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Commissioner Steve Novick

Official Website for Commissioner Steve Novick

Phone: 503-823-4682

fax: 503-823-4019

1221 SW 4th Ave. Suite 210, Portland, OR 97204

Don't Circle the Block - Park and Walk! Join me October 24

Please join me for a lunchtime Walktober event highlighting how each of us can reduce traffic congestion and air pollution while improving our health.

When we circle the block searching for a curbside parking space, we create traffic congestion and air pollution. Parking guru Donald Shoup has studied the phenomenon and writes, “a surprising amount of traffic isn’t caused by people who are on their way somewhere. Rather it is caused by… people who have gotten where they want to be but are cruising around looking for a place to park.”

Fortunately, there’s often a better option. We can simply “park early” and walk a few extra blocks to our destination. And the truth is, most of us could use the extra steps. Public health experts recommend that you walk 10,000 steps a day. The average American walks barely half that. Walking a few blocks from a parking space to your destination will help you get closer to that 10,000 goal.  Ever since I started wearing a pedometer, I’ve stopped thinking about parking several blocks from my destination as an annoyance and started thinking of it as a chance to get some extra steps.

So when we park early and walk, we’re getting healthier.  And in turn, we’re cutting down on traffic and pollution, and we can even save a bit of time because we’re not circling for parking. Now that’s a win, win, win.

One way to avoid circling is to simply head to a garage.  In downtown Portland, SmartPark is Portland’s most affordable and conveniently located parking, offering nearly 4,000 spaces and the lowest short-term hourly rates.

I hope you’ll join me for a lunchtime Walktober tour of SmartPark garages located in downtown. Details: 

  • WHERE: Meet on SW 4th Avenue between Yamhill & Taylor, near the SmartPark entrance.
  • WHEN: Meet beginning at 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, October 24.  The walk steps off at 12:05 p.m.
  • WHAT: A lunchtime Walktober tour of SmartPark garages located in downtown.  Discussion and opinions about parking policy welcome.


For additional details, check out the event page on the Walktober website at, and please call 503-823-4682 if you have questions.



Commissioner Steve Novick

City of Portland, Oregon