Portland unveils new Ned Flanders Crossing bridge. Yes, that Ned Flanders.

There are lots of bridges in Portland, Ore., and the latest one has easily the most memorable name of them all. Say hi-diddly-ho neighborino to Ned Flanders Crossing!

Yes, that Ned Flanders, as in Homer Simpson’s comically pious neighbor from the forever-running TV show. You see, “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening grew up in Portland, resulting in a multitude of Oregon-related names being used throughout the years. Most notably, Groening has admitted that Springfield was indeed based on Springfield, Ore., but the characters of Mayor Quimby, Reverend Lovejoy, “Sideshow” Bob Terwilliger, Milhouse Van Houten, and yes, Ned Flanders, all share their names with streets in Portland. 

As such, it seems only fitting that the city returns the favor and names something after a character from the show. And at this point, doesn’t it just seem like sound public policy to name things after fictional characters?

The bridge itself is a 200-foot crossing of I-405, connecting the Pearl District with Northwest Portland for pedestrians and cyclists only. Sure, it connects previously separated parts of NW Flanders St … and was already being referred to as Flanders Crossing, so this isn’t quite as random as it initially seems. Still, we can’t imagine them going with the Mayor Quimby Crossing. 


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