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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 1331, Portland, OR 97204

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Clinton Street Bike Boulevard Enhancement Project

project map


Updated April, 2011: Final Project Design Elements



See the recommended project elements


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for the project elements

Project goals & objectives 

The overarching objective of this project is to let people know that they are on a street prioritized for use by cyclists and, by association, other non-motorized users. We want to make people aware of this by using design & art features to communicate this message to cyclists, pedestrians, and motor vehicle drivers.   The outcome should be to make this neighborhood greenway/bike boulevard a more pleasant, safer place to live, walk, & bike. This pilot project will test out this innovative approach that, if successful, could be replicated along other neighborhood greenways/bicycle boulevards in the city.

Why is there a need for this project?

Portland currently has many existing miles of bicycle boulevards/ neighborhood greenways – quiet, neighborhood, bicycle-friendly streets - and anticipates continuing to expand and develop the network further. City code defines them as “routes where bicyclists are given priority of movement”. Despite this definition, many people bicycling along Portland’s bicycle boulevards, particularly more vulnerable or less confident cyclists such as children, seniors and families - for whom the bicycle boulevards/neighborhood greenways are meant to serve - still feel uncomfortable, threatened, or usurped by motorists in the travel lane. In turn, many motorists do not appear to be aware that they are traveling along routes prioritized for bicycles and not motor vehicles. The ultimate goal of this project is to better communicate the street’s designation as a bicycle boulevard/neighborhood greenway.

Why was Clinton Street selected?

Clinton Street is one of Portland’s oldest and most well-established bicycle boulevards. It sees some of the highest bicycle use of any bike boulevard in the city - around 1800 bikes per day along many sections. It already has a comprehensive range of traffic calming tools in place including speed bumps, traffic circles, a bike box, a semi-diverter, & pedestrian crosswalks. However, despite the presence of these traffic calming tools, Clinton Street still sees higher cut-through auto-traffic than most other bicycle boulevards/ neighborhood greenways in the city - between 2000 and 2400 vehicles per day along many stretches. Bicyclists often say they feel squeezed and uncomfortable with the high volume of auto traffic along the boulevard.

How will art incorporated into this project? 

The objective is not simply to create & implement art for art’s sake, or to be solely aesthetic in nature. Rather, it is to utilize art as a strong communicative project tool to clarify the street’s designation. The project intends to strongly communicate the important safety message “This is a bicycle boulevard/ neighborhood greenway” to all users of the street. All artistic components developed should be capable of communicating this message clearly to everybody traveling along the street.

PBOT envisages potentially utilizing a mix of on-street pavement markings, signage, & other potential artistic means. All creative content developed for the project will need to be bold, creative and striking. It will also need to be simple, comprehensible, straightforward to install and maintain, and not so intricate that it cannot be potentially replicable on other bicycle boulevards throughout the city.  

What is the project timeline?

  • Winter 2008 : Project artists selected by panel of local artists & cyclists
  • Spring 2008 : Clinton Street resident/user survey
  • May 2008 : Initial public Open House to gather ideas
  • June 2008 : project advisory committee meeting
  • October 2008 : 2nd public Open House to present design concepts & receive comments
  • April 2009 : 2nd project advisory committee meeting to review artists' design concepts
  • July 13, 2009 : 3nd public Open House to present finalized design concepts & receive comments
  • Spring 2011 : installation of initial project elements: bike corrals, sign toppers, bike "flags", & badges.  Use of pavement markings (manadala, bike down) will be assessed after this initial installation.

Where is the funding coming from?

  • The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has allocated $10,000 from their “Art on the Streets” funds. This funding is to be used exclusively to fund the selected artist’s project time.
  • PBOT has allocated up to $20,000 for initial installation of project elements. 


Questions?   Contact Jeff Smith at 503.823.7083 and




Over 330 people took our online survey in spring 2008. See the results here!

VIDEO SHORT - Portland's Bicycle Boulevards!

Learn all about the City's Bicycle Boulevards in this great 3-min film short.

VIDEO SHORT - What is a Bicycle Boulevard?

Learn all about what a Bicycle Boulevard actually is, through this very informative video shot in Berkeley, California.