Approximately one-fifth of the land area of Portland is held in the public rights-of-way and PBOT is its designated steward. This includes not only the improved and unimproved streets, but sidewalks, alleys, and other public ways. This is a tremendous amount of real estate that shapes both the function and image of the city. These rights-of-way are a tremendous resource which it is PBOT’s basic obligation to manage these resources wisely and well.
Many competing demands vie 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. That is why for the last ten years we have opened our summer streets to people walking, biking and rolling during the beloved Sunday Parkways. It is also why we are developing a comprehensive strategy to guide placemaking initiatives throughout the city—the Livable Streets Strategy.
In our daily work and in the strategies in Portland Progress II our objective is to manage the right-of-way in what that reduces congestion, enhances safety, improves access and mobility and protects the quality of our natural and built environment and street assets.