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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

More Contact Info

The Portland Walking Guide

Did you know?

  • Portland was the second city in the US to organize pedestrian advocacy with the founding of the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition (now Oregon Walks) in 1991.

  • In Portland over 32% of trips to school are on foot, compared to 11% nationally. (Source: Portland Safe Routes to School, 2013 data)

  • Portland has 165 public staircases with about 9,000 public steps. (Source: Portland’s Little Red Book of Stairs by Stefana Young and Robin Davis)

 

Take the Portland Pedestrian Safety Quiz!
Test your pedestrian safety awareness and know-how at LookBeforeCrossing.org.
Individuals with a Portland address have a chance to receive a FREE reflective tote bag.



The Benefits of Walking

For Your Health


Walking, a FREE form of exercise needing no extra equipment, also
provides an amazing amount of health benefits.

Walking is one of the cheapest ways to help you stay strong and fit.
What a great way to increase bone density, improve joint health and
increase muscle strength!

Not only can your physical health improve, but walking can also
increase your energy level, your ability to cope with stress, depression
and anxiety, AND increase your brain power. Start walking?

What a smart idea!


For Your Community

Walking is a great way to connect with neighbors and get to know your
neighborhood. Discover beautiful gardens, pocket parks, local shops
and interesting architecture.

A neighborhood where people walk is a place where people are
watching out for each other.

For the Environment

Walking is great for the environment, too.

If the average American walked to work or to shop
just once every two weeks instead of driving, close to
1 billion gallons of gasoline pollutants would be prevented
from entering the atmosphere every year.
— COMMUTERCHOICE.HARVARD.EDU

If we all swapped one car journey a week for walking
instead, car traffic levels would reduce by at least 10%.
— SUSTRANS 2009

No matter how we get around, we are all pedestrians
at one time or another every day.


Pedestrian Tips

Where to Fit Walking into Your Life

The easiest way to get started is to walk somewhere you were headed anyway.

TO WORK Try walking to or from work. Ride public transit and get off a few stops early, or park farther away and walk the last 10-15 minutes.

AT WORK Have “walking meetings” with co-workers. Have an office on the 6th floor? Take the stairs.

TO SCHOOL Start by walking once a week or a few times a month, then add more days as the going gets easier. Get together with other families and split leader responsibilities between parents.

WALKING ERRANDS Most of our destinations are under two miles. That’s 40 minutes or less on foot (around a 20-minute mile). Get both your daily recommended exercise AND the errands done.

MORE THAN ONE = FUN Ask family members, neighbors or friends to join you. It’s fun to walk with someone and share both the experience and benefits.

Know your Number

smart trips pedometerClipped on a belt or waistband, pedometers track the number of stepstaken. By counting the steps your daily activities already provide, you can set goals, monitor progress and stay motivated.

A good goal to work towards for improving health is 10,000 steps per day, which is about five miles. Start out slowly, and watch your steps increase weekly.

Plan Your Walk

Before You Start

Minimize DistractionsMake yourself visible – Wear bright or contrasting clothes.

Minimize distractions – Put away your cell phone and ear buds.

Be alert – Alcohol and other drugs impair judgment, so be extra cautious if you’ve been partaking.

 

When Crossing 

Connect – Make eye contact with drivers.

Look – Don’t cross until cars have stopped.

Cross with caution – Make sure cars in all lanes have stopped.

Travel against traffic – That is the safest way to walk when sidewalks aren’t available. Beware of corners with little to no visibility.

Multi-Use Paths: Sharing the Space

Stay to the right so other users at faster speeds can pass safely on your left.

When traveling in a group walk only two abreast so other users have room to pass.

Listen up for bike bells or an “on your left” call. This can mean someone is passing or needs more room to do so. Pay attention so you can help traffic move smoothly.

Turn down the volume in your earbuds. Stay aware of other users and vehicles around you.

Obey all trail and road signs, and use care where city streets intersect with paths.

You have the right of way. As the slowest traveler on the path, runners and cyclists should yield to you.

Petiquette

Responsible pet ownership helps keep our city clean, green and safe.

Leash Your Dog – Multnomah County Code requires dogs to be leashed unless in designated off-leash areas. (MCC 13.305)

Scoop the Poop – You run the risk of up to $150 in fines for not picking up pet waste! (MCC 13.303)

 

Let Your Light Shine: Increase Your Visibility

  • Wear clothing or backpacks with reflective striping on them. Tip: Check a fabric store to see if they have safety fabrics you can stick or sew on yourself.
  • Attach flashing lights to zippers or pockets.
  • Carry a small flashlight with you for visibility and to shine on your path on darker streets.
  • Attach reflective tape, stickers or a flashing light to a pet’s leash or collar.
  • When buying an umbrella or other rain gear, consider a lighter color like white or bright yellow to be more visible to road users.

Get to Know Your Streets

Types of Legal Crosswalks

  • A crosswalk exists at any public street intersection, including “T” intersections, whether marked with paint or unmarked. (ORS 801.220)
  • Crosswalks also exist between intersections (mid-block), but only if they are marked with white lines.
  • Pedestrians are only allowed to cross mid-block at an unmarked crossing if they are more than 150 feet from a marked or unmarked crosswalk. (Portland City Code 16.70.210)

types of crosswalks

Along with stopping for pedestrians at all legal crosswalks, motorists and cyclists also must:

  • Stop and remain stopped for students as directed by a crossing guard. (ORS 811.124)
  • Stop and remain stopped for a blind pedestrian using a white cane or guide dog until the pedestrian is completely across the roadway. (ORS 811.035)

 

Pedestrian Responsibilities

Oregon laws provide protection and opportunity to cross the street safely. At the same time, pedestrians are responsible for acting in a safe manner and crossing legally.

  • Before crossing, pedestrians must show intent to cross by extending part of their body, wheelchair, cane, crutch or bicycle into the roadway. (ORS 811.028)
  • Pedestrians need to allow drivers enough time and distance to stop before crossing. (ORS 811.005)

Two-lane crossingsStay Alert at Two-Lane Crossings

Cross with caution on streets with two or more lanes of vehicles traveling in the same direction. If one vehicle stops for a pedestrian and another vehicle overtakes it on either side, the pedestrian may not be visible and can be hit.

In this situation, you may be blocked from the view of other approaching motorists by a stopped vehicle. Before entering the next lane of traffic, STOP and look to make sure all approaching vehicles have stopped for you before crossing the next lane.

Know Your Signals

Know Your SignalsLOOK! Have cars stopped? Then go.
Watch for turning and oncoming cars.

 

DON’T START CROSSING! Finish crossing if already in the crosswalk when the signal begins flashing. Countdown signals let pedestrians know how much time remains to cross.

 

STOP! DON’T LEAVE THE CURB. You are usually mere seconds from a new WALK signal.

Rapid Flash BeaconsRapid Flash Beacons

Rapid Flash Beacons are installed at specific crossings to alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians. When pedestrians activate the push button system, yellow LED lights flash to let drivers know the crosswalk is in use.

After pressing the button make sure vehicles have stopped before crossing the street.

Say Hello to Neighborhood Greenways!

Sharrow

Neighborhood Greenways are residential streets with low speeds and low volumes of auto traffic where bicycles and pedestrians are given priority. They offer many new and exciting facilities to make your walk safer and more enjoyable.

What to expect on a Neighborhood Greenway

  • Pavement markings, or “sharrows,” alert drivers to expect people bicycling and have improved crossings and curb ramps to make pedestrian mobility safer and more enjoyable.
  • Speed bumps to help slow auto traffic.
  • Traffic diverters to keep cars trying to avoid busy main streets from cutting through on neighborhood streets.

Click for more information and maps of current Neighborhood Greenway projects.


Accessible Portland

City of Portland Disability Program

Aims to connect, support and encourage collaborative civic engagement between people of the disability community, neighborhoods and city government.
portlandoregon.gov/oni/28994
503-823-9970 | TTY: 503-823-6868

Portland Commission on Disability

The Portland Commission on Disability’s mission is to guide the City in ensuring it is universally accessible for all.
portlandoregon.gov/oehr/62222 
503-823-4433

Park Accessibility

Search accessibility features of all Portland’s parks, including paved and unpaved paths, distance to amenities, restroom facilities and more.
portlandoregon.gov/parks/finder
503-823-PLAY (7529) | V/TDD: 503-823-2223

Ride Connection

A non-profit, community service organization providing accessible, responsive transportation for people in need. Includes transportation training, door-to-door service and shuttles.
rideconnection.org
503-226-0700 

TriMet Accessibility Features

TriMet, WES and Portland Streetcar stations, stops and vehicles have many accessibility features. Find information on travel training, reduced fares and other available services.
trimet.org/access
503-962-2455 | TTY: 7-1-1

Access Recreation

A Portland-based ad hoc committee working to develop guidelines about trails and outdoor recreational facilities in Oregon and SW Washington.
accessrecreation.org

Oregon Walks

A non-profit organization dedicated to promoting walking and making conditions for walking safe and inviting.
oregonwalks.org

Portland Pedestrian Advisory Committee (PAC)

A forum for residents to be involved in establishing goals and policies for pedestrians in the city. Includes walking and mobility advocates, neighborhood activists, environmental design professionals and residents-at-large.
http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/34964  |  503-823-4589

PSU Traffic and Transportation Course

Over 1,000 Portland residents have taken this 10-week class at Portland State University to learn how to negotiate traffic and transportation agencies and issues. Designed for the new or experienced neighborhood activist who wants to make a difference.
https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/35727

Safe Routes to School

Resources for schools, parents, caregivers and volunteers that support and encourage students to safely walk and roll to school.
Consultations, trainings and materials are available along with assistance to organize Safe Routes activities.

saferoutesportland.org


Power to the Pedestrian

Oregon Walks

A non-profit organization dedicated to promoting walking and making conditions for walking safe and inviting.
oregonwalks.org

Portland Commission on Disability

The Portland Commission on Disability’s mission is to guide the City in ensuring it is universally accessible for all.
portlandoregon.gov/oehr
503-823-4433

Portland Pedestrian Advisory Committee (PAC)

A forum for residents to be involved in establishing goals and policies for pedestrians in the city. Includes walking and mobility advocates, neighborhood activists, environmental design professionals and residents-at-large.
portlandoregon.gov/transportation/34964
503-823-4589

PSU Traffic and Transportation Course

Over 1,000 Portland residents have taken this 10-week class at Portland State University to learn how to negotiate traffic and transportation agencies and issues. Designed for the new or experienced neighborhood activist who wants to make a difference.
portlandoregon.gov/transportation/35727

Safe Routes to School

Resources for schools, parents, caregivers and volunteers that support and encourage students to safely walk and roll to school. Consultations, trainings and materials are available along with assistance to organize Safe Routes activities.
saferoutesportland.org

Active Right Of Way (AROW)

A community of advocates, activists and professionals dedicated to safe, equitable and responsible use of the public right of way in Portland.
activerightofway.org

America Walks

A national coalition of local advocacy groups dedicated to promoting walkable communities.
americawalks.org

Oregon Pedestrian Legal Guide

“A Legal Guide for Persons on Foot,” written by local lawyer Ray Thomas. An essential resource for knowing your rights and responsibilities as a pedestrian.
stc-law.com/bikepower.html

Steps to a Walkable Community

A web resource featuring tactics and case studies to help putinnovative, pro-walking information in the hands of residents, planners and engineers.
americawalks.org

Trailkeepers of Oregon

A non-profit organization with a mission to inspire action to protect and enhance the Oregon hiking experience through advocacy, stewardship, outreach and education.
trailkeepersoforegon.org


Extend Your Trip

Connect the dots to your destination with TriMet, Portland’s public transit system. Assistance and trip planning are available by phone, on the web and with smartphones. Choose which works best for you.

503-238-RIDE (7433)

Get arrival times and service alerts 24 hours a day by phone, or during
business hours for live trip-planning assistance and customer service.
(7:30 am - 5:30 pm, M-F)

Text 27299

Receive next arrival times for buses and trains on your phone when
you text your Stop ID to this number.

trimet.org

Complete transit service information is available online including trip planning, an interactive service map, transit tracker arrival information, schedules and more.

trimet.org/ride/planner_form.html

Combine transit and walking routes in one itinerary with TriMet’s Regional Trip Planner.

m.trimet.org

A mobile-friendly website, optimized for smartphones.

trimet.org/apps

There are more than 30 free applications to choose from to assist you with all your TriMet trip planning needs.

TriMet Accessibility Features

TriMet, WES and Portland Streetcar stations, stops and vehicles have
many accessibility features. Information on travel training, reduced
fares and other available services.

trimet.org/access | 503-962-2455 | TTY: 7-1-1


Exploring Portland

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Free online neighborhood walking maps, pedestrian information, links to walking programs and more.
portlandoregon.gov/transportation/59969

Metro’s Walk There! – 50 Treks In and Around Portland and Vancouver

Discover the region’s natural areas, scenic parks, historic neighborhoods and quaint main streets. Site offers free downloadable PDFs and iPhone apps of walking routes. Also available in Spanish.
oregonmetro.gov/walkthere

Forest Park Conservancy

Information and maps for exploring Forest Park’s 80-mile trail network.

forestparkconservancy.org/forest-park

Google Maps

Locate efficient and safe routes or directions for pedestrians.
Transit stops are marked and include next arrival times and stop IDs.
maps.google.com

The Intertwine

Discover nature nearby with The Intertwine map, which features every park, trail and natural area in the Portland-Vancouver region. Includes accessibility options.
theintertwine.org

Map Quest

Directions and maps are available with suggestions for pedestrian
routes. Also includes walkability ratings and map building features.
mapquest.com

Walk Score

See the most and least walkable areas in your neighborhood and city, map your commute or find nearby shops and restaurants.
walkscore.com


Organized Walks

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Ten Toe Express Walks offers free, guided, seasonal walks showcasing Portland’s great neighborhoods.
portlandoregon.gov/transportation/41533 
503-823-6051

Portland Parks and Recreation

A progressive senior hiking program. Choose between four hiking groups depending on your level and comfort. Fees apply.
portlandoregon.gov/parks/39833
503-823-4328

American Volkssport Association

A nationwide grassroots network of about 300 active Volkssporting clubs. Site includes a list of organized walks by local Rose City Roamers, Cedar Milers, Columbia River Volkssport Club and more.
ava.org

Columbia River Orienteering Club

A local club dedicated to providing map and compass orienteering events in Oregon. Hike, walk or run your way through mapped courses ranging from 2km to 15km.

croc.org

Columbia River Volkssport Club

An Oregon State walking club hosting Volkssport events throughout the year. Site includes links to self-guided and hosted walks.

walking4fun.org

Forest Park Discovery Hikes

Ongoing and seasonal Forest Park hikes designed to deliver city dwellers into a whole new realm of discovery. Covering a wide variety of topics and terrain for all ages. $10 fee per person per hike unless a FPC member.

forestparkconservancy.org | 503-223-5449

Legacy Health Systems: Senior Neighborhood Nature Walks

Walks held monthly on Tuesday mornings except in December. Includes a tour of the lovely Stenzel Healing Garden at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital. Free.
Contact Teresia Hazen at 503-413-6507 | thazen@lhs.org

Mazamas

A non-profit mountaineering education organization. Mazamas offers over 800 hikes and 450 climbs annually. A variety of classes and activities, including Street Rambles, are offered for every skill and fitness level. Open to both members and non-members.
mazamas.org | 503-227-2345

Oregon Hikers

A community of hikers and outdoor lovers sharing experiences and encouraging steps to the next adventure. A hiking forum and trail resource.
oregonhikers.org

Rose Center Walks

A walking program designed with seniors in mind. Generally runs from spring through fall. Call for information. Small fee.
Contact David Evans at 503-239-1221

Rose City Roamers

An award-winning Volkswalking club and non-profit organization organizing quality non-competitive walking activities.
rosecityroamers.org

SW Trails PDX

A community group supporting walking and biking in southwest Portland. Leads walks once a month throughout southwest neighborhoods.
swtrails.org

Trails Club of Oregon

An enthusiastic group dedicated to enjoying and preserving the great outdoors. Sponsors year round hiking and other recreational activities for varying abilities.
trailsclub.org

Wonders of Walking Walk Club

Offering a range of walking events, for walkers by walkers. Improve your fitness and have fun on these weekly group walks and explorations. Fee to join.
wondersofwalking.com | 503-282-1677


Walking Websites

drivelessconnect.com

Log your walking, biking and transit commute trips to calculate your savings, and earn rewards with Oregon’s easy-to-use ride-matching tool. They match you with people going your way for work or play.

everybodywalk.org

An online educational campaign aimed at getting Americans up and moving. Provides news and resources on walking, health information, walking maps, how to find walking groups and a place to share walking experiences.

mapmywalk.com

Map your own routes, view distance and elevation information, and share with friends. Find runs and walks posted by other users and create your own training plans.

walkoregon.org

A non-profit organization dedicated to the coordination of many local Oregon walking clubs, including Volkswalks and Volkssports events. Lists hosted and self-guided walk opportunities.

walkers.meetup.com

Meet other local people interested in walking for fitness. Enter your zip code and find groups in Portland or other cities.


City of Portland Resources

General Traffic Safety Concerns

Transportation Safety and Neighborhood Livability Line:

503-823-SAFE (7233) | safe@portlandoregon.gov

Sidewalk Repair or Obstructions

Report needed sidewalk repair: 503-823-1711 | sidewalkrepair@portlandoregon.gov

Vehicles illegally blocking sidewalk or crosswalk: 503-823-5195, Option 2. After hours, call the Police Non-emergency line: 503-823-3333.
Un-permitted structures or obstructions in public right of way: 503-823-7002, Option 4

A-Board/Sandwich signs, other private signage or overgrown vegetation blocking sidewalk: 503-823-CODE (2633)

ADA Requests

ADA Curb Ramp Requests: 503-823-4589

Street Maintenance

Clogged drains, traffic signal outage or other street maintenance issues: 503-823-1700
Report a street lighting outage: 503-823-LAMP (5267)

Yard Sign Lender Program

Borrow portable yard signs saying “Slow Down! Set the Pace” and other transportation safety messages: 503-823-7100


Portland Walking Guide - PDF Version

Download (PDF Document, 802kb)