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In Portland, drastic measures for drastic traffic

RIGHT HERE IN RIVER CITY — With downtown Portland's Morrison Bridge under major repairs for the next several months and with traffic on the span reduced from six lanes to two, the city has decided to combat congestion and help get cars in and out of downtown by building the city's first trebuchets.

Cars, SUVs, delivery vehicles, recumbent bikes and more can be loaded into the machines and thrown across the Willamette, bypassing bridge traffic and with only birds in the way.


(file photo)

To catch vehicles after they're flung, Portland will install nets in the Reverse Bungee rides that usually come to town for the Rose Festival.


(file photo, too)

East-west traffic will be handled just north of the Hawthorne Bridge, with cars going west-to-east launching from just south of the same bridge.



Yelling "Wooooooo!" will be encouraged.

Tall bikes will not be allowed due to height restrictions.

"This city has actual pirates, so a trebuchet is well within the realm of possibility for Portland," explained Fletcher Ness of Far-Flung Siege Engine Technologies, which is providing equipment. "We hope to relieve traffic with the efficiency of using the air above the Willamette plus the added thrills of Fast and Furious stunts.

"This is the closest most of us will get to flying cars."

Ness added that the system will be tested with two-person Smart Cars, because "those cars are like shot puts."