Your organization can receive up to $5,000, shut down the streets and play! In a bid to encourage community engagement and physical activity, Portland’s Play Streets program, led by the Portland in the Streets team at the Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), transforms local streets into vibrant hubs for socializing, play, and physical activity. Now let’s shut down our streets and play!
Play Streets involve closing neighborhood streets to vehicle traffic and creating open spaces for diverse activities like snacks, games, cultural performances, and educational demonstrations.
Initiated in 2018, the Play Streets program by Portland in the Streets had a temporary pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With support from PBOT’s Active Transportation and Safety section, Elevate Oregon, and volunteers, the program relaunched in 2023 with a successful pilot series in the Parkrose School District, aligning with a global movement promoting safe spaces for children to play in the streets.
From November 30th to January 31st, PBOT accepts applications from community-based nonprofits in Portland to host Play Streets between April 2024 and December 2024. Accepted organizations receive a $5,000 funding award, access to a lending library trailer, and program-specific training.
Funding for Play Streets comes from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. A permit is required for Play Streets, and the process will be guided by accepted organizations. Insurance, including liability coverage, is mandatory for hosting events in the public right-of-way. Play Streets are customizable, allowing diverse activities, excluding alcohol consumption and vendor presence. Organizations missing the application window can explore options by reaching out to PBOTPlayStreet@portlandoregon.gov.
For updates, subscribe to the Portland in the Streets newsletter or contact PBOTPlayStreet@portlandoregon.gov