Know the Law
Know Before You Go
Note: Portland city ordinances prohibit riding bicycles on sidewalks in the downtown area bounded by SW Jefferson Street, SW Naito Parkway, NW Hoyt Street and 13th Avenue.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation provides a page with all the relevant state and city laws pertaining to cyclists.
Sharing the Road
Most Portland drivers are comfortable sharing the road with bicyclists — in fact, many of those drivers are counting the hours until they can get on their own bikes and ride. However, it’s still a good idea for cyclists to be careful and ride defensively. Some Portland streets are geared more toward cyclists than others, so it’s a good idea to review the biking and walking maps from the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
Portland has 15 intersections with green “bike boxes.” These are designed to prevent collisions between cyclists using bike lanes and motorists making right turns. Here’s how they work:
- When the light is red, bicyclists should stop inside the green box. (Motorists must stop at the white line behind the box.)
- Bicyclists can turn right on a red light at bike box intersections; drivers cannot.
- Bicyclists have the right of way on a green light.
Bike Lane Variations
The city is testing two other alternatives to traditional bike lanes downtown: the Portland State University Cycle Track demonstration project on Southwest Broadway from Clay to Jackson; and buffered bike lanes on Southwest Oak between Naito Parkway and Ninth Avenue, and Southwest Harvey Milk Street between Naito and 13th. Use the links above to learn more.
Bicycle Maps & Where to Ride
With bike lanes and paths throughout the city, Portland has great places to ride for cyclists of all abilities.
Bicycling the Banks-Vernonia State Trail
The small logging town of Vernonia has become a central hub for bike routes through the surrounding state forest.
Biketown Culture Collection Celebrates Portland’s Diversity
Portland’s bike-share program, Biketown, releases special-edition bikes and more for its year-long Culture Collection initiative.
Bike-loving Portlanders have come up with all sorts of rides and events that fill the calendar with two-wheeled shenanigans.
Portland Bike Tours
Bike tours let you see Portland like a local, rolling through neighborhoods along this cycling-friendly city’s many bike paths, trails and lanes.