Is It Legal To Ride A Bicycle On A Downtown Portland Oregon Sidewalk?

Riding a bike in Downtown Portland can be intimidating at times.  There are numerous cars, there are one way streets, bike lanes abruptly begin and end, drivers are constantly turning right in front of you (think of the "right hook"), and you have to be constantly aware of getting "doored" by a driver opening their door in front of you.  Some people decide to avoid these dangers by riding their bicycle on the Downtown sidewalks. However, these people are breaking the law by riding their bicycles on the sidewalk.   Yes, that is correct it is illegal to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk in downtown Portland Oregon.  

This is due to the fact that the sidewalks are heavily congested in Downtown.  Also, cyclist that leave the sidewalk to cross streets often will dart in front of traffic.  A bicycle colliding with a pediestrian or vehicle can result in serious injuries.   As a result, Portland has enacted Portland City Code 16.70.320.  

It Is Illegal to Operate a Bicycle 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 bounded by the west property line of SW Ninth Avenue, the east property line of SW Park Avenue, the north property line of SW Jefferson and the south property line of SW Salmon Street.

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.
— 16.70.320

What does this mean?  Well a picture is worth a thousand words.  See the map below to see exactly where it is illegal to ride a bicycle on the Sidewalk. 

 DO NOT RIDE YOUR BICYCLE ON THE SIDEWALK IN THE RED AREA!

DO NOT RIDE YOUR BICYCLE ON THE SIDEWALK IN THE RED AREA!

If you have any questions about where to ride your bicycle in Downtown Portland, please call 503.224.1658.   If you or someone you know is a cyclist who has been hit by a car, please call me at Ross Law LLC.   Please remember the law is constantly changing.  It is best to check the Portland City Code and DO NOT rely on this map or web-site as it may be OUTDATED.  Also this website, blog, and its contents are not to be considered legal advice but may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.   Please ride safely!