Driving time, PDX to PSU?
April 18, 2010 7:48 AM   Subscribe

Hey Portland, OR: A driving-time question ...

... in the form of a math problem!

A car leaves a hotel out by the airport at time X. It travels at speed Y (which has an estimated value of "pretty damn slow based on my experience with Portland rush hours"), and arrives at Portland State U. no later than 8:30 a.m. on a Monday (although somewhat earlier would be fine).

Please solve for X. It is not required that you show your work, although extra credit will be given for advice about best routes.

Thanks!
posted by Kat Allison to Travel & Transportation around Portland, OR (9 answers total)
 
Just FYI: You can take light rail to PSU from the airport (starting on the red line and transferring to the yellow or green). It has the advantage of basically being on a schedule so you could be quite sure of your arrival time.

For example.
posted by floam at 8:44 AM on April 18, 2010


For a person who is not used to driving in town and has a definite place to be at a particular time I, too, think light rail is your best bet.

That said, I don't find morning traffic to be too terrible but I take 5S/405 (Fremont Bridge) from North Portland to near campus. On a great day I can get there in 15 minutes. On a slow day it takes about 20. I know 205/84 seems like the logical route from the airport, but it tends to get really messed up in the morning, so you may be better off taking Columbia or Lombard to 5S per this route.

I would guess you'd be looking at around 30-45 minutes to get there, but I'd hate to be the one who makes you late so if it's SUPER important that you're on time I'd leave an hour early (making transit time awfully similar to the train with the added nightmare of having to pay attention to directions AND a clock).

If you're early, there are plenty of coffeeshops on campus to grab a coffee and a snack (or prepare for whatever important thing is taking you from the airport to campus).
posted by lilnublet at 9:45 AM on April 18, 2010


Do we need to include finding parking in this equation? If it were me, and it was super duper important, I'd give it an hour, knowing that would give me enough time to make the drive (205 South to 84 West to 405), park, and walk to wherever I needed to go.

I'm a huge fan of light rail, but driving would surely be faster.

If I had time, I would probably do the drive the night before to make sure I really knew where I was going.
posted by bluedaisy at 10:45 AM on April 18, 2010


Thanks, all, for the suggestions so far! Normally I'd be all about the light rail, but in this case I have enough stuff to schlep along that I think a car would work out better. I'd been thinking about allowing an hour or so just to deal with parking and possible traffic delays, and it sounds like that's not unreasonable. And of course, if I get there in good time, I can just hang out, sip some coffee, go over my notes ONE MORE TIME, and breathe deeply.
posted by Kat Allison at 11:41 AM on April 18, 2010


For parking, know that Structures 1 and 2 fill up fast and street parking can be tricky.

If you don't mind a little walk, the best place to park is Structure #3; there are always open spaces for hourly parkers (or at least there used to be a few years ago). It's located right off 405 (12th Ave exit if coming across the Marquam).

There is (was?) also hourly parking for visitors next to Shattuck Hall on Broadway.

Good luck!
posted by lilnublet at 12:50 PM on April 18, 2010


Seconding the "avoid 205 to 84 to I-5 south" suggestion. It seems to back up randomly. Took me an hour to get downtown from Gateway recently, in mid-morning, post-rush hour, for NO DAMN REASON. Stick to Columbia/Lombard.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 1:31 PM on April 18, 2010


Lombard is kind of a funny way to go, it's actually going to take you northish for a while before you get to some convenient spot to head south. If you really want to completely avoid highways, You could take 82nd down until you hit Sandy and then dig in on it diagonally until you're in SE. Cross the Hawthorne and keep going straight and you'll run into the campus. Either that or head straight down 82nd until you hit Powell Blvd, then go west. That's a little easier but a little bit less direct.

If it were me though I'd just give myself some leeway and take the freeways.

If you've got any other questions feel free to ask, I'm a student here living on campus.
posted by floam at 8:50 PM on April 18, 2010


Thanks again, everyone! I best-answered all replies, because any of these could be the "best" approach or most useful info in various situations. In my own case, because I am perpetually anxious about traffic/parking, and an early riser in any event, I just got up at 5:30, drove in through light traffic, parked in Structure 1 with no problem, and am now sitting with a lovely cup of excellent coffee (OMG the swill at the hotel was tragic), reading MeFi and relaxing. Much gratitude to you all for your helpfulness!
posted by Kat Allison at 7:32 AM on April 19, 2010


Great, let us know how it went!
posted by bluedaisy at 8:51 PM on April 19, 2010


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