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Northwest Portland Meter Expansion FAQs

A list of commonly asked questions related to the 2019/2020 meter expansion in Northwest Portland (Zone M).
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IMPORTANT: Error in Notification

In January 2020 we sent a notification letter to residents affected by this project. We experienced an error in our notification process resulting in a majority of the project area not receiving notification. We are sending an updated letter with more project information. Please see this map of properties that will be notified. 

Where are meters being installed?

Why are parking meters being installed in these areas?

  • For the past two years, the annual parking study data shows a very high occupancy rate in the non-metered areas, well above the target of 85% occupied. 
  • For this reason, our parking consultants and the NW Parking SAC recommended adding parking meters to the non-metered areas to manage demand and make it easier to find a parking space.
  • 85% average occupancy means there is generally one parking space per block at any given time so that people can easily find a parking space. Occupancy rates above 85% mean that is difficult to find a parking space.
  • Meters will help with compliance and make enforcement more efficient.
  • Meters help with customer turn-over, making it easier for the next person to find a space.
  • There was also a confusing mix of time limits, with 3-4 different time limits on a block. The new meters will only be 2-hour, 4-hour or 30 minutes and easier to understand.

Who decides these things?

The NW Parking Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) works with the City on monitoring and adjusting the parking management plan in NW in Zone M.

Who is the NW parking SAC?

They are representatives from the neighborhood and business association as well as 5 at large members, who are mostly residents in the area that meet monthly to guide PBOT on managing parking in NW. They also help decide what projects and programs to fund with the meter and permit revenues.

When was this decided?

  • In June 2018, PBOT staff shared the recommendation from the consultants to install meters in the non- metered areas between NW 20th and NW 16th to the east, from NW Irving to I-405 to the north, and then between NW 24th to 25th.
  • In summer and fall 2018, the NW Parking District Liaison went door to door to speak with businesses about their on-street parking needs, especially for customers and visitors.
  • The NW Parking SAC voted in December 2018 after several months’ discussion and holding a public Open House on November 7th about the need for new meters.
  • PBOT decided to accept the recommendation in January 2019 and ordered new meters in May 2019.

Will I be able to use my Zone M Permit at the new meters?

  • At most of them, yes. Most blocks will be 4-hour meter OR by Zone M permit.
  • Some blocks along NW 18th and 19th that are primarily commercial, will be 2-hour pay to park meter only spaces. There will be on-street signs indicating if you need to pay or if you can use your Zone M parking permit.

What are the time limits?

Most will be 4-hour pay to park or by Zone M permit.

  • Some blocks will be for customers and visitors and will be 2-hour pay to park only.
  • Some 30-minute spaces were added or moved to better accommodate business needs. 30-minute spaces are pay to park only, Zone M permits cannot be used at 30-minute spaces.
  • Some truck loading zones were moved to comply with our new parking management manual and the adjacent business needs.

When will the meters operate?

The new meters will operate the same as the other meters and time limits in NW, which is—Monday-Saturday 9am-7pm. Meters are not operational on Sundays unless there is a Timbers game.

How much will the meters cost?

The meter rates will be the same as the others, currently $1.60 an hour. The meter rate is subject to change based on the new Performance Based Parking Management Plan.

How do you decide where to place the pay stations?

Below is a list of street features that may be considered when identifying final placement of pay stations. Please note that this list is not comprehensive and further considerations may be warranted depending upon local conditions.

  • At or in close proximity to property boundaries
  • Fire hydrants (must be located a minimum of ten feet away from a fire hydrant)
  • Bus zones/TriMet signage
  • WiFi signal strength
  • Tree canopy (overhead tree foliage, and dropping leaves, can interfere with WiFi and solar panel)
  • Driveways (minimum four feet from top of driveway wing)
  • Existing landscaping, private yard objects (e.g., planters, stones/boulders, pavers, brickwork, etc.)
  • Condition of sidewalk/furnishing zone
  • Building access, stairways, and pedestrian ingress/egress locations
  • PGE power pole guy wires
  • Overhead conflicts (e.g., PGE power lines or similar which may interfere with WiFi)
  • Underground conflicts (cable lines, electrical lines, irrigation, gas lines, drainage pipes, etc.)
  • Water meters
  • Sewage infrastructure
  • Business uses/sidewalk café
  • Pay stations must not interfere with mail boxes or other postal distribution infrastructure
  • Locate at least 32 inches from curb face where possible
  • Locate under or within close proximity to streetlights where possible
  • Locate next to existing street sign poles where possible

What is the time line for installing new meters?

  • Phase 1 on the eastern side was completed in December 2019. There are some block faces that need adjustments which will happen in April 2020.
  • Phase 2 on the western side will before Summer 2020.
  • Concrete pads will be poured at some locations to accommodate the new pay station first, then the meters will go in later with the new signs.
  • We expect this process to take approximately 6-8 weeks.