Trimet and the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge Naming Committee announced their four finalist names for the new light rail bridge, but it somehow left Working Kirk Reeves Transit Bridge from its list. So many fewer city visitors will now know how Reeves so uniquely, proudly and precisely represented this community, our working street performer culture, and especially our community’s issues with mental health, homelessness and suicide. It would have been a truly amazing gesture to the many citizens of our city, and their families, who struggle with a similar situation as Reeves to see his name on that bridge, to see that their own city recognized and honored him in particular. I have heard so many people describe seeing Reeves perform on the Hawthorne Bridge as one of the highlights of their commute—so this would have been such an appropriate moniker for a commuting bridge. Of course, there were many commuters who ignored him on that bridge too, something to which I’m sure he was pretty accustomed. But, Trimet, I’m especially saddened you’ve chosen to be one of those who ignore him. I’m certain you have good reasons for this oversight, but from here it seems you missed a big chance.
Anyway, I’m so happy that the Abigail Scott Duniway Transit Bridge is a possibility for a name. You got at least one exactly right. Good job. Please don’t ignore her too.
But Cascadia Crossing? Cascadia instead of Reeves? Did you really have a meeting in which the committee agreed that Cascadia Crossing would better represent the non-car commuters of Portland better than Reeves? You claim that in considering a name for the bridge, you would ask questions like “Is it inspirational? If so why?”, “Does it reflect how bridge connects people? If so, how?”, and “Any special cultural meaning?” Are you really willing to say that Cascadia Crossing is somehow better suited for a bridge name considering those criteria? Did Cascadia Crossing really have more enthusiastic, sincere and important support than the people of Portland’s campaign to name your bridge after Reeves? Do we need yet another thing named after our bio region? How about Generic Personality-less Bridge? Cascadia Crossing sounds like a suburban mall. It is difficult to watch this particular committee be so afraid to consider Reeves. If you somehow drop the other ball and don’t name the bridge after Duniway, it’ll be even clearer to me that you are run by the unimaginative, cowardly, and heartless. And at that point I will probably just call it the Working Kirk bridge anyway.