Streetfilms: See The Awesomeness of Portland’s Car-Free Tilikum Crossing

tilikum crossing

You’ve heard of Transit Oriented Development — how about Bridge Oriented Development? This week, Clarence Eckerson Jr. traveled to Portland to revisit the city’s game-changing car-free transit, bike and ped bridge, the Tilikum Crossing. The four-year-old bridge helped spur local development in ways that a heavy, car and truck crossing never could. Here is his video and report:

Portland’s Tilikum Crossing: A Bridge for People, Not For Cars from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.

In 2015, Portland, Oregon opened North Americas’s longest car-free bridge The Tilikum Crossing, a bridge that allows travel for pedestrians, bikes and scooters as well as light rail, streetcars and buses!

It’s a superb transportation marvel, not only elegant but one of the most multi-modal places in the United States connecting logical routes not only now but in the future as Portland’s Southwest waterfront continues to go thru its development. It also connects to the equally exquisite aerial tram to Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) which in turn boasts the largest bicycle valet service in North America!

Being around the area on a few summer days it’s easy to see all this beauty and planned car-free options in action.

Streetfilms’ love letter to Tilkum makes the case for other cities considering transportation options near bodies of water that there are many great reasons to do it the same way. There is virtually no noise. The footprint of the bridge is small since interconnecting off-ramps and large roads taking up valuable real estate is not needed. The comfort for those using active transit (bikes and walking) was carefully considered. And the fact that it can accommodate three different modes of transit: streetcars, light rail and three bus routes is a huge selling point.

And the final wonderful feature: the LED lights on the span change colors based upon the temperature and water level of the Willamette River! Believe me on a beautiful summer night you want to stay on it forever.

5 thoughts on Streetfilms: See The Awesomeness of Portland’s Car-Free Tilikum Crossing

  1. Most significant is the capacity of this bridge is YUGE compared to any other similar bridge in the US – because cars

  2. Chattanooga converted a bridge to pedestrian-only use ~25 years ago. We re-visited this April and discovered how it has spurred development and serves as a recreational magnet for people of all ages, incomes, and ethnicity. A poster child for Bridge Oriented Development.

  3. Perhaps it’s the longest purpose-built car-free bridge, but the Walkway over the Hudson is nearly 4 times as long. It’s a converted rail bridge, though.

  4. Big problem with the new bridge: It’s both steep and with only one bike lane on a side, built as a replacement for the bike lane with passing lane on the Hawthorne Bridge cycleways, it opened functionally obsolete and in need of an upgrade.

  5. Cars off the Brooklyn Bridge! Bikes on one side of the roadway, buses on the other!

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