From Portland Afoot
Portland's Transit Mall is a couplet of streets including exclusive bus and light rail lanes running along 5th Avenue (southbound) and 6th Avenue (northbound) between Southwest Jackson Street and Northwest Irving Street in downtown Portland.
 What it looks like
 Unusual traffic rules
Numerous bus routes and MAX's Yellow Line and Green Line run along the mall, thanks to a rail realignment completed in 2009. The buses and trains weave back and forth across the right two lanes on the mall.
A single lane of auto and bike traffic also runs to the left of the two dedicated transit lanes. Right turns by cars are prohibited.
 Safety concerns
In October 2010, a TriMet Safety and Service Excellence Task Force found that, "based on employee comments," the mall "is a 'hot spot' in need of review."
 Bicycle parking
The rebuilt Transit Mall removed bike parking in the form of several dozen blue bike staples, which some felt were unsightly and didn't match the mall's color scheme. In their place, TriMet installed several chrome-colored bike racks.
TriMet-riding blogger AdriC criticized the new racks in 2011, saying that "the rough edges scratch the bikes" and suggesting that TriMet's "leaning rails," which are labeled with stickers saying "NO BIKES PLEASE," should be allowable parking spots.
"TriMet," AdriC wrote, "if your furniture needs instructions, you need new furniture."
The Transit Mall's exclusive lanes were established in 1978, and expanded northward to Irving Street in 1995. It was among the first transit malls in North America, with predecessors in Minneapolis's Nicollet Mall and Vancouver BC's Granville Mall.
One of the mall's original goals was to reduce downtown auto congestion and improve air quality.
"A Tri-Met document says downtown air in 1972 was so dirty it violated federal health standards one day out of every three," The Oregonian reported in 2002.
Did you find this page useful? Could it get better? You're meeting Portland Afoot in its toddlerhood! You can help build this free online guide to low-car life in PDX by clicking "edit" in the right sidebar and adding what you know. Or just leave your questions or ideas below. Thanks for visiting!