Trash piles up along I-205 multi-use path, neighbors want action

A man walks passed trash on a walking trail. (KATU Photo)

Homeless camps, trash, and sometimes human waste are piling up along some of Portland's most popular multi-use paths, particularly along Interstate 205 between Sandy Boulevard and 96th Avenue.

"I love that we have the path. It's really a nice place to walk my dog and run and just to see my neighbors," said Amy Fellows, who uses the path daily.

Neighbors say this path is getting increasingly difficult to enjoy. Parts of the path are trashed, and at times, unsafe.

"You have to be present, you have to be aware, you have to look people in the eyes, you have to be aware of your surroundings," said Thomas Tuite, a cyclist.

Even those who live on the path say the trash is getting out of hand.

"It's disgusting," said Rob Marks, who is homeless.

"Everything, trash debris, even like so much as feces, I'm like 'bro, come on,'" said Iridessa Sanchez, who is also homeless.

They say they camp along the path sometimes, but claim they cleaned up their areas. However, they say the city isn't making cleanup easy for campers.

"I think if the facilities were there, if the cans were there, I think people would use them," said Marks.

Those who use the path on a regular basis say they are running out of options.

"I think it comes down to the neighbors. I'm not so sure it's something the city will be able to solve," said Tuite.

The city of Portland is now responsible for homeless camp cleanups.

It took over the cleanups from the Oregon Department of Transportation to help streamline the point of contact for neighbors and businesses.

Those who are homeless will get at least two days' notice before cleanup crews come.

Social service agencies will also be available.

ODOT will reimburse the city for cleanup fees.

The goal is to get to all the corridors along I-205, I-405 and 82nd Avenue cleaned up by July.

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