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View Full Version : NE 42nd Station - too crowded for bike at rush hour?


sabernar
03-04-2008, 06:18 AM
I'm moving to the area around NE 41st and I was thinking of doing a bike-max-bike commute to NW. I was wondering how crowded MAX is around 7:30 - 8:00am. If I did this type of commute, I wouldn't want to have to wait for several trains before I could get my bike on. Anyone have any idea how crowded it is for bikes?

Psyfalcon
03-04-2008, 10:50 AM
That really depends on where you are planning on getting on and off. What are the stops you're thinking of?

I don't normally venture to the east side, but try to get on before any park and rides (Loyd Center comes to mind)...

sabernar
03-04-2008, 11:32 AM
Getting on at the 42nd St stop. Getting off at....Chinatown I think. Whatever the first stop across the river is.

beelnite
03-04-2008, 01:25 PM
Saber - have you considered just riding that stretch? It's relatively flat and would be wayyyyy quicker than crawling past Lloyd, then Rose Quarter and finally over the bridge.

We're only talking 1-2 miles extra I think.

I've ridden E.Bound. That train is full at rush hour from Gateway to Lloyd Center. Starts to thin out a bit at Lloyd but it's mostly a Downtown bound crowd. When school is in session it's even more crowded - a ton of kids get off at Lloyd.

sabernar
03-04-2008, 02:58 PM
Yeah, I'm probably going to ride the whole stretch sometimes. I'm certainly not in biking shape right now, so I was hoping to work up to it. It's only 4+ miles, so it should be pretty easy once I get my bike tuned up and some new tires to replace the ultra-knobby offroad tires I have on it.

Kilickitat to 9th to the Broadway Bridge is probably easiest, wouldn't you say?

Of course, downhill all the way there means uphill all the way home. ;)

Oh the other reason I was thinking of doing bike-max-bike was so I wouldn't be all sweaty by the time I got to work.

Psyfalcon
03-04-2008, 06:10 PM
Puttering along in the middle ring will get you there at 8mph using less energy than walking, you should be fine. Just don't wear a backpack over cotton!

sabernar
03-04-2008, 07:45 PM
Puttering along in the middle ring will get you there at 8mph using less energy than walking, you should be fine. Just don't wear a backpack over cotton!

Don't worry, I'll wear something that wicks away moisture. ;) The company I work for (http://www.nau.com) makes some pretty good stuff.

erth64net
03-05-2008, 12:17 AM
Getting on at the 42nd St stop. Getting off at....Chinatown I think. Whatever the first stop across the river is.

Honestly...that's a pretty short trip, especially when you factor in waiting for the train, you're better off just riding the distance - time-wise at least.

I used to commute from between SE 135th & Stark into downtown (~10mi), and many winter mornings I'd jump on Max at Gateway (about SE 92nd & Glisan). Once I factored in the average time spent waiting for a train, I actually shaved ~10 minutes off my commute by simply "toughing it out", and biking all the way in. Start doing it sooner than later, and before you even realize it, a 4-mile ride will feel like nothing :eek:

BTW: Did you know fareless square started at Loyd Center? If you biked from the Hollywood stop to the Loyd Center stop, then it'd be a free ride across the bridge. But then...if you biked that far, why not just go another 20 blocks, and then you're ready to cross the river. ;)

As for Max, if you can get onto a Red Line train, it's a 50/50 shot. Blue Line trains are almost always packed by the time it hits 42nd. Though a few tricks;
1) Red Lines are always nearly-empty coming from the airport, though often-times a good-sized crowd will be waiting at Gateway.
2) Roughly every 30 minutes, from about 7:30 to at least until around 9am, an operator starts their shift at Gateway (or ends a break), with an empty train headed westbound. That always guarantees a hook for the bike, and a seat for you :D Though it's timed so that there's plenty of folks waiting at the next stops, so by the time 42nd comes around, it's still getting pretty busy (though often-times still not nearly as packed as a blue-line from Gresham).
3) When heading eastbound, during rush-hour, Max is already between 20-30% capacity at the Library stop (hint; that's where you want to get on!), and often barely has standing room by the time it hits Loyd Center. I was never kicked off, but technically, on a full train, cyclist are supposed to make room for other passengers by getting off the train (or so I'm told).

When I first started toying with the bike/max/bike combo, I picked a few mornings to simply hang around on the platforms observing traffic patterns, until my very-last option arrived (ie: before I'd be late for work)...learned all kinds of neat tricks, like the empty trains during rush hour...might be worth you trying too.