Reflections on Burnside Bridge closure


[Photo by Aaron Tarfman]

Bike activist Aaron Tarfman shares his thoughts on the recent Burnside Bridge closure over in the “Voices” section.

“This past weekend the Burnside Bridge was closed to all traffic. Given that at least 5 of the city’s most dangerous pedestrian intersections occur on Burnside, I had to see what effect this would have on our city. The first thing I noticed about the closed bridge was the quiet. There were still numerous vehicles figuring out how to get around the detours (too bad they didn’t read BTA’s website) however it wasn’t the nearly deafening roar which normally pervades the Burnside Bridge…”

Read more and see additional photos over on Aaron’s website.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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18 years ago

You shoulda seen the hawthorne bridge today, it was stuck down and wouldn’t let any traffic through, bikes and pedestrians were allowed when i went at about 9pm.
THEN at about 3pm there was a stuck MAX in the washington park tunnel. This city falls apart every winter.

18 years ago

I wonder how far this Tram Money would have gone towards fixing and or replacing bridges in this town? I know it was partially privately funded, but downtown 2 electric bugaloo is going to be putting a increased strain on the Hawthorne and ross Island bridges, both oof which need work too.
When is the city going to learn to replace these failing monoliths once and for all, instead of shutting down and rebuilding every few years at exhorbanant rates.
I am not a employee of the dept. of transportation, I do not know as much as I would like about the cost of bridges, maintenance , etc..etc.., But I do know that there comes a point where a bridge should be replaced, with a better, more car, bike and pedestrian friendly span…
How many more times do we need to suffer so a bridge can be made more car friendly?
Didn’t we learn from the St. John’s Bridge?
The only deep west side arterial crossing was rebuilt with total ignorance towardds cyclists.
Do you think they are fixing the fact that the bike lane on the Burnside Bridge becomes a river when it rains? The whole bridge drains into and across the bike lanes?
I dread the day I ride across the revamped Burnside Bridge.
I hate being dissapointed….

18 years ago

Pardon my typo’s. It is late.