A lane of respect on the Broadway Bridge

A lane of respect on the Broadway Bridge

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A temporary detour is giving people on bikes their own lane on the Broadway Bridge.

“Felt like a first-class citizen for the first time in my life crossing the Willamette River.”

That’s what Ted Buehler, a devoted neighborhood and transportation activist wrote about the new detour over the Broadway Bridge. I second his emotion.

For the first time, instead of being herded up onto a sidewalk shared with people walking (like on the Hawthorne), or being scuttled into the shoulder of an urban highway (on Burnside), the City of Portland decided to give bike traffic its own, dedicated lane. It’s a vast improvement from the dangerous and disrespectful detour that has been used in the past.

When I rode over it yesterday, I felt a huge sense of calm and relief. It felt so civilized. Instead of riding on a sidewalk — where I’m always having to negotiate past people walking and running and getting passed by people biking — I could pedal calmly on the road, right where bicycles belong.

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Buehler said the detour signage isn’t clear, and that many people headed eastbound are still using the north sidewalk. Let it be known that, regardless of the signage, you are allowed to ride on the bridge. And i hope everyone takes the opportunity to do so.

When you do, please let yourself imagine that this doesn’t have to be temporary. This is the future of our city. It’s a glimpse into what’s possible when we allocate roadway space in an equitable and sensible way — instead of a way that’s saddled with transportational bias and a lack of political will.

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Unfortunately, this temporary detour is set to expire over the weekend. I didn’t get a chance to ride it during the evening rush hour yesterday; but I will today. Stay tuned for more (and better) photos.

Have you ridden it yet?

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