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

Friday, April 18th, 2014
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.”

(more…)

When TriMet asked for bridge names, bike-inspired ideas rolled in

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
Street performer on Hawthorne-2.jpg
Kirk Reeves on the Hawthorne Bridge.
(Photos by J.Maus/BikePortland)

As we mentioned in this week’s Monday Roundup, the late trumpet performer Kirk Reeves was passed over by TriMet’s official bridge-naming committee, but not before getting 840 bits of love from people who suggested that the agency name their bridge for him.

Reeves connected with many people who crossed the nearby Hawthorne Bridge on bikes, and he’s one of several public suggestions for the bridge’s name that had links to local biking.

Here’s a look at a few of them, culled from TriMet’s news release of 9,000 public suggestions for the name of the bridge that will carry bikes, buses, MAX trains, streetcars, ambulances and people on foot:

(more…)

TriMet unveils new bridge name finalists: What do you think?

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
TriMet has narrowed down possible names for their new bridge.

This morning at a presentation at the Oregon Historical Society in downtown Portland, TriMet unveiled the four finalists in their search for a name that will forever identify their new bridge over the Willamette.

Below are the four finalists and a brief description (from TriMet) of its origin: (more…)

Want to name that bridge? Now’s your chance

Thursday, October 17th, 2013
TriMet's yet-to-be-named bridge
TriMet’s new bridge is shaping up, but it still needs a name.
(Concept drawing)

All joking aside, what is that new Willamette River bridge going to be called? Starting this morning, the citizens’ committee appointed to decide is asking for ideas.

In construction for more than a year, the new cable-stay bridge is being built by TriMet as part of its Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project. The agency says it’ll be the only one in the country to carry buses, trains, emergency vehicles, and people on bike, foot or skate, but no private cars. It’ll connect the fast-developing Southeast Division Street area with the South Waterfront.

(more…)

Portland’s $134 million monument to me

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Join us in welcoming lifestyle columnist Cathy Hastie to BikePortland. Cathy is a former contributor to Portland Afoot and we’re excited to bring her perspective to our pages. Her first article is about a certain local civic engineering project that still needs a name. And it turns out, Cathy has an idea…

lifestyle columnist Catherine Hastie
Lifestyle columnist Cathy Hastie.

The solemn elk in the middle of Southwest Main street; the diminutive bronze of former mayor Vera Katz smiling upon Eastbank bikers; the plaid-shirted effigy of Paul Bunyan at North Denver and Interstate: despite these few commemorative statues, many of them celebrating non-humans, Portland is not a city overflowing with monuments.

So would it surprise you to know that there is a new $134 million monument under development in our fair City of Roses as we speak? A massive landmark built to commemorate and celebrate a local hero?
(more…)

TriMet decides against ‘sonic bike path’ idea on new light rail bridge

Thursday, October 6th, 2011
Image from a TriMet presentation of
the idea back in February.

Remember TriMet’s idea to turn the bikeway on their forthcoming Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge into a sonic piece of public art?

While TriMet says their public art advisory committee was “intrigued” by the concept, they weren’t ready to pull the trigger due to its price tag of over $200,000.

The idea, which was presented to the City of Portland’s Bicycle Advisory Committee back in February, was to add grooves in the pavement that, when rolled over with bicycle tires, would create a tune. While the “budget reality” wasn’t music to their ears, the committee also cited “unresolved technical issues and potential safety risks” as factors in their decision.

Read a letter sent this morning to the BAC from TriMet Public Art Manager Mary Priester below: (more…)

Read the letter to TriMet about naming new bridge after Don Stathos

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Last week we broke the news that the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (a governor-appointed committee that advises ODOT on biking and walking issues and projects) planned to make an official request to TriMet that the new Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge be named after Don Stathos, father of the 1971 Oregon Bike Bill. Today the OBPAC released their letter. Read it below…

Neil McFarlane
TriMet General Manager
4012 SE 17th Ave.
Portland, OR 97202

RE: Naming the Portland–Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge over the Willamette River

Dear Neil,

The Portland-Milwaukie light-rail line embodies the philosophy of active transportation. With that in mind, we would like to propose that the project’s new bridge spanning the Willamette River be named the (Don) Stathos Bridge as a fitting memorial to an Oregon pioneer and trailblazer in the field of active transportation.

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Oregon’s original Bicycle and Pedestrian Bill during 2011, it is fitting that we pay tribute to a man who brought awareness of and support to active transportation for our state, region and local communities.

In 1971, Don Stathos, a Republican state representative and avid bicyclist from Jacksonville, Oregon, sponsored House Bill 1700. Only nine representatives and one state senator originally backed the Bicycle Bill. At each stage of the legislative process, the bill passed by just one vote. Initially, Governor Tom McCall didn’t favor the bill, but he changed his mind as he came to believe it was a good thing for Oregon and Oregonians. The governor signed the bill into law on the steps of the state capitol using the seat of Stathos’ Schwinn Paramount as a table.

The bill allowed for the creation of the present-day Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, a governor-appointed committee that the Oregon Department of Transportation on bicycling and walking. (The Oregon Bicycle Advisory Committee (OBAC) was formed by ORS 366.112, a bill passed in 1973. In 1995, the Oregon Transportation Commission officially recognized the OBAC’s role in pedestrian issues; the committee became the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (OBPAC)). In 2010 the committee awarded grants for approximately $5 million for the design and construction of bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

We realize this request comes very early in the project process. Nevertheless, please allow our collective wishes to be considered when the project moves toward choosing a name for the bridge. We can think of no better choice than to honor Don Stathos. We all stand on his shoulders as we make active transportation a real part of public policy and public works for our society.

Sincerely,

Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee

ODOT committee recommends new TriMet bridge be named after father of Bicycle Bill

Friday, February 18th, 2011
Father of the Bicycle Bill, Don Stathos, would
be fitting tribute for new TriMet bridge.
(Graphic: TriMet).

Don Stathos is the father of Oregon’s Bicycle Bill, which he introduced and pushed through the state legislature in 1971. The bill (which became ORS 366.514) mandated that state highway projects spend a minimum of one percent on “footpaths and bicycle trails.” Stathos’ forward-thinking commitment to bicycling and walking has led to millions of dollars of investment throughout the state.

Now, on the 40th anniversary of the bill, the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (OBPAC, which advises ODOT), is recommending that TriMet’s new Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail bridge over the Willamette River be named in his honor. (more…)

TriMet considers ‘sonic bike path’ idea for new bridge

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
TriMet architect Bob Hastings presented
the idea last night.
(Photos © J. Maus)

As part of the public art planned along their Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail project, TriMet is considering something quite interesting for the new Willamette River Bridge — a “sonic bike path.”

TriMet architect Bob Hastings and Public Art Program Manager Mary Priester presented the idea to the City of Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee (PBAC) last night.

The “sonic bike path” concept is still in its early stages, but at this point, the idea is to create a series of grooves on a 150 foot section of the bikeway on each end of the bridge. The grooves would be placed in such a frequency and depth that a melody would be emitted as bicycle tires rolled over them. As for the song, the artists are considering Simon and Garfunkel’s “Feelin’ Groovy.”
(more…)

TriMet announces “A Bridge Conversation”

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

With just five months until start of construction on their Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge, TriMet has announced a public event to “re-engage the community.” Check the details below:

A Bridge Conversation
Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 3–5 p.m.
2100 SW River Parkway
(DEA offices, Willamette Room, 1st floor)

In July 2011, construction will begin on the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge, the largest span in the country dedicated to transit, bikes and pedestrians. As the first Portland bridge built across the Willamette River in more than 35 years, this structure is an important and visible project for our region.

We recognize that bridge construction will engage a complex community of existing river and waterfront stakeholders over the next four years. Let’s explore potential opportunities for coordination and synergy in our relationship to the river during this project.

Please join us to:
- Learn more about construction
- Meet the bridge contractor
- Look ahead to bridge milestones
- Brainstorm partnership opportunities

With your assistance, we can make the construction of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge a rousing and interactive success in terms of public awareness, education and involvement.

R.S.V.P. to Gwen Snyder at snyderg@trimet.org or 503-962-2150.

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