Portland City Council enacts pilot program to better manage publication and newspaper boxes

New newsracks will improve streetscape aesthetic, sidewalk mobility

Jul 11, 2012

Portland, Ore. – Portland City Council approved an ordinance today that creates a pilot program for newsracks in the downtown retail core. The ordinance establishes a demonstration area around Pioneer Courthouse Square in which four newsracks will be installed to better manage the concentration and placement of publication and newspaper boxes located on public sidewalks. The ordinance is part of the city’s Public Sidewalk Management Plan.

"With so many usage demands on our sidewalks, it makes sense to have a space dedicated to publications in a way that keeps our downtown looking nice and makes sidewalks easier to navigate,” said
David Hamilton, chair of the Clean & Safe board of directors and Executive Vice President of Commercial Property Management of Norris & Stevens. "We’ve seen this style of newsrack used in other downtowns and believe it will be a positive addition to our downtown’s streetscape.”

Since the enactment of the city’s Sidewalk Management Plan two years ago and under the leadership of Mayor Adams, the Clean & Safe District has been working with Portland City Council and local daily, weekly and community-focused publications in a collaborative process and partnership to create the pilot program.

The funding for the newsracks is part of the transit mall enhancement effort. In a partnership between the city of Portland and the downtown Clean & Safe District, the Clean & Safe District will maintain the boxes.  In the demonstration area, the four newracks will be installed, all existing publications in the demonstration area will be allowed space in the newsracks and all freestanding newsracks will be removed.

The newsracks will be located at:

  • Southwest Broadway and Morrison Street
  • Southwest Sixth Avenue and Morrison Street
  • Southwest Broadway and Yamhill Street
  • Southwest Sixth and Yamhill Street

The newsracks will be painted
black to match accessory poles in Pioneer District and will have anti-graffiti coating. During the test period, monthly reports will provide cleaning and graffiti statistics, circulation data from editorial publications and reports of new publication boxes added to the area. The test period will last one year, with an option to extend an additional six months if more data is needed. If the program is successful, the city of Portland will look at deployment throughout the central city.

Downtown Clean & Safe District
Downtown’s Clean & Safe District was created more than 20 years ago to support additional cleaning and security in the central city. The district, funded by downtown property owners, includes 213 blocks in the central city, and also supports market research and retail recruitment and retention efforts. The district is managed by the Portland Business Alliance
under the direction of the district’s board of directors.