PBOT is dedicated to making it safer, easier, and more desirable to bike around the city and particularly along neighborhood greenways—low-traffic and low-speed streets where we give priority to people bicycling and pedestrians. Speed bumps are one tool to maintain low speeds, but they can also be inconvenient to people biking, potentially discouraging more bicycle trips. “Bike-friendly bumps” are one potential solution. On two-way streets, these bumps have two wide channels—one for each direction—that allow people biking to ride through the speed bump rather than over it.
Speed bump varieties
For years, Portland has been installing (and modifying) speed bump designs for emergency vehicles. These bumps typically have three channels, including one along the center line of the road. Older varieties of emergency vehicle bumps have narrow channels, but newer bumps have 20-inch channels. “Bike-friendly bumps” have just two channels closer to the edge of the road and wide, tapered channels for people biking.
As a newer design, there is no one standard design for bike bumps and there has been some variety in their design and installation to date. In some cases, the arrows approaching these bike-friendly bumps are aligned with the channel, as seen in the comparison above.
Find bike-friendly bumps
Unsure what type of speed bump is on your regular bike route? Or interested in testing a bump? Locate both types of speed bumps on the map below. Corridors with bike-friendly bumps are highlighted in green while corridors with emergency vehicle bumps are shown in dark grey. (Please note this is not an exhaustive list of speed bump corridors.)
Survey & observations
PBOT staff expect bike-friendly bumps to improve while still slowing vehicles. To see how Portlanders feel about and use the bike bumps, we conducted a survey of people who have encountered bike-friendly bumps. In-person observations also supplemented the survey results to better understand how and whether people are using the channels. Other factors like the presence of on-coming or overtaking vehicles, tandem riding, and different types of bikes were also be assessed through observations.
For more information, reach out to PBOT Bicycle Coordinator Roger Geller.