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Pedestrian laws in Portland

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Pedestrian laws in Portland are older and, therefore, somewhat more complicated than bicycle laws in Portland. Among the key rules:

  • ORS 801.220, making every street corner in the state a legal crosswalk where vehicles must stop for pedestrians.
  • ORS 811.028, the "stop and stay stopped" rule, requiring drivers to give pedestrians one lane of clearance as they cross the street.
  • Portland city code 16.70.210, requiring pedestrians to cross the street at crosswalks if one exists within 150 feet.
  • ORS 814.040, requiring pedestrians to yield to vehicles while crossing the street, and forbidding pedestrians to cross the street if a vehicle cannot stop in time.


[edit] Proposed reforms

Because ORS 814.040 essentially requires pedestrians to be in the street before they have the right of way, the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition has tried to change the law.

[edit] 2007: 'hand signal' proposal

In 2007, the WPC backed a law that would have allowed pedestrians to get the right of way by using a hand signal to indicate that they wanted to enter a crosswalk.

As reported by, the measure passed Oregon's state Senate but failed in the House.

[edit] In 2011: 'intent to proceed' proposal

In February 2011, the WPC again mounted an effort to amend the law, allowing pedestrians to signal their intent to cross by stepping into the street with a foot, cane, bicycle or other "extension" of their body.

"No one feels safe walking out in front of speeding traffic," pedestrian attorney Ray Thomas wrote to BikePortland, which reported the effort. "So the pedestrians stand at the curb, often looking forlorn, wistful or angry as they watch cars approach and pass. If the pedestrians could only exercise their legal right of way without having to step in front of speeding traffic, then pedestrians could signal their intent to cross, watch as approaching traffic slows and stops for them, and then continue."

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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