September 6, 2006
Calling All Highway 26 Commuters
A reporter for the Tribune would like to interview folks who commute on 26 for a story. If you are interested in being interviewed, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone number and the direction you commute.
Also, in general what do people think about the proposition that the reverse commute on 26 is just as bad as the inbound commute?
September 6, 2006 6:49 PM
I'd love to, but I only did it for 6 days thank goodness!! When I was riding the MAX out to Beaverton and Hillsboro for a time I just smiled as we passed the stopped traffic going into Portland at 5:00pm as well as watching the stuck traffic leaving Portland.
...but all in all, the traffic isn't bad in PDX compared to the majority of cities I have lived in. It's a minor annoyance for a short time each afternoon and each morning... at least since they added the extra lane to 26.
Now Interstate 5 over the bridge to Vancouver however is absolutely catastrophic. It seems someone had a brain fart when they designed the inflow and outflow of each side of the bridge.
September 7, 2006 2:18 AM
When I drive, I generally commute on 26 from Sylvan to downtown in the mornings, and take Barbur/Beaverton-Hillsdale home in the evenings. Mostly because I hate the sun glare, and driving downhill the whole way on Scholls Ferry is a good way to eat up my brakes if I want to stay at the speed limit...
I have gone 26 both ways, however, and I think generally as long as there isn't a wreck or some other traffic impediment the outbound commute seems a bit lighter now that the extra lane up by 217 has been added.
September 7, 2006 11:20 AM
Christopher Gorton de la Paz Says:
I commute from 185th to downtown. It is slow, so I don't use 26, I now use TV Highway/Canyon Road to Sylvan, then take Skyline to Burnside. It does not take that long and it is a nice drive.
September 8, 2006 9:24 AM
Erik Halstead Says:
Adron stated: "Now Interstate 5 over the bridge to Vancouver however is absolutely catastrophic. It seems someone had a brain fart when they designed the inflow and outflow of each side of the bridge."
The first span of the Interstate Bridge was built in 1917 - predating even I-5's predecessor, U.S. 99. It also carried trolleys across it connecting Portland and Vancouver.
When I-5 was built in the 1960s, the freeway had to be realigned from U.S. 99's alignment through downtown Vancouver - thus the horrible curve at the north end, and it doesn't help that the S.R. 14 interchange is also right there. Likewise, I don't think the original bridge was truly designed to be a three-lane freeway bridge (thus the lack of shoulders on either span).
September 8, 2006 10:55 AM
Ross Williams Says:
"Now Interstate 5 over the bridge to Vancouver however is absolutely catastrophic. It seems someone had a brain fart when they designed the inflow and outflow of each side of the bridge."
I think it is important to remember that it wasn't designed that way. WashDOT has transformed SR14 and SR500 into four lane limited access freeways. They are also adding another lane to I5 north of SR 500 all the way to the junction with I205 and they have also added extra lanes in the approach from SR500 to the bridge.
In essence, WashDOT almost doubled the lanes of highway capacity converging on the bridge, while upgrading the capacity of all the existing lanes, without any plan for dealing with the extra traffic on the bridge. Not surprisingly, with seven lanes converging on three, the result is congestion on both sides of the bridge. It extends along most of I5 northbound in the afternoon from downtown north. Once the third lane southbound extends all the way to the bridge, the congestion will extend to the southbound stretch below Lomobard in the morning as well. Portland is going to be drowning in rural Clark County commuters.
September 8, 2006 2:38 PM
Lenny Anderson Says:
But the main problem with the I-5 bridges is that they must handle all the traffic across the river...there is no "Broadway Bridge" for local traffic; and all that local traffic has to get on and off the freeway, meaning more ramps, more merges, more mess.
A new arterial bridge with lightrail will do a lot to reduce demand on the existing freeway and allow for removal of some on/off ramps.
And remember, 50% of all congestion is due to incidents...maybe that's where we should start.