Clean & Safe News

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January 2018


This year as we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Clean & Safe, we are relaunching our online newsletter to keep district members up to date on issues of importance and interest. The newsletter will contain articles regarding the work of Clean & Safe, events, as well as links to research, partners and resources. When our downtown is vibrant, clean and safe, the whole city flourishes.

Cleaner Profile: Chris Perkins

Chris Perkins started in the Clean & Safe trainee program in May 2014. Right from the start he showed incredibly strong work ethic and the desire to learn new skills. Chris would frequently be seen jogging with his cleaning cart to service calls, because he understands how important these calls are to the businesses who requested the cleanups. Chris shows pride in everything that he does at Clean & Safe, which helped him quickly get promoted to a regular union position as a Bus Mall Barrel Pusher. His enthusiasm and passion for his job continued on the Bus Mall as the level of cleanliness increased. One of his duties in this position was to train all new Portland Mall Management, Inc. (PMMI) trainees. He quickly became a mentor to these new employees as he was a very thorough trainer and was available for questions that may arise in the future. His training skills extremely elevated the knowledge of all incoming trainees and has continued to impact the level of training that new employees receive today.

In May 2015, Clean & Safe added a second special projects bike to their fleet. Chris jumped at this opportunity to get to ride a bike and cleanup 213 blocks of downtown Portland. He was able to fill in the gaps of weekends and early morning, in which there was not a special projects bike before. His presence on the bike was not only noticed by staff, but the business community also. There would frequently be phone calls to the Clean & Safe office from businesses praising his work ethic and his fantastic attitude, even when he had to clean up some not so pretty messes. Recently, Chris was promoted to Clean & Safe Crew 2, where he is a mentor and a leader to the trainees that are in the program. Chris has proved that he an asset to Clean & Safe, Central City Concern and everyone that works or visits the downtown area. We are extremely thankful grateful to have Chris a member of our team.

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Survey shows downtown employment is healthy

The 2016 Downtown Business Census & Survey shows employment in downtown Portland increased by 2 percent between 2015 and 2016, from 97,281 to 99,031 jobs. Additionally, the number of businesses downtown increased by 4 percent, from 4,770 to 4,958. While this indicates that employment in downtown is thriving, feedback continues to point to downtown livability issues. While 95 percent of respondents said they feel downtown is safe, half of respondents said downtown cleanliness needs improvement. Top factors influencing businesses locating or staying in downtown include: 1) central location; 2) proximity to other businesses; and 3) access to public transportation. Areas identified that need to be addressed include 1) transients, 2) panhandlers, and 3) parking. The number of people taking public transportation continues to drop, while driving alone is rising; currently 53 percent of downtown workers drive. The number of bike commuters remains unchanged from 2015 at 5 percent.
The Downtown Clean & Safe District conducts the Business Census & Survey each year, surveying employers within the I-405/I-5 loop. The district partners with Prosper Portland on employment data provided by the state of Oregon. Survey data was gathered from October 2015 to October 2016. Read the survey results.

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Clean & Safe releases cleaning stats for 2017

Below are the cleaning stats from Clean & Safe for 2017.


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"Downtown Portland Wonderland" campaign results

The Downtown Marketing Initiative (DMI) organizes the holiday promotional campaign. The 2017 downtown holiday campaign began Nov. 16 and ran through Christmas. The theme “Downtown Portland Wonderland” was conveyed through a series of modular downtown Portland graphics created by local graphic designer Dan Stiles. The online ads serve two purposes: reinforcing positive feelings about downtown Portland during the holidays as well as a portal to our website. The media buy consisted of online ads with Portland Monthly, Willamette Week and Oregonlive, print with Portland Monthly and The Oregonian, and an outdoor billboard on Highway 217 near Washington Square for the last three weeks in December. Other components of the holiday campaign included a “Downtown Portland Wonderland” scene in the display windows at Target, printed downtown holiday map for shoppers highlighting major promotions and events, and SmartPark Free Parking Sundays on Dec. 3, 10 and 17.

While final results are being tallied, initial feedback shows downtown retailers were pleased with sales and traffic. This was a relatively dry and warm holiday season, which spurred a lot of traffic, and while the safety discussion has been top of mind, shoppers continued to visit. Pioneer Courthouse Square reports a record crowd at Tree Lighting Ceremony on Black Friday, with 30,000 people in attendance.

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10th and Yamhill SmartPark renovation underway

The city of Portland and Portland Bureau of Transportation began renovation work at the 10th and Yamhill SmartPark garage on Jan. 15. The project is slated to conclude in April 2019; the parking facilities will remain open for visitors through the duration of the project.
The project will modernize the structure to improve performance and meet current accessibility standards. Improvements include refreshing and enhancing the ground floor retail spaces, upgrading the elevators and stairs, increasing lighting and visibility throughout the garage, and optimizing vehicle and bicycle parking.
The garage will remain open during construction with work phased to maximize available parking. We will provide updates about changes in parking availability.
Some detours are expected on surrounding sidewalks when closures can’t be avoided. MAX stations will remain open during construction. Boys Fort will move its location just up the street to the corner of SW 10th and Morrison and will be open in February.

For more information, visit:

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Pedestrian count up more than 40 percent from 2015

Pedestrian counts took place Dec. 7, 8 and 9, 2017 (Thursday through Saturday) and the results were notably improved over 2015 December counts; 2016 pedestrian counts were cancelled due to snow. Of the 10 corners counted both in December 2015 and December 2017, there was a 41 percent increase in average foot traffic. Weather over the counting period was cold but dry and observed pedestrian activity was mostly comprised of holiday shoppers.
Each of the top corners include major retail destinations:
  • 5th and Morrison with 26,712 pedestrians, up 60 percent over 2015;
  • 6th and Morrison with 21,078 pedestrians, up 57 percent over 2015;
  • 10th and Burnside with 16,964 pedestrians, up 63 percent over 2015; and
  • 10th and Morrison with 15,578 pedestrians, up 75 percent over 2015.

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PDX Pop UP Shop Program

Did you know the Clean & Safe district created and manages the popular PDX Pop Up Shop Program? The program started during the recession in 2009, with property owners providing vacant retail space for free for emerging retail businesses. The program now in its eighth year, turns Portland’s vacant retail space into temporary destinations for local designers and artists to “set up shop” for the season. Participants this year included New Avenues for Youth’s dfrntpigeon clothing line, Portland Saturday Market Indoors, the Chic Coop jewelry and Animal. Plant. Mineral., featuring cashmere hats, home goods and jewelry. The program has been a launch pad for permanent shops, such as Crafty Wonderland, Boys Fort, and Bridge and Burn. Project partners include the Portland Business Alliance, Clean & Safe, Prosper Portland, Standard Insurance and Pioneer Place. The program was quite successful this year; sales over the six week term totaled $99,700, representing a 151 percent increase over sales from last year.

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