View Full Version : Downtown PTLD to Gresham Route

08-10-2006, 09:00 AM
I'm looking for a good route to Gresham. The Springwater Corridor trail is extremely uncomfortable at any productive speed on my road bike. It's like riding over miles of paved over tree roots. There's a portion of the trail (somewhere around 72nd?) that is paved and fantastic, but it goes back to crap at the next major intersection. Yesterday, I made it to the I-205 intersection and gave up. Any ideas, safe routes that are have low motor vehicle counts or are free of cars?

I really don't feel safe on roads outside of downtown or inner East side. I have this vision that people in the burbs aren't used to bikes, don't see them, or have greater hostility toward them and that all it takes is for one person with reduced attention on their cell phone to enter a bike lane and it's curtains for me. In the burbs, I feel like I'm constantly looking over my shoulder, downtown I am totally confident, taking lanes, asserting my right to ride.

If anybody commutes from Gresham, knows of safe routes, or would like to waylay my fears, please share.


08-12-2006, 03:17 PM
The route I take out to Gresham goes thusly:

From downtown, cross the Hawthorne Bridge and follow the bike route through Ladd's Addition. Leave Ladd's via Harrison St, by turning right off Ladd's Circle at Pailo's coffee shop (follow the Bike Route signs).

Cross 20th Ave and take the Harrison/Lincoln bike route to the entrance of Mt. Tabor Park. Follow the park road up the hill to the first "Y" intersection. Stay to the right and go back downhill.

When you leave the park, you will be back on Harrison St. Go forward until you get to 76th Ave.

Jog left on 76th, then a quick right on to Stephens. Take Stephens down to 80th, then turn left on 80th. Turn right on Mill (next street). There is a light at 82nd and Mill which makes crossing the street easier. You will probably need to go over and hit the pedestrian crossing button because the loop detectors in the street don't do a very good job of recognizing bikes.

Continue forward on Mill until you get to 89th. Turn left on 89th, then right on Market. Proceed forward on Market, crossing 92nd Ave, I-205, 97th Ave, etc. all the way out to 130th Ave. Market is a wide two lane street with not much traffic. You will have the same crossing situation on 122nd as exists on 82nd, unless a car pulls up to trip the light signal.

At 130th, turn right, then take the next left on Mill. Proceed forward on Mill. At 151st Ave, it makes a big, sweeping "S" curve and becomes Main St. Continue on Main to 182nd Ave. There is a bike lane on 182nd which will take you all the way to Powell and the Springwater. Out here, the Springwater is much smoother than it is closer in to Portland.

All the afore mentioned streets are quiet and wide. Once you get to 182nd, the situation changes. There are bike lanes or wide shoulders on the major arterials, so they are relatively safe for cycling. But traffic is fast and you'll need to keep an eye peeled for broken glass. There isn't a good secondary street route further east than 182nd that I am aware of due to the lack of a street grid (damn cul-de-sacs!). I haven't encountered any hostility from drivers out there, but I do raise my guard a bit, simply because East County drivers don't typically encounter the number of cyclists that folks living west of 82nd do. I don't think it's unsafe, by any stretch, though. The only real jerk drivers I find around here are in Clackamas County. They can be mean, as well as ignorant. The Multnomah County drivers are just ignorant. :/

Hope that works for you.

08-16-2006, 06:42 PM
Wow thats a lot to take in...but good to know. Thanks for asking and thanks for posting. I was looking into the opposite route, Gresham to PDX. The Springwater Corridor does get pretty bad although for that distance there are a lot less intersection crossings than riding the streets.

08-16-2006, 11:24 PM
Here's a slight tweak to the original route:

If you want to avoid two sorta-steep hills (the one between 20th and 30th on Harrison and the one going over the south side of Tabor), instead of turning onto Harrison of Ladd's Circle, continue down SE Ladd Ave to the 20th/Division intersection. Quick left on Division, then quick right on 21st. Left on Clinton (at the blinking red light) and continue until you hit 51st. Right on 51st, left on Woodward and continue until you hit 75th. Left on 75th back to Division, quick right and then quick left again onto 76th. Then right on Stephens and follow the rest of the route posted above.

It adds more distance onto the route, but you do avoid two good sized hills. You still have a gradual climb on Clinton from 20th to about 28th, and 51st between Clinton and Woodward is a short steep hill. But it's another option.

See the map here:

08-17-2006, 02:54 PM

BTW I live in Downtown PDX and ride to Gresham for work once or twice per week
I just take Sandy to Halsey and head on out east
never had any trouble at all

08-21-2006, 06:48 AM
Thanks all, I tried the first route up and over Tabor, got a little off track in spots but generally stuck to the route. Sometimes I seek out Tabor, other times I avoid, so the Clinton route I'll probably use too.

Many thanks and ride safe and aware.

Matt P.
08-24-2006, 02:06 PM
The only real jerk drivers I find around here are in Clackamas County. They can be mean, as well as ignorant.

You can say that again - I live in Oak Grove (for the uninformed, between Milwaukie and Gladstone) and most of my incidents with jerk drivers are on the Clackamas side of the county line.

By jerk drivers, I mean people who honk the horn loudly or scream at me while passing (especially on Oatfield Rd, and especially at night), or who throw things at me. These behaviors are particularly perplexing since I stay in the bike lane.

Oh, and there was the guy on Oatfield south of Lake who just HAD to pass me, even though I was travelling almost 35mph.

08-28-2006, 11:35 AM
The other route previously mentioned through Ladd's is the best way to go in my opinion, but if you like to switch it up every so often this is an easy one.

Cross over the Hawthorne, head south on the esplanade....get on the springwater and get off at the oaks bottom wildlife refuge. This will put you on SE Milwaukie.

Take a right on Milwaukie. You can take Milwaukie straight down to Bybee or you can cut over a block to 17th (much safer). Make a left on Bybee. Bybee will cross over 99 and then the road pretty much turns into Woodstock. Once you go through downtown woodstock, you will merge right on to foster. It pretty much turns into Foster right there. After passing under 205 you will see where the Springwater crosses Foster. Turn left and ride the springwater the rest of the way.

This part of the springwater is pretty bumpy for a bit. But I don't mind it, it is better than other sections. Riding Foster cuts out the real rough sections and it is more faast paced, not so many intersections.

Have fun!