Several Oregon state legislators will host what they’re calling an “interactive bicycle town hall” on May 14th to learn more about conditions on the Springwater Corridor path.
Interactions between path users and people who live in camps adjacent to the path reached a boiling point back in January. Since then there has been a broad community effort to address the issue. In April, local author and nonprofit director Joe Kurmaskie said he would cancel his youth summer bike camps due to concerns over the unruly and dangerous behaviors of some of the Springwater campers.
The issue was back in the headlines again this week when local news stations reported on a major operation by the Portland Police to move people out of the camps and pick up trash and personal belongings.
Oregon State Representative Jeff Reardon (D-Happy Valley) is leading the bicycle town hall. According to an email sent to his constituents, Reardon will be joined by State Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) and Representatives Barbara Smith Warner (D-Portland), Carla Piluso (D-Gresham), Jessica Vega Pederson (D-Portland), and possibly others.
“We will be exploring the trail to observe the living conditions of the many campers,” Reardon stated in his email. “As we ride along, I hope to learn more about the interactions between those who camp along the trail and those who have homes or businesses near the trail, and those who use it for recreation.”
Everyone is invited on the ride. It will start at 9:00 am at SE Foster and 104th and is scheduled to loop back to the starting point an hour later. Expect comments from the legislators and an opportunity to share your ideas and ask questions.
Here’s more from Reardon:
I know that conditions are very poor for all concerned: campers, local homeowners/renters, business owners, and those who use the area for recreation. I want to hear more from my many friends and neighbors. But here’s the bottom line: I also hope that each of you will help with ideas for solutions. Solutions that will benefit all of us. I’ll gladly ensure your message – and your suggested solutions – are shared with city, county and state officials.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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