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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

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Street Seats

  • Street Seats

    Street Seats is a program designed to enhance street vitality and support local businesses.

2015 Street Seat application package now available





To help applicants, the City hosted an open house on December 5, 2014 at the Portland Building (1120 SW 5th Avenue) from 12:30PM to 2PM.  Prospective applicants were able to learn more about what’s involved in applying for and sponsoring a street seat.  City staff and local design firms were available to answer questions and provide design inspiration.
  • Date: December 5, 2014
  • Time: 12:30pm to 2:00pm.  Short staff presentation at 12:45pm.
  • Location: Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Room B. 

The following design firms were also be in attendance: Alta Planning, Hennebery Eddy, Propel Studio, Scott Edwards

You can view the powerpoint presentation HERE.

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NEW FOR 2015

The following changes have been made for the 2015 program:

  • Concept plan deadline – January 15th, 2015. Applicants will be required to submit concept level designs for review and preliminary approval.  A maximum of ten (10) new locations may be chosen to move forward through the design development and review process.  Creativity of design, ‘public seating’ proposals, and demonstration of community support will be prioritized evaluation criteria.  Serious applicants are encouraged to seek out early professional design assistance.
  • Application fee.  A non-refundable fee of $100 will go towards staff review time.
  • Permit fee for renewals to be reduced. The cost of annual renewal permits will be reduced from $500 to $250.
  • Info Session Open House on December 5th, 2014.  To help applicants, the City is hosting an open house at the Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Room B, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Prospective applicants can learn more about what is involved with sponsoring a Street Seat with help from staff from the Bureau of Transportation and local design firms.

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Street Seats is a program of the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) that allows  businesses or non-profit organizations to convert on-street parking into other public uses, such as café seating or a mini-park.  Based on similar programs in San Francisco and New York City, the program enlivens the streetscape by creating spaces for Portlanders to enjoy seating and a meal or a drink outdoors, which in turn enhances street vitality and benefits local businesses. 

 Slideshow: check out these photo galleries of Portland and San Francisco installations.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation experimented with a pilot Street Seats project in 2012. After receiving feedback from community members and business owners, the pilot was deemed a success and PBOT instituted an ongoing program in spring 2013.   View an overview of the 2014 installations.

Check out the below map of approved Street Seat installations in the City of Portland:   

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 PRESS COVERAGE on Portland's Street Seats Program


Street Seats to host December 5th open house; accept 2015 proposals through January 15 to turn parking spaces into outdoor seatingCity of Portland press release (12/3/2014)

Portland's Street Seats 2014, City of Portland press release (10/1/2014)

Sit down on Street Seat winners and contemplate design, Portland Center for Architecture, Oregonian (9/29/2014)

More restaurants swap parking for outdoor seats, KGW 8 (6/4/2014)

Portland Street Seats expanding, changing, Koin 6 (5/13/2014)

More Portland restaurants adding Street Seats, Koin 6 (4/12/2014)

Want to convert a parking spot into public seating? Street Seats now accepting proposals for 2014City of Portland press release (11/14/2013)

New Proposed Guidelines for Street Seats, City of Portland press release ((3/22/2013)

Street Seats Pilot Program UpdatedCity of Portland press release (1/10/2013)


SS Info Session Presentation

December 5th Info session presentation (pdf)

2015 Street Seat Permit Renewal Instructions

Applicants who wish to renew existing Street Seat installations will be required to complete a new application form each year. In addition, they must provide demonstration of continued community support for installation and drawings detailing any proposed design changes, if applicable.

Cost Structure

A breakdown of Street Seat permit fees.

Preparing Community Support and Outreach

Documented support by the neighborhood is a requirement of the application.

Design and Construction Firms available for Street Seats

A list of design and construction firms available for Street Seat design proposal assistance.

Notification Flyer Template and Instructions (.docx)

Downloadable template example to be posted and distributed as part of community notification (Word doc).

Link to Sidewalk Cafe Seating permit application

Download the information/application packet to apply for outdoor cafe seating on the proposed Street Seat.

Sample Encroachment Permit (.pdf)

Sample Encroachment Permit

Portland Street Seat Photos

A collection of photos of Portland's Street Seat installations.

Contact Us

Staff contact information.