The sidewalk restriction at the Bridge Pedal was not punitive -- it had to do with fewer officers available to assist

DAVID F. ASHTON - Providence Bridge Pedal participants head across the Sellwood Bridge, this year on the sidewalk and bike laneamidst the only rainy morning since mid-June! That didnt seem to bother any of the riders. Many participants were overjoyed last year when they learned that the newly-opened Sellwood Bridge would be featured on the Providence Bridge Pedal.

But this year, bikers were asked to "stay on the sidewalk" when crossing the Sellwood Bridge; the westbound lanes of traffic remained open to vehicular traffic during the event on Sunday, August 13.

That wasn't the only change; instead of riding on S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard and turning onto Milwaukie Avenue, before snaking into the Westmoreland-Sellwood neighborhood, riders were routed along the Springwater Trail from downtown.

"They did cut three bridges from the ride, so I'm happy they didn't take away this one," remarked Brentwood-Darlington neighbor Kyle Milson, while taking a quick rest stop on S.E. Grand Avenue, before heading across the Sellwood Bridge.

Event director Rick Bauman explained that a new Portland Police Bureau policy limits the number of police officers that can be used to support special events to 33 – yet the traditional Bridge Pedal route required some 75 officers. "There was no option but to change the route," he said.

Even facing bicycling in a light rain shower – on the first day with any rain at all since mid-June – the smiles on the faces of devoted (albeit soggy) bike riders were plentiful, as they pedaled across the new Sellwood Bridge.

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