Portland Building First Multi-Modal Bridge—No Cars Allowed

To connect the South Waterfront area with the rest of the city, Portland is building a multi-modal bridge accommodating tram lines, streetcars, light rail lines, bicyclists, and pedestrians, but not automobiles.
August 20, 2014, 9am PDT | Maayan Dembo | @DJ_Mayjahn
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Portland is yet again pioneering urban planning by building the first multi-modal bridge in the United States that does not allow cars. According to Brian Libby of CityLab, Tilikum Crossing, located in the South Waterfront area, "will carry MAX light rail trains (the impetus for construction) as well as Portland's streetcar line and city buses, and of course pedestrian and bike lanes on both sides—but no cars. If the bridge looks elegant in its slenderness, that may be because the omission of private automobiles keeps it from taking on a more gargantuan array of lanes and entry/exit ramps."

As David Blocher, executive director of capitol projects for TriMet, told Libby, "what makes this one so unique is basically because it's a product of its environment. There's not a road network at either end of it." Blocher continued by saying, "plus, we have this great redevelopment happening on both sides of the river, and we're going to carve it up with freeways on both sides? That's kind of a non-starter."

According to Blocher, Tilikum Crossing reveals the larger narrative "of heretofore mostly industrial waterfronts transitioning to public use; of an industrial economy transitioning to high tech and health care; and of more workers finding alternative means of getting to work."

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Published on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 in CityLab
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