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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

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

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Resources for women on bikes

Women on bikes at Sunday Parkways(January 5, 2016)  By current bike count estimates, women make up about a third of Portland peak hour bike commuters. In 2014, women accounted for 32.2% of riders tallied, a record high in Portland.

Portland has a strong community for women who ride or want to begin riding. Whether you’re searching for your first bike, gear to keep you riding through the winter, support for riding with kids, or even if you want to get into racing, there are resources and communities to inspire you. Here are just a few examples:

  • Gladys Bikes is a women-focused bike shop in NE Portland specializing in commuting, touring and recreational bike sales for women. They aim to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable in their bike shop experience.
  • Women on Wheels is a meet up group with a mission to empower women to travel by bicycle and other active transportation. They offer rides, workshops and social events on bicycling.
  • Kidical Mass offers family-friendly bike rides through a community that supports parents riding with kids.

Other groups you might want to check out include: Let’s Race Bikes!, Ride Like A Girl and Portland Society, which is a group of professional women who are passionate about bicycling in Portland. You can find more information and links to resources here

3 ways to travel safe on New Year's Eve

Be carfree and carefree while ringing in 2016!

(December 30, 2015) TriMet continues its tradition of free fares to encourage New Year's Eve revelers to make safe choices on the big night out. After 8:00 pm, TriMet MAX and bus trips will be free throughout the TriMet service area. If transit doesn't suit your needs or serve your destinations, there are plenty of other options for being carfee and carefree for New Year's Eve.

  1. Celebrate safely with TriMet - all TriMet service is free after 8:00 pm on New Year's Eve, Thursday, December 31. MAX will have extended late-night service until about 3:00 am. Get the details at
  2. Taxis and other private for-hire vehicles - Portland has plenty of taxi companies to choose from, as well as limousine services if you want to travel in style for the big night out. Find a complete listing at Uber and Lyft also operate in Portland. If you are still out celebrating after TriMet service ends, Uber is offering new customers $25 off their ride home with the code “PDXNYE”.
  3. Carpool with a designated driver - in a pinch, check out which is a designated driver service in Portland, or the new SaferRide App available for Android and Apple users.

How ever you travel, have a safe and happy New Year!

Let TriMet Night Stop program get you closer to your destination

(December 16, 2015)  As the nights get longer, TriMet’s Night Stop program aims to make wintertime travel more safe and convenient for bus riders.

Love note to TriMet on bus stop scheduleDuring the winter months, TriMet bus operators can stop to let you off anywhere along the route, if it’s safe to do so. This service is only available outside of Downtown and the Lloyd District and for drop-offs only.

Between 8:00 pm and 5:00 am, you can ask your bus operator a block or two ahead of your destination whether she or he can let you off at a non-designated stop location. If the operator believes it can be done safely, they will stop at your requested location.

Whether its morning or night, winter makes it difficult to be seen. When waiting at the bus stop, TriMet offers these additional tips:

  • Stand up at the bus stop and wave to the operator as the bus approaches.
  • Use a reflector, safety strobe light, small flashlight or cell phone display light to alert the operator as the bus approaches. Some mobile devices and apps have a strobe or light feature for this purpose.
  • Please, DO NOT shine lights in operators’ eyes.


(photo by Flickr user SoulRider.222)

Up your visibility game

With fewer daylight hours and rainy weather, be seen to be safe

(December 10, 2015) What is the best strategy for being seen and staying safe while out and about during a Portland winter? Invest some time or money in high visibility gear or clothing.

High 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

Man wearing bright colors and reflective gearWear 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

What 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.

Open House for draft Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

Make your voice heard and help Oregon plan for the future

(Dec 8, 2015) The Oregon Department of Transportation wants your comments on the draft Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. An Open House is planned for Monday, December 14, 2015 from 4:00-6:30 pm at the Jade/APANO Multicultural Space, 8114 SE Division St. in Portland. You can also provide your comments through February 18 by email to

The Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan is important because it supports the decision-making for walking and biking investments, strategies and programs that will help create the future transportation system for Oregon. The last plan was adopted by the Oregon Transportation Commission in 1995.

The updated plan addresses the challenges and opportunities Oregon faces today and will likely face in the future, is based on realistic current and future funding levels and incorporates current laws. While not intended to create a map of the bicycle and pedestrian network or develop new design guidance, it is meant to guide the state through future efforts such as prioritizing projects, developing design guidance, collecting important data, and other activities that support walking and biking in Oregon.

You can learn more about the planning effort here:

Read the full plan here: