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Winter Driving Tips for People Visiting Portland

While summer often means vacation, winter often is time to pay a visit to family and friends. Travelers in the winter months face added hazards from inclement weather and other holiday travelers, but it can still be a great time of year to make a trip to Portland. Whether you are visiting friends, or simply visiting the City of Roses, here are some winter driving trips that will help ensure your trip is both safe and fun.

Portland Winter Weather and Activities

A report on Portland travel in US News and World Report states that while summer may be the peak time for tourists, winter travelers can score some big deals on hotels while taking in a wealth of local winter activities. While our average winter low temperature of 40 degrees prevents snowfall, there is still plenty of skiing for snow worshippers at nearby Mount Hood. Winter is definitely the rainy season in Portland, but all the better to spend the day indoors enjoying the area’s museums and galleries, such as the Maritime Museum, the Portland Art Museum, and the Blue Sky Gallery, all ranked in the top 10 list of things to do in Portland by the travel experts at Tripadvisor. Check out the community calendar for the Portland Business Alliance, the city’s chamber of commerce, to get information on shows playing at the Portland Center Stage as well as area lectures and free concerts or get into the holiday spirit by attending local seasonal events such as the Festival of Lights, the Holiday Ale Festival, or the Christmas Ship Parade.

Driving In Portland

Portland prides itself on being a city that is easy to get around in without a car, and you can get a bus schedule or find a place to rent a bike from the Portland Bureau of Transportation. If you are driving, visit Travel Portland for pointers on how to navigate through the city, and follow these tips for driving safely in Portland while you are here:

  • Slow down and enjoy the ride. Speed limits are posted on most roads, but when in doubt follow these guidelines: for business districts, the speed limit is general 20mph, in residential neighborhoods, it is generally 25. On highways and rural roads you are usually safe going 55, and you can go up to 65 on interstate highways.
  • At most intersections, you can make either a left or right turn at a red light, as long as you yield to cars or pedestrians.
  • It is illegal to text or talk on a cellphone while driving. Drivers who are over the age of 18 are permitted to use hands free accessories.
  • Portland has many one way streets, and they usually alternate in terms of direction.
  • Portlanders love to walk and travel by bike, and you will find numerous walking trails and bike paths throughout the downtown area. Be on the lookout for ‘bike boxes’ which are being installed at intersections throughout the city. A safety feature designed to reduce the amount of collisions, expect to see increasing numbers of these green boxes popping up everywhere. Be aware that there are no turns on red lights at bike box locations.

Contact a Portland Car Accident Attorney

At the Johnston Law Firm, we are proud to live in Portland, and do our best to welcome visitors to our area. Our experienced Portland auto accident lawyers are here when you need us, offering the kind of effective, efficient legal representation that gets results. If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, contact the Johnston Law Firm for a free and confidential review of your case.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.