Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on March 25th, 2008 at 8:02 am
This morning, officers from the Portland Police Bureau’s Traffic Division began a series of targeted enforcement missions at the new bike box on SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Traffic Division Lieutenant Bryan Parman and three of his officers were on hand to watch the intersection and make sure road users complied with the newly installed traffic control device. As per their strategy, the officers are only giving out warnings and the plan is to follow up this mission and issue citations when necessary after a two week grace period.
Parman said things were pretty slow and that he expects more action at the intersection when they return and work the location again this afternoon (when bike commuters will be headed home). About 45 minutes into the enforcement mission, Parman told me that even with no bicycles present, every car has stopped behind the bike box.
“This is a good intersection for us to start with,” he said, “because there’s not much traffic and the design is very straight forward.” Parman added that besides encroachment into the painted box area, they are also watching for ‘failure to yield’ violations as cars turn right onto SE 7th.
Pointing at the green-painted bike lane approach (preceding the bike box), he said they’re using that as a benchmark zone for where they expect motorists to be aware of the presence of a bicyclist.
One behavior Parman has already noticed (and PDOT is also aware of) is how motorists position themselves between that green bike lane and the curb prior to making a right turn onto SE 7th. That lane is meant for parking only, and Parman said PDOT is considering a curb extension or some other treatment to discourage cars from using it as a turn lane.
I’ll be back out at the intersection this afternoon and will report back any significant developments.