Portland to US: Protest barriers interfere with bike lanes

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — In its ongoing clash with federal authorities over the presence of U.S. agents on its streets, the city of Portland has a new area of contention: bike lanes.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation says fencing and concrete barriers around the downtown federal courthouse erected by federal authorities interferes with “one of the busiest bike routes in the United States.” The Hatfield Federal Courthouse is the scene of nightly standoffs between thousands of demonstrators and federal police.

City officials issued a cease-and-desist order Thursday to the federal government, telling it to remove the barriers. The city says the structures block bike lanes and violated Portland codes.

“This fence was constructed without permission or permits on public property, and it is both an abuse of public space and a threat to the traveling public,” Portland Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said in a statement.

Federal officials say they have deployed more than 100 agents to the city to quell violence and unrest stemming from nearly two moths of nightly protests following George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis.

At least 18 people have been arrested this week in Portland, Oregon, on federal charges while protesting the presence of federal law enforcement agents, the state’s top U.S. prosecutor said Friday. The charges involving the protests include assaulting federal officers, arson and damaging federal property,

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