PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Dozens of concrete blocks were installed on a road near Oaks Amusement Park along the stretch where the City of Portland cleared out RVs and tent campers that had been there for months.
The blocks were placed along Oaks Park Way by the City of Portland. That road borders Sellwood Riverfront Park and a nature preserve, eventually becoming a private road.
Management at Oaks Amusement Park told KOIN 6 News they were not involved in the decision to place the blocks there or in funding the city project.
Some people who regularly use the nearby park told KOIN 6 News they saw damage to the nature area and trash piled up. But they wish the city had done it differently.
Nels Hall, who uses the park and lives nearby, said he sympathizes with the campers who were pushed out who now have to find another place to live.
KOIN 6 News contacted the Portland Parks & Recreation Department to find out what prompted this move, why they used cement blocks instead of rocks and what the cost was.
Though he did not address the cost issue, Mark Ross told KOIN 6 News the blocks are used to hinder “unauthorized vehicle access and trespassing” and are part of a larger environmental effort.
“None of the community’s parks or natural areas are designed for people to live in, and when PP&R staff encounter people living in parks, we (per longstanding protocol) offer to connect them to social services for assistance. The bureau does not forcibly evict people living in parks or natural areas,” Ross said.