Headed to Convention Center for vaccine shot? Here’s some advice

There are never traffic backups in the protected bike lane on NE 1st next to the Convention Center!
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

With vaccine eligibility ramping up again today, lots of folks will be headed to the Oregon Convention Center next week to get the shot. We’ve heard a few questions from readers wondering about bike parking and routes to get there.

The Convention Center is very centrally located, but it’s bordered by freeways and a major arterial. As such, it’s not the easiest place to access by bike — unless you’re familiar with the area. It doesn’t help that official instructions sent out by some health companies doesn’t even consider that some people will show up by bike.

Instructions from a health care provider leave out one particularly healthy mode of transport.

BikePortland reader Chris Smith noticed the issue when he got vaccinated last week. He shared the confirmation email he received prior to showing up (above). It includes detailed information on driving, taking public transportation, and walking. There were no specifics about bicycling.


Crowded bike racks at the Convention Center last week.
(Photo: Clever Cycles)

Smith shared that he’s been to the site twice: once by car and once by bike. “Parking was a long process, with traffic in every aisle.” But biking? Smooth and simple. “Biked myself there yesterday, no issues.” Other readers have echoed his experience.

If you plan to bike to your appointment at the Convention Center, here are some things to know:

(Map: Oregon Convention Center)

– Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd (east side of building) is not a great place to bike. However, the sidewalk on that side of the building is very wide and it’s perfectly legal to ride on it.

– Lloyd Blvd (south side of building) has a narrow bike lane, but it ends at 1st Ave.

– Lloyd Blvd also has a nice sidewalk on its south side that connects directly to Martin Luther King Jr Blvd/Central Eastside via I-84 overcrossing and the Eastbank Esplanade.

– There’s a physically protected bike lane on 1st Ave.

– NE Holladay Street (north side of building) is one way eastbound and is a shared-lane (no bike lane).

– There are five bike parking areas at the building: 18 outdoor spaces on NE Holladay; 26 outdoor spaces on the north end of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd (at Pacific St) and 10 more outdoor spaces further south (at NE Hoyt Street); and a total of 72 bike parking spaces in the parking garage (level 2) off the LLoyd Blvd entrance.

Here are our recommendations for accessing the site:

From N Interstate Ave and the Esplanade path: Go to NE Oregon Street (at Peace Park) and connect to NE 1st (under I-5) and park on NE Holladay. Or stay on sidewalk path at Peace Park and take it all the way to Lloyd and MLK where there’s a signal to cross northbound into the Convention Center.

From Lloyd: Take NE Multnomah (protected bike lanes) to NE 2nd, go south and you’ll hit the bike parking at Holladay entrance.

From southeast: Cross 84 at 12th, head west on NE Lloyd Blvd, then hop on the sidewalk after you cross MLK.

From central eastside: Connect to MLK sidewalk via 3rd/NE Davis and head north. Cross Lloyd Blvd at MLK to access sidewalk and bike parking.

If you have other tips from your experience accessing the site, please share!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and
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