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Emergency Ordinance

*Add Unlawful Street Takeover and Unlawful Staging of a Street Takeover Event Code to define conduct, specify offenses and authorize vehicle towing (add Code Section 14A.30.080)

Amended by Council

The City of Portland ordains:

Section 1.  The Council finds:

  1. Street takeover events are a dangerous activity that create the risk of death or serious bodily injury to both participants and the public.  During street takeover events, people operating motor vehicles break traction, and operate their cars in circular or curved directions in intersections, on bridges, in parking lots, and at other public places. 
  2. Street takeover events are often staged by other drivers who use their cars to block roads, bridges, intersections, and other locations to create a venue for these activities.  In addition, street takeovers often attract crowds that stand near the vehicles performing these dangerous maneuvers. 
  3. Street takeovers block traffic, interfere with the safe passage of Portland community members, and pose a significant danger to the public and participants due to the manner of operation of the vehicles and the public location of the events.   
  4. Street takeover events have occurred in many different locations throughout the City.  For example:  
    1. On May 5, 2019, drivers used their vehicles to block the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 between 162nd and 181st Avenues.  The interstate was blocked to create a space for other drivers to operate their cars in circles on the highway, while traffic backed up behind them.
    2. On April 12, 2020, drivers used their cars to block traffic on the top deck of the Fremont Bridge on southbound Interstate 405.  The traffic was blocked to create a location for other drivers to maneuver their cars in circles at high speeds on the bridge.
    3. On November 7, 2020, drivers used their cars to block a major intersection in Northeast Portland at NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and NE Columbia Boulevard.  For at least an hour, the intersection remained blocked while drivers performed “doughnuts” or “drifted” their cars in the intersection.  
    4. The next day, on November 8, 2020, several similar incidents occurred throughout the City, including in the Sunset Highway tunnel, on the Interstate Bridge, and on Northeast Sandy Boulevard in the Goodwill parking lot.
  5. Several cities in Washington have enacted local ordinances using various strategies aimed at curbing this dangerous activity, including Tacoma, Kent, Renton, Auburn, Puyallup, Sumner and Fife, Washington.  As a result, based on the license plates of those engaged in street takeovers in Portland, it appears that some people travel from Washington to engage in these dangerous activities in Oregon.  Meanwhile, Gresham, Oregon, has enacted a local law aimed at reducing this type of activity, which makes Portland the closest city to Washington along the I-5 and I-205 corridor without a specific local law in place to reduce this activity.
  6. The City of Portland should enact a local City Code provision addressing the specific conduct that has proven to be a dangerous problem in Portland.  The public should be educated about the terms of the Code provision to discourage the conduct, and the Code provision should provide an opportunity for diversion and education for first time offenders when the conduct does not result in physical injury or death.  The Code provision should also authorize the towing of vehicles engaged in this conduct as evidence of a crime, community caretaking, or for any other lawful purpose.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Council directs:

  1. Add City Code Section 14A.30.080 as shown in Exhibit A.
  2. Within 30 days after the passage of this Ordinance, and at least every six months thereafter, the Portland Police Bureau shall educate the public about the provisions of PCC 14A.30.080 through media releases written in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese, and Russian per the language access standards set by the Office of Equity and Human Rights, as well as be made accessible for individual with disabilities per guidance provided by the Office of Equity and Human Rights in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Title II.

Section 2.  The Council declares that an emergency exists due to the immediate dangers to public safety caused by street takeover events; therefore, this Ordinance and the Code provision enacted hereby shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage by Council.

An ordinance when passed by the Council shall be signed by the Auditor. It shall be carefully filed and preserved in the custody of the Auditor (City Charter Chapter 2 Article 1 Section 2-122)

Passed as amended by Council

Auditor of the City of Portland
Mary Hull Caballero

Agenda Items

644 Time Certain in August 18, 2021 Council Agenda

Passed As Amended

YouTube video shown during Item 644:

Motion to amend paragraph D of Exhibit A to change the sentence of imprisonment the court may impose to 30 days: Moved by Wheeler and seconded by Rubio. (Y-4)
  • Commissioner Mingus Mapps Yea
  • Commissioner Carmen Rubio Yea
  • Commissioner Dan Ryan Yea
  • Mayor Ted Wheeler Yea

Introduced by


Prepared by

Ness Zolan

Date Prepared

Requested Agenda Type

Time Certain
Changes City Code