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Portland Mayor Plans To Clear Homeless Camps From Bike Path


A city sign posted at the entrance to a homeless camp on the Springwater Corridor bike path. Someone has spray painted it so it no longer reads "No Camping."

A city sign posted at the entrance to a homeless camp on the Springwater Corridor bike path. Someone has spray painted it so it no longer reads "No Camping."

Amelia Templeton/OPB

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales says the city will move hundreds of homeless campers off a southeast Portland bike path.

The Springwater Corridor bike trail runs from Portland to Boring. Hundreds of homeless campers settled in this summer. In places, the camps started to look more permanent. Some people built small wooden shelters. Others set up outdoor kitchens and solar showers.

Neighbors complained they felt unsafe.

Now Hales says safety and environmental issues on the trail have reached a tipping point. In Portland, the people living on the trail will have the rest of July to find somewhere else to go.

“Through partnerships with social service providers and public safety, we will clear the area humanely and compassionately. Then we will clean the area to restore it to the public park it was intended to be,” the mayor wrote in a press release Friday.

On August 1, a crew will remove all belongings, garbage, and biohazards from the area.

The city is opening a new homeless shelter nearby. Hales says that realistically not everyone will find space in a shelter, and the city will continue to tolerate people sleeping outside in small groups.

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