PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On Tuesday, multiple homeowners in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood woke up to an unsettling sight. On the sidewalk, directly in front of their homes, were big red Xs.
The Xs, conveniently, were in front of the only homes in the Southeast Portland neighborhood that had signs out front supporting traffic changes on the busy street. Those residents were concerned they were being targeted just because they were on one side of the traffic discussion, a hot-button issue among the neighbors.
“We may disagree, but we’re still families and people who live in the same neighborhood and we should have a normal conversation about it rather than petty crime,” Christian Columbres, a resident who said. “Really that’s all it is.”
On Wednesday, the neighborhood discussed more than the possible traffic changes — they discussed the red Xs, too. The neighborhood board did agree to write a letter condemning the vandalism.
Joe Cadwell said at the meeting that he would be forming a new neighborhood watch program to stop the graffiti, like the red Xs.
“I’ve lived in the area for 20 years now, and it just seems like there’s a marked increase in the number of graffiti,” Cadwell said. “There has (also) been an increase in package theft with the home delivery of packages.”
Rebecca Casanova was one of the home owners that woke up to a red X in front of her house and her “safe Lincoln Street” sign. She believes it was a target, too.
“It was clearly a message from someone that we should stop talking about the Greenway or advocating for the Greenway,” she said.
Still, despite the red X, Casanova said she doesn’t plan to take her safe sign down.
“We didn’t take our sign down,” she said, “and we won’t take our sign down.”