WA-List » Head out on the Highway … on a Bicycle?

Head out on the Highway … on a Bicycle?

Published by Steve Campion. Category: Transportation

Share the road is more than a slogan.  It’s a matter of safety.  Motorists and cyclists travel the same routes throughout the state — on residential streets, main thoroughfares, and even on highways.  But some high-traffic stretches of interstate and state highways are restricted to motor vehicles only.  For those limited segments, bicycle riders must exit the highway and take side roads.

As someone who has legally ridden bikes on the shoulders of both I-5 and I-90, I can voice mixed emotions.  Highways are fast, efficient routes to get from place to place whether you’re in a car or on a bike.  But they can also be noisy and a bit harrowing.  You can pedal your way almost anywhere in Washington, but use care when choosing the route that’s best.  Below are the 155 miles of Washington’s interstate highways you CAN’T ride bicycles.  That’s about 20% of the whole.  Miles not listed are legal for cyclists (unless temporarily restricted).

NOTE: Some state routes (2, 16, 18, 99, 101, 195, 240, 395, 518, 520, 522, 599) restrict bicycle use in places, too.  We might post a future WA-List to include those segments.


Interstate 5
From To
Oregon stateline (milepost 0) junction with I-205 (Exit 7)
Olympia (Exit 102) Lacey (Exit 109)
Lakewood (Exit 124) Marysville (Exit 199)
Mount Vernon (Exit 227) Mount Vernon (Exit 229)
Bellingham (Exit 252) Bellingham (Exit 257)
96 prohibited miles / 298 total length = 32%

Interstate 82
Entire length okay for bicycles
0 prohibited miles / 144 total length = 0%

Interstate 90
From To
Seattle (milepost 0) Issaquah (Exit 17)
Geiger Field (Exit 276) Broadway (Exit 286)
27 prohibited miles / 277 total length = 10%

Interstate 182
Entire length okay for bicycles
0 prohibited miles / 15 total length = 0%

Interstate 205
From To
Stateline (Columbia River bridge) junction with State Route 14 (Exit 27)
0.5 prohibited miles / 11 total length = 5%

Interstate 405
Entire stretch from To
Tukwila (milepost 0) junction with I-5 in Lynnwood (milepost 30)
30 prohibited miles / 30 total length = 100%

Interstate 705
Entire stretch through
1.5 prohibited miles / 1.5 total length = 100%

SOURCE:  Washington State Department of Transportation

PHOTO © Steve Campion


2 Responses to “Head out on the Highway … on a Bicycle?”

  1. Joan Says:

    Traveling on a bike alongside the wind from trucks and other speeding vehicles has to be harrowing and extremely dangerous. I would think some of these restricted and unrestricted alike have side roads parallel to the interstate. Do these?

  2. listguy Says:

    Bike-prohibited segments usually have available side roads which are much better/safer than the traffic-clogged interstate. But sometimes the bicycle-allowed highways are the only routes within several miles.