The biking and walking pathways have been dramatically narrowed to make room for construction scaffolding. Despite flaggers on both ends to ferry users through, we’ve been worried that someone would get hurt. Now we’ve heard about the first (to our knowledge) serious injury caused by this narrow riding environment.
Portlander Terry Barton contacted us yesterday with the bad news: He suffered a broken shoulder on Friday afternoon after a crash caused by trying to navigate through the construction zone. Barton told us he’s been riding through the “mess” since it started and that he’s had several close calls with people both walking and biking. On Friday he was headed downtown when he miscommunicated intentions with someone walking toward him in the narrowed portion of the path. “I clipped him and then flew over my handlebars,” Barton shared with us.
Barton found our coverage of the project after researching onling about the unsafe conditions and says he’s considering taking legal action against the county.
In other news about the project, Multnomah County announced today that they plan completely prohibit motor vehicle traffic from October 11th through the 27th. The paths on each side of the bridge will remain open during the closure, but streetcars, buses and all other motor vehicles will not be allowed on the bridge, “to ensure public safety.” People driving are encouraged to use the Burnside, Fremont or Steel bridges instead.
The County says the project is on schedule to be finished by the end of March 2016.