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New bridge raises questions

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High Five
Friday, August 07, 2009

As part of a new MAX route between Portland and Milwaukie, TriMet is planning a Willamette River bridge to be used exclusively for light rail, bicyclists and pedestrians. The wide design could help divert bike and foot traffic away from the congested Hawthorne Bridge, but some think the new bridge's designs still aren't wide enough to handle the ever-growing bike use in Portland.

A rush-hour walk on the Hawthorne Bridge often comes with a steady whoosh from passing cyclists coming up from behind you - some passing fast enough to startle even the most aware. Yet pedestrians sometimes walk two abreast, leaving just a few feet for a bike to slip by.

Now, after a century of Willamette River bridge building, Portland has a chance to get it right. TriMet, the mass transit agency, plans to build a light-rail bridge across the river between the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the South Waterfront area that may carry walkers and bicyclists in such a way as to eliminate scraped knees and hurled epithets.

Read the full story at OregonLive.com.

 
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