Join us for Wonk Night October 15th: Romp in the Comp Plan

Wonk Night -4

Wonk Night is where people and policy mix.

We’re excited to announce our next Wonk Night.

On Wednesday, October 15th (one week from today) we’ll take a Romp in the Comp Plan. The City of Portland is updating our Comprehensive Plan and the time is now to make sure they hear your feedback. A draft plan has been released and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability needs to hear your comments before the plan is officially adopted by City Council early next year.

The Comp Plan is big; and it’s a big deal. It guides Portland’s land-use and infrastructure decisions. It includes a list of specific infrastructure projects, sets long-term goals and aspirations, and the all-important Transportation System Plan is folded directly into it.

Here’s how the plan sits in relation to local, regional, and statewide transportation policy documents:


This chart from chapter 9 of the plan (Transportation) shows how the Comp Plan fits in. (Note the location of the 2030 Bike Plan)

Given the Comp Plan’s size and importance, it can be hard to wrap your head around it (not to mention, we have so many plans constantly swirling around here in Portland, it’s easy to get overwhelmed).

That’s why we’ve teamed up once again with the smart folks at Lancaster Engineering and Bike Walk Vote to help you understand this plan — and more importantly — make sure your priorities and insights are reflected in it.

Our focus for this event will be action, not just talk. We want to get as many comments officially logged with BPS as possible. Please bring your tablets, laptops, and/or phones so we can input directly into the “Map App” during the event.

We’ll start things off with an intro to the Comp Plan by Lisa Marie White. Lisa Marie is a volunteer activist and board member of Bike Walk Vote who is very engaged and knowledgeable about the plan. She’s also an independent voice from the community — not a city staffer or paid consultant.


After we learn the basics we’ll break off into smaller groups. Lancaster Engineering staff will host quadrant-specific focus groups in their offices where we’ll have maps, project lists, and other details to help you bone up on areas of the city that you care about most.

After these group sessions, we’ll come back into the main lobby where everyone will have the chance to share a one-minute presentation of their main priority and/or the one pet peeve they’d like addressed in the Comp Plan.

Before the night is done, we hope everyone will have used the BPS website to log an official comment (or three).

And of course we’ll provide plenty of drinks and snacks and smiles to go around. (*Special thanks to event sponsor Omission Beer.)

To get a sense of how Wonk Night works, check out the recap of last year’s event where we tackled PBOT’s bike parking code.

Please join us!

    A Romp in the Comp Plan
    6:00 pm on October 15th
    Lancaster Engineering, 321 SW 4th Ave, 4th Floor
    Facebook event page
Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lisa Marie
9 years ago

Thank you so much Jonathan and everyone at BikePortland! And shout out to Kirk Paulsen for helping get the whole thing together. Looking forward to getting everyone engaged in the process, getting voices heard, and snacking + drinks 🙂

And bringing less wonky friends in encouraged! We’re happy to explain complex topics that empower them have a voice in how their streets are designed and used.

9 years ago

hey – this sounds very good. would love to be a part of the discussion.

any chance of having a child friendly space for people who have little ones and would otherwise be unable to attend? That would help get provide the opportunity for everyone to get engaged.

9 years ago
Reply to  michael

Hello Michael,

Thank you for your interest in this event! We would love to have you take part, and understand some of the complexities that come with having kids with you.

That said, we weren’t planning to provide dedicated space set aside for a room full of kids to be watched (as we’ll be using the individual offices for breakout sessions during the event), but kids are more than welcome to be at the event space. It’ll sometimes be boisterous (as controversial discussions about transportation often get around here) with many of the adults drinking adult beverages, but nothing too crazy that a young one would find disturbing – unless wonky discussions about transportation policy qualify as ‘disturbing’. Hopefully that gives you a better idea of what the event will be like. Let us know if you have any further questions, thanks!

Jim Labbe
Jim Labbe
9 years ago

One idea for the Comp Plan:

Liberalize the zoning along neighborhood greenways to allow limited commercial uses along these bike and pedestrian corridors.

Since we can’t seem to get the City to support a real human-centered pedestrian oriented city-scape along any major commercial corridor so lets start turning the neighborhood greenways into more mix-use corridors.

Many neighborhood corridors are existing residential streets and there may be some resistance to the insertion of commercial uses. These could be addressed through performance standards to address potential noise or light conflicts, while allowing a greater diversity of uses along the neighborhood greenways.

Also allowance of some commercial uses could be conditioned by owners making improvements to the greenway, specifically improvements that would make it more green (trees and landscaping) and or otherwise more pedestrian friendly.

I am sure some Portlander out there has already suggested something like this… probably right here on Bikeportland.

Jim Labbe