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The City of Portland, Oregon

Sustainability at Work

Providing free tools and expertise to achieve your goals

Phone: 503-823-7037


Be a bike-friendly driver

Be a bike friendly driver

The #1 thing you can do

Be forgiving of bicyclists, as well as pedestrians and other drivers. Everyone can get confused or frustrated or do things that are just plain stupid.

Most bicyclists want a stress-free ride, just like you. Use common sense and courtesy, and help everyone stay safe. 

The Green Bike Box, explained

Green bike boxes have been painted around Portland to keep bicyclists and drivers safe at busy intersections. Here’s what you need to know as a driver:

Bike Box, Get Behind It. (from Seattle)

Stop behind the box.

  • You must stop and wait behind the green box, even if a bicyclist isn’t in the box.

Do not turn on red.

  • You may not turn right on a red light at these boxes, even if a bicyclist isn’t in the box.

Bikes go first on green.

  • Once the light turns green, if you want to make a right turn, you must wait for all bikes to pass you before turning.

(Watch Lego People demonstrate how it works, in under two minutes.)

Beyond the Box

Look before opening your door (image from Australia)

Opening your door: Look before opening your car door, to make sure a bicyclist isn’t coming.

  • Tip: Get in the habit of opening your car door with your right hand. This makes you look behind and to the side, assuring that you don’t “door” a passing bicyclist (one of the biggest anxieties for people on bikes!)

Passing: Keep a reasonable speed and give 3-5 feet of space when passing bicycles.

Lanes: A bike lane is just that—a lane for bikes to move through, not temporary parking or a turn lane.

Turns: Check your side view mirror and blind spot for bikes before making a turn across a bike lane.

Right of Way: Treat a bike as you would another car when making decisions to do things like proceed through a four-way stop, pull out of a parking spot, or make a U-turn.

It’s the law

Wondering what the rules of the road are? Find the most common ones in this helpful poster.

Or find all current bicycle laws in the searchable PDF (use Ctrl+F to search for "bike") of the OR DMV Driving Manual