by Bill Gobie
[This is a new series of posts called Permanent Change which will describe significant changes to a permanent route. The first post in the series is about the popular, and reversible, route connecting Seattle, Olympia and Portland.]
These permanent routes recently received a makeover at the Portland end. Susan Otcenas pointed out the old routes had several drawbacks: The numerous railroad crossings on NW Front Ave, and the unappealing atmosphere and lack of services at the terminus, Union Station (Amtrak). Susan suggested moving the terminus to somewhere in the Pearl District.
Portland’s Pearl District is infested with trolley tracks and confounded by one-way streets, making bicycle routing challenging, particularly remotely from Seattle! With input from Theo Roffe, the terminus has been moved to the Safeway at NW Lovejoy St & NW 13th Ave. Within one block of the Safeway there are several coffee shops, restaurants, and a brewpub, providing choices for riders wishing to take advantage of the open control. The Amtrak station is an easy 0.8 km from the Safeway on trolley-free streets. The route sheets are supplemented with directions to the station.
Also with Theo’s advice, a route to Highway 30 was laid out that avoids streets with parallel trolley tracks.
James Walsh rode revised the Portland to Olympia route in January 2017 and pronounced it great!
Theo rode the Seattle to Portland route in February 2017, so both directions have been checked.