Pedestrian study: Foot traffic in downtown Portland up 20 percent over last year

Aug 15, 2017
by Stuart Tomlinson, KATU News

It's not just the amount of traffic that's going up, downtown Portland pedestrian traffic is up about 20 percent over last year, according to a June count by the Portland Business Alliance.

The marketing survey found the top three corners for pedestrian traffic were 10th and West Burnside, Southwest Sixth and Morrison, and Southwest Fifth and Morrison.

"We actually do it twice a year," said Lisa Frisch of the Portland Business Alliance. "And we have people on the corner counting pedestrians from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m."

With hotel occupancy in the central city at around 81 percent, with another eight hotels under construction, the number of rooms is expected to jump from 5,550 to nearly 8,000. Numerous new apartments and condos will only add to the pedestrian counts.

"You're really seeing increase in vibrancy across the board," Frisch said. "Some of these sites that we're counting are under construction now. So when the projects are done, we expect an even larger increase in foot traffic."

Remarkably, the two-day count included one of the rainiest days in June. And for perspective, the Portland Business Alliance estimates that 97,000 people work in downtown Portland.

More details on the study by the Portland Business Alliance:
  • The Central City currently has over 45 construction projects underway, a record number. Many of these high-profile construction projects downtown will bring even more employees, tourists and residents to the area (cite 2017 Development Redevelopment Report).
  • Downtown Portland has more than 5,500 hotel rooms. Travel Portland reports an 81 percent occupancy rate at central city hotels. This high occupancy rate is driving additional hotel development downtown.
  • Three recently completed hotels include the Hi Lo Hotel at 3rd and Stark, the AC Hotel at 3rd and Taylor, and Hyatt House in Riverplace.
  • There are seven hotel projects currently under construction in the central city, which will add roughly 1,250 rooms to the city’s inventory in the next two years.
  • And there are another eight projects in varying stages of design, which would add another 1,900 to 2,100 rooms upon project completion. This includes the 600-room Convention Center Hyatt Regency, which recently broke ground.
Read the full Pedestrian Count reports