Camping with the 1%

I drive a car on Portland freeways. I know, it's a crime against humanity, but I don't have time to deal with transit, and I'm not going to move my home or change jobs because the car haters at City Hall want me to. I got here first.

As a freeway driver, I see a lot of on and off ramps, and in Portland, that means a lot of homeless campers and their garbage. It's interesting to see where the disgrace starts and ends. When you're coming into town from the west on U.S. 26, for example, it doesn't hit until you get through the Vista Tunnel. And then as soon as you emerge into the daylight, bam, instant Third World. Filth galore. The same filth month after month. No one will clean it up.

Interstate 405 is really bad, all the way through. At Burnside/Couch southbound, it's beyond depressing. And that Kerby Avenue ramp – the one that connects to Emanuel Hospital – what an embarrassment to anyone who lives here.

But travel a little down I-5, and by the time you get to the Terwilliger Boulevard southbound off-ramp, it's been a different story. There were campers there for a long time – with a Fred Meyer across the street, it was a convenient location – and things got really gross last fall. At one point, the trash was spilling onto the road, creating quite a hazard. But then the Oregon Department of Transportation showed up and assessed the situation. With a couple of days, they had cleared all the campers out and cleaned up the mess.

I wondered why that off-ramp got such preferential treatment, but then I realized, it may be because it's the ramp to the most expensive homes in Portland, in the Dunthorpe enclave just beyond the city limits. Those folks have friends in high places. Always have.

Well, as of this past weekend, the campers are back at Terwilliger. A big old tent is pitched there, and the squalor-fest is about to resume. We'll see how long it goes on before the dime is dropped and the sweepers show up again. Some off ramps are more equal than others.


  1. In the depression they called these large encampments of the homeless a Hooverville I propose we call them now Trump Plaza.

    1. I would suggest another name as most of the filth is in Democrat run cities.

    2. Yeah, I think this is Wheelerville.

  2. Stop voting for enablers- easy as that. Maybe the hill folks will finally start a referendum to ban camping or fund an anti-camping candidate.

  3. Okay, Tramp Plaza. More descriptive anyway.

  4. How about Hardesty Hideaway?


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