Joshua Cohen is a principal at Fat Pencil Studio
After many months of anticipation, I finally had an opportunity to ride a TriMet MAX Train over the new Tilikum Crossing. This special preview ride from downtown Portland to Milwaukie and back was organized by the Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS). Full train service begins on September 12, 2015.
I was really looking forward to the view from the bridge, but that didn't turn out to be the best part of the ride. The highlight was realizing that I've now got a quick option to get from my office to downtown Portland or Milwaukie, with some great artwork along the way. There are murals, sculptures, and a whole bunch of empty boats (you can see some of what I'm talking about here). The shelters at each station are shaded by solar canopies that power efficient LED lighting. Everything looks so pristine and modern compared with other MAX stations.
As for the crossing the bridge, it turns out the view from inside a train is pretty limited. It's really hard to see the towers and cables. In this case, the best views are reserved for those walking or biking across the bridge. The Providence Bridge Pedal and The People's Preview on August 9th will be the first opportunity for the general public to get out and see the bridge up close. If you can't wait until then check out TriMet's great new Catch the Orange web site with images, news, and events leading up to the bridge opening.