The city is currently working on its second phase of bringing more lighting to sidewalks and storefronts in several districts.

PORTLAND, Oregon — Mayor Ted Wheeler’s citywide lighting plan began its second phase on Wednesday, bringing more lighting to the sidewalks and storefronts of businesses in Portland. 

“Improved lighting on sidewalks and storefronts increases visibility to help improve safety and deter crime while making business districts more inviting,” said Wheeler. 

The lighting plan is an extension of last year’s emergency effort to improve and clean up the city post-pandemic. 

Phase one of the lighting project focused on other business districts including those along Northeast Sandy Boulevard. Several trees in Kelley Plaza on NE 42nd and Sandy are now wrapped in LED lights.

“I hope the lights offer sort of a safety and protection for passers by walking down,” said Gabe Taylor, general manager of the Laughing Planet Café near Kelley Plaza. “You definitely want to be able to see what’s going on out there and it really was a dark patch out there before.”

According to the city’s plan, lights will eventually adorn 71 trees along NE Sandy. 

Further east on Southeast 82nd Avenue, the Jade District is part of Phase 2 of the city’s lighting plan. Installation is now in progress and will eventually illuminate 142 trees in and around SE 82nd near Division Street. 

People who work in the neighborhood said they could use the extra light.

“Homeless issues and crime and robberies, lots of things going on around this area,” said Felix Xiao who works at King’s Bakery. He said most businesses, including the bakery, used to stay open late but now close before 6:00 p.m. because of winter darkness and worry over crime.

“I think that’s a good idea to put the lights on the trees, it helps people, you know?” said Xiao. “Especially right now in the winter, you can’t see what’s in front of you when you’re walking on the street.”

Phase three of the lighting plan includes the Lloyd and Central Eastside Districts, just to name a few. 

Business districts interested in participating in the lighting plan can email the city’s Public Environment Management Office at pemo@portlandoregon.gov.



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