While they condemn Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, the Seattle wall is growing to keep out the homeless!
The Seattle wall goes around an area where homeless people have attempted to camp on public property. It’s really more of a fence—at least that is proving sufficient for now. To find this in the progressive city that condemns a border wall in the most stringent moralist terms is quite hilarious. Even more hilarious are the resistors to the wall who act like the homeless have a right to live on public property.
The Seattle Times reports, “Seattle is putting fences under its bridges to keep campers out — and some say that’s wrong.”
When Mike O’Brien, Ballard’s Seattle City Council member, biked up the Ballard Bridge last Thursday night, he counted five tents camped under the north ramp.
He went back Tuesday, and those tents were gone. The underpass was fenced off, and workers were drilling holes to put up a 10-foot-high spiked fence to prevent homeless people from camping there.[…]
“So where are they now?” O’Brien said, with construction under the bridge behind him almost drowning him out. “They didn’t go into housing. They likely didn’t move to North Dakota. They’re probably three blocks from here, next to some business.”
O’Brien’s question underscores the ongoing public debate about where the estimated 5,500 unsheltered homeless people in King County should be allowed to camp.
As Seattle has opened six authorized tent camps in the past two-plus years and deployed a team to coax people out of hundreds of unauthorized camps, it also has increasingly used fences and other infrastructure to close off some public spaces.
Seattle’s Department of Transportation (SDOT) installed bike racks in Belltown last year, and told The Stranger in December they were explicitly designed to keep people from camping there.
Backlash has gradually built among City Council members. In December, Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda wrote a letter to SDOT’s director criticizing the use of bike racks to discourage camping.
“Continuing to advance the notion that hostile architecture should be used to inconvenience those who are unsheltered is misguided,” Mosqueda wrote in the letter.
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