At long last, TriMet says a new Gideon Street-Brooklyn bridge is coming

Yellow line shows the location of the old Gideon-Brooklyn footbridge. A crucial neighborhood connection, it was torn down by TriMet in 2013 and never replaced.

At long last TriMet says they’ll replace the old footbridge that used to cross over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks between Southeast Gideon and Brooklyn/16th streets.

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One year in, how’s the Lafayette Street bridge elevator treating you?

Lafayette Street Bridge-6.jpg

The bridge has been in operation for just over a year now.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

I used the Lafayette Street Bridge for the first time last week. And I liked it.

The bridge was completed by TriMet in 2015 as part of the Orange Line MAX project and creates a connection over railroad tracks in the Brooklyn neighborhood between SE Lafayette and Rhine streets. It’s the only crossing of the tracks between Holgate and Powell (major arterials).

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Despite objections, TriMet installs swing-gates at 11th Avenue rail crossing

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

New swing gate at the Orange Line crossing
of 11th Avenue.
(Photo: TriMet)

Portland’s regional transit agency has installed swing-out gates that biking advocates say will force people on bikes and trikes to stop or dismount in order to cross its new MAX tracks at SE 11th Avenue.

However, it installed only two out of eight swing gates it had earlier proposed for the area.

As part of a collaboration with the Portland Bureau of Transportation, TriMet crews installed the new gates on Tuesday. The idea is that if people biking are forced to stop and open a gate, they won’t roll onto the tracks without first checking to see if a train is coming.

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One commuter’s take on the many turns and stops on Tilikum’s east side

tilikum east side map with numbers

Issues identified in Justin C.’s letter below.
(Map: Google. Annotations: BikePortland)

How many inconveniences does it take to add up to a serious problem?

“I feel like I’m using a system that was not designed for me… It seems to be designed to get me out of the way of transit vehicles, not to get me to work.”
— Justin C.

For about a year now, we’ve been watching the expanse of east-side paths to Tilikum Crossing with unease. We’ve heard from many readers, publicly and privately, about its many issues. But like most of us, we wanted to give TriMet and the Portland Bureau of Transportation a chance to get it built, celebrate the good parts and work the kinks out before talking about what can be done to fix the problems here.

After more than a month of Tilikum crossings, it’s time to start talking about what’s still wrong and what can be done. And we couldn’t frame the situation better than one reader, Justin C., did in an email to BikePortland last week.

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TriMet police stake out new train-track crossings east of Tilikum Crossing

Portland’s regional transit agency is trying to educate people about navigating the new expanse of pavement near the corner of SE 8th and Division.

With the new Orange Line due to begin service on Saturday, Sept. 12, transit police have been stationed in the area issuing formal warnings to people who break traffic laws such as crossing the tracks after a train has passed but before the warning signals have stopped ringing.

Here’s the statement TriMet put out about this effort last week:

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City advisory committees oppose TriMet’s plans for swing gates on Orange Line

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
swiomggatees

Swing gates.
(Photo: TriMet)

Official Bureau of Transportation committees that represent two of the groups TriMet is trying to keep safe from MAX trains on the new Orange Line — people who walk and bike — oppose the agency’s plan to use swing gates at the entry and exit of tracks at two intersections in inner southeast Portland.

After hearing about plans for the path at SE 8th and 11th, the City of Portland’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and Pedestrian Advisory Committee have both issued formal letters of opposition to TriMet.

The bicycle committee outlined several reasons for their disapproval. The main reason is, “the operating difficulties they will impose on members of the traveling public – principally those who are bicycling or walking.”

Here’s more from their letter:

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