- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Portland is fining the federal government over the courthouse siege — for blocking a bike lane.

The city transport office is fining Uncle Sam “$500 for every 15 minutes” the path has been blocked since a fence was set up Feb. 22 outside the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland.

“As of yesterday, the federal government owes us $192,000 and counting,” Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation, said Tuesday.

On Feb. 23, according to Portland TV station KATU, the department sent a cease-and-desist letter to the U.S. government, demanding its removal, calling that section of Southwest Main Street between 2nd and 3rd avenues “one of the busiest bike routes in the country.”

There hasn’t been much bike traffic in recent months because of Portland’s protest culture, which has resulted in weeks of nightly riots outside the courthouse.



The violent attacks on federal property have prompted the federal government to send extra officers to protect the facility, accusing local authorities in Portland of refusing to do so.

But the city is willing to demand money from the federal government.

Ms. Eudaly posted a statement Tuesday on the city’s website about what she called Portland’s “federal occupation,” including the fence.

She accused the feds of not responding to the Bureau’s cease-and-desist notice.

“We are assessing the maximum fine of $500 for every 15 minutes the fence obstructs our street, and we are investigating other legal remedies available to us,” she said.

She acknowledged though that the city is afraid to enforce its own ordinance.

“Typically, we would send a maintenance crew or contractor to remove such an obstruction, but I will not send workers into harm’s way. Yes, I am afraid to direct workers to do their job and enforce our laws against the federal government — I hope that gives everyone reading this pause,” she wrote.

But the city is not afraid of the federal government.

“We intend to collect,” she wrote.

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