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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 1331, Portland, OR 97204

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Pedestrian Traffic Signals

Every year, the number of autos on Portland's streets increases. It wasn't that long ago that pedestrians could take their cues from the same traffic signals as motorists. But, with the increase in traffic volume, crossing the street is often complicated and confusing. Pedestrian signals, when used correctly, can improve overall safety. By understanding how pedestrian signals work, walkers and drivers can make our roads safer for everyone. 

Learn how to use the pedestrian signal to help you walk smart and cross safely.


Steady "Walk"  Push Buttons for Walk Signals 
Flashing "Don't Walk"  Audible Pedestrian Signals 
Steady "Don't Walk"  Pedestrian Safety Tips 


Submit Online Request:  Facility Improvement Request Form 


Steady "Walk"

A steady walking pedestrian symbol or illuminated "Walk" means you may start crossing. You have plenty of time to reach the other side before the signal changes, but watch for turning cars.

Flashing "Don't Walk"

A flashing upraised hand or flashing illuminated "Don't Walk" means don't start to cross the street. If you have already started and are in the crosswalk, you may finish crossing. The flashing signal is a warning to pedestrians who have not yet entered the intersection that it's too late to safely cross the street before the traffic signal changes. Signals are timed to allow plenty of time for pedestrians who have already started crossing to safely finish while the sign is flashing.

Steady "Don't Walk" 

A steady upraised hand or steady illuminated "Don't Walk" means don"t cross, wait on the curb.



Push Buttons for Walk Signals

If you see a push button, you need to use it for the pedestrian walk signal to appear. You only need to push the button once for it to be activated. The arrow on the sign shows which crosswalk the button is for.


Audible Pedestrian Signals

For difficult intersections, the City may have installed an audible pedestrian signal that sounds when the walk light is lit. Hold the push button down for two seconds to activate the audible signal. For more information on audible signals, click here.


Pedestrian Safety Tips 

  • Watch out for turning motorists.

  • Use the crosswalk and keep to the right.
  • Wear bright clothes when walking or jogging in poor light.
  • Look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.
  • Keep on looking while crossing (Drivers don't always obey signals.)
  • Establish eye contact with drivers.
  • Walk against traffic on roads with no sidewalks.