Portland, Ore. — In a disruptive turn of events on Monday afternoon, a protest against the conflict in Gaza led to the blockage of inbound lanes on Airport Way, just west of Northeast 82nd Avenue, for close to an hour. The Port of Portland reported that approximately 50 vehicles were involved in the blockade, effectively cutting off the entrance to Portland International Airport (PDX).
Port of Portland Police officers promptly responded to the scene, actively working to reroute shuttle buses and traffic to minimize the impact on travelers. As of now, officials have not provided information regarding the potential delays caused by the protest.
Traveler Alan Boyd expressed frustration over the timing of the protest, stating that it took him around 30-35 minutes to cover less than 2 miles. He voiced concern about missing his flight and emphasized that disrupting families during holidays is not the appropriate time for such actions.
An off-duty KGW producer caught in the traffic jam at the airport reported that traffic was at a standstill for at least 45 minutes. People resorted to walking with their luggage in hand, and buses meant for transporting passengers were stuck on the road, empty with open doors.
An Uber driver mentioned that many stuck in the traffic attempted to divert to a frontage road, but that route was also congested.
The protest began around 3:25 p.m., and as of 4:15 p.m., the Port of Portland stated that the situation was actively unfolding. By 4:35 p.m., police had cleared the road, according to a KGW photographer at the scene. KGW received reports that the protest group had relocated. The Port of Portland confirmed shortly before 5 p.m. that Airport Way was clear, although traffic remained congested.