Thursday, April 5

Sellwood Bridge update

Last night I attended the 4th in a series of meetings on the Sellwood Bridge design. As I covered in a previous post, the Sellwood Bridge project will offer several options for users of the bridge to bring their comments to the county. Unlike other transportation improvements, there is a lot to be thankful for on this project. First of all, since the leading agency is Multnomah County and not ODOT, we can be sure that intelligent transportation modes will be fully accomodated. Mia Birk is on board as an advisor and her comments are well respected by the committee. Secondly there is a very strong interest by residents to ensure that bike/ped transportation as well as transit are comfortable and efficient. The current estimates are that bike traffic across the bridge will be 10 times higher by 2030. This shows a great willingness to respect us as users.
The main focus of the meeting was to hear input regarding the bridge's cross-section, and how the crossing would be routed. Residents had a great many comments and there was some very heated discussion. While Ian was giving his presentation, several outspoken residents started making comments which were requested to be afterwards. Control was almost lost when a number of attendees started shouting out comments and questions. Some of the questions were not even about the bridge itself, but about Tacoma and it's traffic. I was impressed with how well Ian kept his cool and calmly got everyone to follow the public input process.
I feel comfortable with the results that we will be getting from this effort. There are a lot of good people involved, and Multnomah appears to have it's priorities well setup. I only hope that the bridge will be completed before material and construction costs spiral up beyond the range of accessability.
If you haven't filled out the survey, be sure to put your input to the city to support intelligent solutions.


Curt Dewees said...

Thanks very much for your work in covering this very important public process. I appreciate your diligent reporting, and I am confident that many other bicyclists do, too.


Curt Dewees
daily bike commuter and Sellwood Bridge-crosser
Portland, OR

Matt Picio said...

Thanks for keeping up with this Aaron, and especially for mentioning the Tacoma issue - a lot of neighboring areas are concerned over the impact this project will have in regards to auto and truck traffic patterns.