Traveling Safely on the Portland Transit Mall

Pedestrians, buses, trains, cars and bikes all use the Portland Transit Mall. It’s important for everyone to be aware and obey all signs and signals.


  • Always use the crosswalks and obey signals. Never cross in front of a bus or train, unless it’s stopped at a red light.
  • Don’t run across the street to catch a bus or train. It’s not worth risking your safety: Use the crosswalk and wait for the next one. Note: Operators may not let you on board once they have closed the doors. While this may be frustrating, it helps the bus stay on schedule.

Motorists and cyclists

Signals are timed for traffic moving at about 12 miles per hour, so bicycles and other vehicles travel at the same comfortable speed.

  • Obey all traffic signals and signs. Violations can result in citations and fines up to $242.
  • Travel only in the left-hand traffic lane. Stay out of the transit lanes on the right, which are reserved for buses and trains. (Never cross the bumpy white lane divider.) Note: The narrower streets north of Burnside require some bus operation in the traffic lane.
  • Don’t turn right from 5th or 6th avenue, except where allowed at 5th & Jackson, 6th & Harrison and 6th & Irving. Cyclists: See tips below for how to make a safe right turn using the crosswalk.
  • Don’t stop in the traffic lane except as required by traffic signals.


  • Never ride on or near the light rail tracks. Your tires can become caught in the tracks and cause you to crash. Only cross the tracks at a 90-degree angle.
  • Turning right from 5th or 6th avenue. It is unlawful to make right turns from 5th or 6th avenue, but you can use the following maneuver to go right at an intersection:
    1. 1. Stay on the curb side of the left lane as you approach the intersection. Stop at the intersection and move over to the curb.
    2. 2. When the "Walk" signal is activated, use the crosswalk to cross. Ride at walking speed in the crosswalk and yield to pedestrians. Then, merge carefully with traffic.
Graphic showing how to make a safe right turn on your bike on the Portland Mall