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Recap and photos: Sauvie Island span rally in NW Portland

Posted by on April 18th, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Sauvie Span Rally-1.jpg

KGW-TV broadcasted live from the rally.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Last night, a group of Northwest Portland neighborhood leaders, grassroots activists and bike advocates met on NW Flanders Blvd. for a rally to demonstrate support for re-using the Sauvie Island Bridge span over I-405.

Also joining the crowd of about 100 were city council candidates Jim Middaugh, Jeff Bissonnette, and Chris Smith along with mayoral candidate Jim Lee.

The rally was covered live by local NBC-TV affiliate station KGW and the Portland Mercury’s Amy Ruiz was also in attendance.

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BTA’s Karl Rohde spoke to the crowd.
Sauvie Span Rally-7.jpg

City Council hopeful Jeff Bissonnette was in the crowd.

After a brief rally and words from organizer Elly Blue and others, the group separated into two walking tours and a bike ride. The tours and ride looped around NW 15th, Everett, Glisan, and 16th and then met back at 15th and Flanders.

With a clear sense of how inadequate the current conditions are for safe and comfortable bike and pedestrian traffic, the BTA’s Karl Rohde whipped the crowd into cheers by saying, “the Mayor is just flat-out wrong” in regards to his public statements about the funding being better spent in other places.

Rohde re-iterated the points he wrote about on the BTA blog a few weeks ago. He said that while he agrees East Portland needs more sidewalks he feels that, “We need that and not that or this.”

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Cyclists navigate the intersection
of NW 16th and Glisan.

Rohde also implored rally attendees to not allow anyone to use this issue as a “political punching bag.”

When someone mentioned that the Sauvie span might be installed and in use by December of this year, another person chimed in with, “We’ll be dancing on the bridge for New Year’s Eve!”.

With Commissioner Saltzman’s recent statement of support for the re-use plan — which was released during the rally — that dance party might just happen after all.

For more images from the event — including what Ned Flanders himself thinks of the bridge — see my Sauvie Island Span Rally photo gallery.

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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    blogmayor April 18, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks for the mention, Jonathan!

    So Jeff drives his Subaru and gets a photo, but I show on the yellow fixie and get…something, anyhow. Don\’t you guys like bicycles?

    I spent this morning at City Hall and PDOT trying to find the famous 100 page report, and no one could dig it up. Not on line either. Apparently only insiders–those who approve of the project–get access to the hard information. I feel sorry for Elly, who must front for the mob.

    Fixies fight Flanders!

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    Jonathan Maus (Editor) April 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    hi blogmayor,

    i regret not snapping a photo of you… just an oversight on my part. I intended to introduce myself but you were in conversations each time I checked and I didn\’t butt in (should have).

    at any rate, i\’d love to connect next week. drop me a line at maus [dot] jonathan [at] gmail [dot] com .

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    wsbob April 18, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    bm,…\”Fixies fight Flanders!\” What\’s that supposed to mean? Sounds nutty.

    I wonder if Kuney really could have the Sauvie span set in place by December. That would be something.

    It\’s interesting that some people consider this bridge to be ugly. I\’m not sure why that is. People that appreciate engineering don\’t seem to dismiss it so easily. The design actually has a name: Parker Truss. The link at the bottom has a picture of another bridge span of that very design in Curlew, Washington. Recently, it was completely refurbished because: \”Removal of the bridge was also considered and discarded due to by overwhelming community sentiment for saving the bridge.\” wikipedia_Curlew Bridge.

    Parker truss bridge in Curlew Washington

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    wsbob April 18, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Note: ignore the bottom link. Instead, use the top link. Upon getting to that page, click on the pic at right side for a beautiful picture of the bridge.

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    zuckerdog April 18, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    why do fixies want to fight Ned Flanders? Is it because of his religious beliefs? I just don\’t get it.

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    Axe April 18, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Flanders fight Fixies!

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    Marcus Brody April 18, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    That\’s Jim Middaugh for city council listening intently to Karl Rohde. GO JIM!

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    Cecil April 19, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    I don\’t know if anyone else caught the debate between Sam Adams and Sho Dozono Friday, but Dozono really has his knickers in a twist about this project. He sees it as something that will benefit only a \”handful\” of people who live in the neighborhood, and he kept trying to turn it into a conflict between NW PDX and SE PDX.

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    Keith April 19, 2008 at 7:53 pm


    Maybe if you lived in S.E. you may see it that way as well. As much as I see this as an great ideal to recycle and reuse especially for ped and bike use, I can\’t help but to also see the trolley, the tram, the improvements in the Pearl, The Brewery blocks,N.W. in general and the water front and wonder what has Portland done east of S.E. 39th lately? Granted the north south max line on 205 is cool, but the max doesn\’t work for me in most instances and I am sure a lot of other people can say the same.
    I am behind Adams all the way, but cycling issues are but one part of what I want to see in a mayor.

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    wsbob April 19, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    I read in the paper today about the debate between Adams and Dozono. I don\’t get the sense that for Dozono, the Flanders-Sauvie bridge project really is anything more than a leveraging tool to garner votes. He believes he\’s ringing the \’fiscal responsibility\’ bell by opposing it. Downtown and its close-in neighborhoods need improvements such as this bridge and more to sustain downtown\’s health into the future.

    If this project has something to do with prompting more people like Keith to be vocal in calling for improvements in their neighborhoods too, that\’s a good thing. Calling for improvements is the first step towards realizing them.

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    Cecil April 19, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Keith (#9) , I do live in SE. In fact, I avoid the west side as much as possible 🙂

    Further, I agree that there\’s an awful lot that can be done to help the outer SE . . .

    For example, the transfer of development funds from the River (Pearl) District urban renewal area to the woefully underfunded David Douglas school district, something Adams supported and Dozono bashed . . .

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