Report from Sellwood Bridge Task Force meeting

Local bike advocate, Aaron Tarfman (seen here at Worse Day on the Year Ride) attended the recent Sellwood Bridge Task Force Meeting. Here what he found out:

“I came in to hear what the plans were for the future of this link. Unfortunately the news isn’t very good. The prediction is no less than 10 yrs for replacement/refurbishment, and not enough $$ to do it. I asked about options to create a safe link across the bridge before this time period and the answer was “not right now.” There was a strong contingency speaking for safe bike/ped access across the bridge. There were also very vocal statements about the danger of crossing Tacoma (these folks probably don’t connect their own driving behavior with such danger). Most people there however simply wanted to ensure that they could comfortably drive their big cars across with little traffic delays. I submitted my proposal for a two-span bridge that would leave the existing structure for bikes/peds and would ensure no property condemnation.”

Aaron also ran into Ley Garnett from OPB. They posted this report on the event.

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

We’ve had a great conversation over on Portland Transport about this issue:

The proposal there, by Jim Howell, is to simply rehabilitate the existing structure in place, by closing it for a year and establishing bank-to-bank interim ferry service. It would then re-open as a two-lane bridge with wider sidewalks (ala the rehabilitated Hawthorne Bridge), or a lower-deck bike/ped path, and better transit service.

I and others have suggested considering either streetcar service across the Sellwood, or DMU (commuter rail) service across the forgotten Milwaukie-Lake Oswego railroad bridge, as a way of lessening commuter demand for the Sellwood.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
18 years ago

For more on this meeting, also check out the comments on this post on Portland Transport.