City ordinance would ban camping on some bikeways and crack down on ‘chop shops’

City contracted crews clear out an alleged bicycle chop shop on SE Alder in May 2022. (Photo: Taylor Griggs/BikePortland)

“Everyone is sick of the open-air chop shops that have been allowed to operate around here with impunity.”

– Bryan Hance, Bike Index

At Portland City Council tomorrow (6/7) Mayor Ted Wheeler will call a vote on an ordinance that would ban camping in Portland between 8:00 pm and 8:00 am. It’s part of a major shift on homelessness at City Hall following years of Covid-related restrictions on how the city can address encampments and a political swing among commissioners and the general public that not enough progress has been made to reduce the number of people sleeping outside.

The new camping restrictions are highly controversial, and many people worry that they will unfairly criminalize an already highly vulnerable population of Portlanders. And according to Street Roots, this approach is doomed to fail. Despite this, Wheeler is pushing forward and the conventional wisdom is that he has the votes to pass it.

There are two provisions in the ordinance that relate directly to bicycling. The first is where people will be prohibited from camping. And the second is what they’ll be able to possess while doing so.

If the ban goes through, people will no long be able to camp: overnight on a pedestrian plaza; in the “pedestrian use zone” which is defined by the, “area of the sidewalk corridor on City sidewalks intended for pedestrian travel or access to public transit”; in a park; within 250 feet from a preschool, kindergarten, elementary or secondary school, or a childcare center;  within 250 feet from a safe parking site, safe rest village, or sanctioned camping location designated by the Mayor; within 250 feet of lot or parcel containing a construction site; in the public right-of-way along “High Crash Network Streets and Intersections” identified by the Portland Bureau of Transportation; or within 250 feet of an Environmental overlay zone, River Natural overlay zone, River Environmental overlay zone, Pleasant Valley Natural Resource overlay zone, or a special flood hazard area.

These areas include many places where there are bike lanes and bike paths. The ordinance doesn’t include specific language about off-street bicycle paths like the I-205 path or the Springwater Corridor — both of which have become home to hundreds of people in the past several years. However, the environmental overlay zone language is notable because it could mean that the City of Portland will be able to enforce no-camping zones along the Springwater and Eastbank Esplanade paths along the Willamette River, the Columbia Slough path, Marine Drive bike path, and others.

The other part of the ordinance that caught my eye was a specific restriction about the ownership of bicycles. Under the new rules, people who live outside will not be able to,

“Assemble, disassemble, sell, offer to sell, distribute, offer to distribute, or store three or more bicycles or two or more automobiles, a bicycle frame with the gear cables or brake cables cut or an automobile with the battery or one or more tires removed, two or more bicycles or automobiles with missing parts, or five or more bicycle or automobile parts.”

This is an attempt to address “chop shops” where people process many stolen bicycles in order to obscure their identity and prepare them for resale. Chop shops have a long history in Portland. The Police Bureau and city service providers have recovered hundreds (thousands?) of bikes from homeless camps over the years.

In May 2022, neighbors filed multiple complaints about what they believed to be a large chop shop operation on SE Alder near 30th. That encampment — along with dozens of bike frames and parts — was ultimately cleared away.

But determining what is stolen and what is the property of people who live in tents is not easy and Police have had trouble navigating the issue of stolen bikes in homeless camps in the past. In 2013 we reported that despite appearances, the police cannot just assume every bike in a camp is stolen. “The issue is more complicated than you might think,” PPB Sgt. Brian Hughes told BikePortland. “Just because they’re living outside and have a lot of bikes, doesn’t mean they’re bike thieves. They’re entitled to work on a bike just as much as anyone anywhere else.”

Royal Johnson, president of the Timberwolves Cycle Recovery group that helps people get stolen bikes back, told us he’s just happy to see some steps being taken in the direction of more enforcement. “I think that this policy could be beneficial if it actually brings results,” he shared with us in a message last week. “Bike thieves and chops only exist because their is no accountability as long as this stays consistent and there are no loopholes it would be great.”

And Bryan Hance from Bike Index, a site that lists stolen bikes and allows people to register serial numbers, is skeptical the new ordinance will change anything:

“It’s hard to believe there is going to be any actual enforcement. The cynical side of me says this won’t make much of a difference, but at least there’s some sort of acknowledgement of the issue. Everyone is sick of the open-air chop shops that have been allowed to operate around here with impunity.”

According to Wheeler, the ordinance requires written warnings before any penalty is doled out. And people will only receive a citation after two documented warnings. After that, violation of the ordinance could result in criminal penalties and fines.

Read the full ordinance here.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Yolanda S
Yolanda S
1 year ago

I support this. It’s a decent start on a beginning to the end of the cruel inhumanity we have supported and enabled in Portland. Clearly we will also will need it to prohibit camping and vehicles on ALL MUP’s (bike paths) like the PCT, I-205 and Springwater. The 3 warnings thing make me question how effective it will be…..but at least it’s a positive step in reclaiming our city.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago

The Street Roots article has this incisive quote from Tom Stenson of Disability Rights Oregon:

“There is a lot of political pressure to do something … I think that stems from a long period of basic inaction and indecisiveness around the problem, that there has been a failure to pursue meaningful fixes.”

How much longer will we be content to tinker around the edges of a housing crisis caused by decades of car-centric city planning (summed up as “parking minimums and housing maximums”) as the public grows even more embittered and hostile toward the very people most harmed by it?

dwk
dwk
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

What is a meaningful fix? What is our solution that is not “tinkering around the edges?.
Give us a serious response and not just platitudes. This was a car centric city when you could rent an apartment in NW for $125 a month.
It was also just as expensive 5 years ago and we did not have enormous tent cities.
We had less people sleeping on the streets in 2008 when unemployment was through the roof. It’s now 3.5%, so jobs are not that hard to find but the problem is 5 times as bad.
Waiting for the some answers……

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

Serious fixes include the mass buildout of emergency shelters, social housing, and permanent supportive housing, greatly increasing the pay of social workers, mental health care workers, and addiction treatment professionals to bring them to the city/county, increasing access to rental assistance, and working closely with the Federal government to disrupt the importation of fentanyl and methamphetamine into the area.

dwk
dwk
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

That’s a good serious response. We taxed ourselves to make a lot of this happen and it’s just not getting done.
I still don’t know how you get addicts and just plain anti-social people to go into shelters. A lot just won’t do it unless you do actually enforce No tent camping laws which a lot of the supposed Homeless advocate groups are fervently against.
I have no idea what these groups answer is, I seriously don’t.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

A lot just won’t do it unless you do actually enforce No tent camping laws which a lot of the supposed Homeless advocate groups are fervently against.

See, I think you’ll actually find if you engage in good faith with these “homeless advocate groups” that many of them actually agree with you here. There are people out there who are anti-social and who will not go into public housing even if given the opportunity, although I think the number is quite small. The conflict arises when we start doing this so-called enforcement before the treatment and social housing options exist, only very short term shelters and jails. The entire conflict comes from people wanting to put the cart before the horse, all enforcement and no real solutions.

Camping was never considered a solution by anybody. Not homeless advocates, nobody. Camping is just what happens when we don’t put people in jail for being homeless but don’t have actual alternatives that help people as they are.

dwk
dwk
1 year ago
Reply to  John

“Camping was never considered a solution by anybody. Not homeless advocates, nobody.”
Multnomah county has spent about 2 million dollars giving away tents and camping equipment in the last few years.
They think it’s a solution.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

That would buy tens of thousands of tents, I don’t believe that.
Either way, it’s like I said. They don’t think that’s going to solve homelessness. Nobody thinks that. Giving people warm socks in a cold snap isn’t a solution to homelessness either, it’s to keep them from freezing. Please don’t conflate harm mitigation with solving problems.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

Fair enough, that seems like it’s more tents than we have homeless people (but maybe not, I don’t have a recent estimate at hand). But either way, the point stands that this was never meant to be a solution but harm reduction. Nobody considers camping a solution to anything, and it helps to have reasonable dialog if you don’t caricature the positions people take.

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  John

I guess because tents aren’t “supportive housing” so they end up getting trashed, burned down, etc. I imagine a single destructive camper could go through dozens in just a few months.

Randi J
Randi J
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

Right. And would a nice new free taxpayer purchased apartment be treated any differently? Look what happened here and most of this wasn’t from the tenants. Shelter in a sanctioned area should be offered/provided. Housing needs to be earned.

https://www.wweek.com/news/2023/06/07/a-28-million-low-income-apartment-complex-descends-into-chaos-in-just-two-and-a-half-years/

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  Randi J

It’s literally cheaper to give homeless people free apartments than to let them sleep on the street, but I guess making people “earn” the basic necessities of life matters more to some folks.

https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/2014/5/30/5764096/homeless-shelter-housing-help-solutions

maxD
maxD
1 year ago
Reply to  John

I regularly (weekly) clean up after campers on a couple of beaches in Portland. The tents and tarps are seldom used for more than 2 weeks. Tents are commonly used for just a day or 2 then abandoned with rears, burn holes, broken zippers. Handing out tents is incredibly wasteful.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  maxD

If that was true, wouldn’t all the tents be gone by now? They stopped handing out tents more than 2 weeks ago, so where are they all coming from? There should be thousands of tents abandoned every week if what you say is true. It should be literally impossible to keep your head above the layer of tents blanketing the city by this point.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  John

There are people out there who are anti-social and who will not go into public housing even if given the opportunity, although I think the number is quite small.

The large majority of folks on the street aren’t good candidates for public housing, even if it was available. You can’t take someone who has untreated severe and persistent mental health issues and just stick them in an apartment and expect it to work out. The same can be said about people who meth/opioid addictions that are severe enough they can’t maintain housing. That’s how you end up with public housing slums.

Which gets to the heart of the matter. Homeless advocates are willing to agree on some level with ‘camping is not a solution, but they want it to be a solution until every homeless person who arrives in Multnomah County is given a free, no rules, place to live in perpetuity, which is unrealistic.

Homeless advocates also make the problem worse by pretending we have primarily a housing problem, as you are, when we have a drug and mental health crisis. It’s unfair to people who are trying to stay housed and just need help with people who have spurned society to feed their drug addiction.

Camping bans and sweeps are not cruelty, they are a tool to keep our community clean and safe. Portland allowing a free-for-all has attracted thousands of drug-addicted homeless individuals to our city in the last five years, and the areas they have congregated like the PCT are dangerous, disgusting places filled with crime and violence. No one should have to live with or near that. Forcing people to pack up their stuff and move keeps dangerous shanty towns from forming and the trash accumulation that comes with it.

There is no reality where Portlanders can or should permanently house anyone who shows up in Multnomah County. Maybe an increase in sweeps and a day time camping ban will even encourage some of these folks to go home.

dwk
dwk
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

“Which gets to the heart of the matter. Homeless advocates are willing to agree on some level with ‘camping is not a solution, but they want it to be a solution until every homeless person who arrives in Multnomah County is given a free, no rules, place to live in perpetuity, which is unrealistic.”

Exactly.
It is hard to get into a philosophical debate about this without being called a heartless right wing kook, but people here just throw out things like free housing and not enough ‘Carrots”, etc.
We are spending an ENORMOUS amount of money on about .05% of the population in this city as it is, right now.
Far more than we spend on the actual working poor.
It obviously benefits all of our society to take care of the least of us but there HAS to be a buy-in of some kind from that .05% and I don’t see much.
The solutions are difficult but there is a point where there just is not much that can be done with a lot of these people except at some point they do end up in incarceration.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

The solutions are difficult but there is a point where there just is not much that can be done with a lot of these people except at some point they do end up in incarceration.

But you’re coming to this conclusion before the alternative has even been attempted! You and people who sing a similar tune act like we have actually tried public housing and treatment along with camping bans etc, in Portland, but we simply haven’t. It’s a lot like the reactionary claim that we have defunded the police and that’s the cause of all the crime (when in reality, that never happened, nor was that alone ever suggested as the be-all-end-all solution).

We spend an even more ENORMOUS amount on prisons and that’s where homeless people will eventually end up if all we do is ban camping. And for that matter, what ENORMOUS amount we’re spending now is frittered away on ineffective non-profits and funneling money to private industry and graft instead of more directly addressing problems (e.g. yes, building social housing).

Ultimately, it is a problem that will have to be solved nationally because freeloading states like Texas will export their homeless population here (deliberately or not, that is the effect). So in that sense, maybe this nihilistic action is the only thing that we can do for now. I don’t want to accept that the only option we have is to be as backwards and reactionary as the lowest common denominator states until we solve everything nationally (which doesn’t seem likely barring a worse COVID and/or more civil unrest).

PS
PS
1 year ago
Reply to  John

In what feels like an eternity ago, Terminal 2 at the Port was proposed as a location that would provide shelter and wrap around services for homeless people looking for help. The activist class said this was inhumane as it was too far from the city and services. When it was proposed to use Wapato for the same use, it was initially deemed inhumane because it was intended to be a prison.

In a world where the activists are allowed to have perfect be the enemy of good at every single turn, I am not sure every contributing member of society owes it to them to run another experiment with our money.

The indictment of Texas is truly hilarious as well. Does Texas have an equivalent to Measure 110? Of course they don’t, and to say they are exporting their homeless because we have created a mousetrap without consequences is spectacular. They also receive less in federal funds as a proportion of their budget than OR (https://www.moneygeek.com/living/states-most-reliant-federal-government/), so it all falls flat.

dwk
dwk
1 year ago
Reply to  John

We do try and have tried, what are you talking about?
People are in drug treatment (works about 10% of the time.)
People are in supportive housing now and in our new Pod homes in the couple of places the city has opened. They are estimating that about 1 in 5 actually progress and move on.
Those are the numbers in the real world, not in your fantasy world that IF we just spent more money all the problems would go away.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

“We are spending an ENORMOUS amount of money on about .05% of the population”

“There just is not much that can be done with a lot of these people except at some point they do end up in incarceration”

Wait till you find out how much incarcerating people actually costs society.

Big Agnes
Big Agnes
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

A timely article in WW – “A $28 Million Low-Income Apartment Complex Descends Into Chaos in Just Two and a Half Years“https://www.wweek.com/news/2023/06/07/a-28-million-low-income-apartment-complex-descends-into-chaos-in-just-two-and-a-half-years/

maxD
maxD
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

COTW

Matt P
Matt P
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

We seem to tinker around the edges of a major drug abuse crisis..

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

Homelessness in Portland did not begin five years ago, nor was it just as expensive as today to live here.

“Among the ‘large metros with the biggest increase in living costs,’ the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area ranked No. 1, Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro in Colorado came in at No. 2, and the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro region ranked No. 3”:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.koin.com/news/washington-and-oregon-lead-the-nation-in-cost-of-living-increase-report-finds/amp/

PS
PS
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

The article goes on to say that the cost of housing went up 25% in 10 years. So, if rent was $1,000 in 2010, it was $1,250 in 2020 and this is why we have the homeless issue we do?

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  PS

Cost of living is more than just rent. It’s the cost of literally everything you need to live. So if that is going up while wages remain stagnant, then yes, the poorest residents and those with no savings are absolutely going to be pushed into homelessness.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  PS

“Every $100 increase in median rent is associated with a 9% increase in the estimated homelessness rate, according to a 2020 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/07/03/inflation-homeless-rent-housing/

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

If you really wanted an answer you could always just look up what science says on the topic yourself, but since you insist:

“Numerous studies have shown that, when funded and managed appropriately, housing first works: it is associated with significant declines in homelessness … Studies that directly compare housing first to the old treatment-first approach consistently show that housing first keeps people sheltered for longer and improves quality of life.”

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2356643-we-can-reduce-homelessness-if-we-follow-the-science-on-what-works/

“Housing first participants experience higher levels of housing retention and use fewer emergency and criminal justice services, which produces cost savings and emergency department use, inpatient hospitalizations, and criminal justice system use.”

https://www.pdx.edu/homelessness/housing-first

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

One we abolish “parking minimums” ever increasing inequality for working class Portlanders, >50% of renters who are housing insecure, and thousands of houseless people will just magically disappear.

I’m a YIMBY who believes capitalism is efficient.

Could it all just be parking???

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Parking mandates are a barrier to building public housing too. Just saying.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

I wonder how many hours of research it took Sightline MAGA-republican-funded-lobbyists researchers to find a couple of “affordable” housing projects that were affected by parking minimums. (What we really need is unlimited upzoning for all social/deeply-affordable housing, instead of more shoupian BS.)

Eliminating parking minimums is exactly the kind of policy you were criticizing. It will have a tiny, tiny effect on a capitalist real-state investment market that thrives on scarcity (and @#$%ing over lower-income people/renters).

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

Sadly, I think what will happen (is now happening) is instead of tinkering, the problem will be “solved” by harsher enforcement. That’s all this is, they’re just going to go back to enforcement. And that will solve the problem in some ways, as more and more people fall through the cracks and into poverty and homelessness.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  John

I think it’s likely the ordinance will be overturned after the inevitable lawsuits costing the city millions of dollars, and we’ll be back to square one while Wheeler & Co. retain their image as having “solved” homelessness.

PS
PS
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

The sooner we quit framing it as a housing crisis the better. I definitely don’t wander around downtown thinking, ya know, if only they had built more townhouses instead of single family homes, this would all be better.

dwk
dwk
1 year ago
Reply to  PS

It’s framed as a housing issue for simplistic people because if it were just a housing issue then it’s just a matter of money and money fixes all…
About as thin a view of social issues as it gets but it’s easy on the internet…..

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  PS

Don’t let your poverty tourism blind you to the facts.

“The strongest predictors of differences in rates of homelessness across regions have to do with housing market challenges … areas with tight housing markets (I.e. high levels of rent and low rental housing vacancy rates), like those along the West Coast and high-cost eastern cities, have the highest levels of homelessness.”

https://housingmatters.urban.org/articles/homelessness-housing-and-racism-problem

PS
PS
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

Would have never guessed this would be the conclusion from a housing first thinktank. Thanks for the info.

Charley
Charley
1 year ago
Reply to  PS

If you find the obvious causal link between local housing affordability and the rate of people *who can’t afford housing* unconvincing, you can find peer-reviewed academic studies that corroborate the connection more scientifically.

That said, I’m not here to claim that homeless people with drug use/mental illness would suddenly become housed and productive members of society if housing were suddenly cheaper. The sub-population of anti-social homeless people will need more help than simply housing.

EP
EP
1 year ago

If you allow tents and large established camps to be located in and on bikeways and MUPs, it sends the message that these paths are second class routes of transport. No one can block a major road with their tent/huge camp for long because auto drivers get the first class treatment. If Portland is serious about getting people on bikes, then we need to make the backbones of the bike network safer and cleaner and more approachable for more people.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  EP

That MUPs are considered the backbone of Portland’s bike network is an indictment of the quality of the bike network itself. MUPs may be fine for recreational riding or commuting (if your route happens to align with the MUP), but they don’t go anywhere near 99% of the destinations people might want to go to. If we care about increasing mode share for bikes, the backbone of the network should be safe, separated paths on *all* major commercial streets.

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

MUPs are like the freeways of the bike network. You can’t access many businesses from them, but they will get you where you are going quickly. You then get off the MUP and onto the local network to access the business.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

They will get you where you’re going *if* you happen to be going somewhere close to the MUP. The article mentions the I-205 path, Springwater Corridor, Eastbank Esplanade, Columbia Slough path, and Marine Drive path, none of which are much help to someone biking downtown from North or Northeast Portland, or much of Southeast Portland. If you wanted to bike to, say, the Hawthorne district, Alberta Arts district, Mount Tabor Park, or a bunch of other popular destinations between the Willamette River and 82nd Avenue, you would have to take local streets the whole way *or* go miles out of your way to enjoy these “freeways of the bike network”.

EP
EP
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

Sadly the camping issue has slowed the push for more “bike freeways”, like the Sullivan’s gulch project which would take you from 82nd to the river. Other paths and extensions of major bike-network routes/MUPs have been delayed/cancelled due to “safety and livability” concerns that all relate to fears of growing encampments. Basically no one wants to build more MUPs as they’ve proven to become campgrounds, so the network suffers. Sullivan’s Gulch…SOMEDAY!

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  EP

That’s fair, but it’s pretty sad that housing and bicycle infrastructure both suffer while we spend billions on widening freeways. We should be able to build and maintain enough housing *and* enough transportation options for everyone.

Pierre Lathau
Pierre Lathau
1 year ago

In my opinion, this ordinance is overdue. We have human tragedy occurring on the streets of Portland on a daily basis due to unsanctioned camping. A large percentage of our homicides involve houseless individuals and 41% of fire calls are houseless related putting the unhoused and other community members at risk. I realize there are many vocal opponents but most people in Portland seem to realize it’s time for a change.

https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2022/11/housed-portlanders-support-city-proposal-to-ban-homeless-camping-poll-finds-unhoused-people-experts-oppose-it.html

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  Pierre Lathau

Except even cops know criminalizing homelessness won’t solve any of those problems.

“‘We realized long ago that we’re not enforcing our way or arresting our way out of this problem,’ said Sgt. Matt Jacobsen, who leads Portland’s Central Precinct Neighborhood Response team … ‘It’s not going to work, nor is it the right thing’, he said”:

https://revealnews.org/article/homeless-unhoused-police-arrests-west-coast-cities/

Charley
Charley
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

Clearly the issue has more than one cause; if we are to ever solve the problem, we will probably need more than one action. Cheaper housing and better treatment (more facilities and great involuntary commitment?) are probably the top strategies.

However, it’s still useful to set clear boundaries against anti-social behavior. I don’t think jail is great, and I’m guessing homeless people would like to avoid it as well. Without any legal dis-incentive, noxious camping will be harder to prevent.

YrSocialistFrend
YrSocialistFrend
1 year ago

Framing this inhumane and virtually impossible to comply with measure for the many homeless people in Portland that will at best destabilize their already unstable lives and at worst criminalize being homeless with a ‘maybe it’s good actually because bike theft is bad’ is… well… something. i’m not quite sure what the word is but kind of horrifying is one of them. homelessness is a humanitarian crisis but shoving people around town until you arrest them is not the solution.

(the solution for those that will inevitably come screaming is housing. housing is the solution. you cannot get a job, address your mental health, tackle your addiction, do literally anything to better your life without housing).

(homelessness in America is a problem 40+ years in the making, it is not an individual problem it is a systemic institutional one that was compounded by COVID and our current economic model where only shareholder value matters – multiple failed institutions and unfettered capitalism has led us here)

dwk
dwk
1 year ago

So is the housing free? How does this work? I am seriously asking the question because I agree that housing is the answer but how do you get Fentanyl/Meth addicts into housing if they don’t want to go?
If your answer is free housing, what do you say to the working poor who are paying for their housing now because plenty of people are doing just that.

YrSocialistFrend
YrSocialistFrend
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

Until someone can take care of themselves, whether overcoming addiction, managing health issues (physical and/or mental) yea it should be pretty much free. (taxes! we are not a poor country – we just refuse to spend money on regular people) It’s not like we’re not already paying tons of tax dollars in law enforcement, jails, medicaid, and all the external costs that everyone on this thread is yelling about. It’s just we’re throwing money at band-aids instead of fixing the source of the bleeding. The federal govt used to spend billions on housing (building housing even!) and i’ll give you 1 guess as to which president began slashing that funding and replacing it with nothing, (and every pres followed suit afterwards) putting the onus on cities, counties, and states to make up the difference.

Same for mental health care. American government policy has long been “this program initially created to address a really serious fundamental problem plaguing peoples’ ability to live isn’t working well. we shall get rid of it rather than making it better.” This was definitely the case regarding institutionalization, horrific conditions for vulnerable and mentally ill people should’ve been addressed by creating hospitals and care centers that actually took care of people but instead they were literally thrown out on the streets with zero resources, housing, care, anything. Again the onus was put on local governments to take care of them, the idea being community care centers would better serve their communities. A great idea! but you still need money to run those things! And states got? Nothing!

As for working poor people, that’s easy – subsidies. I think subsidies are a huge way to help the working poor keep their housing (thereby preventing homelessness!) and giving them stability to continue working and finding better work. All poor people (and frankly a lot of us lower-middle class people) are 1 or 2 emergencies away from severe debt and if we don’t have safety nets, the streets. This idea that poor people and homeless people are basically animals is really sad and disheartening. America has gotten so cruel and rather than stepping back and reflecting on why we are so so angry at folks living on the streets as a symptom of like 15 intersecting social problems, we’d rather just have them disappear, regardless of whether they die or go to jail.

I’ll end with the fact that housing is the 1st solution to homelessness. It won’t cure addiction, it will not get anyone a job but literally how does one get a job without an address?, how do i get paid without a bank account? how do i save up money for a deposit when i have neither a home or a bank account? having somewhere to live is literally the only way people can start to tackle all of the subsequent issues of how they became homeless in the first place. The person who is addicted to meth or fentanyl that lives on the corner is not an animal, they have a complicated life, just like you and I, with likely multiple failures of systems of care and security that led them there.

dwk
dwk
1 year ago

“The person who is addicted to meth or fentanyl that lives on the corner is not an animal, they have a complicated life, just like you and I, with likely multiple failures of systems of care and security that led them there.”

You actually think that fentanyl addicts can just be given the keys to an apartment and just like that, they have a back account, steady job, etc..
Wow… that’s some serious deep thinking about the subject.

YrSocialistFrend
YrSocialistFrend
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

You know dkw, i answered in good faith what i thought was your good faith question. Treatment is virtually inaccessible for most fentanyl/opioid addicts but at the least it requires housing (ideally in a treatment facility). i could give you a very long answer as to how we as a society could better treat fentanyl addiction as my closest family member was an opioid addict for ~15 years and after many many years of fighting their addiction was able to overcome it. So i know exactly how that system works. but i’m not going to waste more time trying to give a good faith answer to a bad faith response.

ShadowsFolly
ShadowsFolly
1 year ago

Fentanyl is no where near that opioid addiction your family member took. It is a thousand times worse.
So sorry, your anecdotal experience with opioid addicts, though very frightening, is not even in the ball park.

Congrats to your family member. Any addiction sucks.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

Portland is the city equivalent of a parent who lets their child steal from them in order to fund an addiction.

The idea that you can take a fent addict, give them a free place to stay, take care of all their needs like food and clothing, and somehow they will magically stop doing fent is a massive pipe dream.

The likely outcome of that effort would be to free up the fent addict to spend all of their time and resources on procuring more drugs, which would probably lead to an eventual overdose.

I feel like a lot of folks who advocate for housing first just really have never worked with or talked to the population living on the streets. A lot of these people don’t want to stop taking drugs.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  dwk

…housing is the 1st solution to homelessness. It won’t cure addiction…

What part of that comment made you suggest they think that fentanyl addicts can just be given the keys to an apartment?

You’re making up a person to argue with, instead of responding to what is written.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a one size fits all solution to all problems of homelessness, drug addiction, mental health, and general poverty (for some horrific definitions of solve), policing is a candidate. That path doesn’t lead anywhere good.

jakeco969
jakeco969
1 year ago

I’ll end with the fact that housing is the 1st solution to homelessness. It won’t cure addiction, it will not get anyone a job but literally how does one get a job without an address?

I have to disagree a bit with you on this, the 1st solution is for the individual to not want to be homeless enough to work with people. This is where the non profits fall apart (and demonstrate what a waste of money they are) and a government response is needed that can provide a whole of action response. As I’ve mentioned today, there are programs that exist that successfully get people off the streets who want to be off the streets and into housing and yet he Metro seems to be ignoring them for whatever reason . The Veterans Affairs CWT program is a pretty successful whole of government response that demonstrably works.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

Metro gave money to a slumlord and ended up with a slum. Big shocker. You need competent management to manage housing competently.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago

Sorry, socialist frend, but almost no one agrees with your argument. Unemployment is 3.5% and businesses are HURTING for employees. If you want to work, you can work, and if you can work, you can find a place to live. Most of us are doing it and there’s no reason other able-bodied people can’t do it too. It’s pretty clear that most homeless people are homeless b/c they want to be.

Any sympathy for your argument has dried up, I’m afraid. Most Portlanders who ride a bike want their MUPs and streets back.

blumdrew
blumdrew
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred

if you can work, you can find a place to live.

citation needed here. Rent is pretty expensive relative to wages in Portland, and getting settled in a place after a bout of homelessness is fairly arduous – especially if you have an eviction on your record already (which presumably most homeless people do have). The cheapest rent I can find on Zillow is $800 a month. If you need last months rent + security deposit before moving in, that’s likely $1600 bucks if you have bad/no credit- but let’s call it $1000. Minimum wage in Multnomah County is $14.75, so that 68 hours of work (or 3 weeks or so) just to make enough money to move into a place. And considering that people spend money on far more than just rental costs, it’s likely multiple months of working while homeless if you want to find your own place on the private market. Not to mention how under served by the banking industry most poor/homeless people are – without enough capital to maintain an account, more predatory lending services (pay day loans, sketchy check cashing, etc.) mean that even less of the already barely livable wage they earn will be available to them.

Saying that “It’s pretty clear that most homeless people are homeless b/c they want to be.” is fully ignoring the reality of simply being poor in America. I’m not really saying that systematic issues are fully to blame for people becoming homeless (or even staying homeless). Portland has a long history of transient workers living on the streets or in boarding homes. But it’s not nearly as simple as you are making it out to be – that somehow, if someone finds a job at Burgerville they will all of a sudden be able to just get a place to live by sheer force of will.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  blumdrew

“without enough capital to maintain an account”

Just as a point of reference, it takes $5 to open an account at Advantis.

PS
PS
1 year ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Yeah, I can see why people stay homeless. Being told that I could only make minimum wage and had to rent a one bedroom apartment for $800 per month off Zillow, when there are entry-level zero-experience jobs on craigslist at $17-$20 per hour and room shares on the same site for $450 per month would be super discouraging.

Peter
Peter
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred

Something to think about: a good number of homeless people do have employment, it’s just not enough to dig them out of the hole. Here’s an article about a 2021 study by the University of Chicago (and the study itself) that shows as many as 40% of people living in the streets have employment:
https://endhomelessness.org/blog/employed-and-experiencing-homelessness-what-the-numbers-show/
https://bfi.uchicago.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/BFI_WP_2021-65.pdf

idlebytes
idlebytes
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred

Most of us are doing it and there’s no reason other able-bodied people can’t do it too.

A large portion of the homeless population isn’t able bodied though what’s your solution for them? I’m not just talking about addiction (which for a lot happens after they’ve become homeless) but also the elderly, children, and the disabled.

Have you ever known anyone who’s been homeless? I have they earnestly didn’t want to be on the streets. And despite having served in the military for over 20 years they were unable to navigate the labyrinth of government bureaucracy to get the assistance they had earned and deserved. It took years to sort it all out. Fortunately they were able to keep it together and not become mentally ill or addicted themselves during that time. Most of the chronically homeless aren’t so lucky.

Trike Guy
Trike Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred

I’d have to disagree – simply having a job (well over minimum wage) is likely not enough to guarantee you have a roof over your head.

Today, right now, you can get a job paying $17/hr (with bonuses for accurate picking taking it to $20) at a warehouse in Clackamas (just through the wall behind me). You don’t have to pass a drug test for marijuana. The background check/drug test will DQ you for violent offenses and other drugs though.

This is very close to the PDX median income (a bit over $37k in 2020)

You can get to CTC via MAX or multiple buses and the ride from there to here on a bike is easy, nearly stressfree and rather pretty (I rode alongside a racing deer the other day) – so you don’t need a car (2nd highest expense for the working poor). This BTW is on a very inexpensive 7spd townbike. Bike parking is inside the warehouse.

Take home of around $2500 a month, medical and a pretty easy job. (I’m estimating this – Fed, State, SS, Medicare taxes, High Deductible plane premium all combined should take 25% of the total).

Not bad considering you need *0* prior experience or any real skills other than those a high school grad should have.

However, If you live alone, rent, utilities, phone will eat up 2/3rds of that. You’ll just barely be making it and be at high risk of homelessness.

Many of the guys working in the warehouse freaked out when FedEx was a day late getting their checks here from ADP – that’s how close to the edge that income puts you.

Add a roommate and things get lots better, only to get way worse again if you have a car.

Charley
Charley
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred

“It’s pretty clear that most homeless people are homeless b/c they want to be.“

We need to be way clearer when we talk about the “homeless” population. From what I’ve read, the majority of “homeless” people are making do quietly: working jobs while couch surfing, paying for hotels when they can, quietly parking their car on empty streets, etc. They’d love to be housed, and cheaper housing would really help them.

So to claim that these people just want to be homeless is not evidenced by the facts.

I think I’d agree with you if you said that some small population of campers with serious drug/mental health issues are homeless and not interested in treatment or a normal housed life. A lot of the individuals in this second group spent time in the first group, before losing their already precarious way, which is why we need to get housing cheaper.

There’s a lot of fuzzy thinking that results from this conflation of two very different populations. Housing affordability is the key to shutting off the pipeline from the larger, but quietly sinking first population into that smaller, but more visually obvious and destructive second population. For them, expensive treatment will be required.

Many Portlanders never see that first group (or at least, wouldn’t notice them as “homeless” as such). Most of us are far more concerned about the second group!

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago

Attitudes like yours are why we are have the current situation.

Matt P
Matt P
1 year ago

Can’t happen soon enough. We’ve taken enough abuse as a city.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago

While I support the ordinance, I worry it’s performative – designed to make it LOOK like Wheeler & Co. are doing something to address crime and homelessness, when in fact nothing on the ground will change. We’ll see, but I’m not holding my breath.

Randi J
Randi J
1 year ago

Best thing YOU can do to reduce bike theft is to register your bike and encourage your friends to do the same! That way when the cops go to a “chop shop” they can actually identify the true owners. It’s easy and free. Got to either
https://bikeindex.org/
OR
https://project529.com/garage

Only takes a few minutes.

Atreus
Atreus
1 year ago

I’m confused, haven’t there been court cases in the past that said that bans on homeless camping were illegal unless you literally build enough housing for everyone?

Pierre Lathau
Pierre Lathau
1 year ago
Reply to  Atreus

Atreus, Martin v Boise seems to be what you are referencing. It applies to the 9th circuit (Western US).  The ruling held that cities cannot enforce anti-camping ordinances if they do not have enough homeless shelter beds available for their homeless population.[2][3] It did not necessarily mean a city cannot enforce any restrictions on camping on public property.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_v._Boise

Recently the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in two rulings, Martin and Grants Pass, ruled “We hold simply that is it unconstitutional to punish a person for simply sleeping somewhere in public if one has nowhere else to do so.” However, the Court also made it clear that Cities are not required to build housing, and may enact place, time, and manner restrictions

https://www.thechronicleonline.com/opinion/column-time-place-manner-important-in-homelessness-discussion/article_a7f00a50-f389-11ed-ab62-775612d8328d.html

dwk
dwk
1 year ago
Reply to  Atreus

It is only banned 8 to 8. It is not banned completely and the odds of it being enforced is about zero. The “ban” is to make the city council appear to be doing something.
There is also a 5% vacancy rate in the Portland rental market according to the most recent report that was released in May so I don’t see how the Boise court case would apply here anyway if there was a complete ban on camping.
I rode throughout the downtown area just yesterday and I have to say that downtown does look much better than it did months ago so progress is being made to be fair.

Babygorilla
Babygorilla
1 year ago
Reply to  Atreus

The case is Boise v. Martin and its was a challenge to law that prohibited someone from using “any of the streets, sidewalks, parks, or public places as a camping place at any time.” The first paragraph below is the actual ruling and the second paragraph is a footnote further explaining the ruling. The ruling expressly acknowledges that a municipality can establish time / place restrictions.

Our holding is a narrow one. Like the Jones panel, “we in no way dictate to the City that it must provide sufficient shelter for the homeless, or allow anyone who wishes to sit, lie, or sleep on the streets . . . at any time and at any place.” We hold only that “so long as there is a greater number of homeless individuals in [a jurisdiction] than the number of available beds [in shelters],” the jurisdiction cannot prosecute homeless individuals for “involuntarily sitting, lying, and sleeping in public.” That is, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.

Naturally, our holding does not cover individuals who do have access to adequate temporary shelter, whether because they have the means to pay for it or because it is realistically available to them for free, but who choose not to use it. Nor do we suggest that a jurisdiction with insufficient shelter can never criminalize the act of sleeping outside. Even where shelter is unavailable, an ordinance prohibiting sitting, lying, or sleeping outside at particular times or in particular locations might well be constitutionally permissible. So, too, might an ordinance barring the obstruction of public rights of way or the erection of certain structures. Whether some other ordinance is consistent with the Eighth Amendment will depend, as here, on whether it punishes a person for lacking the means to live out the “universal and unavoidable consequences of being human” in the way the ordinance prescribes.

idlebytes
idlebytes
1 year ago

From the Street Roots article

Wheeler’s other argument defending the ordinance, which he gave during the contentious May 31 City Council meeting, is increasing interactions between police and homeless Portlanders will result in more homeless Portlanders connecting with services.

We do need increased interactions with the homeless but not with the police. The police are under federal guidance to reform their department and how it interacts with people in mental crisis. Let’s be honest that includes a large population of the homeless. It’s been 11 years since that agreement was made and they’ve made horrible progress. Meanwhile the Portland Street Response has had great success in just two years.

We do need more interaction with the homeless to determine what their immediate needs are, what they’re struggling with and what we can do to help them move to more permanent housing and acquire the services they need to address their mental health and addiction issues. Portland Police are ill equipped to do this as has been evidenced for well over a decade. Put aside the fact that they’re terrible at these types of interactions they are also not staffed to meet this demand.

We need hundreds of trained social service workers out there to assist people and assess the situation. Additionally, we need hundreds of new openings in mental health and addiction treatment centers to send people to. Finally, we need thousands of free and low-cost housing options for people to go to.

People are fed up and say we need a stick to go along with the carrot we’re offering to address these problems but when your carrot is mealy, moldy and limp why would you expect anyone to take it?

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  idlebytes

Yeah. The carrot never existed. We previously had a stick, and then stopped using the stick somewhat. There was never any carrot.

jakeco969
jakeco969
1 year ago

Looking forward to the vote today!
I can’t help but think the City/County and Metro don’t actually want to get people off the streets and would rather just give money to non profits.
There are models that currently exist that do a good job of getting people out of the cycle of despair and dependency, but for whatever reason they are ignored here.
Veterans Affairs has it’s Compensated Work Therapy program and for 5 years I worked with (as in beside them) a constant stream of vets coming out of homelessness due to drugs, time in prison or mental illness. The one thing they needed to get started was a desire to change and most of them were successful and stuck with the program resulting in a better life.
Why the City/County/Metro doesn’t take all the money they waste on non profits and emulate a successful model is simply beyond my understanding.

https://www.va.gov/health/cwt/
I’ve cut and pasted from the link if one doesn’t want to click on it…….
Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) is a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinical vocational rehabilitation program that provides evidence based and evidence informed vocational rehabilitation services; partnerships with business, industry and government agencies to provide Veteran candidates for employment and Veteran labor, and employment supports to Veterans and employers.
CWT programs strive to maintain highly responsive long-term quality relationships with business, government agencies, and industry promoting employment opportunities for Veterans with physical and mental health challenges.
CWT programs are located within all VA medical centers. Review the CWT Locations page to find site specifics. Many of our CWT programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) – an independent accrediting body of health and human service providers. CARF accreditation confirms that CWT programs are committed to continuous quality improvement, accountability for its performance through outcomes evidence, and monitoring the satisfaction of the persons served.
Employment is a critical protective factor against suicide, homelessness and substance use. CWT is a vital employment and therapeutic work program assisting Veterans with job barriers faced from mental health or physical disabilities.

Pierre Lathau
Pierre Lathau
1 year ago

The Cicero Institute has put out some recommendations for states (or cities/counties) that they feel can act to help end homelessness. Agree or disagree but it does seem Portland is moving in the same direction as #1 and I have seen lots of discussion about points # 2-5 in our local press and online.

1. States should ban unauthorized street camping.Street camps are dangerous to the public and the vulnerable homeless alike. They are often hotbeds of violence, especially against women and children – especially those who are homeless themselves
The public widely supports enforcing ordinances against dangerous street camps and moving individuals into emergency shelters.
2. States should direct funds away from expensive and ineffective “Housing First” programs toward short-term shelter and sanctioned, policed encampments.Since the mid-2000s, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the vast majority of homeless services agencies and NGOs, have endorsed the “Housing First” model of providing free housing to the homeless.
It requires between eight and twenty units of “Permanent Supportive Housing” to get one chronically homeless person off the street. This is untenable as a solution. Instead, states should pursue minimally viable shelter options and sanctioned encampments with services.
Permanent supportive housing doesn’t address homelessness – it creates demand for more homelessness and supports cronyism.
3. States and cities should pay non-profits for performance, not just services.Performance-based contracts should be the standard in public contracting, and especially for homeless services. Instead of paying non-profits based on the amount of services provided, some or all of the contract should be contingent on the performance of the provider.
Today, even when contractors are clearly failing on metrics they continue to get public funding. The public expects results; accordingly, the public should pay for results.
4. States should amend civil commitment laws to make it easier to help those who cannot help themselves — and keep them out of prison.Many street homeless suffer from chronic and untreated mental illness. For those that are a public nuisance or a danger to themselves or others, there must be a third option besides prison and abandonment.
By providing options like assisted outpatient treatment, which is a less restrictive alternative to inpatient treatment, states can let judges get people the help they need — and respect their due process rights.

https://ciceroinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Homelessness-Policy-One-Pager-.pdf

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  Pierre Lathau

“Cicero is opposed to permanent supportive housing for those experiencing homelessness, despite significant evidence that ‘housing first’ policies addressing chronic homelessness are more effective.”

Personally I doubt a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and founder of a surveillance company who supports private prisons is the right person to solve entrenched social problems, but hey, that’s just me.

https://www.businessinsider.com/palantir-cofounder-joe-lonsdale-cicero-institute-criminalizing-homeless-encampments-2023-3

Charley
Charley
1 year ago
Reply to  Pierre Lathau

Some of this isn’t bad… but it’s frankly a joke to suggest “assisted outpatient treatment” for someone living in a tent on the street. I definitely agree that involuntary civil commitment should be easier, but shouldn’t the person be housed to get that kind of treatment? And isn’t that, basically “supportive housing”, which Cicero advocates *against*? Or does Cicero think these people should be involuntarily confined to sanctioned *tent camps* while receiving treatment? That sounds so dystopian. It doesn’t all add up.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago

We can’t assume those bikes are stolen.

JR
JR
1 year ago

This ordinance is about 15 years late, but I’ll take it now. The situation on the streets and bike paths is out of control. I wish they’d do something about people living in vehicles too. They should move at least once a day to a location several miles away. There have been dozens of lived-in vehicles in my neighborhood and when they finally leave after months or years, the ground is polluted with oil leaks, cigarette butts, needles, trash, burn marks, and more.

Mary Marto
Mary Marto
1 year ago
Reply to  JR

 There have been dozens of lived-in vehicles in my neighborhood and when they finally leave after months or years, the ground is polluted with oil leaks, cigarette butts, needles, trash, burn marks, and more.

Yeah I find it astounding how we in Portland have abandoned our commitment to the enviroment in some sort of strange concept that allowing people to do this is compassionate. Call me an “old tree hugger” from the 60’s but I don’t think it’s okay to let people do what they’re doing in Portland to our natural areas and waterways just becuase they are unhoused. Glad to see the City Council passed the limited no camping law. It’s a start at least.

Jeane C
Jeane C
1 year ago

“Chop shops”… where do I recognize that term again?

Oh yeah, it’s the one that Jonathan has been censoring in the Bike Portland Forums for the past couple years.

Maybe he meant “Unlicensed Outdoor Bicycle Disassembly Operations”?

Randi J
Randi J
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeane C

I nominate this for “Comment of the week!”

Yolanda S
Yolanda S
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeane C

Remember Jonathan’s commentary from 2022 on the bike chop shop issue in LA?

“But there’s a wide spectrum of bicycle activity in homeless camps. Many people who live on the street rely on bikes to get around. And just like people with houses and garages, they have a right to own more than one bike, to fix them, and to sell them to other people. There’s also the right to remain innocent until proven guilty, which is one reason I didn’t refer to a camp on SE Alder Street as a ‘chop shop’ in a story last month.”

“It also remains to be seen if Portland City Council would ever attempt something like this. Given the politics around homelessness and cycling here, I doubt we’d ever see an attempt at a similar law….”

Glad to see things are changing in Portland to at least the realization that “compassion” can easily morph into enabling and foment criminal activity. Hopefully people will register their bikes and we can clean up at least the majority of these notorious “chop shops”.

If we want more people to ride bikes here they can’t be afraid of getting it stolen whenever they go out and leave it somewhere. Seriously we say we are trying to meet “climate goals” via encouraging active transportation, allowing and excusing rampant bike theft doesn’t get us there.

https://bikeportland.org/2022/06/16/los-angeles-poised-to-adopt-ban-on-bike-chop-shops-356809

Maggie P.
Maggie P.
1 year ago

So not okay for others to use, but okay for you to use. Got it.

SD
SD
1 year ago

Another cheap stunt from city council. People fall for it, again.

Dan Raderman
Dan Raderman
1 year ago

Hey Jonathan – just wanted to say that I searched every article written about this ordinance and neither AP, CNN, Fox, CBS, or any other local news channel actually said WHAT ORDINANCE number! This is a huge piece that only YOU grabbed, and thankfully you even linked to the ordinance! Thank you so much. Interesting that the police weren’t interested in clearing the camps when suburbanites camped on MLK for the Rose Festival Parade despite the fact that MLK is a high traffic road, so banned by this ordinance, they had gas grills, banned by this ordinance, and open flames, also banned by this ordinance. It’s almost like the city doesn’t care about the very real safety concerns, just about clearing the homeless so that suburbanites can come and play camp cosplay in a dangerous neighborhood, or clearing the camps for any major event as they have done for years. Clearing camps hasn’t worked for decades and it will continue to not work until the housing crisis is solved with more volume.

Hope to see you on more Pedalpalooza rides Jon!