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Portland Streetcar will give free rides during Broadway Bridge closure

Posted by on July 11th, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Riding the new streetcar line-1

Get free rides during next week’s closure.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The impending closure of the sidepaths on the Broadway Bridge next week has started a lot of discussions about how the Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) handles traffic mitigation during construction. We have reported on the bicycling aspect of the closure; but many people are now realizing that it’s people who usually walk across the bridge that will most impacted. Unlike people riding bikes, they are highly unlikely to simply take the lane and the detour over to the Steel Bridge is likely a deal-breaker for those on foot.

Many walkers will likely hop on the new streetcar line. If they do, why not make it free? That’s the idea put forward last night at the Multnomah County Bicycle and Pedestrian Citizens Advisory Committee (MCBPCAC). One member of that committee, Bicycle Transportation Alliance advocate Carl Larson, has asked (via email) Portland Streetcar Inc. to give free rides to everyone during the closure period. Here’s a snip from Larson’s email:

While there was certainly concern over bicycles riding on the deck of the bridge or being diverted all the way down to the Steel Bridge, some pointed out that it is the people who walk across the Broadway Bridge who will be most inconvenienced by the closure.

In light of the fact that Streetcar service will not be interrupted by these Streetcar project related repairs, someone came up with a terrific and obvious suggestion — so obvious that hopefully Portland Streetcar already intends to do it: make streetcar rides across the Broadway Bridge free during the sidewalk closure. This could even give Broadway Bridge cyclists another option.

And Gustafson said yes. We emailed her about it too and her’s her reply:

Streetcar will be free from N Broadway & Ross to NW 11th & Northrup westbound and from NW 9th & Lovejoy to N Weidler & Ross eastbound for trips across the Broadway Bridge.

Full details are set to be released via official PBOT statement any minute now. We’ll update this story with the link.

Nice work Carl! And thanks to Portland Streetcar too.

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  • Steve B July 11, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    WAY TO GO Carl & Julie!

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  • Anne Hawley July 11, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Fantastic! Simple, creative response. I’m impressed.

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  • Sunny July 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Free rail zone.

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  • rainbike July 11, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Remember this the next time you feel the urge to speak ill of the streetcar. It isn’t ALL bad.

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  • CaptainKarma July 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Bring back Fareless Square (& more) to reduce combustion traffic (he says as carbon concentratiuon continues climbing).

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    • Racer X July 12, 2013 at 10:32 am

      …right on!

      Basically the “Fareless Square” became the “Fairless Square”.

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  • daisy July 11, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    The Portland Streetcar website says bikes and segways are allowed, in the “low floor section only.” http://www.portlandstreetcar.org/node/6

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  • Sunny July 11, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Why is the streetcar driver wearing sunglasses and trying to block the sun with his right hand? Or is he waving at someone? These details must be known.

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  • Reza July 11, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    This is a cool gesture, but for someone intending to walk straight downtown on Broadway southbound, 10th and Northrup (the first stop after crossing the bridge) is pretty far out of their way. They might as well make the whole system free and let people get closer to the CBD on streetcar.

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  • Todd Boulanger July 12, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Yay! For team car-free!

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  • Craig Harlow July 12, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Has the situation changed since this story was posted?

    This advisory says that streetcar service will loop from N Broadway & N Ross to OMSI (route map), and that buses will shuttle streetcar users over the Steel bridge: http://www.portlandstreetcar.org/node/146</b

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    • Stevie July 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      This is a separate closure of the bridge to auto traffic that will be occurring on the weekends. This article refers to the bike/ped path closure that will be happening during the week.

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  • Stevie July 12, 2013 at 1:03 pm