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Good places to live in Portland without a car

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walkability map by walkscore
WalkScore map of the Portland area. Image courtesy, copyright Front Seat.

Good places to live in Portland without a car depend somewhat on whether you expect to get around mostly by TriMet, Portland's above-average public transit system, by bicycle, or afoot.

Neighborhoods that come up on most lists are downtown, the Pearl District and Hollywood. The Goose Hollow area just west of downtown, the Nob Hill area in the Northwest District and the Buckman neighborhood also have very high percentages of low-car and car-free households.

Up-and-coming neighborhoods include Kenton and Montavilla.

Neighborhoods that are human-friendly despite a few clear disadvantages include St. Johns and Sellwood-Moreland, which are relatively far from the city center, and the recently developed South Waterfront, which still has few businesses within walking distance.


[edit] Useful websites for low-car home hunting

[edit] Neighborhoods with the most car-free households

According to Census samples from the years 2005 to 2009, the 10 Census tracts with the largest share of car-free workers are:

  1. tract 53, the heart of downtown, between Burnside, SW Jefferson, 12th and 4th: 75% car-free
  2. tract 54, the east side of downtown, between Burnside, SW Jefferson, 4th and the Willamette River: 75% car-free
  3. tract 56, immediately around Portland State University, 48% car-free
  4. tract 52, northern Goose Hollow: 42% car-free
  5. tract 11.01, the southwest corner of the Buckman neighborhood, between SE Stark, Hawthorne, the Willamette River and 16th: 40% car-free
  6. tract 55, southern Goose Hollow: 38% car-free
  7. tract 49, the center of the Northwest District neighborhood, between NW Thurman and Burnside, 24th and 17th: 36% car-free
  8. tract 21, the northwest corner of the Buckman neighborhood, between Interstate 84, SE Stark, the Willamette River and 20th: 33% car-free
  9. tract 48, the south-central Northwest District, between NW Marshall and Burnside, 23rd and 20th: 27% car-free
  10. tract 51, the Pearl District, Chinatown and Old Town: 23% car-free

[edit] Good places for bicyclists to live

biking rate map
Popularity of bike commuting in Portland's quadrants, according to a city survey, 2007-2008.

City surveys show that the most popular neighborhoods for bicycle commuters to live are inner northeast Portland and southeast Portland, followed by north Portland.

There are few online tools about the best neighborhoods for bicyclists, though at least one is in development.

bikeability map by nathan mcneil
"Bikeability" scores for selected locations in Portland, compiled by PSU scholar Nathan McNeil in June 2010. The score is the number after each colon.

In 2010, PSU scholar Nathan McNeil developed a tentative system to score a location's bikeability, based on nearby bicycle amenities, nearby businesses and connectivity to good bike routes, as part of a master's degree in urban regional planning. McNeil found that of 25 locations around the city, the most bikeable were in downtown, Nob Hill and Hollywood, while the least bikeable were in outer northeast Portland and the 10200 block of Southeast Powell Boulevard.

[edit] Neighborhoods with many short commutes

According to 2005-2009 data from the Census's American Community Survey, the neighborhoods with the highest percentage of commutes of 30 minutes or less are largely in inner southwest Portland:

The neighborhoods with the fastest-improving share of short commutes since 2000 were largely in north Portland and southeast Portland:

[edit] Good places to live in Portland's suburbs

All of Portland's suburbs have at least small walkable areas in their downtown. According to Walkscore, Portland's most walkable suburbs, on average, are Forest Grove and Milwaukie, followed by Beaverton.

Downtown Vancouver and Camas and the Uptown Village area just north of Vancouver's downtown are human-friendly, but poorly connected to the TriMet system. Vancouver's Van Mall neighborhood also has some commercial density, but is highly auto-oriented.

Downtown Beaverton is well-served by MAX but has a very small walkable commercial district.

[edit] Good places to Sell Your Car

If you are ready to sell your vehicle, check out these local car recyclers:

Tony's Auto Removal - Local company that will pay cash for your vehicle quickly - [1]

Cash For Junk Cars Portland - A Portland based junk yard that has been serving the Portland community for over 20 years. - [2]

[edit] See also

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