Oh, that Portland Parade Sidewalk Crisis

Leave it to Portland Commissioner Leonard to make front page news about banning reserving sidewalks during the 100th anniversary of the Rose Festival Parade. Leave it to the vivacious mind of Steve Buckstein of Cascade Policy Institute to offer a free market solution by suggesting people pay the city for reserving sidewalks:

“[A]s Rose Parade day approaches, sidewalk space along the route quickly becomes scarce. Too many of us want to occupy the same spots along the route. How do we resolve the inevitable conflicts that result?

We can fight for sidewalk space, the strong pushing out the weak. We can duct tape off areas or rely on common courtesy. Or we can turn to the science that humans have developed to deal fairly with the allocation of scarce resources: economics. The economic law of supply and demand tells us that the more people want something the higher the price of that resource becomes.

But again, this being Portland, we might recoil at the thought of charging to occupy a space on a public sidewalk. But maybe not if we realize that charging could help solve two problems.
First, it could clear up who has the right to sit where along the parade route, reducing the potential for conflict”¦And second, the money could go to the Rose Festival Association, which has had serious financial problems over the last few years.


A follow-up to Steve’s Oregonian letter might be, why not let the business owner be in charge of their sidewalk? After all they have to pay it’s maintenance.

As the ideas fly on how to tackle this life threatening issue, what is your idea?

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  • DeVietro

    I am all for it. But what about the poor homless guys that cant pay their fee’s. Ah they should be out looking for a job anyway.

    • iop

      speakign of homeless. If you chalk a sidewalk for the parade Randy wants you arrested, but if a homeless guy takes the sidewalk as a home that is freedom of speech but teh chalk isnt?

  • CRAWDUDE

    I laughed when I heard the old PERS trough feeder Randy Leonard sounding so indignant that some taped off a parade viewing spot. Is that all you have to do with your time?

    Hey Randy, how about charging your fat cat friends in the condos downtown property tax? Portland loses 30+ million a year on that scam.

    How about weeding out the cops and firemen on lifetime disability that aren’t disabled? Can you do that former Firemans Union President?

    What would possess the citizens of a city to elect and continue to re-elect someone who was president of a public union so rife with corruption? Keep Portland weird? Sounds like someones keeping Portland stupid!

  • Captain_Anon

    I say ban the tape and chaulk. And i think it would be hilarious if the Mercury people did go through tonight and rip it all up/wash it off.

    • CRAWDUDE

      Actually I’m with ya on that one Capt. If I didn’t have to work tomorrow I might go down and help 😉

      • Captain_Anon

        I know the rain washed some of the chaulk away, but did any groups actually go down and rip up the tape??

        • CRAWDUDE

          I saw on the news that some people did and were heckled by the early camping spot savers but no physical stuff. I’ve never been to the Parade since they are always crowded functions.

          I was however very surprised to hear that people were allowed to mark out their spots with tape and even spray paint. Hmmm….can we do that for our parking spots downtown? lol!

          Of course that hack Randy Leonard opened his mouth, now that is something that would be useful to tap over!

          • Captain_Anon

            I’m glad we can finally agree on something!

            I’m glad some went down and ripped up the tape. the spray paintings should be fined, just as we would kids who spray houses. the streets are public property!! not thier own to do with as they wish. I think Randy went overboard with his soapbox. I think the region should be able to enjoy the parade, not JUST portlanders. but it shoudl def. be first come first seated. i went to the parade ONCE. got there an hour early and was regulated to leaning against a building because every single spot was taken, even if the people weren’t there. the other squatters protected the other squatters’ spots. grrr

  • Jerry

    The homeless should get vouchers for their spaces.