Wanting to ride from SE to Vancouver...
Please help me get out of my car! I am in graduate school and just started an internship in Vancouver, WA. From a car, the exit is 4th Plain Blvd. off I-5, and the school I am working at is on a street called General Anderson (off 4th Plain). I am willing to do part bus but, if feasible, I would love to ride. I live in SE Portland, at 39th and Division. I realize this may be a significant distance, but riding is so good for my mental health. Any help anyone can give me is much appreciated. That I-5 bridge seems a little gnarly and intimidating. Inspiration, anyone?
Many, many thanks!
It's definitely do-able! I ride the opposite way every day. I live in Vancouver and work in Sellwood.
I usually follow Interstate ave. going north. Others take Williams/Vancouver. Here's my route. I hope it helps:
Take the esplande up to the Rose Quarter.
Follow Interstate ave north.
Cut over to Denver at Alberta or N Willamette Blvd.
Follow Denver until it crosses back to Interstate. Take a Left.
Follow interstate down to Victory Blvd. Take a right.
After the first light on Victory, take a left into Delta Park.
Follow that road to the end, cross the street (an exit off of I-5), and take a left onto the sidewalk/path that leads up through Jantzen beach.
The route through Jantzen beach is difficult to describe, just head for the bridge.
The bike/ped path on the bridge sucks. You get used to it.
You'll end up on Columbia Ave. in Vancouver. Go north to McLaughlin (almost a mile). Take a right. You don't want to bike on Fourth Plain.
I'm not too familiar with the best roads after that. It looks like you might cross over to 18th after McLaughlin crosses Grand. You might also opt to take the #4 bus from downtown Vancouver. It goes down Fourth Plain.
Also, take a look at the #105 (C-Tran). It runs between downtown Vancouver and downtown Portland.
Curiously, how long does this take you? I am a real slow-poke on my bike.
And hey... thank you so frigin' much for the advice!
My ride is 15-16 miles and it ususally takes me 70-75 minutes. I think that puts me at around 12 mph. I'm not fast either.
Have fun and let us know how your ride goes.
Several parts of this route are very confusing until you have done it once. Bring a map and allow LOTS of time your first ride.
On the map above, you want the green line that goes through Delta Park. As you leave Delta Park, the road ends, ride through a fence, cross a ramp intersection and then turn left on a bike path to head to the I-5 bridge (after several more confusing turns).
Once in Vancouver, consider going N to Evergreen, to Fort Vancouver Way, N to McLoughlin, E to Grand, N to 18th, E to General Anderson. Bike lanes most of the way, some brand new.
Also, the Hwy 14 land bridge is supposed to open by early or mid 2008. See the purple line on the map above that goes through Fort Vancouver and over 14. That will be a shortcut up to Fort Vancouver Way (via 5th). Picture of bridge below.
I'm pretty slow, too. Probably slower than you'll be going, since I'm recovering from some tendinitis in one knee! I can still give myself one hour per ten miles and be just fine.
Having lived near where you're headed a few years ago, I'd suggest keeping Brandt Road in mind as well for getting from McLoughlin to 18th; Grand can be a busy four lane road with only one side street to deal with, while Brandt is a really wide, two lane, lower traffic road, but with parallel parked cars and lots of driveways. Headed back southbound and uphill to McLoughlin, I'd suggest Brandt since the driveways and parked cars seem to be less of an issue at hill climbing speed than four lanes of 40 mph traffic!
And a note on C-Tran: As of today, the entire system has been shuffled and is starting over nearly from scratch without any transition period. And some of the routes have been combined into 40-mile round trips, so be aware that the schedules may loosely represent an abstract estimation of reality...
Wumpus - Grand has been re-striped from four lanes to two lanes, with bike lanes added. A great choice by the City, and Grand is now a good connection between 18th, McLoughlin, and Evergreen. It is a steep-ass hill, but that just makes it more fun.
Vancouver is slowly getting much better for cycling!
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