Cyclists to show Lower River Road hazards

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For the second year in a row, cyclists will take to Lower River Road in order to highlight the improvements and continued dangers of the route out to Vancouver Lake and Frenchman's Bar. In addition to cyclists, runners, birders, walkers and others who like heading out to Vancouver's westerly farmland and recreational greenspaces are welcome.

The event gets underway at 1 p.m. Friday at 2121 St. Francis Lane, in the Port of Vancouver area. Volunteers will direct traffic and plenty of car and bike parking is available. Bring a bike helmet, which is mandatory in the city of Vancouver. There will be a short presentation before the 3-mile ride begins.

The event is being called a "community-driven legislative bike ride" in support of a continuous multimodal path from downtown Vancouver along Lower River Road. State Rep. Jim Moeller, state Sen. Ann Rivers, Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, city council members Larry Smith and Bill Turlay and several council candidates are scheduled to participate.

Right now, cyclists are forced to ride on Lower River Road shoulders while trucks and other traffic blast by at 50 mph. The port recently installed a 0.3-mile paved pedestrian path along one stretch of the route, and has won $350,000 in grants to add another half a mile next year. But the entire route isn't projected to be a completed, connected path for bikes and pedestrians for another 30 years.

"We want to showcase … how important this pathway is to our community with hopes that our state representatives can assist in accelerating the project's completion sooner than 30 years from now," a memo from the Arnada Neighborhood Association says.