Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Portland Bureau of Transportation

We keep Portland moving

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

7 Tips for preventing bike theft

Keep your bike and components safe with these essential steps

(January 7, 2015) Bike theft is getting a lot of attention recently - and with good reason. Bike theft is a deterrent for people riding bicycles and we want to keep people on their bikes and protecting their investments. Below are seven essential tips for keeping your bike safe. There is also a handy card you can download that shows the best way to lock your bike and a place to write down your serial number for recovering a stolen bike.  

bike theft card1. Always use a U-lock. Never use only a cable lock.

2. Lock your wheel and frame together (see card for example). 

3. Use a bike rack (sign poles are not as secure).

4. When possible, do not park your bike on the sidewalk or street overnight.

5. Lock your bike in a well-lit and well-traveled area.

6. Take lights and other easily removed items with you.

7. Write down your serial number. It's the best piece of information you can have to recover your stolen bike. (Download the card for more information).

While our 7 tips are short and sweet, we do want to expand on a few of them. For example, we understand that not everyone has bike storage in their homes and that parking in public (Tip #4) or open places may be the only option. City bike racks are designed for short-term uses, such as going out to eat or visiting a friend. If you do not have more secure bike parking available, we suggest talking with your neighbors and property manager about creating a secure parking area. City building codes require all new multi-family (apartment) and commercial buildings (e.g. office) to have long-term bike parking facilities that are more secure than public racks and are weather protected. However, many buildings were constructed before building codes required bike parking. This leaves a gap in bike parking for many people. However, property managers may be responsive to tenants requesting essential services as part of their leases. 

Our last tip (#7) does not actually help prevent bike theft, but does allow you to claim a bike that the police have recovered. Proof of ownership is essential for getting your stolen bike back. Your serial number and a picture of your bike are your two best preventative measures. An original receipt, if you bought the bike new, is also very useful.

Visit for more information on preventing bike theft.

For even more detail about securing your bike, check out this article from the Office of Neighborhood Involvement's pages.

Consider a last minute tax deductible gift to Sunday Parkways

It's the gift that keeps on giving in 2015

Three volunteers with donation bucket(December 29, 2014)  It’s not too late to make your tax deductible donation to Sunday Parkways this year. We are busy laying the foundation to bring you five more fun-filled Sunday Parkways in 2015 with a possible new route! Stay tuned.

Sunday Parkways is all about Portlanders, families, friends and visitors alike taking to our streets and parks. Anyone can walk, bike, roll or skate and partake in fun and healthy activities in gorgeous Portland parks. Scrumptious Portland food carts keep everyone fueled and lively local vendors offer an array of goods and information. With your donation, we can keep this good thing going.

Two intersection superheroes

Donate $40 or more and receive one of the popular 2015 Sunday Parkways bandanas. Give more and Sunday Parkways can do more, but any amount you can give helps.

If you think your business, workplace, church or community group would like to donate, sponsor, or support Sunday Parkways in any way, let us know. We’d love to have you join the Sunday Parkways family and help us continue bringing these uniquely Portland events to our communities.

Woman and child in the park

TriMet’s New Year’s Eve extended service and free rides after 8pm

Have fun on the 31st and leave the driving to a professional

A bus lit for the holidays(December 18, 2014)  One of Portland’s continuing New Year’s Eve traditions is TriMet’s extended service and free rides after 8:00 p.m. That’s right, after 8:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, all trips on TriMet buses and MAX lines, and Portland Streetcar, are free of charge.

If you’re looking to stay out extra late while ringing in the New Year, here are MAX’s last trips for the wee hours of 2014/15:

Last MAX Trips on New Year’s Eve:

  • The last Blue Line trips to Gresham leaves Pioneer Square at 3:12 a.m. and the last trip to Hillsboro leaves Pioneer Square North at 3:12 a.m.
  • The last Yellow Line trip to Expo Center leaves Pioneer Courthouse/SW 6th at 3:10 a.m. and the last trip to Downtown Portland leaves Expo Center at 2:16 a.m. A Trip to Rose Quarter Transit Center and Ruby Junction/E 197th leaves Expo Center at 3:42 a.m.
  • The last Green Line trip to Clackamas leaves from Pioneer Courthouse/SW 6th at 3:04 a.m. and the last trip to Downtown Portland leaves Clackamas Town Center Transit Center at 1:44 a.m.
  • MAX Red Line trains will run on weekday schedules with shuttle buses carrying riders between Gateway Transit Center and Portland International Airport after train service ends as needed and until approximately 3:30 a.m.
  • The last trip of the night to Portland International Airport leaves Pioneer Square South at 10:29 p.m. and the last trip of the night to Beaverton Transit Center leaves the airport at 11:49 p.m.

Free Rides after 8 and Portland Streetcar will run on weekday schedules on New Year’s Eve

On New Year’s Day, Thursday, January 1st, 2015 buses and MAX trains will run on Sunday schedules. Portland Streetcar will run on Saturday schedules on New Year’s Day. 

Crosswalk Enforcement Action Planned for Tuesday, December 16 [Updated]

In an active city like Portland, drivers should expect to see pedestrians and cyclists out at all times.

Officer talking with driver who failed to stop(December 15, 2014)  The Portland Police Bureau and PBOT have scheduled a crosswalk enforcement action during the evening rush hour on Tuesday, December 16 at East Burnside Street and 24th Avenue. The crosswalk enforcement action will take place from 6:00-7:30pm. Crosswalk enforcement actions are intended to highlight the need for drivers to stop and stay stopped for pedestrians in the crossing at all times and to be extra alert during the low light conditions of late fall and winter.

Each crosswalk enforcement action involves a designated pedestrian crossing at a marked or unmarked crossing while police monitor how well people who are driving, bicycling and walking adhere to traffic safety laws. The Oregon Crosswalk Law (ORS 811.028) requires motorists to “…stop and stay stopped for pedestrians in a marked or unmarked crosswalk when the pedestrian is in the motorist’s lane or the adjacent lane.” Vehicle operators who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians who fail to follow Oregon traffic laws may be issued a warning or citation.

These enforcement actions remind vehicle operators to share the road and be ready to stop or yield the right-of-way as needed, so we can all arrive at our destinations safely. The City urges all travelers to be alert and look out for each other, especially during the darker and shorter days of winter. Drivers can do their part by driving at or below the posted speed and by continuously scanning the environment for people walking and bicycling (and other non-auto road users) and to be ready to stop when needed.

(Update, December 17, 2014)   During the crosswalk enforcement the Portland Police Bureau's Traffic Division witnessed 42 violations and issued two warnings.  Of the 42 violations, 22 were for failure to stop and remain stopped at a crosswalk, 2 were for passing a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk, along with 18 other violations.  All crosswalk enforcement actions are advertised in advance, and signs are posted ahead of the intersection to alert road users that an enforcement activity is taking place.

Up Your Visibility Game

Fluorescent for Day, Reflective for Night

(December 11, 2014)  What is the best strategy for being seen and staying safe while out and about during a Portland winter? Invest in some time or money in high visibility gear or clothing.

Man wearing fluorescent and reflective jacketHigh visibility gear and clothing is made of fluorescent colors with added reflective tape or designs. To best be seen in all conditions - during the day, at dusk and at night - you should be wearing both fluorescent and reflective items.

Daytime Visibility

Wear something fluorescent to be most visible during the daytime. Fluorescent materials appear bright during the day and even brighter near dusk, but are less effective for nighttime use.

It has to do with optics theory and physics, but fluorescent colors look really bright because of the way they absorb and emit different kinds of light. Lots of colors can be fluorescent but the yellow and orange clothing worn by road crews and emergency personnel as well as some green and pink colors are the most popular and effective.

During the daylight hours the sun’s ultraviolet rays react with the fluorescent colors to make them appear to glow, or fluoresce, and this effect is even stronger in poor light conditions such as in rain, fog or toward dusk, which are typical Portland winter conditions.

Nighttime Visibility

Wear something reflective to be the most visible at nighttime. After dark, the light from sources like car headlights bounces off reflective materials, actually making them glow, and reflects at least some of that light back to the source.

Since reflective materials work at night by bouncing back the light from a source, to work properly it needs to be dark and there must be a light source such as car headlights. These materials are not so effective during the daytime.

Not all reflective materials are created the same, however. Some technology scatters the reflective light with only some of the light being directed back to drivers. Retro-reflective materials are designed to bounce most of the light back to its source rather than scattering it. The light from a driver’s headlights will go straight back to the driver allowing them to see the retro-reflective material, and thus the pedestrian or bicyclist wearing it, extremely well.

Up Your Visibility Game

Black backpack with bright stickersWhat can you do if you don’t want to buy all new outerwear? If your rain gear is dark colored or even black, it’s a good idea to wear or carry something fluorescent on rainy days. Think a bright orange or yellow umbrella or even a safety sash or vest.

You can also add reflective tape to your regular clothing to be more visible at night. Reflective tapes and sew-on materials can be purchased online, at some craft or fabric stores, hardware stores, safety supply stores such as Sanderson’s Safety Supply, and even auto supply stores and bike shops.

The best place to add strips of reflective materials are around the joints or moving parts of the human form. Adding reflective bits of material to the ankles, knees, elbows and wrists will help the driver recognize you as a person on the move and send the message that they need to slow down. The main thing to remember is: Fluorescent for day, Reflective for night.