Memorial Day closure

Most City of Portland offices will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day.

City standards, guidelines & requirements that impact space in Right-of-Way

This page identifies commonly referenced design guidelines, standards and clearance requirements that influence how space is organized in the public right-of-way.
On this page

This is not an exhaustive list, as the multiple bureaus that operate within the right-of-way have developed a variety of documents that inform their work and may apply to a given city-led or private development project.

Refer to the city’s Public Works Permitting page for information related to public works projects, including permit, fee and technical resources. For more information on the development review process, refer to Development Review and Permit Process (BDS) and Transportation Development Review and Early Assistance.

Sidewalks and Pedestrian Crossings

Sidewalk standards are defined in the Pedestrian Design Guide and are applied based on the Street Design Classificationof the street. Private development projects that meet the triggers in 17.88.020 are required bring their frontage up to current standards. Note that a Streetscape or Area Plan may apply which could inform the overall width or configuration of right-of-way improvements.

Every intersection, and certain midblock locations, are legal crosswalks in Oregon (ORS 801.220).

Street Trees

Chapter 11.50 (Trees in Development Situations) regulates the removal, protection and planting of trees through the development process to encourage development, where practicable, to incorporate existing trees, particularly high quality or larger trees and groves, into the site design, to retain sufficient space to plant new trees, and to ensure suitable tree replacement when trees are removed.

  • 11.50.040 Tree Preservation Standards
    • City or Street tree removal requires the approval of the City Forester. A street tree considerations checksheet is a tool for assessing the relative preservation value of street trees, and clarifies preservation options when developing a site, which can support conversations with Urban Forestry about City or Street tree preservation and, if necessary, removal.
  • 11.50.060 Street Tree Planting Standards
    • Establishes that One Street Tree shall be planted or retained for each full increment of 25 linear feet per side of street frontage.
    • Approved Street Tree Planting Lists identify allowed trees by size of planter strip and proximity to overhead high voltage power lines.
  • Tree clearances
  • Tree removal and replacement procedures
    • PRK-2.04 describes permit requirements and removal and replacement procedures for right-of-way improvements, sidewalks and underground utilities.
  • Tree planting priority

Access and Loading

Requirements for access and loading on private property influence the space available for other infrastructure in the pedestrian zone, such as street trees, furnishings such as bike racks, or utility connections.


The Bureau of Environmental Services regulates stormwater management (PCC 17.38). 

  • ENB-4.01 - Stormwater Management Manual
    • Sets City policy and design requirements for stormwater management on all development, redevelopment, and improvement projects on both public and private property in Portland. Chapter 4 provides requirements and guidance for designing public facilities, facilities that manage stormwater in or from the right-of-way (ROW), to meet the requirements in Chapter 1. Chapter 4 includes design considerations for green streets and their relationships other infrastructure including sewer laterals, waterlines, street trees, parking and pedestrian infrastructure. 




A street’s presence on the existing or planned bicycle network is determined by its TSP Bicycle Classification.

  • Protected Bikeway Design Guide
    • Identifies how motor vehicle speed and volumes inform the appropriate facility type for an all ages and abilities bikeway (Figure 17).
  • PBOT Traffic Design Manual Volume 1
    • Traffic Control and Design for People Biking chapter covers signage, pavement markings, bicycle signals, and bicycle facility design.


A street’s presence and level of priority on the transit network is determined its TSP Transit Classification.

  • Enhanced Transit Corridors Toolbox
    • Identifies a collection of potential capital and operational treatments that can be applied to improve transit performance and create safer, more predictable interactions with other travel modes.


A street’s Freight Classificationin the TSP provides guidance on the extent to which the design of a street should facilitate or accommodate truck movements.

Travel and Parking Lane Widths

Road and lane widths are informed by factors such as a street’s traffic classification (e.g., local vs. higher order streets) as well as presence on designated transit or freight routes.

Community Uses

The Portland Bureau of Transportation prioritizes people by encouraging the use of the right-of-way for community gathering spaces, placemaking and programming.