Touring Portland’s Brand New Car-Free Bridge

Portland's Tilikum Bridge will carry cyclists, transit riders and pedestrians over the Willamette River, but no cars. Photo: Jonathan Maus, Bike Portland
Portland’s Tilikum Bridge will carry transit, biking, and walking traffic over the Willamette River, but no cars. Photo: Jonathan Maus/Bike Portland

Okay, it seems like now Portland is just showing off. The city is putting the finishing touches on the Tilikum Bridge, a multi-modal span that will serve buses, cyclists, pedestrians and trains — but no cars.

This bridge has it all: a safe walking and biking path, transitways free of traffic congestion, sleek design, bike counters, a scenic lookout. Jonathan Maus at BikePortland got an early look a few months before it’s scheduled to open. He elaborates:

Before I even got on the bridge, I was impressed at how many bike-related changes have been made at the bridge’s intersection with SW Moody near the new OHSU/PSU Collaborative Life Sciences building. There are several new bike-only signals to help make the transition from the Moody cycle track, across the street, then onto the bridge’s bike path.

Given how much biking and walking will happen on this bridge it will be very important for people to stay in the proper lane. You’ll also notice the bike/walk lane markings, which are very similar to the ones used by Multnomah County on the Hawthorne Bridge (the only difference is that the bike marking is green instead of yellow). TriMet has also outlined the white center lane stripe with black to make it more visible.

Overall, it’s hard to not be excited about what the Tilikum will mean for our bicycle network. While the connections to and from the bridge still leave something to be desired, the bikeway on the bridge itself will surely make it an instant favorite for thousands of daily riders.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Decatur Metro reports that Atlanta’s $250 million infrastructure bond measure passed by an amazing 9-to-1 margin. An analysis by Greater Greater Washington finds DC drivers who kill cyclists typically face no penalty. And Transport Providence takes issue with the idea that a dog park should provide off-street parking.

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