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Portland, Oregon

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Central City Parking Policy

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is developing a comprehensive PBOT Citywide Parking Strategy starting fall 2014 to the end of 2015. To achieve that, several parking related efforts are being coordinated under the policy umbrella of the City’s Transportation System Plan, to create a unified citywide strategy.

The Central City Parking Policy Update is tasked with updating the parking policies guiding the administration and provision of parking in the Central City, and the implementing tools to achieve those policies. Existing policies in City Code Title 16 (Vehicles and Traffic) guide the administration of public parking, including on-street parking. Existing policies in City Code Title 33 (Zoning) impact the type and number of parking spaces that can be built on private sites. Graphic of Portland Central City

Why Do We Need An Update?

Since the 1970s the City’s parking policies and management efforts have largely been focused on air quality, congestion and livability to allow for the growth and development of the Central City. The management of parking is an issue of growing importance as development brings increased density and demand on existing on-street parking. Additionally, growth also leads to the need for better transportation amenities and a more developed system that better accommodates walking, cycling and riding transit. The result is a competing need for limited right-of-way space, of which parking is an important component.

The Main End Products Will Be:

  • Recommended changes to Central City 2035 Plan policies related to parking;
  • Recommended changes to the Central City Plan District of the City’s zoning code related to parking;
  • Recommended changes to Title 16 related to management of parking resources in the Central City. 

Existing Parking Policies and Practices Need Updating to:  

  • Address new policy directives emanating from the Comprehensive Plan update and the Central City 2035 Plan, which call for additional growth and development in the Central City and place a greater emphasis on walking, cycling and riding transit to access the Central City.
  • Understand and reflect, among other things, trends affecting parking management, the use of technology to provide parking, the real estate market, and new attitudes about driving and sharing of vehicles that may affect how the City manages parking.
  • Help the City better manage existing parking resources, plan for the best use of limited right of way, and "right size" the provision of new parking to support new development.

The Overall Objectives of the Policy Update is to:

  • Support the Central City’s economic and growth management goals
  • Support the Central City’s transportation goals
  • Update and simplify parking regulations
  • Provide more flexibility in the use of existing and added parking supply, leading to more sharing of stalls to serve multiple uses and decrease the need for new parking
  • Explore feasibility and create the policy framework for a District Parking approach that would make more parking available in Central City districts with particularly challenging parking needs.

Stakeholder Advisory Committee

A Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) will meet for approximately 10-12 meetings throughout 2015 to review existing policies and parking trends and recommend policy updates and changes to how the City manages public and private parking.

The SAC will be convened by Leah Treat, the City of Portland Director of Transportation. SAC members will be selected to represent a diverse group of Central City stakeholders. Members will be tasked to advise City staff on parking policies and implementation strategies affecting the Central City, and serve as liaisons to their respective communities and organizations to keep them informed and involved in the project.

Project Timeline

The project is expected to start in January 2015 and run through the end of 2015.


This effort will seek the input and endorsement by the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission for Central City zoning code elements. City Council adoption is expected of the different end products as well as the overall Citywide Parking Strategy.

Comments & Questions?

We welcome the opportunity to hear your thoughts as new policies and programs are developed. For more information please contact:

Mauricio Leclerc
Portland Bureau of Transportation


Created Feb. 2015