Mayor Calls for Safer Streets and Sidewalks

And he’s not talking about traffic safety…

Dear Community Members,

I’m pleased to announce the Street Access for Everyone (SAFE) Initiative. At next week’s Council session, I’ll be introducing a resolution to find citywide solutions to the issues of street disorder and sidewalk nuisances.

I’ve been hearing concerns from the business community and residents-downtown and in other neighborhoods-about street disorder: things occurring in our business districts like aggressive panhandling, public drinking, intimidation or harassment, and sidewalk obstruction.

Through this resolution, I’ll be creating the SAFE workgroup, comprised of representatives from the police, businesses and social service agencies. By November 1, this group will develop recommendations that preserve the dignity of the homeless while ensuring public safety and livability for Portlanders and people visiting our business areas.

I’m particularly interested in solutions which will get to the root of the problem of street disorder by focusing on community-driven prevention and intervention efforts strategies like neighborhood action plans, partnerships with the police, and basic amenities like public restrooms.

The SAFE workgroup will be holding community forums in June and again in October to seek public input. If you would like to contribute ideas or stay informed of developments and opportunities to give input, please contact jspencer@ci.portland.or.us, or call 823-7715. You can also directly input your idea onto our blog: www.portlandonline.com/mayor/blog.

I hope you will join me in keeping Portland’s streets accessible to everyone.

Sincerely,

Tom Potter

Mayor

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