If you just moved to Portland, or are just visiting and driving around yourself, adjusting to the roads here can be a bit different than what you are used to. We here at Portland Car Transport want to help make sure the adjustment is as smooth and easy for you as possible, so here is a brief guide to the rules of the road in Portland, and some tips to make navigating the streets easier.
Familiarize Yourself With Major Freeways
The major freeways in Portland are Interstate 5, Interstate 405, and Interstate 84. Interstate 5 is the main north-south route that goes through Downtown Portland while 405 loops around the city. Interstate 84 goes from east to west. If you ever hear someone talk about the Banfield Expressway, or even sometimes just the Banfield, do not be alarmed, they are just talking about Interstate 84.
In the city, there are some unposted rules regarding speed limits. If no signage is posted advertising the speed limit, in business districts it is 20 miles per hour. If no signage is posted in residential areas, the speed limit is 25 miles per hour. On highways, generally the speed limit is 55 miles per hour.
Turning rules in Portland are a bit different than elsewhere. Even if you are at a red light on a one-way road, you can make a right OR left turn. All you first have to do is yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians.
Using a Cell Phone
Using a cell phone is actually technically permitted in the state of Oregon under two conditions, you must use hands-free accessories and you must be over 18 years old. This means even if you are a fully licensed driver, if you are under 18 and use your cell phone in any capacity, even with hands-free accessories, you could be charged.
Sharing the Road With Other Portland Travelers
Portland is known for its progressivism which means a lot of people in the area have moved beyond using cars to get around, opting for more environmentally friendly methods of travel. Bikes are very common around the city, and as such, you have to learn to be comfortable sharing the road with them, You want to make sure you always watch out for bicyclists, Not every road in the city has a separate bike lane still, which means in some areas bikes are in a regular driving lane. Be sure to always be aware of where they are to keep everyone safe. You also want to make sure that when you come upon a bike box, you yield. A bike box is an intersection designed to prevent accidents from the bike lane and the right driving lane.