Welcome to the week.
Here are the most notable stories our writers and readers came across in the past seven days…
Path camping ban: The city council of Sacramento voted unanimously on several ordinances that will ban temporary encampments on paths and other public spaces. Supporters said it was about environmental and wildfire concerns. (Sacramento Bee)
Better crash statements: A new study worked with police officers and even proposed a crash statement template (something I’ve long pushed for!) with a goal to make police use more accurate and fair language. (Streetsblog USA)
Lego Long John: Tell Lego they should offer this cool cargo bike for sale! (Lego)
More Native news: Sunday’s Native and Indigenous Pedalpalooza ride gets its due in this profile from a publication that focuses on stories from Indian Country. (Underscore News)
Petrol ad ban: French President Macron has taken a step to prohibit advertising of fossil fuels, becoming the first European country to do so. (Times UK)
Gas car ban: 2035 is the target year for California’s new law that outlaws gas-powered cars. (NPR)
Don’t say it never happens: Police in New York City are searching for a bike rider who hit and killed someone walking in the street. They say it happened during a large group ride. (ABC)
Speed limiters in cars: Just a week after the New York City said they’d require speed limiting tech on their fleet vehicles, there’s a bill to do something similar for all cars in the state. (Streetsblog USA)
Social isolation because cars: It’s nice to see more people making the connection that car-dominant places make it harder to connect and form relationships with other humans. (Vox)
How not to prevent street takeovers: LOL someone at the City of Compton thought little reflectors in an intersection would prevent illegal burnouts and street takeovers. (ABC)
Kenyan cyclist dead: Sule Kangangi, a bike racer and advocate for cycling in Kenya, died while competing in a gravel race in Vermont. (The Guardian)
Video of the Week:
Thanks to everyone who sent in links this week!
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Let’s follow Sacramento’s lead.
Agreed. I had to call in a fire that was started intentionally by feuding campers under one of the bridges at the sellwood end of the spring water corridor trail on Saturday. The vegetation in that area went up scary fast could have spread easily into numerous businesses and homes. I was first caller roughly 5-10min after the blaze was started and that wasn’t even a remote part of the trail. I had to Imagine if it were out closer to Powell butte or just past downtown Gresham, the destruction would have been catastrophic.
I’m truly amazed we’ve yet to have a ^really bad^ fire on the Springwater. Our summers are always dry, and the last few have been much above average temp wise. There have definitely been camp fires, they’re visible once you pass 82nd, but somehow they haven’t exploded. Thankfully. Seems like it’s just a matter of time.
I’d be really pleased to have campers moved out of the seasonal Johnson Creek floodplain areas. All the restoration work done over the years is now completely shot. It sucks.
There were 3 (THREE) vehicles on the Springwater last night between 92nd and 112th. Not cool.
I had a car cut me on my ride to work today. The car exited the Greeley MUP, drove across the sidewalk and bike lane and pulled on to Interstate. Subaru with no license plate, no rear window, and driving on a donut tire.
I grew up in that area. When I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s the terrain along the river was either hopfields or just open space. A great place to roam around and jump into the river to cool off. Sacramento is a hot place! That environment is no place for random camping. It is very dry and it would take quite a bit of time for any fire crews to get to a camping fire, due to distance from fire stations, and limited road access. I was last riding on that path about five years ago, and there was not a single homeless encampment then (I was riding about five miles from Sacramento City Center). It must have just exploded. Also, there is lots of expensive housing development very near the path, maybe half a mile or so away, so any fire is going to endanger and lot of people very quickly. Also, in addition to it being hot country, it is pretty windy.
Counter point: lets not follow the lead of right wing reactionaries!
But I would be all for solving homelessness!
All 9 city council members in Sacramento are democrats…so yeah, try again.
I’m all in for trying to solve homelessness but in the short term we still need quick, sometimes uncomfortable solutions to avoid loss of life, green space and property..
What does that have to do with anything? You think democrats aren’t right wing reactionaries? Look at our president!
I don’t mean to weigh in otherwise, but this point in particular bears repeating, because the the myopia of American political discourse irks me so.
Biden is just like Trump isn’t he?
Almost exactly the same, no difference at all.
I mean, yeah, almost exactly the same. Almost. Meaning of course there are (mostly superficial) differences, but functionally they are quite similar.
The largest climate act ever signed was last week praised by Bernie Sanders and other right wing reactionaries…
I am pretty sure that would not happened under the cult
weren’t you just complaining about climate on another thread?
Keeping in mind that our Constitution of 1787 was specifically designed for us to elect a new monarch every 4 years, it’s an unusual president who isn’t vaguely dictatorial. and a congress that isn’t constantly trying to constrain each president, with an aloof Supreme Court out to lunch.
Its has to do with your seemingly blanket assessment that due to the decision, the city government must be run by “reactionary conservatives”. There is much evidence here to support the fact that this is a liberal push due to the political affiliation of the city leaders and the environmental groups that are pushing for this camping ban.
Now I would like to have a more in depth conversation around this but you seem to not offer much substance or solutions with your “counter points”. Do you have anything deeper to offer than finger pointing and inaction?
Again, what does them being “liberals” (fyi, republicans are liberals) have to do with being reactionary conservatives? I don’t care what party they’re in, I care about their actions and their actions are reactionary. There is not “evidence here to support the fact that this is a liberal push”, there is only evidence that Democrats are doing it.
There isn’t room here to spell out a whole plan to solve the housing crisis. Only room to give bullet points, such as removing people from their shelter is bad if they don’t have a real alternative and that we need to supply housing first.
Oh, but there ARE shelter spaces available.
Shelters aren’t homes or a solution.
Ok, how big a home should we provide?
How much is enough?
Is your house available to sub lease?
You went from we don’t have shelters to shelters are not enough…
Is a Studio apartment enough or should we build 2 bedroom units?
It was quite clear that when I said “removing people from their shelters” I was talking about camps. Destroying camps and kicking people around doesn’t help anything, it makes it worse.
I think a studio apartment would be enough, yes. Obviously other services would need to be made available, this isn’t a problem with one magic solution, but one necessary ingredient is housing. *** Moderator: Cut sentence, hyperbolic and insensitive. ***
These aren’t unsolvable problems, people have solutions and you don’t have to get them from the comment section of Bike Portland. Our leaders would rather take inaction and let the people get so angry at the immediate effects that they forget to see homeless people as humans and just demand the same tried and failed “round em up” and harass them into someone else’s neighborhood non-solutions.
We have never had a homeless population that self admits to drug addiction like what we have now.
It’s not a housing issue.
I don’t how many times that needs to be said and the solutions are difficult.
You don’t seem to accept solutions of any realistic kind.
The city has provided a tiny amount of tiny homes and they can’t fill them.
Keep tilting at those windmills..
You give no solutions that are even remotely realistic for whatever reason.
Thanks for your input.
You just don’t like solutions that might cost more money unless apparently it means flushing more money down the drain paying cops. You don’t seem to provide any solutions period.
The city can’t fill the tiny homes because they have unrealistic requirements.
Like I said, I can’t (and you haven’t either) lay out a fully fleshed out policy proposal ready to be implemented here in the comment section. We need real housing for people and without unrealistic restrictions, as well as treatment options and all that.
*** Moderator: deleted last sentences. Hyperbolic. ***
JM- You didn’t publish my last comment addressing this issue. I think its disgusting that this user or any user is allowed to demean the memory of the actual concentration camps by comparing them to come-and-go shelters with food, water, safe storage, and services.
If anyone is confused on what an actual concentration camp looks like, start here.
Anyone who compares the proposed shelters to concentration camps doesn’t have a shred a credibility in this discussion.
I apologize for even engaging John, You are absolutely correct.
cc_rider, thank you for speaking up again. I’ve removed the sentence.
I don’t care that the sentence got deleted, whatever if that’s how people want to run things. It was hyperbolic on purpose. But I object that the word “concentration camp” can’t be used to describe a concentration camp. I mean, you may disagree that it’s accurate, sure that’s fine. But a concentration camp is not defined as what happened in the holocaust. They exist today, on our borders. And yes, I have heard many times people propose what is actually a concentration camp to deal with homeless people (“work camps” that they are not allowed to leave, etc, yes it has been proposed). And I think that kind of proposal doesn’t come out of nowhere, it comes from discussions like these where people dehumanize the homeless population and just want “something to be done”.
That’s fine, but just be prepared for people to not take anything you say seriously when you make absurd comparisons. If that’s what you want, go for it. However misappropriating the holocaust is just plain old gross.
You and I both know that the proposed shelters are nothing even resembling a concentration camp. Hell, in the sentence above you even stated that it was hyperbolic ‘on purpose’.
You can’t win this by playing semantic games bud. Here is the actual definition of concentration camp
” place where large numbers of people, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities, are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities, sometimes to provide forced labor or to await mass execution. The term is most strongly associated with the several hundred camps established by the Nazis in Germany and occupied Europe in 1933–45, among the most infamous being Dachau, Belsen, and Auschwitz.”
You are plainly using the word to try and conjure imagery of the holocaust, mass executions and starvations, etc.
No, they do not.
What people? People on the internet? People who have actual power? You can find someone advocating for literally anything on the internet. Unplug, go outside, and talk to some real people. No one who is even in marginal positions of power is advocating putting homeless people in “work camps” they “can’t leave”. Stop lying.
People who aren’t constrained by reality frequently see others as being irrational and hateful, see QAnon and other conspiracy theories.
Yes, I want something done. I work in a sector that exists to help people. I’m not a right-wing reactionary. I’m just someone who is sick of watching some of the most vulnerable people in our city sleep in filfth on the sidewalk while we wait for the perfect solution where we magic 10,000 completely free housing units out of thin air.
Call me crazy but building a space where people can live that has warm showers, hot food, frequent cleaning, security, and a safe place to store their valuables is a step up from living in the mud next to your own waste and cooking food in a flammable tent.
Talking about what words mean is literally semantics bud.
Yes they do. They meet every part of the definition you posted right here.
I’m sorry, that is something I brought, nobody here was making the suggestion specifically. It’s something I’ve seen on Nextdoor etc, and it’s usually mixed in with comments just like this about rounding up homeless and forcing them into far out of town camps to work.
Absolutely same page, me too. Here we agree.
Aaaannd there’s where you lose me. And why I’m so frustrated by people like you. You think it’s a half way reasonable argument that because our bad leadership won’t do the work to *actually* help people, that a good runner up solution is to hurt them. That’s what sweeping up homeless camps and stealing their belongings does. It hurts them.
Where are these? And I wonder why they’re not being used, and why people won’t go, and why you think it’s necessary to destroy people’s current living situation and belongings to give them a nice place with a safe place to store their belongings? Sounds like there is actually something wrong with this alleged solution.
Likely because they are drug and alchohol abusers and don’t want to have to follow the general “rules” of society.
I realized long ago, the campers are their own worst enemies.
I for one am looking forward to district representation so I can lobby my district’s council-members to push the homeless into other parts of the city where they are no longer our problem.
This is likely to be much easier than actually addressing the underlying issues, but the current council structure makes this more difficult as no one represents just my part of town.
Points for style, Watts, points for style.
People who can barely function because of their addiction issues will not fare well in a “home”. They need to be in a supervised environment. Let’s stop blaming this on the cost of rent.
Hmm, wow, seems like it’s going to take more than one change to solve this multi-decade festering problem.
It’s a last 5 year problem. You must have studied homeless people 10 years ago and don’t think the world changes.
It’s a recent opioid epidemic that has overwhelmed cities.
Since we can’t commit people it is a difficult problem but letting drug addicts take over city parks and public spaces has nothing to do with housing.
1995 is calling you….
Dwk, I hope you are aware that addiction services are not currently available in Portland. Even the waiting lists are full. Please correct me if Im wrong. I have been trying for over a year to help someone who has been searching on their own as well. They were told by doctors not to quit on their own because the danger of withdrawl is too great, siezures etc, but then they are also told that no help is available, aside from crowded first-come-first-serve overdose prevention facilities with practically no staff or funding, and high risk/precedent of being assaulted. To make matters worse, we also get a lot of homeless people from other states/counties that do not fund their own social services and have long-standing policy on the books of using bus tickets to “fix” things. Again, if you know a place that offers real help and isnt full, see how fast it fills if you share it with people in need, I give it 24 hours tops.
At least you understand what the problem is unlike Ted Wheeler and a lot who post here.
Yes, we need drug treatment programs, not housing that a lot do not want to go to if offered..
Let the city know.
Measure 110 is supposed to be providing treatment (by spending money previously allocated to schools), in exchange for decriminalizing hard drugs.
We got most of what was promised (decriminalized meth and a hole in the school budget). Maybe someday we’ll get the treatment.
Nor is camping.
I like how he asks for solutions and then fails to acknowledge shelters are an interim solution until something bigger can be accomplished. His solution is “do nothing until everyone can be housed”.
Are there spaces available for homeless inactive reactionary city councils?
Looks like the area was cleared at the request of the American River Parkway Foundation and the Sierra Club. I don’t know if they are right wing reactionaries.
No, everyone is a right wing reactionary, No difference between Sierra club and the Republican party on anything.
Love how wanting clean and safe places to live makes one a “right wing reactionary”. Well put me at the top of that list I guess.
It kind of matters what your solutions are. I want a clean and safe place to live but I’m not willing to dehumanize people to get it. Fascists wanted clean safe places, full of order and all that good stuff. They were wrong.
Lol…there we go throwing that fascist word out there again. It seems to be a real fetish.
“Anyone who disagrees with me is a right wing reactionary!”
I agree. I am not a right wing reactionary but I believe that allowing street camping is bad for the city and for the campers. It allows society to not make the hard choices that would lead to more housing and more services. It holds the rest of the city hostage because now a lot of areas are unusable. NE 33rd between Columbia and Marine is a major bike connection that is now unusable because it’s a junk yard of zombie campers and mounds of trash, same with 205 path and parts of spring water. So we allow people to continue living in squalor and dying on the street (see stories about how many homeless people die each year), at the same time making parts of the cities public spaces off limits to resident. Sidewalks are completely blocked – recently saw tents completely blocking the sidewalk on the burnside bride requiring pedestrians to walk out in the street to get around the tents.
Of course street camping is bad! Nobody disagrees with that and it’s a strawman to argue otherwise. But it’s an order of operation thing. You can’t ban camping before there are working alternatives, and since we don’t have those working alternatives, I’m against any camp sweeps. They’re inhumane.
I’m sorry, I hate the trash and the (extremely occasional) sidewalk blockages too, but the blame for this lies with our good for nothing leadership. The solution isn’t to let cops crack skulls, it’s to actually get people in housing. We have solutions but they require leadership.
Who’s problem is this?
I dunno man…I should be allowed to bring my dog and drugs there, right?
It’s certainly not the fault of us good righteous BP blog responders! We always vote for the right people, we bicycle everywhere, we participate and actively support a multiracial multiethnic gender-neutral progressive just society. We always pay our taxes, stop at stop signs and red lights (for at least the equivalency of an Idaho signal cycle), oil our chains when needed, and start our mornings with a wholesome bowl of organic oatmeal. We mean well, so it can’t be our fault – it’s a lack of leadership, it’s Putin’s fault, it’s the guy with the orange hair…
as long as we allow camping there is less urgency for anyone to do anything. Allowing people to keep camping is inhumane to the campers and to the rest of portlanders who can’t fully use their city.
Are you telling me, with all the people willing to do “whatever it takes wink wink” to make the dirty people go away, that there is not enough pressure *right now* to support doing something? That doesn’t have face validity. People are fed up right now and will accept any solution no matter how barbaric, it would seem. So I don’t see how doing the barbaric thing and causing a few more homeless deaths is going to make it any more likely for the city to try real working solutions that actually help people.
portland politicians didn’t even have the political courage to create a protected parking lot at the Expo center. Or turn the abandoned wapato jail into a shelter – it took private citizens above the complaints of multnomah county supervisors.Oregon politicians don’t have enough courage to repeal the kicker law. The last 2 biennials have had huge surpluses that could have gone to actually make the state better, but we don’t have the vision to see that big projects, like building housing at less than market rates takes a group effort and takes government level funding. If we are going to have people camp then set up campgrounds, supply bathrooms and security. Do lots of different things – some will work, some won’t, but doing nothing definitely doesn’t work.
For sure, I don’t disagree with anything you said there. I don’t know what it is you think I’m suggesting.
Perhaps the only thing we disagree on is I think if our politicians can’t muster the political will to fix homelessness the right way (by doing things like you suggest, building housing, treatment, etc), that that doesn’t mean we should allow “fixing” things the inhumane way. My view is that we can’t take away what inadequate and dangerous shelters people have now (camps) if we’re not also doing the other stuff. Because that gives the false impression to some people that “something has been done” and really it hasn’t.
I don’t want street camping. I hate it so much. But that just doesn’t justify any possible actions that can stop it.
People deserve to have access to real shelters (clean, with plumbing and heat) when they have no place to sleep, not be reduced to living on the street in barbaric conditions as our current policies allow.
You seem to think (in other comments) that getting people off the street and into these short-term shelters is “inhumane”. I fundamentally disagree with that view, and believe that letting people sleep on the street is the more inhumane solution.
I don’t know how to bridge that difference of opinion, but I think we can agree that most civilized societies don’t let their worst off languish on the street (and bike paths and natural areas and highway onramps and…) in Mad Max style encampments.
What is it about shelters that makes them “inhumane”. Is there a way they could be modified to make them more “humane”?
Same mentality as the group that just bailed out a person who murdered his wife with 6 children.
A Portland sickness…
It’s one thing to camp on streets and sidewalks, but it’s another to destroy natural areas that will take forever to recover. Even if all camping stopped tomorrow, , plastic syringes and other trash would still be popping up out of the dirt for a hundred years. The slough likely has had tons of trash thrown in it over just the past couple years. This video here shows some of the carnage of clearing out “just another” trashed natural area, that once had a cool slough path running through it.
City of Portland, OR recovers dozens of vehicles from Big Four Corners camp (koin.com) Even the google street view of this area from 12/21 looks horrible.
Just a nice path through the woods up to 2017:
In 2018 there was a mattress there:
In 2019 the bollard is gone:
Then it goes full apocalyptic in 2021.
Sad game to play at your favorite spots around town. A lot of satellite images now show camps everywhere, street view is slowly catching up. Amazingly there isn’t a new one for NE 33rd, but maybe they’ve been avoiding that street.
I work out in the Columbia Slough area. We used to run at lunch nearly every day on the slough trails just east of here. After nearly getting attacked by a camp pitbull, having to dodge cars driving in the wetlands, and observing the area turn into a Superfund site, we no longer run on these trails. These are not camps for unfortunate law-abiding citizens. These are violent, criminal, drug dens.
They just need a good talking to and a nice new 2 bedroom…
Absolutely! Take back our MUPs!
It’s been 14 years since I lived in Sacramento but the riverside was riddled with homeless encampments, and many riders stayed away from the otherwise excellent riverside bike trails for that reason.
The fire several years ago flushed out all the rough sleepers, and even the authorities were surprised by the large number of them (several thousand IIRC).
Good news folks, we already have a camping ban on the books, the law is already written! Maybe let’s get the city to enforce their own laws – crazy I know?
14A.50.020 Camping Prohibited on Public Property and Public Rights of Way.City Code SectionA. As used in this Section:
1. “To camp” means to set up, or to remain in or at a campsite, for the purpose of establishing or maintaining a temporary place to live.
2. “Campsite” means any place where any bedding, sleeping bag, or other sleeping matter, or any stove or fire is placed, established, or maintained, whether or not such place incorporates the use of any tent, lean-to, shack, or any other structure, or any vehicle or part thereof.
B. It is unlawful for any person to camp in or upon any public property or public right of way, unless otherwise specifically authorized by this Code or by declaration by the Mayor in emergency circumstances.
C. The violation of this Section is punishable, upon conviction, by a fine of not more than $100 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 30 days or both
The California gas car ban is on sales, not registrations. Car dealers in Nevada and Arizona must be happy that they can so far hedge their bets. Sadly, the announcement of that rather meaningless target is getting more attention than the one thing California begrudgingly has done to make a meaningful and immediate dent in particulate and greenhouse gas emissions, and that is to extend the life of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant.