way into the hearts of many bicycling Portlanders.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
One of the attractions to city cycling often left out of policy debates is how simply being on a bike lets you to interact with your environment in a completely different way than being cooped up in a car (allowing you to “smell the roses” as this excellent NY Times piece illustrates). It sounds sort of cheesy, but it’s common to hear daily bike commuters talk about how they love certain streets and bridges.
I think that feeling comes from the much more visceral way you experience a city while bicycling.
Two Portland icons that often get that type of praise — the Steel Bridge and Terwilliger Parkway — are celebrating their 100th birthdays this year.
Last weekend the PDX Bridge Festival toasted the Steel Bridge with a big party. With its dedicated bike/walkway just above the Willamette River away from auto traffic, the Steel is a fantastic bridge to cross on a bike. With connections to paths through Waterfront Park on the west side and the Eastbank Esplanade to the east, it’s an extremely popular place to ride.
In honor of its centennial, here are a few photos of the bridge from my archives…
I don’t get up onto Terwilliger Parkway too often; but when I do I’m always impressed. Although I wish it had more space dedicated to people not inside cars, it’s still a gorgeous road to pedal on. I know several people who get to commute on it each day, winding through it’s tunnel of green into downtown sounds like a great way to start a workday. On July 24th, the Friends of Terwilliger will host the city on their beloved stretch of pavement during Sunday Parkways. The monthly event will close the street to auto use and keep it open only for biking and walking. Rolling and strolling on Terwilliger, high above the Willamette, with views far to the east while surrounded by huge trees… Sounds wonderful doesn’t it?
Here’s the flyer for the upcoming Terwilliger Parkway Centennial Festival which begins on July 20th:
Do you like riding on the Steel Bridge and Terwilliger Parkway? Next time you do, sing a little Happy Birthday tune… and feel free to share your memories and thoughts in the comments.