PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Parking problems throughout Portland could mean big changes are coming to the city. Officials are currently looking at several options that could end up costing you money to park in front of your own home.
Mississippi Street in North Portland was once a quiet, empty street. Now, it’s regularly packed bumper-to-bumper with parked cars.
“I’ve actually lost customers because of it,” Sunlan Lighting owner Kay Newell told KOIN 6 News.
The City of Portland has developed a committee to come up with possible solutions for parking problems in commercial corridors like Mississippi Street and SE Division.
“As cities grow, parking does become more of a challenge,” PBOT Policy and Planning Projects Manager Art Pearce said.
The committee is currently talking about a variety of solutions, including the unpopular — and currently illegal — idea of requiring paid permits to park on every street in the city. They’re also brainstorming more realistic options like requiring residential permits to park overnight in busy commercial areas.
Just last week, the committee suggested allowing neighbors to vote on the idea of buying overnight parking permits in congested areas.
It’s a controversial proposal, because only those who live off the main drag would be eligible to purchase the passes. That means not everyone who lives in the neighborhood would be able to purchase permits to park outside their residences.
“There are times they need a car, we can’t ignore that need,” Newell said. “We can’t say, ‘you can’t have parking because you live there.'”
For some, money is the problem. The idea of paying to park in their own neighborhoods hasn’t resonated well with everyone.
“Living in a growing city is always a challenge, so this is a chance for us to work with those commercial business owners and residents to come up with the best option we can and a solution city council can support,” Pearce said.
PBOT will come up with a plan to present to the city council by January.