Portland pedestrian bridge renamed for Metro's Bob Stacey
Many Portlanders may not have learned the name of the recently constructed Gideon Street Pedestrian Crossing yet, but now the $15 million bridge has a new one — the Bob Stacey Crossing.
The eponymous Metro councilor — who has represented Northeast, Southeast and Southwest swaths of the city on the regional government council since 2013 — said the news came as a surprise during a virtual meeting Thursday, April 29.
"I certainly look forward to walking across that bridge," he said. "This is unexpected. There are many other people who are deserving of recognition, but I am flabbergasted and honored."
Speakers at the council meeting described Stacey as a big booster of TriMet's Orange Line, whose light-rail tracks the steel span soars over. The Parkrose High, Reed College and University of Oregon law school graduate served as the transit agency's executive director for policy and planning during the construction of the Yellow Line MAX in the early 2000s.
"Bob has always been a visionary, linking land use and transit," said TriMet interim General Manager Sam Desue, Jr. "Both during his tenure at TriMet and elsewhere, he has been a strong advocate of TriMet and the work we do to provide safe and reliable transit service throughout our community."
Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Chris Warner also praised Stacey during the meeting. Stacey served as Blumaenuer's chief of staff when Commissioner Hardesty was working for community organizations, and Hardesty later worked with him again when she was elected as a state representative.
"You were such a valuable resource and historian for me as the new kid on the block," Hardesty said. "The bridge really reflects decades of deep, respectful listening, trying to ease people in the right direction and asking really, really good questions."
"No one has been more deeply involved in shaping our quest for livability than Bob Stacey," Blumenauer added.
construction of the rust-colored, somewhat boxy north-south link located just east of the Clinton St. / SE 12th Ave MAX Station was completed in December 2020 using leftover funds from the creation of the Orange MAX line. It features two elevators for users in wheelchairs and those not wishing to lug their bikes up the towering steps. Freight rail also travels under the crossing.
"When they first told me the name, there was no way I was going to remember it unless they named it after you," joked Metro Council President Lynn Peterson.
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