Worst places to park in Portland

Portland gave out more than 222,000 tickets last year, but some neighborhoods had far more tickets than others. 

Parking in Portland: Where you're most likely to get a ticket

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PORTLAND, Ore. – There are ten city blocks in Portland where you’re far more likely to get a parking ticket than anywhere else in the city.

In 2016, Portland issued 222,487 parking tickets, according to city data obtained by KGW. Ticket prices range from $44 for meter feeding to $285 for an abandoned vehicle. 

A closer look at that data shows most tickets were handed out around the downtown Portland core, with hotspots along some popular eastside streets such as Hawthorne Boulevard and Mississippi Avenue.


Interactive: The 10 worst places to park in Portland (click arrows to view month and day of week)

The top 10 ticketed blocks are all in or around downtown Portland. At Southwest Broadway between Taylor and Yamhill streets, 1,021 tickets were issued in 2016. The block at the base of the Fox Tower has 12 spaces with limits from 2 hours to just 5 minutes. 

At Southwest Taylor Street between 3rd and 4th avenues, 873 tickets were issued. The block has just 19 parking spots, all with a two-hour limit. 

The most tickets were issued on Naito Parkway between Northwest Everett Street and 9th Avenue – a block at the base of the Steel Bridge that is longer than most others, due to the lack of cross-streets on Naito. It is a more residential area than the other hotspots, with the new Yard Apartments and other big apartment complexes nearby.


Interactive: Where tickets were handed out

Residents say they often see parking enforcement staff on their block.

“They’re out here all the time, up and down the street,” said Kamari Harley, who lives near SW 9th Avenue. She said she received multiple parking tickets last year. “They’re out here quite a bit on bikes.”

Although parking is a growing issue across the increasingly dense city, the bulk of tickets were given out in and around downtown Portland.

That’s not a coincidence.

Portland employs 56 parking enforcement officers, according to Dylan Rivera, spokesman for the Portland Bureau of Transportation. They aren’t rewarded by issuing more tickets, and don’t have quotas to fill, he said.

But they do work out of a downtown office at 1120 SW 5th Avenue and start issuing tickets once they leave the building.

“As they travel to their assigned beats, they look for violations, which result in a high level of constant enforcement in the downtown core,” Rivera said.

There are certain times of day and days of the week when you’re more likely to get a parking ticket. Tickets spiked around 11 a.m. and tapered off quickly after 6 p.m. More tickets were issued on Tuesday and Wednesday than other days of the week.

No tickets were issued between midnight and 6 a.m. No parking enforcement officers are on duty during those times.

Although downtown is most heavily enforced, Rivera said officers work in other neighborhoods where there are a lot of cars and not a lot of parking. They also go to specific problem locations, based on resident reports from the PDX Reporter app.

Enforcement officers will likely head out to reported problem areas to issue tickets. But getting the cars off the street may be harder.

If a car is abandoned, it may get a ticket, but not a tow. There were 27,000 reports of abandoned vehicles in Portland last year – up from just 7,000 reports in 2012. City officials say on average, it takes staff three to four weeks to even look at a car, and even longer to tow it. 


John Tierney contributed to this report.

More KGW investigations


Published April 27, 2017


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