News Blog: Get outdoors and kick-off summer by walking and biking

Blog Post
PBOT has plenty of resources to help you get moving and have fun outdoors
People riding on a residential street

With warmer weather and longer days, May is the kick-off to the summer season of biking and walking in Portland. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has developed exciting programs that encourage Portlanders to bike, walk, and roll for everyday trips or just for fun.  

5th Annual Bike to Books design contest 

In honor of National Bike Month, the Bike to Books design contest is returning for a fifth year. PBOT and Multnomah County Library invite students living in Multnomah County to submit their own creative designs for Portland’s bike lanes. The grand prize winners will have their art installed on Portland streets.  

Pick up a design contest form at any Multnomah County Library branch or by downloading a form on the PBOT Bike to Books website. Design contest forms are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Vietnamese on the Bike to Books websiteFull contest rules are available online.  

bike to books winning design: rainbow trout on a blue bike

New SmartTrips Resources for Riding 

PBOT has bicycling resources for people of all ages, abilities, and skill levels. PBOT’s Biking in Portland page is a great starting point, with a compilation of useful resources, from suggested rides around the city to bike repair and maintenance.  

Where to ride 

Portland has nearly 400 miles of bikeways, of which over 100 miles are along low-stress Neighborhood Greenways. There’s no shortage of places to ride.  

SmartTrips has developed free bike and walk maps for the city. Visit Bike and Walk Maps for more details. Or you can get started by consulting the list of suggested rides around Portland, which are all loops around low-traffic streets and Neighborhood Greenways. From the 6 mile “Four Parks of East Portland” ride to the “Classic Waterfront Loop Ride”, there’s a ride in every part of the city.  

BIKETOWN also maintains a list of Central City bike rides, which connect you to local attractions such as the Saturday Market or the Portland Art Museum. Take a ride across the Tilikum Crossing or through Southeast Portland’s Neighborhood Greenways.  

You can find Neighborhood Greenways across the city. PBOT’s 2020 Neighborhood Greenways Report illustrates the ways that these streets provide Portlanders with safe, quiet streets on which to walk, bike, and roll.  

Resources for new riders 

If you’re a newer rider, PBOT has plenty of resources to help you get comfortable biking around the city. Start with the checklist for getting started biking, which has useful information such as places to rent a bike, choose the right gear, and understand common bike symbols and signs. The Portland Biking Guide, compiled by PBOT, includes tips and techniques to keep your ride safe and fun.  

There’s also a Portland Family Biking Guide, so that even the youngest Portlanders can get familiar with bikes. This includes carrying options like cargo box bikes and rear-mounted seats, as well as tips for helping children learn how to bike independently.  

As a part of Sunday Parkways, Community Center Cycling and PBOT’s Timo Forsberg created a series of Bike Break videos that provide helpful tips: 

People biking across a bridge

Free Skill-Building Content and Events 

Check out PBOT’s Portland By Cycle page for resources including online bicycle maintenance classes. Sign up for Portland By Cycle’s periodic newsletter to learn about upcoming classes, rides, and events. Find Portland By Cycle on Facebook here for up-to-date events and announcements. 

BIKETOWN’s Expanded Offerings 

Over the past year, BIKETOWN, Portland’s bikeshare system, has been busy expanding its service area to include 180 stations. In 2020, BIKETOWN added 30 new stations, predominantly in North and East Portland, with plans to add more. View the full system map and begin planning your ride today! 

BIKETOWN is also the nation’s first bikeshare system to be entirely electric. The new fleet of 1500 BIKETOWN bikes are 100% e-bike. E-bikes have electric pedal assist, which gives you a push to climb hills easier.  

Walking in Portland 

Portland isn’t just for cyclists; there are plenty of resources for pedestrians as well. SmartTrips’ Walking in Portland page includes useful information about how to navigate Portland streets. 

The comprehensive Portland Walking Guide details ways to stay safe by being visible and aware of what the different pedestrian signals mean.  

PBOT also has a list of 12 suggested walks located across Portland. There’s the classic, 2.6 mile “Downtown Waterfront Loop Walk”, the 2.7 mile “Historic Kerns Walk”, and the 4 mile “Jade District Mount Tabor Walk” to name just a few. 

Image of children playing on a purple street, with an orange car. Text reads "Kids are everywhere. Drive like it."

Keep Streets Safe with Safe Routes to School’s “Kids are Everywhere. Drive Like It” campaign 

As summer approaches and more children are playing outside, drivers have an important role in keeping streets safe. PBOT, Metro, and Safe Routes to School have teamed up to create the “Kids are Everywhere. Drive Like It” campaign. Informed by safety data and research, “Kids are Everywhere. Drive Like It” reminds drivers to be aware, driving safely and slowly. The campaign is online and is available in 5 languages in addition to English: Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese.  

Download graphics and materials for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, virtual meeting backgrounds, social media captions and more on the Metro website. PBOT invites you to download and share any of the materials with friends, colleagues and networks. You can also follow #DriveLikeIt on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and reshare posts from PBOT’s Safe Routes to School Facebook page.