Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler plans emergency ban on homeless camping along dangerous roadways

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler will issue a state of emergency order Friday that aims to allow the city to more easily remove homeless encampments from roadsides and other places deemed physically dangerous to campers, according to four sources who have been briefed on the plan.

The decision comes amid an alarming rise in homeless pedestrians fatally struck by cars along major roadways, a development that was noted in the city’s official summary of traffic fatalities issued Wednesday. Across Portland, areas abutting the shoulders of freeways and major arterials are often visibly lined with tents and makeshift dwellings.

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