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Is Portland, OR Safe?

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NapTown Jim

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Indianapolis
With the madness going on out west we're seriously concerned about our September Amtrak trip to Portland. Does anyone know if Amtrak passengers are being harassed in and around the PDX station?
 

Chris I

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Portland, OR
The Portland station is not close to the current protest activity. It is, however, home to a decently large homeless population. We take the Cascades with our small children several times per year, and we've only had an issue once, on a MAX train at the station closest to Union Station. We just had to move cars to get away from someone that made us uncomfortable, so not really a big deal.

If you don't want to go near the protests, just avoid the area around Lownsdale Square, and the Federal courthouse, which is more south of the typical tourist areas. Stick to the waterfront, central east side, etc.

Also, please wear a mask and practice social distancing when you are in our city. It is a local requirement in all indoor spaces, and outdoors when not socially distanced (6ft+). The weather is great this time of year, and there are plenty of safe outdoor activities. Many restaurants and bars are offering outdoor dining options.
 

20th Century Rider

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The Portland station is not close to the current protest activity. It is, however, home to a decently large homeless population. We take the Cascades with our small children several times per year, and we've only had an issue once, on a MAX train at the station closest to Union Station. We just had to move cars to get away from someone that made us uncomfortable, so not really a big deal.

If you don't want to go near the protests, just avoid the area around Lownsdale Square, and the Federal courthouse, which is more south of the typical tourist areas. Stick to the waterfront, central east side, etc.

Also, please wear a mask and practice social distancing when you are in our city. It is a local requirement in all indoor spaces, and outdoors when not socially distanced (6ft+). The weather is great this time of year, and there are plenty of safe outdoor activities. Many restaurants and bars are offering outdoor dining options.
Max is an exemplary urban rail system... you get off at PDX and get right on... but learn and study the system before hand because you may want to make transfers depending on where you want to go. Portland is a great city but have a plan before you go... many scenic walks where covid is not a fear, but here in Oregon we fully support our governor who says to wear masks; so make sure you bring your mask along. 🤠


 

the_traveler

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Yes, MAX is great to reach by public transportation.

It goes right to PDX (Airport) with the terminus of the Red Line right at the terminal. From PDX (Union Station), it is less than a 1/2 block walk to the Green Line and Gold Line stops at the Greyhound & bus terminal stops.
 

20th Century Rider

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In this election year, the year of national leadership concerns, the year of traumatic Covid virus, and the year of serious incidents regarding human rights and safety, Portland is active with protests. It's what it is.
 

Chris I

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I think that this article deals with the OPs concerns.

The article is accurate, but keep in mind that while we aren't a "big" city, we are still a city. The clashes are occurring in one specific area. Unless you are in that area between 10pm and 6am, you aren't going to have problems. 99% of the city is going about their normal (well, at least normal for Covid-times) lives.
 

NativeSon5859

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I was just in PDX last month for a layover between the westbound EB and the southbound CS. It was a rainy day so I pretty much just stayed inside the station. Got a bite to eat in the station and went outside a few times for some fresh air.
The only people who are allowed in the station are people who are traveling, and there is a visible security presence. I would have taken an Uber to the Japanese Rose Garden if the weather would have been nicer. I love Portland.
 

JoeBas

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I think that this article deals with the OPs concerns.

Possibly. They may be concerned about homeless people asking for handouts. They may be concerned about protesters calling them names or spray-painting their luggage. Or they may be concerned about paramilitary-dressed CBP agents refusing to identify themselves and chucking them into a van in the dead of night.

Me, I know which I'd be most worried about. But I'm just asking the OP for clarification, as each of these concerns warrants a different response.
 

me_little_me

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Possibly. They may be concerned about homeless people asking for handouts. They may be concerned about protesters calling them names or spray-painting their luggage. Or they may be concerned about paramilitary-dressed CBP agents refusing to identify themselves and chucking them into a van in the dead of night.

Me, I know which I'd be most worried about. But I'm just asking the OP for clarification, as each of these concerns warrants a different response.
On the other hand, quite often one of the first two is followed by the boys in blue. So one needs to keep clear of all of them unless one wants to participate.
 

Seaboard92

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If the COVID threat passes some nice activities to consider if they are open is Powell's City of Books which is a local institution. I make several trips a year from the East Coast just to go to Powell's and railfan the Columbia River Gorge. Another fun activity is the Oregon Zoo. The last time I was there the animals were particularly active. And it's home to a narrow gauge tourist train with the last Railway Post Office in the country.
 

me_little_me

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Another fun activity is the Oregon Zoo. The last time I was there the animals were particularly active. And it's home to a narrow gauge tourist train with the last Railway Post Office in the country.
Can you clarify that? The last Narrow Gauge RPO? The last RPO of any gauge manufactured? The last RPO of any gauge in existence? (I know of one at the Southeastern Rwy Museum).
 

Seaboard92

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Can you clarify that? The last Narrow Gauge RPO? The last RPO of any gauge manufactured? The last RPO of any gauge in existence? (I know of one at the Southeastern Rwy Museum).
Last operating RPO. On the Zooliner which is based off of the GM-EMD Aerotrain there is a mail slot in the locomotive that is cancelled as a RPO Stamp. Making it the last of them.
 

Pat Harper

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I think that this article deals with the OPs concerns.

Article mentions unrest over the George Floyd death. That is over and done with. Now they're concentrating on Civil War statues and defunding the police. Stay away from downtown altogether and you should be safe enough. If I were going into Portland, I'd stay in the station unless you have to layover several hours, but don't stray far from the area.
 

Skyline

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Article mentions unrest over the George Floyd death. That is over and done with. Now they're concentrating on Civil War statues and defunding the police. Stay away from downtown altogether and you should be safe enough. If I were going into Portland, I'd stay in the station unless you have to layover several hours, but don't stray far from the area.
How did this term, "defunding police," come to mean something not intended? It implies protesters want to close down police departments in their entirety. Except for a very tiny fringe, that is not true. But they do want certain functions now performed by police to be assumed by more appropriate professionals, and a small percentage of the money used to support police operations to be used for these professionals instead.

Police should be concentrating on real felonies and the more serious misdemeanors. Police involvement in routine traffic stops for minor infractions, many domestic disputes, small-dollar shoplifting, non-violent political civil disobedience and the like detract from the functions police are best trained to handle. Medical, auxiliary, and social-work professionals are better trained to handle the smaller incidents and usually do so without resorting to inappropriate heavy handed tactics. When needed, police can be called upon to assist them.
 

joelkfla

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How did this term, "defunding police," come to mean something not intended? It implies protesters want to close down police departments in their entirety. Except for a very tiny fringe, that is not true.
Because that is the denotation of the words, taken at face value. If the intended connotation is different, then it's a poorly chosen slogan.
 

crescent-zephyr

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Not sure if the OP has been to Portland before.... Portland is a great city but a bit unique. They have a very large homeless population but in my experience they are not aggressive and genuinely thankful if you are able to help them in some way.

Certainly there is a lot going on in Portland right now, this isn’t the place to get into politics but certainly it’s a concerning time in American history. If you are just a casual visitor it seems to me you can easily use common sense and avoid the protest areas. Even in my small town there have been protests around a statue... I just avoid that area when out for walks.
 

tgstubbs1

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Portland, Oregon. Where un-employed hipsters go to retire :cool:

The station is a bit on the 'fringe' of downtown, possibly people sleeping on the sidewalk, but I doubt any problem with protesters in that area. There is MAX rail close by. It's not too far to walk to the Saturday city market area.
 

NapTown Jim

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Indianapolis
Thanks everyone. I have been to Seattle once 12 years ago and San Francisco 34 years ago. Those are my only west coast experiences.

I wasn't interested in diving into a political discussion here. I simply didn't know where the CHAZ 2.0 was being established. I want no part of that mess. I'm grateful to learn that its not that close to the station.

The homeless around PDX station probably isn't any worse than downtown Indianapolis. They don't bother me.

We're going to have a 4 hour layover between the Cascades and our Empire Builder trip back home. Does anyone have any good lunch recommendations?
 

crescent-zephyr

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The homeless around PDX station probably isn't any worse than downtown Indianapolis. They don't bother me.

We're going to have a 4 hour layover between the Cascades and our Empire Builder trip back home. Does anyone have any good lunch recommendations?
Portland’s union station will be a 5 star hotel compared to Indianapolis!

Portland has a lot of great food options. Regarding specialty foods you can find Stumptown Coffee, Voo-Doo Doughnuts and Salt & Straw Ice cream in Portland. (Salt & Straw is incredible!)

If your layover is on a day they are open you may want to just get a quick lunch and visit the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, home of steam locomotives 4449, and 700. Fantastic museum with a great gift shop.
 

Barb Stout

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Mar 13, 2019
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Because that is the denotation of the words, taken at face value. If the intended connotation is different, then it's a poorly chosen slogan.
I agree that it's a poor slogan. When I first heard it, I thought, "Oh, great. Now I'm going to have to spend money and time buying a gun and learning how to use it since there won't be any police around. Oh yay."
 
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