In September 2021, varied information retailers and web sites reported that town of Portland, Oregon, had re-named a not too long ago opened bridge in honor of Ned Flanders, affable neighbor and charitable Christian from “The Simpsons.”
On Sept. 12, for instance, the New York Post wrote:
Hello-Diddily-Ho to Portland’s latest bridgerino. The town has named a not too long ago accomplished pedestrian and bicycle bridge after the “The Simpson’s” well-known, god-fearing neighbor, Ned Flanders, to advertise the goodwill and kindness inherent within the fictional cartoon character.
For its half, The Oregonian reported that:
Northwest Portland’s Flanders Crossing bridge was renamed Thursday morning in honor of the beloved “Simpsons” character Ned Flanders, identified finest for his piousness, luscious mustache and unflaggingly constructive perspective.
These experiences had been correct. The pedestrian and bicycle bridge, which crosses Interstate 405 and connects the Pearl District and Northwest District in Portland, was opened in June 2021, and originally called “Flanders Crossing.”
Nonetheless, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler re-named the bridge “Ned Flanders Crossing” in September. The official mayoral proclamation describes Ned Flanders as “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,” and calls him “a symbol of the kind of neighborly connection we should strive for in Portland.”
The re-dedication is a case of life imitating artwork imitating life. Simpsons creator Matt Groening grew up in Portland within the Fifties and Sixties, and named a number of characters after streets and landmarks within the metropolis — together with Ned Flanders, who was named after Flanders Avenue, which runs east and west on both aspect of Ned Flanders Crossing.
Groening shared these real-life inspirations with famend tv critic David Bianculli in a 1997 New York Day by day Information interview:
After I requested Groening to establish one of the crucial obscure Extras he has included in his joke-filled Fox collection, he chuckled and revealed, “Many characters are named after streets in my hometown of Portland, Oregon.”
Actually, he went on, the streets he used are all from the northwest part of city, with names that embrace (neighbor Ned) Flanders, (Rev.) Lovejoy and (Mayor) Quimby. “I wanted people to be driving down 23rd Street in Portland and keep passing these signs, and think they’re going crazy,” Groening mentioned with a snicker Bart can be pleased with.