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Heated Debate Over Kesey Square Ban

5-27 keseyEUGENE, Ore. — Kesey Square may soon be off limits for part of the night.

The City of Eugene is considering an overnight ban that would restrict people from the popular hangout spot and the community is speaking up about it.

Public comment was heated at the public hearing Tuesday night.

Some local business owners were in favor of the ban saying the square at night has turned into a public safety issue.

But others said the potential ban would violate their rights.

The ban would close Broadway Plaza/Kesey Square from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“I have to deal with picking up fortified alcohol empties, broken glass, broken drug paraphernalia that’s just scattered about,” said business owner Todd Patopea.

“I’ve lived on the streets for about ten years and honestly I’ve never seen a city work so hard to pretend that they’re helping the homeless and really they’re just back dooring it so where they’re trying to get us out of here,” said homeless citizen Sparrow RainGarden.

The plan also makes it illegal to have unlicensed dogs inside of the area described as the downtown activity zone.

A number of people said adding a public bathroom would help some sanitation issues.

But many said limiting access during certain hours might not be the solution to any issues downtown.

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  1. Patrick says:

    I have lived in Eugene for 19 years and now work downtown near Kesey Square. I have a difficult time understanding why community members would be opposed to this ban. Kesey Square was not intended to be a bathroom or a campsite for loiterers. If you’ve ever walked through the square, even in daylight hours, it’s not the most comfortable stroll in town. If we want our downtown to be something we are proud of and beneficial to local businesses – support this ban.

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