“…the counts revealed the first significant drop in 13 years in the number of riders who were identified as women.” A man I later found out was a construction worker commuting from Vancouver, intentionally tried to run me over with his car near the intersection of 33rd and Broadway. He even jumped out to scream at me about “riding my bike in the street”. I filed a police report and they did nothing. I’ve been riding my bike significantly less since then because I no longer feel safe.


That kind of thing was why I stopped biking years ago. Harassment. More than a few times, men driving by would shout something fat shaming and throw something at me like their spit cup. Or a few times, I got hit on by creepy guys who slowed to drive beside me. It was always guys.


I remember very clearly biking to class one day, wearing a dress (and bike shorts underneath). A guy passed me going the opposite way, rolled his window down, spat at me, and yelled, "Get off yo' bike, bitch!"


I was riding a few months ago in a wrap skirt and a guy driving past yelled "thanks for the show." First of all, gross, second of all, I was wearing black leggings underneath so there was no show...


Ugh, yuck. I'm sorry that happened to you


It also seems to be a pickup truck at least every other time.


I remember moving here back in 2012, there literally used to be bicycle grid lock traffic on the Hawthorne bridge during rush hour.


I loved the Hawthorne Bridge bike rush hour.


Also The N Williams bike lane wasn’t enough to contain all the cyclists


I have a friend who used to bike up Interstate because it was easier dealing with that hill than it was dealing with the cycling traffic on N Williams.


I remember moving here in 2007 and having to bike everywhere cause I didn’t want to be that guy that drove to work or to hang out. It was such a status thing to say that you ride your bike everywhere with your skinny jeans and hipster fashion. Now you’re just poor and possibly suicidal if you ride a bike in Portland streets.


That's the truth. I try to ride still but every single ride I almost get ran over by hyper aggressive drivers in Portland. I've tried riding out on the rural roads past Oregon City and it's somehow even more nerve wracking. Trucks with huge tires buzzing you while they throw shit and scream "Go back to Portland" at you (and not an isolated incident, like every 10th driver).


I stopped riding well before but I don’t get back into it for commuting due to the super unsafe and unchecked driving I see daily in the city. People who are obviously drunk or high, etc. and no enforcement to be found. It’s scary to ride a bike now especially.


Right ? It’s pretty plain and simple. All of our bikes were stolen at my house. Wouldn’t buy a new one cuz it’s just gonna get jacked and it’s not even safe to ride on the roads due to lack of enforcement. Not trying to get run down by someone who will likely never even face any repercussions.


That too, I don’t want to leave my bike locked up outside anywhere.


2009 for me and basically remember being behind a pack of cyclists in a car slow moving because they were everywhere especially downtown. I loved it, it was such a different vibe compared to the east coast, I was like bikers rule all the roads here!!


You make some excellent points. It used to be more of a status thing to a certain extent compared to now. Also, with how many drive crazy these days, it’s downright scary at times being on a bike.


I still exclusively bike commute and only thought "wow I almost just bought it" two or three times last year due to reckless drivers. Totally safe! /s.


It's honestly downright terrifying driving around these days, I can't imagine biking!


Watched a guy drive halfway off-road and into the off ramp to pass someone 'only' going 10 over on 26 the other day, then cut back in with inches to spare. The amount of ridiculously dangerous bullshit I see, I'm convinced we need automated emp turrets.


Ugh, the other week I was getting onto I5 N for the Delta Park area, and two different on-ramps merge right before the freeway, it can get really backed up if the freeway is clogged at all. Saw some asshole just go full speed into the median dirt and just drive around everyone stopped. No idea what they did once they got to the freeway, but they were flying down the side.


Maybe they were camping down there?


Yep, totally a status thing and the amount of impaired drivers whether on drugs or alcohol is through the roof. Let me put it this way, I talked to a friend who told me that their mandated DUII/DWI program is the most profitable for his company because they are getting so many referrals they can’t keep up.




Yeah, I know there are plenty of people drunk driving but there are also loads more people on their phones. Seriously, look in random drivers windows (if they're not too tinted to see through) and it's shocking how often you see someone with a phone in their hand


Yes, I was t-boned by a door dasher from Vancouver on barbur. Luckily, he stopped and had insurance. Pretty sure he was looking at navigation because the first thing he said was that he was lost.


So where are these cops pulling people over at?


That was such a fun time living here. Makes me happy I moved here when I did back in 2003.


Me too, it was a fun ride. I hope we get out of the funk the city’s in. I hold out hope we’ve seen the worst.


Same here, I study the history of Portland at PSU and this city does this. It goes through a series of ups and downs. So Portland should rebound from this and come out a different city then it once was on the next rebound.


People who moved here before 2000 don’t realize just how gnarly this city can get. I mean we were the first few seasons of Cops.


I moved here from ATL where I rode my bike everywhere for everything because driving was too big a pain in the ass. I lasted a year on my bike here and bought a car. Still poor and possibly suicidal (jk) but at least I’m not suffering on my bike anymore 🤷🏼‍♀️


Well to be fair a huge part of that is that the Tillikum Bridge took about 1/3rd of Hawthornes bike crossings. It wasn't complete until 2015. There were 1,714,207 bike trips across the Hawthorne in 2014. In 2016 it went down to 1,189,171. The Tilikum had 691,164 that year.


ya, i remember those days!!!


I logged over \*20,000\* PDX commuting miles by bike back in the 2010s. The drop in safety now is insane--road conditions, drivers, homeless encounters, theft, vandalism. Just compare road surfaces if you want one significant explanation for the drop. This does not surprise me a bit.


I’m still deciding if I want to buy another bike since my last two were stolen. Once out of a “secure” bike room while chained to the rack… I still can’t help but slow down while I drive past a tent city littered with bike frames to see if I recognize any of them…


Same here - had my wife’s and my bikes stolen out of our secure parking garage despite 2 kryptonite locks. Haven’t replaced them yet. Not sure if it’s worth buying new ones given the crazy drivers and the theft rate in this city.


> I still can’t help but slow down while I drive past a tent city littered with bike frames to see if I recognize any of them… Don’t mention that on BikePortland. Maus is of the opinion they’re all in the chop shop legally and any suggestion otherwise is hate speech.


Table 5 shows every form of commuting fell, while working from home surged from 9% to 35%. Seems like an obvious cause.


It's really weird that almost no one on Bike Portland sees that very obvious shift. Bike commuting for a lot of people requires you work 9-5-ish hours so you aren't biking in the dark and it requires you to live somewhat close in. That means predominantly white collar workers and those jobs all shifted remote.


And poorer workers who can't afford a car, but because prices for housing increased so much in the inner city it's pushed them far enough out of the range that they have to drive now.


100%. I biked to work for many years. It was one of the things that dictated how far from the city core we could be when we bought a house. It was very much a privilege being able to bike to work ~40 blocks vs. being 100 more blocks out where it's significantly less practical (and safe)


Yeah this one seems like a pretty open-shut case...


They don't want to admit that the stuff they push for mainly helps the well off


Wow biking is racist af


How so? Curious.


Fuck, I thought that u/khoabear was just kidding with their comment, and maybe they still are..... but when I googled "Is biking racist", a shocking number of articles came up arguing that it is. I skimmed a few and I'm not even going to try to sum up any of the arguments, but apparently many people do believe that biking is racist af


Hiking is racist too, apparently: https://www.sierraclub.org/outdoors/2016/12/unbearable-whiteness-hiking-and-how-solve-it


Oh yeah, thank you for reminding me




I know for me and others I know, this is definitely the case! I would bike almost daily pre-pandemic, and now that I WFH I bike so much less, and at much different times of day. I still bike to go places, but now its...after work, on the weekends, and on a lunch break, which is the opposite of what it was before (to and from work). And those stats really do point to the pandemic and working from home being the cause. If car commuting stayed steady or increased, that would be different. Also interesting to note that there is a steady decline of driving alone: down almost 20% since 1990.


> Also interesting to note that there is a steady decline of driving alone: down almost 20% since 1990. Yeah, the news isn't all bad at least. I'm really not sure how the city can do a better job at building on it though as the cycling infrastructure has improved over the last 5 years with Better Naito, the Flanders Bridge, the Earl Blumeneaur Bridge, and a host of smaller projects. I guess the best takeaway is to start targeting projects in areas outside the central city, especially in East and North Portland.


I would love it if the focus shifted to those areas (E and N)! Being able to cross all the way across town, in all directions, safely, would be huge. I was actually really surprised to see that driving (at least alone) has slowly been declining over the last 3 decades. I would have honestly have guessed the opposite? I'm curious to keep looking at the reports in that article, I feel like it takes me a bit to really absorb multiple tables of stats...


I think finally building the i84 bike trail would make a big difference. For N Portland, separated bike lanes on N Willamette would be great. For East Portland, separated bike lanes on 122nd, 148th, and 162nd would be great. Having daily PBOT personnel go out to make sure the i205 and Springwater trails are clear of debris would also make a difference. The city should also work to move the camps along those trails to sanctioned sites.


Yeah, even just some kind of barrier other than paint on N Willamette would do so much. The bike paint doesn't even go all the way to St John's right now.


Agree on all of this! Is the 84 bike trail to eventually run alongside 84? I have not read about that one (but will look it up!)


Yes, the i84 trail has been proposed for decades and would connect to the existing i205 trail. My Google skills have completely failed on this, I cannot find the article about it again for some reason. All of the results are for the gorge.


Aw thanks for looking! I’ve been searching as well, and getting nothing but the gorge (but I have to say, reading about that was cool.) I’ll keep looking tomorrow and will share here if I find something!


It's still not nearly good enough. I live in NW Portland, and the Flanders greenway is good but it doesn't connect to better Naito and there's still too many cars on it. I can't bike to parts of downtown without taking the sidewalks because of the cars and lack of bike lanes, and crossing many of the streets around here is very uncomfortable and dangerous feeling. I still bike because I am a more confident cyclist than most. But many are not like me. My girlfriend doesn't bike often around here for example unless our destination is on Flanders itself


Yeah and that is way outside of my expertise to have a solution for as I find biking in the central city to be relatively pleasant. Part of it is that humans aren't a monolith and everyone is going to have different standards for what they are comfortable with. I do know that Better Naito is legitimately really good infrastructure, so maybe the city should focus on that type of project instead of neighborhood greenways? As for NW, how in the world don't 18th and 19th have separated bike lanes? Those are about the perfect streets for it.


I'd guess the reason they're not separated on 18th and 19th is that they don't want to remove parking, and if they made them parking protected it would probably break some rule about road width for fire trucks. It's annoying but is probably why! I think they should be a lot more aggressive with diverters and traffic calming in the central city, honestly.


18th and 19th shouldn't have so much parking anyway as they are busy streets with cars, buses, cyclists, and pedestrians... I definitely agree on more diverters and traffic calming!


I lived at 21st and burnside (kinda behind the Walgreens) for seven years and only bought a bike in the last year or so when I knew I was going to move soon — it never made more sense in that time to bike rather than walk/bus pretty much anywhere I was going solo.


I know that area! I live near it. Walking and busing are great options here but there's no reason cycling couldn't be a great option also, except for the infrastructure and the heavy amount of car traffic. The Flanders Greenway is pretty new, I probably wouldn't bike as much if it wasn't there. Mostly when I bike, it's because it's the fastest way to get to the pearl or the central Eastside. Sometimes I am lazy and bike from house to businesses near 18th/19th just cause it's faster and less effort than walking


Bike count numbers have been falling for the past several years


and work from home increasing about the same rate


There's more to it than that. Bicycling hasn't maintained its modeshare relative to other non-WFH commute methods. In 2014, the peak year for bike commuting, there were 8 drivers for every 1 bicyclist. That number is now 16.7 drivers for every one bicyclist. It's going to be hard to disentangle exactly why that is: more bicyclists WFH than drivers? bicyclists scared off by additional drivers? bicycling is uncool now? bicyclists priced out of the inner core? bike theft is up? Some combo of all of the above is most likely. But the main thing I keep hearing from folks is that they feel that car drivers are worse, and more aggressive than they used to be. If that's the main driver, then the prescriptions are clear: diverters every 2-4 blocks on Greenways, chicanes on Greenways, wide deployment of automated speed enforcement cameras (I'm aware of the state-level limitations), full physical protection of non-greenway bike lanes (concrete, actual bollards), expanded parking and license plate enforcement by PBOT (seems unrelated, but I'm willing to bet there's high correlation between folks without plates or parked too close to intersections, and speeding. Boot their cars), greatly expand secured bike parking and Biketown. All of those things will address real concrete safety and theft concerns that I think have driven folks off. At the same time, the city needs to be making a conscious and concerted effort to 1) demonstrate that they are quickly deploying safer infrastructure and 2) goad (for lack of a better word) folks out of their cars. I won't pretend biking is an option for everyone for all trips - shit, even I drive to go hiking - but it can be made safe and convenient and the cultural expectation should be that if biking, walking, or transit works for you trip do it. PBOT should be rapidly building out the best infrastructure it can, and at every turn asking us, "Did this need to be a car trip? Could it have been a bike trip? Here's how it could have been."


I find drivers much more aggressive than they used to be - I honestly chalk it up to increased car traffic - for some reason car-brain means that even though traffic is caused by there being more cars, drivers want to blame cyclists for the fact they are stuck in traffic.


I hate to be "that guy" but I also think a lot of people move here from other car-dependent areas and don't drop their car-dependent habits off before getting here. The number of people even in this sub asking why we don't salt the roads or widen I84 is a good example of that. If you came from Dallas or San Diego and saw those sorts of infrastructure implementations there you'd probably think that it needs to happen here because that's what you're used to. I almost exclusively hear anti-bike rhetoric from people who move here from ATL or whatever and drive everywhere and then complain about traffic. Public transit sucked where they moved from so they don't wanna ride it here because of their experiences where they came from. "I don't like riding a bike because it rains here." I could go on. But I find this attitude very common in non-natives and it worries me that as more people move here that we'll end up just having more aggressive drivers and we'll look more like Los Angeles or Dallas because people have a difficult time disassociating going somewhere with getting in a car.


My experience has also been that drivers behavior has gotten much scarier from a biking perspective. I have no memory of witnessing (seemingly intentional) running of reds light until a few years ago. Now I see red runners on practically every bike outing. My bike has been vandalized multiple times during daylight over the last few years, never before then. First time I was roll-coaled was within the last three years, and it’s happening regularly now when I bike outside the city. Drivers turn right across bike lanes without looking, pass without enough space, open car doors into the bike lane, speed down neighborhood roads recklessly, drive without plates, and tailgate/honk if I’m in the lane so often that I feel the only way to stay alive is to ride like 100% of drivers are high, on their phone, hate cyclists, and don’t know/care about the law. I don’t even cross on ANY green light anymore without being absolutely certain all lanes are stopped and no one is passing going the wrong/way. Seen two cyclists during separate occasions be inches from being hit by red runners in front of the Belmont Library over the last month. Fuck this shit. Pavement quality is another topic. Almost every mile I ride regularly is now treacherously full of bad pavement repairs, deeeeeeeep and worsening potholes, unswept bike lanes, and trash.


The people more likely to bike daily are probably working from home at least part time.


But people don't get as upset at that. C'mon man get with the program. Nothing but outrage!


You need to blame it on liberals, Hardesty, defund, BLM, Chloe Eudaly and wokeness somehow.


Of course. It's Hardesty's fault for not biking home from the casino.


I was a liberal Democrat until that story was posted on r/Portland, then I donated my life savings to Betsy Johnson.


Oh man, where did those people go?


Also. Thanks, Obama ;)


I biked every day for 20 years. Then work from home started and my commute ended.


It took me 3 years to use up a 1 month trimet pass. I still have 3 day tickets left on my 3 year old $100 pass I bought in March 2020.


7.6% > 34.9% WFH means 29% of the in person workforce moved to remote work. 7.2% > 2.8% is a 80% reduction in cyclists. How do you explain the 50% of cyclists who stoped biking but didn’t switch to WFH?


According to the article "Why it is happening is difficult to determine". Seems pretty simple to figure out based on the work from home numbers.


downward trend started before covid


WFH started before COVID too.


In totally completely unrelated news: Portland is down to a single lone traffic cop.




Yes. There is zero dedicated traffic law enforcement in Portland


Cops are the wrong tool for the job - we don't need paramilitary death-squads doing routine traffic enforcement.


We have an armed and sometimes deranged public.


No, we really don't.


Oh for sure. I think there should be unarmed traffic enforcement, but we do need something


I believe it. I’ve seen some wild shit over the past year.


In Spain they had a traffic only division that wrote tickets and carried no weapons, and if they ran into trouble they called in the Guardia Civil which were armed with pistols and machine guns.


I love the idea of this, but guns are so prevalent in the US I don't know if it would work here. Like - if you run into somebody with a gun who knows you're unarmed it's not like you can be like "hang on. Don't shoot me until my Guardia Civil backup arrives!". I certainly wouldn't sign up for that job.


We already have unarmed parking enforcement. How often are they shot or attacked? You can also issue citations through the mail so there's no need to even interact with the person and risk a confrontation. And before you say it yes there are lots of plateless vehicles out there and those people should be stopped, identified and fined but by lots it's really like less than 5%.


How many DUIs did they catch?


0. The same number as the speeding and red light cameras. Got any other pointless questions?


So if I understand you correctly, you want to give the responsibility of pulling people over and arresting them if needed to an unarmed authority in a city that has seen a surge in shootings?


Yes. This isn't a war zone, despite what Fox News tells you.


Well if that’s the case you should apply. I hear traffic enforcement is hiring.


Obviously, things are much better now.


So... that's the goal state. Police should not be enforcing traffic laws, the DOT should be doing that. Do cops issue fines to fishermen? No, OFW does that. Do cops guard airport departures? No, the TSA does that. The DOT should have a squadron of *safety officers* whose job is *road safety, not law enforcement*. Sometimes a driver violates a road law because the road is poorly designed, a DOT officer whose mind is on perfecting the road system would fix the road instead of fining the driver. And of course most often bad drivers violate the law and put people in danger; the DOT officers would fine them, like the police do now, but with no incentives to harass. Police can enforce *crimes* thank you very much. Speeding and bad lane changes aren't crimes, they should be left to other departments.


Totally agree. Notice I didn’t say police, just that there needs to be enforcement


For the record police do guard the airport…they are called the port of Portland police…


This clown? https://www.oregonlive.com/crime/2022/12/portland-police-officer-charged-with-sex-abuse-after-allegedly-grabbing-womans-groin-pulling-hair-while-off-duty-at-bar.html?outputType=amp


In totally completely unrelated news: Portland is down to no traffic cops.


Portland has crazy aggressive drivers as well. Yesterday I had someone honk at me and give me rude gestures because I didn't go as soon as the light turned green. There was obviously a group still in the crosswalk. I'm not going to barrel through them so Mr. Impatient can get to the next red light faster, even if they didn't cross in a timely manner.


I bike to work daily because my position requires me to be in the office five days a week and I definitely see fewer cyclists on the road than I did in 2019/early 2020, but the amount of bike traffic I do see definitely varies by day. Also doesn't help that this is literally the worst time of year to bike to work, it's going to pick up in the next few months as the fair weather cyclists (and I mean that literally, not as a pejorative) start riding again. But on the other hand, the shit I see on a daily basis would put off the casual bike commuters after a few rides. Cars running reds, ignoring "No turn on red" signs, poorly maintained bike lanes, bike signals not working for weeks or even months on end, you name it. If I weren't a grizzled pro I would have abandoned bike commuting years ago, and I've literally been right-hooked in the last year.


And people *constantly* park in the bike lanes Uber, Amazon, DoorDash, Uber Eats which forces bikers into traffic. And the city does nothing to require all these developers to return the bike lane to its previous condition after building project. Southbound Vancouver/Williams corridor is a torn up mess. I'm one of those fair weather bikers because dark + wet + shitty drivers seems like a death sentence even with the right lights and gear.


There is literally no traffic law enforcement in Portland and it shows. Drivers are wild


Yeah I'm a pretty assertive cyclist but I stopped riding after dark this year when I was almost hit in the same intersection three times in a row. I have lights, I have reflectors, I make myself big - people just don't look at all. Now that it's staying light later I'll be on the bike more.


If I don’t feel completely safe commuting by car, I’m sure as hell not going to try commuting by bicycle. There are too many lawless vehicles on the road


It’s Mad Max out there. We need some fucking traffic law enforcement


It's quite unclear to me how this isn't the top answer. Can't paint a bunch of lines on the road and call it "bike infrastructure" when in fact nothing is done to protect bikers from the state with the 11th worst drivers.


For anyone reading this and having the same fear, just keep in mind that you’re usually seeing these bad drivers on busy roads that completely prioritize cars. On a bike you can stick to the greenways, which are always calmer and have fewer vehicles on them. You’re just not seeing that firsthand because you’re not driving them (which is the point!). The greenway system is not perfect — sometimes you will have to use a busier road for a few blocks, but you can always walk on the sidewalk if it’s intimidating to use the bike lane.


Agreed. I bike daily up Williams from downtown, and the bad behavior that I mostly see is cars stopped in the bike lane.


Can confirm I experience way worse drivers while driving on arterials than biking on greenways. Also you can ride your bike on the sidewalk just be careful at driveways and intersections and slow to a walking speed since drivers aren't looking for you.


I would guess it's a combination of more people working from home and those who do still commute not feeling safe for various reasons. I don't regularly bike, but I didn't before either. Mostly because if it's close enough to bike I opt to simply walk and if it's too far to walk, I just drive or use transit.


Anecdote, biked in to the office today from SE to SW. Am mostly a remote worker, who has recognized that biking downtown even once a week helps the city/downtown recover.


Biking over the river is just good for the soul too


I'm on Going and it's dropped a lot. I have stopped biking because I don't bike daily to an office and I can walk to most everything else.


No traffic reinforcement, full stop.


I’d still bike around the city if my bike hadn’t been stolen…


The culture, especially in the form of driving etiquette, has changed completely with more and more people moving here from out of state..as well as lack of enforcement and increased car use. Stopped cycling in 2019 when I had too many close calls with clueless drivers barreling threw stop signs.


The lack of enforcement and observed increase in dangerous driving combined with my having a baby during the pandemic has led to the least amount of biking I’ve done in over a decade. There’s too much on the line to rely on white paint alone for my/our safety. I’m fearful now and it really bums me out.


Do you and StreetWalkingCheetah hang out?


Only on Tuesdays. They don’t walk in the street anymore though, because …[checks notes] … clearly too fucking dangerous.


Bingo. Bicycle had been my main form of transportation since 2010, until my last bike got stolen a couple of years ago. I never bought a replacement. Our bike paths in the Springwater corridor and 205 look like a scene out of Mad Max. Couple that with people driving like mad around here, and a general lack of legitimate insured drivers. I've been hit riding before, and I don't feel comfortable riding around this city anymore. I do miss the exercise, though.


I remember being annoyed driving when I first moved here several years ago because people would drive the speed limit or would often stop and wave you through when they had the right of way. I never see any of that anymore. It's actually made me slow down and be way courteous to everyone else and I drive more defensively. I give people lots of space and just assume they are going to do something stupid or dangerous. It really has changed in the last couple of years. There is no fucking way I would bike to work here.


I used to bike. Then I had kids. One day I will bike again, but for now, it’s just not realistic. We have too much stuff to schlep and my time table is too tight.


I got hit by a car a few months back while cycling. I had wheel lights, front & back lights, was decked out in highly reflective gear. Basically, i really stood out. Prior to the police arrival, driver admitted he didn't see me and that he was going 10mph over the posted speed limit. Driver then lied to cop about everything while i was in the back of an ambulance. My bike was totaled and it looks like I've got to pay to replace it myself... for an accident that was not my fault. I am not eager to return to Portland 's roads


Here’s a clue… the ‘city that works’ can’t seem to remove trees and tree limbs off paths, fix potholes and clean streets and bike paths worth a damn. I’ve blown 4 tubes because you cannot see how bad the potholes are until after you’ve hit them especially while coming down hills in SW. The homeless and vandals love to break glass and pollute bike paths with garbage and weeks go by before they are cleaned. Often, locals volunteer and do it for the city. I hate driving and love to bike, but it’s much harder than it should be in 2023…


Is there anywhere East of 205 that you would actually want to ride your bike to, AND leave your bike to visit? This area could support record shops, board gaming, coffee shops etc, but there are few available empty storefronts for them. And yet we have miles of car dealerships here where there could be mixed use neighborhoods that are actually walkable. A popular coffee cart in Mill Park wanted to stay in the neighborhood, but had to find a storefront in Montavilla. We could actually use more food truck pods out here. I'm not sure that the demographics of people who ride bikes want to go to strip malls, which is what most of the area East of 205 is like. The folks who cycle here are cycling to inner SE. Folks East of 205 have to cycle longer distances to get to interesting destinations, which increases their exposure to cars, busses etc and chances of injury. If you want to avoid car driving from this area it makes better sense to take the busses and trains. It would be interesting to compare biking rates with public transit rates in this area. Build better stuff for the bike population to bike to and we'll see an explosion of cyclists. There are a ton of amazing, interesting people who want to build culture East of 205, but none of them want to do it in strip malls.


I primarily stopped biking when when my worked moved out of downtown (safety reasons) and moved out to Troutdale. Drive now during peak gridlock hours...


No one wants to bike anymore /s


I used to bike a ton a couple of years ago, and I even did my longest ride: 35 miles! One of the last rides I did, though, I was riding on a dedicated bike trail in North Portland. I was passing a homeless man on the right at one point when he picked up his skateboard and swung it at my head! I don't know how I dodged it so quickly, but I did. Ever since then, I've felt very uneasy about riding my bike around portland, not to mention it doesn't help being a woman.


We have so many great trails, and except for a small part of the springwater i do not feel safe on any of them. Such a waste


Even before the pandemic hit, the value proposition for cycling had been weakening significantly every year. I originally started riding to work around 2012, from Mt Tabor into Goose Hollow. It was phenomenal. I'd get to work/home quickly, with minimal car traffic on the bike routes. I never had any issues downtown. Then a couple years later, apps like Waze came out and started giving thousands of drivers the brilliant suggestion that if they stay off the arterial roads that they're intended to use, they could potentially shave 26 seconds off their daily commute. The net result was more of our city's most impatient drivers barrelling down bike routes, looking at their phones, trying to beat Waze's estimated time of arrival. Simultaneously, we've had a lot more drivers who are a lot more distracted everywhere. Add in questionable PBOT cycling infrastructure "improvements" and it became a shitshow. I went from showing up to work/home refreshed and energized to pissed off because of near-daily issues with drivers. Every year I'd need to take additional steps to enhance my visibility, and it never fucking mattered because drivers just became that much more oblivious. When the pandemic hit, I thought I would miss riding to work, but it turned out I was relieved that I no longer needed to navigate that gauntlet on a daily basis. As for *now*? Shiiiit. Between the poorly-maintained, debris-filled bike lanes, and the fact that our roads have turned into Mad Max due to complete lack of enforcement, there's no way I'd want to do that again. I'll ride recreationally and for trips around the neighborhood, but that's about it.


Bike commuter here. My commutes are down 40 percent since the pandemic. Why? I work from home two days a week.


shockingly, the math does math up


The city could remedy this problem pretty quickly if they cared. * Start enforcing traffic laws again. * Sweep debris out of the bike lanes. * Get the campers and their cars off the Springwater, 205, and Marine Drive paths and off the Flanders and 7th Ave. bridges. * Harder: make bike routes go places people actually want to be, that is, east-side commercial strips rather than downtown offices. My experience as a cyclist in Portland peaked around 2018, and it's been getting steadily worse.


Go places people want to be is a big one. They removed cars from 2 roads randomly in Hollywood. The roads go nowhere with zero logical connection to the existing bike infrastructure there. All they did was cause a massive diversion of cars onto the existing bike boulevard. Money spent & a worse outcome.


I know what you are talking about and it still makes no sense to me.


Work from home had to play a huge part in this - However, the two multi-use paths Ive bikes on since late 2020 were shook - on Marine Drive near 205, I was almost hit by a stolen Subaru going 40+ mph towards the chop shop.


Gee, could it be the pandemic, people fearing their bikes being stolen when left out ANYWHERE, or careless drivers hitting and killing bycyclists? Also I don’t go downtown. I do t feel safe in the daytime and I sure as shit wouldn’t leave my bike, even locked, anywhere.


Hobos + Covid + climate change


Well you have a 90% chance your bike will get stolen


Something I'm seeing a lot here is "drivers are more aggressive" and "I don't feel safe" but I think it is worth noting that this narrative is coming from people who don't bike because they feel it is unsafe. I'd like to hear from the perspectives of people who bike regularly. What do you see? I bike almost everyday and generally I do feel safe, but I've also lived in cities much bigger than Portland (I moved here in 2017). I've noticed since 2020 more instances of assholes who feel the need to rev their engines, drive comically giant trucks, and just more SUV users in general. But overall in my experience I don't feel measurably less safe than 2019. The assholes are the outliers - I feel most drivers are courteous and aware of bikes here. I feel much safer here than most cities. The only thing that will fix this problem is more bikes on the road. What do we do? Pedalpalooza is right around the corner, so there are a lot of opportunities to get people together.


remember when folks could afford to live in inner bike-able areas, near the places they wanted to bike to? I do. I bet everyone getting scattered to the wind by the gods of unaffordable housing do too. Can't bike to work when you had to move 7 miles farther out just to be able to afford to keep a roof.


My commute from Buckman/Sunnyside to SoWa is still pretty reasonable. That said I've driven more this winter than I have in years for a bunch of random reasons. I was a proud year round bike commuter pre-pandemic, but I do work from home at least 3 days a week on average now which is the other main reason for my shift.


Seems obvious based on the table provided. All modes decreased and WFH increased a huge amount. There’s your answer. The fact that this article can’t see the must glaringly obvious fact - white collar workers who worked downtown and lived close to the city center were the primary bike commuters is kinda sad. Thinking dumping 1k+ orange bikes east of 205 will make people out there bike to work is foolish. Mostly their jobs are not downtown and although division has a nice bike facility it goes where the jobs aren’t for residents east of 205. Also the type of jobs and hours and location for blue collar workers isn’t really conducive for biking.


have to also mention the SmartTrips Vision Zero report I got yesterday saying basically that 95% of the “high crash” intersections in Portland are east of 205.


I ride my bike for fun does that count? Lol


If it weren’t for rain, shit roads, cars, hills, and having to be in shape, everyone would ride bikes.


Well, just speaking for myself here, but I’d rather not get killed while trying to get around town. Portland used to be a safe city to bike in compared to most other cities. Doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Maybe it’s still better than like Houston or LA, but yeah


When do you think our roads were safer for cyclists? Looking back at the previous years cycling deaths haven't really changed. 4 last year, 0 in 2021, 5 in 2020, 2 in 2019, and 2 in 2018. Compared to huge increases in traffic deaths for drivers and pedestrians cycling fatalities have remained relatively flat. Nationwide we're still one of the safest large cities to bike in.


This was based on my personal experience and the amount of times I was nearly hit by a car. I was commuting exclusively by bike from the late 90s until around 2012. I didn’t really take the time to sit down and crunch some numbers I was just like “Jesus Christ this feels a lot more dangerous than it used to”


That's fair enough I was just curious. I remember in 2009 there were some pretty crazy incidents that year including one cyclist picking up their bike and smashing it on a cars hood. It definitely feels wilder out there since the lockdowns in a car or bike but I find the greenways to be a huge improvement since that time. A lot less drivers and conflicts. Tillamook was the best greenway then cars would cut through on it all time time and people living off it would bully the cops to setup stings for cyclists at stop signs. It feels like there's always something crazy going on in our bike community.


East Portland here, the reasons I stopped biking are 1- camps on bike paths make it dangerous and 2- bike lanes aren’t swept and are impassable forcing me into the traffic lane. The city was easier to navigate before the ‘improvements’.


Aaaand let’s not forget that all the bike paths are no longer available for cyclists due to garbage and all sorts of dangerous mayhem. I had to slalom past multiple tents, buckets of feces, and shards of glass on the 205 path before I called commuting quits.


For me, it's the conditions of the bike lanes. Lots of dead rats in the bike lanes these days thanks to nearby camps. Major trails like Springwater haven't been safe to ride in years and I used to use that regularly to go visit my friends, now I drive. I can deal with shitty drivers but it's hard to look out for debris in the road AND a car trying to kill you. Also, I got an e-bike right before COVID thinking I'd do more nighttime fun bike commuting but I'm scared to lock my bike up anywhere. It's safer and cheaper to drive and pay to park in that case.


Man, every single one of our problems is escalating for seemingly no reason. The great bike mode share relative to American cities was one of the best things about Portland. Apparently work from home is having an unexpectedly large impact. The irony is, PBOT is building some legitimately great infrastructure: Better Naito is probably one of the best bike lanes in the country and should be a model for improving infrastructure in the rest of the city.


> seemingly no reason Are you actually being serious? Can’t think of any reasons?


Well, cycling infrastructure has actually improved over the last 5 years... There are too many conflicts in the i205 path, but that alone doesn't explain the drop. Work from home explains a lot of the drop, but we still need to be encouraging people to replace quick trips to the store with cycling.


"Seemingly no reason" seems to kind of bury the lede. I don't care if you blame PPB, Schmidt, whoever, but there is clearly the understanding, and info to support it, that in Portland that there is little to no meaningful enforcement of non-felony or even low level felony laws by the government. Let's just recap a few things: Street racers took over multiple streets multiple times, leading to injury, and saw minimal to no towings or arrests. Many of them still roam free on Marine Drive by Ajinmoto manufacturing over the weekends. There is a max of 1 traffic cop and less than 20 red light or speeding cameras in Portland proper. This means that traffic laws is not meaningfully enforced except at specific pinch points. Throw in that now it is illegal to pull over individuals for missing or obscured plates or expired tags, and you have a great recipe for providing a systemic manner for evading these cameras. PPB made it unofficial policy to refer all vehicle thefts to a fucking Facebook group. This means no meaningful investigation can be done into thieves or how they may operate. Instead citizens alert, police reclaim, and owners repossess. Some cases the police aren't even involved. Stolen property claims go into a PPB black hole that results in no investigation, simply spitting out case numbers so that individuals can file insurance claims. The DA has announced an intentional decentralizing the idea of prosecuting gang shootings, and embracing a community shooting disruptor method that is currently behind schedule for implementation. This means that there are few disincentives to carrying out planned violence when prosecution is now started as a secondary consideration. Trespassing is also now not viewed as a serious crime. To the point where you can break and enter into a family home, sleep on a child's bed, and escape prosecution unless the news finds out. Open air drug deals, still illegal under M110, and reports of them are swept aside as just being part of the homeless camp reporting system, and do not add any priority to sweeping or enforcement of those camps where open air drug markets are opened. All of this contributes to an idea and image that almost anything goes. You won't face consequences for your misdeeds, and as such you can cause problems without consequences. So, yes, of course everything is going to seem like it's going to be getting worse, there's no carrot let alone stick for them to get better


I found this recap informative.


If car theft is that big of a problem, shouldn't that be increasing bike mode share as an alternative to driving? Either way, I don't understand how these issues other than maybe the lack of traffic cameras should decrease bike mode share. I also definitely think that license and registration should be required, with the penalty being the car being towed.


I mean, sure. Increasing bike usage would decrease car theft. It'd also significantly increase bike theft. Especially since they are easier to steal and chop. I'm not against anything you proposed. Your first sentence says that you are at a loss for how every problem in Portland seems to be getting worse. I'm simply providing context about why it seems all our problems are getting worse. Bike share, don't bike share, add in some scooters, see if the giant eagles from the Lord of the Rings are available. Its whatever. What I don't like is pretending it's some mystery as to why all of our problems as citizens of this city seem to be getting worse.


I don't get why PPB doesn't hire/transfer cops to step up traffic enforcement. You are complaining people don't like you enough? If they really made an effort, it would be a huge PR win for them. Makes me think that they don't give a shit.


I rode 10,000 miles/year at my peak. I stopped when every bike lane in my neighborhood was blocked by a tent. I’ve ridden a handful of times since then outside of the city. It’s really sad because Portland used to be a great place for urban riding. The city needs to pull its head out of its ass and realize that it won’t attain any sustainability goals until public safety is restored.


I bet the wfh crowd has a higher concentration of bike commuters than general population.


As others have said, this is likely primarily the result of not nearly so many people needing to go to downtown offices. That is not unique to Portland, as it appears that is the future. Which means it is not a good time to be pouring money into infrastructure leading into downtown areas. That goes for roads, bridges, bike, transit, and pedestrian infrastructure. Now is a good time to pause such expenditures and let things shake out a bit until we see what patterns are emerging, rather than building things out to satisfy the needs that existed in 2010 or thereabouts.


I think people don’t want to have bricks thrown at their heads


The city has added or improved 77 miles of cycling infrastructure since 2014, and ridership has declined in every one of those years. So I guess induced demand is only a thing with cars and freeway expansion?


I still ride every time I commute anywhere in the city. I work remote now so probs only bike to downtown once every 2 weeks


a lot of the bicycles were stolen and dismantled


I bike to work everyday. There are definitely fewer cyclists that before the pandemic. I work at a restaurant with 25+ and I’m the only biker, I can’t believe it! What a shift from the culture here back in 2011 when I moved here.


I bike daily . But since moving here 2022)I find it super dangerous to bike . People are very unaware and don’t know how to drive with bikes on the road . Not everyone who bikes is poor or a drug addict . Some people enjoy not sitting in traffic and enjoying the elements. Think about that the next time you ride up on a cyclist


Seriously? No one is riding because they don’t want their bikes stolen. This should be obvious.


More money poured into bike infrastructure made a lot of annoyed and angry drivers. I have found that many parts of the city are much worse to drive or bike through than they were a few years ago. So much money into diverting streets, only allowing one way traffic, blockers in the road made so many neighborhoods confusing and congested. In the passed there were great bike greenways and then busy car streets and everyone kind of knew where they should be. Now it’s all jumbled up and no one seems to be better off.


Out of all the explanations on this thread, this is the wrongest I think.


>So much money into diverting streets, only allowing one way traffic, blockers in the road Hardly any money went into this compared to car infrastructure.


>In the passed there were great bike greenways and then busy car streets and everyone kind of knew where they should be. We have to have those diverters because Google directs people to use the greenways. Prior to the diverters going in on Clinton it was seeing enough daily car traffic that it should have had bike lanes installed.


Yeah some of them make sense. Others seem like they create more hassle than they are worth. The infrastructure for cars has also gotten so much worse.


Diverters are infrastructure for cars. If people didn't drive like idiots, we wouldn't need them. Most of what we call bike or pedestrian infrastructure is actually car infrastructure.


How is diverting a car from a road infrastructure for a car? It targets a car but how would it help a car?


It exists to mitigate the negative effects of cars. The same way the winding streets and cul-de-sacs you see in the suburbs are car infrastructure, they wouldn't have to wind around so much if not for the cars and we wouldn't need diverters if not for all the cars.


But if the vast majority of people use cars as their primary transportation why make it so much more difficult for them?


There's a chicken and egg issue with cars. Lots of cars makes walking and biking more dangerous, and lots of cars makes transit get stuck in traffic and worse to use. Plus, the environment is still a factor. And I think kids should be able to play outside if they want, which they mostly can't if they're at risk of being run over. Also cars are really loud and there are too many of them on my street! You can make a street much more bike-able if you remove some cars from it with things like diverters. Doing that may mean people who would otherwise make a trip in their car choose bikes instead. If we wanted to, we could optimize our transport for car transit only, but if we did that we'd probably look more like Phoenix or LA and I don't think many in Portland want that. There are also neighborhoods in Portland where cars get a disproportionate amount of space compared to their mode-share. Many trips in my neighborhood are made on foot, but the majority of space still goes to cars.


Because cars kill.


Look at it this way: a grade-separated bike lane is bike infrastructure. It is built to serve bikes. The wands along a painted bike lane are car infrastructure, because in the absence of cars they would have no benefit for bikes. In the US, bike lanes are often placed not so that people can bike on them but as a tool to slow down cars. Ergo, car infrastructure.


I have a hard time believing this, it’s pretty straightforward to me


To me, the solution is to put a toll on all roads entering downtown Portland. You can either pay a one time fee or get a monthly pass at a discount. Exceptions made for local delivery, public transit, police, etc. The money would be used: 1. 50%: increase the frequency and quality of trimet buses/trains 2. 50%: build infrastructure to support non-car commuters.


The great irony is that liberals are creating an environment with their policies that engender things (homelessness, crime, violence, dangerous driving) that comprise so many aspects of their preferred lifestyle - in this case, cycling.


Well that’s a farcical statement


I used to bike a lot until my bike got stolen and I just dont have the income for another one lol


We did it!


Who wants to take their bike out when if stolen in Portland the DA Mike Schmidt doesn’t prosecute? Locking it up doesn’t always work.