Streetfilms: Bike Rush Hour on Portland’s Hawthorne Bridge

The first time you visit Portland, Oregon, the gaggles of cyclists streaming over the Hawthorne Bridge during rush hour is a sight you will never forget. It’s something other cities need to see and be inspired by.

On a recent vacation there, I couldn’t resist cranking out a Streetfilms shortie, so I hooked up with Crank My Chain’s Dan Kaufman to capture the essence of the p.m. rush and find out what it feels like to be a part of the mass of cyclist humanity in Southeast Portland’s Hawthorne corridor.

As Greg Raisman from Portland’s Bureau of Transportation pointed out: 20 percent of all traffic on the Hawthorne Bridge is bikes, while the number of cyclists in Portland has risen 600 percent in the last 15 years and shows no sign of letting up.

  • Streetfilms needs to film the commute from 8th to 4th on Townsend St in San Francisco. The number of cyclists on that stretch is impressive – and the danger of that stretch of road – to cyclists *and* pedestrians is even more impressive. A filmed expose of this ridiculous stretch of road would perhaps be enough to embarrass the city into action. The primary persons to be embarrassed are Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Chris Daly.

    There is a long sordid story about that stretch of road, but it is in the city limits of San Francisco and inside District 6. The buck stops with the boss.

    I’ll be more than willing to help and showcase the various features of that trail of tears.

  • Pat

    That is some serious trance elevator music

  • Murph: I never noticed the total lack of sidewalks on Townsend btw 4th and 5th until I recently had to go visit a company on that block. All the pedestrians walk in the street! It’s lunacy.

  • Michael P.

    You didn’t show the westbound approach to the bridge… it has TWO bike lanes, so you can pass people without going into traffic! The morning commute into downtown is even busier than the evening commute in my experience. (I guess people all get to work around the same time but leave at varying times?)

  • Jeff – the Bus stops for the 19 are pretty much *in* the travel lane – that’s right MUNI is letting passengers off in the middle of the road.

  • Michael,

    Hey, I showed the westbound side in a film I did a few years back. We were just aiming to get something short and sweet out in a few hours of downtime during my vacation. But all the bridges there have some huge bike traffic. Just shows there are even more films that could be made!

  • the greasy bear

    Thanks for making this film–it’s fascinating how, at least in film, cyclists form a sort of dynamic wallpaper around everyday life in Portland. They’re quietly pedaling everywhere.

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