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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 1331, Portland, OR 97204

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Underground Wiring District Code Change

UWD snapshot

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is updating City Code to allow the attachment of wireless infrastructure to the poles in underground wiring districts (UWDs).The proposed language is as follows:


17.04.010 Definitions.

Z. “Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (Tri Met)” is a public agency established under ORS 267.010 to 267.390 that operates mass transit which spans most of the Portland metropolitan area, and/or the manager, lessee, agent, servant, officer, or employee of the organization.

17.24.010 Permits Required.

J.  The Director of the Bureau of Transportation may issue permits to Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (Tri Met) for activities not explicitly identified under any existing or future agreements, including the modifications to any existing or future infrastructure to allow for the attachments of telecommunication facilities.  Tri Met shall obtain permits from the Director of the Bureau of Transportation for use of the street area in accordance with the schedule of fees set forth in Section 17.24.020.

17.60.110 Exemptions.

F.  Appliances or appurtenances on, through or by means of which telecommunications data is wirelessly collected or transmitted, as defined by City of Portland Transportation Administrative Rules.  Attachments to infrastructure not owned and maintained by the City must adhere to 3rd party attachment rules as laid out in City of Portland Transportation Administrative Rules.

This language will amend code sections under Title 17 Public Improvements.

Maps of Underground Wiring Districts in the City of Portland:

City of Portland Underground Wiring Districts

Northwest and Southwest Underground Wiring Districts

Inner Northeast and Southeast Underground Wiring Districts

NE Airport Way Underground Wiring District

This code change was initially heard at City Council on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, and passed at the second reading on July 31, 2019. The adopted code language will take effect on August 30, 2019. 

The City of Portland has passed a resolution requesting the FCC to update studies on the potential health risks of 5G radio frequency wireless emissions and to publish those findings. It should be noted that the FCC does not allow local authorities to deny wireless infrastructure permits for health concerns. 

For more information on current health studies, please visit the FCC and American Cancer Society websites. 

The Portland Bureau of Transportation fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ADA Title II, and related statutes and regulations in all programs and activities. For accommodations, complaints and information, call 503-823-5185, City TTY 503-823-6868, or use Oregon Relay Service: 711.

Hard copies are available upon request.