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Portland's Tilikum Crossing—Open to All but Cars—Attracts a Throng on Preview Day
"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," reports Michael Andersen.
A TriMet official spokeswoman present at the event estimated that between 40,000 and 50,000 people crossed the bridge on the preview day.
Andersen details the events of the day and provides a review of the bridge and its experience:
"Though I’d personally walked across the bridge once before, the experience of doing it on a bike was surprisingly different — in a great way. It’s a fine trip on foot with good views of the city and (especially) the river. But like the other Willamette Bridges, it’s just a long way to walk in the sun.
But on a bicycle, Tilikum really feels like a magic carpet. It’s so quiet, so low-stress, so open to the air and so physically beautiful that it’s clearly more pleasant to ride across than anything else except the Steel Bridge’s lower deck. Even when MAX, bus and streetcar will be thumping past on the center lanes, the thick separation between the bikeways and pillars will keep them from causing any stress at all."
The article includes a lot of photos of the new bridge, so everyone everywhere else in the country can live vicariously through this one of its kind infrastructure and architectural feature.