Public Street Plazas May Newsletter

News Article
Portland's Public Street Plazas Banner featuring a cartoon scene of people enjoying a plaza.  People are running, biking, sitting, eating, socializing, dancing, and DJing.
Upcoming events, plaza improvements, and more!
In this article

Ramping up for Plaza Season

Wow! is it May already? As we build up to Plaza Season PBOT, the Street Plaza Team, and our community partners are at work improving plazas through beautification projects, event programming, and more. Read on and learn about the exciting new developments on the streets of Portland.

A group gathers at a plaza on a blue day.  Picnic tables and Sweet Hearts Tattoo Shop are visible
Concordia Commons at NE 30th and Killingsworth Street is ready for summer! The community is excited for what's to come. Photo Credit: Kunal Mehta and the Concordia News

Upcoming Plaza Partner Events

Thursday, May 2 - First Thursdays Street Gallery- Join us in the Pearl District for First Thursday. Experience the work of local artists and makers from 5-9 p.m. at NW 13th Plaza on NW 13th Avenue between Everett and NW Irving streets. This event is sponsored by the Urban Art Network.

Saturday, May 4 - Arleta Triangle Square Planting Event - Come out to Arleta Triangle Square from 9-11 a.m. to plant dozens of native plants at the Arleta Triangle Square. With the support of the Mt. Scott-Arleta Neighborhood Association, they have a bounty of plants from Sparrow Hawk Native Plants ready for planting. Create green space in your community and meet neighbors at this special event.

Saturday, May 4 - MusicPortland at SE Spokane Plaza - Come out to experience the NEW SE Spokane Plaza right next to Gino's Restaurant and Bar and enjoy tunes from live bands brought to you by MusicPortland from 1-3 p.m.

Saturday, May 11 - St Johns Bizarre -The beloved St. Johns Bizarre returns May 11 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at St Johns Plaza, the heart of downtown St Johns! The Bizarre hosts a dynamite lineup of musicians, artisans, makers, creators, food vendors, community groups, and more, all ready to go — so you can sing, dance, eat, shop, and make merry 'til your heart's delight.
Saturday, May 25 - Arleta Triangle Square Summer Work Party - Make a good place even better! Winter has ended, and your neighborhood plaza requires your assistance to maintain it an accessible space for community events and gatherings. Gather at Arleta Triangle Square every last Saturday starting at 10 a.m. to paint, weed, clean, and meet your neighbors. Gloves, tools, and light refreshments provided.
A colorful flyer for the summer work party featuring a beachball and the motto "Make a good place better"

Want to throw an event at a PBOT Public Street Plaza?

Plaza are for Portlanders and we love to see them thrive! Want to throw a performance, dance party, craft market, seed swap, game night, neighborhood meet and greet, or something else? Reach out and email us at and we can help you navigate throwing an event.

The Small Plaza Activation process is intended to remove barriers for small-scale neighborhood-based activities that build social and community connections in PBOT plazas. Best of all, permits under Small Plaza Activation are 100% FREE.

New planters at Montavilla Plaza

If you’ve found your way down to Montavilla Plaza at SE Stark and SE 79th Avenue, you may have noticed new planters bringing life to the plaza.  Our team took inspiration from the New York Department of Transportation plaza program, who use these same planters in their street plazas.  Not only are they beautiful, they are also HEAVY!  This ensures that these additions will stay in place to block car traffic making plazas safe for pedestrians and people biking.

Stay tuned as we continue installing new planters to spruce up plazas across Portland in the coming months! Special thanks to Portland Parks and Recreation for maintaining our planters and contributing to the vibrancy on our streets.

An Empty planter is surrounded by new plants waiting to be potted at Montavilla Plaza. A Plaza map signage and the green street painting are visible
Planters were installed late last month at Montavilla Plaza. More to come!

Scenes from the Plazas: St Johns Spring Fling

This years Spring Fling hosted by the St Johns Boosters was a hit! The event included businesses, crafts, kid friendly play booths, performances, drag queen story time, and mini ponies for petting.

The St. Johns Boosters have served the business community in St Johns since 1926. For the last 100 years the Boosters have been a keystone organization in establishing the distinct identity of St Johns and it's community. Working with the neighbors and city government, the Boosters altered traffic flow during the 1970’s positively changing character of the downtown and aided in the creation of St Johns Plaza. Today, this landmark PBOT Plazas is often refereed to as the "Heart of St Johns".

If you missed this event, don't worry! St Johns is one of our most active plazas with more exciting events on the horizon.

Many people gather on a cloudy day for a plaza event.  Pop up tents are visible in the background.  Orange picnic tables in the foreground.
Even in colder weather, Spring Fling brought out a crowd to St Johns Plaza last month. Photo Credit: Bizzy Lizzie Social Media (Instagram: @bizzylizziepdx)

"Having a Plaza that is the "living room of St Johns" allows The Events the Boosters put on throughout the year to bring out community, show off our amazing businesses and bring everyone together to prove how awesome and important our individual small business districts are to the vitality of Portland!"

Tanya Hartnett

St. Johns District Manager

Venture Portland

A drag performer reads a story book to a crowd of children at St Johns Plaza
Drag Queen Story Time with Poison Waters was a part of Dia de Los Ninos, event taking place at the Spring Fling, organized by Letty Alvarez. Photo Credit: Bizzy Lizzie Social Media (Instagram: @bizzylizziepdx)

Do you have a great Public Street Plaza Photo?

We'd love to feature it!  Share your best PBOT Street Plaza photo with the world by tagging @PBOTinfo on InstagramFacebook, or X (formally Twitter).  You can also email them directly to our team at

Thank you for your survey responses!

The NW 13th Avenue Plaza survey is now closed and we wanted to give special thanks to all those who submitted feedback regarding future development of this multi-block space. In only a few short weeks, we received over 450 responses from residents, businesses, and the community at large! Stay tuned for future updates on NW 13th.

Where can you find PBOT's Street Plazas?

PBOT has numerous active plazas that are ready for you, your friends, and family to enjoy. They are great places to grab a bite to eat, relax, enjoy live music, meet up with friends, and so much more. Check out our directory to find out about plazas near you!

A map of Portland featuring the 17 street plazas across the city

What is the Portland Public Street Plaza Program?

Originally started during the Covid-19 pandemic to assist businesses and Portlanders, PBOTs Public Street Plaza program-built partnerships with community and local businesses to transform select streets into public spaces for cultural events, street fairs, pop-up markets, and more. The program uses PBOT's Livable Streets Strategy, adopted by Portland City Council in 2017 as its policy foundation to turn streets into inclusive public spaces that foster public life. In 2022 PBOT’s Planning team started work to turn the temporary, pandemic-era program into a permanent Street Plaza program. This program continues to allow PBOT to act on its values around climate action, mobility for all, and building community by creating public spaces that all Portlander should be able to use and enjoy.

Portland Public Street Plazas Funded by the American Rescue Plan

This project is funded by the American Rescue Plan, a federal economic stimulus bill designed to help communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession. The City of Portland is receiving $208 million of local recovery funds. Investments focus on three key priorities: houselessness response and household stabilization, business and commercial district stabilization, and community health and safety.

The City of Portland's America Rescue Plan Logo.  The subtitle reads Investing in Portland

The City of Portland ensures meaningful access to city programs, services, and activities to comply with Civil Rights Title VI and ADA Title II laws and reasonably provides: translation, interpretation, modifications, accommodations, alternative formats, auxiliary aids and services. To request these services, contact the Portland Bureau of Transportation at 311 (503-823-4000), for Relay Service & TTY: 711.Click to edit this placeholder text.