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April 29, 2021

Portland waives $11M fence fine

PORTLAND (AP) — The city of Portland has agreed to waive $11 million in fines against the U.S. government for a fence around the federal courthouse that was blocking a bike lane, city officials said.

Portland Bureau of Transportation spokesman Dylan Rivera said Tuesday the city will forgo the fines as long as the fence is kept off the street, KATU-TV reported.

Last summer during protests sparked by a white police officer killing George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, the federal government put up a fence around the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse to protect it.

It blocked a bike lane that the city called “one of the busiest bike routes in the country.”

On July 23, it sent a “cease and desist” letter to the federal government, demanding they take it down and saying the fence was illegal.

Later that month, the city began fining the federal government $500 for every 15 minutes its fence blocked the public thoroughfare.

The fines reached almost $11 million by early March.

After discussions about whether the city could fine the federal government — and an offer to the federal officials to move the fence to the sidewalk — Rivera said the city agreed in late March to waive the fines as long as the fence stays off the street.




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