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Amend Designation of Streets, Avenues, Boulevards, and Drives Code to assign Court and affirm Place as a street name suffix (amend Code Section 17.92.030)


The City of Portland ordains: 

Section 1.  The Council finds:

  1. The City of Portland was incorporated on February 8, 1851, without a uniform system of naming streets and with a confusing address numbering system, generally consisting of 30 numbers per block.
  2. Portland, East Portland and Albina consolidated on July 1, 1891, further exacerbating the problem of redundant street names in different sectors of the newly-consolidated City of Portland. Multiple streets had as many as twelve different block numbering grid locations.  On December 24, 1891, visiting City of Chicago Alderman F. Vierling released the recommendations of a Street Committee convened by Mayor William S. Mason for the purposes of improving wayfinding in the City of Portland:
    1. One name would follow one street clear across the City, rather than have several names in different sections; and
    2. The oldest of several names would be preserved, the other discarded; and
    3. There would be baselines dividing the city into quadrants (now sextants), and houses would be numbered out from the baselines; and
    4. North-south streets would be called “avenues” and east-west streets would be called “streets”, and highways running diagonally would be called “roads”, and
    5. There would be 100 numbers assigned to each block.
  3. The Council approved Ordinance No. 7263 on January 6, 1892, approving the “Great Renaming of 1891”, changing approximately 150 street names.
  4. The Council approved Ordinance No. 61325 on September 2, 1931, resulting in Citywide implementation of the recommendations described of Finding No. 2 of this Ordinance.  North-south streets were generally numbered with an “Avenue” street name suffix (hereafter “suffix”).  East-west streets were generally named with a “Street” suffix.  Streets between consecutively-named north-south streets were generally assigned a “Place” suffix.  Streets between consecutively-named east-west streets were generally assigned a “Court” suffix.
  1. The City of Portland and Multnomah County have an integrated street naming and addressing system for ease of wayfinding as reflected by the passage of Ordinance No. 460 by the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners on March 5, 1985.  Code Section 17.92.030 is consistent with Multnomah County Ordinance No. 460 with respect to the “Place” suffix, but Code Section 17.92.030 is incompatible with Multnomah County Ordinance No. 460 with respect to the “Court” suffix.
  2.  The Council approved Ordinance No. 188995 on June 6, 2018, which created South Portland and also designated the City’s six addressing sectors as sextants.  South Portland experienced significant new population growth with the development of South Waterfront early in the 21st century and became the City’s sixth sextant on May 1, 2020.  The creation of South Portland reduced the area of Southwest Portland by 16.8% with no changes to the geographically larger and more populous sextants of North, Northeast, Northwest and Southeast Portland.
  1. Currently there are 678 unique street names in the City of Portland in all six sextants which use either a “Place” or “Court” suffix as identified in Exhibit A.  Currently Code Section 17.92.030 is consistent with only 251 (or 37.0%) of unique street names with a “Court” or “Place” suffix.
  1. Amending Code Section 17.92.030 will eliminate the discrepancy with Multnomah County Ordinance No. 460 and will bring an additional 317 (or 46.8%) of unique street names into compliance with Code Section 17.92.030.  Absent this Code amendment, these streets would be in compliance with Multnomah County Ordinance No. 460 if these streets were outside the Portland city limits.  This Code amendment will result in 568 of 678 (or 83.8%) of unique street names being newly compliant with Code Section 17.92.030 and will eliminate the need to rename these streets or to change property addresses.
  1. The suffix of north-south S Miles Place is inconsistent with the east-west orientation of S Miles Street, but the suffix of S Miles Place was left unchanged within Ordinance No. 188985 given the lack of a north-south street with another street name on the same alignment as S Miles Place, given the eastward curvature of the Willamette River at this location.  This is the only street with a “Court” or “Place” suffix in South Portland which will be inconsistent with amended Code Section 17.93.030; all other discrepancies were resolved with the passage of Ordinance No. 188995 on June 6, 2018.
  1. There is no intent to rename the remaining 110 unique street names currently using a “Place” or “Court” suffix as identified in Exhibit A which will be inconsistent with newly amended Code Section 17.92.030.  Passage of this Ordinance will result in a significant reduction from the current 427 street names currently inconsistent with Code Section 17.92.030.  Changes to a street name suffix are rare and infrequent, with the most recent example of NE Lombard Place being renamed to NE Lombard Court with the passage of Ordinance No. 190068 on July 22, 2020.
  1. The 83.8% compliance rate of streets with the correct “Place” or “Court” suffix achieved by this Ordinance is at a level which provides Citywide predictability of wayfinding, particularly on higher volume and on the most commonly-used streets.
  1. No property owners nor neighborhood associations have been notified of this proposed Ordinance because no street names are amended by this Ordinance, nor are any addresses changed by this Ordinance.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Council directs:

  1. Code Section 17.92.030 is amended as shown in Exhibit B.

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 by Council

Auditor of the City of Portland
Simone Rede

Impact Statement

Purpose of Proposed Legislation and Background Information

  • Corrects City Code to reflect the use of “Court” as a street suffix for certain east-west streets as renamed in 1931
  • Avoids the need to rename these streets and matches City Code to street suffixes currently in use
  • No street names nor any addresses are changed by this Ordinance

Financial and Budgetary Impacts


Community Impacts and Community Involvement

  • No neighborhood associations notified since no street names are proposed to change
  • No property owners were notified since no current addresses proposed to change.
  • This is a technical correction to City Code and reflects 92 years of current street naming practice

100% Renewable Goal


Budget Office Financial Impact Analysis

No fiscal impact.

Agenda Items

Passed to second reading

Passed to second reading September 20, 2023 at 9:30 a.m.


  • Commissioner Rene Gonzalez Yea
  • Commissioner Mingus Mapps Yea
  • Commissioner Dan Ryan Yea
  • Commissioner Carmen Rubio Yea
  • Mayor Ted Wheeler Absent



Andrew Aebi

LID Administrator & Project Manager, PBOT

Requested Agenda Type


Date and Time Information

Requested Council Date
Changes City Code