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Updated Pedestrian District Boundaries and Classifications

Plans Examiner Newsletter

On February 5, City Council adopted an ordinance to amend the Transportation System Plan to incorporate new pedestrian classifications. The new pedestrian classifications include changes to Pedestrian District boundaries to align with all designated “Centers” and major Transit Station Areas, as defined by Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan.

What changed?

Pedestrian Districts.

  • In some cases, the boundaries of existing Pedestrian Districts have expanded,
  • Some Pedestrian Districts are new, and
  • Some former Pedestrian Districts have been removed because they are no longer classified as Pedestrian Districts.

Pedestrian classifications. Some streets may have a pedestrian classification that is higher or lower than it was before.

How might this impact sidewalk design/ frontage improvement requirements?

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 permits or land use reviews submitted after March 6, 2020 must meet frontage improvement requirements associated with new pedestrian classifications, per the existing Pedestrian Design Guide.

How do I check the new Pedestrian District boundaries and new pedestrian classifications?

Scrollable maps of new pedestrian classifications are available here.

What should I expect in Development Review?

During the interim period after March 6, 2020 when new pedestrian classifications take effect, and before adoption of an updated Pedestrian Design Guide (anticipated 2021), PBOT Development Review will apply the 1998 Pedestrian Design Guide to new 2020 pedestrian classifications as follows:

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

What additional sidewalk design / frontage requirements may come in 2021?

Future updates to the Pedestrian Design Guide may include, but are not limited to, updates to sidewalk design criteria for various pedestrian facilities, including requirements for minimum sidewalk widths, placement of street trees and sidewalk furnishings, and street corner design at crossings.