Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Portland Bureau of Transportation

We keep Portland moving

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info


Barbara Plummer, Residential Street Program Coordinator


Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View More

Residential Streets Program

  1. Traditional residential street design

    Click here to view more street design options

  2. View of a shared residential street design

    All street users have the benefit of sharing paved roadways

About 50 miles of unpaved, dirt and gravel streets currently exist in the City of Portland and most of these are on residential streets. These unimproved streets provide poor accessibility, particularly for pedestrians, and can reduce neighborhood livability.

As in most cities, adjacent property owners are responsible for creating new or improving existing local residential streets in Portland, either as a requirement of new (infill) development or through a Local Improvement District (LID).

Many of these dirt and gravel streets are not being improved through the LID program simply because of the high cost of the existing ‘traditional’ street design standard. The traditional residential street standard has all the elements of a high performance street, including curbs, sidewalks on both sides of the street and a stormwater system, but the typical cost to the adjacent property owners participating in an LID can be out of reach for some.

Additionally, infill development happens sporadically, and on unimproved streets any improvements are left disconnected from the rest of the street system. It may be many years before additional infill development comes along to complete the connections. A new approach is needed that helps get pedestrians, bicyclists, vehicles and residents up out of the mud and gravel.

The Solution

To make it easier for property owners to improve dirt and gravel streets with at least an asphalt surface, the Bureau of Transportation has new design standards intended to lower the cost of improvements. Streets that meet the following minimum criteria may qualify for the new design options:

The street must be:

  • Zoned for single family residential development (R5-R7)
  • Classified as a “Local Street” for all modes in the Transportation System Plan (TSP).
  • Not in a “Pedestrian District” (classification in the TSP)