1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204
Portland has about 60 miles of unpaved, dirt and gravel streets within the city limits. While the City does not maintain these unimproved streets, some residents have taken the initiative to create garden plots, rest areas and other community uses in these public spaces.
Mayor Charlie Hales has directed the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to gather community input on how the City can enable such community uses on streets. Starting Oct. 19, students from a Portland State University civic leadership class will be going door-to-door on behalf of the City in the Cully and Outer SE Division neighborhoods to gather ideas and gauge public interest in areas that have concentrations of unimproved streets.
The concept came from Mayor Hales, who thought the City should try to empower communities to help determine what their neighborhoods look like by creating something useful and attractive. Many homeowners on unimproved streets have said that expensive paving projects are not what they prefer, but lower cost alternatives such as placing benches or gardens in the public right of way would still require a City permit.
The city’s goal is to select four unimproved streets from sites proposed by community groups and homeowners throughout the City for an initial pilot project in 2014. The next step will be setting criteria for evaluating candidate pilot street projects and further engagement this winter with neighborhood and community groups.
For more information, contact:
Denver Igarta | 503-823-1088
Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)