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Enforcement action at Ladds Circle

Posted by on April 11th, 2007 at 7:36 am

I just got a tip from a reader that the Portland Police Bureau has set up an enforcement sting at Ladds Circle in southeast Portland.

The tipster said lots of cyclists were getting “scooped up” on their morning commute for not coming to a complete stop before entering the circle.

Consider this advance warning if you’re headed in that direction.

And if you’re reading this with a ticket in your pocket, let us know what happened.

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UPDATE: (9:15am) According to witnesses, as many as six motorcycle cops are working this area. One of them told a cyclist that this sting was in response to several complaints in the neighborhood.

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  • Mike April 11, 2007 at 8:38 am

    Not coming to a complete stop at Ladds Circle is a pretty generous interpretation of what usually happens: cyclists tend to enter the traffic circle at their normal cruising speed without regard to the stop signs at every entry point. I see it five to six days a week on my bicycle ride in to downtown.

    Myself, I came to a complete stop, then gave the officers a friendly smile as I continued on my way.

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  • Bjorn April 11, 2007 at 8:45 am

    Why do we have stop signs at traffic circles here in Portland? It is a large circle which should be regulated by the rules of traffic circles not by stop signs!

    Bjorn

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  • Amy April 11, 2007 at 8:48 am

    When I turned from seven corners into Ladd’s addition, a VERY WONDERFUL CYCLIST had taken some time out of his day to warn oncoming bikers about the sting going on. This was especially appreciated as I have previously been the recipient of a $242 ticket at exactly this location. As I went through the circle (after stopping and putting my foot down) I saw no fewer than five motorcycle cops, four of whom were writing tickets to bikers.

    My belief is that this would be an ideal location for a new sign: YIELD.

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  • bruce April 11, 2007 at 8:49 am

    But for the kind warning of a cyclist going the other way I would have had ticket #2! I was at about 21st & Clinton bunched up with 4 cyclists. We each interpreted what we thought the stool pigeon had meant and all decided to stop at the Ladd Circle. There were multiple motorcycle mounted units and perhaps 3 cyclists pulled over when I went through. I doubt I have come to a legal stop there in over 30 years of cycling through that intersection- until today.

    Thanks to the cyclist who provided the warning. And a tip of the cap to whoever decided to enforce the safest intersection in town.

    bruce

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  • Dat April 11, 2007 at 8:56 am

    I know that PDOT talked about removing the stops signs and putting yield signs up.

    I think is still talk and no action.

    dat

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  • N.I.K. April 11, 2007 at 9:00 am

    As I went through the circle (after stopping and putting my foot down) I saw no fewer than five motorcycle cops, four of whom were writing tickets to bikers.

    Good heavens, what a ratio. Imagine how many more tickets these five traffic cops could be writing if they went to separate intersections and chose to cite motorists pulling rolling stops just about…oh, I dunno…ANYWHERE! WTF?

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  • sam April 11, 2007 at 9:01 am

    Ladds is a low traffic area that cyclists use because it is safer than SE Division or Hawthorn.

    How did this town come to this type of actions in neighborhood areas?

    Do we need to take on Hawthorn and Division every morning and excercise our rights to use a full lane so that someone can finaly see that we help the de-congestion of traffic?
    It is simply absurd, revolting and sad that all the PPD is seeing is that cyclist are not OBEYING the law.

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  • Nick April 11, 2007 at 9:01 am

    Ok fine blowing stop signs is not good. But if you drive your car though Ladds feel free to treat it like a race way.

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  • Jonathan Maus April 11, 2007 at 9:05 am

    Just FYI, this enforcement was most likely the result of PPB responding to a citizen complaint in the neighborhood.

    This area is well-known as having some…how can I say…bike un-friendly folks.

    They have piped up against Safe Routes to School and they got mad when PDOT wanted to install curb ramps because it would hurt the historical nature of the neighborhood.

    just some background.

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  • Paul April 11, 2007 at 9:06 am

    I saw four motorcycle police. Two were waiting on the northeast arc of the circle. Two other officers had already stopped cyclists – one on the northeast arc of the circle and one on Ladd Avenue. They were likely targeting riders going from from seven corners to Hawthorne/12th.

    I ride that route to and from work every day and have never seen a cyclist come to a complete stop. I have also never seen nor heard of an accident so I’m guessing that local residents or business owners asked the police to intervene.

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  • caitlin April 11, 2007 at 9:07 am

    My boyfriend and I ride through Ladd’s Addition/Ladd Circle every morning on our way to work. We ride from SE Clinton and enter the circle at SE Ladd (from 7 corners). This particular entrance to the circle has really good visability, so it’s pretty easy to see early on whether stopping is necessary. If there’s car traffic, we usually slow way down to nearly a complete stop (to make a good showing), but this morning we cruised on through at regular speed.

    As we entered the circle, I heard a motorcycle behind me and thought, “oh, we’re going to get passed. I hope he doesn’t turn right and cut us off”. And then there were lights and we were being asked to stop.

    My boyfriend and I got a $242 ticket each for “failure to obey a traffic control device, stop sign”.

    The officer was nice enough. He said that if doesn’t always expect cyclists to stop and put a foot down, but we should at least slow down. He said that they’re out today because they’ve received a lot of complaints about cyclists running stop signs here.

    It’s a bummer because I did totatally blow the stop sign, so I know I’m at fault, but in my opinion, stop signs at cicles/roundabouts. Plus, the speed through there is 20 mph, and you never see any kind of enforcement for speeding.

    We’re going to look into taking the “Share the Road Saftey Class”.

    Ug. What a way to start a morning. It’s really stirred things up here at work though.

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  • Eric April 11, 2007 at 9:09 am

    I went through that inttersection 3 times this morning, twice just to make sure that what I saw the first time was representative and not isolated.

    The third time, I counted SIX motorcycle cops. Not once during the 3 times through did I see a motorist pulled over.

    To think that that this amount of police resources would be so disproportionately allocated is maddening.

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  • Jonno April 11, 2007 at 9:21 am

    I got a ticket this morning because honestly I just didn’t see the stop sign. And then when I got that hefty $242 piece of paper moments after, I thought that round-a-bouts negate stop signs! Ugh. Tax refund, here I come…

    Caitlin – I’m with ya, I need to take that class but the officer said the class was full and that I would have to request a trial AND THEN take the class.

    Maus – you’re right about the response form the neighborhood. I got evil looks for neighbors like I killed someone and then a lady approached the cop after I was getting back on my bike and she said:

    “I really appreciate you guys coming out here and nabbing these bikers. They’ve almost run over my dog countless times.”

    WTF?

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  • Matt Picio April 11, 2007 at 9:22 am

    Normally, I heartily approve of police enforcing traffic regulations and responding to citizen’s complaints – that’s their job, and I believe that inside a city, all road users need to obey the laws.

    This, however, is ridiculous.

    4-5 motorcycles to enforce a single intersection?!? What other traffic violations were happening that weren’t enforced because 4 normally otherwise engaged officers were stuck ticketing cyclists in Ladd’s Addition, which as others have pointed out, is not a dangerous intersection.

    Why weren’t these officers at, say:

    West Burnside and 4th
    West Burnside and 5th
    West Burnside and 10th
    SE 82nd and Powell
    SE 82nd and Division
    East Burnside and 12th / Sandy

    or one of the other “deathtrap” intersections in Portland?

    I don’t blame the officers in question – I’m sure that the vast majority of cops in Portland are professional, take pride in their job, and want to serve the public. I’m taking issue with the supervisors and “higher-ups” who are determining the priorities of police deployment. This is ridiculous.

    I think it’s time for another Super-Legal ride.

    I also agree with the other posters – Ladd’s Circle needs yield signs, not stop signs – or no signs at all. Everyone’s more careful in a traffic circle if they’re not sure anyone else is going to stop. Bjorn’s right – they’re self-regulating.

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  • Evan Manvel April 11, 2007 at 9:24 am

    If you don’t like it, call the Mayor’s office. 503-823-4120. We’re meeting with the Mayor’s office next week to discuss this, but citizen calls always help (in fact, the stings are due to a couple of loud citizen complaints.)

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  • sam April 11, 2007 at 9:27 am

    +1 Matt Picio

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  • Jasun Wurster April 11, 2007 at 9:28 am

    Quick legal question:

    I was threatened with a ticket and arrest by a PPB officer for more than 30 minuets for telling cyclists to stop at Ladds Circle?

    Is this legal?

    Did I have to show the officer my drivers license?

    Is it legal for me to refuse to answer what education level I have to the officer?

    In essence, was the 30 minuets being intemidated by the cop for telling fellow cyclists what the PPB is more intrested in?

    Also, one last thought. It is nice that the PPB enforce the affluent areas of town. How about some stings at crosswalks on MLK at rush hour?

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  • Jonathan Maus April 11, 2007 at 9:31 am

    Jasun,
    RE: showing your ID to cops.

    I have a story in the works about this but my understanding is that you only have to show ID if you are being stopped for a specific illegal act.

    In your case, I doubt there is a law on the books for warning others about traffic stings…and therefore you would not have to show your ID…or answer any personal questions.

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  • Michael R April 11, 2007 at 9:32 am

    Does the circle have a high accident rate? Is it in the top 20 in the city? Street sections with high accident rates are where this kind of action belongs. Not where some squeaky wheel is busy complaining.

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  • Matt Picio April 11, 2007 at 9:37 am

    There’s nothing illegal about telling cyclists to obey the law because there are police ahead. Encouraging others to obey the law is legal.

    Do you have to show your drivers license? No. (at least, not yet – see below) You ARE required to give your name. Other information is currently a legal gray area. There is currently a bill up in front of the Oregon Senate (SB932) to require presenting ID to the Police (“papers, please”) – this was at the request of the Eugene police department.

    As for the rest, hopefully one of the attorneys will enlighten us.

    The above should not be construed as legal advice (God, how I hate disclaimers)

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  • Severt April 11, 2007 at 9:37 am

    Is it illegal to ride in circles in Ladd’s Circle? If not, I’d love to see a super legal ride involving us going in circles for an hour or so. Traffic coming in from the spurs might get a bit irate after sitting there for an hour unable to get past their stop signs. It wouldn’t do much for public relations but it would sure be fun.

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  • jeff April 11, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Jasun – I pretty sure that flashing your headlights to warn motorists of a speed trap is illegal; I’d imagine what you were doing was technically illegal. Thanks though, for trying.

    Matt P is right – how many intersections could we name where motorists routinely roll through stops, crosswalks, and exceed speed limits? The enforcement here was due to complaints – could we organize via bikeportland.org a campaign to get 500+ bicyclists to call about an intersection? I can only imagine the Ladds enforcement was brought about by a few, imagine what we could do with numbers. It’d at least move the enforcement away from bicyclist thoroughfares. This is assuming that they’d take our complaints as seriously as the Ladd motorists.

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  • sam April 11, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Complainer: “Hello, 911? Yes, every morning I see cyclists not fully stopping down the street on Ladds circle, They go as fast as 20MPH!!!. I would like to say that it is an extremely dangerous situation and that everyone is at risk”
    911: “Sir, we completely agree with you and take this take this situation to RED ALERT, you can expect 6 uniformed Police officers armed and ready to chase cyclists with their BMW”

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  • Martha R. April 11, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Thanks, Evan. It really is time to sit down with the PPB. Police resources are being totally misdirected — Ladds Circle is one of the few intersections in town where I have never felt in danger, either on a bike or in a car. I’ve never seen signs of any crashes there, and even though cyclists regularly blow through the stop signs, I’ve never felt like doing so is dangerous (I slow way down, but don’t come to a stop — worked this morning, but probably because the cops were all busy writing tickets at the time).

    It’s ironic that this post comes on the heels of the post about going for Platinum. If Portland really wants to go platinum, they’ve got to get the police on board and work WITH the cyclists, instead of against us.

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  • Michael R April 11, 2007 at 9:47 am

    I just got off the phone with Jeremy in the Mayors office.

    The action came as a result of citizen’s complaints and confirming observations by the police.

    People breaking traffic laws is considered a public safety issue. Traffic enforcement needs to take action when citizens complain about traffic laws being broken.

    I counter argued that the bar should be higher. I asserted that we also needed to have a record of higher than average collisions or other mishaps. Certainly there are many intersections in the city with significantly higher than average collision rates. Enforcement actions should be scheduled in those locations – where property and life is demonstrably at stake.

    Jeramy didn’t agree. He stated that taffic law breaking was significant enough, especially when combined with citizen complaints, to warrant an enforcement action.

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  • sheldon April 11, 2007 at 9:49 am

    Interesting that a traffic circle in a relatively calm network of streets has stop signs, while the very busy NE 39 and Glisan circle has only yield signs. Doesn’t make sense to me.

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  • Nick April 11, 2007 at 9:59 am

    How about traffic enforcment on Clinton Street Race Way. Anybody ever see a car jump the speed bumps? I have. Lets not forget 39th and Clinton intersection. Cars turn right on red lights.

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  • Michael R April 11, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Sheldon,

    Correction: NE 39th and Glisan has stop signs. I go through there, stopping, several times a week.

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  • N.I.K. April 11, 2007 at 10:03 am

    Jeramy didn’t agree. He stated that taffic law breaking was significant enough, especially when combined with citizen complaints, to warrant an enforcement action.

    You heard ‘em, folks. Complain about traffic violations and you’ll have a disproportionate number of police officers dispatched to the scene. Find the trouble spot in *your* neighborhood and dial the PPB to voice your concerns; tell ‘em Jeremy down at the Mayor’s office sent you!

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  • Aaron April 11, 2007 at 10:11 am

    Sounds like the solution here is to lobby the city to make Ladd’s Circle a real roundabout with Yield instead of Stop signs.

    Take on the neighborhood nabobs of negativity, go to PDOT with a petition signed by hundreds of cyclists, and explain that Ladd’s Circle is one of the safest routes for cyclists, and by cyclists using it, they avoid congesting Hawthorne and Division.

    Don’t fight the cops for enforcing a stupid traffic control device — make the city change the traffic control!

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  • Sam Livingston-Gray April 11, 2007 at 10:19 am

    I have no idea how long they lasted, but I did see that someone had printed out signs warning cyclists and posted them about a block before the circle. Some clever cyclist must’ve seen this post before leaving the house today! (=

    I myself thought this was an odd place for an enforcement. I ride through Ladd’s several times per week, and the circle at the center is *the* best intersection on my entire 5-6 mile route. Great visibility, plenty of room for a comfortable safety margin, few cars, and virtually never any waiting.

    As far as I’m concerned, the only way in which this is not a Complete Waste Of Time ™ is that now quite a few more people will be encouraged to lobby for an Idaho-style stop-sign law.

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  • Daniel Johnson (teknotus) April 11, 2007 at 10:20 am

    I was much more annoyed by the motorists who almost killed me this morning than the cops. One of whom passed me with about 2 inches of room going east on SE Clay between 7th-6th while yelling out the window “use the bike lane!”. She then speeded for a block, and turned into the Multnomah county office parking structure where she presumably works, and does everything in her power to get bikes off the street. Clay is of course a bike route with no bike lanes, and about 6 inches of space between the edge of a car in the lane, and parked cars on the side of the street.

    My one direction commute is about 5 miles, and even with coming to a complete stop at every stop sign on the route it still only takes me about 10 minutes longer than by car. I’m willing to obey a law that doesn’t make sense if it makes people with the power to kill me a little less angry.

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  • brian mack April 11, 2007 at 10:21 am

    I’m glad they did the sting. Cyclists that don’t stop at stop signs give avid, daily bike commuters like me a bad rap. Additionally, it’s dangerous for themselves, potentially dangerous for others (pedestrians, kids, dogs on leashes, and little ‘ole ladies driving big cars that swerve to avoid them). It’s also the curteous to others!

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  • shawn b April 11, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Re: brian mack

    I completely agree. I commute through Ladds everyday. I don’t think its necessary to come to a full, foot on the ground, stop at the circle, but on any given day I see cyclists tear through those intersections like they were on-ramps to a speedway.

    Re: Yield signs in Ladds

    I don’t think this is going to happen. People pay a ton of money to live in Ladds and they don’t want to see their neighborhood turned into a through-way- at least not anymore than it already is a shortcut between Division and Hawthorne. Frankly, I prefer the stop signs as I agree that they contribute to cutting down on some of the traffic and making the street safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

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  • sam April 11, 2007 at 10:31 am

    Brian,
    out of the 32 comments posted so far, you are the first to approve the sting:

    96.875% disaprove the sting
    3.125% approve the sting

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  • Police Enforcement » patch April 11, 2007 at 10:47 am

    [...] Read more about this issue with bikeportland.org’s coverage. [...]

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  • Dave April 11, 2007 at 10:53 am

    Jonathan (and others): When you talk to the Mayor’s Office or the PPB about this traffic enforcement action, can you also ask them for a list of other recent enforcement actions?

    As cyclists reading a cycling related web site, we only hear about the law enforcement actions affecting us. But I’ve seen the PPB doing these same kind of stings in other areas. The local news covers the crosswalk stings and the Highway 26 speed traps every couple of months. Maybe the PPB is conducting traffic stops like these in other parts of town, but since they aren’t targeting cyclists, we (as cyclists) never hear about them. Maybe there is a “CarPortland.org” blog out there with lots of people complaining about a recent traffic enforcement action that caught a bunch of cars rolling through stop signs and they are all complaining about those darn speeders on the freeway.

    While I don’t think a $242 ticket is always deserved (especially when a warning is more appropriate), before we condemn the PPB for only targeting cyclists, maybe we should try to find out what other enforcement actions they’ve conducted recently.

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  • Burr April 11, 2007 at 10:56 am

    They were still there when I came through at about 9:15. A friendly motorist warned me in advance and I avoided Ladd Circle by taking an alternate route through the neighborhood.

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  • Jonathan Maus April 11, 2007 at 10:59 am

    Dave,

    The PPB conducts stings on motorized vehicles every day. I joined one of them on a ride along and we sat on the ZOO onramp of Hi-way 26 and nabbed tons of speeders.

    They also have an ongoing crosswalk enforcement program that they run in partnership with traffic safety folks at PDOT. These happen regularly and have been well-received.

    In the case of the freeway speeders, there was no warning, but at the crosswalk enforcements there is ample and obvious warning given to oncoming vehicles that an enforcement action is ahead. They use orange cones and signs.

    I have also reported on an enforcement action during Commander Sinnotts tenure that had warning signs placed prior to the intersections.

    There are distinct differences between enforcement actions, stings, and speed traps.

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  • wyatt April 11, 2007 at 11:02 am

    C’mon, enforcing stop signs at a freaking roundabout? The whole point of traffic circles is to keep the flow of traffic moving. Having stop signs for traffic entering the circle is backwards. Enforcing backwards traffic control devices, in a low traffic neighborhood, on cyclists is bullsh*t.

    “Stop sign, stop signal, or giving priority to entering vehicles”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundabout

    This is straight up harassment.

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  • sinister minister April 11, 2007 at 11:11 am

    Here’s how we counter this: every cyclist find an intersection in your neighborhood where cars roll through stops routinely. Call often and complain loudly. If we all do this I think that we can redirect PPB resources so they’ll stay off our backs.

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  • Brian April 11, 2007 at 11:13 am

    It is kinda a pain when riding through Ladds and another cyclist runs a stopsign when I’m trying to turn right. I usually have to come to a complete stop to let them by, because their on my right.

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  • scott April 11, 2007 at 11:22 am

    Data:
    In a September of 06 count, 2-4% of cyclists stopped before entering Ladd Circle northbound and 27-39% of auto drivers stopped.

    For 2000 through 2005 there were 2 reported crashes near the cicle with the closest being a rear end 30 feet from the circle.

    The solution is installation of YIELD signs – they don’t require a stop and maintain the same liability rules as STOP signs.

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  • ADirtMonkey April 11, 2007 at 11:23 am

    Here goes my 2 cents…
    Stop signs at roundabouts are ridiculous. The whole point is to keep the flow moving! For them to put SIX cops out there is definitely overkill.

    As a group cyclists should pick a few dangerous intersections and flood the PPB with calls for an enforcement action. If it doesn’t happen, then we would have a valid complaint. If it does, then we have used our resources as citizens to make our lives safer.

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  • Michael R April 11, 2007 at 11:35 am

    Scott,

    Thanks for the collision rate data. Where did you get it?

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  • Tbird April 11, 2007 at 11:43 am

    I saw this coming last week as I rode home from work when I noticed an older bearded gent talking with the PPD at the north side intersection , I overheard him saying that I was the only biker he’d seen execute full stop at the intersection all day. I only stopped cause the PPD was there.
    Another side of the coin is that in the morning especially, and occasionally in the evening there are lots of folks who RACE thru Ladds at speeds well above what is posted. I never see them speeding around the circle itself, but usually in the stretched between the smaller circles, in order to pass cyclists.
    I say as cyclists we get plate numbers and make complaints about speeding motorists. You don’t have to live on the circle to be impacted by folks breaking traffic laws.

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  • Martha S. April 11, 2007 at 11:47 am

    I aggree that this intersection needs yeild signs. I don’t think I have ever seen an intersection with such consistently slow moving traffic, such high visability, and such wide lanes. Stopping before entering this intersection when there is no trafic to avoid just seems all around silly.

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  • Kirsty April 11, 2007 at 11:47 am

    I come from England, where roundabouts (traffic circles) are the primary mode of traffic control at major intersections.

    The reasoning in my country behind having stop signs, as opposed to just letting traffic yield & roll through at regular speed, is due to high number of foot traffic in addition to road traffic that we have in Europe.

    It’s terrifying for a pedestrian trying to navigate a traffic circle when none of the traffic is stopping, or even looking out for them. Traffic cicrles encourage motorists and bicyclists to look left only for oncoming traffic. As a result, they’re often not looking right for pedestrian traffic trying to get across the intersection too.

    I’ve seen first hand mothers with kids in strollers trying to get across the marked crosswalks at this particular intersection (Ladd Circle), and cyclists illegally just blowing right by them at top speed without even slowing down, let alone giving them the legal right of way.

    That said, I agree that cyclists coming to a complete, foot down, stop, is a little excessive. Slowing right down to look for both cars and peds, and looking both ways at the intersection, makes the most sense for somebody navigating this area on a bike.

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  • Donald April 11, 2007 at 11:48 am

    I’m so conflicted!

    I used to bomb through there every day back in the olden days when it was me and about 5 other cyclists a day. Always blew the sign at the circle like I was coming up to the final sprint on the champs elysées, poodles be damned.

    But I’m with Brian: I agree with this enforcement action. Heck, if the cops weren’t responding to neighborhood complaints about illegal activity, then folks would (and I think rightly) be mad that they weren’t doing their job.

    Seems like the stop signs in this neighborhood are traffic calming devices designed to keep folks from using this neighborhood as a speedy shortcut. And don’t we hear calls for that kind of thing often in these pages?

    As our numbers grow, our on-road behaviour will be examined at higher and higher levels. And until the majority of us can figure out that Stop means Stop, we’ll get our share of stings and $242s.

    Now, on the other hand, I wonder what these complaining neighbors would think if every bike that went by in the course of a day was a car instead…

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  • Cecil April 11, 2007 at 11:54 am

    “This area is well-known as having some…how can I say…bike un-friendly folks.”

    As a bike-friendly “folk” who lives in Ladd’s Addition I take umbrage at this gross generalization. I also feel the need to point out that as long as there is a “stop” sign at the Circle, the law requires vehicles, including bicycles, to stop. I rarely see any cyclists even slow down when entering the circle from Ladd Ave or any of the other feeder streets, let alone stop, and more than once while making my own way around the circle I have had close calls with cyclists blowing through the signs (I was also on a bike. Whether they misjudged my position, or speed, or made the stupid assumption that I was tunring, despite the fact I was nbot signalling a turn, who knows, what matters is that if they had taken the time to stop or even pause for chrissakes, they would not have caused the near miss.

    Now whenever I ride around the circle and see a cyclist comoing from a side street I also make an assumption – I assume they will not stop or even slow down. I am almost always correct.

    Given the amount of bicycle traffic in Ladd’s, it is inevitable that the visibility of dumb-ass moves by cyclists will be greater, and that resentment of said moves will be magnified. But that does not make everyone in the neighborhood unfriendly to cyclists. On the other hand, the best way to make friends with the neighbors is to obey the traffic laws.

    If you don’t want to stop, then lobby to change the law or change the signage. Until then, the best way to avoid a ticket is to stop.

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  • scott April 11, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Anyone can get the data by asking PDOT at 823-SAFE.

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  • Doug April 11, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Add me to the list of people who agrees with this enforcement action. Ladd’s Addition is a pedestrian-friendly area, I’ve seen plenty of cyclists busting through stop signs at full speed to know why homeowners there might complain.

    For all of you who narrowly avoided your second ticket today, my advice to you is to learn your lesson and start slowing to a near stop at stop signs.

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  • P Fin April 11, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    I’d like to call for limiting auto parking near the intersections surrounding Ladd’s Circle. The “little old lady,” whose dog is likely the impetus for this little PR stunt, would probably benefit more from increased visibility near the intersection than bicycles coming to a complete stop, every time. Cars, by the way, will kill a dog much deader than a bicycle.

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  • Jonathan Maus April 11, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    Cecil,

    my comment about “bike un-friendly folks” in Ladds was not meant to include everyone.

    I realize there are bike-friendly folks in Ladds and I realize that bikes should never blow through stop signs.

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  • P Fin April 11, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    Also, can anyone remember a time when a bicycle sting (enf. action, whatever) was accompanied by a “warning” several blocks ahead. No? Can you say transportational discrimination? Yes?

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  • JayS, April 11, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    Has anyone asked the ppb what in the general traffic officers mind constitutes a stop at a stop sign. Do you need to put your foot down for three seconds? Briefley set down your foot? Or are they content if you slow significantly to assess the traffic and continue on? I feel like the third option should cover a stop for a bike at a stop sign and that is my general practice.

    AS far as stop signs at traffic circles are concerned I think having them is good for pedestrians. In NE PDX there are many small traffic circles that would not be safe without two of four directions having stop signs.

    JayS.

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  • JayS, April 11, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    Sorry those small traffic circles would not be safe for vehicles or pedestrians without stops.

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  • Jim F April 11, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    Add me to the list of those who favor the enforcement. I get sick of seeing my fellow cyclists blow through red lights and stop signs. It makes life harder for the rest of us.

    If you are gonna blow through a stop sign because you think it’s safe, or you don’t agree with traffic engineers’ decisions as to where to place signs — fine.

    But don’t cry when you get a $242 ticket.

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  • Jonno April 11, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    Here’s a great talking about the class cyclists can take to reduce their ticket:

    http://www.portlandvelo.net/news/view.asp?ID=126

    Unfortunately, I believe the class tonight is full.

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  • d April 11, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    platinum?!

    haha, yeah right!

    with enforcement like this, i’d say we’re leaning toward “tin foil” status.

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  • Stephen April 11, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Having commuted by bike for many years (the last six through Ladds Addition), I am not entirely surprised there was a “police action” at Ladds Circle. In recent months (years actually) I have seen many close calls at the Circle — cyclists blowing though the stop sign, weaving around pedestrians, slipping to the right of cars already in the circle (and then getting upset when the car turns in front of them). I’ve even had a cyclist yell at me for slowing down in front of him at a stop sign.

    More generally, I’m worried about a lack of civility on the part of some (not all) cyclists, as well as what might be called a vocal sense of entitlement. While we must advocate for all aspects of bike culture in Portland, because bikes are not (yet) fully accepted, cyclists need to take the high ground — including stopping (or at least slowing to a walk) at stop signs. Like it or not, we are ambassadors and missionaries.

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  • West Cougar April 11, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    823-SAFE is a sham. Attrny Mark G. on the Shift list recounted his inability to get any police response to his repeated complaints of rampant motorist speeding on Mt Tabor.

    823-SAFE is little more than Mayor Potter’s machine politics for the geriatric vote.

    I reckon that’s one good thing about livin’ in the Hood’s of N & NE, no whiny geriatrics to complain about scufflaw cyclists. Our problems are bigger than rolling stop signs.

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  • Phredly April 11, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    OK, let me get this straight.

    There is an intersection that has stop signs.

    Vehicles routinely blow through the stop signs without even slowing down.

    And as cyclists, we are complaining about fines being issued to these lawbreakers? I, for one, am grateful for this “sting”. It is some small indication that perhaps traffic laws are not simply a matter of opinion.

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  • Donna April 11, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    I travel through that circle on my bike twice a day every weekday and I saw the enforcement action this morning. While I realize that some cyclists got tickets for not stopping even if they slowed down, there were others who richly deserve having to shell out $242. I have been a pedestrian trying to cross the street in that circle. The cyclists who don’t even slow down make it very difficult to cross, and I’m an able-bodied adult. I can’t help but wonder what it’s like for a child, an elderly person, or the infirm. At the very least, the sign blowers must scare the crap out of them. I sure find them alarming.

    I think it would be reasonable to say that at least half the cyclists who pass through the circle don’t even slow for the stop signs. I may not agree with the amount of resources used this morning, but come on, would it really kill people to at least slow down as they approach stop signs? Just remember, no Idaho-style law is going to get you out of a ticket for pulling that crap.

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  • N.I.K. April 11, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    I’m not going to speak for others here, Phredly, but *I’m* not complaining about ticketing people for running a stop sign. The source of my outrage is the PPB devoting no fewer than SIX traffic officers to this business while there are much more dangerous intersections that need this sort of operation targeted towards *all* vehicles violating traffic laws. Wasting resources like this is…well, wasteful.

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  • nuovorecord April 11, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Go to Bend if you want to see traffic circles handled correctly. Practically all of them are of the “Yield and Go” variety. The whole point of a traffic circle is to keep traffic flowing. I can understand why Coe Circle at 39th/Glisan is signalized, given the volume, but there’s no reason Ladd Circle couldn’t be yield and go. And, my suspicion is that it probably was that way “back in the day.”

    Point is…no, cyclists shouldn’t be breaking traffic laws. But, the traffic laws should be based on common sense, too.

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  • Magnus Backstedt April 11, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    A stop sign is a stop sign, end of story. Flame away….

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  • Tony Pereira April 11, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    I haven’t taken the time to read all the coments, but I thought I’d share my experience. At around 11 am I went through Ladds. When I got to the big circle I stopped at a stop sign to wait for a car and a bicycle who were both coming around the circle. Just as they were going past another cyclist approaching from behind, went around me without stopping and “merged” into traffic. There were no cops around, but this rider sure could have used a ticket–if only so she could know the error of her ways.

    I hate these police stings and think they are a poor use of our resources, but there are some cases where I can see why they are out there.

    There seems to be a number of people on bikes that don’t even consider that they may be bound by traffic laws. That’s who needs to be ticketed (or warned/educated.)

    Anyway, I just had to share.

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  • Jasun Wurster April 11, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    Hi Jonathan,

    Thanks for your reply in #18 to my questions in #17. That is kinda of my point. I was not stopped today for failure to obey a traffic device. Instead when I saw the sting, I waited for the officer to finish writing a ticket and return to his perch. I then went up to him and asked for his card. He said that he did not have one.

    So I rode away. As I was *walking* my bike across the crosswalk he cut me off with his motorcycle, on the sidewalk mind you, and told me that I had to leave the area immediately or he would ticket me and arrest me for:

    - interfering with an official government business and
    - disobeying a legal police order

    I said politely acknowledged his request and went one block up to inform my fellow cyclists to be safe.

    Now for those that know me I play “Team Diplomacy” very well. I was nothing courteous to this officer especially when he circled the block and detained me for half an hour. I asked him many times what he was detaining me for while he searched in his PDA for a law that I supposed violated.

    Look, I am not trying to make this an Indymedia post about fucked up the PPB is (which may be why they can not recruit decent people) … but that of the priorities of this officer who was not protecting the public, as stated, in this case if he spent 30 minuets detaining me for essentially heightening safety in the minds of cyclists. The reason I post this is the intimidation tactics and mixed messages provided by the PPB’s actions that I endured this morning as a 100% law abiding citizen by having the audacity to inform my friends to be safe.

    In the end I need to place blame on the upper echelon of this operation for not educating their officers in the traffic division how strong and law abiding most of the bicycling community is. Portland can throw all the money that they want with bicycling amenities and slick ad campaigns … but do not have the right for a Platinum award until the overall governmental mindset as a whole supports cycling.

    Portland can not buy a Platinum award … we must earn it.

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  • Burr April 11, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    I’m with Tbird, the biggest safety hazard is motorists speeding and trying to pass cyclists on SE Ladd between SE Division and Ladd’s Circle and SE Ladd between SE Clay/Hawthorne and Ladd’s Circle, especially at the small traffic circles at the intermediate intersections. I’ve had several close calls and several altercations with motorists at these locations, but I’ve never had any trouble with motorists, pedestrians or other cyclists at or in Ladd’s Circle itself.

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  • Mick April 11, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    Whoever thought of the idea of picking an intersection and having the entire bikeportland readership call about it is a genius. Jonathan, I think this would be an excellent use of the this excellent resource you have given us.

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  • Mike April 11, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    I have to agree with the enforcement too. I wish there were more and in different locations. Like others, I commute through there – 7 am heading in and 4:15 pm going home every day. I could probably count on one hand the number of times cyclists have SLOWED at the stop sign, let alone stopped.

    We live in a city, and a growing one at that. For 99.9% of the commuters, there is not a traffic control-free route to wherever we go. Yet there’s an increasing percentage of us who act and ride like there’s nothing there, and that stop signs and red lights are more ‘guidelines’ than traffic devices we must obey.

    Whether we agree with the stop signs entering Ladd’s or not isn’t the point. The point is that they’re there. If we continually flaunt them, and whine if we get caught, then we’ve got little argument towards replacing them with yield signs.

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  • Burr April 11, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    So let’s start identifying those locations where large numbers of motorists frequently run stop signs.

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  • peder horner April 11, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    Burr: I agree.

    Here’s a risky intersection:

    N Fremont & N Vancouver Ave

    Several times a week on my morning commute down N Vancouver, there will be motorists who, sitting behind a red light on Fremont (a two-way), turn left (south) onto Vancouver Ave (a one-way) then cut right over/through the bike lane to get on the Fremont Bridge via Cook.

    It’s crazy – I’ve got to be extra-extra vigilant about cross-traffic at the intersection when I have the light! This would be a great sting operation for the PPB.

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  • Donald April 11, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    Peder, If you’re saying that the left turn against the red light is an infraction, you are incorrect. It is legal in Oregon to take a left from a two-way onto a one-way against the red light. In fact, it drives me crazy when folks don’t take advantage of this allowance at this intersection.

    Now, if you’re saying they are taking the turn and then impeding/endangering a cyclist or other traffic, well, that’s another matter.

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  • murf April 11, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    ok cycle friends,

    I think we have to respect stop signs a bit better as a community.

    I ride everyday, everywhere and have been doing so for quite some time. I understand that blowing a stop sign is an attractive option. If we had rolling stop law for bikes on the ballot/initiative whatever – I would sign the petition in a heartbeat and would probably help get signatures if asked.

    But, it is messed up when I stop at a stop sign and the cycle behind me decides to keep going and run over the pedestrian I saw starting to cross the street.

    Morever, if i pull up and make the stop and another cyclist later to the intersection doesn’t make the stop then that is messed up too.

    If you dont know if it is clear – just make the stop.

    -Also- we have stop signs on roundabouts in PDX because noone in this city can actually drive the roundabout properly. Drivers suck at using them. 39th and Glisan originaly had yields and a bunch of accidents occurred and city traffic engineers had to redo it with stop signs … Why? because drivers ARE idiots and people in general are lazy when behind the wheel.

    Ladd’s will never have yield signs either. Because that neighborhood will do everything it can to stop anybody from doing that.

    So – beyond ye ol’ protest – you have to stop for stop signs. Do it – the pedestrians and neighborhood deserve your respect. We are all pedestrians too. And don’t you want others to respect YOUR neighborhood and community?

    But I also agree that this is the last neighborhood to worry about and that there are about 3billion other places that need a little more safety review from PPB.

    .2cents.

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  • murf April 11, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Burr asked, “where do drivers roll stops?”

    any intersection along 34th ave between Hawthorne and Clinton. I get close calls monthly through there.

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  • Josh April 11, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    Count me as yet another supporter of the stop sign enforcement. Every day on my ride to/from work I have to almost stop at intersections where I don’t have a stop sign because I see another cyclist cruising along at full speed with no intention of stopping at their stop sign. Every once in awhile they will stop but for the most part they don’t even slow down. I have had more close calls with other bikes than with cars.

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  • Scott April 11, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Most jurisdictions place far greater weight on crime/accident numbers to distribute their activities, but this one relies heavily on citizen calls and, apparently, who’s calling. Just consider the distribution of uniformed officers. There are roughly 280 uniformed officers in Portland. The northeast precinct, stretching from I-5 to I-205, from Halsey to the river, has only 30 of them. If a few nice people in a nice neighborhood call about the evil scourge of stop sign ignoring cyclists, the police show up. It’s easy work, easy money, and makes it look like the police are responding to the needs of their city.

    On the other hand, if you blow through stop signs without even slowing, I don’t have much sympathy. I’ve done it and will undoubtedly do it again, but always aware that I’m tempting fate.

    I am interested in the fee structure. Are bicycles ticketing as though they were cars? That’s just plain silly. Are wheel chairs or skate boards or, hell, feet?

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  • Matt Picio April 11, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    jeff said – “I pretty sure that flashing your headlights to warn motorists of a speed trap is illegal; I’d imagine what you were doing was technically illegal.”

    There’s a difference here. When you warn motorists of a speed trap, they’re already breaking the law, so you’re covering up for them – that *is* illegal. When you warn cyclists of a “stop trap” – they haven’t broken the law yet, so you aren’t covering up a crime, you’re discouraging it before it is committed. There’s nothing illegal about that.

    sam said – “out of the 32 comments posted so far, you are the first to approve the sting”

    I also approve of the sting, just not using 6 motorcycles to perform it. One or at most, two would have been fine. Six is a ridiculous waste of resources.

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  • joel April 11, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    I blow those stops at full speed all the time, four six times a day. But unlike you say i dont whiz past people, or little babys. I blow those stops when there is no one around, but when there are people I slow, or stop, not wanting to freak people out. I hope all you people who are complaining never jaywalk. But really ladds is designed really well, excellent visablity. lovin this artical, glad i missed getting a ticket.

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  • Dabby April 11, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    I got tired of reading the complaining, so just scrolled down to leave my comment..

    You ran a stop sign and got a ticket?

    Suck it up and pay it…….

    If people didn’t run these stop signs repeatedly all day, for the last twenty years, this enforcement action never would have happened..

    All this bitching about what if it was a yield sign is just that, bitching..
    Until there is a yield law, you must stop.

    I must point out that these stings could easily be done by officers on foot….. it is a waste of time, money, and resources to have motorcycle police doing this…

    If you don’t stop, suck it up….

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis April 11, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    I really hope people understand how it’s possible to simultaneously believe it is wrong to disobey traffic signals and yet that this sting is an eggregious waste of police resources and poor policy. Does anybody really think that either driving or riding habits change in any lasting way as a result of occasional random fines? The objective of government is to find a method that effectively changes behavior while making efficient use of precious public resources. Seen from that perspective, this sting policy is an unmitigated failure. Just go over to the Springwater-Esplanade junction, where the last sting was, and see if anything has changed. Go back to the Ladd’s Addition location next week or next month and see if anything has changed. If the Mayor wants to demonstrate that he actually cares about safety, he should consider a policy that actually promotes safe behavior rather than randomly punishing people.

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  • JayS, April 11, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    In response to #69 I find it unlikely that the officer would not have a card. If he didn’t he should have been willing to provide you with at least his name in writing. If you want it he is required to give you a badge # for your saftey. You never know when you are encountering a fake officer and that is why they have to give you the badge number.

    JayS.

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  • pdxrunner April 11, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    Amazing…
    Nearly every day I see a car blow through the red light at the bike intersection of 41st and Burnside. Yet I’ve never seen a “sting” operation there stopping cars to protect the lives of cyclists. Thanks PDX cops!

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  • john krack April 11, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Thank you for the warnings on this sting–keep up the good work you sting warners–
    I am not opposed to sting’s but they should be at intersections with high accident rates–not so sure this qualifies–and they should target cars too
    I think we bikers need to get more bitchy with the cops and city about crappy motorists–demand stings that help us

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  • christiaano April 11, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    OK, fine. I’ll bite.

    RE:82. Yup, they should suck it up. But it never should have happened. 242 bucks (or whatever) for (probably) riding with attention and care? Seems pretty steep.

    Yield signs in those locations around the circle are no good, unless they apply only to bicyclists (maybe rollerbladers, skateboarders, et al?) and not to cars.

    The autos really should stop there as confusion can ensue for the participants. At least, this is how I remember it as a five-year denizen of ladd’s.

    BUT REALLY…

    This is all just a ploy by TheManTM to keep us all busy organizing efforts to fight rearguard actions and countenance TheSmallFaceOfEvilTM. Resist, ride free, and…

    TAKE BACK (a few) STREETS!

    Bikes just need whole streets to themselves. A route through ladd-sedition would be a perfect candidate (among many, for sure). Distinctive paint, new century signage, and rivers of cyclists. Stop at nothing. Peace out.

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  • Donna April 11, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    I think if we as cyclists have a calling campaign to the PPB about cars, we might consider starting with the bike light at E Burnside and 41st. I have also had to wait for up to 3 vehicles – including a Tri-Met bus! – run the red before I could cross. Once they realized that light was for bikes, they stopped paying attention to it. Considering they spent $140,000 on that light, it ought to be enforced, don’t you think?

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  • peder horner April 11, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    Donald: Well, thanks for clearing this up for me. I do appreciate your correction. When I do drive, I’ll be glad to take advantage of this law.

    It doesn’t change the issue of motorists hurrying to get over to the right-turn lane on Vancouver via the bike lane, however.

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  • Paul Cone April 11, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    I think putting pressure on the person who oversees the police bureau, i.e. Mayor Potter, is the way to go on this issue. But it must go beyond just calling his office and meeting with him and complaining about a “waste” of police resources (remember this is an ex-police officer we’re talking about here). I recall that not long ago he went on a Critical Mass bike ride (imagine _that_ group riding through Ladd Circle). Maybe it is time to get him to come along on another bike ride, perhaps through some of these intersections that bike commuters are seeing as dangerous, and seeing the perspective of regular bike commuters. Maybe he’d even put his foot down… as some of his officers expect the rest of us to.

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  • el timito April 11, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    Sting keeps on stinging – this just in from our faithful informant: bikes pulled over by officers at 5:50 in Ladd’s.
    Remember the Barbizon School of Cycling motto: Be a safe cyclist, or just look like one!

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  • Clinton Rider April 11, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    #66 mentioned Bend. Funny that the company that designed those roundabouts, Kittleson & Associates, is based here in Portland. In fact, they “wrote the book” on modern roundabouts. Too bad PDot hasn’t hired them…

    I also agree with those who’ve said that they agree with the principle of the sting, but not with the large amount of resources devoted to it.

    Now, if we could get the cops to “sting” cars at 39th and Clinton…

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  • el timito April 11, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    Sting keeps on stinging – this just in from our faithful informant: bikes pulled over by officers at 5:50 in Ladd’s.
    Remember the Barbizon School of Cycling motto: Be a safe cyclist, or just look like one!

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  • sb April 11, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    Yep, tried to warn a guy on my way home at 5:30 and sure enough he got nailed by the cops (3) waiting. Thanks for the heads up this am…

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  • bruce April 11, 2007 at 7:21 pm

    6:40pm and they’re still hard at work. There were more than 8 officers in the circle. Most standing around and looking quite sheepish. I made a showboat stop; carefully unclipping and slapping my foot on the road bed. I was congratulated by the officers for my efforts. This is definitely a watershed day. The most troubling aspect to me, beyond the misallocation of resources, is the very wide us vs. them atmosphere in the world of mobile Portlanders.
    We’ve got work to do.

    bruce

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  • John April 11, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    It was a surreal scene on my way home through Ladd’s. The gusts of wind had blown many branches down in the neighborhood. A couple of blocks before I approached the circle, there was a fellow cyclist clearing a four inch branch from the road, as I was about to commend him on his effort, a passing pick-up truck warned us of the sting. I thank you both for making this neighborhood a friendly place to live. Those cops could have made a lot better use of their time by clearing debris rather than giving out tickets to many undeserving folk. In my brief time commuting through Ladd’s this is the 3rd such sting I’ve seen. It obviously doesn’t work. The neighbors complaining ought to propose a more reasonable solution. I imagine the cops feel just as foolish for pulling us over as we do for not putting our foot down. Maybe it’s time we do put our foot down. I’d like to see what would happen if there was a sting busting every motorist who didn’t use a turn signal in that same loop.

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  • MaTa April 11, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    Demanding that bikes fully stop at each and every stop sign is beyond dumb and totally unnecessary except for only the most traffic heavy intersections.

    Cars need to stop because they weigh thousands of pounds and can easily cause great damage and/or death to others. Bikes are hardly any where near the same threat level. Plus the bike riders wastes all their (non-motorized) momentum coming to a complete stop every time, when you can so clearly see and be totally safe by a simple ‘slow-n-go’.

    Car people are sitting on their butts on a comfy seat in a climate controlled setting that is motorized. They can just deal with a few seconds of their precious life by stopping fully at a stop sign.

    Requiring bicyclists to do the same is absurd, a waste of police enforcement, and just plain mean plus it does absolutely nothing to motivate others to take up riding – quite the opposite.

    The day that I have to license plate my bike, get bicycle insurance, bike license, DMV bike driving tests, mandated to wear a helmet, observe every single traffic ordinance that applies to cars, etc. etc. (i.e. more and more brainless nanny laws treating bikes like MUCH larger motorized vehicles) is the day I just say f**k it and get a SUV like everyone else. . .

    Being able to ‘slow-n-go’ at stop signs for bicyclists is the LEAST our society can give as special perks to those who step out of the transportation box and quit contributing to traffic congestion, global warming, sky rocketing obesity levels, wars for cheap oil etc. etc.

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  • Aaron April 11, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    On my way to work, a wonderful PEDESTRIAN warned me and several others of the sting. I find this interesting pedestrians are often very vocal about the stop sign issue. This points to a larger issue. Both peds & bikes have the same ability to communicate that cars lack, and we have the same vulnerability. I repaid the good service by warning other cyclists of the trap in the afternoon. (photo forthcoming)
    As cyclists we are part of a community and we support each other. I have rebuked a cyclist or two for going full speed through a stop sign, but the absurdity both of enforcing rolling stops, and the fact that there were at least eight cops when I looked reflects the disparity of enforcement. The only other time that I’ve seen so many police was for a peace rally. The irony even more pronounced by the fact that I saw several cars make rolling stops during the sting. It would take more optimism than I have to assume that they were cited. I appreciate the effort of this community and I encourage us all to stick together.

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  • Cecil April 11, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    I spoke with one of the officers on my walk home this evening – I asked if they were ticketing cars as well and he said they were and had. I asked if they were ticketing the car drivers who do not signal before they turn off Ladd Circle onto a side street and he said they were. Of course, I saw no evidence of this, only his statements . . .

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  • Spanky April 11, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    I live in Ladd’s and every single day drive that circle, twice a week at 4:30 am, and frequently in the dark. Bikes never stop. For every one I see stop there are twenty that do not, to their peril, as it makes bikes harder to see, and the entry streets are close togehter. Biek or car, if you fail to stop, you deserve to get busted. Kids in this neighborhood have been hit by bikes , and cursed by bikers as they have been lawfully crossing the street. It seems to me many bicyclists are upset at the embarassment of getting busted. I observed the apparent embarrasment and obnoxiousness (which detracts from the “cause” of encouraging bike use)of a coupel of bicyclists nwho were nabbed today, both this AM and this PM. Ladd Circle is dangerous for everyone if cars and bikes and peds do not stop before entering the circle, whether on two wheels, four wheels, or two feet. The “enforcement action” was merited and long overdue. Folks in cars got busted too. I didn’t complain to teh city, but having seen that a response will be made, I will complain in the future.

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  • N.I.K. April 11, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    Cecil, what the officer told you is easy enough to confirm. I advise everybody who reads this blog who knows motorists that go Ladd Circle during the morning and evening commuting hours to ask them if they were stopped or saw any motorists stopped. Considering the large number of officers stationed there, my guess would be that they would have nabbed a whole lot of motorists. We haven’t seen any cyclists who have passed through that area come forward and mention stopped cars, so the next step is to check with the larger category of vehicular traffic on the road. It won’t take long to determine whether this action was indeed only targeting cyclists or all road traffic.

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  • Gregoire April 11, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    It was the end to a perfect ride. First I got a flat tire which delayed my departure from work. Than I got to ride home from Vancouver in a downpour/20 mph head wind. 1.5 miles from home I get hit up for “running” a stop sign in Ladd Circle. What a great use of six police officer’s time!

    And for those of you taking the class at Emanuel, beware. My friend just got back from tonights class and it was the biggest cluster F he’d ever been to. Be prepared for three hours of wasted time, where you’ll hear great presentations from the likes of the Pedestrian Alliance. Whooohoooo! Keep Portland Flounderific!

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  • Burr April 11, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Hey Spanky, get real, Ladd’s Circle is not dangerous, except perhaps when motorists are speeding to pass cyclists. The speed limit is 20 – 25 mph throughout the ‘hood, motorists are typically going faster than that, but I’ve never seen any speed enforcement there ever.

    I fortunately took an alternate route home this evening and missed phase 2 of the sting.

    Those stop signs could disappear at 2am one morning, it only takes a simple socket wrench to remove them.

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  • Vladislav Davidzon April 11, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    What this town really needs is a mayor who actually has some real vision.

    The reality is that Tom Potter is an utter embarrassment for a city as progressive as Portland, and has mostly been a total failure as mayor, whose best claim to fame seems to be a bunch of new park benches downtown. We can do better than a freaking career cop for our mayor.

    Not to say that Potter doesn’t have good intentions, it is just he lacks any serious vision, and seems more concerned about his freaking legacy than actually making the sort of changes that are required in a world that is facing peak oil and global climate chaos. Potter isn’t the right man to lead what should really be America’s most progressive city. These traffic stings are a part of much, much larger failure on the part of his administration.

    The way to go is to pass local legislation. But we can do this even simpler — elect a mayor with some vision who would simply direct the police department not to issue any tickets to cyclists other than for absolutely ridiculous violations of the law.

    It is really too bad that vision is so badly lacking in our Mayor’s office these days. We deserve and can do a hell of a lot better, and I really hope folks step up to the plate in the next election to replace Mr. Potter with someone who actually believes in leading this city to compete not with metro Detroit but with Amsterdam, putting us on the cutting edge of progressive evolution.

    -Vladislav

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  • Todd B April 11, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    This intersection could be great if given a little TLC…raised crosswalks (no ADA ramps), no yield signs (just sharks teeth stencils, more deflection/ choked spliter islands…skinnier lane inside the circle.

    I work within the beast and deal with traffic engineers…there is much reticence by this community in decreasing regulation (replacing stop signs with yields) vs. increasing it at established intersections. One almost needs a call from the city manager/ strong mayor or a large capital project to reset the clock on these intersections.

    I think i only saw 1 stop sign during my 4 week trip to Europe. Traffic signals – a lot. Yield control – a lot. Stop signs nope.

    Traffic control history…traffic signals and stop signs mushroomed during the car age (1910 – 2005) and not the initial bike age (1880-1910). Time to reset the clock and start removing some?

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  • Burr April 12, 2007 at 12:21 am

    Unnecessary stop signs are much the same as unsafe bike lanes, it’s a lot easier to get them installed than to get them removed.

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  • ben April 12, 2007 at 12:56 am

    i’m all for another super legal ride.

    and next time i hear about one if these stings, i’m biking over for the sole purpose of warning others (for as long as i have to). i will call my friends and set up posts on every surrouding street we can…
    in addition to taking pictures and filming the whole scenario.

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  • Phredly April 12, 2007 at 8:07 am

    The amazing thing to me about all this is the excuses, justifications, and rhetoric. This is the same thing we complain about in the driving community.

    Issue: vehicles are running stop signs.

    Responses

    * Why do we get unfair treatment?

    There are *multiple* stings set up *every day* for cars in the metro area. They’re called speed traps. I ride past a couple nearly every day.

    * Cyclists shouldn’t have to stop. Slow ‘n Go is safe enough

    Slow ‘n Go is safe enough until it isn’t. Slow ‘n Go is usually safe for cars too, until it isn’t. The law should not be subjective, or a matter of opinion.

    * Cars weigh thousands of pounds. A cyclist couldn’t possibly hurt anybody.

    I have witnessed a crash between two cyclists at a 4-way stop because neither of them stopped. It wasn’t pretty for either riders or bikes. I have also witnessed pedestrians, behaving in a lawful fashion, having to jump and dodge to avoid being whacked by cyclists running lights or stop signs.

    * We could make those stop signs “disappear”….

    I don’t even know where to start with this one.

    * Yeah, ok so we should stop at stop signs, but they needn’t use 6 cops to ticket us!
    If they weren’t ticketing, then vehicles wouldn’t stop. Are you suggesting that they ask nicely? If a big red stop sign doesn’t convince people to stop, I doubt a friendly plea will.

    * It’s all the mayor’s fault.

    Huh? The issue here is running stop signs.. Why muddy the waters with irrelevant issues?

    This is the one of the simplest issues in the world, and as cyclists we should be *all for* this enforcement. We want to be treated as vehicles? Well here you go! We are being treated as vehicles.

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis April 12, 2007 at 8:54 am

    “Slow ‘n Go is safe enough until it isn’t. Slow ‘n Go is usually safe for cars too, until it isn’t. The law should not be subjective, or a matter of opinion.”

    It’s called “yield.” There are yield signs all over the US, and the work just fine. ID allows bikes to treat stop signs as yield signs, and it works just fine.

    “If they weren’t ticketing, then vehicles wouldn’t stop.”

    And even though they are ticketing, the bikes won’t stop. Go over there this morning, or whenever they finish the sting, and see for yourself. The sting will not work. It hasn’t worked in the past, and it won’t work now. This policy doesn’t work, and it only pisses people off. It’s bad government. And yes, the Mayor is responsible for implementing this terrible policy. So yes, he is relevant here and it is his fault.

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  • Rider April 12, 2007 at 9:15 am

    AO, Burr, Vlad… Don’t you get it?! Stop means stop. People getting the tickets are not the only ones “pissed” in this story. Those neighbors who many of us saw out thanking the cops — those workers out cheering for the cops in the construction zone as cyclists were pulled over — in some of the best places to bike. If we want more of them, fueling the fire so that neighbors are out saying how bad it is to live on the best bike boulevard in the city HURTS BIKES. You’re “bikes are never wrong” attitudes are the very ones that are leading to neighborbors in Ladds Addition complaining about near misses between bikes and elderly people and bikes and kids. You want to hurt the cause? Keep on saying that bikes are never wrong, that bikes don’t have impact on others, and that bikes have no responsibility towards the people who live in the neighborhoods we want to ride through! I know you’ll attack me on a personal level after I hit submit… but how many times do I have to hear you say that every bike that gets a ticket “barely rolled through the sign”. We’ve all seen people blow the signs in Ladd Circle. I’ve seen bikes nearly hit people there. I’ve nearly been hit as both a biker and a walker there. It’s embarrassing and hurts the cause of making a better city to ride in.

    AO — do you think they should stop giving out speeding tickets too? I saw someone speed in a car this morning!!! Clearly tickets don’t work and the whole speed policy of the city is a complete failure! I thought Mayor Potter knew what he was doing!

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis April 12, 2007 at 9:28 am

    “I know you’ll attack me on a personal level after I hit submit…”

    Not true and not fair.

    “… but how many times do I have to hear you say that every bike that gets a ticket “barely rolled through the sign”.”

    You’ve never heard me say that! This is also not fair. I don’t think people should blow through stop signs and I think people who do should expect tickets. Go look at my previous posts – I’ve always said that. I think perhaps you’re not paying attention to what I’m saying.

    “AO — do you think they should stop giving out speeding tickets too?”

    Here’s the bottom line: It costs money to implement any policy. And money is limited. For that reason alone, we have to make sure that the policies we use *actually work.*

    So, you have to ask yourself this question: Does randomly giving speeding tickets (to either drivers or cyclists) actually reduce the overall incidence of unsafe behavior (speeding, running stop signs, etc)?

    I’d like to hear your answer.

    I think the answer is obviously, “No.” So we need to try something else. What else? Elect me Mayor and I’ll tell you ;)

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  • Rider April 12, 2007 at 9:45 am

    There is no way I would ever vote for you for so much as class president. My comments were not unfair. The best example that comes to mind for me is that way you attack PoPo every time he chimes in — you expect much more fairness for yourself then you give to others. The fact that I feel less threatened by speeding drivers in Portland than in any other places I’ve ridden a bike tells me that something about the enforcement in Portland is working — along with lots of other things that are not enforcement.

    You also avoided the most important part of my comment. That you are a negative voice in the conersation that is pissing off the very people we need to win over. We don’t get anything good for bikes if we don’t take responsponsibility and at least offer a reasonable response to people who think that biking is doing bad things in their neighborhood. Do you think peopl like Spanky above should just go live in a hole because they don’t like bikers blowing stop signs in their neighborhood. Don’t you think that there should be some way that they can get help? Every time I’ve heard someone chime in with an idea about getting bike riders to follow the rules, they get personally attacked and told that they should learn to ride a bike — or blown off in some other rude, offensive, and self-important way. How can we ever help people who are on the bubble for liking bikes to get over the hump if we attack their concerns? That’s what I consistently hear you and others do on this site. It sets a harsh, negative, and hurtful tone — it hurts our cause.

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis April 12, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Rider, I think you need to lighten up, buddy. I’m on your side with regard to the harsh and negative tone; I’ve always responded to ideas rather than individuals. You should probably look at your own statements re me in #112 above if you wish to not appear hypocritical.

    And it’s obvious to me that you have not read/heard a thing I’ve said on the importance of cyclists following rules. I agree with you on the importance of providing a reasonble response in winning over the wider community – and that is a separate issue from the effectiveness of police stings. But since you seem unable to separate these issues and you continue to mischaracterize my statements and views, I’m not going to discuss it with you any further.

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  • Matt Picio April 12, 2007 at 10:02 am

    “Plus the bike riders wastes all their (non-motorized) momentum coming to a complete stop every time”

    That’s just an excuse to justify laziness. Stop means stop. “Less dangerous” does not equal “safe”. If you want to change the law so cyclists only have to yield at stop signs, then work to change the law. Until then, obey it – otherwise you’re undermining the efforts of everyone working to help cyclists.

    If you want to “stick it to the man”, or show exactly how absurd the current laws are in terms of the differences between bikes and other vehicles, there are other means to do so which are just as effective yet don’t break the law. The Super Legal Ride is a perfect example.

    It’s also really hard to generate good will towards cyclists in the neighborhoods with the attitude some people have, and the actions they perform. Maybe many of you don’t care – fine, but consider this: In any given neighborhood, there are maybe a hundred cyclists who normally ride through it (Ladd’s and a few others are probably the exceptions to this rule), but there are 4,000-5,000 residents. If you piss them all off, who do you think is going to win when talking to the city? And on a larger level, show some consideration and good will towards these people – if you don’t show consideration for the people in the neighborhood, then why should they give a damn about you? We’re the visitors and the guests in those neighborhoods – they live there.

    From the perspective of a 30-something mother or a 72-year old retiree, there is no difference in safety between a car and a cyclist traveling 25mph and not stopping at intersections. One collision with a child or a senior can put that person in the hospital. Seniors in particular, when injured, have trouble recovering fully or quickly.

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  • Chris April 12, 2007 at 10:08 am

    Guys,

    I’m one of the Ladd’s Addition residents that regularly calls the police (though never yet on bicyclists). I’m also a bicycle commuter, though I spend most winter commutes in my car.

    You need to sit back for a second and consider Ladd’s Addition and some of the problems we face. Every day the wide streets and shortcut nature of the neighborhood lead folks to drive 40+mph through the neighborhood. Few of these are folks that live there.

    Twice a year or more, we have the police come out and ticket speeders. Usually it only takes 2-3 hours before the officers have no more blank tickets. Sure, we congradualte them, offer our thanks, etc… but they acknowledge that every other wide neighborhood street in the city is just as bad.

    That being said, many of the new residents of Ladd’s (including myself) have kids. Almost daily we have to cross the “spokes” at the circle as pedestrians. We look down the street and wonder “Is this car or this bike actually going to stop here?” Considering the average speed of the vehicles, it can make for a really scary crossing, and you have to make 4 of them just to get half way around the circle to Palio, the Video store, or to go down to the park at the school. This is a residential neighborhood, after all.

    One thing that saddens me about your responses is that you think this was a “bicycle” sting. Do you guys honestly think they were ignoring cars that didn’t stop??? This was a vehicle enforcement action. It just happens that with the thousand or so bicycles that enter the circle each day, VERY few stop. Sure the folks being pulled over at rush hour looked like they were disproportionately bikes. Bikes disproportionately run those stop signs. A law is a law and some people got a ticket. Tough. It makes no more sense to complain about it than folks who get speeding tickets on the highway. Should there be speed limits on the highway? Thats not the issue. There ARE.

    Bikers regularly do things that irritate motorists. Whether its passing on the right and then moving to the center of the lane, or blowing through red lights… it frequently occurs to me (daily, actually) that if a individual bicyclist wants to be treated like an automobile with the rights of way that come with an automobile, they need to obey the same laws that automobiles do. You cant have your cake and eat it too.

    In the end, if bicyclists are going to gain safety on the road, it will probably have to be through respect (and less cell phone use by drivers etc.), but there are a few in your midst that will make that very difficult to get. If you are really complaining about getting a ticket here, you are one of those making things more difficult for the whole bicyclist community.

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  • N.I.K. April 12, 2007 at 10:24 am

    If they weren’t ticketing, then vehicles wouldn’t stop. Are you suggesting that they ask nicely? If a big red stop sign doesn’t convince people to stop, I doubt a friendly plea will.

    What’s in your ears – bricks or fingers? That’s not what people are talking about at all.

    Here’s what the issue is, spelled out very clearly so there’s no room for you to either get confused or to put spin on it: people are pissed about the PPB stationing *at least* six police officers at a relatively safe intersection to primarily ticket operators of vehicles weighing less than 50lbs. and generally not going much faster than 15 mph. The problems are as follows:

    1) *All* vehicles need to be targeted in such an operation -we’ve seen nothing to indicate that even a single motorist was stopped in the action, but many people going through the intersection saw plenty of cyclists stopped -even motorists who warned cyclists that there were a considerable number of police officers up the road *stopping bikes*.

    2) More importantly, six officers (or more…we’ve heard numbers as high as eight for Wednesday evening’s activities) are *NOT* necessary to carry out such an enforcement at a minor intersection. It could easily be done with two officers, and the remaining four could have been dispatched to *other* intersections where vehicles frequently run stop signs. We all know there are intersections *far* worse for this than the one at Ladd’s Circle.

    Phredly, if you genuinely believe your suggestion that enforcement actions are necessary to get people to follow laws, you can’t honestly think that enforcing it for several hours on one day at a single intersection will make a certifiable difference. A fair portion of the folks who were running the sign may decide to be more cautious in that one area but not give a damn about it elsewhere.

    As an aside, many of us *do* in fact stop at stop signs and haven’t been motivated to do so by ticketing, but rather because it’s the law or it’s often a safer choice …sometimes both. Not all behavior is instilled by punitive measures.

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  • Chris April 12, 2007 at 10:38 am

    N.I.K., a few questions about your post;

    How do you know how many officers it takes to carry out a traffic enforcement sting?

    Do you *and* your bike weigh 50lbs? So what’s your point? If you run into my 30lb son going 15 mph, all ~200lbs of you and your bike are going to severly injure him. How is this irrelevant?

    Can you make a qualified statement that a motorist who did not stop at the stop sign was not pulled over and ticketed?

    If you were resident of Ladd’s and crossed those intersections on foot with your children almost daily, what other intersections in the city would be more important to you?

    If not through ticketing and the threat of monetary loss, how would YOU effectively change the likelyhood that moving vehicles stop at a particular intersection?

    Would you be angry at all about this if they were only stopping cars?

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  • N.I.K. April 12, 2007 at 11:12 am

    How do you know how many officers it takes to carry out a traffic enforcement sting?

    They’re often done on major stretches of highway, where cars are traveling at speeds in excess of 50 miles per hour, with one to two officers, and they seem to go just fine. It’s not a huge stretch to say that it should take the same amount of officers or less in a largely residential area where vehicles are going considerably slower.

    Do you *and* your bike weigh 50lbs?

    To be fair, I said weight of the *vehicle*. In this case, combined weight of bicycle and operator still pales in comparison to the combined weight of an automobile and driver.

    So what’s your point? If you run into my 30lb son going 15 mph, all ~200lbs of you and your bike are going to severly injure him. How is this irrelevant?

    Point out where I said it’s irrelevant, Chris. Wait…what? Oh, that’s right, I DIDN’T. If you’re concerned about anyone’s safety in that intersection (or at any other), I’d say it’d be advisable to ask the PPB to stop and ticket *anyone* blowing that stop sign, not just one particular type of vehicle.

    Can you make a qualified statement that a motorist who did not stop at the stop sign was not pulled over and ticketed?

    Can you make a qualified statement that a motorist who did not stop at the stop sign *was* pulled over and ticketed? ;P

    Seriously though: no, I can’t, and that’s why I chose my words very carefully. Nobody posting here has mentioned anything about seeing any motorists stopped by the police in that intersection during yesterday’s enforcement. Obviously the world doesn’t cease to exist beyond the field of vision of one individual or group, but given that there are sensible individuals here who aren’t all “OMG! MAJOR ANTI-BIKE CONSPIRACY!” over every little point, we would surely have heard from somebody by now saying, “Yes, I saw a car stopped when I went through. Don’t be hysterical and foolish.”

    If you were resident of Ladd’s and crossed those intersections on foot with your children almost daily, what other intersections in the city would be more important to you?

    Hm…tough hypothetical Chris, but I’d say just about *any* intersection I regularly crossed at, either alone or with others, where I frequently observed dangerous and/or unlawful behavior being carried out by vehicle operators. I’m sure it’s nice to live in Ladd’s and be able to get six officers to setup an enforcement action because of my complaint; it sure would be nice if I could get as many as one to come out and do something at any of the problem intersections I regularly deal with in Humboldt.

    If not through ticketing and the threat of monetary loss, how would YOU effectively change the likelyhood that moving vehicles stop at a particular intersection?

    Don’t mince words. I’m not suggesting we do away with ticketing and the like at all, not even for a second. Instead, I’m suggesting consistent or as-consistent-as-is-realistically-possible enforcement for the scofflaws who opt to ignore or break the rules.

    Would you be angry at all about this if they were only stopping cars?

    Absolutely. A vehicle’s a vehicle and traffic laws still apply to it. Nobody should have to have their safety jeopardized by a vehicle blowing a stop sign or any other infraction.

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  • Chris April 12, 2007 at 11:37 am

    N.I.K.,

    Thank you for answering the questions respectfully. I’m not under the impression that anyone is crying out that there was a major Anti-Bike conspiracy. That wouldnt be worth responding to.

    What I am getting to though is for others to see why the sight of this enforcement action was pleasant to me.

    [i]They’re often done on major stretches of highway, where cars are traveling at speeds in excess of 50 miles per hour, with one to two officers, and they seem to go just fine. It’s not a huge stretch to say that it should take the same amount of officers or less in a largely residential area where vehicles are going considerably slower.[/i]

    When traffic is all heading one direction, I doubt it would take as many officers. With 8 streets entering the circle, perhaps more was justified? I have no idea. I just don’t think anyone on this board has any idea either what was the most effective number of officers. I will admit I’ve never gotten more than one officer to work on the speeding issue in the neighborhood.

    [i]To be fair, I said weight of the *vehicle*. In this case, combined weight of bicycle and operator still pales in comparison to the combined weight of an automobile and driver.[/i]

    The weight of the vehicle doesnt matter. The mass that collides is what matters. At 15-25mph, if a biker is approaching the intersection, he’s just as much of a threat as a car to a 4 year old (who, incidentely, would typcially perform an emergency stop in a shorter distance than a bicyclist).

    [i]Point out where I said it’s irrelevant, Chris. Wait…what? Oh, that’s right, I DIDN’T. If you’re concerned about anyone’s safety in that intersection (or at any other), I’d say it’d be advisable to ask the PPB to stop and ticket *anyone* blowing that stop sign, not just one particular type of vehicle.[/i]

    Fair enough. But I have never, in witnessing many Ladd’s and nearby traffic stings, seen one only directed at bikes (I even recieved my own warning for “crossing a bus lane” (???) in my car). Officers are reported as saying they were not only targeting bikes. My recollection is that most cars stop at the stop sign and that most bikes don’t. I guess we can agree that this is an unknown, but I’d be surprised (and disappointed) if it was a bike only-affair.

    [i]I’m sure it’s nice to live in Ladd’s and be able to get six officers to setup an enforcement action because of my complaint; it sure would be nice if I could get as many as one to come out and do something at any of the problem intersections I regularly deal with in Humboldt. [/i]

    We are a vocal bunch in Ladd’s ;-) Get your neighbors to speak up. We have a Neighborhood Watch, a HAND neighborhood council, and several other forums for neighborhood discussion, awareness, and actions. It occasionally pays off.

    If the [i] tags didnt work for italics, I apologize for the lack of readability. Thank you for your responses.

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  • Burr April 12, 2007 at 11:46 am

    I’m cross posting this because it seems relevant. In the ‘bus driver’ thread, Paul the bus driver is proposing that cyclists be banned from arterial streets like SE Hawthorne and Division, and rerouted to parallel neighborhood bike boulevards like SE Salmon and SE Harrison/Ladd. I’m sure other motorists share this sentiment.

    Herein lies the dilemma. A sizable percentage of motorists apparently don’t want cyclists on ‘their’ arterial streets, and it appears that a sizable percentage of the neighborhood residents apparently don’t want cyclists on ‘their’ neighborhood streets, either.

    For the most part cyclists want to quickly and safely access the same destinations motorists do. Bike boulevards designed for low speed recreation cycling with a multiplicity of stop signs are not conducive to transporation cycling.

    If these neighborhood routes are truly intended for transportational cycling, the city needs to do a better job of maintaining the flow of bicycle traffic, and limit the number of stops and other inconveniences – including police stings – for cyclists.

    The alternative is to make the arterials like SE Hawthorne and SE Division bike accessible and safer for cyclists, but the city has not demonstrated a willingness or desire to do this in either the Hawthorne Boulevard Transportation Plan or the ‘Division Vision’ Plan.

    Bottom line: bicyclists are here to stay, and their numbers are only going to continue growing. The city and the neighborhoods are being hypocritical and working at cross-purposes, and they can’t have it both ways.

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  • Suburban April 12, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    Lively thread! Here is my 242000cents: I am a big fan of, and even geeky about traffic circles. Of all the Points of view expressed, #48 commenting about UK traffic circle danger really stumped me. Ladds circle is an weak facimilie of a true traffic circle wich would have zebra stripes half a block away from the merging spokes, not right in the acceleration zone. You may have noticed USA Departments of transportation try to solve problems (lawsuits) with signage, instead of architecture. “Slipery when wet”?, watch for bicycles, tracks,deer, rocks, children, etc. Advocating for a change of a signal or sign is considered subversive, advocating for a change in a culture may be considered terrorism. I look forward to attending a large group of bicycles who follow laws; how does July 9th 5pm work for you?

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  • reader April 12, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    Jonathan, what happened to this morning’s post recapping the events?

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  • Jonathan Maus April 12, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    reader, wow. thanks. weird. it went to “draft” mode and vanished. it’s back now. thank you for the heads up. I wondered why no one had commented on it.

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  • Aaron April 12, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    Here is a photo which I took of the event (before going and warning cyclists).
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/60961560@N00/456823642/
    Can someone correct for me the figures for the number of police currently employed to patrol southeast Portland?
    The controversy is ripe and this will be a challenging effort. But with strength we can bring enlightenment to the masses.

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  • Chris April 12, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    Burr,

    I think you’ve made an erroneous conclusion…

    The residents of Ladd’s want bicyclists there. We actually enjoy the sight of enlightened commuters on bikes. There are those bicycle mileage a directions signs in the neighborhood, remember?

    We just ask that they obey the law and don’t endanger us.

    Simple as that.

    You dont need to ride up Hawthorne risking life and limb. Just come to a complete stop at the Ladd’s circle.

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  • Burr April 12, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    Personally, I’d rather ride Hawthorne than risk a $242 ticket for rolling an unnecessary stop sign which is an impediment to efficient bicycle transportation. But I’m familiar enough with Ladd’s Addition that I know other routes through the neighborhood that I can take to avoid the circle when the cops are there.

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  • JayS, April 12, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    These comments are made regaurding Chris’s comments and others earlier in the thread.

    I have two young kids and we spend a lot of time outside. Many bikes slow down but an equal number blow through the intersection that my house sits on all the time (we are at the bottom of a hill makes it extra tempting) very few cease forward momentum unless a car is coming on the cross street. Cars speed through on the the unmarked section and do California stops at the stop sign all the time. I don’t keep my kids out of the street because of the bikes (I understand the reality of increased visibility and greater control of a bicycle) I do it because of the cars.

    Chris said, “The weight of the vehicle doesn’t matter. The mass that collides is what matters. At 15-25mph, if a biker is approaching the intersection, he’s just as much of a threat as a car to a 4 year old (who, incidentely, would typcially perform an emergency stop in a shorter distance than a bicyclist)”

    A bicycle of lower mass can stop more quickly and turn more quickly. The weight absolutly matters in the discussion of what is and should be considered a safe stop.

    Not weight related but if your child is in the street a bicycle has many more options because of it’s smaller size and greater manuverability than a car. Bike takes up a smaller percentage of the street than a car so the bike has a much greater percentage of the street to perform evasive action in if it is necessary. I am all for safe riding to me this means at least slowing to a near stop listening and looking and assesing the situation before slowing more stopping or passing through.

    Cops make the judgment about what is safe versus what is the letter of the law all the time for cars they can do it for bikes. It seems like these enforcement actions make them follow the letter of the law instead of there standard judgement practices. That makes this a misuse of polce resources.

    So many intersections in this city have poor visibility that cars (including the police) do the creep through. If police or parking cops were enforcing parking violations at corners all over the city the safety of all vehicles and pedestrians would be much greater.

    Don’t get me started on the rumored dog comment to an officer from one neighbor. I’m sure we all agree it is a dog owners responsibility to keep their dog a safe distance from all vehicles for the saftey of the dog and the vehicle and it’s occupants.

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  • joel April 12, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    handmade signs are a good idea too.
    I should say that i think stopping for other people is a good idea in ladds. I do do stops when people are looking, when people are around to create a good example, same as i hand signal a lot to create a good example, when i see someone and i think it will make them happy if I stop I do. Everywhere else I pull full stops, mostly. But in ladds it just makes sense to roll through when its all clear. its not even a question of endangering others in ladds, the range of visability is huge and the street is wide. All im saying is i like for everyone to be safe, and i enjoy the example of stopping, but i stop when there is a reason. umm and ive totally run over a two year old, when i was 9, but i was going super fast, in that story everyone was knocked around but ok.

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  • alan bluehole April 12, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    I’d like to see the Mercury or another outlet which covers these kinds of things do a FOIA to find out how many and which neighbors filed complaints.

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  • steve April 12, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    So, it is safe to roll through because you can see so well? Great visibility at the circle and it is no trouble to make sure it is safe before blowing through, huh?

    You are paying attention, can see all around and know it is safe?

    Why the hell didn’t you see the eight cops and their hulking motorcycles? Huh? Anyone?

    Perhaps you aren’t so aware after all?

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  • Todd B April 12, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    Response to post 129…

    Does it really matter how many pedestrians called to complain that triggered this PPD enforcement action?

    If it was only one that did it – plus PPB assesment – then perhaps our community might get similar service level of police enforcement for a problem areas of our own. Bicyclists are pedestrian too. (It might help too if the PPB were to send Maus a monthly list of how they follow up on similar requests by bicyclists for enforcement.)

    So…instead of more posts on this topic how about:
    - stopping at these stops sign [for now]
    - organize a call in effort to target a ‘black spots’ for bicyclist safety
    - an organized super legal ride (perhaps around the circle 100 times or up and down this route to grid lock it up) as mentioned early on
    - BTA to work with PDOT to redesign this circle (more targeted calls to the Mayors office may be needed)
    - organize an effort to contact City Council/ Salem on the Idaho issue

    And remember to smile as you ride safely around this circle (and ring your bell for the little pets) when going to the Filmed By Bike event this weekend.

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  • Martha S. April 12, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    I think it does matter how many neighbors complained. It’s they’re neighborhood; we just ride through it. If there are a large number of ladds residents that are angry with the cyclists riding through the area then clearly we’re not being courteous to the people we’re sharing those roads with. That is a serious problem that ought to be addressed. However it’s one or two cranky a**holes, then that’s a different matter all together.

    Don’t get me wrong though, whether or not the enforcement action was justified six cops is still overkill.

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  • Virgil April 13, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    I gotta laugh at all the pedaler whines that they are being told to behave like a vehicle when they act like one. Maybe, just maybe, you ill stop acxting like pedestrians when it suits your convenience.

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  • Gregoire April 13, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    I just spoke with a good friend that recently moved from Ladd’s addition, but had lived there for the last two years. When I told him I was cited for running a stop sign on my bike he nearly dropped the phone in laughter. He found this as absurd as I did. (Quite a different reaction from the other Ladd’s Addition residents posted here.) However, I choose to share my friends reaction since he walked to New Season’s Market nearly everyday with his two year old son. At no time could my friend recall being threatened, or even startled by a bike in Ladd’s addition.

    I’m curious as to the alleged incident where a Ladd’s resident was hit by bikers on two seperate occassions as stated by the Portland Police. Was this person injured? Did they sustain any physical injuries or are they over reacting? And you folks in Ladd’s Addition, here’s a news flash: WE LIVE IN A CITY. And as Rodney King says “CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG??”

    Thank you, and don’t forget, Keep on Keeping Portland Weird….

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  • al April 14, 2007 at 9:56 am

    To Debby,

    Cops on foot running a bike sting? You’re kidding, right? Do you actually think that the bikers would stop, just because a cop on foot told them to? What’s he going to do, call in their plate number when they don’t stop?

    To all,
    Cops run these sorts of stings on motorists all the time. I see this stuff mostly on the freeways (some of the safest places to drive) and only in response to excessive speed, not for truly dangerous stuff like following too closely, unsafe lane changes, etc. It’s all about fundraising, and not driven by citizen complaints. You all want bikes to be treated just like other vehicles, so you have to take the bad with the good here; would you expect that automobiles that didn’t make the stop should not be ticketed?

    Sounds here like the good citizens of Ladd’s Addition are tired of bikes disobeying the law in their neighborhood, and complained. And I’m blown away by the attitudes here. You really have a problem obeying traffic control devices, like stop signs! Why? If you want to use the roads, and not be shunted onto bike paths, then obey the laws, whether they seem like good ideas or not.

    For many years, I commuted to work downtown via the southeast Portland bike route. I observed that a tiny minority of cyclists actually stopped at marked stop signs. It amazed me that they seemed to think that they could just blow through them, and it made me mad, because I felt that it made cyclists look bad. I don’t often agree with the cops (don’t need ‘em, don’t like ‘em) but in this case, I have to say that these tickets are about damned time.

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  • Betty April 16, 2007 at 11:23 am

    How do I get a sting my neighborhood? I am tired of all the “alternative” bikers in this town laying attitude on me and riding aggressively. I have been hit several times walking the Eastside Esplanade and the season is almost upon us where the majority of bikers will be out of control. Please have some respect for your fellow Portlanders and calm down while you ride. Yes I know you’re angry at all the drivers that have treated you so badly. Get over it!

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  • Ian Clemons April 17, 2007 at 9:26 am

    I saw the whole incident myself while riding through with my 3 and 6 year olds on my Xtracycle – Boy, that led to some good morning chatter!

    A couple of points:

    First, the roundabouts: People in the US don’t know much about roundabouts. They are ubiquitous in Europe and people know how to use them. I’ve always felt like the stopsigns on Ladd Circle and 39th and Glisan are, on balance, a good thing for safety. I grew up in rural Oregon where there are no roundabouts for hundreds of miles. Do you really want these folks learning about roundabouts the hard way, by running over bicyclists? I can only imagine the comments on this site if that were to happen.

    Second, I saw motorists getting pulled-over, too. Fair is fair. There are tons of stings against cars.

    Finally, the action did serve as a warning to me. I’ll be more careful and that’s what it’s all about.

    Respectfully,

    Ian

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  • Graham Ross May 18, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    I’m in favor of obeying the laws.

    I haven’t been around all that long, but I do remember when 39th and Glisan was changed to stop signs in the ’70s or ’80s. Prior to that it was yields, if memory serves. I remember thinking that Joan of Arc must be pissed. There was a rash of accidents at 39th and Glisan. Idiots mostly. Stop signs was the answer, coupled with the whole right-turn-only deal for the curbside lanes, obviating risky lane-changes within the circle.

    The rule in Europe and Britain (a) is that the circle has the right of way. An American rule (b) is that the car on your right has the right of way.

    I’m not sure about Europe, but in Britain there is no “default” like this. Every single intersection either has the roundabout algorithm–concrete button in the middle of the intersection–or else there are signs or “give way” triangles painted in the pavement of the streets that must yield.

    Rules (a) and (b) conflict. The cars that are in the circle are approaching you from your left. Sounds kind of obscure, but maybe it is part of the cause of those accidents. Ian’s turnip truck theory sounds good too.

    The stop sign is a wonderful thing for pedestrians, and there is no better example than 39th and Glisan. With yield signs there it would be very hard to get past the circle on foot.

    The problem with rigid enforcement of the stop sign law is that less than half of sober, church-going motorists actually stop at an uncontested stop sign where there is ample visibility and no cops present. Of course the stats are even worse for drunkards and rascals. Someone should stake out some stop signs and gather some info for us. I’m busy or I’d do it.

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis May 19, 2007 at 8:40 am

    “I’m in favor of obeying the laws.”

    Yes, there is unanimity on this. You’ve failed to spot the issue being discussed.

    “With yield signs [at 39th and Glisan] it would be very hard to get past the circle on foot.”

    Right issue, wrong conclusion. Yield signs would still require yielding to pedestrians. That’s why they call it “yield.”

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  • Logan 5 May 19, 2007 at 10:40 am

    There is no unanimity on this, considering the amount of tickets written.

    If so many cyclists don’t obey the stop signs that are currently in place (stop signs require stopping), what makes you think those same people will yield? The simple fact is those bad apples will go through even faster and with less care for other road users (at least until they keep getting tickets for failure to yield).

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis May 19, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    The vast majority of the people who are getting ticketed *are* yielding. And if the bad apples will keep being scofflaws, as you say, then why not change the law to allow the behavior of the vast majority of the safe riders to be within the law.

    And there *is* unanimity. I’m referring to the idea, as expressed here, that people should obey the law. None of the commentators disagree with that. So to the extent you see disagreement on that issue, you’re wrong. People disagree with the enforcement mechanism, which is ineffective. They’re separate issues.

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  • Joe May 20, 2007 at 11:01 am

    Personally, I obey the STOP signs, whether on a bike (as I usually am since I am a Ladd’s Addition resident) or in a vehicle. Those wanting YIELD signs are ones who want to speed up the flow of the traffic and make the neighborhood less safe for their own gains.

    The STOP signs are there for a reason, and should be obeyed. Don’t put your selfish reasons ahead of the real need to slow down and be safe.

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis May 20, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Wrong again. There is no safety difference between yield and stop, since they both impose the same legal obligation and other places that have the yield rule (e.g., Idaho) have not experienced safety problems. Don’t put your paranoid self-interest ahead of the greater good.

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  • SKiDmark May 20, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    I think it has more to do with the fact that most bike riders probably think they are not doing anything “wrong enough” for the Police to bother with them. They probably think the Police are there to bust cars. Us weirdos know better.

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  • Elvis Lives May 20, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    Joe (#142) is the man.

    And stop and yield signs do not impose the same legal obligations.

    ORS 811.260 Responses to Traffic Control Devices:

    “Stop Signs A driver approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it. After stopping, the driver shall yield the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when the driver is moving across or within the intersection.”

    “Yield signs: A driver approaching a yield sign shall slow the driver’s vehicle to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and if necessary for safety, shall stop at a line as required for stop signs under this section, and shall yield the right of way to any vehicles in the intersection or approaching so closely as to constitute and immediate hazard.”

    A stop sign is a “shall stop.” Period. A yield sign is “shall slow…” and “shall stop if necessary for safety.”

    I would further suggest that it is our human nature as riders in a generally impatient society to be less wary approaching a yield sign than when approaching a stop sign, even if we decide to blow the stop. I would argue that decreased wariness makes it less likely that we will detect an approaching pedestrian, cyclist or car in time to avoid a collision.

    And if the greater good isn’t to try to make us all as safe as possible as we negotiate our streets and neighborhoods, please tell us what is the greater good. Preserving momentum? Getting to our destination 60 seconds faster?

    How about the greater good is respect for other people and a little humility for ourselves. Yeah, it feels pretty safe to blow that stop sign at Ladds Circle. We’ve all done it. I’ve done it. But if the people who live there have had close calls and worry about being hit and aren’t feeling safe, that seems reasonable. I can respect that. They are there all the time and have a much better idea of what’s going on than me with my twice-a-day commute. And I hope they would respect my safety concerns in my own neighborhood when they are passing through mine.

    And please direct us to the data that suggests Idaho hasn’t experienced “safety problems.” If it is there, awesome. We can learn and analyze. It would just be nice to have a little more substance backing up claims.

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis May 21, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    “And stop and yield signs do not impose the same legal obligations….A stop sign is a “shall stop.” Period. A yield sign is “shall slow…” and “shall stop if necessary for safety.””

    No, you’ve confused the behavior with the legal duty. The two signals may impose different behavioral obligations, but there is no distinction in the legal duties imposed. Your quotation of the statute is irrelevant.

    “I would argue that decreased wariness makes it less likely that we will detect an approaching pedestrian, cyclist or car in time to avoid a collision.”

    Interesting, then, that there have been no collisions at a stop sign where (almost) no one actually stops! Here, the facts invalidate the logic of your argument.

    “And please direct us to the data that suggests Idaho hasn’t experienced “safety problems.””

    No one can prove a negative. Show me some evidence that backs up your argument that yield signs cause “decreased wariness,” or risk appearing hypocritical.

    “Yeah, it feels pretty safe to blow that stop sign at Ladds Circle. We’ve all done it. I’ve done it. But if the people who live there have had close calls and worry about being hit and aren’t feeling safe, that seems reasonable. They are there all the time and have a much better idea of what’s going on than me with my twice-a-day commute.”

    No, remember your boy Joe always obeys the law. Every time he’s gone through a stop sign in his entire life he’s come to a full and complete stop. And he’s never done anything to deserve a $242 fine. He’s also sufficiently self-righteous to give public lectures on the topic. So, Shame on you for being such a scofflaw.

    This last quote reveals three key things that you fail to understand about this issue, and are the root cause of why you are wrong on this:

    1. Those people who are making the locals feel unsafe are not doing so simply because they are not stopping at a stop sign. They are doing so because they are not behaving safely. They would be equally in violation of a yield rule as they are of the stop rule.

    2. The sting didn’t work. Go to Ladd’s today and see for yourself — people are still mostly slowing and looking, but a few continue to blow right through. It hasn’t worked elsewhere in PDX, either. So, the eight cops on motorcycles and the giant red signs with *STOP* printed on them aren’t doing anything to increase the neighborhood’s safety. Whatever perception-of-safety value they have is negated after the cops leave and the unsafe behavior continues.

    3. People will complain about just about anything. I’m not saying some of the complaints weren’t justified (as discussed above), but setting law enforcement priorities based solely on reactions to individual citizen complaints is a bad idea if the goal is to have a safe community. So is using a technique, the sting, that is not effective.

    None of this addresses how to solve this problem, but that’s a separate issue. The only reasonable conclusion here, however, is that a yield rule would enable the vast majority of safe cyclists to escape a ridiculous fine while continuing allow appropriate punishment of unsafe cycling behavior. It would also promote the development of an efficient cycling transportation system.

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  • Elvis Lives May 23, 2007 at 9:14 am

    Hey I appreciate your more thoughtful reply!

    “Wrong again. There is no safety difference between yield and stop, since they both impose the same legal obligation and other places that have the yield rule (e.g., Idaho) have not experienced safety problems.”

    “No, you’ve confused the behavior with the legal duty. The two signals may impose different behavioral obligations, but there is no distinction in the legal duties imposed. Your quotation of the statute is irrelevant.”

    You are the one who brought up “legal obligation” in the first place and since you now seem to be dodging the question by splitting it into two more terms: “behavior obligations” and “legal duties” I think you have a little better explaining to do. My quotation is quite relevant, as the average rider’s perceived obligation regarding those two signs plays directly into my suggestion of why there is a safety difference between the two. If you are suggesting that the “legal duty” to give the right of way to cross traffic is the same in both, fine, but there is a significant difference in the manner that the law asks you to check for that–one forcing you to stop and check, the other allowing you to check for cross traffic while you are rolling–giving you less time to do it.

    “No one can prove a negative. Show me some evidence that backs up your argument that yield signs cause “decreased wariness,” or risk appearing hypocritical.”

    So it sounds like we’re agreed that your claim of no safety problems in Idaho has no data behind it. Though it is written as if it is a known fact. And it seems like there could be data, by simply comparing accident statistics before and after the law was enacted. Such data could support your point quite nicely, or not. As written it is just speculation and shouldn’t be used to support your argument of “no safety difference.”

    (Data that is hard to quantify but would be helpful for both of our arguments is number of “near misses” and perception of safety among residents. There is obviously some feeling of a lack of safety among residents of Ladds, based on the origins of the police operation and comments on this string.)

    My argument supporting a safety difference between stop and yield signs appealed to common sense regarding the way we ride and how most cyclists respond to the different signs, not to statistics or an insinuated claim of known fact. A more proper counter to the argument would be to challenge my assumption of bicycle-riding human nature, not cite lack of data.

    “No, remember your boy Joe always obeys the law. Every time he’s gone through a stop sign in his entire life he’s come to a full and complete stop. And he’s never done anything to deserve a $242 fine. He’s also sufficiently self-righteous to give public lectures on the topic. So, Shame on you for being such a scofflaw.”

    This is simply a pithy little personal attack on two people at the same time, having no relevance to the debate at hand, something you are clealy quite fond of, as well as public lectures, in spite of your concern with keeping people on topic (look, here’s one back at ya–sorry!)

    “None of this addresses how to solve this problem, but that’s a separate issue. The only reasonable conclusion here, however, is that a yield rule would enable the vast majority of safe cyclists to escape a ridiculous fine while continuing allow appropriate punishment of unsafe cycling behavior. It would also promote the development of an efficient cycling transportation system.”

    Indeed, it doesn’t solve the problem of unsafe riding. But yours is definitely not the only reasonable conclusion. Rather than change the situation to accommodate the scofflaws (how about 35mph limit on a residential street instead of 25mph–everyone goes that fast anyway!), why don’t we all respect each other, neighborhood wishes, and the system and body of knowledge of traffic engineering that put those stop signs there in the first place, acknowledge that we live not in a bicycle vacuum but also among cars, walkers, residents, commuters–and stop at the stop signs. And encourage our fellow riders to do the same. I guarantee this will be safer for everyone across the board, at a tiny cost in momentum and time. Slow down, enjoy the ride!

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  • Matt Picio May 23, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    Elvis Lives said “And if the greater good isn’t to try to make us all as safe as possible as we negotiate our streets and neighborhoods, please tell us what is the greater good”

    The greater good is to make us all as safe as is PRACTICABLE, not “possible”. To make us all as safe as POSSIBLE, we would limit all vehicles to 5 mph (the speed of a fast walk) or less, require a full and complete stop at all intersections under all circumstances, and require helmet and padding use in all vehicles. Bikes and other 2-wheeled vehicles would be banned outright, as they are inherently unstable at such low speeds. We wouldn’t run with scissors, and we’d all wait at least 45 minutes after supper before entering the pool.

    We don’t make things as safe as possible, or we’d never get anything done. We manage risk, and create a balance where the level of risk is “acceptable”.

    The problem isn’t whether there’s a higher legal standard for stop vs. yield, the problem is that everyone ignores the gods-blessed sign no matter what sign we put up there. There is no practical enforcement for traffic laws anymore (really, there hasn’t been since the 1950s), and 50+ years of people figuring out there isn’t likely to be anyone there to catch them has made every driver bold enough to “cheat” on all the laws – hence rolling stops, no turn signals, etc, etc.

    The biggest problem today is the entitlement mentality – “well, if he can do that, I can too”. Cars speed, so we speed. Cars roll through a stop, so we do too. No one wants to give up the advantage, so suggestions that someone should obey the law are scoffed at, ignored, viewed as unrealistic, whatever. People have to make their own decision to ignore the entitlement mentality – we can’t legislate it away, and enforcement is so spotty, we can’t punish it away either.

    A_O has the right of it in one important respect – police resources are limited, and they should be allocated where they’re going to do the most good. For traffic, that means drunk drivers and unsafe truckers – those who potentially can cause the most damage. If there’s resources left over, then we can focus on all modes at the most dangerous intersections, and work down the lists. Cyclists running a stop sign in Ladd’s, one of the safest areas in the city, SHOULD be at the bottom of the list.

    If the Ladd’s residents (or any other) don’t like that, then maybe they should work with the city to form a community policing program, or voluntarily pay more taxes to hire more cops. As far as I can see, a few residents want the city to address a nuisance because they can’t be bothered to do anything about it themselves.

    Note: I have nothing against the neighborhood, I’m sure they’re great people. I’m just saying that things work better if people get off their butts and interact with other people directly, rather than just calling the cops or a lawyer FIRST.

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  • Liquid Soul May 24, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    Wow. There are a ton of posts on this issue.

    I got a ticket in Ladds. I lived in Ladd’s for a year right on the circle by Palio’s. I agree with the people above who think it is retarded to have stop signs at traffic circles. I thought that was the purpose of traffic circles. Otherwise why not save some space and have a four-way stop?

    Why are bikes subject to the laws of a car anyways? Bikes are not cars. Bikes should have special laws. Pedestrians have special laws…

    Anyway, I feel that it is safe to blow right through those Ladds circle stop signs. You can see way in advance if someone is coming. There is more than enough room to merge even if it is right along side a car.

    To make things worse.. When I got my ticket I did stop. There was a little confusion with a pedestrian by Palio’s. There was three of us all right there then the Cop pulled us all over. And still gave us a ticket. LAME!!!

    I just get the feeling that the cops there to either appease some old rich people who do nothing but complain about stuff all day, or they are there to rape us out of our money. I don’t feel that they are there to protect me.

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  • Wondering May 26, 2007 at 12:06 am

    Hi everyone. I just have some general comments:
    1) I ride/train usually 100-250 miles a week, much of which is done doing things like commuting by bike to my jobs, which are generally 12-15 miles way. Like many cyclists, I love riding fast and keeping momentum. So there is no way, even after a few 242 buck tickets, that I am going to change my riding habits, which are basically slow and go – or, if visibility is very good and no one is close, I don’t slow. I go. But I always look around for cars, pedestrians, dogs, etc., and if I think I am going to make ANYONE nervous or unsafe by not slowing or stopping, I slow or stop.
    2) I screw up occasionally, which makes me feel like a dork, and I try to apologize if I can. Of course, if my screwing up results in my getting crsushed by someone with the right of way that I didn’t see, then so be it. Yes, I know that a driver doesn’t want to be traumatized by crushing a cyclist who screwed up.
    3) I know this sounds naive, but are there really a lot of cyclists on the road who just dont’ want to slow for anything, who come really close to pedestrians etc., cut off cars and other cyclists, etc.? Maybe we cyclists, who want the Fifth Army to come running when a driver comes too close to us, should start campaighing against what I guess is the small minority of cyclists who don’t just slow and go (or stop, look at ago, which I sometimes do at red lights), but do the totally selfish crazy stuff which unnecessarily scares people. I don’t really like being lectured by another cyclist if I stop for a red light, look at ways, see no one within three blocks, and cruise through. Yes, I know some drivers really resent that, but oh well — if I do nothing to inconvenience them, and they want to curse at me for not obeying the law, I say get a life. But if I cut in front of cars, almost hit a pedestrian, yell at pedestrians and drivers who have the right of way etc. – write me a ticket, tell me I’m an idiot, tell BTA etc.
    Of course one problem with the idea of campaigning against obnoxious cyclists is that we don’t have license plates. So ya can’t report them!
    (Or, perhaps some people would say, ‘us’).
    Sorry I went on so long. I’m looking for wisdom.

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  • johnsmith July 28, 2008 at 12:54 am

    Walking as a pack down Rainier Avenue earlier this week, a dozen African-American youths paused at bus stops, beauty salons and minimarkets — even shiny cars stopped in traffic — to pass out fliers and invite other streetwise kids to join them. Seattle police viewed most of them with suspicion in the past but don\’t halt their outreach efforts now. The youths, all but one a teenager, are seeking a fresh reputation. Call them the anti-gang.
    —————-
    johnsmith

    Wide Circles

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  • Mike September 25, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Everyone in favor of the law being obeyed and enforced to the letter of the law needs to examine speeding. The police will never pull someone over if they are going 1 mph over the speed limit. People do not drive the speed limit or under the speed limit on arteries. In neighborhoods, like Ladds, it’s safe and polite to drive the speed limit or below the speed limit, but, again, this does not happen on arterials. In terms of speeding, the police rightly exercise discretion when determining who deserves a ticket. The same should happen with bicycles and stop signs (until a law like ID can be passed). If someone doesn’t stop enough, they should get a ticket, but most officers aren’t going to give a bicyclist a ticket if they’re being safe. Same with jaywalking.

    One person here also brought up a dilemma for cyclists. Drivers don’t want us in their neighborhoods or arterials.

    I would also just like to add that drivers should thank cyclists for sharing the road all the time at the danger to themselves. When cyclists safety is in danger or when we’re riding by lines of parked cars that could door us, we are within our legal rights to take the entire line and make cars slow down behind us. That is legal, but we don’t do it. You’re welcome.

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  • wsbob September 25, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    “If the Ladd’s residents (or any other) don’t like that, then maybe they should work with the city to form a community policing program, or voluntarily pay more taxes to hire more cops. As far as I can see, a few residents want the city to address a nuisance because they can’t be bothered to do anything about it themselves.” Matt Picio

    I wonder if through a community policing program, concerned residents could set up their own traffic stings with trained staff and video cameras to document violations, and then issue their own citizen initiated citations. There’s something for Ladd’s residents to consider.

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  • Speedster September 25, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    I never have approved of revenue collection with a gun and badge. This BS is worse than speed traps. Sting my ass.

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  • wsbob September 26, 2008 at 9:08 am

    “….revenue collection…” Speedster

    …is not the issue. Read through all of the comments above, again. People have a legitimate concern about a bike route officially designated by the city, going through their neighborhood, when many of the people riding their bikes through it don’t feel compelled to acknowledge and respect the reasons that traffic controls are placed within it.

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  • Mike November 20, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    That’s fine. My neighborhood is on NE Broadway and Weidler. I’d like the police to set up a sting there during rush hour and ticket every driver that’s going 1mph or more over the speed limit. Do you see how stupid this is? Please explain why it’s different when ticketing bicyclists?

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  • Michael Ballard May 18, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    I find that it is rather hypocritical that so many cyclists run lights/stop signs, complain when they are enforced, yet demand that motorists follow the SAME rules! What gives? Honestly, your life is only worth $242? Because that is the price you put on it when you run those stop signs/lights.

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