The Clean & Safe District advocates for public policy decisions that create a clean and safe downtown for everyone who lives, works and visits downtown Portland. Below is a list of categories and the latest issue updates.

Planning and Development

Clean & Safe advocates for Skidmore/Old Town Historic District development improvements

In coordination with a group of property owners, historic preservation experts, architects and others, Clean & Safe has developed a range of recommended strategies to spur investment and development in the Skidmore portion of the Skidmore/Old Town Historic District. The recommended strategies strive to increase economic activity in the district, while enhancing and complementing the historic qualities of the area. The board also adopted a position opposing a tax on surface parking lots or moves to ban such lots.  Read the memo outlining the recommendations.

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Opportunity to get involved in the Central City Plan

Clean & Safe has kicked off its Central City Plan technical interviews where members discuss policy and process issues that are not working in the central city for development and economic development purposes. Issues like height restrictions and lengthy design review processes continue to be consistent themes. Clean & Safe will use this information to inform its advocacy efforts in the Central City Plan update process. Interested in getting involved? Contact Bernie Bottomly at

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Public Safety/Livability

City of Portland drops sidewalk ordinance from 2014 legislative agenda

The city of Portland has withdrawn its request for legislation clarifying the city’s authority to regulate sidewalk behaviors during the February 2014 legislative session. Clean & Safe has expressed its concern and disappointment to the city and has asked Mayor Charlie Hales to implement immediate strategies that would help reduce sidewalk conflicts that adversely affect neighborhoods and businesses. Clean & Safe believes a comprehensive approach, one that addresses social service needs while protecting the rights of downtown visitors and residents, is the best solution to the livability problems in Portland’s Central City and other neighborhoods. The strategies suggested by Clean & Safe include extending walking patrols of downtown by Portland Police, more consistent enforcement of existing laws and a reexamination of the city’s decision to curtail investments in shelter capacity. Read the letter to Mayor Hales outlining the recommendations regarding sidewalk regulation.

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Clean & Safe weighs in on Right to Dream Too relocation

The city has scrapped plans to move the Right to Dream Too encampment to a building on Northwest 3rd and Hoyt because that option proved too expensive. As a result, the future of this longtime, illegal encampment on Northwest 4th and West Burnside remains unclear. The Alliance and Clean & Safe have advocated for the city to remove the camp from its current site because it is in violation city code. Clean & Safe has long urged City Council to consider a strategy that would deploy additional temporary emergency shelter beds so that individuals in need of shelter have a safe, indoor option. The organization has also asked Council to consider locations other than the Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood, which has a disproportionately large share of social services agencies. Read the letter to Mayor Charlie Hales about our priorities on the issue.

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Clean & Safe urges Mayor Hales to focus on sidewalk management

The Alliance and Clean & Safe-supported sidewalk bill, HB 2963, which would have given cities greater flexibility to manage sidewalk behavior, did not make it out of  the Senate Judiciary Committee in time to be brought to the floor this legislative session. The committee is chaired by Senator Floyd Prozanski of Eugene. The bill easily passed the House, however, with only two opposing votes earlier this session. The Alliance has met with Portland Mayor Charlie Hales to discuss how the city can better manage sidewalk behavior and what the going-forward plan should be.

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Clean & Safe supports downtown businesses with sidewalk management legislation

In partnership with the Clean & Safe District and other chambers, the Alliance introduced legislation that would clarify a city’s authority to manage sidewalk behavior (House Bill 2963). Currently, the disorderly conduct law is the only law enforcement mechanism concerning sidewalk behavior, and it requires proof that people sitting or lying on the ground intended to create an obstruction. It also puts the onus on the pedestrian to take legal action. The Alliance and Clean & Safe District representatives will continue to meet with members of the House Judiciary Committee and advocate in support of the bill.

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Clean & Safe endorses alcohol impact areas measure

The Clean & Safe District expressed its support for the alcohol impact area measure (House Bill 2702) in a letter to Representative Doherty. This legislation would grant the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) the authority to establish alcohol impact areas where the sale of inexpensive fortified wine and single container beverages can be regulated. In 2010, the Clean & Safe District supported the formation of an alcohol impact area in the downtown area, where 50 percent of the city’s arrests for drinking in public 25 percent of calls for detoxification services occur. The Clean & Safe District will work with the OLCC, the city of Portland and effected businesses to develop the best possible framework for addressing these issues. Read the letter >>

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Clean & Safe submits concerns about NW Fourth and Burnside encampment

The homeless encampment at Northwest Fourth Avenue and Burnside Street is generating complaints from surrounding businesses regarding zoning and building code violations as well as increase in illegal activities in the area. Clean & Safe and the Alliance recently addressed these concerns, urging the City of Portland to use tools other than the city's current fine-based remedy to increase incentives for the owner and occupants to comply with city law. Clean & Safe advocated for the city to take action regarding this site's legality and correct the damage that has been done to Portland's historic Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood. Read the letter >>

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Clean & Safe supports Portland State University Urban Renewal Area

On April 10, 2012, Clean & Safe showed its support for the new urban renewal area that is focused on developing and strengthening Portland State University and its role in economic development, research and innovation. Read the letter >>

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Clean & Safe gets involved in the City of Portland's Central City 2035 Plan Update

Clean & Safe held the first meeting of its ad hoc committee in April 2012 to provide input to the Central City 2035 plan, the central city portion of the city's 20-year comprehensive plan update. The committee reviewed current land use regulations and discussed suggested changes to regulation and process that would help spur economic activity in the central city.

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Retail Vibrancy

Alliance supports retailers by advocating for Disabled Parking Permit changes

The Alliance Central City Committee voted to support the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) proposed changes to the disabled parking program in downtown Portland, leading the way for Alliance testimony in favor of the proposal at a City Council hearing this week. For the past six years, the Alliance has participated in the Disabled Parking Task Force, which was charged with developing parking policies for non-wheelchair Disabled Parking Permits. The proposed ordinance responds to longstanding complaints from downtown retailers and office managers regarding permit misuse and the resulting reduced parking turnover. Based on recommendations from the task force, PBOT is proposing the following changes: Disabled Parking Permit holders (non-wheelchair placards) will be required to pay for parking per the proposed rules in the metered district, and special permits will be issued to accommodate employees and residents with Disabled Parking Permits who work and/or live within the metered district. Existing rules will apply to wheelchair users with Disabled Parking Permits and the city will facilitate access for these individuals by reserving 30 on-street parking spaces. The proposed changes strive to increase accessibility for the disability community by providing priority use of parking near desired destinations within the metered district. PBOT will complete the development of the program and implement new regulations effective July 1, 2014.

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Downtown Retail Council supports slight parking rate increase

In May 2012, the Downtown Retail Council supported a slight parking rate increase for the SmartPark garages, as the revenues in turn help fund the Downtown Marketing Initiative for the next five years. Read the letter >>

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Clean & Safe District successfully pushes for more short-term parking in SmartPark garages

Over the past few years, monthly parking in the city-owned SmartPark garages has increased, which ultimately reduced the availability of short-term parking for downtown customers. In order to maintain downtown's vitality, the Clean & Safe District and the Portland Business Alliance advocated for the need for more short-term parking to meet the demand for low-cost, safe and convenient access to parking for downtown's customers. In April 2012, Portland City Council passed an ordinance that removes monthly parkers at the Southwest Third and Alder garage and increases rates at Southwest 10th and Yamhill and Southwest Fourth and Yamhill garages in order to incent monthly parkers to find a lower-cost garage. The ordinance, which was sponsored by Mayor Sam Adams, passed 4-0 (Commissioner Fish was absent).

During the ordinance hearing, the Clean & Safe District's Downtown Retail Manager, Lisa Frisch, testified about the need for more short-term parking. Read the testimony >>

There are a number of alternatives for people in need of monthly parking downtown. Visit this site for a comprehensive list and map of monthly parking locations downtown.

The Clean & Safe District will continue to monitor the issue of short-term parking availability.

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Alliance members weigh in on proposed Cycle Track

Clean & Safe and Portland Business Alliance members met with the city of Portland's Bureau of Transportation staff in April about a proposed Cycle Track on Southwest 12th Avenue between Portland State University (PSU) and West Burnside Street. Cycle Tracks are bike lanes between the curb and a line of parked cars; there is currently a Cycle Track on Broadway near PSU. Clean & Safe and the Alliance convened a meeting of property owners along 12th Avenue to examine the proposal and relayed their concerns via a memorandum. Read the memorandum >>

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