Specialized street signs land Portland neighborhood in hot water - KPTV - FOX 12

Specialized street signs land Portland neighborhood in hot water

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A group of Northeast Portland neighbors are sick and tired of the parked and abandoned cars on their block, so they got creative to fix the problem.

The neighborhood on NE 42nd and Multnomah is right next to the MAX line, and people who live on the block believe people park on their street because it is free and convenient.  

City law does not allow for drivers to leave their cars on city streets for more than 24 hours.

Neighbors tell FOX 12 they've repeatedly called the city to complain about the situation, but nothing was ever done, so the group decided to go online and have specialized street signs made that tell drivers not to park on their block.

"We've had multiple problems created by people parking here on the street, and we are tired of it, so we solved it," said neighbor Peter Ellenby.

Ellenby says before the signs went up, people would park on every square inch of their block to catch the Max, sometimes leaving their car for days or weeks on end.

"We once had a car covered with leaves it had been there so long, and we started treating it like a joke. We'd put cups on it like it was a table," said Ellenby.

"But it's not just the issue of parking, it's a safety issue for kids on the street. The city says they don't have the resources to enforce the law, but they do. It's us. We can make the signs for them," said Ellenby.

The signs have been up for six months now, seemingly fixing the problem, until Ellenby got a letter addressed from the city.

"We are being threatened with fines," said Ellenby.

It turns out, the neighborhood signs violate city code. The city is now threatening to fine Ellenby $100 if they aren't taken down by the end of the month. The fine goes up to $250 and eventually $1,000 days after that.

Ellenby says he plans to take down the signs, because he's not going to break the law.

But he only hopes the city stands by their own laws, and tickets or tows any cars parked on their street for more than 24 hours.

"It's incredibly frustrating. You're being hypocritical as government when you enforce one law over the other," said Ellenby.

The city's solution is that the neighborhood applies for an area parking permit that lets residents park on the street at any time while visitors are limited to two hours.

The permits cost $60.

"That just doesn't seem right to me," said Ellenby. "Why should I have to pay more money to be able to park on my street, so that other people can't?"

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