Portland Sidewalk Camping on Yelp


Update: Since we first posted this on April 26th, the Yelp listing has been pulled. But we can share this archived PDF Version 600kb

While the mayor’s controversial street camping policy has triggered a lawsuit, it’s also inspired someone to create a new Yelp Business listing:  Portland Sidewalk Camping. Not surprisingly, it uses City Hall’s contact info.

Last summer we posted some unsavory photos to make the point about how bad behavior was transforming our park into  #Camplandia.

Ridicule is a better way to go. Who knows, maybe the NY Times will notice?

Mayor Hales and PDX Sued Over Homeless Camping

tent cityReposted from Oregonian by Brad Schmidt April 20, 2016

Portland’s homelessness crisis hit a fevered pitch Wednesday as a new coalition sued the city and Mayor Charlie Hales, calling Hales’ pro-camping policy an illegal abuse of power because the City Council never signed off.  Full story at the Oregonian

Read the lawsuit

… If successful, the lawsuit would force the City Council to officially greenlight Hales’ plan or revoke it in favor of a compromise that includes public participation and stricter enforcement of existing anti-camping laws

…  The lawsuit is a remarkable event in the city’s checkered history dealing with homelessness. In the past, civil-rights advocates have successfully sued Portland over unconstitutional sidewalk rules and anti-camping laws that didn’t account for the belongings of homeless Portlanders.

But the enforcement pendulum began swinging last year when the City Council approved a housing emergency and camping became more prevalent. In December and January, police responded to two confirmed stabbings at homeless camps and last month a homeless man was shot at a Southeast Portland camp near a preschool.

PDX street camping

Summer Youth Camp Cancelled – Springwater Unsafe

The following is from a Facebook post by Portland author Joe Kurmaskie. More on Joe’s past bike camps here. More on Springwater conditions and impact on the camp – BikePortland.

Joe Kurmaskie

It’s with deep regret that I’m officially canceling our Portland summer bike camps for the upcoming season. The Springwater corridor has become too unsafe and it is our main pipeline to all the bike adventures we do for the kids each summer – I’ve experienced threats, people with wolverine style weapons on their hands lashing out at me when I cycled by, open drug use, trash thrown into the path while I biked past, and this morning one of my good friends had to call 911 due to a person standing in the open pleasuring themselves while people of all ages ran and bicycled by.

As many of you know I am an advocate for the homeless and for kindness and dignity. I have reached out to city officials and mayor Charlie Hales this winter and spring and received no response. We were set to expand the programs and sessions to other Portland community centers this summer but I can not move forward given the current conditions and the deafening lack of response by the powers that be to our concerns.

My heart breaks for my community and for the kids who will not get this experience.

An invitation from the Portland Bocce League

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 3.20.09 PM

Anyone want to get into bocce this summer? – “The Portland Bocce League is interested in maintaining a relationship with the PDNA, since our principle base of activity is at the north end of the North Park Blocks. We activate the NPB in what we believe is a positive way. We also face the difficulties presented by some park users/campers each week night. 2015 was stressful for our group, too, and left many talking about finding other venues to play bocce.

We would like to get to know other members of the Pearl District community better, and would like to participate in ongoing discussions with the City regarding conditions in the North Park Blocks.”

A Vision for the North Park Blocks

640px-North_Park_Blocks,_Portland,_Oregon_2012Meeting Held with City OfficialsReported by Stanley Penkin

Following the disruptive summer of 2015 in the North Park Blocks (NPB), there has been a good deal of discussion and citizen activism to assure that there is not a repeat occurrence this coming summer, or ever again.

Residents and businesses adjacent to NPB gathered their forces late last summer to engage the city in efforts to promote greater activation of the park and stronger police enforcement of criminal behavior. The Pearl District Neighborhood Association Livability and Safety Committee (LSC) joined the effort and developed an activation work plan to bring more events and activity to the park.

Members of the NPB Consortium and LSC recently met with the  Parks and Recreation Bureau’s top leadership and representatives from the Mayor’s and Commissioner Fritz’ offices to discuss ways to better program the North Park Blocks. There are challenges to holding some events due to fragile grass and tree roots being damaged, but many ideas were discussed including a greater long term vision for the park.

While the major focus of this meeting was on short term solutions, the NPB/LSC group asked the Parks Bureau to take a longer term, holistic view of the park that would coordinate with the upcoming upgrade of the playground, the City’s Green Loop Plan, the anticipated Flanders street bike bridge and the post office site.

The NPB/LSC vision for the North Park Blocks in 2016 and beyond should embody stimulation, movement, beauty and contemplation. The central location, a major connector between China Town, the Pearl and Downtown creating a cultural infusion where residents, students, tourists and all Portlanders come to enjoy communal interaction, commerce and reflection, bustling and brewing with creativity and joy.

Both city staff and NPB/LSC agreed to holding ongoing meetings to continue the conversation with the next meeting anticipated in early April.

Image credit: Wikipedia – North Park Blocks, Portland, Oregon (2012) by Another Believer