Tips and Graphs
(These safety tips are from the City of Portland Office of Transportation)
Ride so drivers can see you and predict your movements.
Ride defensively and expect the unexpected.
Get both you and your bike in good condition.
Obey All Signs and Traffic Lights
Bicycles must be driven like other motor vehicles if they are to be taken seriously by motorists.
Go Slow on Sidewalks
Pedestrians have the right of way on walkways. By law, you must give them an audible warning when you pass. Cross driveways and intersections at a walker's pace and look carefully for traffic (especially traffic turning right.)
Never Ride Against Traffic
Motorists are not looking for bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road. Ride with traffic to avoid potential accidents.
Watch for Cars Pulling Out
Make eye contact with drivers. Assume they do not see you until you are sure they do.
Use Hand Signals
Hand signals tell motorists what you intend to do. For turn signals, point in the direction of your turn. Signal as a matter of courtesy and safety as required by law.
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Avoid Road Hazards
Watch out for sewer grates, slippery manhole covers, oily pavement, gravel, and ice. Cross railroad tracks at right angles. For better control as you move across bumps and other hazards, stand up on your pedals.
Ride in a Straight Line
Whenever possible, ride in a straight line, to the right of traffic but a car door width away from parked cars.
Ride a Well-Equipped Bike
Be sure your bike is adjusted to fit you properly. Outfit it with a water bottle, tool kit, fenders (for rainy rides), and bike bags. Always use a strong headlight and tail light at night and when visibility is poor.
Choose the Best Way to Turn Left
There are two ways to make a left turn: 1) As an auto: look back, signal, move into the left lane, and turn left. 2) As a pedestrian: ride straight to the far-side crosswalk, then walk your bike across.
Wear a hard-shell helmet whenever you ride. Wear light-colored clothes at night. Bright clothes aid visibility. Dressing in layers allows you to adjust to temperature changes.
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Do Not Pass on the Right
Motorists do not expect a bicyclist to pass on the right, and they may not see you. Pass on the left side of vehicles.
Lock Your Bike
Buy the best locking system you can afford: none is as expensive as a new bike. A U-shaped high security lock is best. Lock the frame and rear wheel to a fixed object. If you have a quick release, lock the front wheel also.
Important Phone Numbers and Contact Info.
ODOT Truck Safety Hotline
More info on the web
- Press 1 for bike lane/path maintenance
- Press 2 for bike maps & cycling info
- Press 3 for bike rack installation requests
Bad experience with a bus?
Get the vehicle ID #, route number, location, direction of travel, and time. Then, make a complaint to TriMet Customer Service through their website or send them and email. They take these complaints very seriously and the driver will be notified and dealt with accordingly.
Street Maintenance & Concerns
- Pavement repair/potholes - (503) 823-BUMP
- Neighborhood traffic safety - (503) 823-SAFE
- Parking Enforcement - (503) 823-5195
- 24-hr maintenance emergencies - (503) 823-1700
Portland Police - Traffic Division
- (503) 823-2103 - press "1" to report a hit-and-run.
Graphs and Stats
(The following graphs have been made available by the City of Portland Office of Transportation).
Average Daily Bicycle Traffic: 4 Main Willamette River Bicycle Bridges
Combined Traffic over Four Main Portland Bicycle Bridges Juxtaposed with Bicycle Crashes
Portland Bicycle Use, Crashes, & Bikeways
Combined Traffic over Four Main Portland Bicycle Bridges Juxtaposed with Bikeway Miles
Effects of Speed on Stopping Distance