How To Drive In Portland

Portland is the hot new city to move to. People are friendly, there are trees everywhere, and we’re so politically correct, it should really be our middle name. Forget that the city has more strip clubs and adult shops per capita, or that nearly everything has a bar attached to it, real estate is prime for the picking, and Portland is ready to welcome you into one of the many brand new luxury condos built on the foundation of some small, local business that was forced out during the tech money take over. Don’t get us wrong, Portland LOVES small and local businesses, as long as they’re not really local because, you know, that takes up potential condo space.

Did you know that there’s a television show about Portland? If you didn’t, you should watch it that way when you meet someone who lives in Portland, you can ask them about it! Portlanders love that shit.

But I’m not here to tell you about how big corporations keep buying out our small businesses, or how hundreds of people are becoming homeless every month because rents are skyrocketing and there’s no such thing as rent control here. No, that shit is depressing. I’m here to tell you about how to drive in the city that you are most likely thinking about moving to.

Portland has been known for many great things, but its drivers are not amongst them. Or maybe I’m lying. Regardless, I’m here to help you out. Driving in Portland is far from efficient and follows its own set of rules. Follow these tips and tricks, and you’ll be driving on the road like the best of them. Scouts honor!

-Always admire the scenery as you drive. Your eyes don’t always have to be on the road.
-When you come to the end of a merge lane, come to a full stop and play rock, paper, scissors with the driver in the other car to determine who should go first. Play to whoever wins the best five out of seven.
-Speed limit signs don’t matter. All you need to know is that it’s common practice to drive 40mph on the highway, and 60 mph through residential streets children might be playing on.
-Stop signs. If you’re stopped for long enough, the sign might turn green. Best to wait and wave at whatever car might honk at you. Waving is very friendly.
-If a car is backing out of a parking spot, speed up. They’ll see you eventually.
-When an emergency vehicle is hauling ass with their lights flashing, don’t try to pull over to the right, just stop where you’re at. It should still have enough room to weave between you and all the other cars who have also just stopped where they were.
-When you do not have a stop sign, you should always slam on your breaks and come to a full stop to let a car who is waiting at a stop sign pass – just like in this video!
-If smoke is ever coming out of your car, just keep driving. It’ll sort itself out eventually.
-It’s cool to pass busses on the left over a double yellow line while you’re traveling up a narrow, winding road. Oncoming traffic will totally be paying attention, unless they’re watching the scenery.
-If you get into an accident, step out of your car and have an hour long conversation with the other driver in the only spot where other cars not involved could pass through.
-Red lights don’t really mean stop.
-Green lights don’t really mean go.
-Traffic laws are only secondary to when your favorite jam comes on the radio.
-Parallel parking. If there’s space for two cars, park in the middle. You really want to encourage more people to walk/ride a bike/take public transit because it’s better for the environment.

There you have it, folks. Follow these tricks, and you’ll have Portland driving down like a boss!

The Audiobook of Jigsaw Youth by Tiffany Scandal is available everywhere, so go and listen!


Tiffany Scandal is a good-for-nothing broad, writer, Suicide Girl, photographer and painter. Her Second book JIGSAW YOUTH ( Ladybox Books) is out now and has earned her the acclaim of being "Lindsay Hunter's literary punk-rock sister" (The Next Best Book Club).