On-Street Parking FAQs

A list of commonly asked questions related to the on-street parking. This FAQ provides more detailed information than the On-Street Parking Guide.

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General On-Street Parking Questions 

When are parking time limit signs, such as for 2 hour and 30 minute spaces, in effect and enforced?

In Metered Areas

Time limit signs tell drivers how long they are allowed to park in a space, such as for 1 hour or 30 minutes. These signs are in effect and enforceable based on the details of each meter district: 

  • Downtown District - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, unless otherwise posted
  • Event Meter District (Next to Providence Park currently in effect on Portland Timbers home game days) - Enforcement hours vary based on game time and may extend past normal enforcement hours
  • Lloyd District 
    • Meters east of NE Grand Avenue operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, unless otherwise posted
    • Meters on and west of NE Grand Avenue operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday, unless otherwise posted
  • Marquam Hill District - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, unless otherwise posted
  • Central Eastside District - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, unless otherwise posted
  • Northwest District - 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday unless otherwise posted

Metered parking is not in effect and not enforceable on city-recognized holidays.

In Non-Metered Areas

Non-metered time limit signs tell drivers how long they are allowed to park in a space, such as for 1 hour or 30 minutes. These signs are in effect and enforceable from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, unless the regulating sign shows other restrictions for days or hours. These signs are not in effect and not enforceable on city-recognized holidays.

In Area Parking Permit Zones

Each zone limits visitor parking, usually to 2 hours or 4 hours. Each zone has different enforcement hours. You need to check the posted sign for the enforcement hours. 

Can I park my car on the street for longer than 24 hours at a time?

No. All vehicles must be driven off the block face daily. Private, legal parking must be obtained if a vehicle is not driven daily.  

Is it legal to park large vehicles, such as mobile homes, trailers, or trucks on the street?

Oversized vehicles of this nature can only be parked for short periods of time on the street, and then only for the specific purpose of loading/unloading. In commercial areas, the time limit is 4 hours from 7 am to 4 pm, and 2 hours from 4 pm to 7 am; in residential areas, the time limit is 8 hours. If you are having issues with illegally parked oversized vehicles, please fill out the Abandoned Auto form here. 

Why do some people get to reserve parking spaces?

Temporary Street Use Permits can be issued for a variety of reasons. Contractors who have purchased construction permits from the Bureau of Development Services are allowed by City code (Title 24) to reserve the parking spaces around the project area. Typically at any time about 500 downtown parking spaces are in use for construction activities or other reserved uses.  Sometimes spaces are reserved for loading and unloading of tour buses that bring convention-goers to shop in downtown. Click here for Temporary Street Use Permit information.


Metered Parking Questions

Do you have a map of the parking districts?

Yes, the map provides information on a variety of parking types within the city, including metered parking, Timbers parking, disability parking, and more. 

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How much does it cost to park at a meter?

Parking meter rates vary depending on the meter district. Information for each meter district can be found here.  

It is important to understand that charging parking rates helps us to encourage vehicle turnover, as well as access to busy areas by walking, biking, transit, carpooling, and other shared mobility options. For shoppers and visitors, the City has provided its own SmartPark garages at a rate of $1.80 for the first two hours which, coupled with the purchase validation program, makes downtown parking competitive with outlying malls.

What days and hours are the parking meters enforced?

  • Downtown District - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, unless otherwise posted
  • Event Meter District (Next to Providence Park currently in effect on Portland Timbers home game days) - Enforcement hours vary based on game time and may extend past normal enforcement hours
  • Lloyd District 
    • Meters east of NE Grand Avenue operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, unless otherwise posted
    • Meters on and west of NE Grand Avenue operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday, unless otherwise posted
  • Marquam Hill District - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, unless otherwise posted
  • Central Eastside District - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, unless otherwise posted
  • Northwest District - 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday unless otherwise posted

Metered parking is not in effect and not enforceable on city-recognized holidays.

What are the parking meter holidays for this year?

In all districts parking is free at meters on the following nine (9) holidays, as specified on each meter: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Parking Paystations are programmed not to accept payment on holidays and will display a message on the screen letting you know that it's a holiday.

May I feed the parking meter after my time expires?

Parking meters with time limits of more than 4hours allow users to purchase additional time without moving the vehicle. For short-term meters (4 hours or less), the vehicle is subject to citation if it remains on the same side of the block beyond the maximum time allowed, regardless of additional payments.


Disability Parking Questions

Does the City provide disability and wheelchair user parking on-street?

Yes. The City has over 750 on-street parking stalls for vehicles with valid disability and wheelchair user placards. You can find a map of current locations here

Can I use a Disability Placard at meters or in timed parking zones?

If you have a standard Disability Placard you must pay to park at any metered space, but may be allowed to stay past the posted time limit. For spaces marked at 2 hours, you can stay an extra hour without paying. For all other time limits, you must pay for the time you purchase and the vehicle at the end of the maximum time allowed. If you have a Wheelchair User Disability Placard you can park for up to the posted time limit without paying, except in 30 minute or less zones, where you are required to pay. 

For non-metered areas with time limits, you can park up to 24 hours without moving your vehicle. 

What if I live or work in a metered area?

The City does offer ADA permits for on-street parking to help those who live or work in metered areas. To learn more, or apply for a permit, please click here. 

What if I cannot operate a paystation, or getting to the paystation from my vehicle is difficult?

If you are a Wheelchair User Disability Placard holder, you do not have to pay for parking. 

If you have a standard Disability Placard, you can either pay through Parking Kitty (the City's mobile pay parking app) or you can apply for single-use scratch offs which can be hung from your rear view mirror. 


Parking Enforcement Questions

What gives Parking Enforcement Deputies the authority to write expired license plate citations?

They were given the authority in the July 1992 changes in City Code Title 16. They are responsible for enforcing this code. The purpose for this change was to help air quality by more effectively enforcing expired license violations.

Why do you patrol/enforce some commercial and industrial areas differently than others?

Some areas in lower Southeast Portland and Industrial Northwest were originally designed and built to allow trucks to block streets and double-park while loading and unloading.

Due to higher use and congestion in these areas, we recognize this type of loading can no longer occur or must be modified. We also recognize that to change it without making some type of affordable accommodations would severely hurt some businesses. We have successfully taken care of the problem on N.W. 13th. We are using this as an example to change the other areas. The new angle loading permit change in City Code Title 16 has alleviated many of the problems.

Why does it make a difference what type of vehicle I'm using to load and unload from a truck loading zone?

The number of loading zones available in the City are limited. The original intent of these zones was for loading and unloading of large parcels from large vehicles. We have tried to accommodate other needs by allowing properly marked vehicles registered as vans, trucks, and pickups to use truck loading zones.  Permits for special circumstances may be obtained from the Permit Center to use truck loading zones. The decision to allow only these types of vehicles was made by a committee of area residents who represented small and large businesses.

Why can't we get enforcement every day around schools when parents are picking up their children?

Parents are parking in the NO PARKING zones and making it hazardous for our children. Unfortunately, we do not have enough staff to give daily enforcement. We have worked individually with schools that have this problem and have provided periods of saturated enforcement. We have also worked with the schools to get information on parking rules out to parents via parent-teacher organization meetings and mailings. We recently worked with the Police Bureau to provide traffic and parking enforcement at several targeted schools during the first three weeks school was in session. For more information, please contact our Safe Routes to Schools Program

I believe I might have several unpaid parking tickets. How do I resolve them?

To inquire about the status of unpaid parking tickets, call the Multnomah County Circuit Court Parking Tag Office at 503-988-3235. You may pay parking citations online.

Can I talk with the parking enforcement officer who issued me a citation and explain why I didn't deserve a ticket?

No. Once a City parking officer issues a citation, it becomes the property of Multnomah County Circuit Court. Please follow directions on the ticket to resolve or contest it with the Court. If you want to make your case to reduce bail or void the citation the officer who issued the citation will be available at your hearing, if you request a hearing. See How to Pay & Contest a Parking Ticket.

My car was towed - who do I call?

If your car has been towed from a parking place, call Police Records at (503) 823-0044 to find out where it has been stored.


Area Parking Permit Questions

Is there a way to keep commuters from parking on my street and then walking or taking transit to downtown?

Yes. We have had the Area Parking Permit Programs for many years. Click here to learn more

How does the Area Parking Permit Program work?

This program was developed to allow on-street parking by residents and businesses rather than by commuters. Click here to learn more. Currently, vehicle parking permits are issued to residents and businesses in several different areas. Click here for a map of the current APPP areas

Applicants must provide proof of residency and a current vehicle registration in the resident’s name (or a notarized letter from the legal owner stating permission for the applicant to use the vehicle) to obtain a resident vehicle and a guest vehicle parking permit. Permits are issued by mail only; business owners should call 503-823-2777 for specific application requirements.

How do I start a new Area Parking Permit Program?

To set up a new area under the program, certain requirements must be met as explained in Title 16 of the City Code. For more information on the requirements of starting a new Area Parking Permit Program please read this program guide. 

Why doesn't the City have a downtown residential parking permit program like neighborhoods adjacent to downtown?

The complexity of downtown is quite different from the adjacent neighborhoods (Goose Hollow, Lair Hill/Corbett/Terwilliger) the latter being predominately residential. In downtown, the scarce on-street resource must be managed to have high turnover and serve multiple businesses rather than warehousing a car all day.

City Council has identified the following as priorities in City-owned parking, short-term (4 hours or less), carpooling, and long-term. In 2017 most meters in the downtown core were converted to 2-hour or 4-hour, and some quick stop 15-minute meters. Only the furthest edges of the Central Business District have 5-hour meters.

The City has continued working with the Downtown Community Association to find an off-street parking solution for older residential buildings, and additional demonstration programs will be undertaken as part of the Central City Transportation Management Plan implementation.

Can I get a new Area Parking Permit in Zone N?

Zone N permits may only be renewed for residents and businesses that bought permits the previous year. No new permits will be issued in Zone N. If a Zone N permit was not renewed, the applicant may not apply for the permit at a later time. Zone N permits are nontransferable because the permit is issued to the tenants and not the building owner, the sale of a building will not impact the building tenant from receiving their Zone N grandfathered permits as long as the tenant remains at the same address. This decision was made by the Central Eastside Industrial Council's Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee. Questions regarding this decision can be addressed to Rina Jimmerson at rina@ceic.cc


Other Frequently Asked Questions  

How can I get a Special Parking Permit to park at meters?

Special Parking Permits for certain types of organizations may be obtained from the Parking Control Section 503-823-7275. To learn more about permits, please click here.

Where is more information about bicycle parking?

Bicycle Parking, including requests for bike corrals and bike racks, can be found on the Bureau of Transportation's website by clicking here.

Who do I contact about bus stops and bus zones?

Contact TriMet at www.trimet.org about bus stops and bus zones.

How do I get a carpool/vanpool permit and where are carpool/vanpool parking spots?

For more information on how the current Carpool program is structured, as well as information on vanpooling, please click here. 

Can I have the clearance, no parking area around my driveway painted?

Click here for driveway clearance information.

Can I have the clearance, no parking area around my mailbox signed no parking?

Please contact the Parking Control Section at 503-823-7275 for more information.

How do I get a disabled parking zone, truck loading zone, taxi zone, ‘kiss-and-ride’ zone, rush hour restricted parking zone or valet parking zone?

To request a special parking zone at your home, business or property, call the parking engineer who manages on-street parking for that part of Portland as seen on this map. Please contact the Parking Control Section at 503-823-7275 for  more information.

Map of Engineering Technician Districts. Call 503-823-7275 for more information.