Starting tomorrow, taking a mental health walk in your neighborhood could get a little easier.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) announced last week that it would start making some city streets more pedestrian- and bike-friendly to accommodate social distancing needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those changes will start to go into effect Thursday, when PBOT will begin putting up signage and other infrastructure on neighborhood greenways, or streets that are designed to be light on car traffic.

PBOT is temporarily making all neighborhood greenways “local-access only” for cars, and putting up signs encouraging people to “share the street” while maintaining a six-foot distance between each other:


The bureau is also using orange barrels and other physical barriers to slow car traffic at 100 points where greenways intersect with busy roads. More slow-down points could be added later.


This is just the first phase of a three-pronged PBOT plan to make Portland streets more accommodating of life during a pandemic. PBOT also plans to add wider pedestrian spaces on busy streets, and include more dedicated space in front of businesses for pedestrians and drivers who are picking up or dropping off items.

You can find your nearest neighborhood greenway, and where traffic will be slowed near your home, using the city’s interactive map.