Using PDX Reporter, Bike Lanes & Misc. Questions

Hihi, I was hoping to get some help answering bike commute specific questions.

  1. Where is the best place to report if a traffic light is not responding to a bicyclist? Traveling north on NE 24th, the light at Sandy Blvd does not like registering I am there. I have to ride up on the sidewalk and push the crosswalk button or wait for a car to pull up behind me. There is one of those sensors that I have seen on other traffic light lines that has a blue light that goes on when a bike pulls up. But this blue light won’t switch on no matter where I stand, wave my hands, shine my light, jump up & down… nada. The categories on PDX Reporter aren’t matching this particular issue. There is an “Other” category. I was wondering if that is what other commuters would use to report this matter.

  2. Next, I am bike commuting again after a long break and there are SO MANY changes. Can someone point me to right direction of the best way to use the overpass lanes on NE 20th and NE 28th? The bike lanes go both ways on each side and I am wondering about proper/predictable use & etiquette. Which side of the road is to be used when turning left? Say left from Multnomah onto 20th? Left onto 28th from Holladay? I’ve seen bike commuters wait for the light at Multnomah and turn left with traffic per usual rules of the road and I have seen people turn left onto 20th essentially going the “wrong way” on the left side of the road and then cut over into the right lane when it’s clear to do so.

  3. Further, what is the actual law on the green painted crosswalks for cars? I have always learned bikes are part of traffic. We yield & stop like normal car traffic. The painted bike green crosswalks kinda confuse me. Does it create a four way stop between cars and bikes? Are we then treated as pedestrians and have the ride-away at these painted intersections? This link does not say: and then this link is broken:

Please send links and data for me to chew on. I really appreciate it! I would also love a place to vent about daily commutes. Is there a special place for that?


For number 1. Try any (or all) of these.
Call PBOT (503) 823-5185
Email maintenance dispatch at
Report via Use the “other” category. They will route it to the correct department.

My understanding (and I’m NOT the final word on this) is the green crosswalks are to heighten driver awareness. They give a cyclist no legal standing. If you ride in the white crosswalks (at a walking pace) then you are then given the same legal standing as a pedestrian.

Specifically, drivers are not required to yield to cyclists who want to cross. (If the cyclist moves a few feet over and rides in the crosswalk, which is allowed at slow speeds, drivers are required to stop.)

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There is a vagrancy motor home illegally parked on the street near the downtown Safeway for a long time. Citizens have to pay $2.20/hr and a transaction fee to park a vehicle and you can’t park beyond the duration limit regardless of payment. Nonetheless, this vagrancy RV has been parked for weeks at a 4 hour spot. PBOT has
It’s been routinely reported to PDX Reporter “illegal parking” and those douche at Portland Bureau of Transportation routinely ignore legitimate complaints that specifically name valid violations.

If the concern on hand don’t affect very monied people or highly influential people, it’s PBOT’s standard operating practices to ignore concerns.

What’s being said only matters a small fraction. Normally, direct communication improves clarity. However with PBOT, how and where the communication is routed is how the decision gets made which is not any different from for profit corporate politics.

If apartment tenants complained, things are generally ignored. If someone like Jordan Menashe, Martin Kehoe or Vanessa Sturgeon complained about the same thing, it will be handled completely differently. Such is generally handled in a way to pacify monied, influential people happy without upsetting other monied people. For example, they’ll move homeless along to satisfy real estate mogul and corral them down elsewhere, but won’t impound it because they don’t want to upset the financial prosperity of the homeless industry.

The permanent vagrant encroachment in bike lane on SW 13th/Montgomery is a years long problem, but it’s ignored, because that area is very homeless industry heavy with minimal impact to monied real estate interest. Same with regular and repeated ADA violation on W Burnside and SW 3. Very heavy homeless industry presence with little impact on real estate millionaires.

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My personal preference is to always use the Greenways whenever possible. Even if is a few blocks longer they are much more pleasant and hopefully safer. The most up to date map is from the city is here: ArcGIS Web Application
That is kind of a goofy link but you can also access it from

As to your specific questions again I stay on the greenways. Hence when turning left from Multnomah to go south on NE20th stay in the two way lane on the east side of the road but after you go over the freeway veer left at the little circle and head down NE 21st to NE Irving. Note that on the Portland map it shows the route to stay on NE 20th as red meaning you can do it, but really shouldn’t. Going on NE 21 negates the issue of having to cross NE 20th.
Similar situation on NE28th. Going north on NE28th from from NE Holladay stay on the west side of the road in the two-way bike path. Rather than go up NE28th go left on NE Wasco over to Greenway on NE26th. You will note again that staying on NE28th is marked red on the Portland map. NE26th is much nicer and you have a good crossing of NE Broadway with the light. This section is a little trickier if you are coming north up the 26-28 north-south Greenway corridor and you hit the light on Sandy on 28th. In this case you have to stay in the northbound bike lane on the east side until there is a break in traffic to switch to the two-way lane on the west side so you can go left on NE Wasco.

It never ceases to amaze me how many bicyclists ride on routes with lots of cars just because it is the absolute shortest route. The city has done a wonderful job of making a great Greenway network. It make take a few zigs and zags but it is way nicer.

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