Let me say that the reports are true, getting around in Portland via public transit (even without a bike, as I am now) is a piece of cake. I’ve got my Tri*Met pass, I’m good to go.
Now, when I first got here, I realized that all of the back-and-forth and shopping and what-not was going to be made incredibly easier if I had a car. So I rented a little Mazda 5 wagon at the airport and did all my errands that way. In hindsight, it was the smartest thing I did since I got here.
Anyhow, I learned very quickly that there are certain things you need to know about driving in Portland, and I learned them the hard way. Here they are, in no particular order:
- You are in a bike lane
- You just missed your exit
- You can’t turn here
- The kid with the blonde dreadlocks just jumped over you on his BMX bike
- That street is one way in the wrong direction
- You are about to get hit by the MAX train
- That’s northeast, you need southwest, which is several miles from here
- You missed your exit again
- That hill does, in fact, disappear into the cloud cover
- That woman with a walker just passed you
- The Google Maps directions say you can turn here, but you can’t
- The thing you are looking for isn’t there
- You missed your exit a third time
I survived the experience, though I must say I am quite happy to be letting somebody else do the driving from this point forward.