The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), maintains over 140,000 signs on over 88,000 posts and poles in Portland. New signs are designed to last 10 to 12 years before the sign's ability to provide minimum night-time reflectivity is no longer adequate. Graffiti, orientation to ultraviolet radiation, and airborne industrial pollutants dramatically reduce the sign's useful life. Changes in traffic regulations and changes in material standards can cause certain groups of signs to be replaced sooner.
Because STOP signs receive higher priority for replacement when damaged or missing, STOP signs may be in a slightly better condition than other regulatory and warning signs.
Certain classes of signs, like guide signs and street name signs, are in worse condition than other sign types due to a lack of resources and the lower priority placed on these signs.
In order to extend the life of street signs, the City is using more durable sign materials, improving sign cleaning techniques, using more time-saving materials and equipment, stepping up prosecution of graffiti offenders, conducting better inventory management, and making more careful, rational decisions for new sign installations.
If you see a damaged street sign in your neighborhood, please call dispatch at 503-823-1700.