Revised: January 2019
By Sarah Owens and Michael Livingston
"sit-lie" ordinance. See here.
We can't quite figure out which part of the Salem Revised Code constitutes the "sit-lie" ordinance, but we're surmising it's somewhere in Chapter 95 (Miscellaneous) -- possibly SRC 95.700 (Pedestrian Interference).
As Councilor Kaser explained it, one may stand, sit or lie on a sidewalk, as long as one is not impeding pedestrians. One may also lean on or back up against a building, if one is handy, as long as the building isn't posted with "No Trespassing" signage, or the signage fails to include the correct code reference. So, you'd think it'd be okay to sleep on a bench, as they're out of the way of pedestrians. Presumably, that's why they're being removed from around Liberty Plaza, and, as we reported last week, from outside the Center Point office building on Cottage Street, not so much to prevent people from sleeping on them, perhaps, as to prevent them answering the call of nature on nearby properties.
|Bench ruins outside Center Point office building|
The U. S. District Court ruled Portland's "sit-lie" ordinance unconstitutional, back in 2009, and the city's not tried to fix it, for reasons one may imagine. Does Salem's decision to consider a rewrite of its ordinance signal a shift away from its oft-stated view that "we're not going to arrest our way out of this"? Seems kinda like it, but we'll wait and see what Chief Moore has to say. In related news, it seems that the Urban Development Department is reporting that City funds will be used to return two “Arta Potties”, removed last fall from their locations behind the Bishop Building and on Front Street, back to downtown, though it's not known when. Seems like adding toilets makes more sense than removing benches, but there is the ongoing cost to consider.
Mike Rideout, who resigned in late 2014. Among the challenges he faced were serving on the MWHI Task Force and the decimation of his overflow capacity by the fire marshal during one of the coldest winters ever. We found Bruce to be thoughtful, direct and very hospitable (UGM hosts the Emergency Housing Network's monthly meetings that includes lunch). Another recent shift that feels like a loss is Salem Health's decision to terminate the original joint management agreement that formed OHSU Partners and also joined Salem Health's and OHSU's financial "bottom line." According to information given Salem Health's Community Sounding Board, "the structure was both innovative and complex and simply wasn't working in the way it was originally intended."