A few blocks north of the spot where Southwest 4th Avenue becomes Barbur Boulevard, a five-lane city street has been slowly becoming a place for people to enjoy. A team of Portland State University students is pushing this spot to its next step.
If it comes together — the current step is a crowdfunding campaign that would raise $15,350 for construction and the first two years of maintenance — it’d be one of the first fully public Street Seats installation in the city.
After a successful pilot program last summer, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) recently announced an update of their Street Seats program. While the newly proposed guidelines show the scope of the program has broadened, a group that represents downtown businesses successfully lobbied to prevent the conversion of parking spots in the downtown core.
The Streets Seats program allows business owners and non-profits to convert public parking spaces into seating and patio space. For restaurants this means more dining tables, and for non-food establishments the program is an opportunity to use space for something other than private vehicle storage. In a PBOT survey published in January, 90% of businesses said Street Seats were good for their business and 80% of survey respondents said the program has a positive impact on street vitality.[Read more…]