Opinion: St. Johns Bridge could have — and should have — bike lanes

Traffic on the St. Johns Bridge. View is looking east toward Forest Park. Note that the sidewalk width of five feet does not meet standards for a “shared-use” facility, which means bicycle riders have less legal standing to use it. (Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The St. Johns Bridge should have bike lanes. And it could have, if advocates nearly two decades ago chose to sue the Oregon Department of Transportation when the state agency completed a major renovation and failed to seize a golden opportunity to provide adequate bicycling access.

I recently spent time observing traffic on the bridge and came away even more shocked at how unacceptably inaccessible the bridge is for everyone not inside a car or truck. When I first shared images from that day over on Instagram, the response reminded me how many people share my concerns for what this bridge is like today, and my dreams for what it could become in the future.

Before I share some of those responses, let’s recall our history…

Four lanes for drivers in 1931. Four lanes for drivers in 2024. Maybe time for an update? (Library of Congress)

In 2003, ODOT began a major rehabilitation project. They spent $38 million to replace and repave the deck, repaint the towers, upgrade the lights and so on. But before ODOT re-striped the lanes with the same four lane, 40-foot wide cross-section the bridge had when it opened in 1931, they considered an alternative plan. ODOT put together an advisory committee (that included representatives from a bike advocacy group, TriMet, freight business owners, and so on) and commissioned a report from an engineering firm to analyze options and inform the decision.

In 2003, David Evans & Associates published that report. And guess what? They determined there would be, “No capacity constraints or operational flaws on the bridge that would prohibit the implementation of any of the striping options.” Central to this finding was that all roads that lead onto the bridge have just one lane in each direction and are controlled by traffic signals. Their analysis showed that while travel time across the bridge would increase (exact amount I’m not sure of), traffic would only slow and there would be no congestion on the deck.

But despite that study, despite clear concerns about safety and demands for bike lanes that bubbled up during the City of Portland’s 2004 St. Johns/Lombard Plan, and despite grumblings from the nonprofit Bicycle Transportation Alliance (now The Street Trust) and other bike advocates, ODOT caved to pressure from freight advocates and re-striped the deck exactly as it had been for the previous 74 years.

ODOT’s final decision on the striping plan came just one month after I started BikePortland, and I haven’t done the research to fully understand what happened. But I do know how it made me feel. My first post on the subject on May 12th, 2005 was published a few days after I heard the news and you can sense my anger from the get-go.

The Street Trust also objected to ODOT’s decision, saying in an op-ed published to their website that, “Under pressure from special interests, ODOT simply ignored the facts at hand. The result, if it is allowed to go forward, is a bridge that will continue to be unsafe for the quarter of the area’s residents who cannot drive.”

As made clear in my interview with former ODOT Director Matt Garrett in 2012 the agency “could have re-striped it,” were it not for the “force of the freight industry” that acted as a “cross-pressure” on their decision.

Portlanders tried to object. Letters were written to the Oregon Transportation Commission, there was even a naked bike ride protest, but ODOT ignored it all. They claimed a minor widening of the existing sidewalk and larger alcoves were “bike safety improvements,” but the truth was then — and remains today — that the sidewalk is not even technically wide enough for bicycle riders to share with walkers and riding a bike on the bridge is a harrowing experience.

ODOT installed sharrows seven years later. While I appreciate having my legal right to the road reinforced, those tiny patches of paint don’t do much for my blood pressure when drivers are bearing down on me at 35-plus mph.

When Mitch York was killed by Joel Schrantz in 2016, ODOT was asked to justify the lack of bike facilities on the bridge. An ODOT spokesperson had the audacity to claim in an interview with a local media outlet that they couldn’t install bike lanes because state guidelines require 19-foot wide lanes for freight trucks. That’s an outright lie used to justify a decision ODOT knows wasn’t based in fact or engineering best practices.

As made clear in my interview with former ODOT Director Matt Garrett in 2012 the agency “could have re-striped it,” were it not for the “force of the freight industry” that acted as a “cross-pressure” on their decision.

Garrett’s contrition validated for me why many of us felt The Street Trust should have sued ODOT for failure to comply with the Oregon Bicycle Bill that requires the agency to build adequate bike facilities whenever a road is reconstructed. I never learned exactly why they didn’t file that lawsuit, but I recall hearing there was some concern they might lose on a technicality and the precedent would end up weakening the Bike Bill in the future.

I can’t change the past, but I’ll never forget ODOT’s role in making us so unsafe on this bridge that I love and hate with equal passion.

Cross-section concepts by Ben Guernsey. (@benguernsey)

And judging by responses to my photos on Instagram, that same ambivalence resides within many of you.

“Even with good skills and being comfortable at speed in traffic,” wrote Portlander Ira Ryan in an Instgram comment. “I still feel like each trip over the bridge could be my last… It only takes one glance at a phone by a driver to kill a human on a bike. Terrifying.”

Another commenter who walks across the bridge four times per week said, “I have long wished for a protected bike/ped lane on each side… I wait for a truck mirror to hit my head.”

One reader, Ben Guernsey, even created a conceptual design of how he’d change the lane configuration to be safer for everyone.

While I think Ben’s idea should be given serious consideration, the ultimate solution is to get freight traffic off the bridge entirely. These large, loud, fume-laden trucks should have a bridge of their own so they aren’t routed through downtown St. Johns and dense residential areas. And that’s exactly what is recommended in ODOT’s Westside Multimodal Improvements Study that wrapped up late last year.

Whatever steps we take next can’t come soon enough. As these photos show, there’s clear demand by non-drivers to use our beautiful, iconic bridge without fearing for their lives, shouting to hear companions over the traffic noise, or breathing toxic exhaust. Surely we can re-imagine this bridge before the its centennial celebration in 2031.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Shawn Kolitch
Shawn Kolitch
20 days ago

I was a law student in 2003, and I volunteered with the BTA (now the Street Trust) to research how the Oregon Bicycle Bill applied to the upcoming St. John’s Bridge renovations. My conclusion, which I presented to the BTA as a legal memo, was that the planned renovations would not comply with the Bicycle Bill unless bike lanes were installed or the sidewalks were widened. I didn’t believe (and still don’t believe) that any of the exceptions written into the statue applied. I never understood why the BTA didn’t take action at the time.

Watts
Watts
20 days ago

That was the era in which the BTA made their transition from fighting for cyclists into the do-nothing organization we know today, and I would love to know more about how that shift happened. It was a big loss.

Sometimes an organization runs it course, then overstays its welcome. It’s hard to quit when the money machine is still running, even if you’re just occupying space.

Fred
Fred
19 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Kinda harsh, Watts, but I agree BTA lost something when it changed to TST.

I used to contribute to BTA but refuse to contribute to TST.

Watts
Watts
19 days ago
Reply to  Fred

The loss of efficacy started before the name change. Letting the SJB issue pass was the first major sign (to me) that something had changed. I let my membership lapse around that time.

I would love to know who still contributes and why. There must be some folks here who do. Anyone want to share your motivation?

bjorn
bjorn
18 days ago
Reply to  Fred

Rob killed the organization. I was on the legislative committee when he came in and had been volunteering in that role for a number of years. He apparently decided that we weren’t adding value but rather than saying that out loud to anyone they just cancelled a meeting and then never scheduled anymore. It was rather insulting to all the volunteers who had been putting in those hours to not even get a “hey thanks for your help but we are going to try something different with this.” For me when the logo was changed so that it was no longer a bicycle wheel was when I knew things were going to go downhill big time.

Steven
Steven
16 days ago
Reply to  Watts

So did the organization naturally run its course, or did it abandon its mission resulting in a “big loss”? It can’t be both.

Watts
Watts
16 days ago
Reply to  Steven

I don’t understand your question (but I perceive it’s an effort to entrap rather than discuss). I sensed the BTA becoming irrelevant gradually, but director Sadowsky drove a stake through the organization’s heart.

What are your views?

Keith
Keith
16 days ago

The PBAC also submitted a letter in favor of a 2-lane configuration (I was a member at the time). When ODOT’s consultant concluded that LOS would not be significantly affected, the agency justified the 4-lane design on the consultant’s finding that the overall travel time to cross the bridge would increase slightly because trucks and cars would share one lane in each direction. Like you Jonathan, I don’t recall the figure, but it was around 30 seconds or less. At the same time, the study also found that average pre-construction truck speeds were 40 mph eastbound and 36 mph westbound in a 35 mph zone! So in other words, trucks/cars might actually go the speed limit with the 2-lane option.

To avoid providing bike facilities per the Oregon bike bill. ODOT contended that removing and replacing the entire deck along with the rest was only “maintenance” that doesn’t trigger bike lanes as part of the package.

We had the freight interest pressure along with ODOT’s strong predisposition to never surrender an existing vehicle lane to other street users. Unfortunately, nothing has really changed, and it continues to be a highway department with a clear “cars/trucks first” policy.

Wooster
Wooster
18 days ago
Reply to  Shawn Kolitch

I think it’s probably because they didn’t have “standing” to sue, since an organization can’t usually claim to be “harmed” by something. They would have had to find an individual, or individuals, who had been harmed by the lack of bike lanes on the bridge and were willing to join the lawsuit.

bjorn
bjorn
18 days ago
Reply to  Wooster

I was in some of the discussions about if a lawsuit should be filed at the time, the two camps were we think we will win we should sue, and we could lose and then things would be even worse, the latter ended up winning out at the time.

qqq
qqq
20 days ago

Not to take attention away from the critical issue of being able to cross the bridge safely, but I’ve always been struck by the fact that this bridge is one of the most beautiful bridges in the Northwest, but the iconic photos everyone has seen of the bridge’s pointed archways from deck level aren’t viewable safely by bridge users.

You should at least be able to walk or ride your bike across the bridge, and pause to look at the bridge and view if you’d like, without feeling like you’re taking your life into your hands.

As it is, it feels like Crown Point would feel if it were in the middle of a highway traffic circle.

qqq
qqq
20 days ago

Actually, if you think about it, taking great public spaces and attractions and degrading them with cars is the Portland way. Pioneer Courthouse Square, Keller Fountain, the North and South Park Blocks, Jameson Square, the Joan of Arc statue, Waterfront Park, the Elk Statue, Lownsdale Square, Chapman Square, Schrunk Plaza…every one of them accessible only by wading through traffic.

Imagine if going across the St. John’s Bridge were more like crossing the Sellwood Bridge or Tilikum Crossing.

maxD
maxD
19 days ago
Reply to  qqq

you forgot the central eastside waterfront and the 405 cut through downtown!

SD
SD
20 days ago
Reply to  qqq

If this bridge was comfortably bikeable, it would be a local and tourist bucket list item for sure- not to mention a well-used connection to bike out to the west hills and Sauvie Island.

dan
dan
20 days ago

I have about 20k miles of bike commuting in Portland and the SJB is simply not safe for cyclists. When I cross the bridge, I ride the sidewalk until I hit the descent, then I switch to the road – feels safer with a smaller speed differential.

John V
John V
19 days ago
Reply to  dan

Same. I’m not bothering trying to use the lane. If people would drive the speed limit, I could keep up on the descent, but as it is, I’m usually passed there too.

In my experience, I’ve never had a problem using the sidewalk (although it’s awkward navigating the parts where you have to go around the pillars). Must be something about my timing, it’s never very crowded. But I just wish I could use a bike lane!

James
James
20 days ago

Isn’t the law in Oregon if no bike lane “than ride on the sidewalk”? That sidewalk is huge and I use it every time I cross with no problem and like the high curb preventing most cars from hopping it. The approach from the west side is what I hate the most, always getting honks and revs by the 4×4’s.

Jesse haas
Jesse haas
20 days ago
Reply to  James

Actually if there is no bike lane a bicycle has the same right as any automobile to the roadway and has no obligation to ride on the sidewalk.
Huge sidewalk on the St John’s bridge? I hope you’re being sarcastic. It’s anything but huge especially at the towers where it’s one way traffic. Sellwood, tilikum, or Hawthorne bridges have decent sized bike lanes which sometimes seem too small

Chris I
Chris I
20 days ago
Reply to  James

You and I have very different definitions of “huge”.

qqq
qqq
20 days ago
Reply to  James
bjorn
bjorn
20 days ago
Reply to  James

I think you may be thinking of a different bridge, the sidewalks on the St. Johns are definitely not huge, especially if anyone else is trying to use them and with such a big drop off and high speed motor vehicle traffic right next to the sidewalk I usually dismount if I am going to cross the bridge, but in general I avoid crossing it because it is unsafe to ride and a long walk.

James Winkler
James Winkler
16 days ago
Reply to  bjorn

I know what the St John’s bridge is. I ride the sidewalk if the road is busy and take my time, if it’s quiet, I stay on the road.

qqq
qqq
16 days ago
Reply to  James Winkler

Assuming from your comments that you’re also “James” above (tell me if I’m wrong) I’m confused, because previously you said,

That sidewalk is huge and I use it every time I cross 

But now you’re saying you only use the sidewalk if the road is busy?

Also, you said,

Isn’t the law in Oregon if no bike lane “than ride on the sidewalk”? 

So if you thought it’s illegal to ride in the vehicle lane, why were you doing that?

Wooster
Wooster
18 days ago
Reply to  James

That’s not even remotely true. The law in Oregon is that if a bike lane or bike path is available, you have to use it, but if there is not one available, you are legally entitled to “take the lane” as long as you ride as far to the right as you safely can. Sidewalks are not considered bike paths unless they are clearly marked as multi-use ped/bike paths, so the existence of sidewalks doesn’t force bicyclists to use the sidewalk. It’s an option, but not required.

James Winkler
James Winkler
16 days ago
Reply to  Wooster

Okay, i must be mis-remembering updated laws that were passed same year as “Idaho law”.

Harry Travis
Harry Travis
20 days ago

Do you want to know about my being rear ended into unconsciousness and then to the hospital on the SJ Bridge by a young driver who didn’t see my safety reflective vest or two taillights or day Flo yellow helmet in light traffic? I live near it and have crossed it hundreds of times.
Please contact me,
Harry Travis

IMG_8965
resopmok
resopmok
20 days ago

Imagine if it felt safe to cross this bridge, AND
There was a nice connection to the Leif Erickson trail

Matt Villers
Matt Villers
20 days ago

Lots of great points here about being unable to use/visit the bridge safely and comfortably.

There’s also a broader issue with St Johns / the peninsula in that it’s very isolated by any travel method other than driving, and making the bridge bikeable would be a great step in helping address that.

Say you want to go downtown. In a car it’s a 6-7 mile straight shot that takes less than 20 mins. By bus you’re either spending an hour meandering on a “frequent service” route, or taking a more direct route like 16 that only runs once an hour (or less). By bike, the bridge + hwy 30 would save 2-3 miles over going down Willamette, but there’s just no safe way to do it at present. Changing that would be a huge win.

And that’s just for downtown. Another I often think about is Forest Park, which would be easy and wonderful to walk or bike to from St Johns if there were safe ways to get there, especially since there’s only room for a handful of cars to park at the nearby trailheads.

Charley
Charley
19 days ago
Reply to  Matt Villers

You’re right. It’s like an island up there, for better or worse. Definitely worse for the downtown commuter.

Messalina
Messalina
20 days ago

Well what cyclists should have , is a mandatory permit to be on the same road as motorists , . motorists are required to have a permit to assure they know the rules of the road all the signs what they mean how to use hand signals when to yield yada yada Etc but cyclists don’t seem to have to have anything to be on the same road following the same laws I don’t see the sense in that shouldn’t they also have to have a permit and paying them fees to be on the same roads and knowing the same laws and following the same rules that’s what they need not another damn bike lane you can talk about all the accidents that have happened and the people that were hurt and killed and that’s very sad that’s that’s horrible, but at the same time let’s mention how many times it was the bikers fault and the driver got blamed for it because biker wasn’t following the rules let’s vote to have all these cyclists be required to have permits to be on the road .thank you

Chris I
Chris I
20 days ago
Reply to  Messalina

How do I get one of those for my 8 year old? She uses the roads when riding to school. Is a test involved? Would she need to go to the DMV and wait in line?

Watts
Watts
20 days ago
Reply to  Messalina

The reason we license drivers is the danger a misdriven car poses to other users of the road.

Cyclists just don’t pose that same level of danger, making licensing less necessary.

Mark smith
Mark smith
20 days ago
Reply to  Messalina

We have allowed your post and it will be kept in the museum of intolerance and ignorance and indifference to fellow humans. Unfortunately it appears your belief you are born an engine and raised a steering wheel has led you act as a minion for the vehicle industry. Like a person kidnapped and enslaved , we reach our hand out to you hoping you can return to humanity.

Fred
Fred
19 days ago
Reply to  Mark smith

COTW.

qqq
qqq
19 days ago
Reply to  Messalina

Almost all adult cyclists already DO have a permit that certifies they’ve passed a test showing that they understand the rules of the road. It’s called a driver’s license.

Matt
Matt
19 days ago
Reply to  Messalina

The lack of care you’ve given to organizing and punctuating your thoughts is identical to the lack of care you’ve given to creating a fair, logical, and coherent argument in the first place. I regret every second I spent trying to read it.

Steven
Steven
15 days ago
Reply to  Messalina

Well what pedestrians should have, is a mandatory permit to be on the same road as motorists. Walkers don’t seem to have to have anything to be on the same road following the same laws I don’t see the sense in that!! Shouldn’t they also have to have a permit and paying them fees that’s what they need not another damn sidewalk!!!1

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
20 days ago

From what I’ve learned here in NC, every single bridge over any body of water, be it a tiny creek to a major port river, are regulated by the ultra-conservative Army Corps of Engineers, including bridge height, lighting, width, piers, bike paths, etc. What did they say about the St.John’s Bridge project?

Wooster
Wooster
18 days ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Why would the Army Corps have any jurisdiction over what happens on top of the bridge? They can only regulate the height of the bridge and the piers, things that impact river navigation. That’s their only authority.

dw
dw
20 days ago

While we’re dreaming, wouldn’t it be great if Highway 30 also had a paved, separated path paralleling it like basically the whole way from Portland to Astoria? Looks like there’s space for it. Or at least from like Scappose to Portland.

Others have mentioned the tourist/recreation draw, but I also think it would provide great utility. Someone living in St. John’s and working in the NW industrial zone could bike across the St. John’s then zip down the Hwy 30 path to work. Definitely doable, especially with an ebike.

John V
John V
19 days ago
Reply to  dw

I would love that SO much. Riding to Sauvie Island is easy and fun, would be very reachable for me in a cargo bike with my family. Going to visit farms, or for that matter, going on a long trip to Vernonia that way. But I’ve ridden that stretch a couple times by myself and it’s harrowing. The road is enormous, you usually have a LOT of shoulder to ride in. But 1) it’s a shoulder full of garbage, and 2) you still have huge trucks passing you at 55mph+.

I don’t want to have to get in a car to ride my bike somewhere that’s only a few miles away and a perfect cycling destination.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
19 days ago
Reply to  John V

Except for a couple businesses, the vast majority of Sauvie Island residents hate the spring and summer and all the tourists (you should go to their island meetings).

John V
John V
19 days ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

Yes, I know it’s common for a vocal minority to complain loudly about cyclists (especially the type who are overrepresented in “island meetings”). I don’t know what to say, I don’t like it but I’m not going to not ride there. They don’t have some inalienable right to not have cyclists on our roads.

Wooster
Wooster
18 days ago
Reply to  dw

The Portland Zoning code has a “Major Public Trails” line along the river next to Hwy 30 and up to the St Johns Bridge, basically an extension of the Willamette Greenway Trail. Hopefully someday it happens!

bjorn
bjorn
20 days ago

A coworker of mine was hit from behind by a truck when taking the lane after the rebuild. It made me feel very guilty because I was on the BTA legislative committee at the time of the repave and although I am not a lawyer I personally felt that the BTA should sue and argued for action but in the end the BTA decided not to sue. When he was hit Mark was nearly knocked completely off the bridge which almost certainly would have resulted in his death, instead he ended up on the railing with a broken back as I recall. The sharrows aren’t safe at these speeds.

Champs
Champs
19 days ago

If people aren’t comfortable taking the lane on the SJB, then I still don’t understand where they are going to or coming from. Germantown certainly isn’t for everyone, and even I just barely tolerate Hwy 30 when I absolutely need to wrap up a ride in the West Hills as quickly as possible. Until that changes, it is a Bridge to Nowhere for most folks.

It feels like you buried the most important part right at the end, there, Jonathan: there needs to be a separate bridge for freight to bypass downtown St. Johns altogether. That is less about cycling than about community needs, and I’m glad that a study validated this last year, but I’ve been saying these things for much, much longer.

Chris I
Chris I
19 days ago
Reply to  Champs

Even if we spend $2 billion to build an I-5 – HWY 30 bypass north of Portland, you will still have freight traffic on the St. Johns. The biggest danger on the bridge comes from careless single-occupancy drivers going twice the speed limit, not from the trucks. The lane configuration on the left above (2 lanes outbound at each end with 1 lane on the climb) could be implemented next week and would have no impact on total bridge throughput. ODOT just doesn’t care.

John V
John V
19 days ago
Reply to  Champs

You don’t need to go on Germantown to ride to Forest Park. Springville Road is right there. I usually cross SJB when leaving Forest Park, so I’m going down hill, but it’s still possible (although challenging) to ride up it. And it’s not that far on the wide shoulders of Hwy 30 to get to Saltzman Road. At least along that stretch, you’re in a “lane” that motor vehicles aren’t supposed to be driving in, unlike the bridge.

maxD
maxD
14 days ago
Reply to  John V

I cross the SJB frequently on a bike. Westbound I head head south to Saltzman or north to Newberry or one of the many climbs up to Skyline. Eastman, I will get to the SJB from Germantown or HWY 30. Front-Kittridge-30-Willameete is fun and easy after work ride home. HWY 30 AND SJB should absolutely have bike facilities. FWIW, I do not like the concept of a 2-way cyclepath on one side of the bridge. The outside lanes could easily be repurposed for buffering and bike lanes in each direction. The 2-lane “climbing lanes” for motor vehicles only supports the dangerous weaving and passing that is ubiquitous on Portland bridges

Zack Rules
Zack Rules
19 days ago

Wow, that is an odd position from ODOT considering the bridge is already fed by one lane at either end! No wonder their traffic study found meh impacts! And restriping the outer lanes into bike lanes would allow ODOT to widen the remaining lanes to 11′, better for the truckers they prioritized.

Stephen Keller
Stephen Keller
19 days ago

If they made the entrances one lane wide, splitting to two lanes about midday across, this would effectively give three lanes to motor vehicles. Then there would be room to widen the sidewalks by five feet on each side.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
19 days ago

Another thing I loved about NYC – Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, Queensboro, and RFK bridges all have dedicated, protected bike lanes. Not having them on a truly iconic bridge like the St. John’s is a glaring mistake.

eawriste
eawriste
19 days ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

Well, yes, but advocates have been attempting to get the south outer lane of the QBB for peds/cyclists for a decade now. I rarely took the Queensboro because it was so jammed with people. The verrazaano is also a shitshow: 13 lanes, no peds/bike access. But I take your point. It’s certainly improved in the last decade.

Hotrodder
Hotrodder
18 days ago

I’d be happy if ODOT would keep the sharrows refreshed. And while I’m at it, I don’t think a big ask would be to have way more sharrows painted onto the road, at least on the uphills towards the apex. Last time I rode the SJB the sharrows were almost the color of the road surface; it felt like I was just taking the lane on a major high speed highway. How many drivers don’t even realize this is a shared lane because of shitty maintenance and signage? (As a hypothetical, Why don’t the cops use local roads and bridges such as these as a source of revenue? Speed trap. You’re busted. Pay the fine.)

Wooster
Wooster
18 days ago

I’m guessing the BTA decided they didn’t have “standing” to sue over the Bike Bill on this bridge, and it would have been thrown out for that reason. In the recent BikeLoud lawsuit against the city, the judge did exactly that, said that they didn’t have standing unless they found members who had been “harmed” specifically by the projects they listed. So maybe BTA didn’t feel like they could pass that test at the time.

Burt Macklin
Burt Macklin
17 days ago

I lived in St Johns for 8 years. I rode, drove and walked the bridge hundreds, maybe thousands of times. Ride the sidewalk people. Its way safer than inserting yourself in with trucks and its just not that hard.

Rebecca
Rebecca
14 days ago

It is disappointing that so much of our public space is controlled by an organization that needs to be sued to recognize safety conditions for anyone other than freight.

This bridge is an iconic part of our landscape that could have been used and safely enjoyed by the entire community were it not for ODOT’s shortsighted, yet disappointingly predictable choices.

Holtz
Holtz
8 days ago

The Multnomah County Bicycle & Pedestrian Citizens Advisory Committee urged ODOT to add dedicated bike lanes back then. I recall those studies concluding that it would add just a second or two to travel time for drivers. Like so many roads, almost all the delays are due to waits at intersections, not the number of lanes. But facts couldn’t overcome the emotional demand from freight interests that they get all the width, whether or not it made a real difference to their delivery times.
Maybe someday ODOT will follow the facts… and have the guts to allocate some of the bridge deck to cycling, thus giving people massive health and safety benefits at vanishingly small cost to drivers.