Driving from Portland to Tigard
June 28, 2007 2:12 PM   Subscribe

PDXCommuteFilter: What have I gotten myself into?

I'm a contractor, fed up with my current gig. So, as I'm wont to do, I got a new one. So far, so good. here's the thing, though - I live in NW Portland and the job's in Tigard. It's right off I-5, so I wouldn't have to worry about 217, but my question is, is I-5 South in the morning truly a reverse commute?

I'm not worried about how long it will take in no traffic, I drove it last weekend to find that out; I'm just worried about whether I need to build in an extra (x) number of minutes for traffic.

Extra special giant bonus points for people that can suggest good cycling routes from NW Portland (23rd Ave area) to Tigard.
posted by pdb to Travel & Transportation around Portland, OR (10 answers total)
I drive 1-5 North from the Tigard entrance to downtown every morning, and I see very light traffic on the other side of the freeway. Unless there's a wreck. This is at about 7:30 to 8:00 AM.

Oddly, the opposite is not true. The PM commute is fucked in both directions.
posted by peep at 2:22 PM on June 28, 2007

bycycle.org's trip planner should help you with your bike routes.
posted by markovitch at 2:58 PM on June 28, 2007

Yeah, what time will you be traveling, pdb? That makes a big difference. Is Barbur not a good bike route?
posted by jdroth at 2:59 PM on June 28, 2007

Response by poster: Good point. I'll be leaving NW sometime between 7-7.30AM, and returning somewhere around 4.30-5.

Is Barbur not a good bike route?

I dunno, actually. I've not spent a lot of time biking south of the city - most of the 4 years I've lived here I've lived in NW and worked either downtown, by the U of P, or out past Lloyd Center, so my familiarity with bicycling routes south is pretty slim...
posted by pdb at 3:05 PM on June 28, 2007

Barbur has too many bridges to be a viable bike route, I consider it scary as hell in rush hour.
Terwilliger Curves are going to be your only problem in the afternoons. 10 minutes will get you through in the mornings.
posted by lilithim at 3:09 PM on June 28, 2007

Tigard's a pretty big place, so I don't know if I can suggest any specific bike routes. The main obstacle between you and there on a bike are the West Hills and the options I know about in order from most efficient to most leisurely are Barbur, Terwilliger or Riverview Cemetery.

Routes to Tigard were recently discussed on the Shift List. That thread starts here. There's lots of Google Mappy goodness.

In my mind, Barbur's the only realistic option for a commute, but keep in mind that the bike lane cuts out everywhere where it goes over a bridge.

Whenever I have the choice, I multi-modal my trip over the west hills with tri-met. For a commute that raises the problem of having the bus you're waiting for arrive with a full bike rack already. That's less of a problem in the winter months. Conceivably, one could take the Max to Beaverton and cut over.
posted by Skwirl at 3:43 PM on June 28, 2007

I've been driving from northeast to Tigard in the mornings for about a year. Traffic on I-5 south is against the major flow of commuters so it's fairly clear and rarely a hurdle. I can't speak for the afternoon, though.
posted by lucasd at 4:32 PM on June 28, 2007

Although it would be a bit of a hurdle on a bicycle, oops :)
posted by lucasd at 4:33 PM on June 28, 2007

Where in Tigard? It's a pretty big place. If you're right up on 99, it's not hard... if you're down 72nd, that's a piece of cake. If you're on the far side of 217 close to Beaverton? Fuck, forget about biking, too much effort.

You're going to have to do some serious hill climbing to bike route, so it'll depend on if you can come in in the Terwilliger or not. Barbur's probably your best bet as far as bike commuting goes... your alternate route is Macadam to Taylor's Ferry or public transit up to OHSU and WHEEEEEE down, but both alternate routes are twisty and hilly with limited shoulders whereas Barbur is mostly level with decent shoulders/sidewalks/bike lanes.

I used to live in Lake O by PCC Sylvania and work in NW Portland on Front St., and the commute wasn't ever really BAD going down there or going home, and traffic always seemed to be moving in the other direction. Check the traffic cams before you go, though ... once you get on the freeway from Naito, you're FUCKED if there's a wreck because there's no exits until Capitol Highway, and that exit sucks for being able to get anywhere.
posted by SpecialK at 8:09 PM on June 28, 2007

I'm late to the party, but I'll put my 2 cents in: bike commuting on Barbur isn't that bad. You do have to merge into the roadway from time to time, but it will get you pretty much all the way from downtown to Tigard. Alternately, riding up and then down Terwilliger by OHSU to Barbur will let you skip several bridge merges.
posted by turbodog at 3:30 PM on July 2, 2007

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