PBOT News Release: Commissioners Fish and Eudaly announce Musician Loading Zones parking pilot program, supporting local musicians with safer, more convenient access to local venues

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Portland Bureau of Transportation

News media contacts:

Portland Bureau of Transportation
Dylan Rivera
Cell: 503-577-7534

Meara McLaughlin

Fair Trade Music PDX
Bruce Fife
503-235-8791 x3

Music Portland Fair Trade Music Logos Together

PBOT News Release:

Commissioners Fish and Eudaly announce Musician Loading Zones parking pilot program, supporting local musicians with safer, more convenient access to local venues

(March 15, 2019) City Commissioner Nick Fish and Chloe Eudaly joined music advocates MusicPortland and Fair Trade Music PDX to announce a new pilot program that will support local musicians by expanding access to safe, convenient spaces for loading near 16 popular music venues.

Musicians need parking close to their destination, so they can carry heavy and fragile instruments from the street into a venue—similar to the parking needs of freight vehicles. This pilot program allows permitted musicians to park in selected truck loading zones up to 30 minutes so they may more safely load and unload at a venue.

This is crucial for supporting local artists. Surveys by MusicPortland and Fair Trade Music revealed heartbreaking stories of parking citations that cost more than what artists earn at a show, hassle, theft, attacks, and at least one death during load-out at a venue. This program is dedicated to the memory of Chris Chandler, victim of a hit and run that took place in 2015 outside a venue while speaking with a musician who was loading out his gear.

Commissioner Fish says “Portland’s vibrant music scene and the amazing musicians that call Portland home make our city special. So, this pilot is a no-brainer. By making a relatively minor change, we’re not only taking strides to help musicians afford to live and work here, we are declaring that Portland’s music scene is an essential part of who we are.”

Look for these signs near your favorite venue

Musician Loading by Permit Sign

View maps of musician loading zone locations and register for a permit at the project web site

Local musicians can now get a permit decal—at no cost—to place on the curbside windshield when using designated loading zones. PBOT encourages use of two stickers per vehicle, one on each side of the front windshield, to make enforcement more effective. To get a free permit decal, musicians must complete a brief online form at pdxmusicloading.com. Decals can then be picked up at designated locations or mailed. 

“Our performers and live music venues provide an enormous value to our city and shouldn’t have to risk their gear, their safety or their limited income to deliver it,” says Meara McLaughlin, Executive Director of MusicPortland. “Having champions like Commissioners Fish and Eudaly is invaluable and promising.”

“As the Arts Commissioner, the Transportation Commissioner, and a lifelong arts enthusiast, I am pleased to see our city address one of the unique needs and challenges of the music community – loading equipment in and out of performance venues,” Commissioner Eudaly said. “Our musician loading zone pilot program is an innovative project that I hope will serve as a model for other cities.”

After today's news conference, Portland rock band And And And helped celebrate the new accessible loading zones by performing a brief live concert in one of the new zones, on SW Third Avenue just south of West Burnside, adjacent to Dante's Inferno.

The live music scene in Portland is one of the big reasons why people want to live, work and visit our city. But the disparate populations of our diverse music community experience a variety of challenges on city streets.

As this new program shows, there is a willingness to craft music supportive policies to support and protect this economic and cultural asset.

By directly supporting musicians, the program supports local culture and the local economy.

Musician Loading Website

The 16 performance venues—including Dante’s, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland Center Stage, Kelly’s Olympian, Al’s Den, The Liquor Store, Mississippi Pizza—supported by this program are those where musicians faced some of the biggest challenges yet also had existing loading zones that could be leveraged for musicians as well as commercial vehicles. Enabled by new transportation rules, the success of these first deployments may encourage other solutions at venues without loading zones in the future.

Bruce Fife of Fair Trade Music PDX sums it up: “The excitement and appreciation already expressed by musicians makes it clear that we have all made the lives of working musicians just a little bit easier.”

About MusicPortland

MusicPortland is a nonprofit industry advocacy association that represents the interests of the entire Portland-area music ecosystem, including venues, manufacturers, production professionals, distributors, publishers and musicians. Currently collecting industry data and members in an effort to provide a unified voice for Portland’s music community, our work offers actionable data and strategy to help city leaders and other stakeholders support the local music ecosystem, which cannot survive our city’s rapid growth without it. musicportland.org  

About Fair Trade Music PDX

Fair Trade Music PDX (coordinated by the Musicians Union, Local 99) is a grass-roots campaign dedicated to improving the wages and working conditions for all freelance musicians in the Portland metro area. Although it was created and is supported by the Musicians Union, the campaign is open and available to participation by all musicians. fairtrademusicpdx.org



The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Learn more at www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation