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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 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Portland Walking Guide

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Benefits of Walking
Health, Community and Environment

Pedestrian Tips
Have Fun, Be Safe

Get to Know Your Streets
Crosswalks, Signals and Infrastructure

Accessible Portland
Resources and Connections

Power to the Pedestrian
Advocacy Groups and Resources

Extend your Trip
Go Further with TriMet

Exploring Portland
Maps and Guides

Organized Walks and Hikes
Let Someone Else Plan for You

Walking Websites
Get Online to Get Outdoors

City of Portland Maintenance and Safety Numbers


THE BENEFITS OF WALKING

For Your Health

Walking, a FREE form of exercise, needs no extra equipment, can be done anywhere, and 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. Going for a walk?

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.

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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 in one trip!

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

Clipped on a belt or waistband, pedometers track the number of steps taken. By counting your daily steps, you can set goals, monitor progress and stay motivated.

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

I’m Walking Here! Tips for your Stroll

Before You Start

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Make yourself visible – Wear bright or light-colored 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.

Walk only two abreast when traveling in a group 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 others 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

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    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 illuminate 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.

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.

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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)

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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 any part of their body, wheelchair, cane or crutch into the roadway. (ORS 811.028)
    Pedestrians need to allow drivers enough time and distance to stop before crossing. (ORS 811.005)

Stay Alert at Two-Lane Crossings

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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.

DID YOU KNOW?

In Portland over 32% of trips to school are on foot, compared to 11% nationally.

- Portland Safe Routes to School, 2013 data

Know Your Signals

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Look! Have cars stopped? Then go. Watch for turning and oncoming cars.

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Don’t Start Crossing! Finish crossing if already in the crosswalk when the signal begins flashing. Countdown signals let pedestrians know how many seconds remain to cross.

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Stop! Don’t leave the curb. A new WALK signal will appear very shortly.

Rapid Flash Beacons

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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!

Neighborhood Greenways are residential streets with low speeds and low volumes of auto traffic where people walking and biking are given priority. The many new and exciting Neighborhood Greenways are designed to make your walk safer and more enjoyable.

What to Expect on a Neighborhood Greenway

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    Pavement markings, or “sharrows,” alert drivers to expect people biking.
    Improved crossings and curb ramps 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.

Find more information and maps of current Neighborhood Greenway projects at portlandoregon.gov/transportation/50518 .

Regular brisk walking can help you:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles.
  • Improve your mood.
  • Improve your balance and coordination.

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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  | 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 a more universally accessible city for all.

portlandoregon.gov/oehr/62222 | 503-823-4432

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. Find trail assessments to determine which trails are right for you.

accessrecreation.org

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POWER TO THE PEDESTRIAN

Advocacy Groups and Resources

Oregon Walks

A non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to promoting walking and making conditions for walking safe, convenient, and attractive for everyone.

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.

portlandoregon.gov/transportation  | 503-823-5185

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. Class is offered Fall term only.

portlandtrafficandtransportation.com

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

Portland Commission on Disability

portlandoregon.gov/oehr/62222

City of Portland Disability Program

portlandoregon.gov/oni/28994

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 Law Guide

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Written by attorney Rob Kline, this legal resource highlights pedestrian traffic laws, rights and obligations plus much more.

klinelawpc.com/practice-areas/pedestrian-accidents/#guide

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

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EXTEND YOUR TRIP

Go Further with TriMet

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Connect the dots to your destination on 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:

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

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

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

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

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A mobile-friendly website, optimized for smartphones.

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

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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

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EXPLORING PORTLAND

Maps and Guides

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Free online neighborhood walking maps, pedestrian information, links to walking programs and more.

portlandoregon.gov/transportation/at

Metro’s Walk There! – 50 Treks Around the Region

Discover the region’s natural areas, scenic parks, historic neighborhoods and quaint main streets. Find free downloadable PDFs of walking routes. 

oregonmetro.gov/tools-living/getting-around/walk-there

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/explore

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

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ORGANIZED WALKS

Let Someone Else Plan for You

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

AARP Oregon NeighborWalks

NeighborWalks is a collaborative community walking program whose vision is to get more people walking every day for health, transpor­tation, environment, and community. Walks take place during the spring, summer and fall in neighborhoods around Portland led by AARP volunteers. These intergenerational walks are open to all ages and abilities.

aarp.org/or

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

Led by knowledgeable staff and local experts, Forest Park Discovery Hikes are a great way to learn more about Forest Park. Covering a wide variety of topics and terrain for all ages. 

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

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WALKING WEBSITES

Get Online to Get Outdoors

drivelessconnect.com

Log your walking 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.

walkjogrun.net

A free and easy way to create walking routes or choose from others. Calculate distance and pace, track calories and log your walks with a free training diary.

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.

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CITY OF PORTLAND MAINTENANCE AND SAFETY NUMBERS

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 1. 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

www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/index.cfm?&a=292760

ADA Curb Ramp Requests: 503-823-5185

Street Maintenance

Clogged drains, traffic signal outage or other street maintenance issues: 503-823-1700

Report a street lighting outage: 503-865-LAMP (5267)

Yard Sign Lender Program

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

DID YOU KNOW?

Portland has 165 public staircases with about 9,000 public steps.

- Portland’s Little Red Book of Stairs by Stefan Young

For More information on walking, visit our Active Transportation and Safety website:

portlandoregon.gov/transportation/34778  

For a PDF version of this guide, click here:  portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/625343