Apply for a Block Party permit

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Block Parties are a fun and easy way to build community and get to know your neighbors. Gather your neighbors to hold a Block Party in your street or turn the street over to the kids for play. With this free permit, you can host your event on your neighborhood street!
Image shows the words, "Block Parties" surrounded by games and flowers

Application takes 10-15 minutes to complete. The application must be submitted at least 7 business days before your event.

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Overview 

Block Parties are a fun and easy way to build community and get to know your neighbors.  Street closures can be hosted on a recurring basis, up to 3 days a week for a maximum of 12 hours per week.   Best of all, the permit is free. Gather your neighbors to hold a Block Party in your street or turn the street over to the kids for play! With a free permit, you can host your event on your neighborhood non-arterial street!  The Block Party program is intended for neighborhood-scale gatherings. 

Other things to consider: 

  • Must be free and open to the general public. 

  • Private events are NOT allowed. 

  • Must be on a street classified as "Local Service Traffic." Find your street classification using PBOT's Transportation System Plan street classification map

  • Must be on a block that is not part of a bus or transit route. 

  • Take place between 9 a.m. and dusk, not to exceed 12 hours per week. This is inclusive of any setup or cleanup time. Permits may be extended until 9 p.m. only if traffic control devices are equipped with retro-reflectivity and flashing lights. 

  • Block Parties may span up to 2 blocks, but intersections must remain open. It will take us longer to review applications to close multiple blocks.  

If your street closure event exceeds the following thresholds, it cannot be permitted as a Block Party. Check out our Community Event application process to see permitting options for larger street closure events: 

  • Attendance is expected to exceed 100 people at any point in time. 

  • Vendors (other than one permitted food vendor) are a part of the event. 

  • Event includes alcohol sales and/or alcohol consumption on the street. 

  • Closure exceeds two blocks (except for intersection paintings).

  • Closure request is on an arterial street. 

  • Closure request is in a metered area. 

Apply 

Residents may apply to use their street for Block Party activities up to 12 hours per week for a maximum of 3 days.  

To apply for our Block Party permit, use our online form here: 

Block Party Application

Permit requirements 

  • Size  Block parties may span up to 2 blocks, but intersections must remain open. It will take us longer to review applications to close multiple blocks.  

  • Notification to neighbors We encourage everyone to talk to their neighbors first before applying for a permit. This will help with scheduling and ensure you're not conflicting with any construction or other event that might bring extra vehicles to your block. Once you've applied, you are required to notify all residents on the block(s) at least 2 days before your permit starts. Talking to neighbors before you apply counts as notification. Download our Block Parties flyer template, or create one of your own with the same information:  

  • Setup and breakdown A detailed traffic control plan will be included with your permit, including information about what barricades are required, special requirements for when you can use household items (such as garbage bins) as a form of barricade (daylight hours only), where "Street Closed" signs must go, and other requirements. This will also detail when you can start setting up and when you are required to break everything down and have the street open again. If streets are inactive, they must be reopened for regular use.  

  • Street Paintings Block Party permits for street painting projects may close up to 4 blocks for an intersection painting and are allowed 16 hours in a single week.  

  • Optional: Insurance Insurance is optional for this type of street closure, but you may want to insure your Block Party permit through a homeowner’s policy, a special rider, or a special event policy many insurance agencies put together. Remember any type of "event" must be free and open to the public. The city also makes liability insurance available through a Tenant Users Liability Policy (TULIP). More information on TULIP here

How to use your permit 

All of the following requirements on setup, breakdown, barricades, and signage will be included in your permit. Please contact the PBOT Block Party team if you have any questions at pbotblockparty@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-4003. 

Neighbor notification 

We encourage all applicants to reach out to neighbors before applying. Once approved, you must notify your neighbors at least 2 days prior to your closure. We’ve included a flyer you can print and use here: 

Barricades 

This image shows a household object in daylight hours and a type I barricade with a flashing amber light after dusk.

Pictures show examples of a household item with reflective tape used for a daylight street closure (left) and a Type 2 barricade with flashing light used for an after dusk closure (right). 

  • At both ends of your closure, install barricades 3-6 feet apart 

  • By state law, every corner is a crosswalk unless otherwise indicated. Place barricades out of marked (and unmarked) crosswalks and behind any extension of the sidewalk so people can still cross the street safely. 

  • If your block is adjacent to an arterial street, you must use Type 3 barricades (see our Basic Traffic Control Devices and Vendors page for options). 

  • If your block is not adjacent to an arterial street, you may use Type 2 barricades or household items such as personal trash bins or furniture. Keep in mind all the following requirements for using household items used for barricades: 

  • Barricades must be at least 3 feet tall and 18 inches wide. 

  • Permit holders must place a minimum of 2 household items at each end of the closure. As with any barricade, they should be set 3-6 feet apart. 

  • Daylight hours only. Household items may only be used as barricades during daylight hours. Permits that extend into dusk or evening hours will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If approved, permits that extend past dust will require additional traffic control devices with warning lights. 

  • Retroreflective tape. Items must be marked with retroreflective tape as follows: a minimum of two 4-inch retroreflective bands on all sides of the garbage can or household item. The first band of tape must be placed 2 inches from the top of the item. The second band should be between 2-6 inches below the first band. 

  • Fire lane. Regardless of barricade type, permit holders must still leave an 11-foot wide fire lane open at all times 

  • Monitoring. Garbage cans or other household items can only be placed in the street during the permitted closure and while the right-of-way is being used for Block Parties. Permit holders should make sure items are properly weighted and monitored so that they don’t fall over and remain where they should. 

Signage 

Signs should be clearly visible to everyone, including people driving. Be sure that no signs interfere with or block retroreflective tape. 

  • STREET CLOSED sign. A “STREET CLOSED” sign is required to be placed on the garbage can or household item at the center of the street, on both ends of your closure. This sign must be at least 2-feet tall and 3-feet wide. This sign should not cover any of the retroreflective tape and should be placed at least 20 inches above the roadway surface. Here is a PDF version of a “STREET CLOSED” sign you can print yourself or at a print shop. Please check out Adobe’s website with helpful instructions for printing posters and banners and any subsequent assembly needed. 

Dusk and evening 

  • Any permit using household items as barricades must remove these items and have the street completely reopened for normal use by dusk. 

  • Permits requesting closures past daylight hours, into dusk or evening, must use appropriate Type 2 or 3 barricades (see above) that have flashing lights attached. 

Setup and takedown 

In most cases, a generic traffic control plan will be included with your permit. This plan will guide you in how and where to set up barricades and signs, hours of operation, etc. If you are adjacent to an arterial street, we will provide a site-specific traffic control plan free of charge. Please follow all instructions carefully. Note: 

  • Times of day indicated on your permit are inclusive of setup and breakdown time. 

  • Do not begin setting up your closure until the time indicated on your permit. 

  • Permit holders and hosts must clear all equipment, barricades, signs, household items, and debris from the public right-of-way, and have your street completely reopened before the ending time indicated on your permit. 

  • If the Block Party becomes inactive it must be reopened for normal use.  

Additional permits that may be required 

Block Party permits are for the use of the right-of-way and shall not exempt the permittee from obtaining any license or permit as required by City Code or Ordinances for any act to be performed under this permit, nor shall this permit waive the provisions of any City Code, Ordinance, or the City Charter except as stated on permit. Please review these other requirements and guidance: 

Where to buy or rent traffic control devices 

Under certain conditions, such as during daylight hours, you may be able to use household items (such as garbage bins, with reflective tape) as a form of traffic control. Refer to your permit on what is or is not allowed, and the exact requirements for fire lanes, etc. Closures past dusk will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Permits for closures after dusk will require additional traffic control devices with warning lights. For a partial list of vendors and descriptions of types of traffic control, visit PBOT's resource page: 

Basic traffic control devices and vendors 

Share photos and spread the joy 

Have photos of you and your neighbors during your Block Party you want to share? Feel free to tag us so more people can learn about the program. We’re @PBOTInfo on all social media. 

Contact us 

Questions before applying or about your permit?  

Contact us at pbotblockparty@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-4003