Vandals spray paint over '20 is Plenty' signs, Portlanders repaint the message

'Neighbors repaint '20 is Plenty' signs after vandals sweep Portland neighborhood - Photo from KATU reporter Catherine Van

PORTLAND, Ore. – Just two weeks after a new 20 mph speed limit went into effect on Portland’s residential streets, one neighborhood was some backlash against the "20 is Plenty" campaign.

Even though each orange sign along Villard Street from Rosa Parks Way to Ainsworth was spray painted, neighbors decided they wouldn’t let the vandals win.

They re-painted the placards with new messages reflecting the city’s new traffic law.

Portland launched the campaign to keep drivers from going over 20 miles per hour in residential streets. It fit with the city’s “Vision Zero” pledge.

“Someone didn't like the law of 20 miles per hour painted over in orange,” said cyclist Joe Rowe, who was passing the signs. “Another set of neighbors put the law back up in black paint some time, it wasn't here this morning, so that must've happened while I was at work.”

Rowe pedals down the street every day. He said he first noticed the vandalized signs over the weekend.

He says drivers who use this street are upset with the new 20-miles-per-hour speed limit.

“Sign vandalism is nothing new to the kind of contempt neighbors have seen in the last 5 years,” said Rowe.

“In the morning this is a freeway. You have people going anywhere from 30 to 40 miles an hour, racing down the street and it's a steady stream,” said North Villard Avenue resident Dennis Chenier.

He adds that drivers often use the street as a shortcut to bypass North Greely Avenue.

“This whole neighborhood's really gotten on board with the 20 miles per hour part of it and have put signs everywhere,” Chenier said. “[But] from what I see, it hasn't done much to solve the issue."

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has the signs available for free at their office on the fifth floor of the "6th & Main/Congress Center" building.

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