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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

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.


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.