Bicycle Attorney Michael A. Colbach Attorney at Law, PC  is a Portland, Oregon bicycle accident attorney and trial lawyer with proven results.
Portland bicycle lane and green bike box indicating a dangerous intersection.

City of Portland

Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has good resources for bicycling. This new interactive Portland by cycle map is one of their best. One of the neat features on this map is the red circles which denote difficult intersections. Look for the purple wrenches too, and you have a great resource for finding nearby Bike Shops on the fly. The map Legend will fill you in on all the details, importantly, you can know before you go on what type of bike infrastructure you are going to be riding in, and route your bicycle ride trip plan in order to find the ride that best suits you.

Another great resource from Portland are these mapped Portland Bike Rides. "These route maps showcase some of the best places to ride around Portland. The rides are all loops, using low-traffic streets, neighborhood greenways, off-street paths and bike lanes."

It's great that Portland Bureau of Transportation has also highlighted walks to do around Portland.

Another great interactive map from PBOT shows where traffic deaths and injuries to people biking, walking, but includes only serious injuries to people in vehicles for 2009 - 18. Injury data for 2019-2021 is not yet available. Look at the map legend to see how the map highlights high crash corridors, high crash intersections.

Check out PBOT for their Portland By Cycle list for things like bicycle rides, and fix it classes with hands on learning for bicycle maintenance.

Here is the PBOT Portland's Bicycle Guide.

For Portland, BikeTown bike share program is also something that makes going by bicycle always easy and for a great price.

Also from Portland Bureau of Transportation, nine fun bicycle rides in Portland:.

 Ride 1: Southeast Neighborhoods 13 miles, flat (pdf, 921k)
 Ride 2: North Portland Trails  19 miles, flat (pdf, 955k)
Ride 3: Big Eastside Loop   51 miles, flat (pdf, 8,046k)  
Ride 4: Short, Steep, & Sweet   15 miles, very hilly (pdf, 943k)
Ride 5: Sauvie &/or Skyline    32 to 45 miles, either very hilly or flat (pdf, 3,641k)
Ride 6: Northeast Ramble   15 miles, flat (pdf, 1,693k)
Ride 7: Powell Butte & Springwater  26 miles, mostly flat (pdf, 2,402k)
Ride 8: Waterfront Loop  11 miles, flat (pdf, 1,245k) 
Ride 9: Willamette River Loop 30 miles, (pdf, 10,763k)

The Oregon Pedestrian and Bicycle Program

This is a program through Oregon Department of Transportation. Here you have access to more resources, like Oregon Laws and Regulations, trip planning, you can order publications, or attend an Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (OBPAC) meeting. OBPAC is a public committee that advises ODOT on statewide issues related to people walking and biking. Here is a link to their Oregon Pedestrian, Bicyclist and Driver Selected Statutes Booklet, which is still 43 pages so not really small enough to stuff in a pocket.

Portland has a lot to be proud of with our bicycle history, like Portland's Green Bike Boxes.

Green bike boxes attempt to improve bicycle safety at dangerous intersections, especially where cars are turning right through a bike lane while the bikes are going straight. Bicyclists might know this type of danger as being "right- hooked."

Green bike boxes attempt to improve bicycle safety at dangerous intersections, especially where cars are turning right through a bike lane and the bikes are going straight. Cyclists might know this type of danger has "right- hooked."

In 2007 Portland had 6 car bicycle collisions resulting in fatalities. After two cyclists died in October 2007 both as a result of getting right-hooked (when a car crosses the bike lane to turn right and strikes a cyclist), the city of Portland responded with the innovative "Green Bike Boxes." The box road marking instructs bikes to stop in front of cars which increases their visibility. The painted green bike lane in the intersection where cars turn right reminds bikes and drivers to look for each other.

According to Adams, a comprehensive evaluation of the bike boxes will be conducted by Portland State University's Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation. The outcome will provide recommendations for their future use, design and evaluation. "We feel that by experimenting with the Bicycle Boxes and Colored Bicycle Lanes," said Adams, "we have the potential to further the development of new standards for treatments that ensure bicyclists' safety, in Portland, and potentially other cities."

City of Portland Transportation Office Green Bike Box Press Release

Before Green Bike Boxes, and Bike Lanes, Portland Had Blue Bike Lanes.

Blue Bike Lanes Denoted A Conflict Area In An Experiment To Improve Bicycle Safety

Before the green bike boxes, trouble spots were marked with blue paint in the bike lane. As of spring 2009, the city still maintains the below page and information on the blue bike lane markings. However, on inspection, some previously blue bike lanes are now green while some bike routes are still marked with the Blue Bike Lane (for instance heading West toward the Hawthorne Bridge) to indicate an area that cars and bikes need to be extra alert to each other. Blue Bike Lanes experimental attempt for roadway markings to warn cars and bicyclists of dangerous bike lane and car crossings.

Motorists may be unaware that it is illegal to drive and park in bicycle lanes. Even more critical, they are unaware of the need to yield to cyclists when crossing a bicycle lane to turn right or get into a right-turn only lane. The result of this is a relatively high level of conflicts in these areas--both in terms of crashes and "near misses."

1999 NACTO PDF On Portland's Blue Bike Lanes.

Portland transitioned to Green instead of Blue in 2009.

And, they set out to study if there was any safety improvement in these blue bike lanes.

  1. Did motorists appear to yield more frequently to cyclists after the pavement was colored blue?
  2. Did motorists appear to look for cyclists before crossing the bike lane more frequently than before?
  3. Did motorists modify their behavior in any significant ways?
  4. Did cyclists tend to look more frequently for motorists before proceeding through the painted area?
  5. Did cyclists modify their behavior in any significant ways? 6 Did the number of conflicts, near conflicts, and reported crashes change?

You can see the list of blue bike lanes that were installed and where they were installed for this study in 1999. The signs that went with these locations are also interesting, and these are the 4 conflict types that the researchers were isolating in this study.

Group 1, Right-turn exit ramps. Motorists yield to cyclists as they turn right to exit roadway.

Sign which indicates car turning right through a bicycle lane and instructing the bicycle priority right of way for the car to yield to the bicycle in the bike lane.

Group 1, Right-turn exit ramps. This was a unique sign used for Broadway and Williams.

Sign which indicates car turning right through a bicycle lane and instructing the bicycle priority right of way for the car to yield to the bicycle this was a unique sign for Broadway and Williams.

This is also explained in the site descriptions. For Broadway / Williams, this was a bad crossing for bicycle riders in the designated bike lane because they had to travel through traffic turning onto the Interstate 5 onramp, a site with a history of too many bicycle vs. car conflicts.

A different kind of diagram showing the car lanes and the ram where cars were right turning through the bike lane which was going in straight, this diagram is specifically of Williams and Broadway.

Also, notorious crossings where bicyclists have to navigate similarly on a bike path which goes straight through the right turn of cars turning through the bike lane in Portland:

  1. Hawthorne Bridge / McLoughlin off-ramp
  2. Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway / Bertha
  3. SW Multnomah Blvd, Eastbound at Garden Home Road

Group 2, Right-turn lanes. Motorist entering right-turn lane yields to cyclist.

Sign showing the car turning right and entering the right turn lane to yield to the bicycles in the bike lane.

Four intersections within Portland with high numbers of bicycle vs. car crashes were included in this group:

  1. SE Madison / Grand
  2. SE 7th / Morrison
  3. East end of Broadway Bridge / Larrabee
  4. SW Terwilliger / I-5 entrance

A different diagram depicting the car lanes and bicycle path of the roadway where the right turn sign is placed to resemble the roads and bike lane at SE 7th / Morrison in Portland, Oregon.

Group 3, Entrance ramps. Motorist yield to cyclists as they turn right to enter roadway.

This was a road sign for Entrance ramps instructing motorists to yield to cyclists as they turn their car right to enter roadway such as an offramp from an interstate highway.

There were 2 places with this type of bicycle lane crossing a high use car offramp from Interstate 5:

  1. NE Weidler, Eastbound at Victoria (I-5 northbound off-ramp)
  2. East end of the Broadway Bridge, westbound at Interstate

The rest is history. They concluded more study needed to be done on the signs influence because they clearly assigned priority right-of-way which may have been more important than the color of the paint on the roadway. But, the majority of drivers also gave the painted color on the road a positive review for getting their attention. Results were positive, and eventually they were expanded to the bike boxes and the color changed, as well as the sites getting this treatment being exanded to more roads throughout Portland Metro.