Some of Multnomah County’s busiest bridges crossing the Willamette River could see biking and walking upgrades within the next five years. One of the new ideas for the Hawthorne Bridge would be to separate the bike and foot traffic area into possibly using one of the four auto lanes on the bridge deck.
There is a proposed $1.4 million study and another $32.6 million to implement the recommendations over the next five years. Lately, there have been changes to the bridges but none what make adjustments for pedestrians and cyclists.
Congestion for bicyclists and pedestrians on bridges like the Broadway, Burnside, Morrison and Hawthorne can be a problem at times and will only become more of a problem in the future. This plan could help address an increasing issue before it becomes a huge problem.
Back in 1999 the county spent millions to widen the sidewalks on the Hawthorne Bridge from 6 feet to its current 10 feet. At that time no one understood how that would make a difference, but it turned out to be extremely useful many years later. The Hawthorne bridge is one of the busiest bridges for cyclists with 19% of traffic from bicycles.