Wednesday, June 17, 2015


(retrospective, from 2012)

Portland has a most picturesque city centre, with wide, tree lined footpaths and appealing, playful public art.  

Bikes are welcome and catered for, from the moment you arrive at the airport, with a bike (re)assembly area.

And at the hotel, you are encouraged to “live like a local” with a complimentary bike.  They were fine with me wheeling my bike through the lobby to keep it in the room.

Integration with public transport

The airport bike assembly area is just the beginning. Bikes are also welcome and integrated into public transport.

On buses: 
This guy got off at the bus stop and started walking away before remembering and running back to retrieve his bike

At bus stops (of sorts)

And through bus interchanges
On trams

Beside trams and at tram stops

And with cable cars and trams.  One of Portland’s major employers is a hospital atop a hill just south of the city centre.  It was a major barrier to riding, but now has a bike parking (valet?) compound at the tram terminus where the cable car takes hospital staff and visitors up.

On road infrastructure

There is plenty of bike infrastructure around – bike lanes (outside, inside and without parking lane) and bike boxes and hook turn boxes in the city centre. 

 In the suburbs:
Centre road bike lanes for left (our right) turns connecting a boulevard.

And a uni-directional separated cycleway in the north-western suburbs
Bike boulevards use sharrows and there are through routes for bikes only.  

 Crossing at these points was even through heavy traffic – many drivers were happy to stop for bikes.
Bike were well catered for at signals, including a couple of diagonal crossings to conform to desire lines.
There was plenty of bike infrastructure, but also plenty of car infrastructure.  The motorway above looks like it was curtailed in part at least (see where half the width stops?).  Below, there is a fantastic bikeway along the river, including a floating section.

This floating section moves up and down, kept in place by the vertical poles.


Yield when turning signs were common, in slightly varying forms, reminding turning drivers to give way to riders in the bike lanes.
Turning drivers being reminded to yield to bikes.

Drivers changing lanes are reminded to yield to users of the bike lane.

 "Slow" advice, on a fairly narrow separated path, and in front of a city hotel - meant to protect out-of-town hotel guests trying to flag a cab, I think.

Slow - Hotel Zone

Directional signage

The pavement symbols for wayfinding were very effective and efficient, especially for some of the bicycle boulevard routes following slightly zig-zag back streets.
Route pointer, close up

Route pointer - showing context

Directional Sharrow
Standard style directional signage in use as well

And a stylish way of indicating bike route streets
Street sign addition, to indicate this bicycle boulevard street

Bike Parking

Parking corrals were not uncommon, including this artistic one (below) at a pub on the SE Clinton St bicycle boulevard.
Bicycle parking corrals at numerous city centre locations

Some are more special than others

Next post: Portland's Sunday Parkways and bicycle culture


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