Driveway Standards

Standards for Driveway access for rights-of-way controlled by the City of Portland.
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What are Portland’s Driveway Standards?

Portland’s driveway standards are codified in Title 17.28.110 - Driveways Permits and Conditions.  Please click the link to view the full text of the driveway standards.   

Some of the driveway standards are linked to the Transportation System Plan Classification for the right-of-way being accessed.  Please visit the TSP Classifications Map App to find classification information.  You may turn different layers on and off using the layer list, which looks like three pieces of paper stacked on top of one another. 

When do the driveway standards apply?

The standards of 17.28.110 always apply to any driveway accessed from a City of Portland right-of-way.

In the case of right-of-way managed by another jurisdiction (i.e.; ODOT, Washington County, Multnomah County, Gresham), the applicant must also contact that jurisdiction for specific driveway requirements.

Why do I have to change my existing driveway?

PBOT places high importance on safety and movement of pedestrians and bicyclists. Vision Zero is PBOT’s commitment to providing a safe transportation system by reducing traffic conflicts. Because a driveway requires a vehicle to cross over sidewalks, bike lanes, and transit lanes, it is a source of conflict, raising concerns for safety. Thus, many existing driveways in the City of Portland do not comply with the current requirements of 17.28.110. 

Whether you are seeking a land use action or applying for a building permit, PBOT may require changes to any driveway that does not meet the current standards. This can include the need to close or relocate an existing driveway, even if that will have implications for the way the site operates. The project does not have to meet thresholds requiring public improvements in order to trigger changes to a driveway.

Commercial Example:  A commercial property has two existing driveways. One driveway is on a local service street and the other is on a Neighborhood Collector.  A building permit application shows a remodel the building on the site, but the owner was not planning on changing the driveways.  The permit valuation is low, and there will no increase in trips to/from the site.  The triggers for public improvement requirements are not met.  PBOT may still ask that the driveway onto the Neighborhood Collector be closed, as the current requirements of 17.28.110 allow access only from the lower classified street.  This may mean the site loses access to an existing parking area or has to substantially reconfigure the parking area due to the loss of an access point.  Re-configuring the parking area may trigger zoning requirements related to new parking areas.

Residential Example:  A single family home has a driveway that backs out onto a Neighborhood Collector.  A building permit application shows an addition onto the house.  The current requirements of 17.28.110 require all driveways accessing a roadway with a traffic classification of Neighborhood Collector or higher be built to allow forward motion ingress and egress.  This means the car must be moving in a forward motion when coming onto the property and moving in a forward motion when leaving the property.  Backing out is not allowed.  PBOT may ask that the driveway be closed or an on-site turn around be built to allow vehicles to enter and exit the site without backing out.  This may trigger zoning requirements or Bureau of Environmental Services stormwater management requirements related to new or modified paving.

Can I apply for an exception to the driveway standards?

Please visit PBOT’s Driveway Design Exceptionpage for more information on how to apply for an exception to the driveway standards.