New era begins as Portland passes citywide camping ban

I-205 bike path in April, 2021. (Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Portland City Council voted 3-1 Wednesday on a city ordinance that bans daytime camping citywide. It’s a big shift in policy that could have a major impact on cycling.

For about a decade now, we’ve covered serious concerns from bicycle riders about tent encampments located along major cycling routes. A look into the BikePortland archive shows that our first post on the issue was in February 2014 when a large group of people erected tents and shelters adjacent to the Springwater Corridor path under the Ross Island Bridge.

At that time, we didn’t hear much about safety concerns from these camps. That changed in early 2016 when we did our first story about how people who live around and ride on the Springwater near SE 82nd Avenue felt like the growing camp was “a major public health issue.” We also shared comments from people who said they’d been threatened by people who live along the path and have stopped using it at night as a result. The issue would only grow in size and impact in the years after that. In 2019 after a ride on the I-205 path near Gateway Green I posted a story saying the makeshift homes and trash had created “unacceptable” conditions.

Former City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly commented on that post and agreed that the state of the bike path was, “unacceptable and unsafe for everyone involved.” But she also cautioned against the impulse to force and/or “sweep” the people and their belongings away because, “there is literally nowhere for them to go.”

Portland has made some progress on building affordable housing and boosting the number of shelter beds in the past four years. But the number of homeless people has also increased and there are still not enough places for them to go.

Despite that complicated reality, the ordinance passed yesterday makes it a violation to camp on nearly any public right-of-way between the hours of 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. The plan was proposed by Mayor Ted Wheeler to comply with his interpretation of an Oregon law passed in 2021 that requires all cities and counties to ensure their camping ordinances are “objectively reasonable as to time, place, and manner with regards to persons experiencing homelessness.”

The new “place” regulations are the most relevant to bicycling. Here’s the text of that section of the ordinance that lays it all out:

An involuntarily homeless person may not camp in the following places at any time:

a. On a Pedestrian Plaza
b. Upon public docks
c. In the pedestrian use zone, which is the area of the sidewalk corridor on City sidewalks intended for pedestrian travel or access to public transit
d. In a Park regulated
e. Within 250 feet from a preschool, kindergarten, elementary or secondary school, or a childcare center
f. Within 250 feet from a safe parking site, safe rest village, or sanctioned camping location designated by the Mayor.
g. Within 250 feet of lot or parcel containing a construction site
h. In the public right-of-way along “High Crash Network Streets and Intersections”i. 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.
j. Areas posted no-trespassing by City bureaus.

While bike lanes or paths aren’t mentioned by name, we can expect the ordinance to apply to things like the Esplanade, Springwater, I-205 path, the Columbia Slough path, and so on. Many of the important bike paths in our network (Peninsula Crossing Trail, Springwater, Esplanade, Willamette River Greenway, and so on) are actually city parks, so they’d fall under that provision. And Mayor Wheeler’s office has told BikePortland that the “pedestrian use zone” language will also capture some bikeways.

Now that the ordinance has passed, Wheeler’s office says the City will create a map that clearly shows where camping is banned. If there are bikeways that are not on that map, they have told BikePortland, “We can follow up to see if there are opportunities that may need further consideration.”

Keeping transportation right-of-way clear of peoples’ homes and belongings should not be a controversial idea (although I acknowledge if not discussed carefully, it can lead to bigoted, insensitive comments). In recent days and weeks, Portland has made it clear that transportation right-of-way is not a place for camping. The ADA settlement that City Council agreed to last week is a good example of this, and even Sarah Iannarone — a former mayoral candidate who know heads The Street Trust — shared on her personal Twitter account this week that while she opposes the camping ban, “The city should clear the right of way for use of our multimodal transportation system…”

The ban is due to go into effect next month; but it remains to be seen how enforcement will play out. Regardless, yesterday’s Council vote marked a major turning point for this issue. Hopefully our city will be healthier for it.

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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Chris Piccolo
Chris Piccolo
8 months ago

This is long overdue. I look forward to once again being able to ride our MUP’s without fear or riding around trash and camper blockades. Unfortunately, the city of Portland doesn’t have a good track record of enforcing our laws…I hope they can do better this time. I think the community will need to hold elected leaders “feet to the fire” to ensure that we can get our city (and MUP’s) back.

SD
SD
8 months ago

I’m sure the police are going to get right on that.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
8 months ago

Frankly I doubt removing camps from bike paths like the I-205 path and Springwater Corridor will have much of an impact on bicycling mode share or help anyone except for recreational riders plus the very small number of people who live and/or work near the paths themselves.

While Dutch cities have true “bicycle highways” connecting far-flung neighborhoods to popular destinations like parks, schools, and hospitals, our *existing* MUPs are too disconnected and out of the way to be any use for most everyday trips. Indeed, according to BP, most bike traffic seems to happen on greenways, i.e. shared residential streets, not separated bike paths:

https://bikeportland.org/2023/03/29/how-portlands-chief-bike-planner-explains-the-decline-in-cycling-372023

Sure, we’re all entitled to have a place to ride for fun and exercise on the weekends or whenever. But not at the expense of further marginalizing the already most marginalized in society. As Iannarone says, Wheeler’s camping ban is a waste of money that will cause more harm than good and is destined to fail.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
8 months ago

Looking at the Springwater trail as an example, the historic bike traffic peak was about 3,000 riders per day. I admit that’s a lot, but hardly the linchpin of the overall network. It’s somewhat less than the number of riders using SE Clinton around the same time, and the proportional drop in ridership since the start of the pandemic is about the same.

We don’t know how many of those riders stopped using the MUP specifically because of safety concerns on the trail vs. overall traffic safety concerns, a switch to remote working, etc. (About 2,000 people per day were still using it in 2022.)

I don’t consider MUPs and greenways to be in opposition at all. I agree they are both essential when designed and maintained appropriately. We especially need safe, separated paths for the “interested but concerned” demographic. I just don’t think the specific policy of jailing people for camping on bike paths will deliver much benefit considering the amount of disruption and hardship it will cause.

Screenshot 2023-06-08 at 2.00.18 PM.png
dwk
dwk
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

Thanks for your blessing on this. Glad you have decided it might be OK for the public to use this public park despite your charts and graphs.
BTW, no one is getting thrown in jail, they are simply asked to not claim our public land as their own.
I know, that can be disrupting…

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
8 months ago
Reply to  dwk

The third violation carries a fine or 30 days in jail. Not sure why you would post such an obvious and easily debunked falsehood.

https://www.opb.org/article/2023/06/07/portland-oregon-approves-ban-daytime-street-camping-homeless/

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
8 months ago

What I think is unfortunate is the way cyclists, pedestrians and unhoused people are forced to fight over proverbial scraps while private cars use up most public land in the city. Our streets need a radical redesign to reclaim the public realm from destructive, space-hogging automobiles. Ongoing crises of climate breakdown and traffic violence are caused by the consumption habits of the wealthy, but instead we’re acting like the poorest people in society are the problem.

Randi J
Randi J
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

There’s a reason why Inarone didn’t get elected as mayor. That comment of hers you mention is a prime example as to why.
She’s not in touch with the average Portlander. We’re done with the enabling and loss of our city.

Chris I
Chris I
8 months ago
Reply to  Randi J

Thankfully, we had people like Daniel pushing for the Raiford write-in campaign. We really dodged a bullet on that one.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
8 months ago
Reply to  Randi J

There’s a reason why Ted Wheeler only got 46% of the vote for mayor. He’s not in touch with the average Portlander, despite what you might see on local TV news (or the BP comment section).

Fred
Fred
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

I don’t give a hoot about any elected leader being “in touch with the average Portlander.” I care about whether elected leaders have the gumption to do the right thing for most Portlanders.

In this case I would say Wheeler, González, and Ryan (but not Rubio) are doing that – and I would add that Rubio probably also knows what the right thing is, but the three-vote majority gave her cover to vote “no” and preserve her bonafides with the HIC (homeless industrial complex).

blumdrew
8 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Dang, I wonder how an elected official figures out what the right thing to do for most Portlanders is?

Maybe they do it by asking their constituents, that’d be novel idea. I might even call it “being in touch”.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

I totally agree. The city should be consulting residents and letting them guide policy decisions.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  Fred

“I don’t give a hoot about any elected leader being “in touch with the average Portlander.” ”

On this issue, Wheeler is highly aligned with “the average Portlander”, who, I believe, recognizes that helping people camp on the streets has been an abject failure.

David Kafrissen
David Kafrissen
8 months ago
Reply to  Randi J

So we put them in jail and pay more daily then just renting a room. Our priorities are misplaced, we should be taking the rich and using it for public services like homeless or reach and mental health professionals, just giving more to the do nothing police and their fat pensions

Randi J
Randi J
8 months ago

Portland already has some of the highest taxes in the nation for those with higher incomes. These people are mobile. It’s not like Portland is a great place to live anymore. It’s “Meh” right? At some point Portland won’t have any “rich” people left to tax. Then what?

pierre_delecto
pierre_delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  Randi J

At some point Portland won’t have any “rich” people left to tax. Then what?

Affordable housing, more bohemian vibe, cheaper beer, and fewer people carrying water for the rich in website comment sections.

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  Randi J

Friends moved to Bend because of the taxes. The work from home-rs are pretty darn Mobil.

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago

For someone that already lives here on the streets, going to jail seems like hell. For someone living on the streets in Minnesota but wants to move to Portland, because they will be given a room, well that sounds wonderful. Jails may be more expensive, but people won’t move here knowing they may be jailed instead of housed.

dwk
dwk
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

So what if it’s only recreational riders or people who want fun and exercise are using them?? That’s what public parks and green space is for. They are not for you to decide what we use them for.
Quoting someone with the credibility of Iannarone on the subject speaks volumes.
It’s not for her to decide either.
The arrogance and sense of entitlement is astonishing.
Public space is for shared use, it’s not yours or the Street Trusts property or the property of people who decide it’s Their own space to live in.

Jeff Skinks
Jeff Skinks
8 months ago
Reply to  dwk

Iannarone has single handledly piloted the credibility of the Street Trust from basement-level dysfunction straight down to the outer rings of Hell. In just a few short months!

PTB
PTB
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

I sorta agree with your first paragraph. Sorta. But I’m on both these trails weekly, biking or running, and they suck right now. I don’t *usually* feel sketched out but campers do leave a ton of shit on the trails. Tents, bike stuff, garbage, Home Depot heavy carts, busted up glass, etc. If I didn’t live so incredibly close to the Springwater I’d probably refuse to use it in the state it’s in now. This isn’t even touching on the massive increase of auto traffic on the trails that’s happened the last few years. There’s no way this hasn’t discouraged some folks from getting out and riding (sure, recreationally, but that shouldn’t matter).

Last paragraph. Is there anywhere in your mind that campers shouldn’t be moved from? Like the base of Powell Butte, Johnson Creek floodplains, Beggars Tick, Tideman Johnson park, Jenne Butte, etc? Or is that all cool and no problem? Dismantling microwaves and whatnot for scrap and chucking that shit in Johnson Creek is fine yeah? Campers gotta be somewhere, doesn’t matter where it is?

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
8 months ago
Reply to  PTB

Well, if you ban camping in highly visible public areas, where exactly do you think unhoused people will go? Many will seek refuge in more inaccessible natural areas.

No, I don’t think dumping hazardous waste in public waterways is “fine”, “cool”, and “no problem”. Here’s an article you might find interesting:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope

PTB
PTB
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

But should campers be allowed to camp there or not? Or is that fine regardless of the destruction to the little bit of natural environment we have within the city? I am firmly of the mind that these areas are off limits to camps. Since the Springwater cuts through these areas I support the removal of campers here. Do you not?

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
8 months ago
Reply to  PTB

I think it’s fine to prohibit camping in sensitive natural areas. (I would *not* make it a criminal offense.) My point is that if you have a problem with that sort of thing, banning tents on sidewalks and bike paths will not improve the situation, and will possibly make it worse.

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

“where exactly do you think unhoused people will go?”

We need to create safe areas for people to sleep, where they can get access to services and not get swept.

Pretty much what Wheeler is doing.

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  Watts

Exactly.

Why do we argue against this?

Liberals want to control gun type purchases, why can’t we control where people are allowed to camp and do drugs?

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
8 months ago
Reply to  Watts

You mean Wheeler’s concentration camps? None of them are even built yet. So in the meantime, where do you expect people to go?

https://www.opb.org/article/2023/03/09/portland-oregon-homelessness-camping-ted-wheeler-encampments-city-run/

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

This band allows camping in many places, it just requires people to pack up each day and move along.

No more chop shops, open air drug markets, and trash hoarding.

Chris I
Chris I
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

It’s amazing to me that the pro-camping narrative now is that MUPs are for “fun and exercise on the weekends”. People still use MUPs for transportation, and they used to use them a lot more when they were safer.

Jeff Skinks
Jeff Skinks
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

There is no bottom to the rhetoric, we must all get in line behind “the houseless” as everything from our public libraries to our sidewalks are retooled to serve a population of a few thousand chronically dysfunctional people who show little interest in the billions of dollars of aid we throw at them every year. Starting to feel taken advantaged of?

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Skinks

According to recent People for Portland polls (maybe biased), the tide has clearly shifted and Portlanders are fed up with the status quo. I know I am. I was never for jailing, now I think it’s probably the only effective drug intervention tool.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt S.

It isn’t.

“No statistically significant relationship between state drug imprisonment rates and three indicators of state drug problems: self-reported drug use, drug overdose deaths, and drug arrests”:

https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/issue-briefs/2018/03/more-imprisonment-does-not-reduce-state-drug-problems

cc_rider
cc_rider
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

Frankly I doubt removing camps from bike paths like the I-205 path and Springwater Corridor will have much of an impact on bicycling mode share or help anyone except for recreational riders plus the very small number of people who live and/or work near the paths themselves.

Recreational riders make utility riders. Biking in the street is scary if you’ve spent your whole life in a car. Bike-curious people need a place to start biking and MUPs are a great place to do that.

Sure, we’re all entitled to have a place to ride for fun and exercise on the weekends or whenever. But not at the expense of further marginalizing the already most marginalized in society.

It’s unreasonable to ask people to lose access to everything their taxes pay for. I know some people, especially in the ineffective left, have a hard time understanding that people have a limit to their empathy and if you tax them to death and they don’t even feel comfortable using parks in the city, they will leave to a city where they can access the parks and trails their taxes pay for. Portlander’s are sick of being a door mat to anti-social drug addicts.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Recreational riders make utility riders.

The big lie of Portland’s bike fun scene.

Charley
Charley
8 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

We need every tool in the pro-bike toolbox at the point. Cycling has decreased for years shouldn’t be chucking some good tools (recreation as entree to utility) away.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  Charley

The effective tools are moldering on a dusty shelf at the political hardware store because cycling advocacy in Portland has become synonymous with an insipid liberalism that fears the discomfort and uncertainty of fighting for transformational change.

Jeff Skinks
Jeff Skinks
8 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Here’s an inconvenient truth: “bike fun” was never anything other than dishonest. It’s a charade conceived to shame and manipulate. It’d be widely likened to organized religion… if it ever transcended its massive popularity problem.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Skinks

Get off my lawn, you people having fun!!!!11!!!!!!

X
X
8 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

That’s almost comically wrong. A ‘big lie’ would involve widespread persistent messaging, by somebody, that that all this bike fun would result in more utilitarian cycling. I’ve never seen that. It may or may not be true, but there was no such campaign.

Having literally been at the table when Portland Bike Summer was planned, I can tell you that the point of Bike Fun has been: to have fun. Bikes actually bring joy to some of us. People organize bike fun events to encounter other like minded people and support each other. Feel free to look at the publicity for the Pedalpalooza now going on in Portland for any big lies.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  X

cc_rider in this very thread: Recreational riders make utility riders.

X in response to cc_rider’s thread: I’ve never seen that.

QED

pierre_delecto
pierre_delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Missed another one that X never saw:

Charley: …shouldn’t be chucking some good tools (recreation as entree to utility) away

cc_rider
cc_rider
8 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

What does my comment have to do with bike fun. Obviously you’re completely wrong when you suggest recreation riders don’t become utility riders, I’m just confused as to how you rambled off in the direction of critiquing people having fun.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Not critiquing people having fun. I’m critiquing the idea that recreation/fun is a gateway to utility riding.

John
John
8 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

The thing is, people on the left aren’t asking for you to have infinite empathy, we want solutions that work. This won’t. This isn’t going to do anything really, it’s going to be a nonstop game of whack-a-mole and cause ongoing human misery. This doesn’t make the problem go away, they’re still going to camp somewhere. What’s frustrating to me is how much people who have something taken away from them (in this case, perceived safety on MUPs) are happy to take out their frustration on other less well off people in a way that isn’t actually going to change anything.

dwk
dwk
8 months ago
Reply to  John

If its enforced it will be non stop whack a mole but at least we won’t have tent cities and piles of garbage that keep accumulating.
You camping enablers simply don’t care how much trash gets left around this city. The amount of pollutants from broke down cars and vans. The destruction of natural areas… It’s appalling what lengths you all go through to defend this behavior as if people are NOT capable of any better.
It is so condescending it’s repulsive.
You don’t think they are capable of improving their behavior and you absolutely don’t care about working poor people who also get squeezed out of the public spaces which in many cases are the only spaces they can afford to Play or hang out or whatever else they want to do.
It’s all just performative nonsense…

John
John
8 months ago
Reply to  dwk

Nope, that’s all stuff you’re imagining about other people.

What I actually do think is that this camping ban is itself performative nonsense. Our city/state/national government has utterly failed us so since doing the hard things and addressing real problems is hard, people are happy to see “something” happen even if its performative, expensive, and ineffective.

Obviously I want the city cleaned up. I want clear (and more) public spaces. Hopefully for me, they keep this limited to sidewalks and paths. The thing is, every public space we have has a path on it, so effectively this is going to mean banning camping everywhere (eventually). And then what? We’re right where we are now. We either invest in building prisons and hiring more cops or in some more humane actual solution like housing first and perhaps mandatory treatment and mental health facilities. We could do either of those things now but people don’t want to believe that we can’t just scold our way out of this problem. So instead we’ll look busy and sweep the problem around.

dwk
dwk
8 months ago
Reply to  John

It’s always Prison vs. giving someone a house….

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  dwk

It’s virtue signaling.

cc_rider
cc_rider
8 months ago
Reply to  John

The thing is, people on the left aren’t asking for you to have infinite empathy, we want solutions that work.

Then implement the solutions. MultCo has hundreds of millions of dollars they are sitting on and we have been talking about this problem for DECADES. Fix the problem, or don’t. I don’t care at this point. My empathy for the drug addicted population is completely gone.

Also, I’m far left. I’m sick of letting some seriously naive and misguided people own that term. I’m a progressive, but I’m not going to lie to myself about what’s happening on the street, and I’m not going to be a doormat.

This won’t.

If enforced, it will fix the problem of massive, dangerous shanty towns, which is what we are trying to achieve.

This doesn’t make the problem go away, they’re still going to camp somewhere.

Kick them out of that spot then. They need to follow our rules if they want to live in our city.

What’s frustrating to me is how much people who have something taken away from them (in this case, perceived safety on MUPs) are happy to take out their frustration on other less well off people in a way that isn’t actually going to change anything.

What’s frustrating to me is when activists pee on me and tell me its raining. There are some absolute crazy, dangerous people living on our streets and they victimize the people around them constantly. We need to have clean sidewalks, we need to have clean parks and stop letting these people continue to victimize us.

It’s not about ‘well off’. It’s about anti-social people, who moved here to take advantage of us, and are. Enough is enough. You can pretend that it’s all just awful housies but people are done with this garbage. People are done being a doormat for people who trash our city.

JP
JP
8 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Thank you.

Allowing people to abuse hard drugs is not progressive. Allowing people to commandeer and trash public spaces is not progressive. Allowing people to steal and victimize neighbors is not progressive.

Progressives have big hearts, but it’s not helping our cause when we make excuses for people’s bad behavior.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  JP

“allowing”

Y no hay remedio – Francisco Goya

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

I’m the very person you are describing.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
8 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Nothing more “progressive” than blaming the victims of capitalist greed for their own misfortune, amirite?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/24/opioids-crisis-big-pharma-drugs-carnage

Watts
Watts
8 months ago
Reply to  John

“they’re still going to camp somewhere”

That’s why the mayor is creating places where camping will be allowed. I believe folks “on the left” (a term I would apply to myself) oppose this because they don’t like Wheeler, not because it’s a fundamentally bad idea.

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I think at this point more people are for it than against.

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  John

I lived near 28th and Glisan several years ago. A woman would camp across the street on the sidewalk everyday. She was gone when you woke up and back around six. All she had was a tent. No trash, shopping carts, bike parks, drug paraphernalia, scavenged home goods, or guests. No one complained and people actually brought her food and water.

I’m totally fine with this. In fact, I bring the food and water.

What’s not acceptable is what I have down the street now. An entrenched hoarder collecting whatever they think they can barter for drugs and an ever growing trash pile.

This is what the new ordinance is supposed to prevent, not the lady respectfully camping and “leaving no trace.”

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt S.

What about the unhoused person with disabilities who is unable to move all their belongings every single day?

https://www.naccho.org/blog/articles/homelessness-among-individuals-with-disabilities-influential-factors-and-scalable-solutions

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

I’m right at that breaking point. The only thing holding my family back from moving is two interest points. Once we’re at 4% we become landlords and move (it may never get there). Plan B is to fight like hell for our neighbors.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt S.

The only thing holding my family back from moving is two interest points.

Stop teasing.

The more people move, the more affordable PDX becomes. This is a win-win!

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

We’re not going to sell our current home if we move…

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
8 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Living in a society means paying for lots of things we never personally use. Would you oppose public education if you personally had no children?

Nicholas
Nicholas
8 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

Don’t the Dutch have tens of thousands of homeless as well?

idlebytes
idlebytes
8 months ago

will also capture some bikeways.

Why some? My only guess is that some bikeways aren’t owned by the city like the 205 path. Either way if only some are kept clear you can be fairly certain where people will end up.

I said this in the other article but I still don’t get why we’re putting this solely on PPBs shoulders. They’re particularly bad at this work and have openly shown and said that they don’t want to do it. I understand they may be necessary in some situations where someone has to be physically trespassed from property but them being the first contact sounds like a terrible idea.

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  idlebytes

What they are good at is arresting folks. They will be able to on the third violation.

And just think, this new ordinance now gives the officer the constitutional right to ask any camper for their name and date of birth.

They are going to have a field day with warrants.

J_R
J_R
8 months ago

I just wrote to the mayor and commissioners thanking them for passing the ordinance and imploring them to plan for how it is enforced.

We know enforcement is not going to be easy. Let’s not wait for months to “suddenly” learn there are enforcement issues.

I want to be able to walk and ride safely on the paths and sidewalks again.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
8 months ago

Is this map that shows where camping is banned, in effect going to show exactly where this problem behavior is allowed and free from enforcement? In other words, are we going to start seeing an influx of problem campers in areas that we hadn’t before, decimating previously unmolested neighborhoods?

I think we should have had an outright ban, not a piecemeal approach that codifies into law new lawless zones. It will be hard enough to get PPB to enforce these laws, why give them a map to where they can claim no responsibility?

Why give people who have for too long been allowed to destroy the fabric of our city, a map of exactly where to go. The ban should be everywhere, we should all expect equal protection under the law from criminal activity regardless of where we happen to live.

Charley
Charley
8 months ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

This is (hopefully) an incremental improvement. If other places start filling up with camps, hopefully the City will respond appropriately.

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

In theory they have to pack up each night. If they don’t they will be in violation.

If they are asked if they want shelter, and say no, they are no longer involuntarily camping. They have an alternative and this is how government is going to get around Martin v Boise. They found the loophole.

JP
JP
8 months ago

It’s about time. This is good news for Portland and hopefully will begin restore some of the livability that we have lost. Still, I am concerned with how weak this policy appears to be — daytime camping is really only banned after two written warnings of breaking the rules. Since many people who are camping move around and may not have identification on them, is this something we can expect to be realistically enforced?

Also relevant to readers of this blog, according to OPB:

[Campers] are also prohibited from disassembling or selling more than three bikes or more than two cars — a rule meant to address the number of chop shops associated with homeless encampments across the city.

Again, good news, but this means people are still allowed to chop bicycles and cars, so long as they do it below 2-3 at a time per campsite. Will this policy help to reduce theft, or will theives just adapt and continue?

JP
JP
8 months ago
Reply to  JP

The actual ordinance is more stringent than my previous comment suggested, so I will copy it here:

“…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.”

Sam
Sam
8 months ago

Until the voters elect people that are willing to actually enact and enforce laws, nothing will change. Unfortunately Portland has become an almost lawless city.

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  Sam

Well it appears three commissioners just voted for this ban and a forth would have if present.

Bob
Bob
8 months ago

A law passed but not enforced (like this one will be) is meaningless.

Fred
Fred
8 months ago
Reply to  Bob

I think that all this ordinance will do is give police the power to move someone along at 8am – no longer can someone “squat” on a piece of public property for days, weeks, or months, as they are doing now.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
8 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Unless you all elect people that “make the trains run on time”* this law is unenforceable by design. This law and order dog and pony show is not about creating a better Portland but about cynically feeding liberal denial of ever increasing inequality under capitalism.

*It feels like this is a possibility in this benighted society.

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Liberals here in Portland passed a tax that created so much surplus money that they literally can’t spend it all.

The problem isn’t about inequality, it’s about drugs.

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Police only enforce laws that the public actually want. It feels like the public is sending a bat signal to the police to enforce the new ordinance.

Aaron
8 months ago

It’s interesting that Eudaly opposed clearing camps along the MUPs with the reasoning that “there’s literally nowhere for them to go” because that implies hat the MUPs are in fact “somewhere for them to go” which they are not. If camps had sprawled across all but a skinny section of one lane on Lombard and all cars had to squeeze by carefully one at a time would she still be insisting that we have to leave them there because there’s nowhere else for them to go? I don’t see how blocking MUPs for pedestrians and cyclists is any different unless she considers those paths to be optional recreational paths that are only used for fun and not crucial transportation networks for people who aren’t in cars.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
8 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

Comment of the week

maxD
maxD
8 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

Well said Aaron! I will only add that spaces dedicated to fun, recreation and being outdoors are also very important infrastructure for the health and well-being of our citizens. And, losing access to safe, clean, free outdoor paths and parks and parks within the City disproportionately impacts with limited means and limited mobility. So even if a path or place is “just for fun”, that is reason enough to fight hard to protect it from being taken over.

People have a right to exist, but they do not have a right to occupy our parks, greenspaces and paths. We need to keep our parks clean and safe AND provide places for homeless people to exist.

Pam R.
Pam R.
8 months ago

Sure hope this improves my hometown. I’m looking forward to once again when I actually want to invited friends and family to come visit me again. Used to love riding around the city and shownig them the sights. Haven’t wanted to do that the last 3 or 4 years.

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  Pam R.

I know, I literally clean up my street when family comes to town, because I’m partly embarrassed.

Graham
Graham
8 months ago

I don’t care if people say there is “literally nowhere for them to go” or some other lie.
This is long overdue. We live in a society. You don’t get to do whatever you want all the time.
Rip the frigging tents down and hand out one way bus tickets.

Wren
Wren
8 months ago
Reply to  Graham

OK but…they do have to go somewhere, you understand that right? Moving the homelessness somewhere hasn’t actually fixed the issue.

dwk
dwk
8 months ago
Reply to  Wren

How do you “fix” the issue unless you make them move off land they don’t own?
There is an encampment on the south side of the NE 28th st. Bridge that has been there 6 months.
2 large tents, an RV, rows of “collected” materials like a Home Depot that they are apparently living off of. Vehicles coming and going, stopping to pick “inventory” at all hours.
The surrounding small businesses have their livelihood diminished every day with no help from the city no matter their pleading.
Those small business owners get no solutions from the pro tent class here at all.

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  Wren

The key is for them to move everyday.

Shawn Murphy
Shawn Murphy
8 months ago
Reply to  Graham

Agreed!

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  Graham

“Nowhere to go” how about, get help or get out. That’s where you go.

Michael M. Moore
Michael M. Moore
8 months ago

Except it’s not a “new era.” It’s the old era of 15 years ago all over again. Remember the “Sidewalk Management Ordinance”? It didn’t work then and it won’t work now. Try as you might, you cannot make *people* illegal. People exist, they have to be somewhere. No amount of PPB fairy dust is going to make them disappear. The city does not have enough shelter space or housing for everyone who needs it, and Wheeler’s megacamps aren’t going to provide it. We need real solutions for people on the streets, not magical thinking.

dwk
dwk
8 months ago

“We need real solutions”
The standard line used by people that have no solutions…
What are the “real” solutions you speak of?
We are building some housing, there is 200 or so beds every night in our shelter system that are not being used… Look it up.
We passed a large tax on ourselves to do a lot of stuff but you cannot force people to get treatment or help.
We have more people on the streets now after we allowed tent camping in 2016.
Why is it I get the distinct impression a lot of you don’t seem to mind people living in squalor or in dangerous circumstances since all you seem to do is chastise the rest of us for not “having solutions” to this problem if it is not the solution you espouse like giving away free homes or something.
99.9% of people are doing what they can no matter their income to be responsible members of this society.
The .01% left have to do a bit on their own.

Rebecca Ellison
Rebecca Ellison
8 months ago

Nothing was even mentioned regarding businesses that have been terribly impacted by folks camping in close proximity of them! There has been many who have had to close down because of this issue. Small business is the backbone of our country and you didn’t address that at all. Good start. Sure hope it’s actually implemented.

Michael lewallen
Michael lewallen
8 months ago

A comprehensive solution of medical care, safety for women, and places to live off of the public rightaway is long overdue. It takes money and lots of good people to provide and look after the unfortunate.

A clean and safe city for the majority is a must. We can do both.

SD
SD
8 months ago

The shoulder/ bike lane on highway 30 between Portland and Sauvie Island is filled with ODOT contractor’s wands and barrels, and narrower in many places, forcing people on bikes into the street with 60 mph traffic and double trailer semis. People have died and have had devastating injuries on this road. This is 1000 times more dangerous than a tent next to a MUP. Where is the outrage? Where is the action?

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  SD

Vast majority of commuters will never use that stretch to go to work or to run errands, that’s why.

Only time I rode out there was when I was playing pro bike racer.

Now that part of my life is done, I don’t ever use that stretch.

SD
SD
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt S.

A lot of people have used and continue to try to use this route to get to Sauvie Island or the hills that simply want to go on a bike ride, pick berries or go to the beach. It is, for the most part a recreational route, but the same could be said for many of the bike paths affected by this article. The reason that it has become limited to certain types of riders is because of ongoing neglect. If a minimal amount of energy was put into rehabilitating this route, it could be a major recreational route. Regardless, it is still a bike route, and it is criminal for ODOT to mismanage their contractors who obstruct bike lanes and create life threatening situations for people.

AnitaL
AnitaL
8 months ago

This isn’t going to solve the problem. Why don’t they put dumpsters at the camp sites, so they have a place for trash? Also, you need to remember that there are also children effected by this. They are already going through trauma having to live in those camps. Making them move everyday isn’t going to be easy on them. There has to be a better solution.

dwk
dwk
8 months ago
Reply to  AnitaL

It’s better for children to be in dirty filthy tents? [Editor: removed sentence, find a better way to say it]

Any children that you see living in any tent site in this city should immediately be reported to authorities.

[editor: deleted sentence]

Matt S.
Matt S.
8 months ago
Reply to  AnitaL

We had community dumpsters for a day in the Jade district. They were completely full within a couple hours.