Let’s cut to the chase: Driving in a city is just plain weird. By design, there are more cars on the road, everyone is trying to hive-mind their way to work or back home, and (depending on how old your city is) often the closer you get to the center of town things start to feel more fashioned for horses and buggies rather than automobiles. And given all of this, Portland’s no exception.
So if you’re looking to drive around PDX, here are a few handy tips from your fellow Portlanders (and a great case for taking public transit or hopping on a bike):
“Don’t.” — @tgularte, @bbrkdwn, and @feministvagenda
“Take the MAX.” — @sadieawesomelady80
“Go slow.” — Rebecca R.
“When turning, always check your blind spot for bikes!” — @tsteenblock
“Turn your lights on when it’s raining and always, always, always double check for cyclists!” — @amanda.m.butt
“Learn and respect the zipper merge.” — @pieceofpdx.patrik
(Editor’s note: For those not in the know, “Zipper merge” basically means cars merge from two lanes to one by taking turns like the teeth of a zipper.)
“Use your blinker, be sure you know how to ‘zipper merge,’ be sure to politely wave when someone lets you in. Been driving here for 15 years, drivers are pretty nice if you’re not being an idiot driver.” — @gezikaharizen
“Respect the rain.” — @liveplaypdx
“OMG. I loved my 10 years in PDX except for the drivers. Honestly. My biggest beef? Could you just please go the speed limit? I’m not asking for you to speed but could you just please go 35 in a 35 zone? Not 30. Not 25. But please just. Go. The. Speed. Limit.” — @lougallops
“Pull into the intersection when yielding to oncoming traffic on a left turn to allow the car behind you to move up and make the turn more easily.” — @beetlebath
“Drive with intention, please. I feel as though people still drive like they’re in a small town rather than a legit city. Those who come here from cities drive like it, and the chaos ensues between the two broad forms of helmsmanship. In short, it’s a mess. The solution always seems to be: More bike lanes! Agh.” — @lambskins
“Remember that the river is 0 for west/east addresses and Burnside is 0 for north / south addresses. Then you can find anything by its address because you know how many blocks away it is. Also, odd addresses are on the north and west side of the street, and even addresses are on the south and east side of the street. Remember where major streets cross in town. But really the best advice is to drive a bicycle. .” — Johnny B.
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