How about a little break from the us versus them cross river rivalry and get a little cross town action going? Vancouver has more of an east-west divide than a north-south. The west side is served by Vancouver Schools, the east side by Evergreen Schools. The west side is the older “original” Vancouver the east side was developed much later and predominately after I-205 was built in the 1980s.
Which side is better? Ha, trick question, they’re both awesome! Generally the west side is a bit older than the east side.
Much of the original west end is on a classic 4 point grid with tree-lined streets and homes that are at least 80 years old. The greater Vancouver area extends north all the way to Felida, Salmon Creek, and Mount Vista offering a more suburban feel.
The east side is a more modern suburban style layout that over the years has stretched out towards and over previous “towns” like Barberton, Orchards, Five Corners, Sifton, etc. These are the culdesac clad post war American “utopia” neighborhoods.
Neither side is better, it is a bit of a baseball versus football kind of thing. To each his own.
The east side is a bit more monothematic but offers wider streets, and in general a less congested feeling. The east side lacks a true north-south freeway as I-205 makes a sharp bend to the west north of SR-500. That means residents in the Sifton area have to travel down NE 162nd Avenue for about 5-6 miles to get to the major east side commercial district at Mill Plain and 164th. Of course the east side is much closer to the Cascade foothills and so the outdoorsy types and those who like to utilize the forests for recreation are much closer to the “action”.
The west side has eclectic neighborhoods and the period styles are very evident as one moves from a Victorian era neighborhood, to a pre-war Craftsman neighborhood, to a World War II neighborhood and even post-war. Remnants of America’s local neighborhood “main street” vibe is well retained on the west side. St. Johns, Hazel Dell, Uptown, Rose Village, etc. West side residents are right in the thick of Vancouver’s ambitious downtown and waterfront expansion.
The east-west divide can be a bit hard to quantify. Is I-205 the line? What about the county street grid? Nope, none of those. Nearest I can tell it would have to be Andresan. Hear me out. The boundary between Evergreen Schools and Vancouver Schools is too zig-zaggy but Andresan is a pretty close mark to it and it make a pretty clean north-south line dividing two halves and continuing north across I-205 as NE 72nd Avenue. The quad grid system for the county runs a bit too close to Main Street and Hazel Dell Avenue both of which are well west of center. Clark County has about 3/4 of its land in the NE quadrant so it isn’t a geographically uniform quadrant system. In fact the “southwest” quadrant is effectively underwater with the west downtown and east port areas about the only area included but I don’t believe there are any streets with a “SW” direction in Vancouver.
Here in the “Original” Vancouver, one can choose whatever style they like. The Vancouver UGB has some 90 square miles offering the full run from urban high-rise to big country-style lots with a sprawling ranch home. Whatever floats your boat, you’ll find it here.