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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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Three tips for keeping cool while staying active

An air-conditioned drive may not be the best option during a heat wave

(June 26, 2015)  With temperatures on the rise it’s good to keep cool and be hydrated.  But that doesn’t mean you have to hide in the basement.  Here are some tips for staying active when summer hits hard:

-        Try being active earlier or later in the day:  An early morning bike ride lets you get the blood flowing before the mercury starts going.  A later evening walk can be a pleasant way to get out of a stuffy house or apartment while enjoying a balmy breeze and less traffic on the streets.

Snapshot of NE Bike Walk Map-        Check the map: Your handy Portland Neighborhood Bike/Walk Map shows great locations like swimming pools, public fountains (both for splashing in and drinking from), and even boat docks where you can launch your rubber raft or go for a dip. (And yes, the water’s fine in the Willamette.  You can check weekly water quality test results here.)

-        Know where to go when it’s sweltering: Multnomah County has this online tool to find places to stay cool including libraries, air conditioned public buildings and senior cooling centers. 

Click here to see more tips on staying cool and hydrated.

Corn ear in the heat cartoon

Music and Sunday Parkways – Two great things that go great together!

Enjoy an international festival while listening to local talent

Volunteers cheering people on at Sunday Parkways(June 15, 2015)  The next Sunday Parkways is just around the corner. The North Portland Sunday Parkways  takes place on Sunday, June 21st from 11am to 4pm. June 21st is Father’s Day so make this event a family affair.

The North Portland event features a 9.5 mile double-loop course that will offer scenic views from the Willamette Bluff, fragrant blooms at the Peninsula Rose Gardens and fun for every kid at the universally accessible Harper’s Playground at Arbor Lodge Park. You will also find food and fun activities at Kenton, Columbia Annex and McCoy Parks. Download a printable map or brochure of this event.

Musicians in the parkThis year, Sunday Parkways is teaming up with Make Music Day. Make Music Portland is part of the international Fete de la Musique first launched in France. Established in 1982, Make Music Day is now held on the same day in more than 700 cities in 120 countries. Come celebrate music with the world and listen to local Portland artists at the North Portland Sunday Parkways.

To learn more about Make Music Day Portland:

Portland Schools Take to the Streets

Walk+Bike Challenge Month a big hit with the kids

Middle schoolers walking to Robert Grey school(June 11, 2015)  May is Walk+Bike Challenge Month here in Oregon. In Portland, 50+ elementary, middle and high schools participated by getting to and from school using active transportation. Students tracked their trips and at the middle and high school levels organized activities. Of course Safe Routes to School couldn’t do it without great school coordinators. They organized, promoted, prodded, encouraged and awarded students and families.

Also during last month, Bike Fairies visited schools to thank students and school staff for biking to school as part of National Bike Month. The Bike Fairies legs were tired after visiting 100 schools and placing 1,218 thank you notes on bikes. But the excitement from the students was well worth it.

To really get a feel for what May looks like around schools we’ve included a few pictures to make you smile. To hear more about Safe Routes to School and their middle school program, join us at our next Bike Lunch and Learn - Thursday, June 18th, noon-1pm, City Hall-Lovejoy Room.

Parent volunteers at the winning schoolSkateboards and helmets lined up at Beverly Cleary

Students Bike and Scoot to School

"Every Bike Counts" event finds biking never sleeps in Portland

City's first 24-hour bike count shows ridership every hour of the day

Graph of bike counts over 24-hour period(May 20, 2015)  Whether it’s rush hour or the middle of the night, people are always riding bikes in Portland. That was one of many takeaways from the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) first human powered 24-hour bike count event. Every Bike Counts began counting people biking on SE Ankeny at 28th Avenue on Thursday, May 14th at noon and continued through the night until noon on Friday, National Bike to Work Day.

One part data gathering and one part celebration, the event counted 2,231 people riding bikes during the 24 hour period. Volunteers and PBOT staff counted 325 people biking at the peak hour between 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. and 6 people during the pre-dawn hours of 3:00 – 4:00 a.m. 

Table of hourly bike countsIn true Portland style, number crunching was combined with festivity, as local businesses provided food and refreshments, bands provided music, and staff and volunteers provided minor bike repair.

One of 20-plus events during May’s National Bike Month Every Bike Counts preceded PBOT’s massive Summer Bike Count, where staff and hundreds of volunteers conduct two-hour counts at 245 locations throughout Portland from June to September. In addition to these two-hour counts, PBOT conducts automated, continuous bike counts 365 days a year on Portland’s five bike friendly bridges and the SW Moody multiuse path.  You can view the bicycle trip data for the Hawthorne Bridge here:

Unlike the Summer Bike Count, which uses the industry protocol of extrapolating the two-hour commute peak count to derive a daily number, the 24 hour count provided a more textured illustration of how people use one of Portland’s most popular neighborhood greenways. Some trends remained the same: Helmet usage for men (74%) and women (85%) practically mirrored the 2014 Summer Bike Count usage (75%, 84% respectively). 

Pie chart showing destinations reportedWhile Portland’s bicycle count data is the envy of the nation, it pales in comparison to motor vehicle travel data collected by regional and federal agencies. PBOT is partnering with a local technology startup, Knock to pilot a low-cost count sensor and smart phone app to explore cheaper, more reliable, 24-hour bike data collection options. Knock group did a test run during peak hours at Every Bike Counts and are comparing their data to the manual count data. PBOT and Knock plan to pilot the sensors later this summer. Those interested in beta testing the Ride smartphone app for iPhone can email at

PBOT chose the SE Ankeny/28th avenue intersection because it is a centrally located, well-utilized neighborhood greenway that intersects with a popular neighborhood commercial corridor.

The 24 hour bike count was lower than the 2014 SE Ankeny summer count estimate of 2715.  Since the Summer Bike Counts are conducted only from Tuesdays through Thursdays (Mondays and Fridays typically have lower traffic volumes), the 24-hour Every Bike Counts count did not provide an apples-to-apples comparison to the Summer Bike Count data.

Those interested in volunteering for PBOT’s Summer Bike Count (that haven’t volunteered before) must attend the volunteer training on Tuesday, May 26th from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Portland Building (Room C, 2nd floor).

See all of our charts and data from Every Bike Counts here:


Portland Employer Bike Summit – You’re Invited

Engaging businesses to reclaim Portland’s status as the nation’s unrivaled bike leader.

Portland Employer Bike Summit logo(May 12, 2015) Join Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon for the 4th annual Portland Employers Bike Summit on Friday, May 15 from 1-4pm at the Cambia/Regence Downtown Campus (Pettygrove Park entrance). Co-sponsored by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, The City of Portland and Go Lloyd, the theme this year is engaging businesses to reclaim Portland’s status as the nation’s unrivaled bike leader.

Workshops at this FREE event include:

  • Building a Workplace Culture around Bike Commuting & Peer-to-Peer Encouragement
  • Advocacy 101 with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance
  • Build It and They Will Come: Bike Facilities to Boost Employee Biking Commuting
  • New Bike & Walk Investments: Portland’s Central City Multi-Modal Safety Improvement Project

Margi Bradway, Active Transportation Division Manager, will give the keynote speech, Central City Rising – Projects that will change Portland’s transportation future. She will highlight several exciting projects in the pipeline to make biking and walking in Portland safer and easier.

Regence will host a post-summit networking event with refreshments.

RSVP for the free event and get more details at