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.