On my way to check out the new Gideon Overpass yesterday I passed an all too familiar sight: a freight train blocking people from crossing the tracks at SE 11th and Clinton. This issue torments many people and is a recurring mobility nightmare for anyone trying to get between the Brooklyn and Hosford-Abernethy neighborhoods. It’s so bad someone made one of those singularly-focused websites about it with the address of IsATrainBlocking11th.com.
Soon the wait will be over.
Construction crews are busy these days erecting a new bridge that will give people an option for getting around trains that doesn’t involve lifting bikes over stalled or slow-moving train cars (yes people do that). The new Gideon Overpass already stands tall above the tracks about 300 feet southeast of the Clinton St/SE 12th Ave MAX station.
With intense opposition from nearby business owners behind them, TriMet is on track to complete construction of the $15 million bridge by this fall. For bicycle riders, it will have a roll-on elevator just like the nearby Rhine-Lafayette Overpass. When the elevator is broken, a wheel gutter will help roll bikes up and down the stairway.
One business owner can’t wait for it to be done. Jarret Walker of Jarrett Walker + Associates calls the bridge a “game-changer for the area.” “My office is on the north side and I must plan my life as though 11th-12th is permanently blocked by freight trains,” he shared on Twitter this morning. “There are things on the other side I’d love to go to, but the risk of being stranded there is too great. Go TriMet and PBOT!”
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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