Storm damage recovery

Major changes coming to PBOT Healthy Businesses program

News Article
The Portland Bureau of Transportation's (PBOT) Healthy Businesses permit allows temporary changes to streets to give people more space to conduct business safely. The program will continue after Aug. 31 with some changes, including new fees.
In this article

Hello Healthy Business permittees and friends:

The summer is heating up and we wanted to reach out to you with some reminders and updates to the Healthy Business Permit program.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) created the Healthy Businesses program to allow local businesses to creatively use street space to safely serve their customers. Since the program started in May 2020, PBOT has issued over 1,050 Healthy Businesses permits free of charge to permittees.

Thanks to the City Council approving additional American Rescue Plan funding in May, the Healthy Businesses program can start to transition from short-term pandemic response to a long-term program. The program will continue after current permits expire Aug. 31. This temporary funding will also help cover some, but not all, administrative costs.

Reminders for businesses currently using streets and sidewalks

If you have an active permit, you should have received a new permit that has been extended through Aug. 31. If you have not, please reach out to or complete a Healthy Businesses application.

Please note that if you are using the sidewalk, our Sidewalk Café program has transitioned permanently to the Healthy Businesses program. If you do not have a current Healthy Businesses permit for sidewalk use, please apply for a Healthy Businesses permit.

As a reminder, all Healthy Businesses spaces must be accessible for persons with disabilities. This includes PBOT requirements like keeping a clear, 6-foot-wide path of travel on the sidewalk and ADA design requirements like providing accessible seating. Our guide to making Healthy Businesses spaces ADA compliant can help you assess your permitted space for some of the most common barriers to access.  

Upcoming changes to the Healthy Businesses Program

A new phase of permits will start on Sept. 1. Permits issued during this phase will expire Dec. 31, 2023. This longer permit cycle will give staff a chance to develop the permanent program, request public feedback, and inspect existing sites. Applications will open mid-July. We will send you an email update when the application form is live. Monitor the Healthy Businesses website and encourage your colleagues to sign up for email updates from PBOT to make sure you have the latest information!

This new phase will have some changes:

  • Coverings over sidewalks. All free-standing built or tent coverings over sidewalks must be removed. Any sidewalk covering attached to the building must be approved through the Bureau of Development Services’ Sign and Awning Permits
  • Sight line adjustments. In the next six months, your location will be evaluated for clear sight lines for pedestrians. You might be asked to adjust wall height and transparency. We will also be looking at how close to the pedestrian crosswalk your installation is located.
  • Street plazas. If you have a street plaza -- a business operation that covers the entire street or nearly the whole street from curb to curb -- please expect an email next week with changes coming to that program
  • Fees. We will be charging fees for the use of the public right-of-way. These fees cover some of the cost of administering the program, allowing us to continue to provide technical support to permit holders and applicants.
    Some key fees for Sep. 2022 - Dec. 2023 permit cycle
    Fee typeFee
    Application fee$150
    Parking use$500 per parking space
    Sidewalk use$6 per linear foot
    Some examples of common situations:
    • For two parking spaces, the total fee for the upcoming 16-month permit cycle is $1150. Each parking space has a $500 fee, and there is an application fee of $150.
    • For 20 linear feet of sidewalk space, the total fee for the upcoming 16-month permit cycle is $270, $6 per linear foot plus a $150 application fee.

Note that if you are applying for both sidewalk and parking space use at the same time, you will only be charged a single $150 application fee.

In the months to come, we will also ask for feedback on draft permit conditions and siting and design requirements for the following permit cycle, which begins Jan. 1, 2024. Stay tuned for more information!

5-minute pickup/drop-off permits transitioning to 5-minute Fast Stop

Because many Healthy Businesses permittees have also participated in the 5-minute pickup/drop-off permit, we also want to let you know about changes to that program.

In August 2021, PBOT piloted 5-minute Fast Stop parking zones in five locations. PBOT Parking Control staff will now take requests from businesses for permanent 5-minute Fast Stops signage installation across Portland. To request a 5-minute Fast Stop, email

Temporary 5-minute pickup/drop-off spaces permitted as part of PBOT’s pandemic response will expire on June 30.

We will have an opportunity for businesses to return the A-Board signs to our facilities on 816 N Graham Street on July 19 and Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We will reach out at the end of July with a downtown location and dates.


PBOT Business Toolkit team

phone number503-823-4026Contact with questions before applying, or about your Healthy Businesses permit for the September 2022 - December 2023 cycle.