October 21st, 2013 | by ANDREA DAMEWOOD News | Posted In: Activism, PDX News, Transportation

Fans of "Working" Kirk Reeves Start Campaign to Name New TriMet Bridge After Him

kirk reevesKirk Reeves performing outside Powell's in 2005. - IMAGE: Tom Oliver

Fans of the late "Working" Kirk Reeves have started a Facebook campaign to name the new TriMet transit bridge after the street musician.

Reeves was a fixture at the eastbound on-ramp to the Hawthorne Bridge, wearing a white tuxedo and Mickey Mouse ears, serenading passersby with his trumpet. Plagued by health problems, he fatally shot himself in November 2012.

TriMet is asking members of the public to suggest names for its new Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail bridge, which will be open to buses, pedestrians, cyclists and MAX trains. Set to open in summer 2015, the bridge is located just south of the Marquam Bridge.

The Facebook page advocating to name the bridge after Reeves has gained close to 200 likes since starting on Oct. 17.

It says simply: "This is an opportunity to honor 'Working' Kirk Reeves, a legendary Portland street musician and creative character."

Naming the bridge after Reeves would also bring attention to the city's suicide epidemic.

City officials recently installed temporary suicide barriers on the Vista Bridge to prevent people from jumping from the iconic Southwest Portland span. Police—grappling with mental health issues, including an indictment of their treatment of those in crisis by the U.S. Department of Justice—also just released a study finding the city's rate of suicide may be much higher than the national average.

A candlelight vigil for Reeves shortly after his death brought out then-Mayor Sam Adams, and dozens of others for a rainy march over the Hawthorne Bridge. 

"He would want us to talk about the fact that he died of suicide," said Adams. 

 
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