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TRN-10.28 - PDOT Sponsorship Policies Regarding Public Interest Messages

Administrative Rules Adopted by City Council (ARC)
Policy number
Administrative Rule Adopted by Council

The City of Portland Office of Transportation recognizes that there are many opportunities and potential benefits to be gained by the City from private sponsorship of some City public interest messages on city signage. Likewise, the opportunity to contribute to the transmission of public interest information to the citizens of Portland, and to be recognized for that contribution, could provide a beneficial opportunity for private individuals and entities to partner with the City. For these reasons, the City supports, in principle, sponsorship initiatives that generate revenue to support City public interest signage.
For purposes of this policy, the following definitions shall apply:

: A mutually beneficial arrangement between the City and a third party where the third party contributes funds or materials for City public interest signage and the City acknowledges that contribution by identifying the third party’s sponsorship on City signage.

City Signage: City signage for the purposes of this policy includes, but is not limited to, all City signage in the public right-of-way and at City-owned or operated surface parking lots, parking structures and designated parking areas, as well as parking meters and pay stations.
Public Interest: City-sponsored messages of interest to the public.
Public Right-of-Way: Public right-of-way under the jurisdiction of the City of Portland.
Responsible Bureau: The City of Portland Office of Transportation (PDOT).
The purposes of this policy are as follows:
  1. To provide greater opportunity for the City to communicate public interest messages that have public benefit;
  2. To define the types of sponsorship opportunities the City will accept to ensure that standards are consistent and the City’s reputation and public image are positively maintained;
  3. To ensure consistency in decisions to accept or decline sponsorship requests;
  4. To generate revenue to fund public interest messages;
  5. To reflect and support the guiding principles and objectives of the Portland City Code and the City of Portland Charter.
Sponsorship is specifically defined as separate and distinct from advertising and shall not include elements of advertising. The City shall recognize sponsors with language substantially similar to "Sponsored by" and the third party’s name and/or logo. The sponsorship acknowledgements are City speech and the City shall control the content and design of those acknowledgements.
Acknowledgement of sponsorship on City signage does not imply the City endorses any third party, product or service. Further, it is the City of Portland’s declared intent and purpose not to allow or cause this sponsorship on City property or in the public right-of-way to become a public forum. This sponsorship program is intended solely for the purposes identified above.
  1. The Commissioner-in-charge will approve any public interest message to be sponsored by a third party, including the acknowledgment of the sponsor.
  2. PDOT will develop a process to enable third parties to request to partner with the City as sponsors under this policy.
  3. In order to preserve the City’s reputation and avoid public controversy, the following types of third parties shall not be eligible to participate in the sponsorship program: Any business or organization that restricts membership or access based upon any category protected under the City’s civil rights ordinance or state or federal law and/or any business or organization that is not legally open to, or may not legally sell its products or provide its services to, citizens of all ages.
Sponsorship on City property or in the public right-of-way must have no adverse effect on public safety and must minimize City liability.
Sponsorship in conflict with any City policy or procedure will not be accepted.
PDOT will coordinate communications with other City bureaus as necessary and is required to:
  1. Submit the initial request to the Commissioner-in-charge for approval before proceeding;
  2. Define a specific opportunity for sponsorship and communicate that to the public;
  3. Author all language and graphics in sponsorship material;
  4. Ensure that sponsorship proposals meet the standards and criteria outlined in this policy;
  5. Ensure that the director of PDOT approves all sponsorship proposals; and
  6. Obtain Council approval of this policy.

Ordinance No. 179689 passed by Council and effective October 19, 2005.

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