South Waterfront Street Plan, Criteria, and Standards: 2016 Amendments

In 2016, City Council adopted two separate resolutions updating the South Waterfront Street Plan, Criteria, and Standards to adjust street alignments to better support district circulation and development.

See below for a shortcut to the Street Plan map that is currently in effect.


The purpose of Master Street Plans is to increase the efficiency of the transportation system through increased connectivity of streets and pedestrian ways. A dense grid of streets improves walkability, helps spread local vehicle trips more evenly over the street network, and supports urban development consistent with city and regional land use plans.

Master Street Plans are a part of the city’s Transportation System Plan and fulfill requirements of Oregon Administrative Rule for State Land Use Goal 12, Transportation, Section 660-012-0020.

The South Waterfront area of Portland was once an industrial waterfront with shipyards and other heavy uses. It redeveloped starting in the 1990s through a series of public-private partnerships and development agreements. Major moves included the development of a mixed-use central district of residential towers and green spaces, as well as development of two OHSU campuses supported by construction of the Portland Aerial Tram and extension of the Portland Streetcar and MAX Light Rail.

The South Waterfront Street Plan, Criteria, and Standards, originally adopted as the North Macadam District Street Plan in 1996, ensures that development in the area is supported by a cohesive, well-connected transportation system serving all modes of travel.

Summary of Changes

On February 17, 2016, City Council adopted Resolution 37189, As Amended, making the following changes to the South Waterfront Street Plan, Criteria, and Standards, focused on the northern half of the district:

  • The resolution moved the proposed alignment of S Bond Avenue north of Tilikum Crossing approximately 70 feet closer to the Willamette River to avoid creating an awkward sliver property between the roadway and the Willamette Greenway, while also increasing the size of OHSU Schnitzer Campus properties to the west of S Bond Avenue. PBOT subsequently constructed this portion of S Bond Avenue between Tilikum Crossing and the Marquam Bridge, opening to users in 2019.
  • The resolution moved the proposed permanent alignment of the northbound Bond-to-Moody Portland Streetcar transition curves from proposed S Woods Street (north of the Ross Island Bridge) to a conceptual location just north of the Portland Aerial Tram. The Bond-to-Moody Streetcar transition is currently located immediately south of the Portland Aerial Tram and in front of a building entrance for the OHSU Center for Health and Healing. The permanent location for the Streetcar transition is intended to improve pedestrian circulation and Aerial Tram operations, while also avoiding a geometrically unfeasible alignment on S Woods Street and taking advantage of a future northbound transit-only lane on S Moody Avenue.
  • The resolution also required the City to work with OHSU to address the previously adopted Special Design Area on S Bond Avenue where it is adjacent to the Willamette Greenway. Specifically, the City was required to develop a conceptual design for how the street will integrate with the greenway to the east and a proposed Campus Commons to the west. The City’s consultant completed this conceptual design in 2018 and it can be viewed below.

On December 14, 2016, City Council adopted Resolution 37257, As Amended, adjusting proposed street connections in the “South Portal” of South Waterfront. Specifically, the resolution:

  • Established two new “portals” into the district from S Macadam Avenue: one at a newly aligned S Lowell Street, and the other at S Hamilton Court.
  • Removed the previously adopted portal at S Hamilton Street, which was found to be too steep to be improved into a complete street between S Moody and Macadam Avenues.
  • Proposed a modification of the S Macadam Avenue / S Bancroft Street signalized intersection to improve traffic operations and de-emphasize it as a portal into the district.
  • Proposed a realigned S Lowell Street between S Macadam Avenue and S Moody Avenue, aligned with existing S Lowell Street between S Moody Avenue and the Willamette Greenway.
  • Proposed vacation of existing, substandard S Lowell Street and S Thomas Street between S Macadam Avenue and S Moody Avenue upon full funding of realigned S Lowell Street.
  • Maintained the proposed S Moody Avenue Extension on the Street Plan map from S Bancroft Street to S Hamilton Court while directing staff to determine how the Willamette Shore Trolley and/or Portland Streetcar should be accommodated into the design of the street. (Staff subsequently developed a double track, mixed-traffic design concept that is still subject to change.) See below for the extension concept plan and typical section.
  • Based on public input, maintained the proposed S Bond Avenue / S Hamilton Street “elbow” south of S Bancroft Street and directed staff to continue to study and perform outreach on the feasibility of these streets. 

Current Adopted Map

The map (viewable and downloadable below) reflects the currently effective South Waterfront Street Plan Map, as amended by the 2016 resolutions. A revamp of the complete South Waterfront Street Plan, Criteria, and Standards document is postponed at this time due to lack of dedicated funding. Please contact staff listed below for specific questions about the Street Plan.

Public Engagement

PBOT Staff shared information and sought feedback from community organizations related to the update of the South Waterfront Street Plan, Criteria, and Standards in 2016. This included:

  • Meetings with the South Portland Neighborhood Association
  • Meetings with South Waterfront Community Relations
  • Meetings with major property owners
  • Design Commission hearings
  • Community workshops in tandem with Portland Parks & Recreation related to the S Bond Avenue Special Design Area and South Waterfront Greenway

Previous Versions

See below for the most recent version of the complete plan document, adopted in 2009. Additionally, see below for the 2012 amendment that modified Moody Avenue. Please note that the 2016 amendments described above supersede some of the maps in these older versions. For any questions related to this please contact staff listed on this page.


Mauricio LeClerc

Area and Project Planning Manager, PBOT