The city is punishing people under its sidewalk obstruction ordinance, while ignoring unlicensed sidewalk signs because it doesn't want to harm small businesses, said the city's sign specialist, Janice Dole, at last week's Street Access for Everyone committee meeting. The mayor's office and Portland Business Alliance have been arguing all along that the sidewalk obstruction ordinance was about providing equal access to the sidewalk for everyone, and that the law was not targeted at people, especially any specific group of people. But the city has yet to punish a single unlicensed sign under the ordinance. Meanwhile, more than 20 homeless people have been cited, and many more have been warned. In an effort to go after people with unlicensed signs, the Portland Business Alliance's Clean and Safe officers have been logging their contacts with unlicensed sign owners. In March, they logged 117 conversations with unlicensed sign owners, but the city has not followed up with fines for any of them. MATT DAVIS


Calling the Columbia River Crossing project a "monster bridge," a group of citizen activists launched the website last week to counter the proposed $4 billion, 12-lane interstate bridge. Instead, the group is calling for a phased alternative—implementing transit and tolls before building new highway lanes between Portland and Vancouver—that aligns with the Coalition for a Livable Future's "Climate Smart" resolution. (That resolution, which calls "for a Columbia River Crossing project that reduces the growth of driving to help us create a sustainable future and meet our climate change goals," has gained the support of groups like the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, 1000 Friends of Oregon, and the local Sierra Club chapter.)

"As a group we have chosen to emphasize not who we are, but what we have to say," according to the Smarter Bridge site, which encourages people to contact the groups supporting the Climate Smart resolution to find out how to get directly involved in opposing the bridge proposal. AMY J. RUIZ