PBOT Seeks Feedback on Outdoor Street Seating

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is currently accepting feedback on its Healthy Businesses Permit Program. The program started during COVID-19 as a way for businesses to provide outdoor and more spaced apart seating for patrons utilizing on-street parking spaces. The decision has been made that the program will be permanent but PBOT may be making changes to it and this is your chance to weigh in.

The short survey, available at bit.ly/PBOTsurvey, is for those who have a Healthy Business permit or installation, are considering street seating in the future for their business or anyone who wants to share their ideas about the program and its future. The areas of the program that the survey focuses on include:

Restrictions on street seating

Seating and other structures in the right-of-way may impact traffic safety and emergency response. Because of this, PBOT’s new program may limit where seating can be and restrict certain overhead structures, tents and umbrellas.

Design guidelines

PBOT’s new program will have detailed design guidelines for dimensions, electrical, lighting and heating, as well as standard designs to make installation easier.


Some existing installations do not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules, which generally require five percent of restaurant seating be accessible. This includes the type of seating as well as access to the area the seating is in.

Permit fees

PBOT started charging a nominal fee for Healthy Businesses permits in late 2022. The new program may set different fees as part of creating a sustainable administration now that the program will be permanent.


The Healthy Businesses Permit was designed to be flexible so businesses could use public space in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. PBOT’s new program will likely focus primarily on outdoor seating with more clarity on what is and is not allowed in these spaces.

There is also space to share anything else you think is relevant to the development of this program. The results of the survey will help PBOT  develop what the program will look like in the future and they will be asking for further comment when they share a draft of their proposal for the new program, along with new design guidelines. PBOT plans to bring a final proposal before City Council in Spring 2023 for adoption.

PBOT Seeks Feedback on Outdoor Street Seating

2 thoughts on “<strong>PBOT Seeks Feedback on Outdoor Street Seating</strong>”

  1. My recommendation for outdoor seating is as follows:
    • Require outside dining seating areas go to a design review so they are assets and not detract from the neighborhood.
    • No graffiti, stickers, or banners
    • Limit the size.
    • Keep planters at a minimum.
    • The city should inspect periodically.
    • Not to obstruct pedestrian walkways and driver views.
    • No entertainment devices such as music speakers, boom boxes, TV’s
    • No string lighting or flashing lights, banners, ornaments
    • If not in use be taken down, especially in winter months when not in use.
    • Permit for use must be displayed for public to see.

    1. Hi Glenn,

      Glad to hear your thoughts here but please make sure to fill out the official comment form (link in article).


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top