How one intersection in South Waterfront is working (for everyone)

How one intersection in South Waterfront is working (for everyone)

Bikes are just one small part of the
picture in South Waterfront.
(Video still – Watch video below)

Our friend (and BTA Alice Award winner, Bike Train superstar and bike shop entrepreneur) Kiel Johnson is a close observer of how people are getting around in the South Waterfront area near the tram and OHSU.

Kiel runs the Go By Bike bike shop and valet service and he’s seen first-hand how the cycle-track on SW Moody, the aerial tram, the streetcar, and the new Gibbs Street Bridge have changed the area. He recently made a film highlighting the intersection where all these things come together. It’s an amazing look at what can happen when a city invests (a lot)* into giving people choices. It’s a multi-modal dreamworld. It reminds me of those YouTube videos of intersections in the early 1900s where it looks crazy and busy; but somehow, it works.

Watch it below…

What’s going on near Kiel’s shop in South Waterfront is the closest thing to European conditions that exists in America. The South Waterfront is like a transportation petri dish where politicians are funding the research and urban planners are the scientists. So far, the experiment seems to be working. Yes, it took a lot of money and political capital to make it happen; but it’s proof that we can do this in America.

But after your buzz from watching the video wears off… Remember this is just one intersection out of 22,000 in Portland. It’s one tiny slice that simultaneously shows how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go.

— Read more about the video and the cool stuff happening in South Waterfront in this blog post on the Green Lane Project website.

*Investing a lot of money isn’t the only way to give people choices and create scenes like this. We could quickly and cheaply create thriving intersections like this one all over the city if we made our public space favor people and not private automobiles.

Comments are closed.