Portland has honored iconic "Simpsons" character Ned Flanders by naming a brand new bridge after him. The bridge, serving pedestrian and cycling traffic, will be called the Ned Flanders Crossing.
The plaque on the bridge shows Ned Flanders waving and smiling, saying "hi-diddly-ho, neighborinos!"
"Flanders Crossing, a pedestrian and bicycle bridge spanning Interstate 405, connects two iconic Portland neighborhoods – the Pearl District and the Northwest District – by reconstructing the historic street grid in Northwest Portland via NW Flanders Street."
The PBOT wrote that the crossing "honors the historic Flanders name, celebrates the Alphabet District's east-west street grid, and eases wayfinding for travelers in the area."
The PBOT claims that Ned Flanders is "a beloved cartoon character in modern cultural history," and that it was created by Portlander Matt Groening.
Groening was into the new bridge, the city said, noting that Portland has many unofficial streets and places named for Simpsons characters.
Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said "It's a wonderful day for our city."
"Naming this new bridge after Ned Flanders shows that Portland can build great things and have fun too. Thank you to Matt Groening and his team for embracing this idea," Hardesty said.
Hardesty previously led an online mob against a man who had a "thin blue line" decal on his truck under the auspices of her position with the PBOT, complaining about the truck after realizing that the decal was on the truck while he was working for PBOT.
"Ned Flanders," PBOT writes, "has been a quintessential emblem of good neighborliness for over 30 years, keeping his cool and trying his best to be a good neighbor even when confronted with his rather difficult neighbors, the Simpsons. At a time when people seem more divided than ever along political or cultural lines, and less and less willing to even talk to their neighbors with whom they may disagree, we believe Ned Flanders is a symbol of the kind of neighborly connection we should strive for in Portland."
"Just as Flanders Crossing connects two neighborhoods together across a physical divide, the bridge serves as a symbol of bringing neighbors together across whatever divides them. Despite many unofficial Simpsons-related Portland locations, there has yet to be an official honor of the show and characters that have referenced our city for decades.
"By naming the Flanders Bridge after Ned Flanders, we will not only be honoring the cultural phenomenon that is The Simpsons, but also the creative spirit that has animated Portlanders for so long and will continue to do so long into the future," PBOT writes.
Riots in Portland during the summer of 2020 saw the toppling of many statues to notable figures in American and Portland history. These included Abraham Lincoln, whose likeness came down during the "Indigenous Day of Rage."