If this is where people enter and exit the MAX, and tents and other debris were dangerously blocking the entrance/exit, thus forcing people into the tracks, then the concrete planters are a huge benefit even if they otherwise sit empty. Alex Zielinski clearly operates from the privilege of being an able-bodied person who can simply step around or over sidewalk obstructions, or hop over a tent while exiting the MAX - many of us and our family members are not so lucky.


If you look at the picture again, "Flavio", then you may notice that there is no MAX stop there. So, your argument falls flat on its privileged face.


Why not spend all the money spent on these types of things (and the cost of labor that goes along with it) on actually helping homeless people?


'bout damn time. Live near a homeless camp and really see how things are. No one has a right to our public spaces. They are all of ours and I know everyone is tired of them covered in trash and smelling of piss, but for some reason people afraid of voicing that. There's places for help if they need it. Our public spaces aren't the option.


Even if Flavio's conjecture were accurate, his attitude conflating the notion of privilege with humanistic concern for those in peril, exposed to the elements, without resources, for WHATEVER reason they are so affected, belies his purported perspective of rationality; he is in fact a shit with flawed ideas.


Blame the planters for the problem. Did you bark at them too?


Alex, how many of those displaced by these planter have you invited to sleep in your front yard/sidewalk?


Alex Zielinski, I'd love to take you on a tour of criddlers' lair at the crack of the dawn sometime.

These things serve the purpose of creating an architectural barrier to undesirable activities like unauthorized bike chop shops and felony crime relating to conducts prohibited by state and federal law in addition to international treaty regarding psychotropic substances. Please review the theme behind many of stabbings that happened in the skid row recently.


More of these planters please. This is a city full of green spaces. There is no reason they must cluster on the sidewalks and create another hepatitis outbreak like in San Diego. Residents who support this city have rights too.


Omagawd, it must be agony for you people, trying to sleep in your warm bed while knowing there are all those dirty poors outside being soooo mean to you.

When oh when will YOUR needs finally be addressed??


One could always try to remove them. I know an old idea that there is no app for, yet give it a try. It might still work.


It would be nice to see a front page story on the bad behavior SOME of the homeless engage in. You know, stuff like drug dealing, public drug use, used needles strewn about, piles of garbage, piles of stripped bike frames, gun caches, fires, fighting and urinating/defecating in public.

Most all other media outlets in Portland publish livability stories with it comes to this meth epidemic/homeless issue, but not The Mercury. The Mercury only posts either positive stories on the homeless, exonerating their bad behavior and name-calling homeowners who have issues with said bad behavior, or weepy "poor wittle me" stories.

Oh yes, they'll call you a "NIMBY" if you do not fully accept these bad behaviors, but when asked if they'd like to house some of these homeless, they'll call the suggestion ludicrous...without ever actually answering.

This meth epidemic/homeless issue will never be solved when certain players like The Mercury, left-wing homeless advocate extremists ignore the reality of the situation.

I, for one, welcome concrete planters on every street as an alternative to garbage piles, used drug needles, stripped bike frames, urine/poop and tents scattered everywhere.


Alex, Invite them to sleep on your front porch. That would be more comfortable than this place. Or better, invite them in so they can sleep in a warm house.


I walk through there almost everyday to work. I’m glad they’re displacing the homeless from there. It’s dangerous because there is so little foot traffic that it’s often me walking through a drug den full of homeless people.


Gee, Euphonius, sounds like you're the odd person out here. Maybe the 'Merc can take #13 up on his/her/their offer for a tour of Criddle Country, maybe do a couple interviews, ask for proof of purchase on the dozens of bikes piled up, etc. No need to carry mace or a taser, these are all gentle souls just simply down on their luck a bit.


Well, yeah they ARE concrete, but, as Everyone knows, concrete is Brittle.
Careful you don't Bump them, too hard!

(NOT that I'd EVER recommend it)


Whoever put them there, assuming it wasn't the city, is doing the same as the campers; dumping their personal stuff in the public right of way to secure it for their private use. It is wrong in both cases.


Blah, Blah, Blah!
The only problem with these planters is that they don't displace the vagrants 20 miles out of town!


Oh look, something else for privileged white people to virtue signal over. Please, tell us why you believe these people aren't capable of supporting themselves.


@ 25 "Please, tell us why you believe these people
aren't capable of supporting themselves."

Sure, I'll give it a stab, OJ:

medical bankruptcies
& lack of adequate (affordable) medical care
employment cutbacks / outsourcing and the
elimination of (family-wage paying) Union Jobs from America
shit wages
disappearing social safety net
massive student debt
our current Every Man for Hisself ideology
and sky high housing costs.

Other than that, they just must be Losers
and Deserve to fail.

'Cause, Life's Fair!


Oops, sorry, OJ -- almost forgot: Emergencies.

Know how many famblies in this, the Richest Country
on the Planet have LESS THAN $500 in Savings
(according to Left-leaning Forbes magazine) ?

I do: 63%.


@26 Why did you leave out addiction and criminal history?

Are you seriously saying that the group of white tweekers illegally camping near the North Vancouver overpass that I pass by every morning are there because of the things you listed?

Odd that, say, massive student debt or a divorce would cause such a massive pile of garbage, a stack of stripped bike frames, open drug dealing and urinating into the slough (which I’m seen them do more than once) and creating environmental damage. Very odd, indeed..


What's "virtue signaling"?


@28 -- Yeah, right, Mr. Banter, all that shit takes place in a Vacuum.
Nothing is EVER connected to anything else...

Say, Mr. Banter -- have you seen Chris Hedges' and Joe Placo's brilliant, eye-opening tome "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt" ? From their review in the New York Times:

"This book is a collaboration between Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco, showing us daily life in four centers of 21st-century American poverty. Hedges’ contribution — a combination of reportage and commentary — is in a long tradition of literary journalism. Sacco’s is the sort of graphic art popularized by Art Spiegelman in “Maus.” Both writers have decades of experience as correspondents in war zones, but in “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” they turn their attention to the bombed-out and collapsed areas of their own country.

Sacco’s sections are uniformly brilliant. The tone is controlled, the writing smart, the narration neutral; we are allowed to draw our own conclusions. Hedges sees this book as a call to revolution, and as with most works in which the author’s philosophical and political beliefs are aired in an unfiltered manner, a lot of what you appreciate about Hedges’ writing will depend on how closely you identify with his politics.

Anyone who grew up near a postindustrial area — who has seen a middle-class town become a pocket of destitution — will not find any one chapter in this book too shocking. What is shocking is the degree to which this depth of poverty is found everywhere, from rural Indian reservations to near-slave conditions in Florida tomato fields. These are not pleasant stories. They are the very sort of thing we all prefer to forget so that we can focus on our daily lives, and this makes it all the more important that they are recorded."

Check it out -- it's an Eye-Opener.


@30 Thanks for not answering my questions. Pretty typical of left-wing extremists.

Funny how right-wing and left-wing extremists have so much in common with one another...


Oh, goody, you didn't READ the thing.

Not to worry -- the FOX is on!

(see how that works?)


Still haven't answered my original questions. I'm still on Point A, while you've zoomed all the way to Point J.

I'm more of an A to B to C to D kind of person, while you seem like a very emotional and illogical person (extremist).

Care to finally give my questions an answer? ;)


That's okay, I never read yours, either.

Happy Holydays!

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