By Taxpayers Association of Oregon Foundation
There are three basic sources of demands for downtowns: downtown residents, commuters, and visitors from the suburbs or out-of-town.
Commuter demand declined significantly in Portland (see Oregonians Working from Home). Many downtown Portland businesses relied on the lunch or after work crowds for a significant portion of their business. Commuter demand has shifted to neighborhood or regional commercial areas.
Portland has to provide reasons for people to be downtown if it wants thriving downtown businesses. If people do not feel safe downtown, or the businesses they want to patronize close or reduce hours, fewer people will want to visit.