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Want to name that bridge? Now’s your chance

Posted by on October 17th, 2013 at 9:56 am

TriMet's yet-to-be-named bridge

TriMet’s new bridge is shaping up, but it still needs a name.
(Concept drawing)

All joking aside, what is that new Willamette River bridge going to be called? Starting this morning, the citizens’ committee appointed to decide is asking for ideas.

In construction for more than a year, the new cable-stay bridge is being built by TriMet as part of its Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project. The agency says it’ll be the only one in the country to carry buses, trains, emergency vehicles, and people on bike, foot or skate, but no private cars. It’ll connect the fast-developing Southeast Division Street area with the South Waterfront.

In August, TriMet chose a committee to handle the naming process. It’s chaired by Portland State University historian Chet Orloff, with help from:

Former PBOT Director Sue Keil is on
the naming committee.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

— Betty Dominguez, director of policy and equity for Home Forward, Portland’s public housing authority
— Matthew French, managing parter of the Zidell Corporation
— Sue Keil, a member of the Willamette River Bridge Advisory Committee and former Portland Bureau of Transportation director
— David Lewis, tribal historian for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, the Native American community whose ancestors have lived here as long as anybody
— Brenda Martin, a PSU graduate student in urban and regional planning and a regular transit rider
— Alice Norris, a former mayor of Oregon City
— Pat Reser, a Beaverton business owner and philanthropist
Travis Stovall, a TriMet board member and Gresham business consultant
— Krystyna Wolniakowski, director of National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Portland office

It’s hard to imagine, of course, that none of these folks have their own opinions on who or what this $134 million landmark should be named for. But you never know; TriMet ended up naming its light rail system, the Metropolitan Area Express, after a pet rabbit in a book of a local typography designer’s young son. To submit your ideas for the bridge’s name, visit TriMet’s website for the process.

The biking connections to this bridge will be crucial to making it deliver the economic value it promises. We’ll be running a couple posts soon looking closely at the ways this is likely to happen, so stay tuned.

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Spiffy
Guest

I put in my suggestion…

Spiffy
Guest

I can’t seem to find any documentation that shows the layout of the bridge deck, or the bus connections on either end…

it looks like it’s only one lane each way shared with trains and busses, but I can’t really tell from anything I’m finding… and most things are concept and not the actual final design…

who has a link to something that shows me the final deck layout and bus connection?

hilsy
Guest
hilsy

Chinook!

seeshellbike
Guest
seeshellbike

Sell the naming rights and take the money and build more bike/ped improvements!

Zed
Guest

I’d be worried that a company less than desirable would buy up the rights.
ie. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BP_Pedestrian_Bridge

Scott
Guest
Scott

Oh man….that would be my favorite bike bridge in the whole world. Please, BP, Shell Oil, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, hear my plea and buy this bridge’s naming rights.

Harald
Guest
Harald

BP as in Bike Portland?

Scott
Guest
Scott

No. As in British Petroleum. Who would name a bridge after a blog?

BURR
Guest
BURR

screw naming after any corporate sponsor

Pete
Guest
Pete

But what if Chris King steps up??

Scott
Guest
Scott

It’s a corporation, man. It matters not how well they treat their employees or their product. It matters that you can label them.

john
Guest
john

“the willamette narrows “

BIKELEPTIC
Guest

Maybe if they name this one CRC they’ll get confused which bridge, mix up paperwork and figure “oh done!” Like a trojan horse.

Kirk
Guest

How about the ‘Carfree River Crossing’? Now that’s a CRC I could get behind 😉

smedley
Guest
smedley

I came by to recommend The Chinook Bridge. It’s a line that travels east a la “upriver” / “spawning grounds”, also takes you west, back to the ocean. Although I’d hate to think of the Eastside as “Spawning Grounds”, some can say the West Suburbs are where we die off.

Scott
Guest
Scott

Von Pinderschlagen Jaime (hi-may) Bridgewater the 7th

Todd Hudson
Guest
Todd Hudson

The Crime Train Portal To Milwaukie.

Paulie
Guest
Paulie

The Por-Milwaukie Bridge.

Todd Hudson
Guest
Todd Hudson

(I kid, I kid)

BURR
Guest
BURR

Almost anything as long as there is no corporate sponsor’s name attached.

Scott
Guest
Scott

I would love it if it was sponsored. How about ‘Water Crossing, by New Seasons’?

Or ‘The Chevrolet Foot Bridge’?

That would be awesome.

Dave
Guest
Dave

The Ray Polani Bridge

Alison Fulmer
Guest
Alison Fulmer

Sounds perfect to me!

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

Sellwood 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Christy
Guest

YES!

dave
Guest
dave

We’re all just going to end up calling it the OMSI bridge anyway, or the Water Ave bridge, or maybe the South Waterfront bridge. I’m all for a good practical & descriptive name. “Chinook” gives me hives, unless there’s a fish ladder incorporated into the design I haven’t heard about.

Fred
Guest
Fred

The “Spandex Span”

John Lascurettes
Guest

Can we call it the Caeser E. Chavez Bridge and reclaim 39th Ave?

J.J.
Guest
J.J.

We do need to reclaim 39th ave… But I wouldn’t want Chavez bridge either. A street should have been named after Chavez in an area that was culturally linked to him… Like Hillsboro. With all the new construction out in the Hillsboro area I was just boggled as to why they had to mess with the street name of an important and established street. I worked at a business on 39th Aves when the renaming was going on, it was horrible. Confusing for patrons of the business, expensive to replace signs, business cards and other documents. Was such crap. I will always call it 39th Ave.

I think naming the bridge after Vera Katz would be wonderful. She served our city for many years and as several articles/websites have pointed out there is not a bridge named after a woman yet.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Leonard P. Zakim West

Mark Allyn
Guest

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Granpa
Guest
Granpa

Confounded Bridge

To answer the age old question “Where is that confounded bridge?

Slammy
Guest
Slammy

The Bee Line… (Get it? Yellowjackets…)

kittens
Guest
kittens

Marie Equi Bridge

Scott
Guest
Scott

Why would an anarchist want something named after them?

kittens
Guest
kittens

they dont get to decide, i do!

sabes
Guest
sabes

Springfield Memorial Bridge

(obligatory Simpsons reference)

Adam
Guest
Adam

I think the Wiggum bridge has a certain ring to it. 😉

pixelgate
Guest
pixelgate

Martin Luther King Sr./Mel Blanc/Kugupu/Steve Jobs/Ken Kesey/Music/Film History/Calligraphy Boulevard Bridge

Charley
Guest
Charley

Portlandia!

ben
Guest
ben

Bridge will be called, “That is what she said”

grimm
Guest
grimm

CAESAR CHAVEZ

Lol

Justin
Guest
Justin

Mark Allyn
Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Recommended 0

More like a Bridge Over Polluted Waters

Editz
Guest
Editz

Terabithia.

Adam
Guest
Adam

I would like to name it the Victoria Taft bridge, after Portland’s very own uber-right-wing radio host. This bridge really, really got her goat. She was mad it didn’t carry car traffic. I don’t know… I think it would just be hilarious. (Yes, I am secretly age 7).

Adam
Guest
Adam

(But in all seriousness… I like the idea of naming it after Sam Adams. Whatever you thought of his personal life etc etc, he was a darn hardworking Mayor who put Tom Potter – and seems to be putting Charlie Hales – to shame. He always had an ear for the bike community, and pushed hard for many bike improvements – for which I think he should be applauded).

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

Which would become the Sam Adams beer bridge.

Terry D
Guest
Terry D

The Perfect Corperate sponse! .

Mossby Pomegranate
Guest
Mossby Pomegranate

Charlie who?

A J Zelada
Guest
A, J, Zelada

Jonathan,
here is a letter from ODOT’s Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee
requesting that TriMet considering honoring the “Bike Bill’s” creator:

Neil McFarlane
TriMet General Manager
4012 SE 17th Ave.
Portland, OR 97202

March 8, 2011

RE: Naming the Portland–Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge over the Willamette River

Dear Neil,

The Portland-Milwaukie light-rail line embodies the philosophy of active transportation. With that in mind, we would like to propose that the project’s new bridge spanning the Willamette River be named the (Don) Stathos Bridge as a fitting memorial to an Oregon pioneer and trailblazer in the field of active transportation.

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Oregon’s original Bicycle and Pedestrian Bill during 2011, it is fitting that we pay tribute to a man who brought awareness of and support to active transportation for our state, region and local communities.

In 1971, Don Stathos, a Republican state representative and avid bicyclist from Jacksonville, Oregon, sponsored House Bill 1700. Only nine representatives and one state senator originally backed the Bicycle Bill. At each stage of the legislative process, the bill passed by just one vote. Initially, Governor Tom McCall didn’t favor the bill, but he changed his mind as he came to believe it was a good thing for Oregon and Oregonians. The governor signed the bill into law on the steps of the state capitol using the seat of Stathos’ Schwinn Paramount as a table.

The bill allowed for the creation of the present-day Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, a governor-appointed committee that the Oregon Department of Transportation on bicycling and walking. (The Oregon Bicycle Advisory Committee (OBAC) was formed by ORS 366.112, a bill passed in 1973. In 1995, the Oregon Transportation Commission officially recognized the OBAC’s role in pedestrian issues; the committee became the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (OBPAC)). In 2010 the committee awarded grants for approximately $5 million for the design and construction of bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

We realize this request comes very early in the project process. Nevertheless, please allow our collective wishes to be considered when the project moves toward choosing a name for the bridge. We can think of no better choice than to honor Don Stathos. We all stand on his shoulders as we make active transportation a real part of public policy and public works for our society.

Sincerely,

Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee

dwainedibbly
Guest
dwainedibbly

Let’s name it after some high-profile crash victims, perhaps on Barbur.

Allan Folz
Guest
Allan Folz

People’s Bridge

TOM
Guest
TOM

I thought the BP’s lifestyle columnist had already claimed rights to name the bridge … after herself. 🙁

http://bikeportland.org/2013/08/28/mood-to-move-portland%E2%80%99s-134-million-monument-to-me-90096

Portland’s $134 million monument to me
Posted by Cathy Hastie (Lifestyle Columnist) on August 28th, 2013

Lenny Anderson
Guest
Lenny Anderson

John Reed Bridge

JohnS.
Guest
JohnS.

The Not Car Bridge.

Tree
Guest
Tree

Support the effort to Name the Tri-Met bridge after “Working” Kirk Reeves! His white tux coat, mouse ears, and trombone brought so many smiles to Portlanders on their commutes, naming this bridge in Kirk Reeve’s honor would be an appropriate way to honor this long time Portland icon.

PorterStout
Guest
PorterStout

Best Bridge. It’s the only one that will reliably continue to move during rush hour. “Traffic jams everywhere this morning, except on Portland’s Best Bridge…”

nikorasu
Guest
nikorasu

Should be named the “South Waterfront Bridge” or be named after an influential and well liked person who represents Oregon’s progressive values. But who?

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Many of our bridges (Broadway, Hawthorne, Morrison, Broadway) are named after one of the streets to which it aligns on one end or the other.

The new bridge’s alignment is already visible on Google Maps (currently labeled “Caruthers Bridge”). Taking a close look at the western alignment, it looks like it should be called …

… the Hooker Bridge.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

More seriously (although I couldn’t restrain myself from submitting “Hooker Bridge”) I also submitted the following:
– Meade Bridge. Besides Hooker Street, the western end of the bridge will also align pretty close to Meade Street, and more specifically with the already-named Moody & Meade streetcar station.
– Sherman Bridge. The eastern end will actually align with Sherman Street, not Caruthers Street as used in the working name.

Coincidentally (?), Sherman and Meade were both Civil War generals. Discuss.

geezer
Guest
geezer

So was Hooker.

Jeff Jahn
Guest

Rothko, the city’s most famous son. He painted the site and grew up along its west end connection. He was a fan of mass transit and it would honor russian immigrant jews who have done a lot for the city (their primary district just south of the downtown has been revevelopoed leaving little trace. More: http://www.portlandart.net/archives/2013/10/rothko_bridge_n.html

Chad
Guest
Chad

The Multi-Moda Bridge.