Portland’s downtown area is dirty, unsafe and uninviting and residents in the metro area of the city don’t expect to visit it as often, shows a poll commissioned by The Oregonian, quoted by New York Post.
They described the city’s core, where more than 100,000 people worked there prior to the pandemic, as destroyed, trashed and sad, and this perception could have a serious impact on the city’s recovery.
In the poll, 63 percent of respondents said they see downtown as less safe, 86 percent said they feel safe in their own neighborhoods. About 85 percent said downtown was important, or very important, to the city’s economy while fewer protests would make the city more appealing to 55 percent of respondents.
The city became a symbol of the worst unrest triggered by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May, but the mayor said last month it was time to “take our city back” from violent protesters.
Poll respondent Myrna Brown said that before the pandemic she frequently visited downtown, soaking in the sights and festivals with her 13-year-old son.
“He’s very afraid to go downtown now,” said Brown. “He loved to go down just to the waterfront and walk around. He loved to go to Saturday Market. These are things that cannot happen anymore.”