PDA

View Full Version : I-5 Bridge to Vancouver?


drosen
07-25-2007, 01:37 PM
Is there a bike route over the I-5 bridge to Vancouver? I crossed the bridge as a teen, but that was many years ago. I want to end a ride at the McMenamins on the Columbia. Thanks

the Wumpus
07-25-2007, 06:02 PM
There's a map here:

http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?a=haccb&c=deiaj

Fourth from the bottom is a "Vancouver to the Expo MAX station" link to a pdf map. It's a little weird until you've gone through there, but once you've done it it's no big deal. The main idea is to track down the path maze around where I-5 touches down by Delta Park, then once you've figured out the way to Jantzen Beach, find your way to the no-mans-land in the middle where the freeway crosses.

Depending on when you're headed north, there should be cyclists headed through often enough. You might be able to follow someone if you get lost or otherwise bewildered.

Unburst
08-26-2007, 09:29 PM
You can pick up the bike path at the far end of Delta park, on the east of I-5.

As you come out of the park you'll see a sign for the path on the other side of the road.

Just follow the signs for Vancouver on the path and it'll take you over the bridge.

tjf9
08-27-2007, 05:07 PM
Is the bike path wide enough for a bike trailer? Is it safe to ride across with kids? I'd like to bike the kids to the Vancouver Farmer's Market, but I'm a bit nervous about the crossing.

fetishridr
08-27-2007, 05:32 PM
its a sidewalk, so you do have to go around support beams, but yeah, you can take a trailer.

Schrauf
08-28-2007, 07:01 AM
It's not bad at all. Maybe a little dicey if you try to punch it at 25 mph like I do on the downhill when the sidewalk is wide open, but take your time and you will have no issues.

One side is a little wider than the other, but I can't remember which (I think southbound, although people go in reverse all the time, so if you find the wider side you can use it for north or southbound).

tjf9
08-30-2007, 11:51 AM
Cool, thanks! Might have to try it this weekend...

Matt P.
09-07-2007, 08:05 AM
It's not bad at all. Maybe a little dicey if you try to punch it at 25 mph like I do on the downhill when the sidewalk is wide open, but take your time and you will have no issues.

One side is a little wider than the other, but I can't remember which (I think southbound, although people go in reverse all the time, so if you find the wider side you can use it for north or southbound).

I disagree, at least in part. If it's a wide trailer, you'll definitely have trouble heading north to Vancouver. I haven't ridden SB, so I don't know what that side is like. Going NB, on the downhill you'll need to watch out for some large electrical equipment cabinets and the gear that closes off the sidewalk during bridge lifts. On the NB side, it may be narrow enough to give a trailer problems. I agree with Schrauf that you'll definitely need to control your speed on the downhill.

I highly, highly recommend NOT going against the "normal" flow of traffic. People may go in reverse "all the time", but most riders aren't expecting that, and I can't think of much more frightening that having to squeeze by someone towing a trailer at 15+ mph the wrong way on a bridge full of metal protrusions and support beams.

The northbound side of the I-5 bridge looks like this:
http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/8105/1338/1600/P3050114.jpg

Schrauf
09-10-2007, 12:26 PM
I can confirm the southbound side appears to be about a foot wider than northbound. This is odd because I thought northbound was the newer of the two spans.

Bikers going against the flow should yield by stepping off to the side between the beams, where even northbound there is plenty of room, unless maybe two wide trailers pass each other. Even in that case I think there is room, but I don't know trailers well.

Of course, the biker going against the flow does not always yield - there is occasionally someone who thinks they have the right of way because they are going uphill, because they are old, or because they are wearing pink underwear.

I disagree, at least in part. If it's a wide trailer, you'll definitely have trouble heading north to Vancouver. I haven't ridden SB, so I don't know what that side is like. Going NB, on the downhill you'll need to watch out for some large electrical equipment cabinets and the gear that closes off the sidewalk during bridge lifts. On the NB side, it may be narrow enough to give a trailer problems. I agree with Schrauf that you'll definitely need to control your speed on the downhill.

I highly, highly recommend NOT going against the "normal" flow of traffic. People may go in reverse "all the time", but most riders aren't expecting that, and I can't think of much more frightening that having to squeeze by someone towing a trailer at 15+ mph the wrong way on a bridge full of metal protrusions and support beams.

The northbound side of the I-5 bridge looks like this:
http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/8105/1338/1600/P3050114.jpg

omama
05-02-2008, 09:53 AM
Regarding the width and traveling with a trailer: I have ridden it a couple of times with a double burley and with a tag-along with the kids. I find it a bit snug especially with pedestrians and other cyclists on the path. But, it's manageable. We try to go slow, signal, and many times pedestrians will graciously stand aside between beams to let us pass. From our house in NPDX, it's about 7 miles one-way and a great ride with kids because of the water feature and playground at ester short park.

jr98664
05-12-2008, 06:23 PM
I can confirm the southbound side appears to be about a foot wider than northbound. This is odd because I thought northbound was the newer of the two spans.

If you are talking about the direction of interstate traffic, then the northbound span is in fact the older of the two. You can tell in the girder styles; the older one having riveted girders. The overall span is also narrower as well; 38 to 40 feet (hard to tell if you aren't looking for it).

As most of my bike trips to and from Portland are southbound on 205 and northbound on the Interstate Bridge, I usually just stick to the northbound (eastern/older) span. Personally, I am a tad more comfortable on this one, as the rail is suspended over the side and therefore not taking up space with concrete posts like the other span.

Mind you, this is just my opinion, and may not be applicable for your riding style.

jr98664
07-17-2008, 02:54 AM
I know this is a bit late so far as this thread is concerned, but on Wednesday, I finally got around to measuring the widths of the paths, and this is what I found:
Southbound (Newer): 48" minimum at auto gate, 60" typical at posts
Northbound (Older): 40" minimum at gate, 44" typical to railing

Mind you, that 40" is on the ground, making it the widest your trailer or trike could be. Above that point, however, there are a few more inches of room.

It might just be the connectivity and not having to cross through that tunnel, or possibly the fewer pedestrians, but I would still say that I prefer the older, narrow path for riding. I still advocate to just travel with the traffic on the bridge. It makes it less hazardous to others that way. While not signed, this tends to be the de facto rule. I would even dare to say that the relative number of cyclists going the wrong way in this case would be similar to that of the signed Hawthorne bridge.