It’s a story as old as time for Portland cyclists: you’re hurrying through the midtown or railroad-dominated neighborhood of Brooklyn when a cumbersome freight train shatters any hope you had of arrive at destination on time.
Although you may think the only course of action is to wait by the tracks and angrily try to force the train to move with pure intelligence (or dangerously try to jump between boxcars, this which we do not recommend), there is another way! Cycling and accessibility advocate Josh Hetrick has put together a helpful guide to getting around train tracks so you’ll never dread the sound of a train horn again.
On Hetrick’s “Train in Vain” website, you can find a variety of solutions for crossing train tracks at SE 11th, 12th, and Milwaukie and SE 8th Ave intersections, as well as intersections in the Mideast. This guide is especially informative for people who need to cross the lanes south of Division Street in the inner east side, what you need to do to get to Tilikum Crossing from the north.
The Bob Stacey Crossing was purpose-built and is the most direct route on these routes, but its lifts are unreliable, making it inaccessible to wheelchair users and difficult to use for people with heavy bikes that do not fit in the bike. gutter. If you get to the Bob Stacey crossing and the elevators are out of order, Hetrick has other suggestions you might not have thought of, which he describes and provides detailed instructions on his website.
Last week, Hetrick led a Pedalpalooza ride, aptly titled “Wrong Side of the Tracks,” guiding people around those detours, and you can watch Amit Zinman’s video recap of the tour below for get a visual representation of how to cross the tracks. Study and you might even expect your next freight train barricade so you can experiment with your newfound knowledge.
Taylor has been BikePortland’s editor since November 2021. She has also written for Street Roots and Eugene Weekly. Contact her at email@example.com