Walking trends in Portland

Average daily walking trips dropped by 36% in the US between 2019 and 2022 — see how Portland compares.

Sneakers on pavement.

Most adults walk at an average of 2-4 mph.

Photo via Pexels

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If you’ve been singing the lyrics “I walk a lonely road” a lot lately, you’re not… alone (well, in a sense). Portland roads are actually less lonely than many, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

If national averages indicate anything, it’s that roads overall may have been more lonely during the past few years. According to a recent data report by Streetlight, annual average daily walking trips dropped 36% in the US between 2019 and 2022.

How does that national average shake out in Portland, and where are the best spots to raise those national trend (and step count) numbers? Let’s take a look.

By the numbers

    • -35% | Percent change in walking trips in Oregon, -37% in Washington
    • -36% | Percent change in walking trips in Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro
    • 67 | Portland’s score out of 100 on Walk Score’s walkability meter

    What does a percent change in walking trips mean? Say a metro area sees a -50% change in walking trips. This means, on average, walking trips declined by 50% in that area. (For the record, none of the top 100 metros in the study saw that much of a decline — the biggest dip was 49% in Akron, OH.)

    Where to walk the walk

    Wondering where you can get your steps in? Check out these pedestrian-friendly spots around town, from local parks to protected streets.

    • Mt. Tabor Park, Southeast 60th Avenue + Salmon Street | Get a sweat going as you climb this forested hill — your reward is a fantastic view of a distant downtown Portland.
    • St. Johns, North Lombard Street | Do some shopping and check out Mike Bennett’s Wonderwood Springs; you can even add some elevation by starting at Cathedral Park.
    • Hoyt Arboretum, 4000 SW Fairview Blvd. | No matter the season, taking a stroll through nature is sure to help relieve some stress.
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