The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) announced today that it will begin installing parking meters along and adjacent to NW 21st and NW 23rd from Burnside to NW Vaughn, a significant step toward implementing the NW Portland Parking Plan approved by City Council in 2013. Installation of the approximately 360 meters is set to begin on February 2, 2016, weather permitting.
With its significant density of residences, businesses and religious and educational institutions, Northwest Portland has faced the challenge of high-demand for parking. The new parking meters will be an important tool to help PBOT, in partnership with neighborhood stakeholders, to better manage the parking supply.
The Northwest Parking Plan was approved by City Council in July 2013. It was the result of a collaborative planning process between PBOT staff and local residents, business owners and other neighborhood representatives. The parking plan’s first major phase was the implementation of a permit parking zone, Zone M, in March 2015.
“For quite some time, parking difficulties have negatively impacted livability and business vitality in this vibrant neighborhood,” said PBOT Director Leah Treat. “With the installation of the new meters, we are taking a systematic approach that will allow us to meet the parking needs of residents, businesses and visitors alike. It’s a major step forward, and we believe this approach is a powerful tool we can potentially use to help alleviate the parking challenges in other high demand areas of Portland.”
The installation of the meters follows the conclusion of the City Attorney’s review of the internal investigation by Cale Group, the parent company of Cale America, the city’s meter supplier, into possible improprieties related to the Ellis McCoy bribery scandal. The City Attorney concluded that Cale Group had conducted a “well-planned and thorough investigation” into misconduct surrounding the original 2006 meter contract and had taken “meaningful corrective action” in response to the misconduct. Although it resulted in a delay in the meter installation, PBOT insisted on the review in order to ensure that the public could trust the integrity of the City’s contract with Cale America.
In a letter, Cale America has also assured the City of Portland that if it becomes aware of any allegations of unlawful conduct in its business relationship with the City of Portland it will promptly investigate and take the appropriate corrective action.
The full City Attorney’s report, including Cale America’s statement, can be found here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/560673
As part of the Northwest Parking Plan, the majority of parking meter revenue will return to the district to finance improvements to the local transportation infrastructure. Over the next two weeks, PBOT will conduct stakeholder outreach to inform residents, business owners and visitors to the neighborhood about the coming changes.