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Route 1: Hillyard > Manito

Route 1 should be advertised as the City Drive Lite. Glimpses of Beacon Hill through Hillyard’s old buildings make way for river views over Upriver Drive, dumping you onto post-warehouse Division, through Downtown and up the aptly named Grand Blvd to upper Manito. Spokane in a nutshell, no doubt.

Nora and Market reminds me of the 9th and Perry area about 15 years ago: one can see the vibrant past and the potential for the vibrant future. Just like Perry, Market’s complexion would change completely by lowering the speed limit to encourage alternative transportation as well as a walkable neighborhood.


Crestline is a perfect example of the positives and negatives of a road diet. On the one hand, riding roads with two lanes each way can be great: there is a left hand lane for vehicles to get around with plenty of room and a road with this capacity generally is an arterial that goes somewhere. Unfortunately, all it takes is one driver who is committed to going faster than the car in the left hand lane or one vehicle waiting to turn left to make…
…it very obvious as to why one extra large lane going each way is vastly superior.
To me, Illinois has always been that deep-cut, B-side banger of a road. Incredible views of the river, a clean road surface, bike lane, and connections to other roads (Upriver, Trent) that share similar characteristics.


Illinois to Indiana means (once the construction on Indiana is completed) , a bicyclist has miles of good sight lines, safe distances, and few right-of-way issues. Basically, this phenomenal stretch of road should be the minimum expectation for the city to call a stretch of road a recommended bicycle route.
Division’s bicycle prohibition is silly. Division is busy because it is a functional route: it travels from north to downtown with a very managable grade, it crosses the river (which is a bit more difficult anywhere to the east), and there are four or five lanes going each way. In’s a bummer the city has decided there’s no way to squeeze in any infrastructure to help bicycles.
I love the old-school streetcar/trolly aesthetic, mainly because with either cable or electric power, they’re natural mountain goats. Route 1 goes up the steepest options in the Cliff-Cannon neighborhood. #legday


Seventh at Bernard is no joke. Real #eurovibes with the gradient here.
Grand south of Sacred Heart is a lot like Crestline: the two lanes each way make it a relatively comfortable way to get the South Hill’s elevation out of the way, presuming you aren’t ascending during rush hour. Knowing that once you crest, Manito’s 20mph zone is close to the top is quite comforting as well.
Much like its beginning, Route 1’s conclusion leaves you in a perfect spot for jumping to any number of great riding roads. 38th and Grand leaves you with High Drive, Hatch Rd, and the great roads off 37th to the east to play around on.
Best non-downtown spot for a drink along the way: When in doubt, pick the Park Inn.
Next Sunday: I’m excited to ride Route 14: Fort Wright > East Trent. It’s a flat, straight shot on some of Spokane’s fastest roads.


Published in 1923 Streetcar The City War on Cars

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