Mayor Ted Wheeler expanded the Emergency Declaration to Prohibit Camping within High Crash Transportation Corridors (originally issued on February 4th, 2022 to help reduce injuries and deaths among one of Portland’s most vulnerable populations) to also prohibit camping on key walking routes to K-12 schools.
Statement from Mayor Wheeler:
“With limited resources, and heightened demand for services, we must prioritize to help ensure the safety of vulnerable populations in Portland, such as those experiencing homelessness and school-age children.
In February, the Portland Bureau of Transportation released its ‘Vision Zero’ Traffic Crash Report for 2021, which reported 70% of our pedestrian fatalities involved an individual experiencing homelessness.
To better protect vulnerable Portlanders from being exposed to the dangers of camping along freeways, I prohibited camping along high crash corridors with no right of return.
Keeping to my intention to work with the limited resources available to prioritize vulnerable Portlanders, I am expanding this Emergency Declaration to include school-age children.
With the start of the school year approaching, I am taking this additional action to help ensure the safety of school-age children, especially those in elementary and middle schools, as they travel to and from local schools.
School-age children should be able to walk, bike, and ride buses to get to and from schools without potentially dangerous hazards as a result of encampments, including trash, tents in the right-of-way, biohazards, hypodermic needles, and more.
Homeless Portlanders deserve our help and compassion. We have made record investments to provide services to Portlanders experiencing homelessness and worked to improve our services with the Street Services Coordination Center (SSCC). Most homeless Portlanders do not pose a risk to others—but that is not always the case—and that is why I’m taking these actions today.”
Today’s expanded Emergency Declaration will prohibit camping around school buildings and along priority routes to and from schools, prioritizes the work of the Impact Reduction Program to post and remove camps in these areas, and enables them to keep these sites free of camping with no right of return.