Portland Nearly Got A 'Check Your Privilege Bridge': 9 Other Rejected Names For The Bridge

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The Keep Portland Weird campaign is outdoing itself. First, the city announced the construction of the largest car-less bridge in the United States. Then, TriMet, which offers public transportation in Portland, asked the public to help name the bridge. And then Portland residents proved just what an eclectic bunch they really are by offering up the most interesting names for a bridge in the history of bridges, including "Check Your Privilege" and "GTFO, cars!"

The bridge, which will span the Willamette River in downtown Portland, will not allow cars, but will allow MAX trains, streetcars, TriMet buses, and bikes in an effort to promote public transportation in the city. Though the bridge is still under construction, a name has already been decided upon, and was announced last week amid considerable enthusiasm, especially considering public opinion had been taken into account.

TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane and a crowd of about 300 gathered on Wednesday to see watch the bridge name itself by way of an unfurling banner on the structure. After an exciting countdown and a drumroll... nothing happened.

Unfazed, McFarlane simply attributed the failure of the banner to unfurl as pre-show jitters, saying "You can't blame the banner for having a little stage fright." Moments later, the banner finally dropped, bearing the name "Tilikum Crossing: Bridge of the People."

It is a solid name, certainly. According to Committee Chair and historian Chet Orloff, the Native American name beat out the other 9,500 submissions because it holds the “most promise to connect the people of our region today with the long past of people who have been here for thousands of years, and to connect with future generations.”

And while the name is well-suited to the bridge, we cannot help but wish that some of the other suggestions might've graced the structure in true Portland style. TriMet published all 9,500 entries, and the following are our favorites.

  1. Check Your Privilege Bridge
  2. #youareacheesepuff
  3. ¡suspense!
  4. 3 way green walking, bike riding, no cars
  5. ABC: The Anything But Cars Bridge
  6. Your Name Here
  7. The What A Waste Of Money bridge
  8. Bridge of Portland: The Portland Bridge of Oregon. Portland Oregon. In Oregon. Not Washington. Or California.
  9. Bridge Over Truffle Waters
  10. usless since it does not have cars going over it!!!