Downtown business owners want to prevent sitting on sidewalks

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by KGW staff

NWCN.com

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 11:19 PM

PORTLAND – Many Portland business owners consistently complain about people on downtown sidewalks harassing shoppers and workers.

Now, a business group is looking to the legislature for help.

The idea is to try to prevent sitting or lying on Portland city streets.

But before the city can pass a new ordinance, the State Legislature must allow one.

A group of business owners and property managers supports the idea, and plan to lobby for it in Salem.

Peter Andrews works with landlords and tenants looking for office space in and around downtown Portland.

"There are certain parts of downtown that have groups that intimidate or make people feel uncomfortable," Andrews said.

"It seems like there's a bigger root to the cause. There should be more resources available to people,” said Portland resident Caela Mitchell. "Everybody's got a right to be in a public space."

Stacey Gibson owns the Subway restaurant on Southwest 6th Avenue. She said aggressive and threatening people constantly sit outside. One time, she said, a man spit on an employee.

Seattle and San Francisco have already passed similar ordinances.

KGW reporter Erica Heartquist contributed to this report.

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