“Mohawk Craig,” a resident of a Springwater Corridor camp, in January. (Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)
“You can’t stay here any more.”
After months of telling park rangers and police to avoid issuing that order to people living in tents along the major Portland biking path, Willamette Week and The Oregonian are reporting that Mayor Charlie Hales plans to order a sweep of the length of the corridor within city of Portland boundaries (the eastern border is SE Jenne Rd/174th).
Here’s more from Hales in a video created by The Oregonian: [Read more…]
Thacher Schmid (who I should disclose is also a personal friend of mine) is a freelance reporter based in Portland, writing in this case for his own website. He rode his bike to the camp last week and spent a few hours talking to people there about their lives and the city’s efforts to reduce, manage and regulate homelessness.
The Springwater Corridor in January. (Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)
A man living on the Springwater Corridor survived an early-morning “non-life-threatening gunshot wound” Tuesday near the path just east of SE 82nd Avenue, police said.
A news release from the Portland Police Bureau said the suspect also lives along the path, parts of which have become an informal home for people living in tents as local home prices have continued to climb.
The release said police “located and detained a person of interest in the shooting” but did not describe the detainee as the “suspect.”
Still from Hazelnut Grove, a short film by Kevin Neidorf.
I want to share two videos that I think will help broaden your understanding of the homelessness crisis and give you some new perspective on it. And here’s why I’m doing it:
Over the past few months I’ve gotten many emails from people who bike by homeless camps and then write in to say: “The homeless situation is out of hand and something needs to be done about it.” In part because of emails like that we’ve covered the topic several times recently.
This might make you wonder: Why are bicycle riders talking about the local homelessness crisis? Why am I reading about this on a bike blog?
Part of the answer is that when you experience a city by bike, you are physically and mentally much more a part of your surroundings than people who drive or use transit. Bicycle riders experience the street environment in a very direct way, so it’s no surprise that all this camping — much of it happening directly adjacent to multi-use paths — is on many people’s minds at the end of their commute. [Read more…]
Kurmaskie (in rear with cowboy hat) and campers last summer). (Photo courtesy Joe Kurmaskie)
Portland author Joe Kurmaskie says he feels conditions on the Springwater Corridor path have gotten so bad that he might be forced to cancel his popular teen summer bike camp program.
Kurmaskie, who turned 50 this year, is known for his “Metal Cowboy” books that describe his many adventures while bike touring through the United States and around the world (including two cross-country journeys with his wife and five children). He moved to north Portland in 1998 and now lives in Sellwood. For the past four years he’s run the “Camp Creative: No Child Left Inside” summer camp for 9-13 year olds in partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation. The camp is completely bike-based and the main route used to access activities is the Springwater Corridor. This year Kurmaskie says he’s decided to put the camp on hold because of an increase in unruly and unsafe behavior from people he’s encountered along the path. [Read more…]
Springwater path west of 82nd. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
We apologize for the short notice; but we’ve just heard that the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association is hosting a meeting tonight (7:00 pm at Brentwood Darlington Community Center, 7211 SE 62nd Ave) to talk about issues related to the large number of people living in tents adjacent to the Springwater Corridor path near SE 82nd Ave.
As we reported last month, the situation reached a boiling point when business owners, residents, and users of the path shared a variety of concerns about the impact of the people living on the path. One of the activists mentioned in our story on January 14th, Terry Dublinksi-Milton, connected with Vahid Brown, a well-known homeless advocate who has helped establish the Hazelnut Grove camp in north Portland. [Read more…]
Path gate open for business. (Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)
Last Tuesday we reported that the board of directors of the McCormick Pier Condominiums had taken it upon themselves to close access to the Willamette Greenway Trail path between the Broadway and Steel Bridges. The reason? They said a nearby homeless camp was causing safety issues.
While the larger issue of homelessness looms over this issue and is of much greater concern to us than bikeway access, we’re covering it because the Greenway Trail is a public path and the city has an easement over the condo property during daylight hours. The homeless camp in this area has also encroached on the public path people use to connect between northwest Portland, Waterfront Park and the Steel Bridge/Eastbank Esplanade paths.
In updates to our story last week we shared that the McCormick Pier Condo board of directors was using the path’s closure to force action from Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. He didn’t like that. “I want you to know that I’m not going to permit people to take public right-of-way hostage for political purposes,” he told me in a phone call after our story went up Tuesday. Hales’ office was already well-aware of the growing size and issues at the camp under the Steel Bridge and was already planning actions to address it before the gate was closed. For whatever reason, the day after our story was published, the city began a clean-up effort at the site. [Read more…]