2022 Downtown Portland Report Reveals 25.7% Growth in Foot Traffic, But Still Lags Pre-Pandemic Levels

Posted on January 27, 2023

Portland Business Alliance – 01/26/23 12:00 PM

Downtown Portland saw some growth in its pedestrian traffic numbers over 2022 and while foot traffic steadily increased, we have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

Overall, the number of people Downtown has increased by 25.7% from 2021. Large-scale events, dinner, and entertainment options helped propel a busier spring and summer for Downtown, with June being the busiest month of the year with 2.26M visits. Wednesday foot traffic rose to the third busiest day-of-the-week showing that workers are beginning to return to downtown offices.

Foot traffic within the Downtown Portland Clean & Safe District is close to 60% recovered from 2019 but is still behind other cities in recovery from the pandemic. Portland in-person traffic for retail businesses appears to be mirroring national trends with a rise in early shopping for the holiday season. Thanksgiving weekend, traditionally one of the busiest weekends of the year for retail, saw a minor increase in foot traffic with an 8% increase from 2021.

When we look at the busiest locations in our district for 2022, we see that much of the downtown traffic is centered around the core of Downtown. Pioneer Place, with luxury brand retail stores not found elsewhere in the state (Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Golden Goose), and Pioneer Courthouse Square, with popular concerts and events.

In Old Town, we see an intense center of traffic around the Hoxton Hotel and on NW Ankeny Street where popular local stores like Voodoo Donuts, Bae’s Fried Chicken, AFURI, and Stumptown also overlap with locations that are popular evening destinations.

“Working with this data for foot traffic in the downtown area has given me a renewed appreciation for the diversity and richness of our 213-block district,” said Sydney Mead, Clean & Safe’s Director of Downtown Programs. “We have internationally known food carts within walking distance to high-end luxury retail, steps away from beloved small local retailers, who are around the corner from award-winning restaurants.    We are seeing in this data that both the core of the city is becoming more active, as well as the evening hot spots and entertainment venues. While we have several challenges we need to resolve as a community, seeing these numbers increase gives me hope for the future.”

KEY PEDESTRIAN COUNT RESULTS

  • The amount of foot traffic in Downtown has increased by 25.7% compared to 2021.
  • Large-scale events, dinner, and entertainment options helped propel a busier spring and summer for the city with June being the busiest month of 2022.
  • Wednesday rose to the top as the third busiest day of the week, indicating that the workforce is edging towards a return to downtown offices.
  • Foot traffic continued to increase throughout 2022, but we have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

To see the full report, visit: DowntownPortland.org/2022pedcounts/  

Downtown Portland Clean & Safe uses pedestrian counts to monitor changes in walking patterns throughout the year to better understand the flow of pedestrians through our city’s center to help guide retail activation and programming programs.

Now using Placer.ai data to monitor traffic and visit trends 24-hours a day, Clean & Safe has expanded its pedestrian count research to look at the entire 213-block district. Clean & Safe can now compare results from past years and even compare data to other cities, as well as look at times of day people visit downtown, which days are busier, and the spaces/venues people are frequenting.  Numbers reported are not unique visits but cumulative totals.

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Downtown Portland Clean & Safe District 
The Downtown Portland Clean & Safe District was established in 1988 to support additional cleaning and security in a 213 block-area of Portland’s Central City. In addition to these important services, the district supports market research, retail recruitment and retention for Downtown Portland. The district is managed by the Portland Business Alliance under the direction of the district’s board of directors. Learn more at cleanandsafepdx.com.

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