Trash, rats overrun Springwater Corridor

A homeless camp on the Springwater Corridor along the Willamette River in Portland, Feb. 24, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
A homeless camp on the Springwater Corridor along the Willamette River in Portland, Feb. 24, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Runners and cyclists using the Springwater Corridor are fed up and want the city to crack down on the homeless camps along the popular trail.

The trash piled up high parallel to the Willamette River includes garbage and human waste and attracts rats.

 

Commissioner Amanda Fritz said she understands the neighbors’ concern but there is no simple solution.

“It’s a lot more concerning to me to see people outside and nowhere to go,” she said.

Part of the solution would be to place trash cans and restrooms along the trail, she said. At this time, there are none on that stretch under the Ross Island Bridge.

One of the homeless people at the camp named Richard said that if there were trash bags, “we could bag it up, at least.”

But, Fritz said, there is a lack of city funds to make that happen.

“It’s heartbreaking to be a decision-maker when I know I don’t have the resources and money to be able to take care of people.”

Chronic homelessness has no easy answers.

“When people write to me,” Fritz said, “I write back saying, ‘What do you think the solution should be?'”

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