Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

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

More Contact Info

Understanding Portland's Bicycle Symbols and Markings

Portland is known as one of the top bike-friendly cities in the US due to miles of bike lanes, low-traffic Neighborhood Greenways, and these unique street markings. They help drivers and cyclists know where to look for one another when sharing the roads. Here are a few of the most common symbols.

Sharrows include a bike and two chevrons SHARROW

When you bike: Sharrows designate a safe and visible place to ride. Follow the sharrows to connect low-traffic Neighborhood Greenway streets throughout the city.
When you drive: Keep an eye out for all types of travel — bikes, pedestrians, skateboards, etc. Drive slowly and give ample room when passing.


bike outline with a vertical line above and belowBIKE-SPECIFIC SIGNAL DETECTORS

When you bike: Position your wheels over the lines of the marking and stay there to activate the sensor and “get the green.” If a car is already waiting, it will activate the signal for you.

When you drive: Be aware of cyclists taking the lane to trigger traffic signals using their designated signal detector.


Bike boxes have an advanced stop bar for carsBIKE BOX

When you bike: Roll up to the front of the line when there’s a yellow or red light. If the light is green, watch for vehicles turning right before continuing through the intersection.
When you drive: Stop behind the white line at a yellow or red light. When the light turns green, yield to cyclists in the bike lane before turning. Only cyclists can take a right on red when there’s a bike box.


Bike lane with dashed outline & dashed green paintDASHED BIKE LANE

When you bike: Watch for turning vehicles or buses making stops. The dashed lines mean a mix of traffic can use the space.
When you drive: Watch for and yield to cyclists going straight through when crossing dashed bike lanes.


Green boxes that provide refuge for turning cyclists.LEFT TURN BIKE BOXES

When you bike: Use these boxes to make left turns across intersections rather than merging into traffic. Roll your bike into the box and position it to cross the intersection. Wait for the signal and move through the intersection ahead of auto traffic.
When you drive: Like a bike box, these smaller boxes guide bikes to use a predictable route through busy intersections. Be alert to bicyclists using them.


Click this link to view this information as a PDF.

FOR MORE INFORMATION on sharing the road see Road Etiquette: We're all in this together.