Complete the Lower River Road Trail in Vancouver

Join us in Vancouver this Friday, August 23 for a Site Visit to Complete a Family-Friendly Trail Connection

Imagine a family-friendly trail that links downtown Vancouver and adjacent neighborhoods to several riverfront businesses, as well as some of the best recreational opportunities – safely connecting Esther Short Park to the Frenchman’s Bar Renaissance Trail.

Riders along the shoulder of NW Lower River Road - a new trail connection will create a family-friendly connection to parks and wildlife opportunities

A new trail connection now separated by a highway shoulder will create a family-friendly connection to parks and wildlife opportunities (photo: T. Bachman)

On Friday, August 23, Washington Bikes, along with our partners at BikeVanWA – for a (hopeful) Brighter Future, Bike Clark County, and other neighborhood groups are organizing a site visit to raise awareness about the project, leverage recent trail successes, and to discuss next steps in making investments to complete the missing link of a family-friendly trail to some of Vancouver’s great nearby recreational destinations.

In addition to being joined by neighborhood residents, representatives from the Port of Vancouver, and WSDOT, we’re excited to welcome Senator Ann Rivers, Representative Jim Moeller, Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, Vancouver City Councilmembers Larry Smith and Bill Turlay. Staff from Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler’s office have also RSVP’d to the site visit.

The NW Lower River Road Trail will offer fantastic recreational opportunities for Vancouver residents and visitors. As a central portion of the planned Ridgefield to Washougal Lewis and Clark Discovery Greenway Trail, the NW Lower River Road Trail will complete a 5-mile connection from the Esther Short park to the start of the Frenchman’s Bar Renaissance Trail. For many of the neighborhoods adjacent to the Port, it’s an even shorter distance – ideal for a wide range bicyclists, runner and walkers.

Luckily, the Port of Vancouver has the vision to provide a safe, comfortable and separated 3- mile trail from the intersection of 4th and Mill Plain to the start of the Frenchman’s Bar Renaissance Trail almost entirely on Port owned property, leveraging past investments by completing the trail.

A 0.3-mile section of trail has already been completed. The Port recently received two Federal Transportation Alternative grants administered by the SW Washington Regional Transportation Committee for some trail enhancements and for additional design of an additional 0.3-mile long elevated trail over wetlands.

Still, there is more work to be done.  Despite the recently completed trail segments, the Port still projects a 25-year timeline to complete the remaining 2-mile gap in the 3-mile NW Lower River Road Trail. Port financing is only available when new Port tenants move into the vacant properties to the west.

Accelerating this trail project will require support from elected, neighborhood, and government leaders.

The site visit begins at 1:00 pm with a ride begininning around 1:30 and concluding at 2:30 pm.

Directions: At the intersection of 4th and Mill Plain Blvds on NW Lower River Road, turn down St. Francis Lane. Continue forward towards the IMS Recycling building.  Veer right before the building, towards stop sign. Cross train tracks at stop sign and location will be on your left – 2121 St. Francis Lane. It’s the old Humane Society location. We will have people on hand at the start of St. Francis Lane directing folks. There is plenty of room for car parking and, of course, bike parking!

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