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Bureau of Transportation Update

Plans Examiner Newsletter

PedPDX, Portland’s Citywide Pedestrian Plan was adopted by City Council Resolution 37429 in June 2019. PedPDX includes updated pedestrian street classifications for Portland streets. On February 5, City Council adopted an ordinance to amend the Transportation System Plan (TSP) to incorporate these new pedestrian classifications into the TSP. These updated classifications take effect March 6, 2020.

The pedestrian classifications developed by PedPDX and adopted into the TSP are:

  • Pedestrian District
  • Major City Walkway (new classification)
  • City Walkway
  • Neighborhood Walkway (new classification)
  • Local Service Walkway

The new pedestrian classifications include changes to Pedestrian District boundaries to align with all “Centers” and walksheds to Major Transit Stations, as defined by Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan. To align with these Comprehensive Plan designations, the TSP has been amended to adjust the boundaries of existing Pedestrian Districts, designate new Pedestrian Districts, and in some instances de-classify former Pedestrian Districts. Scrollable maps of new TSP pedestrian classifications are available at

Effective Date for Frontage Improvements Associated with New Pedestrian Classifications

The Portland Pedestrian Design Guide uses pedestrian classifications to determine the sidewalk design/frontage improvement requirements associated with private development. Applications for building or development permit or land use review submitted after March 6, 2020 must meet frontage improvement requirements associated with new pedestrian classifications, per the existing Pedestrian Design Guide.

Interim Sidewalk Design/Frontage Requirements

The Pedestrian Design Guide will be updated in 2020/2021 to reflect new pedestrian classifications and updated policies and objectives in PedPDX. Updates to the Pedestrian Design Guide may include, but are not limited to, updates to sidewalk design criteria for various pedestrian street types, including requirements for minimum sidewalk widths, placement of street trees and sidewalk furnishings, and street corner design at crossings.

While the existing Pedestrian Design Guide includes sidewalk design requirements for some of the pedestrian classifications that will are included in new pedestrian classifications, there are no sidewalk design/frontage improvement requirements associated with the two new pedestrian classifications. 

During the interim period after March 6, 2020 when new pedestrian classifications take effect, and before adoption of an updated Pedestrian Design Guide (anticipated for adoption in 2021, pending a public outreach process), PBOT Development Review will apply the Pedestrian Design Guide to new pedestrian classifications as follows:

2020 Classifications (New)1998 Pedestrian Design Guide Requirements to Apply (Interim)
Pedestrian DistrictPedestrian District
Major City Walkway (new classification)City Walkway
City WalkwayCity Walkway
Neighborhood Walkway (new classification)Local Service Walkway
Local Service WalkwayLocal Service Walkway