View Full Version : Downtown sidewalks-- illegal to bike on? What is the "Core"?

07-27-2007, 02:24 PM
Hello everyone,

Recently I've noticed quite a few references about it being unlawful to ride on sidewalks in the "core" area of downtown Portland. Does anyone know of a document or guidelines outlining the "boundaries" of this area? "Core" is a rather vague term... does it include areas on both sides of Burnside? What about up by PSU? Only near the MAX? Depending on where you work or travel most frequently, the "core" could feel different to each person.

Also, in the last few years I've been working downtown, I frequently see bike cops and Clean-and-Safe patrols riding their bikes on the sidewalks (usually against traffic on one-way streets). I've seen it particularly along 4th Avenue up near PSU and around the Keller Fountain park. Are they breaking the law? Is this within that "core" district?

Where can I get more information about this? Aside from non-specific references in the biking guides and DMV books, I've not been able to locate anything specific.


Greg Raisman
07-27-2007, 02:30 PM
it's in the City Code, Title 16, section 16.70.320. Check out point E.

16.70.320 Operating Rules

No person may:

A. leave a bicycle so that it obstructs vehicle or pedestrian traffic on a roadway, sidewalk, driveway, handicap access ramp, building entrance, or so that it prevents operation of a parking meter or newspaper rack;

B. leave a bicycle secured to a fire hydrant or to a police or fire call box;

C. leave a bicycle on private property without consent of the owner or legal tenant. Consent is implied on private commercial property;

D. leave a bicycle on a street or other public property for more than 72 hours; or

E. ride a bicycle on a sidewalk, unless avoiding a traffic hazard in the immediate area, within the area bounded by and including SW Jefferson, Front Avenue, NW Hoyt and 13th Avenue, except:

1. on sidewalks designated as bike lanes or paths;

2. on the ramps or approaches to any Willamette River Bridge; or

3. in the area from the west property line of SW Ninth Avenue, to the east property line of SW Park Avenue; from the property line of SW Jefferson to the south property line of SW Salmon Street; commonly known as the South Park Blocks.

4. for police or special officers operating a bicycle in the course and scope of their duties; or

5. for employees of the Association for Portland Progress and companies providing security services operating a bicycle in the course and scope of their duties. These employees must have in possession an identification card issued by the Chief of Police certifying the rider has completed a training course in the use of a bicycle for security patrol.

07-27-2007, 02:36 PM
Excellent! Thank you!

07-27-2007, 02:56 PM
For those who aren't familiar with the layout of downtown:


I dunno which sidewalks are "designated" as bike lanes per (1), though. :confused: