Strong free speech protections of the Oregon Constitution upheld by the Oregon Supreme Court in State v. Henry, 732 P.2d 9 (Or. 1987) specifically found that full nudity and lap dances in strip clubs are protected speech. Portland has the highest number of strip clubs per-capita in a city in the United States, and Oregon ranks as the highest state for per-capita strip clubs. Portland has been titled as "Pornland" for its strip clubs, erotic massage parlors, and high rate of child sex trafficking. The term was heavily used in 2010, but the term was referenced by Chuck Palahniuk in 2003.
In November 2008, a Multnomah County judge dismissed charges against a nude bicyclist arrested on June 26, 2008. The judge stated that the city's annual World Naked Bike Rideheld each year in June since 2004has created a "well-established tradition" in Portland where cyclists may ride naked as a form of protest against cars and fossil fuel dependence. The defendant was not riding in the official World Naked Bike Ride at the time of his arrest as it had occurred 12 days earlier that year, on June 14. The 2009 Naked Bike Ride occurred without significant incident as city police managed traffic intersections. There were an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 participants at the 2009 event. In June 2010, Portland's World Naked Bike Ride had an early estimate of 13,000 riders, though the high estimate was disputed by event organizers. The official event site provides an estimate of 7000 for 2010, and a high of 10,100 riders in 2015.
A state law prohibiting publicly insulting a person in a way likely to provoke a violent response was tested in Portland and struck down unanimously by the State Supreme Court as violating protected free speech and being overly broad.
The Portland metropolitan area has transportation services common to major U.S. cities, though Oregon's emphasis on proactive land-use planning and transit-oriented development within the urban growth boundary means that commuters have multiple well-developed options. In 2014, Travel + Leisure magazine rated Portland as the #1 most pedestrian and transit-friendly city in the United States. A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Portland 12th most walkable of fifty largest U.S. cities.
In 2008, 12.6% of all commutes in Portland were on public transit. TriMet operates most of the region's buses and the MAX (short for Metropolitan Area Express) light rail system, which connects the city and suburbs. The 1986-opened MAX system has expanded to five lines, with the latest being the Orange Line to Milwaukie, in service as of September 2015. WES Commuter Rail opened in February 2009 in Portland's western suburbs, linking Beaverton and Wilsonville.
The city-owned Portland Streetcar serves two routes in the Central City downtown and adjacent districts. The first line, which opened in 2001 and was extended in 20052007, operates from the South Waterfront District through Portland State University and north through the West End of downtown, to shopping areas and dense residential districts north and northwest of downtown. The second line opened in 2012 and added 3.3 miles (5.3 km) of tracks on the east side of the Willamette River and across the Broadway Bridge to a connection with the original line. The east-side line completed a loop to the tracks on the west side of the river upon completion of the new Tilikum Crossing in 2015, and, in anticipation of that, had already been named the Central Loop line in 2012. However, it was renamed the Loop Service, with an A Loop (clockwise) and B Loop (counterclockwise), when it became a complete loop with the opening of the Tilikum Crossing bridge.
Fifth and Sixth avenues within downtown comprise the Portland Transit Mall, two streets devoted primarily to bus and light rail traffic with limited automobile access. Opened in 1977 for buses, the transit mall was renovated and rebuilt in 200709, with light rail added. Starting in 1975 and lasting nearly four decades, all transit service within downtown Portland was free, the area being known by TriMet as Fareless Square, but a need for minor budget cuts and funding needed for expansion prompted the agency to limit free rides to rail service only in 2010, and subsequently to discontinue the fare-free zone entirely in 2012.
TriMet provides real-time tracking of buses and trains with its TransitTracker, and makes the data available to software developers so they can create customized tools of their own.
I-5 connects Portland with the Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon, and California to the south and with Washington to the north. I-405 forms a loop with I-5 around the central downtown area of the city and I-205 is a loop freeway route on the east side which connects to the Portland International Airport. U.S. 26 supports commuting within the metro area and continues to the Pacific Ocean westward and Mount Hood and Central Oregon eastward. U.S. 30 has a main, bypass, and business route through the city extending to Astoria to the west; through Gresham, Oregon, and the eastern exurbs, and connects to I-84, traveling towards Boise, Idaho. Portland ranks 13th in traffic congestion of all American cities, and is 16th among all North American cities.
Portland's main airport is Portland International Airport, located about 20 minutes by car (40 minutes by MAX) northeast of downtown. In addition Portland is home to Oregon's only public use heliport, the Portland Downtown Heliport. Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Portland at Union Station on three routes. Long-haul train routes include the Coast Starlight (with service from Los Angeles to Seattle) and the Empire Builder (with service from Seattle/Portland to Chicago.) The Amtrak Cascades state-supported trains operate between Vancouver, British Columbia and Eugene, Oregon, and serve Portland several times daily. The city is also served by Greyhound Lines intercity bus service which operates BoltBus an express bus service. The bus depot is about one block from the Portland Union Station. The city's first airport was the Swan Island Municipal Airport which was closed in the 1940s.
Portland is the only city in the United States that owns operating mainline steam locomotives, donated to the city in 1958 by the railroads that ran them. Spokane, Portland & Seattle 700 and the world-famous Southern Pacific 4449 can be seen several times a year pulling a special excursion train, either locally or on an extended trip. The "Holiday Express", pulled over the tracks of the Oregon Pacific Railroad on weekends in December, has become a Portland tradition over its several years running. These trains and others are operated by volunteers of the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation, an amalgamation of rail preservation groups which collaborated on the finance and construction of the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, a permanent and publicly accessible home for the locomotives, which opened in 2012 adjacent to OMSI.
In Portland, cycling is a significant mode of transportation. As the city has been particularly supportive of urban bicycling it now ranks highly among the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. Approximately 8% of commuters bike to work, the highest proportion of any major U.S. city and about 10 times the national average. For its achievements in promoting cycling as an everyday means of transportation, Portland has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists and other cycling organizations for its network of on-street bicycling facilities and other bicycle-friendly services, being one of only three U.S. cities to have earned a Platinum-level rating. A new bicycle-sharing system, Biketown, launched on July 19, 2016, with 100 stations in the city's central and eastside neighborhoods. The bikes were provided by Social Bicycles, and the system is operated by Motivate.
Car sharing through Zipcar, Car2Go, Getaround, and Uhaul Car Share is available to residents of the city and some inner suburbs. Portland has a commuter aerial cableway, the Portland Aerial Tram, which connects the South Waterfront district on the Willamette River to the Oregon Health & Science University campus on Marquam Hill above.