PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Bureau of Transportation is hoping to mitigate crowded neighborhoods with a new pilot program that would sell parking permits to residents.
PBOT says residential growth has caused a significant parking imbalance in some neighborhoods.
“Most people recognize that there's a parking shortage on Mississippi Avenue and in the surrounding neighborhood,” explained Portland Bureau of Transportation Spokesman Dlyan Rivera. “Most people are interested in trying this kind of pilot program with parking permits.”
The two streets currently under consideration for the program are North Mississippi Avenue in the Boise neighborhood and Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard in the Sunnyside neighborhood.
Street parking can be tough to come by in the Boise neighborhood. Just ask the people who live and work there.
“It's pretty difficult,” said Amber Burrows, who says she actually moved out of the neighborhood due to lack of parking.
However, many neighbors KGW spoke with are not sure parking permits are the way to solve the parking shortage.
“No, I don't think parking permits are the answer,” explained neighbor Shawn Creeden. “What is that? You're going to charge people in the neighborhood, people are still going to park for longer, more tickets, I hate that.”
A few people had dealt with permits before and said it did not seem to create more available spots.
“There just physically aren't enough,” said Autumn Buch, who works in the Boise neighborhood. “That was what I found living on 23rd is that literally there were no places to park at the end of the day, permit or not.”
The cost of the permits was another concern for neighbors.
“It just kind of increases the burden on people who are already paying exorbitant prices to live in neighborhoods,” Burrows said.
Some who work in the neighborhood worry businesses will not reimburse employees for the cost of the permit.
“I don't know, maybe if there was a way to waive the permit fee for people trying to work in these neighborhoods," Buck said. "I think that would be really valuable because it's an added expense that chances are, we're going to have to pay for,” Buck said.
Before any permits are issued, however, residents will have to agree to test the program. They will receive a ballot in the mail and vote on the idea.
An open house for community members was scheduled at Southeast Uplift, at 3534 SE Main St., on Wednesday.
If the program fails, PBOT will look at other neighborhoods to try it.