The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

Follow-up: More photos of new Sellwood Bridge bike path

Posted by on October 1st, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Detail of new path. See
full image below.
(Photos: Mult. County)

Last week we shared the news that Multnomah County has built a new bike path on the northwest side of the Sellwood Bridge. The new path will be in place for at least another year, while construction crews continue to work on replacing the old bridge.

Since I haven’t been out there myself to take a closer look, County spokesman Mike Pullen snapped a few photos for us. If you use that part of the bridge on your regular route, the photos below should give you a good idea of what to expect. There have also been some reviews of the new path and other observations shared in the comments of our story last week.

Here’s the entrance to the new path (it looks to be only about 4 1/2 to 5 feet wide)…

This view is looking northwest at Highway 43 and the new path as it winds south. Note the “New Path”, which is the route to take if you’d like to continue north toward Portland (also note that if you do so, you’d be advised to signal “stop” or “slow down” to anyone riding behind you!).

And here’s where the old path used to be…

As always, if you have any feedback, feel free to leave it in the comments and/or email Pullen at

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. Thank you — Jonathan

  • SilkySlim October 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Kind of an awkward mingling of foot and bike traffic (I encountered a heavy mix while running Sunday morning). Which I suppose brings it in concert with the rest of the bridge!!!

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  • encephalopath October 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Is that as narrow as it looks in the photo?

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    • A-Dub October 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm


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  • BURR October 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Do you have to be riding on the sidewalk to access the new path, or is there a curb cut to access it if you cross the bridge in the lane?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      I was wondering about that too BURR. It looks to me like there’s no ramp or cut-away section to access the path from the roadway lane… You’ve got to either hop a curb or access it from the sidewalk. Bummer because I never use the sidewalk.

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    • A-Dub October 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      The curb ends where the path goes under the ramp. If you are already taking the lane then you simply turn there. I’m not sure why you would want to access the curb protected portion of the path/lane if you are taking the lane across the bridge.

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  • dmc October 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I rode it across the bridge westbound yesterday and then northbound. The path is narrow and doesn’t really accommodate two path users abreast. Because I was aware of the sharp turn, I made the turn at around 3-4 mph.

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    • davemess October 1, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      nor does the sidewalk on the Sellwood (so maybe they deserve each other….)

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  • emilyg October 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    That lane is far too narrow for such a high curb, especially on a curved section of road. Someone could easily hit the curb and crash. I hate to say it, because I like separation, but in this case just plastic bollards would be a better solution.

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  • davemess October 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    The “path” only connects via the sidewalk, so is really not very helpful to those of us who ride in the roadway.

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  • Kevin Wagoner October 1, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    I almost always use the road on Sellwood because I am either coming out of or going into the cemetery. Good to see they are replacing the bridge because the foot and cycle traffic on the sidewalk is not awesome. I would recommend using the road if you are headed to the cemetery.

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    • Carl October 2, 2012 at 9:35 am

      “I would recommend using the road if you are headed to the cemetery.”
      I agree with you, Kevin, but you might want to work on the phrasing.

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  • GlowBoy October 2, 2012 at 9:30 am

    The Sellwood Bridge is an unpleasantness I try to get past with as little drama as possible. I don’t close my eyes, but I do keep them focused on the other end and think of England.

    But despite the supreme suckiness of riding on the sidewalk, no way IN HELL am I “strong & fearless” enough to ride on the bridge deck and incur the wrath of the line of motorists I’m limiting to 15mph.

    Count me in the much LARGER “enthused & confident” demographic (thanks to being middle aged and having witnessed the effects of cumulative risk a few times), so I’m glad the new ramp is there. It’s much better for cyclists than the old staircase/switchback-ramp we had before, though I doubt that it is an improvement for pedestrians.

    There should at least be a cut in the curb to allow cyclists coming off the bridge deck to get to this ramp, and it still needs to connect to the dirt path coming from the cemetery intersection to the south, so (non-strong&fearless) cyclists coming out of there aren’t forced to ride freeway-style ramps.

    In any event, we’ll only have it this way for a few months and then things will change again. The existing Sellwood bridge will be “shoo-flying” a few yards to the north around the end of the year, right? I’ll be interesting to see how they reconfigure the ramps at the west end for this, and I’m sure BikePortland will want to keep a close eye on it.

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  • pg October 3, 2012 at 9:44 am

    There is a large group that runs on this route Wednesdays at 6 pm, returning over the bridge about 6:40.

    We regularly need to remind bicyclists that they are supposed to be walking their bikes (most cyclists stop to let our group pass but there seems to be one or two every week who think they can keep riding through a group of 20 runners).

    It’s unfortunate that this path is really narrow. I’m not sure what we are going to do when / if we encounter a cyclist coming downhill. I hope there isn’t a collision.

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  • GlowBoy October 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Pg, I don’t know what you mean about “supposed to be walking their bikes”. I do dismount whenever I meet ANYONE on the bridge, but if you’re asking cyclists to walk all the way across when there’s no one coming, that’s just absurd.

    Besides the several unnecessary minutes it would add to the trip, it’s not physically workable. The sidewalk is TOO NARROW to comfortably walk next to a bike, unless you like cuts and bruises all over your shins from whacking into the pedals.

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