After two days of civil unrest, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has extended a citywide curfew for a second night. One result: Public transit—including e-scooters—will be temporarily suspended in the areas where the protests have concentrated.
On Saturday, Wheeler implemented a curfew across Portland after a Friday vigil for George Floyd, a black man killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, ended in a riot downtown. Clashes between police and protestors continued Saturday, in Portland and across the country, prompting Wheeler to renew the curfew Sunday.
As a result, TriMet announced it is stopping bus, MAX and street car service in downtown Portland for the evening. In addition, scooter companies have been ordered to suspend operations throughout Southwest and Northwest Portland, as well as the Central Eastside and the Lloyd District.
"In these areas, companies have implemented geofences, disabling scooters so they cannot be used, and company staff have been physically removing scooters from the right-of-way," Jacob Sherman, manager of the city's e-scooter program, wrote in an email to a constituent. "This began yesterday and I am told should be completed today."
The concern over the prevalence of e-scooters was raised by Bob Weinstein, an organizer for Save Our Sidewalks, an anti-scooter lobbying group. In an email to Sherman, Weinstein wrote that news and eyewitness accounts from this weekend's disturbance reported scooters being used as projectiles to smash store windows.
Sherman wrote that both Lime and Spin have sent crews to retrieve scooters in advance of the curfew. According to Weinstein, however, many scooters remained on the streets of Northwest Portland as of 5 pm Sunday.
Tonight's curfew goes into effect at 8 pm and lasts through 6 am Monday. The Oregon Department of Transportation announced shortly after 6 pm that it had closed freeway exits into downtown Portland—a move without precedent in recent memory.
"At the request of the Portland Police Bureau, ODOT has closed freeway off-ramps leading to downtown Portland," ODOT spokesman Don Hamilton wrote. "This includes off-ramps from U.S. 26, I-5, I-84 and I-405. We expect these closures to be in place until midnight tonight but conditions may change as we continue working with the Portland Police Bureau."