Has downtown Portland become a haven for bums / transients / panhandlers and crack addicts? Maybe it's just me but I can't ever recall there being this many out on the street. I run a lap of the bridges a couple of times a week. The old harmless alcoholic is not so common, there seem to be groups of unemployed youth with their dogs living on the street. Their tactics can get downright aggressive and seeing the drug exchanges on a daily basis in broad daylight is really starting to bug me (along with urine and feces in public parking lots)
I'm a pretty calloused city person and have lived in some very large cities, Portland (for its size) has a big problem that it's really ignoring. I avoid being downtown on weekends and end up dining elsewhere (NW, Pearl, etc.) I can be pretty intimidating and would not think twice about walking alone downtown but avoid it when I'm with a GF.
I can't even recommend downtown hotels to clients and friends without thinking about location and warning them about being out and about in certain areas. I've heard from my out of town visitors that we're a Shangri-La for bums. They live in SF and NY, go figure.
Anybody else who lives/works downtown having the same issues?