Portland bike, pedestrian bridge Flanders Crossing opens
The new bike and pedestrian bridge across the I-405 freeway in Northwest Portland opened Friday, June 4.
The $9.5 million Flanders Crossing connects Slabtown with the Pearl District as part of making Flanders more bike-friendly from Northwest 24th Avenue down to the Willamette River. The bridge is also designed to be able to carry emergency vehicles during Portland's long-overdue large earthquake, when most bridges will fail.
A crowd of around 100 people gathered to hear speeches by commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and transportation planner Reza Farhoodi before the red ribbon was cut. Farhoodi stressed that the Flanders Neighborhood Greenway was about more than the Pearl District and that the vision for the greenway was envisioned more than 50 years ago. Speakers praised local activists, including Jeanne Harrison (Northwest District Association), Ryan Hashagen (Old Town Community Association) and Patricia Gardner (Pearl District Neighborhood Association).
According to the Portland Bureau of Transportation, "Flanders Crossing is 24 feet wide and stretches 200 feet across I-405. Designed for two-way pedestrian and bike traffic, the earthquake-resilient bridge also adds a seismic lifeline in the case of a major tremblor."
Both overpasses along Northwest Everett and Glisan streets have sidewalks on only one side and are difficult to cross because of cars using onramps and exit ramps for I-405.
PBOT also installed new traffic signals along Northwest Flanders Street, at 14th and 16th avenues, and a four-way stop sign at 15th Avenue for pedestrian and bike access to the bridge.
Members of PBOT and the Street Trust (which used to be called the Bicycle Transportation Alliance) crossed the new bridge then led a ride west on Flanders to see other bike-friendly sites.
These included bike lanes on Northwest 20th Avenue and green lanes on Northwest 18th Avenue near the Fremont Bridge ramp.
The Flanders Crossing and the greenway are funded by ConnectOregon grant funds and Transportation System Development Charges and will employ approximately 100 people.
PBOT is promoting the new bridge and neighborhood greenway with a competitive scavenger hunt called Go by Greenways.
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