Portland Neighborhoods Guide

Portland Neighborhoods Guide: Living in Portland Without A Car

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Portland Mapper


Navigating Portland
Portland Public Transit: Trains, Buses, Streetcars
Living in Portland Without A Car
Finding an Apartment or Rental in Portland
Where in Portland should I live?
Random Facts and Portland Trivia
Portland Frequently Asked Questions
Portland Grocery Stores
Top 5 Things To Do Before Renting a Place in Portland

Area Descriptions


Goose Hollow and King's Hill
Northwest Portland
South Waterfront
The Pearl District

Northeast/North Portland

Hollywood District
Lloyd District
St. Johns
University Park

Southeast Portland

Hawthorne District
Ladd's Addition

Southwest Portland

Johns Landing
Multnomah Village

Suburbs/Outlying Areas

Beaverton - West Suburbs
Lake Oswego - South of Portland
Orenco Station - Hillsboro
Tanasbourne - Hillsboro/Beaverton
Tualatin Town Center - Southwest of Portland
Vancouver, WA


Portland Scenic Photographs by Andrew Hall

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alt.portland guide - everything cool about Portland

While Portland isn't New York City, you can certainly live in Portland without a car. Lots of people do it. Portland has a good public transit system, TriMet (please read the page Portland Public Transit: Trains, Buses, Streetcars ). And Portland is very bike-friendly, with bike lanes everywhere. Portland is also served by Zipcar, a car sharing service, if you occasionally need a car.

The key to success living without a car in Portland is picking a location that is transit-friendly and walking friendly, with a fairly easy way to get to work or school. Within the core of the city, Portland has numerous dense, walkable neighborhoods with good bus and/or train service.

The most popular places to live without a car in Portland are probably Downtown, The Pearl District, and Northwest Portland, because they all have numerous retail options within walking distance and are served by the Portland Streetcar, the MAX, and many buses. And if you will have a job, many jobs are in or close to downtown.

You can certainly live in most of Portland's other urban neighborhoods like Hawthorne District or Irvington without a car - just make sure you are on a good bus line or near a MAX stop.

How do you find a place to rent that will not have a terrible bus or train commute to work? Use the PortlandBridges.com Portland Mapper to get point to point bus or train routing between any two locations in Portland - say a potential apartment (or even an intersection) to downtown, school, work, etc. The Mapper also shows visually where things are relative to each other - where the MAX and Streetcar stops are, where the grocery stores are, etc.

Portland suburbs without a car

Portland's suburbs are, as you'd expect, more car-oriented than the urban neighborhoods, with poorer bus service and less pedestrian-friendly roads. Even if you live near a MAX stop in the 'burbs, the MAX train is not exactly a bullet train - it's a long ride into downtown from Hillsboro or Gresham. There are bike lanes on many suburban roads but it's not as easy to bike around as in the urban areas (where there are also more bike shops).

If you must live in the suburbs without a car, a few places you might consider living on the west side (near the Intel campuses for example) are Tanasbourne at the border of NW Portland, Hillsboro, and Beaverton or nearby Orenco Station (planned community built around a MAX stop) - the surrounding area is mostly chain stores and restaurants, not the most exciting area in which to live but you would certainly be able to get by. Again, see the PortlandBridges.com Portland Mapper to check out various locations, neighborhoods, etc.

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