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Public meetings to suggest uses for unimproved streets

City Seeks Input for Pilot Project to Enable Community Uses on Unpaved Streets


Portland has about 60 miles of unpaved, dirt and gravel streets within the city limits. While the City does not maintain these unimproved streets, some residents have taken the initiative to create garden plots, rest areas and other community uses in these public spaces.


Commissioner Steve Novick has directed the Portland Bureau of Transportation to gather community input on how the City can enable such community uses on streets.


The concept came from Mayor Hales, who thought the City should try to empower communities to help determine what their neighborhoods look like by creating something useful and attractive. Many homeowners on unimproved streets have said that expensive paving projects are not what they prefer, but lower cost alternatives such as placing benches or gardens in the public right of way would still require a City permit.


Community meetings to share your ideas for community uses of unpaved streets

You are invited to share your ideas at two upcoming community meetings. This will be an opportunity to share issues and concerns City staff should take into consideration as they develop the project:


Monday, Nov. 4

6:30 to 8 p.m.

East Portland Community Center

Poolside Room #1, 740 SE 106th Ave.

http://www.trimet.org/:  #15, #20, SE Main St. Max Station/Green


Wednesday, Nov. 13

6:30 to 8 p.m.

Hollywood Library

Community Meeting Room, 4040 NE Tillamook St.

http://www.trimet.org/:  #12, #75, 4 blocks to Hollywood/NE 42nd Ave. TC Max Station

Next steps:

If there is interest in this new approach to dealing with gravel streets, the next step will be setting criteria for evaluating candidate pilot street projects and further engagement this winter with neighborhood and community groups. The city’s goal is to select four unimproved streets from sites proposed by community groups and homeowners throughout the city for an initial pilot project in 2014.


No final decisions on street alterations are expected before summer 2014.



The City of Portland will make reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities and people needing assistance with language interpretation and translation. Please notify us no less than five business days prior to the events. (503) 823-3075 or brian.hoop@portlandoregon.gov, TTY: (503) 823-6868, or Oregon Relay Service at (800) 735-2900.


Project website:



Flier for Community meetings:

English - http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/468076

En Español - http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/468077


For more information contact:

Denver Igarta, Portland Bureau of Transportation, at 503-823-1088 or denver.igarta@portlandoregon.gov


Commissioner in Charge:  Steve Novick 

Contact: Erika Nebel  (503) 823-4682