Mayor Hales bans camping outside City Hall

Mayor Hales bans camping outside City Hall

PORTLAND, Ore. – The high number of times police have been called to the sidewalk in front of City Hall prompted Mayor Charlie Hales to ban camping there, his spokesman said Friday night.

The area in front of City Hall has been the site of a long-term protest against the city's housing policies and the homeless often camp there.

Police told the mayor they had responded to the block 113 times in the first 180 days of this year, Hales' spokesman Dana Haynes said.

The Portland Police Bureau erected metal signs at City Hall on Friday that say obstruction of the sidewalk along Southwest 4th Avenue is prohibited. It effectively bans camping outside City Hall.

The area is being declared a "high-use pedestrian zone," Haynes said.

KATU's news gathering partners at Willamette Week say evictions will start next week.

Once it is cleared, it will be power-washed.