Panhandling frustrations

Panhandling remains one of the top concerns for downtown Portland business owners.

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While the one-way streets and limited parking have created some concerns for downtown Portland business owners, panhandling remains one of their top frustrations.

The rising jobless rate and a judge’s ruling last year that declared the city’s “sit-lie” ordinance unconstitutional are among the contributing factors.

“I believe the city could be more proactive in supporting the wishes of the downtown community and the business owners,” said Victoria Taylor, who owns Mercantile Portland on Southwest Alder Street. “All the business owners without a doubt are supportive of any ordinance that prevents people from lounging in front of their stores.”

Like many business owners interviewed for this story, Taylor emphasizes that she sees a difference between those who are homeless because they have no other options and the so-called “road warriors,” a population of young panhandlers that see living on the streets as a lifestyle choice.

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