Why are sidewalks installed in some areas and not in others?

Most sidewalks in Washington County are installed by developers when property is developed. The County can require developers to install new sidewalks as a condition of development.Sidewalks are also installed by the County during major road improvement projects.

Other ways sidewalks are installed:

  • Urban Road Maintenance District (URMD) Pedestrian and Biking Improvements –URMD funds small pedestrian and biking improvements within the district. Typically these projects enhance pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
  • Property owners can pay for the installation of sidewalks along their property frontage. A county right-of-way permit is required.
  • Neighborhoods can form a Local Improvement District (LID) for the installation of sidewalks. The Payments can be spread out over several years.

Sidewalk projects sometimes include changes and upgrades to roadside drainage systems. This can significantly increase the cost for sidewalk installations and makes financing these projects by the adjacent property owners impractical.

Who keeps sidewalks maintained and clear?

Property owners in unincorporated Washington County are responsible for the maintenance of sidewalks adjacent to their property (ORS 368.910). This includes clearing obstructions (debris, leaves, snow/ice, vegetation, basketball hoops, etc.) so sidewalks are safe for people walking and biking. If a portion of sidewalk needs to be repaired, a property owner can apply for a county right-of-way permit.

For more information call 503-846-ROAD (846-7623) or email