge levels out and next thing you know you are going downhill.

      It is a pretty tall bridge – seems taller than it looks.

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    • jeff September 14, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      the grade is nothing. the spiderweb of crossings/lights/signage on either end is beyond confusing. the bridge itself is fine.

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  • SilkySlim September 12, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Pretty darn rare that a new bridge across the Willamette – in the heart of Portland no less – opens. Unbelievably excited and proud of the city. Going to hit it on my jog today, and yes I will create a Strava segment for it (sorry!!).

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    • Scott H September 14, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      The new Sellwood bridge isn’t exactly in the heart of Portland, but it’s unbelievable to think that we’re going to have yet another bridge open here shortly, and I’m super excited about both. It’s a good year.

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  • Mindful Cyclist September 12, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    I am working today and plan to go out of my way to ride across it for the first time. I hope it is just not too crowded with people.

    But, this will not change my route to get to work. But it will be nice to have an extra bridge and hopefully it make the Hawthorne less crowded.

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  • Caitlin September 12, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    I rode over it around 11:30 am today and it was great! There were a number of pedestrians wandering in the bike lane taking pictures or who just seemed oblivious but I’m sure with more regular traffic it will get better. The incline felt good and easy, a lot better than I had anticipated given the comparisons to the Morrison bridge.

    I live in the Lair Hill neighborhood so once on the west side, I took Moody to the elevator and found myself noticing how much lower stress it is than my usual route from the Hawthorne bridge to SW 1st to get home. The connections were a bit wonky and there were some backups at different crossings, especially with younger kiddos not quite understanding where to go. However, I’m very excited to use this route as an alternative to my usual one. Huzzah!

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  • em September 12, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    I crossed this afternoon on my way home from work. Didn’t partake in celebrations as I was work tired.

    I did notice a huge, and I mean HUGE, increase in car traffic on the east side near Omsi all the way to Clinton. Far more than a typical sunny Saturday.

    Kinda sad, especially considering the whole transit network is free today.

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    • JJ September 12, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      The Mini Maker Faire is happening at OMSI this weekend and was packed, so I’m sure a lot of the cars were there for that. We bikes down and took advantage of the free bike valet parking instead 🙂

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  • Eric September 12, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    I have been desperately waiting for this bridge to open. It’s a beautiful piece of architecture and an incredible addition to the non-vehicular infrastructure in Portland. That said, after riding it today, despite the fact that it is smack in the middle of my twice weekly commute to drop the kid off at school on the East Side (while living on the West Side), I probably won’t use it at all.

    Bike access to the bridge is a massive hassle, at least on the West side (the East side approaches seem reasonable. There are at least 2, sometimes 3 lights that you have to wait for crossing Moody and the tracks. I’m happy to wait for lights, but not when I don’t have to do so on any of the other Willamette River crossings.

    A fly-over coming off the bridge and avoiding a grade crossing of Moody (for both transit and bikes) would have been a much better approach.

    At this point, I’m hoping nobody else realizes how horrible this bridge is for cyclists so that it alleviates some traffic between S. Waterfront and downtown and I can cruise that stretch with less trouble.

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    • eli bishop September 12, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      “A fly-over coming off the bridge and avoiding a grade crossing of Moody (for both transit and bikes) would have been a much better approach.” THIIIS

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      • RushHourAlleycat September 13, 2015 at 12:39 pm

        Imagine if it went from the PSU area by Lincoln and 2nd straight and level all the way up to SE 7th? Going down into the South Waterfront seems to only benefit developers of those luxury condos, no one you want to know wants to live in. The bike path is a nightmare untill it meets up with Division Pl. Really challenging to navigate. The addition of those cyclist gates at the crossing will make this part of town a “avoid if at all possible” area.

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        • lop September 13, 2015 at 3:06 pm

          How many tens of millions would that structure cost?

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          • RushHourAlleycat September 13, 2015 at 7:11 pm

            How much more functional would it be with it in? Answer to both, probably a lot more.

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    • was carless September 13, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      Interesting. I recommend not visiting Amsterdam ever, as the infrastructure design on the west side is pretty much identical to any major Amsterdam transit intersections.

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  • Jeff wale to September 12, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I was the 2nd person across the bridge …I was around the area for awhile and rode it several times…I think the grade is steep but manageable and the foot traffic I imagine will not be nearly as bad so it’s hard to judge

    By 12:50 I passed the bike counter and it was past 1,000

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    • Jeff walenta September 12, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      My phone mangled my name

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  • caesar September 12, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    I got there at 10 AM and it was packed. I rode across about four times, back and forth. My impression is that I hope that today was an anomaly in terms of crowd size, becasue if it continues to be that crowded there will be frequent and serious crashes between bikes and peds. Keep in mind that there were dozens of orange-clad Tri-Met chaperones everywhere, conducting the flow and telling people what to do. Without them it would have been utter chaos. The crossings are not intuitive. Dozens of pedestrians waling in the bike lane is a recipe for disaster, especially with all the Cat-6 bikers here in town.

    Overall I love the bridge, but the implementation seems off. The complexity of the crossings at both ends seems much to high for the average distracted walker and biker.

    Hope I’m wrong.

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    • gutterbunnybikes September 12, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Funny those chaperones were often more in the way than the pedestrians were. More than once I had to wait for one of them to quit scalding the walkers from his/her perch in the middle of the bike lane.

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  • Mark September 12, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Looking at the satellite, did they run a dedicated mup along the entire track? Seems like a huge lost opportunity if they didn’t.

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    • Ed September 12, 2015 at 9:15 pm

      No. Agree it is a lost opportunity. I believe corridors that avoid intersecting streets are the single key to relaxing bicycling, but for some reason this issue is not discussed much, and they are rare in Portland due to the street grid system. Suspect ownership of right of way along the rail corridor is a factor. But that is not an excuse.

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  • Ted Buehler September 12, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    I rode the bridge today, back and forth, pulling my 6′ cargo trailer (I was out running errands).

    Overall, yes, it’s a beautiful bridge. It’s a new connection where there wasn’t a good connection before (Ross Island Bridge).

    But, it completely validated my concerns, and I fear that because of minor penny pinching, it will not serve the bicycling commuter population as well as it could have had it had a few minor improvements.

    1) Spikes. They’re SHARP. Like a hatchet. You could split firewood with one of them — the pointy end is about 1″ across and nearly razor sharp. The sides are also sharp — no roundedness at all, and if you body slam the side of the railing post you’ll probably get cut up. Versus the usual rounded bridge railings we’re accustomed to.

    But, at the belvideres there is a “rail” added to the top of the spiked posts. It looks like it was designed that way, since the spikes are a few inches lower at the belvederes than on the narrower sections of the bridge. I’m going to call this a “Railing Cap.”

    So that’s a good demonstration of how the spike problem. We say “Hey, thanks for putting those really nice Railing Caps” on the spikes at the belvederes. They look pretty, they fit in with the rest of the bridge aesthetically, and they won’t cause an injury to anyone who crashes on the railing. Do ya think you might be able to add that same type of “Railing Cap” on the bike lane railing on the whole bridge?”

    2) Exposed railing posts vs, Rub Rails. It’s bad. I didn’t bring my radar gun, but I’m pretty sure some folks were easily doing 20 mph drifting down the slopes. This was with lots of kids around. On a normal commuting day folks will be doing that all the time, or faster. And if you catch your handlebar on the railing post, it’s going to catch and body slam you into the railing (& maybe spikes).

    The Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Design Guide explicitly states that bridges should have a “Rub Rail” to prevent handlebars from catching. It’s basic engineering. It’s state of the art. It’s easy. And it’s easy to retrofit. It will save collarbones, skulls and wrists from getting broken when a person on a bicycle for whatever reason brushes against the railing.

    See pic on Page 7-9. ftp://ftp.odot.state.or.us/techserv/roadway/web_drawings/HDM/2011%20HDM%20Rewrite/2012%20Appendix%20L%20Bike%20Ped%20Design%20Guide.pdf

    Text is
    “Where a cyclist’s handlebar
    may come into contact with a fence or barrier,
    a smooth, 12 inches wide rub-rail should be
    installed at a height of 3 feet.”

    Fortunately, Rub Rails are easy to retrofit, won’t cost much, and won’t impact the design. A little more weight and wind loading, but the bridge should be able to handle that…

    3) White stripe
    As I posted earlier today, TriMet added a white stripe to mark the left side of the bike lane. It’s only about 18″ off the railing, but I suppose it helps a person on a bike visually center themselves in the safe riding area. I’m all in favor of paint as a fix, but in this case the danger is from forces knocking a bicycle off course, not failure to navigate the travel lane. For instance, if there’s a fast Strava rider threading the needle between a slower bicycle in the bike lane and a couple pedestrians, and they brush up against the slower bicycle, the white paint isn’t going to prevent a crash.

    So, as I stated above, there are easy fixes to these problems, but to get them done it will take a groundswell of concerned citizens submitting public comment and asking for safety improvements. If you want to do that, drop a line to Jennifer Koozer, Community Affairs Manager at TriMet. KoozerJ@trimet.org or 503-962-2116 My suggestion would be to tell her you like the bridge, ride it regularly, and appreciate the white stripe, but want something physical to protect you from serious injury in the event that you brush against the railing — a Rub Rail and a Railing Cap. Then add some poetry, or a pic of you and your kids smiling on the bridge. Mix it up a bit…

    4) West terminus.
    I waited at least a minute to go across Moody to exit the bridge. I think a southbound streetcar preempted the bike signal, so I had to wait for an entire extra signal. Seems to me a timing fix can fix this — bike traffic on the bridge should have just as much priority as anything else, and they don’t need to keep Moody on a “timed system” to synch with the rest of the city. After a streetcar goes through, let the people who have waited the longest go first.

    My trailer didn’t fit in the queue box waiting to turn south on Moody, and blocked pedestrians and other bicyclists. Plainly, this intersection was not designed for the 2030 Bicycle Master Plan goal of 25% of all trips in the city by bike. It’s going to be clogged up on Monday morning, and every weekday after that. I had to wait another minute or more to go south on Moody, with my trailer clogging up the area. There’s lots of types of long bikes in this city — Extracycles, tandems, Bakfeits, Kid trailers, cargo trailers, trailabikes, Soupcycles, Icycle Tricycles, B-Line Bike Trucks. It’s not like long bikes are unusual. Infrastructure should be designed with a long bike as the design vehicle.

    5) East terminus.
    They finally opened the cycletracks on Tilikum Way from the bridgehead out to Water Ave. They are really skinny. I can maneuver my trailer through skinny stuff, and this was skinny stuff.

    Otherwise it was the same old “gallery of all types of bicycle facilities crammed in a 12 block space” that it’s been for the last six months. Passable, but not navigable for the first few times you do it.

    So, hey, it was a beautiful day and I got to ride over a beautiful bridge, with no engine exhaust or growling trucks. And I liked it. But, they took a whole lot of effort to make the bridge beautiful. And aesthetically cohesive. And have coordinated lights like a mood ring. And have streetcars and buses and MAX trains dovetail together seamlessly at each end, and give positive experiences to users. But people on bikes get this second-class citizen treatment — the sidewalk is not much wider than the Hawthorn Bridge sidewalk, which is proven to be dangerously narrow. Bikes get low priority on traffic signals at all ends. The designers didn’t, apparently, even flip through the state’s Design Guide to see how to make the safest possible railing. And then they add spikes to the whole deal.

    I wish they would have made a few more steps to make the *bike experience* as beautiful as the *transit experience* and the *bridge architecture*.

    Food for thought,

    Ted Buehler

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    • caesar September 13, 2015 at 7:56 am

      I didn’t bring my radar gun, but I’m pretty sure some folks were easily doing 20 mph drifting down the slopes. This was with lots of kids around. On a normal commuting day folks will be doing that all the time, or faster…if there’s a fast Strava rider threading the needle between a slower bicycle in the bike lane and a couple pedestrians, and they brush up against the slower bicycle, the white paint isn’t going to prevent a crash.

      Ted, I’m really concerned that there actually will be cyclists riding that bridge at those speeds. The posted speed limit is 25 mph, but when I asked some of the attendants and two of the bicycle police officers (there were many of them circling around) no one knew if that was meant for cyclists or the tram operators or both. It would be totally inappropriate to ride fast on that bridge – and not just because of the risk of cyclists impaling their necks on the sharp metal posts. There is no physical separation at all from pedestrians. Riding a bike at speed will invariable lead to crashes with pedestrians, given the normal human tendency to wander across painted lines, especially in a place as visually stunning as that bridge.

      When I rode back to the bridge in the afternoon for a second look(I love the view, what can I say) I personally witnessed a near miss between a guy on a bike rolling down eastbound ahead of me (we were doing about 8 mph) and a toddler who had momentarily broken free from her dad’s hand hold. It would have been horrible had the cyclists not reacted quickly and veered left, almost crashing himself into the railings (nice reflexes, dude!) . IMHO they should have posted a 5 mph speed limit for all cyclists on the bridge span, period. Protecting the most vulnerable users should be the goal, not providing more challenges for Stravistas.

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      • Spiffy September 14, 2015 at 10:24 am

        It would be totally inappropriate to ride fast on that bridge … There is no physical separation at all from pedestrians. … will invariable lead to crashes with pedestrians

        you make a great case for a city-wide 20 mph speed limit…

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    • RushHourAlleycat September 13, 2015 at 11:35 am

      Is this the Ted that is running for Mayor?

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      • Librarian September 13, 2015 at 12:53 pm

        No, that’s Ted Wheeler.

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    • Spiffy September 14, 2015 at 10:14 am

      FTP ODOT link is broken, asks for a login.

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  • kittens September 13, 2015 at 12:45 am

    I was one of the people in orange helping (volunteering) people figure out how to cross the tracks near OMSI station. Everyone was in good spirits and patient with each other which was nice to see.

    That said, the design of the bridgeheads is horrible and will only get worse with age. Just look how they have turned Gateway into a cattle chute.

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    • wsbob September 13, 2015 at 12:55 am

      You people in orange working for trimet, helping people cross the tracks, did a great job too. The crosswalk signal phase was timed for just 8 seconds to cross both tracks, so one volunteer advised…so some on the west side were advising people to be quick about it if they wanted to get all the way across in one signal phase.

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  • wsbob September 13, 2015 at 12:49 am

    Walked the bridge today, starting about 1:30 in the afternoon. The bridge is definitely the best investment the city has made in a long time. Nice wide bike lanes and relatively wider pedestrian lanes. To the south, extraordinarily beautiful views of the river. In terms of architectural design and form to function, the bridge is superb, beautiful to see from a multitude of angles and a range of distances away.

    On the bridge’s downgrade with a bike, there is a potential to go very fast, easily over 15 mph. People biking that fail to moderate their speed of travel compatibly to that of people walking on the adjacent pedestrian lane, stand to diminish the safety and quality of function the bridge offers.

    While being aware that for some people, the desire for fast travel is a top priority, it may be worth encouraging them by some means, to find elsewhere than this bridge to travel over 15 mph.

    Because of the opening celebration, today was a bit extraordinary, with people on foot lollygagging and enjoying themselves, some wanting to walk two and three abreast, meaning…in some cases, faster walkers chose to enter into the bike lane to pass people walking slower than they.

    Some people commenting here earlier, express concerns about what they consider to be on the west side, too many light signals required to pass through in order to get on the bridge from the Moody bike lane. Interesting; maybe they’re thinking that lots of people in a hurry that ride, will just avoid using this bridge so they don’t have to wait through those two or three signals.

    Although it’s nice of Ted Buehler to be concerned about bridge design features that could be seen by some as a hazard to people biking, the fence post tops it seems he’s referring to as “…spikes…”, don’t appear to pose this type danger. The fence posts are atop a curb, one purpose of which is to cue people to ride far enough away from the curb so they won’t hit the curb. The bikes front tire, maintained a foot away from the curb should easily keep handlebars clear of the fence posts, with room to spare.

    All in all, an excellent, very functional and beautiful addition to Portland’s collection of bridges.

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    • caesar September 13, 2015 at 8:31 am

      Bob, have a look at any photo of that bridge (the one at the top of this story, for example). That so-called “curb” is probably not more than six inches wide. I no way will that keep a bike’s bars from striking the railing and causing a crash and potentially flesh-piercing encounter with the sharp post caps. Not as a “cue” and not as a physical barrier.

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      • wsbob September 13, 2015 at 10:14 am

        caesar…I think it’s the curb’s height, rather than its width, that will have people keeping their bike’s tires away from the curb. Coming too close to the curb, I think there’s a much more real hazard of crashing a pedal into onto the curb than there is of hooking a handlebar on the post. example: road bike pedal spindle is just approx four and and a half inches above the ground.

        I’m willing to read of realistic scenarios depicting circumstances people concerned about the fence posts may have in mind. I’d certainly be interested in reading what the bridge designers may have done in the way of exploring any potential for crashes the fence posts, connecting wires and curb might pose. Looks to me like quite a safe design.

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    • Tom Hardy September 13, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      Bob. the curb is a nice tripping point. yes on a bile with narrow handlebars with drops, it might be far enough in a normal situation to keep a rider from mounting his head on a spike. From my crossing yesterday at 1:00 There were over 40 retro bikes with 30 inch handlebars. They will hit the railings a long time before most. I was also surprised that over a dozen of them left the east end the same time as I did in a MAX train. They were all balled up at the West end by the riders trying to get on or off. The riders at least matched the MAX speed. I only saw 4 kids in the bike lane (peds) but I saw 6 doing selfies (peds).

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      • wsbob September 13, 2015 at 10:20 pm

        Measured my road bike bars for an example: 18″ wide. 30″ bars would be an additional 6″ to each side. I suppose if it were possible to somehow make a strong case that people riding bikes with that width bars, could be in danger of hooking a handlebar end on a fence post while riding responsibly, Trimet would have to address such an issue. Get out the crash test dummies and put them on some bikes for a test of such a scenario.

        There will be some skill and caution required for people riding this bridge, to ride it safely. I think though, we should at least start out giving all whom it’s hoped will ride this bridge, at least some benefit of the doubt that they will be making sincere efforts to ride the bridge with the degree of caution that it’s readily apparent the situation calls for.

        Do this before drawing dramatic conclusions that people responsibly riding this bridge’s bike lane will somehow crash into the fence posts and bang their head on the angled tops of the posts. The photo at the top of this bikeportland story, looking down the bike lane and showing a bunch of people riding towards the camera, provides a good example of what point in the bike lane’s width people will be establishing their line of travel: right down the middle.

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    • Spiffy September 14, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      While being aware that for some people, the desire for fast travel is a top priority, it may be worth encouraging them by some means, to find elsewhere than this bridge to travel over 15 mph.

      it’s the only bridge with a bike lane so I expect that it should have the fastest bike traffic…

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      • wsbob September 14, 2015 at 6:55 pm

        The bike lane on the new bridge directly adjoins the lane for people walking…no physical separation; no curb, no fence, nothing. Actually, these lanes together are a divided MUP. There will almost certainly be instances in which people on foot and people riding, will alternately be using both lanes.

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  • Greg B September 13, 2015 at 7:58 am

    I walked across the bridge yesterday. Love to have it as an option and look forward to riding it. I appreciate the comments and concerns folks have shared. It will interesting when traffic levels normalize. We got on at Bybee station which is below street grade. We brought our bikes down to the platform because bike parking up top was full. We decided to use bike rails on the steps to see how they’d work. They were really challenging to use. The steep decent and design made it not worth using. We saw some just people just choosing to carry their bike up. The elevator is definitely the preferred method. This is also true at the Rhine/Lafayette station.

    We also asked about the trail next to the tracks at the Park Ave. station. Apparently it ends at River Road but I’m hoping it will some day connect to Milwaukie’s new Willamette River park and into Sellwood as a connection to the Springwater Corridor trail. And the bike parking at the Park Ave. station looked great. I’m not familiar with “Bike-link” which is what it said we needed in order to access it. I’m assuming it’s a monthly rental to have access to covered, secure parking. Glad it is designed in from the start but not sure what other options for parking were available.

    That being said, glad see non-car infrastructure and a focus on people – centric transportation. The bridge is beautiful and great to walk.

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    • Ann September 13, 2015 at 10:44 pm

      Wait, doesn’t the trail go all the way to the new Milwaukie Park? I mean I know it does, I rode it a few weeks ago, unless I’m misunderstanding your post. It’s got a few sketchy intersections with the road, but it’s a nice path. I’d like to know more about the delay of the path along 17th, though. I thought they fast tracked it for this summer, but after a bunch of work early in the summer, they seem to have stopped.

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      • Ann September 13, 2015 at 11:06 pm

        Apparently the “fast track” on the downtown Milwaukie to Sellwood portion means it’ll be finished in November 2016. The slow track must have been really really slow.

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        • Matt- Bike Milwaukie September 14, 2015 at 1:22 pm

          The 17th ave MUP is on track, and yes it is supposed to be done in the Fall of 2016. It will be a nice connection once it is done and will connect Gladstone, Oak Grove, Milwaukie and Portland together and it’s North end is only 1 block from the Springwater trail in Sellwood.

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    • Bald One September 14, 2015 at 9:17 am

      Rode the elevators at Lafayette/Rhine pedestrian bridges last week in the afternoon, when temps were about 80F. These elevators are glass boxes in direct sunlight, and the temp inside the elevator was above 110F. As soon as the doors shut, I was nearly in a panic that the elevator would malfunction leaving me to cook inside while waiting for first responders. Luckily, that didn’t happen, but with those worthless wheel gutters that Tri-met has used as a design, these elevator cook-boxes need some ventilation help during the hot summer afternoons.

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  • Josh G September 13, 2015 at 9:26 am

    I tried to ride to Milwaukie along the Right of Way. I’d like to here more about why a MUP wasn’t built.

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    • Terry D-M September 13, 2015 at 9:36 am

      At the end they had to cut $30 million to stay “within budget”….most of this was bike/ped infrastructure. The project came $30 million under budget….but we can not now use the money due to federal regulations….so we will have to pay for these improvements ourselves…over the next 30 years or so at the normal Portland rate of investment.

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    • Matt- Bike Milwaukie September 14, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      It was never part of the project to build a MUP next to the tracks along the entire way…. which is one of the biggest things that should have been done as part of this project.

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  • Eric September 13, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Funny those chaperones were often more in the way than the pedestrians were. More than once I had to wait for one of them to quit scalding the walkers from his/her perch in the middle of the bike lane.Recommended 3

    Just like they were during the recent closure of the Moody track for “upgrades”. They were typically standing smack in the middle of choke points.

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  • RushHourAlleycat September 13, 2015 at 11:29 am

    For my part I resolved to bike down to Miwaukie, and take a free train back downtown. I made it to the end of the well engineered bike path by the Union Pacific hub, and crossed McLaughlin? A big arterial 6 lane highway thing. And lost touch with the tracks for awhile. A teacher from the Miwaukie district, who bikes everyday from aloha, using an ebike, soon joined me as I was waiting to cross. He could maybe sense me trying to get my bearings, and invited me to ride with him. Very cool! We soon made it to the second to last stop

    There was lots of great Dark Horse Comics swag in downtown Miwaukie, the second to last stop on the train. The Trimet swag: buttons, stickers and cheap bags; I found to be pretty meh.

    While there he showed me the school, and that’s when I spotted what looks like some new biking infra going in under the rail bridge, leasing from downtown Miwaukie to the end of the line. Check out the link to see the picture. (There may be a story there Michael & Johnathan)


    There was a Serbian church holding a festival, I had Serbian beer with lamb and pig roasted on a spit over an open flame.

    The line for a train back was crazy, especially for people with bikes, so we rode up the spring water and back to Portland. Where I took advantage of the free service for a quick ride up to the top of the hill that has psu on it. As luck would have it, it was an orange line train too!

    Mission Accomplished, and bonus He-Man posters and Buffy mugs.

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    • Eric September 14, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      I have been to that Serbian festival at St. Stephens. Nice people, but the food was not for me. I am sorry, what were you talking about?

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      • RushHourAlleycat September 14, 2015 at 6:31 pm

        I like animals roasted over fire. Maybe just different preference at work here

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    • Spiffy September 14, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      that little bridge under the big bridge looks cool, but it would be too unsafe to ride such infrastructure with all the crazy people camped out in there…

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  • Scott B September 13, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    I rode over the bridge 6 times (one way) while towing a Burley Travoy and overall I was very pleased with the bridge.

    Compared to the Open Day there was approximately a quarter of the volume as the ride over during Bridge Pedal and the open house – I crossed over around 10pm on my last ride and the count was 3,600 Bikes and 15,000 Walkers.

    Compared to the Open House where there was 40,000 Bikes and who knows how many Walkers (100,000?) this was a drop in the bucket, If this is a big day then the designers more than did their job.

    As I mentioned in my Comment during the Open House coverage it’s going to be interesting to see how many people will use the Bridge regularly once the fascination/novelty factor wears off – I’m guessing a couple months.

    As a Disability Advocate I’m very impressed with the design but I do echo Ted Buehler’s concerns about the spikes – a cap would be a simple correction and not cost that much.

    It will be interesting to see how the Hawthorne and Tilikum patterns change over the next few months as people start adapting their riding/walking patterns.

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  • Andrew September 13, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    I’m looking forward to riding it this Tuesday! My usual route to see my girlfriend for lunch consisted of barbur followed by the Ross island bridge.
    This will be a nice change!

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  • chris September 13, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    I rode it today, and there was still a fair size crowd due to the Maker Fair, and probably just because it is Sunday and sunny. There are still a lot of pedestrians walking into the bike lane, but if you ring your bell out them, they jump out of the way pretty fast, as the lines and signage make it pretty clear that they aren’t supposed to be walking there. There isn’t much room to pass slower cyclists, but fortunately, it doesn’t take long to cross even at moderate speeds. It’s an important connection that I think will cause the South Waterfront, John’s Landing, Hosford-Abernathy, Brookly and Sellwood to develop fast.

    My big issue wasn’t the bridge itself, but when you turn left over Moody. I had a FIVE MINUTE red light. There were a number of trains and busses that cross, but there was a 20-30 second gap where the light turned green. It would seem that given that this area is supposed to be bike-friendly, the city wouldn’t completely screw us over with a five minute red light. I mean, WTF, that is just way too long. That’s a longer red light than one finds on any of the least bike-friendly streets in the city.

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    • Lester Burnham September 14, 2015 at 9:00 am

      We complain when people in cars are in a hurry…you shouldn’t be in a hurry on your bicycle either.

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      • Spiffy September 14, 2015 at 3:36 pm

        just because you’re not in a hurry doesn’t mean that you like being slowed down… I hate sitting idle and will circle a block to avoid sitting still…

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      • chris September 14, 2015 at 4:00 pm

        Maybe you shouldn’t tell me what to do.

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  • Matt M. September 13, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Took a ride over the bridge and back from SE Division around 5pm, to see if it might be an alternative route to mix in with my usual daily commute over the Hawthorne.

    As I had feared from what I’ve read here, the eastside connection is awful. Coming west off Clinton and crossing 11th + 12th is such a strange, non-intuitive series of stops, turns, and bizarre waits at signals. Same in reverse when I rode back. I completely understand that there were big challenges given the freight/TriMet/vehicular situation there, but still, wow. By the time I hit the straightway on Tilikum Way (still not even feeling sure I was going the right way), I was already bummed.

    I feel guilty complaining because the bridge itself is so great (and I have no alternatives to propose!). Just really hope that as time goes on they are able to figure out a better solution for that eastside mess.

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  • Granpa September 14, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Rode the new bridge this AM on my way to work. East connection to Clinton has been discussed with disgust and I agree. Slopes are noticeable but this retro-grouch has the chops to pull that hill without complaint. Somehow I managed to avoid getting my head impaled by spikes, or my handlebars tangled in the rail posts. Worst part of the commute was that it delivered me to work.

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  • rick September 14, 2015 at 8:53 am

    As if they have any bridges like this in Staten Island? I think the bridge needs benches to take in the view on the south side, but I think they did a good job. I just wish the design was similar to the new Sellwood bridge instead of being over the top.

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  • Burk September 14, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Finally got a chance to ride over it on Sunday.

    To me it feels like something out of a utopian future, I wish it was 30 miles long.

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  • mw September 14, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Man, hitting those expansion joints at speed on the descent is quite jarring. Really hope those get smoothed out eventually.

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  • Paul Souders September 14, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Rode over the Tillicum on my westbound commute this morning. It is in an almost perfect line between my kids school and my office.

    The bridge itself is fantastic. I might have quibbles but the quiet & the views more than outshine them. Even the west side transition to Moody isn’t as awkward as I’d feared. Not great but OK.

    But man the eastside approaches are a mess. Following the law (wouldn’t blame anyone who didnt) it took me 9 minutes to get from 12th/Clinton to the westside approach, where I had to wait another 1+ minute through two red lights (Copenhagen style box on Water ave) to cross onto the bridge.

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    • Paul Souders September 14, 2015 at 11:17 am

      (sorry that’s 9 minutes from 12th/Clinton to EASTside approach on Water ave)

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  • Dweendaddy September 14, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Are the data from the counters available anywhere? I could not find them online. It will be interesting to see how many people cross over time. Also, it will be interesting to see how it will affect the Hawthorne Bridge Bike Counter numbers.

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  • Dawn September 14, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    I did my first work commute today from inner east side Division area to the CLSB on the South Waterfront. My old route took me via Ladds and the Hawthorne and was 3.5 miles/12 minute commute on my ebike. Today’s commute is a mile shorter via the eastside Clinton gauntlet, but still took 12 minutes given the horrible light cycles for peds/bikes. Clinton and 12th/8th is the worst, but the connection to the bridge itself is not all that intuitive either.

    Also, Clinton sucks…I get it now. All the complaints about cars on Clinton. The ride down Lincoln/Harrison and through Ladd’s is much, much less stressful. Really, it’s almost peaceful compared to Clinton.

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    • Ted Buehler September 15, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      On the light timing — if you don’t mind riding in traffic on Division, you can skip a bunch of the ill-timed lights by cutting across the tracks at 8th and using Division from 8th to SE Eliot or SE 13th.

      Probably saves a few minutes, but puts you in mess of traffic.


      Ted Buehler

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  • Fred King September 14, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    My son and I rode the new Tilikum Crossing Bridge the day of the grand opening. The bridge looks beautiful close up as it does from a distance. It is a work of art that you can cross a river on. But it’s not for the faint of heart.

    Starting out on the east side just south of OMSI, the bridge soars up over the Willamette to the South Waterfront area, blocks from the tram’s lower station. And I do mean soar. Between the gossamer-thin threads of the railing and the steep climb, the feeling is both exhilarating and scary, between flying and being about to fall.

    When I say that the railing of this bridge does not give you a secure feeling, I say this not as someone afraid of heights, but someone afraid of plummeting into the river. There is nothing between you and the river way down there but ¼ inch metal cables. But a great view once your heart stops pounding.

    Then there is the climb. Not that it mattered at the time since I was on an electric assist bike, but it was much steeper than what I was used to from the other Portland bridges. I heard that it’s the same as the Morrison, but that’s another bridge I avoid like the plague.

    The nice part is that the new bridge does not carry passenger cars or trucks, only pedestrians, buses, max trains and bikes. So, this bridge trades the risk of riding near car traffic for a very steep climb and a view that feels, at least at first, gut-droppingly insecure. Still, I’m sure that there will be lots of bikers on this bridge every day.

    Wayfinding still needs some tweaks. Riding through a rail crossing on the bike path I somehow ended up on the pedestrian path. In some places the path marked with red strips with inverted writing turned out to be the way you’re supposed to go.

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  • Cory Poole September 14, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    I’ve now skated the bridge with my longboard six times. I love it! The expansion joints are few and not to jarring. The pavement is not grooved. There is no deadly gap that will eat my wheels whole. The rail will stop a board from going over the edge into the water, but best of all it is the most peaceful experience going over the water without the constant roar of traffic going by at high speed.

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    • Psyfalcon September 15, 2015 at 11:19 am

      How much do the full size longboards help over a regular deck with 55mm OJIIIs (78A)?

      Even with a thin shock pad I’ve been finding a lot of roads too rough.

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  • Cory Poole September 14, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Also does anyone know how to access the new bike counter data online?

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    • RushHourAlleycat September 15, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      As of 11pm last night.

      Hawthorn 2566
      Tillikum 1344

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  • WP September 15, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Rode home over it at about 615pm yesterday and it was very quiet. The bridge itself is nice. I don’t feel the incline is an issue at all. However, getting on and off the bridge is horrendous on both sides and then navigating to Clinton/ Division is a shitty set-up indeed. Way too much going on, confusing signals, crossings, tracks, just ugly. I’ll stick to Hawthorne into town and Morrison back to SE. Hopefully, it will spread some bike traffic out, though…

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  • WP September 15, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    How much do the full size longboards help over a regular deck with 55mm OJIIIs (78A)?Even with a thin shock pad I’ve been finding a lot of roads too rough.Recommended 0

    You don’t really need a longboard for transport. The added length of the wheelbase will provide you with stability but take away from maneuverability which might be more useful. 78a wheels are great to make any skateboard more ‘all terrain’ but harder wheels in some ways will offer more control b/c you can break them into slides to control speed. 86a is a nice compromise.

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  • WP September 15, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    How much do the full size longboards help over a regular deck with 55mm OJIIIs (78A)?Even with a thin shock pad I’ve been finding a lot of roads too rough.Recommended 0

    You could also try bigger wheels. If 55mms are too slow on the rough surfaces. But be sure to get a bigger riser pad if you go too big.

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    • Cory Poole September 15, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      Good longboard wheels make a huge difference. On many portland roads anything smaller then 70mm is terrible.

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  • resopmok September 15, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Didn’t ride over the bridge until this afternoon, trying to avoid the initial crowds. My thoughts for those who care..

    The grade headed up the bridge isn’t bad but is noticeable. I find this common on bridges, or at least the run-up to them. This wouldn’t be a hindrance to my use of it nor do I think really anyone.

    I don’t know if the light cycles were timed better already but I didn’t have any problems getting greens coming off the bridge and heading north on Moody. I didn’t like the left turn from the Moody MUP back onto the bridge though – waiting for the light, there is really nowhere to queue up that doesn’t block the path.

    I originally got on the bridge from Water Ave, and when I returned I headed towards Ladd’s, making several wrong turns before just crossing 8th and making a beeline for that sweet roundabout. I therefore avoided what I’ve heard is the mess around 11th/12th, which I couldn’t find anyway.

    The bridge itself is pretty nice and very modern looking. And shiny brand new.

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  • Dead Salmon September 16, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Quote: “The bridge itself is pretty nice and very modern looking. And shiny brand new.”

    It should be – the 7.3 mile long Orange Line (not just the bridge) cost 1.5 billion dollars. That comes to about $39,000 PER FOOT!

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    • Cory P September 16, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      A new freeway costs $15,000 per foot without bridges. I’ll take the orange line over that any day.

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  • Ian September 16, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    I didn’t like the left turn from the Moody MUP back onto the bridge though – waiting for the light, there is really nowhere to queue up that doesn’t block the path.

    This. Needs a refuge lane.

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  • Scott H September 18, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    The traffic lights near the east side are a joke. No one pays them any mind because it would take all day to navigate through them legally. What a mess.

    Take SE 8th and Division Pl for starters. It takes forever to trigger a green even in the middle of the night with no other traffic. The lights paralleling the track never turn green when there’s a long train passing through, I’m assuming the thinking is that someone stuck on one of the tracks would need the green light to free themselves, but during a slow 10 minute long the lights should let bikes run parallel to it.

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    • TK September 21, 2015 at 12:22 pm

      I would recommend paying them mind, as police are apparently handing out $260 tickets to bikers crossing against the red.

      That said, I agree that the traffic light timing makes this route problematic. I wrote Trimet earlier asking them to petition to change the light timing so that bikers and pedestrians don’t have to wait when trains are running parallel. No word back yet, but I imagine this is a longshot request given how rail traffic has priority over all other vehicles and those laws are probably 100 years old.

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      • Scott H September 21, 2015 at 3:54 pm

        Who did you contact at Trimet? I’ll send my message to the same contact and maybe if enough people complain, they’ll look into it. Assuming the traffic light timing isn’t a direct order from the railroad, and I’m holding out hope that it isn’t since I can think of crossing where lanes parallel to the tracks are given the green during lengthy trains, particularly P&W crossings.

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