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City of Portland

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17.25.060 Location Rules and Review.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 182870 and 185397, effective July 6, 2012.) 

A.  A sidewalk café shall only be allowed where the sidewalk is at least 8 feet wide. Café operations will be allowed only within the Area of Operation, which shall be established by the City Engineer.

  The following table shows the minimum width of the Clear Pedestrian Zone for a given sidewalk width.

Sidewalk Width

Clear Pedestrian Zone Minimum Width

Greater than or equal to 8’ 0” and less than or equal to 10’ 0”

 5’ 6”

Greater than 10’ 0” and less than 15’ 0”

 6’ 0”

Greater than or equal to 15’ 0”

 8’ 0”

B.   Sidewalk width is determined by City records. Adjustments may be made at the discretion of the City Engineer when field measurements conflict with City records.

C.   As a tool to allow compliance in areas with space conflicts a sidewalk café may be allowed pinch points that are less than the required Clear Pedestrian Zone minimum width. At a pinch point, the Clear Pedestrian Zone minimum width may be reduced by 6 inches for a length of no more than 2 feet. Pinch points must be at least 4 feet from adjacent pinch points. Pinch points are to be used at the discretion of the City Engineer.

D.   The Clear Pedestrian Zone shall be free of all obstructions, permanent and temporary. This includes objects such as posts, signs, street lights, fire hydrants, bicycle racks, bicycles utilizing bicycle racks, vegetation, trees, tree-wells, planters, literature and news racks, parking meters, bus shelters, benches, tables, chairs, umbrellas, heaters, and waste receptacles.

E.  Obstructions controlled by the café or property owner that extend into the Clear Pedestrian Zone shall be at least 7 feet above the sidewalk surface within the Clear Pedestrian Zone.

F.  Curbside seating may be allowed, subject to approval, and must allow a 2 foot buffer from the curb closest to the property line. Loading zones, bus stops, adjacent travel lanes or other conditions may prohibit curbside seating. The 2 foot buffer may be waived at the Bureau of Transportation’s discretion when seating is adjacent to bike corrals or no-parking zones.

G.  Within the Clear Pedestrian Zone there shall also be a continuous, straight passage at least 2 feet in width, known as the clear visual zone, to provide pedestrians with a clear visual indication of the direction and location of the Clear Pedestrian Zone. The Clear Pedestrian Zone is allowed to meander to navigate obstructions, but its ability to do so is limited by the clear visual zone.

H.  To ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, there shall be a continuous passage at least 4 feet in width with a maximum 2 percent pavement cross slope within the Clear Pedestrian Zone.

I.  The approved Area of Operation shall be established by the City Engineer.

J.  Within the Transit Mall, additional criteria regarding Clear Pedestrian Zone minimum widths may be applied per the City Engineer’s discretion.