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First look at new ‘Piedmont-Arbor Lodge Crossing’

Posted by on June 26th, 2008 at 10:43 am

A design firm’s rendering of how the Bryant St. Ped/Bike Bridge might look in the future (See how it looks now in the photo below).
(Design by: Compressed Pattern)


The vision of two North Portland neighborhoods working to improve the neglected Bryant Street Bike/Ped Bridge is moving closer to reality.

The current approach to the bridge.
(Photo: Google)

A new design proposal for the bridge approach and path has been released. The designs (more of them are below) were created by Compressed Pattern, a design firm based on Bryant Street (just blocks away from the bridge).

Their design is just one of several that are being proposed as part of the effort.

With a grant and assistance from ODOT, residents from the Piedmont and Arbor Lodge communities have worked together on the project since last fall. The goal is to turn the bridge from a little-used eyesore (where people dump trash and security is a concern), to a bustling community asset that becomes an important link between two neighborhoods cut off from each other by Interstate 5.

[By the way, you might recall riding (or walking) over the bridge during Sunday Parkways.]

Brian Borrello, an artist and community organizer who is helping lead the project, says construction is slated to begin this fall.

Here are a few more of the illustrations by Compressed Pattern.

For more information, or to get involved with this project, see the Piedmont Neighborhood website.

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17 thoughts on “First look at new ‘Piedmont-Arbor Lodge Crossing’”

  1. Avatar Matthew Denton says:

    Jonathan: I think the compressed pattern designs are for the Piedmont neighborhood side of the approach, but the photo you\’ve posted as the \”current conditions\” is the Arbor Lodge side.

    But in any case, I like it, it looks a lot better than what it is now.

  2. Avatar Martha R says:

    Although the landscaping is great, I\’d encourage the designers to make the pathway as wide as possible (maybe go with climbing vines instead of wide bushes to maximize green in a minimum of space). If the project succeeds in making the bridge more pleasant, it\’s going to get used by lots of people.

    Also, the bollards lining the path seem unnecessary and could catch wide handlebars. How about a curb to protect the landscaping instead?

    It\’s exciting to see these places in N/NE Portland starting to recover from the freeway after all these years. Good job, those of you who are involved in this!

  3. Avatar Stripes says:

    I encourage the designers also to consider widening the path. Remember – this project should be planning to accommodate for tomorrow\’s ridership, not just today\’s! It barely looks as if two bikes could pass on that trail. What happens when it\’s two bikes, both with Burley trailers? Or two wheelchair users?

    But aesthetically, it is such an amazing improvement!

  4. perhaps I should have made it clear in the article… but this project only has the funding and scope to do aesthetic improvements.

    widening the path is not an option at this time. .. unless of course someone wants to make a ton of noise and rattle some cages.. but that would be a much different type of project.

  5. Avatar Jason says:

    Looking forward to seeing further improvements here. I like the curb cutouts that have recently gone in on the east (Piedmont) side of the crossing. It would pair especially well with a N. Michigan Ave Bike Boulevard from where it starts there at Bryant all the way down to the end (at the top of the Mississippi hill @ Fremont… I\’m hopeful)!

  6. \”It would pair especially well with a N. Michigan Ave Bike Boulevard…\”

    I agree! Let\’s hear it for a N. Michigan Ave. Bike Boulevard!

  7. Thanks to Brian for leadership on this.
    While the Failing Street overpass is much improved over the old version, the approaches both on the Boise and Overlook side could use some similar help.
    Note that both of these facilities are within the Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area which has funds for accessibiliy projects.
    North Portland is only now recovering from the I-5 \”assault\” of the 1960\’s and yet the City, Metro, et.al. are ready to blow cool $4 Billion to dump another 80K motor vehicle trips onto our streets. Should make biking all that much more exciting for the hardy few.

  8. Avatar Oliver says:

    Funny thing, my daily commute through arbor lodge takes me by this every day and the first time I ever noticed it was during the parkways event. Of course it could be that the green house on the corner is just so distracting…

    I agree, the bollards should definitely go from the final design, the pathway is not wide enough, nor the bridge strong enough for motor vehicle traffic anyway.

    Despite N. Michigan being my current favorite route towards downtown in the morning, I still would like to see a bike blvd west of Denver Ave, utilizing the ped bridge at going st.

  9. Avatar joeb says:

    Nice! I went looking for this bridge after Jonathan\’s article last fall. It took me several passes to find the littered back alley approach to the bridge.

  10. Avatar BURR says:

    wider path, no bollards

  11. Avatar Jim Labbe says:

    Very cool.

    I really like the design… both the art and the landscaping.

    Jonathan… thanks for posting.

  12. Avatar Ayleen says:

    I\’m really excited about this project. I use the crossing pretty regularly and always appreciate it when I use it.

    The first time I tried to find it, I couldn\’t and I gave up. It was this mythical crossing I had only heard of.

    So while I\’m really excited for the changes that are to come, and I\’m sure they\’ll be awesome, I still don\’t understand why a simple sign can\’t be erected to point to it. I know, even a basic sign is time and money, but currently the crossing is virtually invisible.

    When riding toward it with first timers, I tell them \”And now we will magically go through that concrete wall. I\’m serious, just watch.\” Because that is what it looks like – just a wall.

  13. Avatar kria says:

    I really like the plantings that are to go in there. I think the idea of the ballards is to prevent cars from going on it. There may not be a way around it. I do however agree with the other posts about it would be better without them

  14. Avatar BURR says:

    the bollards at the entrance to stop cars and trucks from getting in are fine. it\’s the other bollards (or maybe it\’s a fence) that parallels the path which is not OK.

  15. Avatar jeff s says:

    Very exciting to see a useful but sketchy and damn near un-findable crossing of I-5 for cyclists & peds turned into a community asset! Major kudos to Brian & everyone in the neighborhood who made this happen.

    Also — my PDOT colleagues deserve some props, namely April Bertleson, Dan Broome, Lee the concrete guy, & David Amiton for stepping up to fund & do the access improvements at record speed (government agency category). The new curb ramps at either end of the bridge are the handiwork of these folks, & we\’ll be adding guide signing & pavement markings in the not-too-distant future to direct cyclists(and peds) to the bridge from Vancouver/Williams & Denver Aves.

  16. Avatar Matt Picio says:

    joeb (#9) – I didn\’t see this bridge until Jonathan himself led us there on the way back from the Oregon Bike Summit. Now I ride it any time I\’m up that way, even though it truly sucks. It reminds me a lot of Detroit, when I grew up.

    Thankfully, there are very few places in Portland that I can say that about.

  17. Avatar brian b says:

    Major props to Jeff Smith, April Bertleson, and all PDOT people who fast-tracked the new ramps into existence!
    Also thanks Shelli Romero and ODOT people for reducing the irrigation vault to improve the pathway.
    Stay tuned for more and better bridgeness here…

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