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A Local Improvement District (LID) is a method by which a group of property owners can share in the cost of infrastructure improvements, most commonly for transportation and stormwater. This involves improving the street, building sidewalks, and installing a stormwater management system. An LID can also be used to install sidewalks on existing streets that previously have been accepted for maintenance by the City. Financing is offered for up to 20 years, with the first payment not due until after the project is complete.
LIDs are most commonly used to improve unpaved streets. If an LID is formed, the City manages the design and construction of the project, and property owners do not pay until the work is complete. Streets can also be improved under a permit job, in which case the project is privately managed and financed up front by property owners. LIDs have also been successfully used to provide sanitary sewer, water main improvements, traffic signal and utility undergrounding improvements in conjunction with street improvements for economies of scale to provide comprehensive and complete infrastructure solutions to neighborhoods.
The highest concentration of unpaved streets is in the Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. (SWNI) coalition area, in which 4.8% of the streets are unpaved versus a Citywide average of 2.8%. Similarly the highest concentration is in the Far Southwest neighborhood of Southwest Portland in which 13.8% of the streets are unpaved. The lowest concentration of unpaved streets is in the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN) area, in which just 0.6% of the streets are unpaved. Centerline miles of unpaved streets has gradually been reduced over time, from 60.5 centerline miles in 2009 to 55.7 centerline miles in 2015, representing a 6.6% decrease in 5 years despite the lack of a broad-based funding source to pave unpaved streets.
LIDs are also used to reconstruct streets which have pavement with gravel shoulders and no curbs or sidewalks. Many of these streets meet neighboring property owners' needs and have pavement surfaces in relatively good condition. However the initial construction of some of these streets was of such poor quality that over time their pavement surface is difficult to distinguish from an unpaved street. The lack of a stormwater management system is also an issue on some of these streets, even when the pavement is in relatively good condition.
The highest concentration of paved streets without curbs is in the Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. (SWNI) coalition area, in which 40.5% of the streets are paved but lack curbs versus a Citywide average of 15.4%. Similarly the highest concentration in this surface type category is in the Maplewood neighborhood of Southwest Portland with 75.5%. The lowest concentration in this surface type category is in the NECN coalition area with just 1.1%.
Sidewalk coverage in the City varies, ranging from a low of 24.8% in the SWNI coalition area to 87.9% in NECN. Similarly sidewalk coverage in individuals neighborhoods ranges from a low of 3.2% in Maplewood to over 100% in Old-Town Chinatown, where all streets have adjacent sidewalks and additional sidewalk facilities are available in Waterfront Park.
Neighborhoods in the City with no unpaved streets or paved streets with gravel shoulders lacking curbs include Alameda, Downtown, Grant Park, Hayden Island, Laurelhurst, Lloyd District, Sabin and Woodland Park. All of the streets in these neighborhoods are paved with curbs, which have some of the highest property values in the City.
A map of neighborhood coalition areas is available at this link: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/28390
A map of street surfaces as of July 1, 2015 is available at this link:
Current Local Improvement District (LID) projects in development.
Frequently asked questions about Portland's Local Improvement District Program
When property owners decide they want to form an LID, they agree to assume responsibility to pay for the project.
Maintenance options for unimproved streets.
Paved streets and sidewalks improve access for pedestrians, bicycles, cars and emergency vehicles
Generally the design standards used in the land use and building permit processes are also used for street improvements constructed through the Local Improvement District process.
Map of standard, substandard, and dirt/gravel streets available as PDF download
Contact information for Improving Streets with Local Improvement Districts