Re-thinking traffic on the Hawthorne Bridge

Posted by on December 8th, 2006 at 11:10 am

When I’ve worked downtown, the highlight of my commute has always been crossing the Hawthorne Bridge. The air quality changes, the breeze shifts, the river is right below you, and the view of other bridges, buildings, and if you’re lucky, a big freighter, make you feel connected to the city.

Then someone nearly steps in your path, or zooms past you without warning, and you have to slow down and focus on your immediate five-foot bubble to avoid hitting someone (or getting hit yourself).

Let’s face it — traffic congestion on the Hawthorne Bridge is a serious problem, and I don’t mean in the motor vehicle lanes.

[Typical Hawthorne Bridge Traffic]

The new bike/pedestrian lane markings on the bridge have helped a lot. But cyclists in a hurry still court danger by passing on the right, and lunchtime power-walkers are still oblivious to all other users.

“Most Portland roads push cyclists and walkers together at the road margins and leave us to battle amongst ourselves for this narrow allotment.”
–Elly Blue

And yet — as you ride across the bridge, you feel that something isn’t quite right. You’re crammed onto the sidewalk with lycra’d-out racers silently scorching past on your left, and joggers and walkers suspiciously eyeing you (or worse, obliviously roaming all over the path) on your right.

Most Portland roads push cyclists and walkers together at the margins and leave us to battle amongst ourselves for this narrow allotment. The situation on the Hawthorne Bridge is especially bad because most of the day, bike and pedestrian congestion is steady but there is very little traffic in the car lanes.

just another day on Hawthorne

[The bridge looking East.]

Motorists have it pretty nice on the Hawthorne Bridge — except during rush hour. This kind of congestion shouldn’t happen. I suspect that if traffic were just a bit worse, that would be the tipping point for people who could bike, bus, and carpool to do so. Meanwhile, the bus becomes a less viable option as traffic becomes worse.

How can we untangle the dangerous bicycle-pedestrian collision course on the too-narrow sidewalks?

How can we streamline bus travel, providing a key incentive to cut down on car traffic?

How can we reduce dangerous car speeds on (and therefore coming off) the bridge during non-peak hours?

There’s one proposal I’ve heard offered over the years in which everybody, seemingly, wins. Here it is: reduce car traffic on the bridge to the two center lanes, and dedicate the outer two to bicycles. Have one of these lanes be an express bus lane during morning and evening rush hours, westbound and eastbound respectively.

This is a win-win-win-win-win situation:

  • Pedestrians can walk freely, no longer fearful of colliding with anything more damaging than a rogue stroller.
  • Cyclists, even if sharing one former car lane for two directions of travel, will have room to enjoy the view on the right and train for the Tour de France on the left.
  • Bus riders can enjoy the full value of their $1.70 (and rising), and TriMet can enjoy increased ridership.
  • People who have yet to exercise their option of busing, biking, or carpooling to work can discover the pleasures of those modes.
  • Those who have no choice but to drive can take for granted the reduced congestion that we in the United States are only beginning to realize comes along with “road diets” such as this one.

This suggestion might seem counterintuitive to some people, but if we try it for six months I’m positive that no one will want to return to the cramped and congested status quo.

Are you listening, (Multnomah County Chair) Ted Wheeler et al.? We need to make the Hawthorne Bridge work better for ALL users and we have everything to gain from thinking outside the box.

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pushkin
Guest
pushkin

You will have to re-surface the car lanes. Bridge grating + rain/snow = bad news for bikes.

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

Elly-
Thanks for your thoughtful editorial. The only concern I can think of is the steel grating on the bridge that is on the (current) car lanes. As an expereinced bike rider I wouldn’t want to touch it…so I can only think others would feel the same. But if they can fix that, I’d be interested.
Michelle

Burr
Guest
Burr

Yes! This was first proposed over 15 years ago. It’s still a great idea. Unfortunately, the city decided instead to widen the sidewalks. Then they added the Eastside Esplanade. The result is that even the wider sidewalks are now underdesigned and over capacity. According to the city, bicycle traffic now makes up 14% of the vehicle trips across the Hawthorne Bridge and is rising. How high does it have to get before two of the bridge lanes are converted for cyclist use?

Guest
Guest

What? Are you suggesting that multipurpose paths are not safe?

patrick
Guest

agreed, a smart proposal. Only problem is that pesky grating.

Sam Livingston-Gray
Guest

Brilliant, if only because it’ll further the cause of getting people out of their cars.

Honestly, though, even with the pedestrian congestion, I relax when I get onto the actual bridge, from either side. Coming from Ladd’s Addition in one direction and PSU in the other, the cramped bike/ped path is still considerably less stressful than trying not to get killed by cars or buses turning right across the bike lanes in either direction.

"the other" steph
Guest
"the other" steph

i wonder if it would be possible to add freight to the bus routes which would probably include business support to the mix. i wonder how one would respond to the added parking demand on the east side of the bridge (like a park and walk option in lieu of exorbitant and congestion-fulfilling downtown parking)? how about an EZ-pass shuttle situation to be paid by supporting downtown employers, which would do great things for the downtown area and cut down on idling gas consumption?
boy, Elly, you really get a gal to thinking!

Joe Planner
Guest
Joe Planner

There is definitely a need to address this issues (bike traffic on all the bridges has increased steadily over the past decade and at least 18% over the past year), but perhaps we can provide a more comprehensive fix to the Hawthorne Blvd. facilities… I hear that the Multnomah County courthouse is planning on relocating the west side ramps to make way for a new courthouse. The ramps on the east side are similarly space intensive and could be redesigned to better accommodate bikes and pedestrians. Currently pedestrians are unable to make a straight shot to Hawthorne on the east side from the bridge. If a lane is removed for cars, the sidewalk should be widened and to allow ped access to go straight to Hawthorne Blvd. There may also be an opportunity to free up a city block for development or park space between Grand and MLK by removing those circular ramps to/from Madison and Hawthorne. Lastly, ped access between the two levels on the east side leaves much to be desired.

Thus, I think we can point to enough problems/opportunities with the entire bridge to suggest that Multnomah County commission a total study of the bridge facility to anticipate improved access for everyone before redesigning the west side ramps for the courthouse.

natallica
Guest
natallica

a friend of mine had a nasty run-in with an out-of-control roller blader going the wrong way down the sidewalk on the hawthorne bridge. to avoid hitting him he crashed and ended up spending the night in the hospital with a badly broken arm. i hope it doesn’t take someone falling off the sidewalk and being hit by a car to get something done.

enginerd
Guest
enginerd

If I recall, back when they rehabbed the bridge a few years back, the County looked at a solid surface instead of the grating. They chose not to convert because it would add too much weight to the bridge. If the outer lanes were bike only, the re-surfacing could be relatively minimal, but if it were to accommodate buses as well, it would need to be a heavy-duty surface, and we’re back at the weight issue.

One concern with the east side ramps is that they need to be separated from the railroad tracks. Can you imagine the back up if Hawthorne traffic (including buses and bikes) had to stop for trains!?!?! The legal elevation needed to clear the tracks, coupled with the standards for ramp grades is what makes the Hawthorne Viaduct what it is. Reconfiguration might shorten it a block or two, but then Hawthorne traffic would be intersecting with both MLK and Grand, adding more to eastside congestion (and cyclist hazard).

Instead of more investment in the Hawthorne, why not improve the Morrison and Burnside to make them more bike-friendly…that might take some of the bike traffic off the Hawthorne AND attract riders from NE portland.

IP
Guest
IP

The Hawthorn bridge traffic is fine, I take it twice everyday at rush hour and if you keep your eyes, ears open you will never get in trouble.

Here is my suggestion: HAWTHORN BOULEVARD E 12th –> 39th

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

As for the grid. Just for reference, here’s a shot from Bridge Pedal when they laid down plywood.

Cecil
Guest
Cecil

I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a fix related to the MultCo Courthouse – it is not guaranteed that a new courthouse will be built on the land presently under consideration (pesky little eminent domain issues, doncha know . . .)

Tiah
Guest
Tiah

Hmmm…Not to be a naysayer, but you know..if Hawthorne is seeming too busy at peak hours for some riders,there are other bridges not too far away one can hop on. You’re already on your bike, and you love riding,right? So what is a few extra minutes? I’ve never really and a problem riding over Hawthorne, and while admittedly it isn’t the bridge I ride on the most(these days-I’ve put some time in it when i was a SE resident)it doesn’t seem to be that big of a problem.
I can see that other people disagree but like Cecil said “I wouldn’t hold my breath” on getting one of the lanes turned into a permanent bike lane.

ed
Guest
ed

about the passing on the right thing…i think part of the problem is people riding slowly on the left when there is room on the right. if you know you aren’t going fast, it sort of makes sense to move over. not letting someone know you are passing is bad, but everytime i say “on the right” people just look over their left shoulder and almost hit me. oh well.

Jim F
Guest
Jim F

I’m with Tiah. Sure it’s not ideal, by any stretch. But a big issue? I don’t think so. If it bothers you, take another bridge. Or ride slower. I’ve ridden over that bridge a thousand times and not once have I ever thought “Wow — they needed to widen these already very wide sidewalks.”

I’d also disagree that the traffic markings on the sidewalk are an improvement. If anything, I think they make it worse.

Burr
Guest
Burr

They should take the eastside viaduct down too, for that matter; which would benefit the Central Eastside Industrial District, as well. Covering the bridge deck grate to make it safer for cyclists would be easy. The biggest hurdle might be to get the county to agree, they are the owners and operators of the bridge.

Brad
Guest
Brad

Why not petition the powers that be to build a new bikes / peds only span? Connect the Eastside Esplanade with Waterfront Park between the Hawthorne and Morrison bridges. It’s more centrally located, safer for bikes, and may prove an easier political sell as it doesn’t restrict auto traffic in any way and City Hall can get a collective chubbie about how they are adding another “beautiful signature landmark architectural…” statement to Portland.

It is no crazier than trams, water taxis, or buried freeways.

SnarkyPants
Guest
SnarkyPants

I’m always for rethinking our approach to things, especially if the goal is to get more people riding bikes and/or make the roads safer for cyclits.

That said, I haven’t had many issues coming and going across the Hawthorne Bridge every weekday for the past six months. I am I guess what they call a “fast commuter” but I slow down when I get to the bridge and only pass when it’s safe, making sure to call out my position. I know I can’t speak for everyone but I think a little bit of courtesy on the Hawthorne goes a long way to increase its ride-a-bility. Unfortunately, that’s a factor we can’t control for in every situation.

I’d also like to comment that I take issue with some of the intonation in this otherwise thoughtful article. As cyclists I think it’s more important than ever that we stick together and respect the variety of ways that we choose to use bikes. Snarky comments about “lycra-clad riders” do nothing to bring us together. And sure, maybe we’re not training for the tour de france, but there’s nothing wrong with pushing yourself when you get the chance – just take it easy on the bridge and look out for people in general.

I’m weary of the fixies that are annoyed by the roadies and the roadies that are annoyed by the commuters and the commuters that are annoyed by the messengers. We’re all in it for the love of the bike, right?

jeff
Guest
jeff

Well said, SnarkyPants.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Oh, those traffic jams drove me nuts some days – now my commute is eastside only, but I do miss the river crossing nonetheless.

Two things:

If the outer lanes were non-motorized and truck/bus travel was on the inner lanes only, we’d probably see more collisions. The inner roadways are pretty narrow for two Trimet busses to pass in- not to mention a delivery truck or two.

Second – If this is a capacity issue it needs to be a part of the Milwaukie Light Rail discussion. A ped only deck on a LRT bridge is an option that could connect nicely with existing bike routes and paths.

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

Ditto snarky.

Pedals good.

Geezer
Guest
Geezer

Word up. . .
When I hit the Hawthorne I feel like I just got on the banfield. Its really nice to see so many are riding bikes to work but now I enjoy the cold rainy days when theres not so many bikes out. I took the Burnside bridge one day this week and it was great, just me and the construction workers. . .

Geezer

Burr
Guest
Burr

“maybe we’re not training for the tour de france, but there’s nothing wrong with pushing yourself when you get the chance – just take it easy on the bridge and look out for people in general.”

Maybe you should be talking to the guys and gals in lycra who DON’T ‘take it easy’ on the bridge.

Doug
Guest
Doug

I ride across the bridge every day, during rush hour, and I have to say I don’t feel at all unsafe on the sidewalk. There’s some talk about building a streetcar line over the bridge and up Hawthorne, which would put the kibosh on taking a lane away from auto traffic. Personally I’d prefer the increased transit capacity that would come from the street car line than I would an extension of already-generous right of way for bikes.

I agree with others who have suggested making some of the other bridges friendlier for bikes. I rode over the Morrison recently and it was not nearly so happy an experience as my daily Hawthorne commute.

Martha
Guest
Martha

I’ve been commuting across the Hawthorne since the early ’90s (before the sidewalks were widened). In the past year or two I’ve been noticing that bike/ped traffic has increased enough to make today’s commute feel as congested as it was before the sidewalks were widened.

Something does need to happen; more bike/ped congestion will create a safety hazard. I like the idea of restricting cars to the inner two lanes. May not be politically feasible this year, but its time is probably not all that far off if trends continue.

I like the idea of improving all of the bridges (especially safe bike/ped access routes to the bridges) to allow cyclists viable options. I used to take the Ross Island Bridge a lot, but it’s a dangerous route and I seem to value my life more than I did in my 20s.

Factoid: According to PDOT records, the number of cyclists counted on the Ross Island Bridge in 2000 was just about the same as the number of cyclists counted on the Hawthorne Bridge in the early 1970s. Ponder that one for a moment.

I also like the idea of adding new bike/ped bridges — a Caruthers Street crossing would certainly ease a lot of the Hawthorne’s congestion, and would make sense with the South Waterfront development. It’s a pie-in-the-sky idea, but heck — fifteen years ago, the three bridges project sounded idealistic too.

Cheesus Christ
Guest
Cheesus Christ

I personally have had horrible wrecks on the Hawthorne bridge (the old Hawthorne Bridge).
In one, a ballot measure group tied green ribbons all along the railings in support of their ballot measure.
One hooked my bar end, flipped me over quick.
I was on top of the railing (yes on the river side), then onto the sidewalk, then into the road bed during rush hour.
In defense of the city, within a half hour they had crews out cutting down the ribbons.
My point is, we have it very well with the new Hawthorne, and due to the amount recently spent upgrading it, retro fitting it again is a pipe dream.
It would be as expensive to build a bicycle only bridge right along side it (a brilliant idea I might add), but of course it would need to be higher to accomadate the barely river traffic we have.
Also, on the grating.
It is very easy to ride the grate, or cheese grater as I call it. Go straight, have your tires properly inflated (which I have noticed is a huge issue in this town, people have no clue).

The wider the tire, the more dangerous the grate is.
Oh, plus the $300 dollar fine for riding it, that we have experienced due to the “Critical Ass” pile up on the sidewalks one Halloween.
My point:
The Hawthorne is not what most want, but suck it up and deal with it.
It is what we have, and we do not need to spend butt loads of money fixing something that works.
If you don’t like being passed by faster cyclists, pedal faster yourself.
It is not up to you to slow down those who need to get to work, or somewhere else.
The biggest issue on the bridge is the pedestrian lack of respect for others on the bridge. At this point even the cars are more respectful of cyclists than the pedestrians.
If this issue was to be more heavily adressed, or possibly matching the enforcment we have recently seen on the bridge against cyclists, directed towards pedestrians, this could greatly help the issue.

Burr
Guest
Burr

“If you don’t like being passed by faster cyclists, pedal faster yourself.
It is not up to you to slow down those who need to get to work, or somewhere else.”

Not everyone is capable of ‘pedaling faster’, nor are their alternative routes. Maybe the bridge should be posted 12mph for cyclists, or cyclists going faster than 15 mph should actually be in the roadway.

I have more trouble with speeding cyclists passing too close with no warning than I do with pedestrians.

peerreview
Guest
peerreview

the unfortunate part about your “proposal” is that I have biked across that grating before and it is murderous.

might as well post cops or homeland security there – it would make me feel alot safer….

Cowboy_X
Guest
Cowboy_X

I would think that this proposal was completely crazy, except for the fact that there is no cycling access at all on the Morrison bridge. Given that cyclists’ alternatives for crossing the river are so few and inconvenient, squeezing out motorists onto “their” exclusive bridge is not that unreasonable.

Cheesus Christ
Guest
Cheesus Christ

Burr,
It is nice to lollygaga across the bridge isn’t it?
Yet, transportation and effective moving of commuters across our bridges is an important matter.
And, as anyone would point out to you, lollygagging is not effective use of bridges.
Being in a line of slow moving, weaving cyclists on a bridge that is already not very safe, and littered with pedestrians is not effective commuting.
If you were driving too slow across the bridge, or even down the road, this would be considered a violation of the vehicle code, part of which is there to ensure constant flow of traffic.
If you are holding up what you call “speeding” cyclists, in effect you are impeding the constant flow of bicycle traffic over the most ridden bridge in town.
So, maybe the proper thing for you to do is be assertive, ride a little quicker?
Or, get out of the way.
I realize that people here will not like my reference to the vehicle code.
Yet, it is the vehicle code that we as cyclists are forced to follow, due to being clumped together with cars by law.
They are not going to change the Hawthorne Bridge again after spending all that money retrofitting it for trains and or trolley’s.
This is a fact!
You people need to learn to ride it properly and safely, and pedestrians need to learn to share the space given. And impeding forward moving traffic on a busy basically sidewalk is not riding safely.
I have ridden this bridge since the early 80’s myself. This bridge is something I know intimately.

David Ross
Guest

Great discussion and great article Elly. I second enginerd’s suggestion; permit bikes on the Morrison Bridge and Hawthorne Bridge will just be a bit of nostalgia for me and I imagine for a bunch of other folks that live in inner SE.

There’d need to be some good signage at the off-ramp onto I-5 North when heading west on the bridge, but that’s the only significant problem I can think of to adding bike lanes to the Morrison bridge.

Cheesus Christ
Guest
Cheesus Christ

And Burr,
“Maybe the bridge should be posted 12mph for cyclists, or cyclists going faster than 15 mph should actually be in the roadway.”
Are you even paying attention?
With the combination of a $300 dollar fine, and most people’s mental and or physical inability to ride the cheese grater, that statement is one of the most ludicrous I have heard in a while.
And are we now going to require a speedometer on all bikes crossing the Hawthorne?
I challenge you, without a computer, to properly judge your speed. For that matter, a untrue wheel, with a hop, will greatly throw off your high tech bicycle computer’s ability to read mph, as a bent crank can iproperly read cadence.
The letter of the law does not allow for guessing.

el timito
Guest
el timito

Bravo Elly! Always thinking forward.

I have to say I’m perplexed by the “just suck it up” comments – perhaps because I’ve been there too. Then I started spending bike-time with folks who are not decades+ bike commuters. Now I tend toward Mayor Pena’s ideas, who says if a bike facility doesn’t work for an 8-yr-old, it’s not a complete facility.

There are many issues with the current Hawthorne, including speed, pedestrians, and confidence.

Speed – Look: I want my mom or dad to be able to ride the bridge. They’re old. I’m going to be too. If we don’t want a city of elite bikers only (and I hope we don’t), we’re going to need to deal with diversity of ability.

Pedestrians – They don’t wear blinky lights, they don’t signal, what are we going to do with them? Love them, don’t eat them. Peds and bikes are two great tastes that go together like anchovies and chocolate.

Confidence – New biker alert! May not be as steady as you think when you whoosh past at 18 mph. Throw a few contra-flow peds into the mix and you have some serious sharing of the road to contend with.

Transpo safety is often reduced to the 3 e’s – engineering, education (encouragement), and enforcement. Elly is essentially saying let’s entertain the idea of an engineering fix to this congestion problem. Others have responded that education/encouragement should be enough (including the “just go another 20 blocks out of your way to the next bridge” concept – I would file *this* idea under the “don’t hold your breath” rubric). I would guess that most of us would want to see enforcement as a last resort – though calls will come fast and furious after the first fatality; thanks for the vivid image, Cheesus.

I actually think that Elly’s plan is not very far-fetched at all. Look – downtown is going to be a nightmare for cars over the next two years due to the new MAX line/Transit Mall reconstruction project. Restricting the flow of motor vehicles, especially in tandem with the prioritization of ped/bike/bus, is going to look awfully tempting. This is the perfect time to try out new solutions.

Elly
Guest
Elly

Wow, too many comments to parse. On second thought, I like opening the Morrison to bikes even better than expanding the Hawthorne, but that’s pure self-interest.

I try to write these columns to be on the out-there and urgent side, so it’s great to often get responses like “that’s not radical enough” (I love that one, keep it coming!) or “that shouldn’t be our top priority.”

Maybe this ought to be for another post, but I want to know what people think our top priorities ought to be. I’m not sure I’d put bridge lane re-designations at the top of my list either, but it seems like a rare case of a manageable fix to the very real problems best described by (can’t write this with a straight face) Cheesus.

Oh, and props to the lycra set. No stereotyping intended. People in Dickies, on three-speeds, and 8-year-old kids have all also passed me waaaaay too close and fast.

el timito
Guest
el timito

Re: Morrison Bridge for bikes. It’s coming. 2009? It’s in the plans, Roger G could give a better description of status, but as I understand the question is not if, but how soon.
Perhaps Roger G’s brother Ali could pose the question better.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

Status on Morrison Bridge Project from the PDOT website:

” Following a public process, the City and County developed a conceptual design for the facility that included the following identified key elements as the most important: a barrier between the path and the roadway, improvements to the Water Avenue Ramp, improvements to the Naito Parkway Ramp, improvements to the Alder Street Ramp to allow bicycle and pedestrian access. Improvements to the Water Avenue Ramp will be funded by the City of Portland with federal funding. Originally scheduled to go to construction in 2006, the project has been delayed until 2008 due to the many other construction projects that will be occurring in the Central City in the next two years. The construction phase is funded for 2005 with a $1.5 million federal grant.”

website here

And it’s listed in the “Future Needs” section of Mult. County’s website. More info here.

Cheesus Christ
Guest
Cheesus Christ

Timo,
While I agree that a bike” facility” ( I don’t know why you used that word?) should work as well for an 8 year old as for an adult, it should not impede the most effective and needed end result:
Proper and efficent commuting by daily users.
The Hawthorne bridge is not an esplanade.
This issue really is concerning the commuting hours, isn’t it?
I thought my point on steady flow of traffic made that perfectly clear, but maybe I am wrong?
And, my just suck it up comment means this.
If you are going to put yourself in the position to be riding slow, with the downhill aproach to the west side commute over the bridge, you already should know about and allow for the faster rider.
The biggest ship has the right of way.
It is great that you left the house a half hour early.
But, some people are running late, or just naturally pedal faster. It is your responsibility to stay in the slow lane if you are not one of these.
Being that the Hawthorne bridge does not have alot of room for pulling to the side, or a slow lane, you are going to be passed.
And, with a slower, possibly weaving (as this is what occurs when you ride slower) cyclist in front of a faster cyclist, the safest thingfor the faster rider to do is to get past the slower rider quickly, so they do not take out you, or anyone near you.
It is the responsibility of the slower rider to be aware of this, and to adjust accordingly, by either:
Pedaling straighter or faster.
Or, being prepared to be passed.

jami
Guest

a full lane for bikes on the hawthorne bridge is a great idea, and i think it’s more a question of when, not if.

the bridge is way too crowded for non-cars in the summer, and that’s not going to seem kinda neat forever.

Randy
Guest
Randy

Ah…now we are talking. A super-people-powered-people-mover. A bike only bridge over the Willamette.

Cheesus Christ
Guest
Cheesus Christ

Once again, the money and man power has already been spent to make the bridge ready for trains and trolley’s.
They aren’t going to change it again.
If they put a train or a trolley on it in the future, which they will, that will leave one lane each way for cars, making the idea of a full lane for cyclists impossible.
They are certainly not going to widen the bridge, anymore than they already have.
And it is such a major arterial, they would certainly never remove auto traffic permanently from this bridge.
A bike-ped bridge is the only way to go with this realm, but it is entirely uneeded, and would realistically not happen either.
This focus should be transfered to a project that actually needs fixing, not just to appease the nit-picking of certain riders.

Wes Robinson
Guest
Wes Robinson

“The biggest ship has the right of way.”

The ship being overtaken has the right of way. The ship overtaking is “required to take early and substantial action to keep well away from other vessels by stopping, slowing down or changing course.” An audiable warning is also required.

I don’t think there’s currently any need for increased bicycle capacity on the Hawthorne. We’d have a hell of a lot of roads if we built them so people could drive as fast as they wanted without ever having any conflict with the vehicle in front of them. Instead, we expect drivers–even the SUV driving Vancouverite who is apparently late for something important–to drive a speed appropriate for the traffic and conditions. Why should we expect less from cyclists?

Even if we could somehow get a lane on the Hawthorne dedicated to bikes, I’d be against it. Taking lane space away from motorists is a sure way to create resentment towards cyclists, which will ultimately end up meaning less infrastructure for cyclists. Battle, war… Tree, forest… Pick your favorite metaphor

Cheesus Christ
Guest
Cheesus Christ

A sailor I am not…..

peerreview
Guest
peerreview

that is not radical enough.
1. stop all violence I see
2. admit that we are winning
3. don’t be afraid of cowards

PFin
Guest

Bike Bridge! Bike Bridge! Bike Bridge!

It’s time for a people’s bridge.

A quiet, peaceful bridge for families and velomonsters alike.

Bikes in the middle, peds on the side; or- side by side.

Weight issues means the $1.5 million allocated to the Morrison project could fund not only an entire bike/ped bridge, but a more extensive elevated eastside viaduct (I’m thinking along Salmon all the way to SE 14th). It’s amazing how much farther taxpayer booty can go when construction is unconstricted (yeh, I know, not a word).

Bike Bridge!

unimportant
Guest
unimportant

PFin Right.
F the gas guzzling bridge.
welcome to the people’s collective of portland, mr. PFin.

josh m
Guest
josh m

You guys complain about Hawthorne… pshawww. Try commuting across broadway, very little room. Or even Burnside, where there is barely room to pass a ped.

I used to commute across hawthorne everyday. I never had problems, but of course, I’m on of those fast “training for the tour de france” dickies clad track bike riders. So, what do i know?
My experience w/ calling out “on your left” people instinctively turn that way, and the cause an accident… which I’ve been involved in a few. Often, I just pass. if anything, I say “coming up behind you” and let them pick which way they want to turn.

The best has to be the people on their wide handlebarred bikes riding in the middle of the sidewalk. or of course the 3 stroller wide soccer moms oblivious to the world.

I say we don’t need to work on hawthorne, let’s improve the other bridges first. And from what I hear, they’re going to have to re build the steel bridge soon so ….

Donna
Guest
Donna

Cheesus,

I’m relieved that Oregon’s traffic laws do not support your view that “the biggest ship has the right of way”. Perhaps you’d prefer to live a Mad Max sort of existence where drivers of the biggest vehicles can do what they please, but it’s not my cup of tea. If the price I pay is to have patience and courtesy for slower, less experienced cyclists, I think it’s worth it.

Cheesus Christ
Guest
Cheesus Christ

Donna,
Reread it.
Then reread it again.
If you are slower you will be passed. This is the way it is.
When I ride slower , I am passed.
I like to ride slow sometimes.
But generally, I ride at a decent speed.
Being passed is not discourteous.
I imagine you see me smashing people off the bridge left and right so I can get downtown, in your mind.
The fact is I know how to wait to pass safely, I know how to wait for children.
Maybe it is you that cannot see the views of others open mindedly?
It is probably you that gets pissed off on the bridge when you get passed.
And, you probably feel it is unsafe.
I can see this. But you are wrong.
We all need to get across the bridges here.
We do not all ride the same speed.
So, some get passed.
If some idiot trys to fly by me in an unsafe manner, I stay in the way. I let him or her know what they are doing wrong, either by staying in the way, or verbally.
But, if they are doing it right, I let them on by.
This is how it works. As Josh pointed out, saying on your left on a bridge sidewalk doesn’t work .
Wait for your moment, and pass.
You seem to think I am some sort of extremist.
Yet, in reading your comments about me here, and on another comment page, I see it is you with the issues.
You that may be the extremists.
Remember, you don’t know me.
If you did, you would think otherwise.

Tiah
Guest
Tiah

It is ok for everyone to have different opinions, y’all. It is good to converse with a community about those different opinions so people can understand one another, so a bridge may be built,as it were(ho hum). I am glad that everyone has expressed their view here has done so,but there isn’t a need to get all worked up about it.
In an ideal bike society-yes,we could have a special bike bridge,that’d be just swell. I’d also like to see,oh homelessness doen away wiht, food on every table,free higher education for the world…oh wait, this is reality though. Damn it!
So, why there is a possiblity to get things done(such as changing the gov. stance on bikes, or getting a velodroem or whatever)I think the main goal should be to get out there,ride safely, enjoy yourself, and don’t get all hostile at your peers. Passing on a busy bridge can be tricky, but not really any trickier than changing lanes downtown surrounded by SUVs and out of state drivers who don’t know where they are going(we’ve all been on a one way street where all of a sudden a car is headed towards us, right?)
I stand by my comment that riding on Hawthorne seems fairly luxurious to me,compared to bridges like Burnside and St.Johns and Sellwood and…you get my point?
Plus, who cares if you get passed when commuting? Its not a race. Five feet of personal space? What? On your bike? if you have one foot of clearance that oughtta be plenty.