Driving In Portland

Oh sure, it looks serene and peaceful…

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.

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