Note: I’m well aware that some Portlanders (especially some who work for the City of Portland) think that I complain too much. I understand why folks think that, and I totally understand why. I’m also not ashamed of it. I think that’s part of the important role BikePortland plays in this community: To point out stuff that isn’t as good as it should be in hopes of making it better. Sometimes things just need to be said, even if it’s a downer. So here goes…
The very first time I rode across the new Blumenauer Bridge and went over the curb ramp transition from the bridge to the street on the southern end I was really disappointed when my bike and body went “kerplunk!” The bump is just too severe.
Here’s a video from a while back where I rode over the bump. You can hear it jostle my bike:
As soon as I rode it the first time I was shaking my head that we spent $14 million or so on this amazing new bridge, only to give it this dangerous and uncomfortable bump. That was several weeks ago, and I chose to not saying anything publicly because I didn’t want to rain on the big parade of excitement and enthusiasm. As soon as I did, there would have been (and likely will be now) a chorus of critics saying “those cyclists are such complainers!” or “that BikePortland guy is always mad at something” or “Come on, Jonathan that’s a tiny thing. Look at this great new bridge and be happy!”.
So I stayed silent.
Then last night I saw that someone I know hit the bump and had a really bad crash because of it (photo of aftermath at right). The person, a very experienced rider who knows the route and location well, had rented a Biketown and was headed north on 7th when they hit the bump and flew off their bike. They suffered lacerations on their ribcage and fingers and got pretty banged up. Luckily they had no serious injuries.
I should have spoken out sooner about this! I want everyone to know about this hazard.
Until it gets fixed by the city (they know about it and I assume a crew will address it soon), be extra careful as you approach the south side. The big bump is on the driveway as you go from the street to the bridge sidewalk/path. It’s more severe going northbound, but your speeds are likely a bit slower due to the incline. However it also requires attention going south.
And for anyone that has crashed on the bump, I’m sorry for not saying something sooner.
UPDATE, 1:21 pm: PBOT has announced they will fix the bump next week. See Tweet below…