Winter Travel Advisory: PBOT waives parking citations for cars left in city meter districts, time stays, or abandoned on streets after surprise snow storm

Traffic Advisory
An illustrated snow yeti holds a tire with chains under a banner that reads "BE PREPARED"
Waiving fees in light of surprise snow event.

(Feb. 23, 2023) In light of the unexpected, record snowfall that caused a tremendous hardship for the traveling public, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) today declared that it will not issue parking citations for vehicles that overstay parking time limits at parking meters and at other public parking spaces with time limits.

The bureau will not issue citations for vehicles that are towed for blocking a travel lane or impeding access (savings of $270), however, vehicle owners will be responsible for all towing charges and fees.

The City of Portland’s Snow and Ice Plan discourages private vehicle use and encourages public transit use instead. The Wednesday afternoon snow was far earlier and heavier than forecast, so thousands of people and many emergency response agencies including PBOT were not able to adequately warn the public about the potential for the sudden, widespread disruption.

Parking citations for overstaying time limits and meters will not be issued, effective immediately through noon on Saturday, Feb. 25. 

To encourage people to leave their vehicles legally parked and consider delaying travel, PBOT will allow cars to remain parked without penalty in meter districts and in areas without meters where there are time limits. Parking enforcement officers will not issue citations for staying too long at a meter or a parking space with a time limit.

Any vehicle parked illegally may face a tow, especially any vehicle blocking a travel lane or public transit route. During snow and ice emergencies, PBOT prioritizes routes for public transit, and police, fire and medical first responders. Abandoned vehicles that block travel lanes can slow down emergency responders and the snowplow operators who make safe passage for them.

A PBOT crew member installs heavy trains onto a truck ahead of winter weather.
No time for inaction, find some traction! Traveling in snow and ice can be challenging, and at times dangerous and slippery.

During a winter weather event:

If you need to travel, consider TriMet: If you cannot delay travel during periods of snowy conditions, consider public transit as your first option, and be prepared for delays, and look for alerts and changes to transit routes. Public transportation schedules can be found via TriMet’s website, as well as

Monitor road closures: Current PBOT winter weather road closures and chain advisories

Do not abandon your vehicle in a travel lane: It disrupts snowplows, police and fire responders, public transit and will likely result in your vehicle being towed with a citation.

Report downed trees. Did you see a downed tree or large limb on City property or public streets? Report it by calling 503-823-TREE (8733). Please be patient; Urban Forestry crews are minimizing safety risks and clearing the largest debris first. Emergency dispatchers are available 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

Report Road Hazards Call PBOT Maintenance emergency dispatch 24/7 at 503-823-1700

Two PBOT crew members in high visibility gear look at a checklist on a clipboard next to a PBOT dump truck being tested for winter readiness.
PBOT crews have been preparing for severe weather since the fall. Every October we run our staff and equipment through a series of tests to get prepared for snow and ice.

Preparing for severe weather travel:

Stay informed. Sign up at Public Alerts for emergency notifications from all regional agencies via text, email, or phone. Go to PBOT’s Winter Weather Center to track real-time weather, traffic, road closures, and plow information. Sign up for PBOT alerts via text or email.

Build a severe weather travel plan. Before the inclement weather hits, plan ahead for how you'll travel in severe weather. Our "Get Home Safe" travel checklist provides essential tips for taking transit, walking, biking, and driving in winter weather. Property owners, tenants and businesses should have supplies on hand, such as ice melt and snow shovels to clear sidewalks as well as pathways across their driveways.

No time for inaction, find some traction. Traveling in snow and ice can be challenging, and at times dangerous and slippery. Immediately after snow and ice, Portlanders are encouraged to limit their travel and stay close to home.Traction devices for your shoes will help navigate your neighborhood streets.

Have you purchased chains yet for your vehicle? Take the time to practice putting them on your car while the weather is nice! You'll be glad you did. PBOT has additional winter weather travel travels for pedestrians and people biking and driving