About Portland's Unpaved Streets and Streets Paved Without Curbs

Information about the concentration of unpaved and curbless streets in Portland. A Local Improvement District (LID) is one method by which a group of property owners can share the cost of infrastructure improvements to unpaved and curbless streets.

Unpaved Streets

The highest concentration of unpaved streets is in the Southwest Portland district coalition area, in which 4.8% of the streets are unpaved versus a citywide average of 2.7%.  The highest concentration is in the Far Southwest neighborhood of Southwest Portland in which 13.9% of the streets are unpaved. The lowest concentration of unpaved streets is in the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN) area, in which just 0.6% of the streets are unpaved. Centerline miles of unpaved streets have  been reduced gradually over time from 60.5 centerline miles in 2009 to 55.5 centerline miles in 2021, representing an 8.3% decrease in 12 years despite the lack of a broad-based funding source to pave unpaved streets.

LIDs are also used to reconstruct streets which have pavement with gravel shoulders and no curbs or sidewalks. Many of these streets meet neighboring property owners' needs and have pavement surfaces in relatively good condition. However, the initial construction of some of these streets was of such poor quality that over time their pavement surface became difficult to distinguish from an unpaved street. The lack of a stormwater management system is also an issue on some of these streets, even when the pavement is in relatively good condition.

Paved Streets without Curbs 

The highest concentration of paved streets without curbs is in the Southwest Portland district coalition area, in which 40.9% of the streets are paved but lack curbs versus a Citywide average of 17.3%. Similarly the highest concentration in this surface type category is in the Healy Heights neighborhood of Southwest Portland with 76.8%. The lowest concentration in this surface type category is in the NECN coalition area with just 1.3%.

Sidewalk coverage in the city varies, ranging from a low of 25.9% in the Southwest Portland district coalition area to 88.2% in NECN. Similarly sidewalk coverage in individual neighborhoods ranges from a low of 3.1% in Healy Heights to over 100% in Old-Town Chinatown, where all streets have adjacent sidewalks and additional sidewalk facilities are available in Waterfront Park.

Neighborhoods in the city with no unpaved streets or paved streets with gravel shoulders lacking curbs include Alameda, Downtown, Grant Park, Hayden Island, Laurelhurst, Lloyd District, Sabin, and Woodland Park. All of the streets in these neighborhoods - which have some of the highest property values in the city - are paved with curbs.

View a map of neighborhood coalition areas.   


Andrew Aebi

Local Improvement District Administrator & Project Manager