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News Blog: Portland in the Streets: New Stakeholder Advisory Committee to Guide PBOT’s Livable Streets Strategy

portland in the streets logo

(Oct. 6, 2016) - Tomorrow, Friday, October 7, is the first Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting for one of PBOT’s newest initiatives: the Livable Streets Strategy.

Back in May, City Council proclaimed the summer of 2016 to be Portland in the Streets season. This proclamation highlighted that open streets events and initiatives like block parties, Sunday Parkways and our new Ankeny Plaza offer Portland residents and visitors the opportunity to experience their streets and their city in new and exciting ways. View our Portland in the Streets interactive map to learn more about these community-building events and places.

In response to the recognition of the importance of these community-based places and events, PBOT is now developing our Livable Streets Strategy - a roadmap for the City that will reinforce the idea that public streets are public places to be enjoyed by all ages and abilities.

Ankeny Plaza

Portland's newest public space, Ankeny Plaza, at SW 3rd and Ankeny. Photo by Felicity J. Mackay, Portland Bureau of Transportation.

The strategy will support innovation in the public right-of-way by opening Portland’s streets, parking spaces, plazas, and alleys to a range of events, programming, and physical infrastructure. The Livable Streets SAC is responsible for providing direction to the Project Management Team to guide development of the Livable Streets Strategy vision, goals, policy-recommendations, actions, and performance measures. Among them:

  • Looking at how we can better open our streets (our largest form of public space) to all Portlanders.

  • Providing guidance to the Bureau on how we design and manage those spaces in the public right-of-way. A critical piece of the work on the Livable Streets Strategy is the work on the nuts and bolts of the permit process.

  • Making it easier for community organizations to follow and understand the permit process so they can easily activate their own street.

Ultimately, our goal is to create a citywide program that helps community groups create and activate their own spaces, that are unique to their own neighborhoods. The SAC will help provide understanding and reflection upon trends in community placemaking, barriers to community involvement, potential for public/private partnerships, and opportunities for innovation.

intersection repair project

Neighbors working on the intersection of North Holman Street and Wilbur Avenue in May 2012. Photo by Greg Raisman.

Because the Livable Streets Strategy is looking at ways to open our streets to all Portlanders, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee was formed with that broad reach in mind. Artists, community members, the business community, and placemaking experts will come together to advise the program process, as well as provide their expertise on the community experience for implementing placemaking projects and programs. You can view a list of committee members here. We recognize there are current barriers to implementing these types of projects, and the SAC will help identify these barriers to be addressed in the Livable Streets Strategy.  The SAC will meet five times between now through spring 2017. Meeting information will be posted on the Livable Streets Strategy project website. Tomorrow’s SAC meeting will take place from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. in the Portland Building’s Broadway Conference Room. All meetings are open to the public.

A critical piece of the Livable Streets Strategy is the work on the nuts and bolts of the permit process. This involves coordination and collaboration among a number of City of Portland bureaus. Therefore, in addition to a SAC we are convening a Livable Streets Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) which will be responsible for providing technical expertise on areas including, but not limited to policy goals and language, the permitting process, traffic engineering, implementation, maintenance, enforcement, community outreach, and data collection. The TAC is comprised largely of technical staff from across City of Portland bureaus that are involved in various community and neighborhood event processes.

In addition to working with the Livable Streets SAC and TAC, PBOT will be conducting a broader community survey to get input on the broader vision and goals. We want to hear from the community at large about the placemaking projects or programs that are important to them and their community. The survey will also continue to collect information on the barriers community members are facing currently when applying for community event and use permits with the City of Portland. In the meantime, please take a look at some of the existing Livable Streets projects happening in Portland on our Portland in the Streets interactive map. It’s the perfect time to start planning next summer’s block party and/or street fair!