PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland Mayor Charlie Hales is ordering that a public greenway be reopened immediately after a group of condo owners blocked access to it.
“It makes me want to cry really,” said Marilyn Hoffman.
Hoffman lives at the McCormick Pier Condominiums. She and her husband moved in about four years ago.
“One of the things we love the most is the waterfront and we love the plantings,” said Hoffman. “We love the nature, we love the wildlife.”
There is no better place to take it all in than from the greenway below the condos. But Hoffman says it is not safe and she says the homeless camp under the Steel Bridge is to blame.
“Six months ago it was trash,” said Hoffman. “Now it is defecation, a lot of needles, they’re destroying our landscape.”
The board of directors for the condominium complex decided to lock the gates and block access to the greenway. The problem is that the greenway is a public right-of-way and it should be open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. People are taking notice of the closure.
“What gives them the right to infringe on everyone,” asked Jeff Beaudry. “I’m sure you’ve seen all the runners who had to change their route.”
Mayor Charlie Hales wants the condo owners to reopen the greenway immediately.
“I’m not going to permit people to take (a) public right-of-way hostage for political purposes,” he said in a statement. “People cannot slam their doors and make homelessness go away.”
Hoffman says that is not their intention.
“There are laws being broken and we can’t do anything about it," she said.
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