Portland, Oregon does not experience gridlock as heavy as say a place like Los Angeles or Washington DC but, the freeways back up all around the city at commute times every day of the week. I-5 is the major freeway entering Portland’s City Center. Here are several ways to enter the City Center from each direction around Portland. I discovered these additional ways of commuting while living and working in the downtown area of Portland for the last 22 years.
Long time Portlanders can maneuver the streets pretty easily from every area of the city to keep their travel stress lowered. Here are side streets to travel to the central business area of the city of Portland Oregon from each section of this beautiful city.
West- to travel from the west area of the city includes Beaverton, The West Hills, Hillsboro, Cornelius, Sherwood, and many other westerly home areas. Begin your trip coming straight down Beaverton/Hillsboro Hwy (TV Highway to residents) or Burnside to travel into the city. Burnside is a little more difficult to travel in the Portland metro area if there is snow, since Burnside climbs to cross the Sylvan Heights SW Hills. Either of these directions will bring a commuter directly into the City Center.
North – is a bit more difficult for commuters coming to Portland, as they will need to cross the Columbia River. The easiest way to cross into Portland away from the brunt of gridlock is over the I-205 Bridge, once on the Oregon side of the bridge then take the Airport exit onto Airport way. At this time commuters can connect with 82nd avenue to Sandy Blvd and travel West on Sandy connecting to Burnside and entering the City Center from that direction.
East – This direction is where I have traveled to my employment the last 22 years. Leaving the East edges of the city of Portland such as Gresham, Troutdale, and even parts along the Columbia Gorge like Cascade Locks commuters enter onto Stark Street and travel down Stark Street until it connects with Burnside on the Easter side of the Willamette River. Then commuters have a straight shot right into Portland. If commuters take Stark all the way to downtown Portland they are able to cross the Willamette over the Hawthorne Bridge and enter right into City Center.
South – Coming into Portland from the South is a bit more difficult, commuters must travel the I-5 corridor before entering the city and then cut off the freeway close to Tigard Oregon to commute down Barbur Blvd. Barbur Blvd will take commuters right into the City Center onto 4th Avenue and give commuters a direct shot to the center of town.
There are many other side streets that will get commuters to Portland City Center however, they do not give you a straight shot and commuters must meander through residential areas to get to the city itself. These 4 directions are quickest and a straight drive for the daily commuter.
Be sure to tune to the local radio stations for morning, lunchtime and evening commute information as they give 10-minute travel updates for those commuters during the busy day.