In 2012, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) rolled out a new program called Street Seats to permit businesses to build a temporary platform in the on-street parking lane. The platform extends the sidewalk space in order to add additional outdoor seating along the street.
The goal of the program is to enhance street vitality and support local business. Street Seats installations may include seating, tables, landscaping, and other aesthetic elements. Applicants are responsible for costs associated with design, construction, installation, maintenance, and removal of Street Seats extensions.
Three businesses participated in the pilot project: Wafu, Oven and Shaker, and Mississippi Pizza. Two of the businesses dismantled their installations in November, 2012; Mississippi Pizza requested and received an extension. Its Street Seat (pictured below) is permitted until April, 2013.
As part of the pilot program, PBOT conducted on-line surveys to garner feedback from businesses, business and neighborhood associations, and community members. Nearly 100 people provided feedback about the Street Seats pilot program. 90% of businesses surveyed believed that the Street Seats program would benefit neighborhood businesses. In addition, 80% of community members surveyed felt that Street Seats positively impacted their street’s vitality.
PBOT is still accepting feedback from the community. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to provide feedback.
This spring, PBOT plans to update the Street Seat guidelines based on feedback and begin accepting new permit applications from interested businesses.