Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 13th, 2006 at 2:03 pm
A local cyclist, concerned with what she feels is too much "negative police attention on cyclists," emailed the Mayor's office after this morning's enforcement action and has heard a detailed response from one of his staffers:
Here is the response as relayed by the Mayor's "public advocate," Jeremy Van Keuren:
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Thank you for emailing about the enforcement action that recently took place in NE Portland at Broadway and Flint. Mayor Potter has asked me to respond on his behalf.
As you know, bicyclists as well as motorists must come to a complete stop before a stop sign. The enforcement action you refer to was carried out in response to concerns expressed by the local community that many bicyclists moved through the intersection without stopping. The Portland Office of Transportation (PDOT) assessed that the intersection is the third highest bicycle crash intersection in the City. I would like to note that during an enforcement action, no specific mode of transportation is targeted over another - the attending officers do not ignore motorists breaking the law.
During this enforcement action, sixteen bicyclists were cited along with thirteen motorists.
We support Traffic's use of dedicated enforcement actions, including their use at intersections frequented by bicycle traffic. Last month, 1887 moving violation citations were issued by the Police Bureau. Twenty-three were issued to bicyclists - the rest were issued to motorists. Traffic (Division) will continue to target traffic violations that endanger the lives and well being of all those who use the road, and that will include bicyclists.
One of Traffic's missions is to issue citations for moving violations that contribute to most traffic collisions. Reviewing collision incidents from the past eleven years which involved a bicyclist fatality, the bicyclist was at fault in 58 percent of the cases. Of those, 30 percent occurred because a bicyclist ignored a stop sign. During enforcement actions, we often find that many of the bicyclists stopped inform police officers that they typically do not stop at stop signs. Again, this is a major safety issue and the law is clear.
Road safety is very important to Mayor Potter, and I encourage you to spread the word about everyone's responsibility to share the road conscientiously and safely. I hope you will take part in the Portland Office of Transportation's (PDOT) "I Share the Road" campaign. You can participate and obtain free stickers for your car or bicycle from www.isharetheroad.com
Jeremy Van Keuren
Office of Mayor Potter"