If you’ve noticed how several public schools have recently had their campuses fenced off and locked away from the public, WillametteWeek has investigated and found that it was done primarily in response to trespassers. Unfortunately the editors chose the secondary “irresponsible dog owners” angle, knowing that leash laws and dog poop bags would generate more clicks than yet another story about the continued decline of Portland livability:
Then, earlier this year, the district constructed a chain-link fence around the entire field at Hosford “due to strangers coming on to our campus during school hours,” wrote interim principal Joe Mitacek to school parents in a newsletter on April 24. “I can say since it was installed it has helped prevent heavily intoxicated people from coming near our students multiple times.”
This is frightening and unacceptable for all the obvious reasons, but perhaps we should have seen this coming, given the unsafe reality of our present day multi-use-paths, sidewalks, etc. We will keep losing access to public amenities as long as we refuse to address the rampant criminal behavior on our streets. I’ve already started to route around the 205 path because it has been surrendered to these very same “heavily intoxicated people”. Same for the Peninsular Crossing Trail and portions of Marine Drive. How much of our quality of life are we willing to cede before we decide we’ve had enough?