tilikum crossing

Tilikum passing: Which side is right for faster bikes?

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 4th, 2017 at 5:14 pm

Sunday Parkways September 2015-5.jpg

Ride right, pass left? Or the other way around?
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

I got a call this week from Portland resident Alec Boehm, who’s looking for advice on a question many Portlanders have grappled with over the years.

When people biking and walking have dedicated spaces on a relatively narrow multi-use path, should faster bikes pass slower bikes on the right, or on the left? And (by the same token) should people who expect to be passed keep to the left of the biking lane, or to the right?

You can see the same situation constantly on the Hawthorne Bridge, and sometimes the Broadway, too. Until this week, you could sometimes see it for northbound bike traffic on Naito Parkway’s temporary protected biking and walking lanes, too.

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Yikes! Bikes almost roll in the way of buses, trains in close-call videos

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 25th, 2016 at 12:11 pm

Sometimes we all make mistakes. TriMet wants more people to think about the fact that some mistakes can be fatal.

It can be difficult to talk about this subject without blaming the victims of traffic violence. To its credit, the video TriMet released today focuses on examples of people who are acting both illegally and at least a little recklessly rather than (as the New York City transit union did recently) condemning people simply for not being cautious. There’s a big difference.

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Google Maps prank renames Tilikum Crossing after Star Trek captain

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 7th, 2016 at 3:14 pm

wunder crossing

A local beer entrepreneur’s reach-for-the-stars campaign to name Portland’s newest bridge after Jean-Luc Picard has succeeded, at least for one day.

Google Maps currently lists the walking-biking-transit bridge as the “Jean-Luc Picard Wunder Crossing,” just as Owen Lingley suggested in a pair of billboards he put up at his own expense last year.

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Tilikum Crossing already seems to be boosting bike traffic (for real this time)

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on December 22nd, 2015 at 9:11 am

Sunday Parkways September 2015-5.jpg

Crossing Tilikum.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Two months ago, we made an unfortunate error: We ran a post observing that the new Tilikum Crossing was simultaneously boosting bike traffic and reducing bike congestion on the Hawthorne Bridge sidewalks.

Trouble was, the source of our data — the Hawthorne Bridge’s automated bike counter — had been malfunctioning, so the findings were bogus.

Now the better data has arrived … and it shows pretty much the same thing that the fake data had seemed to.

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Comment of the Week: A better way from Clinton to Tilikum

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 30th, 2015 at 4:46 pm

clinton tilikum map

Here’s another way to go.
(Map by Google)

Sometimes, you just have to stop reading the signs.

That’s the advice from BikePortland reader axoplasm, who responded to Tuesday’s post about the hassles of navigating to the east landing of Tilikum Crossing with a homemade route of his own that he said is “slightly longer” but “much faster, with simpler crossings and saner stoplights.”

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

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 27th, 2015 at 2:14 pm

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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A few words of advice for folks working to conquer hills

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 15th, 2015 at 10:52 am

how to climb

It’s a long way up, but you can do it if you want.
(Photo M.Andersen/BikePortland)

For a lot of us, Tilikum Crossing is a hill.

Portland’s newest bridge is 77 feet above the water at the peak, and that means there’s a steady grade of just under 5 percent for hundreds of feet. That’s different than Portland’s other bridges, most of which rest a bit lower and focus their grade into shorter climbs on either end.

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Tilikum Crossing may have boosted bike traffic already (corrected)

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 2nd, 2015 at 9:34 am

Sunday Parkways September 2015-5.jpg

Tilikum Crossing during Sunday Parkways last weekend.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Correction 10/5: Unfortunately, an earlier version of this post was based on inaccurate data. As explained in the comments by Portland Bicycle Planning Coordinator Roger Geller (and first noticed by reader Psyfalcon), the Hawthorne counter failed to capture eastbound bike data from Sept. 9 through the end of the month. This problem wasn’t noted on the city’s website but we should have noticed the east/west discrepancy and checked with the city before running this story.

This means it’s likely that the Tilikum has boosted total bike traffic across the Willamette, but that Hawthorne bike traffic hasn’t dropped by anywhere close to one-third. It’ll take several weeks to learn the truth. In the meantime, we regret the error. The original (incorrect) version of the post follows.

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City looks for alternatives to door-zone bike lane on new street in South Waterfront

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on September 3rd, 2015 at 11:06 am

Screenshot 2015-08-31 at 1.53.09 PM

Yes, apparently city engineers sometimes use the Unipiper to designate bike lanes. We’ll call it affectionate good humor.
(Images from a city engineer’s design dated April 2015)

Well, this would definitely be odd if it happened.

Despite a continuing gusher of evidence that adding some sort of vertical separation to bike lanes makes them much better at getting people to actually ride bicycles, the City of Portland was, as recently as April, drawing up “preliminary” plans for an entirely new street in the South Waterfront that had a bike lane painted into the door zone of a road bed.

Two days after we emailed him about the plans, city spokesman Dylan Rivera said the sketch (which is dated May 5, 2015 and lists April 2015 as its “date approved”) was “per the 2009 city council approved street plan for the area” and that “we are considering other options.”

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By the tens of thousands, Portlanders preview their new car-free bridge (photos)

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on August 9th, 2015 at 6:21 pm


An estimated 40,000 people crossed Tilikum Crossing Sunday on foot, bike, skateboard, scooter or wheelchair.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

With walkers and in strollers, on hopalongs and (in the case of quite a few happily panting dogs) on leashes, Portlanders packed a series of previews Sunday of Tilikum Crossing, the first bridge in the United States to carry buses, bikes, trains, streetcars and people walking but no private cars.

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