County closes carfree path onto the Hawthorne Bridge


It was nice while it lasted. This carfree onramp to the Hawthorne has been closed.

I cherish every inch of carfree infrastructure downtown. It’s such a rarity when biking around the central city to be able to take a deep breath and not worry about any other vehicles — even if only for a few seconds.

That’s why I’m a bit sad that we can no longer bike on the ramp that goes from southbound Naito Parkway up to the Hawthorne Bridge eastbound.

Multnomah County closed that ramp today as construction on the new Central Courthouse gets underway.

The ramp wasn’t a major popular or particularly smooth connection up to the bridge; but I loved it. Because driving wasn’t allowed on it, I always felt like I was getting some sort of special access.

View looking southwest from the Hawthorne Bridge.

Goodbye old friend.
(View looking southwest from the Hawthorne Bridge.)

According to Mike Pullen at the County, the on-ramp was closed to auto use in 1998 after a major Hawthorne Bridge renovation project. That project widened the bridge’s walking and rolling path from six to ten feet and improved the sidewalk that’s now adjacent to the bike lane (and built the curb extension that the late Kirk Reeves used to entertain us on).

You can still access the south sidewalk of the bridge via SW Madison Street or via the path that leads up from Waterfront Park.

But it just won’t be the same.

Will you miss this ramp? Share your memories in the comments.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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