1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204
Streets make our neighborhoods distinct, whether it be the streets of Ladd’s Addition or the high speed arterials in East Portland. These rights-of-way also generate substantial value to the city and private land owners alike, but only if they are managed effectively.
There are many competing demands for space on, and under, our public rights-of-way. Our streets must accommodate utilities, trees, stormwater, parking, and placemaking while ensuring the efficient movement of people and goods on buses, bikes and trucks, in cars, and on foot. In addition to moving people, streets are also a place for people to gather, visit, and celebrate. Five times a year we transform our streets into Sunday Parkways. Our newly created “street seat” program creates mini-parks and seating in the public space to further enhance streets as places.
All of this requires management, oversight, clear processes, and clear priorities. Efficient management of the right-of-way, through public space permitting and curbside management, can help reduce congestion, improve access, and protect the quality of our natural and built environment and street assets. Meeting both the operational and financial needs of our transportation system will require enhanced public space management and continued analysis of this shared resource.
While PBOT is the steward of this resource, they share the use with many other divisions of the city, public agencies, transportation providers, and a diverse set of private stakeholders who value it for access and commerce. As with so many actions, PBOT alone cannot manage all aspects of the right-of-way. We must work with partner agencies to develop and adopt priorities, encourage placemaking, enhance operations, improve maintenance, and manage our right-of-way resources well.
We have set three goals to help us manage city assets: