I guess it depends on what you mean by "close in" SE. I work in Tigard (68th, just south of Barbur) and used to live on SE 13th and Taylor. I would hop across the Hawthorne bridge to Broadway, then pick up Barbur and it was as easy as that (I guess maybe you have to ride a bit of Terwilliger to get up to Barbur??).
Now I'm up in the Alberta area and come down to the Broadway Bridge and then up to Barbur.
It's a pretty safe route with bike lanes the entire way, with the exception of a few bridges. And the bike lane ends at about 68th in Tigard. The one thing to look out for are the TONS of cars entering and exiting Barbur at all times. I carry plenty of lights and ride slower than normal on the downhill portion.