Homeless Advocates Push SW Ankeny to Include Tables for Non-Paying Public


So they bitch when a few square feet of Old Town is roped off for people who are not currently the filthy masses splayed on every single sidewalk and corner for blocks around?

Building after building full of bums lining the blocks around Burnside for miles?

It's not enough for you?!
Christ, I actually agree with D.

Seriously, though. The sit-lie law has repeatedly wound up in court and we have homeless folks camped out on every corner, bus stop and park bench downtown. With organizations like Sisters of the Road, JOIN and others, we have extremely good resources for people experiencing homelessness and a generally generous and accepting citizenry.

I'm all for equity and will continue to support our local groups working to end homelessness, but this is just a silly bone to pick. You're upset about paying customers being able to sit at tables adjacent to the restaurants they're patronizing to eat some oysters because a homeless person won't have a table to sit at while they don't order anything from an adjacent restaurant? Are the sidewalk tables at Hopworks or Rock Bottom or Morning Star required to have a "Reserved for Homeless Non-Customers" section?

I'm sure this is a well-intentioned consideration, but it just seems absurd to expect that, when planning a "European-style promenade," we would spend additional money to provide seating for homeless people. Say goodbye to the allure of this promenade to tourists and suburbanites walking through our livable town.
You mean once-livable city.

And homeless guy 'taking a break?'

From what?! Taking more handouts and shooting up?!

I know there are those who have 'fallen through the cracks' and deserve help (that's already available) - but they definitely ain't the ones lining the streets of this city.
I would gladly pay additional tax dollars for measures that would genuinely help homeless people, but the requests from homeless advocates in this situation are a joke.

[warning, sarcasm ahead]

Having dedicated tables for non-paying, presumably homeless folks on this block will immediately solve the homelessness problem in Portland. I'm also sure that enjoying a seat at one of the requested tables would address the individual needs of each homeless person who sits at one of them.

While we're at it, homeless people should also get their own ride at the Rose Festival when the public space of the riverfront blocks are closed for that event. And their own beer tent at the beer festival on the same public property.

[back to being serious]

Homelessness is a serious problem/issue that calls for serious solutions. Worrying about a dumb table or two on one small block of downtown is ridiculous and does nothing to address the underlying issues that need to be addressed.
If we set the homeless on fire, we could save a lot of money on street lamps.

Just sayin'.
It's very simple: what right does Council have to take away public space for the exclusive use of private enterprise, without consideration of broader public access? It's not even about homeless people per se. If your intent is to increase public utility of a given space, walling it off 100% for private interests is a counterintuitive step.
I'm in Old Town all the time. I live there, work there, and find it totally livable.

Old Town has been more or less designated as Portland's homeless quarter, so planning there should have the homeless in mind. If we're going to corral them into one part of the city, we should plan around and for them in that part of the city.
(That should be "hang out there" rather than "live there," though I feel like that sometimes. Stupid inability to edit comments.)
hank you torridjoe. This isn't even a homelessness issue, but rather an issue with the use of public spaces. While I think the idea of closing Ankeny to car traffic is a good idea and will be great business for those couple of restaurants and bars on that part of the street, the city should not be taking away public space. If we can have a compromise where the businesses allow some public use of the outdoor seating area, maybe putting some benches in the middle, then it will be a space everyone can enjoy. If two people taking a walk downtown want to just sit and rest for a minute, then they can use that space as well without having to be paying customer - homeless or not.

Raising a concern about one block may seem nit-picky, but if people don't speak up and let City Council know that we don't want them selling off public spaces to private interests, then it's important to bring up (even in small instances such as this) and make sure public space is being preserved.
This is a Portland kind of problem.

There should be a website called "Problems Portlanders Have", though I guess Blogtown comes pretty close.
Another example of why Portland will always be decades behind the rest of American major cities.
I am a non-homeless cheap bastard who also hangs out in Old Town (for my cruel, cruel job) and I like the idea of blocking off the street and having some tables I can sit at without eating at one of the restaurants. Although, frankly, I probably will so I can have an amazing Bloody Mary at Dan & Louis. Mmmm....

Also, I don't think the homeless are particularly problematic for my livability/hang-out-ability. (hey there, The Right Reverend Rocktimus Prime!) The professional drug dealers over the winter were intimidating. And the sexy party people are always intimidating for a slob like me.
This outcry over this is ridiculous, while this is public space, these restaurants will be paying the city to use the space. How is this any difference then cordoning off parts of one of the parks or streets when a event is occurring?
Seriously: this is still public space. The tables, however, are permitted like sidewalk tables and will be provided and paid for by the businesses. This is just ridiculous anti-business whining from our city's wonderful "advocates."
As a Portlander wandering through Times Square yesterday, I noticed hundreds of public tables not tied to any particular business. It didn't really seem like the end of the world. Though I agree with the Blogtown mob that we can suggest such things without the condescending speeches about equity. It's just a fucking bench.