Salem task force renews effort to clear city sidewalks

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A proposed ordinance that would ban people from sitting or lying down on Salem sidewalks has been revived.

The Statesman Journal reported Monday that the proposal by the city’s Downtown Homeless Solutions Task Force also seeks to prohibit leaving personal items on sidewalks.

The task force was created last October after the city council rejected a similar proposal.

City officials did not say why they decided to reintroduce the proposed ban.

A report by the task force cites problems observed by downtown businesses and shoppers such as public urination and defecation; homeless people using customer restrooms to bathe and wash clothes; and behaviors such as drug use, littering, vandalism, shoplifting and solicitation.

Salem Urban Development Director Kristin Retherford says some business owners are supporting the proposal.