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Hales recommends extending Entertainment District street closures

The City Council will consider extending the weekend overnight street closures in the Entertainment District this Wednesday.

The city has been testing whether the closures on a portion of the Old Town/Chinatown area of downtown will reduce congestion and crime. An ordinance submitted to the council by Mayor Charlie Hales says the closures have achieved both these goals and should be continued.

"During the months of the pilot program, there wed significant public benefits such as crime reduction and less congestion," reads the ordinance.

Hales is proposing to extend the weekend closures until Oct. 27, 2013.

Among other things, the closures were proposed because the sidewalks had been become so crowded with people frequently clubs and taverns that spontaneous fights were frequently breaking out. The ordinance says the closures have produced the overall quality of life in the Entertainment District during such crowded times.

The closures includes portions of Northwest 3rd Avenue from West Burnside to Northwest Everett Street, Northwest Couch Avenue from Northwest 2nd Avenue to Northwest 4th Avenue, and Northwest Davis from Northwest 2nd Avenue to Northwest 4th Avenue. They are scheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and other times specified by the Portland Police Bureau.

According to a financial analysis submitted with the ordinance, the closures cost the city $1,831.10 for a police sergeant and four officers, and $170 for Portland Bureau of Transportation expenses. The ordinance says an effort shall be made to find alternative sources of funds to pay these costs.