PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A study published by the University of California Berkeley says Portland’s downtown is one of the slowest to recover after the pandemic compared to other larger cities.
The data comes from 62 cities across the U.S. and Canada, with Portland currently ranked 60.
Researchers at U.C. Berkeley mapped two years’ worth of cell phone data to see how many people are going back to downtown businesses such as shops and restaurants.
For the last two years, downtown Portland has consistently ranked in the bottom half, with the exception of one time, at the beginning of the pandemic.
Downtown Portland ranked close to the very bottom starting in September of 2020 after the city experienced a summer of nightly protests that often turned violent.
KOIN 6 News talked to John Horvick with the local polling company, DHM Research, about the concerns about downtown that were in their most recent polling data this spring.
“Visible homelessness, concerns about safety, whether that’s shootings or interacting with people in mental health crisis, trash and litter, boarded up buildings, it’s those sorts of things Portlanders tell us that’s worrisome,” Horvick explained.
The U.C. Berkeley study says downtown Portland has recovered 41% of pre-pandemic traffic.
Only two other cities had a lower recovery rate, Cleveland and San Francisco.