Homeless under the 4th Ave bridge

City of Olympia photo

The City of Olympia will not clean up the encampment under the 4th Avenue Bridge as planned for Wednesday, Sept. 11. Following a vote of the Olympia City Council during its Sept. 10, 2019, business meeting, the City will delay the cleanup of the unsanctioned encampment until “a comparable, safe and appropriate alternative location is available” according to the Council motion.

On Sept. 10, First Christian Church stepped forward to work with the campers. The Rev. Amy LaCroix said the congregation would meet regularly with the bridge campers to support their efforts toward self-governance. The City is hopeful that other groups will also step forward.

Over the course of the last year, the City of Olympia has searched for a space for a second mitigation site. The search has been frustrated by a lack of appropriately located city-owned land, and the feared impact on prospective neighbors to private land the city might consider purchasing for a mitigation site.

As it stands now, the City will not clean up the 4th Avenue Bridge encampment as staff continue the search for an appropriate alternative location.

Update on RV Camping

The City has received several inquiries from residents regarding the ongoing RV camping along Deschutes Parkway and Capitol Lake. City staff recognize that the growing presence of vehicles parked overnight and longer on the Parkway, and in other areas of the city, is one of the many facets of homelessness in our region.

However, parking issues on Deschutes Parkway are outside of the City of Olympia’s jurisdiction. The Parkway is on State of Washington property, and parking enforcement would fall to the Washington State Patrol. Concerns about camping on State Capitol grounds can be directed to Capitol Campus Visitor Services: 360.902.8880 or campusevents@des.wa.gov.

In regards to enforcing on illegal RV parking within the City of Olympia’s jurisdiction, Parking staff ticket such vehicles in the City. The towing of illegally parked RVs is currently being addressed in the court system.

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