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Portland Pathways

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Portland Pathways is a Portland Bureau of Transportation program that allows community groups to permit, build, and maintain trails with technical support from PBOT.

What is Portland Pathways?

Portland Pathways (formerly called CINP/Urban Trails) is a Portland Bureau of Transportation program that allows community groups to permit, build, and maintain trails with technical support from PBOT. Portland Pathways launched in 2014 to help communities make their neighborhoods better places to walk, and after a pause during the pandemic, PBOT is pleased to reintroduce the program.

PBOT values the development of urban trails, offering pedestrian connections that are:

  • Community-supported
  • Currently unmet
  • Low cost
  • Quickly implementable

This program provides a process for PBOT to allow community members to improve the walking environment of their neighborhoods. The Portland Pathways program helps support both the trail and sidewalk networks by allowing neighborhoods to work with the City to improve public right-of-way(s) in their community that could be used as a supplemental method to improve walking.

Portland Pathways contribute to the 152 miles of completed regional trails that weave through commercial districts, residential neighborhoods, and into areas of natural beauty. Trails are an important part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, the Regional Active Transportation Plan, and PedPDX: Portland's Citywide Pedestrian Plan.

Getting Started

Step 1. See if your proposed pathway is eligible

Use the map below to identify where trails can be permitted under the Portland Pathways program. To be eligible, your proposal needs to be along an adopted route in the SW Trails Plan (dashed black) or PedPDX priority network (solid orange). See a full screen version of the map. 

Remote Media URL

This map may not be accessible for all users. Please contact the Portland Pathways team (trails@portlandoregon.gov or call 503-823-5268) for assistance interpreting the map.

Step 2. Pre-application screening

Before submitting a formal application, please send in a short description of your idea and a screenshot of the location from the map above to trails@portlandoregon.gov. If staff determine it is a potential Portland Pathway, you will be asked to submit a full application (Step 3).

Share your Portland Pathway idea

Step 3. Send in a Trails Request Form. 

Applications can be submitted online or downloaded to fill out offline. A PortlandOregon.gov account is required to access the application; you will be prompted to create an account if you do not have one. 

Apply for a Portland Pathways permit

Step 4. Bureau review & community notification 

Several public agencies will review your application to see if there are any projects planned in the proposed trail location or other issues with development or utilities. PBOT will also notify the community of your trail project.

Step 5. Design charrette & on-site visit to proposed trail 

Our team will visit the proposed trail location to work out the details of the trail design with the applicant. Any proposed trail must meet City of Portland guidelines for trail types A, C, or J. The trail design must also follow any applicable environmental or overlay zoning codes. You are also welcome to reach out to local trail groups for design assistance.

Step 6. Obtain the applicable permits 

A trail must meet all access and design requirements to receive a permit. The Portland Pathways Trails Coordinator and a third-party trail reviewer will review the site before issuing a permit. Each permit will include a maintenance plan. PBOT staff will create this plan with the applicant. The plan will define regular trail maintenance tasks, and who performs each task.

Step 7. Construction & on-going maintenance

Once construction is completed, please send us photos and notify us of the completion of the project. We will then conduct a post-construction assessment.