Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler bans homeless from camping along common school walking routes

The Mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, plans to ban homeless camping along the city’s common walking routes to schools.

The announcement was first reported by The Oregonian, who obtained a copy of the draft which declared children going to and from schools are the most vulnerable of any population and face potential harm and danger by trash, biohazards or restricted rights of way that also include tents and makeshift dwellings. 

According to KOIN Portland, the draft would ban setting up camps within 150 feet of any school building and along any routes where students are likely to walk to school. The Portland Bureau of Transportation had before created paths which they declared, “primary investment routes” and have targeted them for traffic safety projects.

“School-age children should be able to walk, bike, and ride buses to get to and from schools without potentially dangerous hazards as a result of encampments, including trash, tents in the right-of-way, biohazards, hypodermic needles, and more,” Wheeler said.

In February, Wheeler issued a separate emergency order that banned the homeless from camping on or near highways and high-traffic areas.

“We can no longer justify allowing our most vulnerable community members to be exposed to the dangers of camping in freeway and high crash corridors,” Wheeler said at the time, citing a report which found that 70% of pedestrians killed in Portland traffic incidents in 2021 were homeless.




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