PBOT News Release: SmartPark and parking enforcement adjust for downtown revival

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Portland Bureau of Transportation

News media contact:

Dylan Rivera
(503) 577-7534



News Release:

SmartPark and parking enforcement adjust for downtown revival

(May 29, 2020) The Portland Bureau of Transportation is making several adjustments to downtown-area parking, as the region adjusts to reopening with COVID-19 restrictions.

First & Jefferson SmartPark garage rate rises with occupancy 

On March 27, PBOT temporarily dropped the prices for parking at the five city-owned SmartPark garages, to support downtown residents and workers who perform essential tasks and are not able to telework. Rates at all five garages were dropped to a temporary $5 all-day rate.

Prior to the crisis, SmartPark averaged an 85 percent to 90 percent occupancy rate. With widespread stay at home orders, garage occupancy dropped by about half.

In recent weeks, occupancy at the First and Jefferson garage has climbed back to more than 90 percent occupancy on weekdays, making it difficult for people to find a space. 

Effective on Monday June 1, First and Jefferson garage location will raise its temporary all-day rate to $10. This will ensure an adequate short-term parking supply, in anticipation of the July opening of the new Multnomah County Courthouse across the street.

All other SmartPark garages will retain the temporary $5 all-day rate, until further notice. Rates for short-term parking of one to four hours have not changed.

Find a SmartPark garage, learn about bike parking and discounts from downtown businesses at the SmartPark website

Parking enforcement officers work for you, transition from warnings to citations

Since stay home orders for the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in March, PBOT parking enforcement officers have prioritized essential parking access, such as keeping disabled parking spots, fire hydrants and loading zones clear. 

In April and May, officers issued far more warnings than citations.

Officers issued about 6,900 warnings for vehicles that did not display a meter receipt and about 800 for vehicles that overstayed the time allowed, from April 1 through May 26. They issued about 1,700 citations for failure to display a meter receipt and less than 300 for overstaying the time allowed.

In recent weeks, the number of vehicles overstaying meters has grown, marking it harder for customers to reach downtown shops, and making it more difficult for workers to find a space for business trips.

PBOT parking enforcement officers have resumed writing citations and fewer warnings, and will continue with normal, seven days a week service, with officers traveling by foot, bike, scooter and car.

Report an illegally parked or abandoned vehicle to parking enforcement staff, or inquire about a parking enforcement concern:
 Call 503-823-5195

Report using the PDX Reporter mobile website

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation