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Hundreds march for a safe (and narrow) Sellwood Bridge

Posted by on February 2nd, 2009 at 11:30 am

Many kids and families turned out.
(Photo: Matthew Arnold)

Despite cold and foggy weather, organizers reported a turnout of hundreds at the Sellwood Bridge march and rally Saturday morning.

The crowds on Tacoma.
(Photo: Aaron Tarfman)

The event was put together by local residents and the Sellwood-Moreland Improvement League (SMILE). The march was escorted by Portland Police and it went half-way across the bridge before returning to the Sellwood Community Center.

Judging from photos and reports, the crowd was full of families and kids. Here’s a snip from the Oregonian:

While the event had a distinctive family flavor with children on bicycles and in strollers and wagons, organizer Bradley Heintz kept the group on task, barking slogans through a scratchy megaphone.

“OK!” Heintz said, walking backward. “I’m going to say, ’64 and no more,’ and you say, ‘That is what we’re marching for!'”

Story continues below


The SMILE neighborhood group wants to send a message that they support a bridge design that is no more than 64-feet wide and that has a maximum of two motor vehicle lanes (read more about SMILE’s position on the bridge in our report last week).

The next major decision point on this project will come this Friday (2/6) when the Sellwood Bridge Policy Advisory Group is expected to recommend a preferred alternative that identifies the alignment, the design of traffic interchanges at both ends, the number of lanes it should have, and the overall width of the bridge.

— Browse our previous coverage of the Sellwood Bridge Project and learn more at

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  • a.O February 2, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Skinny D.

    64′ And No More.

    Yeah, baby.

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  • K'Tesh February 2, 2009 at 1:02 pm
  • Chris February 2, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    It seems like there has to be third option that better links Macadam to McLoughlin, than a 2-lane bridge, without increasing traffic on 13th and 16th. Ultimately the fact that the 2-lane bridge seems inadequate for the rush hour traffic could be solved if we all got on bikes or took public transportation or carpooled. Either way I’d I just want to see that bridge replaced ASAP!!!!!!!

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  • John Lascurettes February 2, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    What about the idea of 3 auto lanes? The center lane is open only during morning and evening rush hours and only in the direction needed for that time of day.

    This helps keep the overall traffic on average on the bridge down. Prevents four lanes of traffic. And for most of the day, would only allow for 2 lanes.

    I’ve seen this done successfully in other cities in other states. It certainly drives up the cost though as you have to have overhead lighting the whole span to make sure people can see the big red Xs or green circles depending on the lane’s availability.

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  • cyclist February 2, 2009 at 9:42 pm


    Three lanes of travel on the bridge won’t do much to reduce congestion if there are only two lanes of travel on Tacoma. The residents of Sellwood are VEHEMENTLY opposed to anything more than a two lane Tacoma, having only recently narrowed the street from 4 lanes to two. Basically, they were tired of their neighborhood street being treated as a de facto connector highway between 99e and 43. The city backed them in their effort to narrow Tacoma a few years ago, building a three lane bridge would more or less give all of their progress back.

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