Blog Post

Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Street Seat Program

Posted By Adonay Solleiro on December 1, 2013

  • Communications, Featured News, Livability, Pearl News

PBOT has updated its Street Seats program and set an application deadline of March 1, 2014. If you are unfamiliar, Street Seats is a program of the Portland Bureau of Transportation that allows organizations to build a temporary platform in the on‐street parking lane. The platform is the same height as the curb and extends the sidewalk space in order to add additional outdoor seating for a restaurant or to provide additional public space for people to stop, sit, and take in the life of the street.


Based on similar programs in San Francisco and New York City, the Portland Bureau of Transportation experimented with a pilot Street Seats project in 2012 and instituted an ongoing program in spring 2013.
For the 2014 Street Seats Program the following changes have been made:


  • 10 new locations are available for 2014. Applicants will be competing for a maximum of ten (10) new Street Seat locations. Quality of design and availability of public seating will be two of the prioritized evaluation criteria. Serious applicants are encouraged to seek out professional design assistance.


  • Application deadline. The application deadline for new proposals and renewals is March 1, 2014. This will allow the Transportation Bureau to evaluate applications together and involve neighborhood and business associations.


  • Design document package. Street Seat applicants will be required to submit a complete set of detailed proposal drawings in order to be considered for approval, including a full set of detailed design drawings.


  • Community support documentation. Applicants will also be required to submit documentation of community support as an application attachment. The extent of demonstrated neighborhood support for the proposal will be one of the evaluation criteria used to select submissions.


  • Design Guidelines. Changes in 2014 to the Street Seat Design Guidelines include a reduction of the maximum platform width from seven feet to six feet.


  • Café Seating Permit. Applicants who have an approved Café Seating Permit for existing outdoor sidewalk seating will need to submit a revised Sidewalk Café Concept Drawing and sign a new Responsible Party Agreement form.


  • Renewal applications. Applicants who wish to renew an existing Street Seat installations will be required to complete a new application form each year. In addition, they must provide demonstration of continued community support for installation and drawings detailing any proposed design changes, if applicable.


Today, Portland has eight Street Seat installations, seven of which were organized by restaurants to offer outdoor café seating. One installation has been designed solely for open public seating and is located at the Center for Architecture at NW Flanders and NW 11th Avenue.


While encouraging additional restaurant and café proposals, the Transportation Bureau will prioritize design proposals that are open to full public use, such as the NW Flanders installation.


Proposals may be seasonal or year-round, and may be located in any part of the city, except the downtown core from West Burnside to SW Harrison Street, and SW Second to 10th streets.


Application deadline is March 1, 2014. Application packets as well current Street Seat locations may be found at:



A pool of Street Seats photos from Portland and elsewhere may be found at:

Author: Adonay Solleiro

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