Riding to/from Vancouver

Asking for a friend . . . no, really. He relocated to Vancouver and wants to roundtrip commute to downtown PDX thrice weekly using both bridges. These are not my usual riding hoods . . . any suggestions for his best routes?

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this is such a sore subject because there are so many annoying things about crossing this bridge by bike it’s really crazy it’s still so bad after all these years.

Here’s one option that I’ve used - I-5 Bridge crossing - PDX to Vancouver - A bike ride in Portland, OR . It uses the Slough path, then goes on N Whitaker road next to the shopping center, then Delta Park and the bike path to the bridge.

The worst part IMO is the glaring gap between north Portland/Slough and Delta Park. Whitaker should have a dedicated and protected bike lane! It’s sort of stressful. A different option for that section would be to take the Slough to N Denver Ave (or just get on Denver from Kenton n’hood) and go north. That route dumps you onto N Victory Blvd which has a few freeway on-ramps and can be very stressful for some people to get into Delta Park from there. It’s a pick your poison until our transpo agencies show some backbone and make changes.

Does anyone use N Expo Road out past PIR to connect to Expo Center and then cross Marine Drive to get onto the bridge bike path? I don’t do that, but I suppose it might be a good option.

(your question also make me realize Bikeportland needs a clear explainer on how to do this since I can’t seem to find one - although I swear we’ve published one in the past!)

Good luck and thanks for joining and posting in the forums!

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This is a pick your poison situation.

I encounter few Vancouver riders, but they seem to take Interstate to Victory and Delta. That will be more pleasant than the short but fairly busy section of Whitaker (lots of turning and distracted drivers there) on your route.

Not a fan of Slough path and no way I’d ride that in the dark. If I were doing anything even close to your route, I’d take Schmeer instead. No shoulder, but traffic is low on the section he’d be riding and it’s not bad. Haven’t tried N Expo Rd, but not sure it would be great in dark and wet. Plus, it will add distance. If your route was not where he’s coming from (i.e. he’s coming from actual downtown), this is a no brainer – take Interstate to Victory.

I would not try to avoid cars out there – they’re way more predictable than people off road, many under mental/chemical/financial duress. When he’s out there in the dark and/or inclement weather, he’ll be alone.

Take the roads and be well lit. Especially during rush, traffic will be slow and it won’t be bad.