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Updated: Sign in construction area admonishes bicyclists

Posted by on July 16th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

[Updated 7/16, 2:40pm -7/17, 3:00pm -- see below]

Signage at SE Caruthers and Water-2.jpg
(Photos © J. Maus)

A new traffic sign at the northeast corner of SE Water and SE Caruthers offers a stern reminder for those who pass by on two wheels:

“BICYCLISTS MUST FOLLOW STOP SIGNS AND TRAFFIC DIRECTIONS!”

The area (just south of OMSI) is currently the site of two major construction projects — the MLK Viaduct renovation being managed by ODOT and the East Side Big Pipe project managed by the City of Portland.

According to ODOT spokesperson Mike Mason, they had nothing to do with it.

Signage at SE Caruthers and Water-3.jpg
A construction zone access driveway
lies just feet from the stop sign.

More likely, the sign (which looks sort of homemade) was put up by a private business in the immediate area. There are many industrial businesses on these streets that require large trucks and a closer inspection of the sign shows another warning, “Be Careful. Do not enter truck loading area.”
But as we saw last week, those trucks sometimes have trouble complying with the law themselves (Note: I’ve updated that story with some good news from ODOT).

The entire construction zone is considered an “Enhanced Enforcement Zone” by the Portland Police Bureau’s Traffic Division. They’ve not only made it clear in the past that they are closely watching the area (sometimes a bit too closely?), they’re also paid a special fee by ODOT for the service.

However, despite increased patrols (at least according to whoever posted this sign), some folks are still not complying with the law.

_____

[Update: I just got back from the site. From speaking to construction crews working at the intersection directly adjacent to the sign, I was able to confirm that it was put up by the company working on the Big Pipe Project. Workers with Kiewit-Bilfinger Berger say the sign was put up because they are concerned for safety.

They say people on bikes are constantly blowing through that stop sign even though there is a lot of big-rig truck traffic near it. They also said the Police were out talking with them this morning and that, "they're trying to figure out what to do about it."

As I chatted with the KBB employees we watched several people on bikes stream by without even noticing the stop sign (or the one across the street in front of the Portland Spirit parking lot).

Why are so many people on bikes not stopping? Besides just blatantly not obeying the law, part of the problem might be sign overload, check out the photo below for another view of this sign and you'll see what I mean...]

It’s no wonder compliance is low at this intersection.

UPDATE: 7/17 – The sign has been removed by the City of Portland.

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Comments
  • BURR July 16, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I believe that it\’s illegal to just put up private traffic signs on a public road like that, when is PDOT taking it down?

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  • peejay July 16, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    If PDOT doesn\’t, I\’ll help out.

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  • david July 16, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    I am confused. What exactly is wrong with the signs?

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  • erin g. July 16, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    I navigate this area every day by bike, and I am all for being respectful and courteous to the hard working truck drivers in the zone. I extend friendly smiles and waves, and I come to a stop at stop signs; I know I’ll catch and overcome the summer commuter guys who dust by when I do so!

    However, signage in this zone should be all-inclusive and universally applicable. This mystery sign would be more appropriate if also said something like, \”Truck Drivers: Please come to a complete stop at stop signs and refrain from entering the designated bike lane.\”

    Ideally, the sign would be best if it addressed all road users, not just one set or another.

    I have had many truckers in this area act with great courtesy toward me (i.e. a lady with wavy blond hair stopped her cement truck for me on Monday, even when she had the right-of-way), whereas others have endangered my life at times by rolling through stop signs or by swinging into the bike lane in this zone. The key is for all cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers in the area to be respectful and careful toward one another. It is not all about bikes, as this sign suggests.

    Furthermore, just as police officers regularly ticket cyclists for running stop signs in this area (I’ve seen these operations, so I always behave accordingly), they should be equally vigilant about ticketing motorists who disregard traffic safety standards in this complicated multi-user zone.

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  • todd July 16, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    I like the sign! I almost got hit from behind by another cyclist last week when I slowed down at this same intersection (going the other direction) – he blew threw the sign and just about took me out in the process. And yes, I signaled that I was slowing/stopping.

    I agree that PDOT should remove that sign – it should be replaced it with an official (permanent) one. The only improvement would be to remind everyone that bikes AND cars must follow the signs and directions.

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  • Adam July 16, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    I\’m looking forward to the sign reminding the drivers for Apple Produce that it is illegal to park in the bike lane.

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  • brewcaster July 16, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    I love this sign. I want stickers, t-shirts and helmets that say this on them. I would wear it all. I was thinking about making a sticker that said \”I obey all traffic laws\” and smack it on my rear fender.

    I feel like I should do something, but yelling at other cyclists seems dangerous. But there are TOO MANY PEOPLE going through red lights!!!!

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  • Ian July 16, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    what a humorous sign. Unfortunately the a-hole bikers are going to just get pissed off and complain about the sign while still breaking traffic laws. The only bikers that will even read the sign are the ones that already follow the rules. Its too bad there are so many bad cyclist ging the good cyclists a bad name.

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  • Phil July 16, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    +1 for erin g.

    The unfortunate thing is that signs like this make the area more unsafe. No one is going to change their behavior based on a sign– careless riders will blow through, practical but cautious riders (like myself) roll slowly through, and law-abiding riders will stop. Everyone will have their visibility reduced so they have to go past the sign to properly see, and in doing so be closer to any oncoming vehicles, particularly dangerous when many of the vehicles require a very wide turning radius.

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  • rafa July 16, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    The sign is fine but should be inclusive of all vehicles. Although, if they are being vigilant of the perps, then they may have justification for singling out cyclists.

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  • bahueh July 16, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    could be that the local business owners don\’t want to run someone\’s dumb ass over when blow through a stop sign…or are tired of almost hitting cyclists.
    I\’ve witnessed it almost happen around there 1/2 a dozen times on my old commute route…

    but of course if anyone wants to get runover, they\’ll probably just keep on doing what they do with little regard for the outcome of their actions…or the impact they have on others.

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  • bahueh July 16, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    BURR….why should PDOT take it down? is it not true?

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  • peejay July 16, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Thanks todd and brewcaster for utterly failing to get the point. Since you (and Steve and others) have shown again and again that you don\’t get the fact that failure to follow traffic controls is not limited to people who use one mode of transport over another, and yet, institutionally, the city and its institutions choose to overlook the lawbreaking when it\’s done my those who could cause the most harm, and instead focus on enforcement actions by those who cause the least harm, then please don\’t be surprised when nobody here cares what you say anymore.

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  • The Machine July 16, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    brewcaster –

    Why would you want to advertise to everyone what a great law abiding cyclist you are? Does that somehow make you morally superior? Do you think anyone will actually care?

    You mean to tell me that every single time you ride you come to a complete one foot on the ground stop at every single stop sign? You\’ve never broken a traffic law in your life?

    If that\’s true, hats off to you, but don\’t get the false impression that it makes you somehow better than anyone else.

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  • Dorr July 16, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    I would love to see PDOT place a sign \”NO TRUCK PARKING IN BIKE LANE\” along SE 4th Ave. between SE Ivon St. and SE Caruthers.

    On the flipside, I have seen many cyclists blow through the stop sign at SE Water and SE Caruthers as if it never existed.

    To replace the home-made sign with an official sign like \”BICYCLISTS MUST OBEY STOP SIGNS\” is ridiculous. Cyclist should be stopping at the red and white octagonal shaped signs with the word \”STOP\” in big white letters.

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  • k. July 16, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Traffic control and regulatory signs must meet the standards as spelled out in the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices). This sign clearly does not. Signs must meet standards so they have the same look and meaning between all states and municipalities. There are exceptions, such as Portland bike boxes, but these are generally carefully vetted through the appropriate authorities.

    There are good reasons for all of this, whether you agree so or not.

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  • miguelaron July 16, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    if there was a sign like that on mississippi and fremont…

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  • Robb July 16, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    \”(i.e. a lady with wavy blond hair stopped her cement truck for me on Monday, even when she had the right-of-way),\”

    Does anybody else hate this? Here in Portland, so many drivers do this. It makes cringe. I always think,

    \”Please, you have the right of way … just take it …\”

    To me, it\’s all about being predictable in traffic. When this happens, I always wonder, \”So if I take the offer, go into the intersection, and then there\’s an accident, what then?\”

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  • Forseti July 16, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    This is so right, let\’s repeat it because some of you seem to be totally clueless about this (I\’m looking at you buelaland):

    \”[F]ailure to follow traffic controls is not limited to people who use one mode of transport over another, and yet, institutionally, the city and its institutions choose to overlook the lawbreaking when it\’s done my those who could cause the most harm, and instead focus on enforcement actions by those who cause the least harm…\”

    And, I might add, in response to Jonathan\’s post a few days ago, most of us who ride through this area daily mentioned the fact that the people driving trucks routinely break laws there. For example, trucks routinely illegally park in the bike lane. Where\’s the enforcement of that law? I see cyclists get tickets there, but not truck drivers.

    And did you think of anything that causes more deaths in the US each year than people driving motor vehicles? No, you didn\’t, did you?

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  • peejay July 16, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Oh, and how could I forget bahueh? Biggest, most self-righteous, offender.

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  • Tomas July 16, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Wouldn\’t it just be nice if all stop signs had a sub-sign beneath it that said \”ALL traffic must obey ALL traffic laws\” or \”All cars must have headlights on\” or \”Skateboards must wear helmets\” or \”Children must not be annoying\”…See where I\’m going with this? It\’s just one more step toward a nanny state we don\’t need or want.

    It\’s an illegal sign, take it down.

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  • peejay July 16, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Hey, how about a sign up in North Portland that says \”Black people must not use illegal drugs in this area\”? Makes the same amount of sense.

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  • Jesus Christ - God of War July 16, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    The sign is bait.

    Bike riders self determined to be above the law will probably scream loudest.

    This should be amusing to watch unfold in this thread…

    Mouse, meet trap.

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  • Zaphod July 16, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Speaking of trucks, a few hours ago, a truck occupied half of my lane making a left turn as it turned towards me. If I had been anywhere near the yellow line as I waited for the light to turn green for me, I\’d have been in serious danger. The chasm between front and rear wheels of the truck is huge and foreboding. Give trucks a wide berth.

    Be careful out there.

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  • peejay July 16, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Zaphod #23:

    That\’s because there wasn\’t a sign telling the truck he couldn\’t do that, I guess;)

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  • Ethan July 16, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    This is a strange intersection, since (as you can see in the photo+linked google map) the right turn is regulated by a \”crossing arm\” which is only raised to allow truck delivery. Southbound traffic approaching this intersection is exiting the construction zone (not through traffic on Water, which is detoured over to SE 4th Ave, and I\’ve frequently seen large load-laden trucks whip around the corner without stopping. The short dead-end culdesac following this interesection is a safe haven ~ a respite ~ from what has just been about 5 blocks of chaotic, unpredictable traffic, erratically parked vehicles, and construction activity. This is a classic example of a location where a reasonable \”slow-down and look\” should be perfectly acceptable. I\’ve seen too many erratic, lane-crossing maneuvers by big trucks to let myself go flat-footed here.

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  • Anti-bike fruitcakes July 16, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    #21 Jesus Christ – God…

    You\’re weird. Mice,traps,war?….Ok?

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  • chris July 16, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    that post looks like it has room for many more signs.

    arts and craft time.

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  • Hart July 16, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Here\’s a sign: Driving automobiles is irresponsible and damaging to our ecology.

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  • rixtir July 16, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    The distinction between \”vehicles that cause the most damage\” and \”vehicles that don\’t\” is a false dichotomy. It\’s just code for \”we want to keep breaking the law, but we want those other guys over there to scrupulously adhere to the law.\”

    Please. When are some of you going to grow up?

    It is possible to avoid that false dichotomy, and it is possibe to move beyond the current status quo of all classes of vehicles failing to observe their duties– we can have a society in which everybody observes their duties to others. But first, we have to grow up and move beyond the self-serving propaganda that only certain elements of traffic–\”the other guy\”– must be regulated.

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  • Eric Dolan July 16, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    I am an avid cyclist, bike commuter and I do own a car. The sign, from my perspective, is quite okay. If the truck drivers are responsible for constructing it, then good for them. A proactive approach to what could be a potential problem (or worse) is a good thing.

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  • B.C. July 16, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    I think people need to chill out. They put a sign up illegally, people run the sign illegally. And, most likely, the sign will get taken down soon and people will still be running the stop sign.

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  • maxadders July 16, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    As if a single sign is going to change the behavior of all cyclists. Puh-leeze.

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  • N.I.K. July 16, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    You mean to tell me that every single time you ride you come to a complete one foot on the ground stop at every single stop sign? You\’ve never broken a traffic law in your life?

    All strawmen aside, the letter of the law has jack to do with putting a foot down. You\’re making compliance sound needlessly complex.

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  • The Machine July 16, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    \”All strawmen aside, the letter of the law has jack to do with putting a foot down.\”

    Wrong. The police do not consider it a complete stop unless you have a foot down – ask some of the people who have been ticketed for trackstands.

    And if you\’re not coming to a complete stop, you\’re breaking the law.

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  • BURR July 16, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    it is absolutely not a false dichotomy. The point of traffic laws is public safety. The people who should grow up are all of those calling for cyclists to obey the law while at the same time completely ignoring all of the routine blatant violations of the law committed by motorists. It is simple common sense that whereas both groups may violate the law, those in motor vehicles create the most risk to other road users when they do so.

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  • Grant July 16, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Gee BURR,

    How much risk do cyclist create for themselves by violating the law.

    I do less damage so I can run a red light. The car only has a dent in the fender but I\’m dead. I did less damage so I am not to blame. The driver is guilty of entering an intersection on a green light and is sentenced to remember my dead body being thrown to the pavement for the rest of his life.

    Pure selfish B.S.

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  • wyatt July 16, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    that sign is going bye-bye

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  • Lance July 16, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    what a bunch of crybabies. it\’s just a stupid sign. get over it…

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  • jordan July 16, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Although I agree that the sign should be all inclusive, I do think that vehicles running stop signs are more likely to be a bicycle than any other vehicle. How many fixed-gears bust through to keep momentum, how many groups of riders call out \”Clear!\” and ignore signage? I hope all bicycle riders that read this site catch the message of obey traffic laws instead of becoming upset because of some concerned citizen.

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  • rixtir July 16, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Sorry, but it is a false dichotomy if you\’re advocating that we must have one or the other, but can\’t have both.

    And the people who should grow up are the ones who think that \”observe your duties\” only applies to \”the other guy\”– and these are people we find in cars and on bikes.

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  • doug July 16, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    It\’s a sign.

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  • peejay July 16, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    I never said cyclists shouldn\’t obey the law. I was just pointing out the disproportionate enforcement of said law, and if I were to speculate on why that is, I might try to follow the money, as they say, and discover that there\’s a lot more of it driving around in cars and trucks.

    I would like to argue – and I think we can all agree on this point – that the most dangerous traffic violations should be enforced with the most effort, and the least with the least. If cyclists blowing a particular sign has caused the greatest carnage in Portland, well then, by all means, go after them! Since we have limited means within the Police Bureau to enforce traffic controls all over the city, let\’s use those resources wisely.

    And just so you know, I stop.

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  • peejay July 16, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Dammit, wyatt, I wanted that sign!

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  • postmoves July 16, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Come on people, as a small business owner in that area, I get it.
    The last thing I want is to go through what that poor guy on 50th is (in my neighborhood, by the way). I realize the inherent, potential danger in truck versus bike, and fear greatly the possibility of injuring/killing a fellow cyclist, even it was not my fault.
    The fact is, there is a huge disparity in the enforcement of traffic laws – red light cameras do not pick up cyclists, minimum speed laws on streets like Hawthorne are not observed, and all you must do is sit on the curb of any popular street to see the idiots challenging the concepts of truly responsibly integrated transport.
    You want to be a rebel? Do it at your own risk; but allow me to try and protect myself.

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  • todd July 16, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    peejay,

    Perhaps instead of just insulting other peoples opinions, provide some concrete solutions. I realize you believe your opinion to be the only one that\’s correct, but there may be other points of view that are equally valid.

    For example, perhaps you\’ve missed the point about law enforcement:

    …overlook the lawbreaking when it\’s done my those who could cause the most harm, and instead focus on enforcement actions by those who cause the least harm…

    Regardless of how much \”potential harm\” could be done, why wouldn\’t you enforcement the law equally? Isn\’t that your whole point about the sign – that it\’s pointless to address it to a single group when the law applies to everyone? So, if you enforce the law equally, who is going to get busted the most? Those who most commonly break the law, right? Try to tell me that more cars run the stop signs in this area than bikes. Or in any area?

    Granted, the sign will not fix anything. But neither will complaining that someone else is doing something wrong (the city and its institutions, people who don\’t understand that traffic laws apply to everyone, etc). The sign is an attempt to educate the people who don\’t understand that traffic laws apply to all users of the road. If you think there\’s a better way to educate people (not cyclists, not drivers, but all people), then by all means, I\’d love to hear your ideas. If you just want to insult people and call them \”self-righteous\”, I suggest finding another website to frequent (some of us would like to have a discussion about cycling issues here).

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  • Forseti July 16, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    What peejay and I are saying has nothing to do with obeying the law. I also obey the law and wish others would as well. What we are talking about is selective enforcement and allocating scarce enforcement resourcs where they prevent the most loss of life. Oh, and basic fairness – have you ridden here? I have and it is pretty eggregiously one-sided.

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  • finamin July 16, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    sign sign everywhere\’s a sign
    blocking up the scenery
    breaking my mind,

    imagine if we all
    used our best judgement,
    and actually respected
    each other

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  • Matt Picio July 16, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    david (#3) – What\’s wrong with the sign is that it\’s unlicensed and in the public right-of-way.

    Adam (#6) – amen. And the drivers at the woodworking place directly across the street from *this* sign.

    k (#16) – and the city of Portland is permitted by state and federal law to put up signs and treatments that fall outside MUTCD – private parties are not so empowered.

    Ethan (#24) – and since the old part of Water is closed to traffic, the trucks entering Carruthers aer required to stop before entering the roadway, as they would if it were a driveway (which in effect it currently is)

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  • bahueh July 16, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    peejay..wow, jump to assumptions much? do you actually know anything about me personally or my riding habits?

    self-righteous offender….of what, exactly? I mean if you know so much about me please inform …
    or do you just get your kicks off of insulting people online?

    what this is another sign that the behavior of the common rider is not socially acceptable to the outside community…cyclists need to get this through their collective heads.

    the sign simply states the obvious…sorry you have a hard time understand that.

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  • rixtir July 16, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I know the PPB says it has limited resources. I think the allocation of resources is a matter of political will– in other words, if we want safe streets, all we need is the political willpower to allocate the necessary resources.

    I also think that when the police department ignores traffic violations, whether they be violations by speeding motorists, or violations of the bicycle lane right of way, or violations of the traffic signals, it sends the message to society that those violations are \”acceptable.\”

    Given those beliefs, I reject the notion that we must allocate \”scarce\” resources to enforcement of the traffic rules based on class of vehicle. That doesn\’t lead to a society in which people respect each other on the roads, it only leads to one class of traffic observing the rules (and as an aside, that breeds resentment, and resentment breeds backlash, politically and on the road). I have no interest in living in the kind of Hobbesian society that results from people doing whatever they want, the consequences to others be damned. That means I expect that the police will enforce the laws, and enforce them fairly. False dichotomies about enforcing the laws for \”vehicles that cause the most damage,\” while ignoring other violations, only lead us further down that Hobbesian path. And as somebody who envisions a future in which the bicycle is more predominant than it has been in our lifetimes, a Hobbesian society in which anti-social cyclists routinely violate the right of way of other cyclists and pedestrians alike is not the kind of post-automobile future I want to live in.

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  • BURR July 16, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    There are no minimum speed laws on Hawthorne Blvd. And it\’s not the cyclists\’ fault either ~ If PDOT and the Hawthorne district businesses didn\’t want slow moving cyclists in the lane, they should have reconfigured the street with at least a minimum uphill climbing lane for bikes eastbound from SE 12th to SE 30th.

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  • peejay July 16, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    What Forseti said.

    And, todd, I didn\’t call you self-righteous. I called bahueh self-righteous. If you read the majority of his posts, you\’ll agree. And I\’m not insulting your opinions, just pointing out that they\’re not constructive. My solution is that the police enforce laws fairly and with regard to what will do the most good with available resources. One way to do that is to look at incident frequency maps, and focus most enforcement on those areas, with random checks done throughout the street grid. What\’s yours?

    And postmoves: fill us in on the minimum speed on Hawthorne. I\’d really like to know.

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  • peejay July 16, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    bahueh:

    I don\’t get my kicks insulting anyone. Nor do I enjoy fighting the same pointless battles again and again.

    rixtir:

    People should follow all regulations as posted, regardless of the vehicle they are using at the time. Cops should bust them when they don\’t. Just do it fairly, and in a way that doesn\’t reveal some hidden biases against a certain class of road user.

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  • rixtir July 16, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    I agree entirely with you, peejay.

    And for what it\’s worth, I already know you stop (you\’ve said so in the past, I\’m not stalking you. ;) )

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  • peejay July 16, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Getting back to the subject of the article, I could ask: what about the sign? Is it legal? NO. Is it effective? If effective means does it accomplish the goals the creators of the sign wish to accomplish, I\’d say no again. Is it constructive? Again, no.

    Compare this sign to the signs I saw posted on Lincoln between Mt Tabor and ~50th on Sunday: \”Share the road – slow down\” and \”Share the road – pass safely\” and \”share the road – watch for children.\” They speak to all road users, and encourage the feeling that we have to watch out for each other. Very positive, inclusive, and effective, if you ask me. I wish they were permanent, and widespread.

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  • rixtir July 16, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I view the sign as akin to signs in residential areas addressed to speeding drivers. The fact that somebody feels compelled to tell drivers to slow down in a residential area where children are at play indicates that there\’s a problem with speeding motorists that has got parents upset enough to put up their own illegal signs. (And in case we\’ve forgotten, just the other day, a cyclist was run down for telling a speeding motorist to slow down.). Rather than fume about the illegal sign, speeding motorists should understand from the sign is a signal that their anti-social behavior is affecting others around them.

    Similarly, an illegal sign advising cyclists to observe traffic signals in a given neighborhood is also a signal that their anti-social behavior is affecting others around them. (And in case anybody has forgotten, a driver has just been devastated, and a cyclist lies in critical condition, because somebody disregarded a traffic signal the other day).

    Perhaps more pointed, and less inclusive, than what peejay calls for, but perhaps sometimes pointed messages are called for. Not that speeding drivers or stop-blowing cyclists don\’t already know what they\’re doing, or particularly care, but people who are affected by anti-social behavior do have a right to speak out.

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  • postmoves July 16, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Wow BURR (#52), very LiarLarson-esque of you – to extract only one point of my post (#45) to quibble!
    Which, by the way, goes even farther in expressing my point. As education is key. OR §811.130 states (to paraphrase) \’Minimum Speed Limit: No person shall impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.\’
    Every biker should be aware of this. So when some poser pedaler is making a statement by holding traffic beyond the flow (instead of using the designated bike routes), they are breaking the law. I cannot tell you how many close calls I have witnessed in the years I have lived in Hawthorne.
    Different subject than the signage, but kind of similar; thanks for exemplifying and furthering the stereotype.
    Steer defensively.

    peace

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  • Ian July 16, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Hey Hart (post 29)

    Maybe if your so concerned about the environment you shouldn\’t own a bike after all the frame is made of a material thats mining and creation required the use of fossil fuels. Do you live in a hole in the ground? if not then your house uses and was constructed using fossil fuels. Oh yeah and maybe you should make sure never to impede automobiles in any way when your riding your bike because the traffic slow downs you cause lead to…. Global Warming. Sounds like you need to do whats right and move to a hole in the ground and stop exhaling CO2.

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  • SkidMark July 16, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Some drunk cyclist is gonna beat the crap out of that sign.

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  • wyatt July 16, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    peejay,

    we can have joint custody ;)

    but it\’s not leaving until tonight so you still have a chance

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  • wyatt July 16, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    @ skidmark #69

    god that sounds fun

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  • wyatt July 16, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    er, post #60, not 69.

    wow

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  • rixtir July 16, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Postmoves, @ 58:

    Yet another example of a licensed driver who doesn\’t know the traffic laws. Section 811.130 applies to motor vehicles only.

    Furthermore, if there is a bicycle lane, cyclists are required to use it regardless of their rate of speed, unless they fall under one of the exceptions to that statute.

    Finally, bicycles are part of traffic.

    When a cyclist is legally taking the lane by riding at normal of traffic, the cyclist is not breaking the law, and even if a cyclist is not riding at the normal speed of traffic, if the lane is too narrow to safely share, the cyclist may still take the lane, without violating the law.

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  • Deborah July 16, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    #19
    >>For example, trucks routinely illegally park in the bike lane. Where\’s the enforcement of that law?

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  • peejay July 16, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Ian #59: Thanks for reminding me.

    What Hart #29 said.

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  • Forseti July 16, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Postmoves, @ 58:

    You got the law wrong! And of course it\’s in a way that restricts bicyclists\’ rights to the road. Yet another ignorant person preaching about something they don\’t understand. You have a license to drive, right? SCARY!!

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  • jami July 16, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    i biked through the terrible area between southeast division and the springwater corridor today (railroad tracks and semis fit so nicely with biking!). i didn\’t see any rude signs, but a big truck driver wove in and out, in and out of the bike lane while i was thinking about passing him. i decided against passing, as i\’m getting married in a couple weeks, and i didn\’t plan to go down the aisle in a wheelchair.

    i bet it\’s hard to maneuver such giant vehicles. but unlike the truck, i followed the law to the letter there, and it\’s annoying to be singled out by a sign like this.

    it would be nice if there were a good way for bikes to get to the springwater trail from the division/clinton area. this conflict has been ongoing since at least the time that that rager ran over two cyclists in that area, and it seems unnecessary.

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  • Deborah July 16, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    For some reason only part of my post made it.
    #19
    >>For example, trucks routinely illegally park in the bike lane. Where\’s the enforcement of that law?

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  • Deborah July 16, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Okay – maybe third time will be the charm. WE are the enforcers for blocked bike lanes. Everyone should program the number for parking patrol into their cell phone – 503-823-5195. Take a moment out of your ride and call the violation in. My experiance with PPB is that they are very quick to respond to blocked bike lanes. The ticket & tow will cost driver up to 275.00 and they will not be a repeat offender.
    -need license plate #, make, model and location when you call, can\’t remember what number to hit to get a live person.

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  • Radness July 16, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    yes, you can ride up Hawthorne… totally legal, there\’s even a sign saying watch out for bikes…

    however,

    is it enjoyable? I\’m asking you, girl on new townie, hippie on old trek MTB, homeless guy on a magna, and sporty racer who decides to pedal really slow this one time.

    seriously, when\’s the last time you saw a biker just leaving it all on the road going up hawthorne? never, because it\’s steep and crowded. such a sucky section to bike on.

    Sellwood bridge, however, i like seeing a biker take the lane going eastbound and kill it… pansies, you have to use the \”sidewalk\” and do the awkward pass, where the guy going westbound stops and you have to touch shoulders, which is too bad because he doesn\’t have a shirt on. the payoff is that you run out into a strip club parking lot.

    but seriously folks, don\’t worry about other people, just obey the rules of the road, and use stop signs to practice power braking, your personal best 0-25 mph, endo\’s, track stands, and those sweet reverse 360\’s… change your ipod song, take a drink, whatever, pause and reflect.

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  • bahueh July 16, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    rixtir #57…stop making so much sense would you? you\’re going to start confusing people here as they won\’t have anything to argue with…

    nicely worded and exactly my same point. seems most here would rather rage against a sign instead of engaging in a little self-evaluation and reasons as to why the sign appeared in the first place. but maybe I\’m just being self-righteous again….

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  • Elisabeth July 16, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Whoever put the sign up, I\’m sure they are just trying to make sure everybody gets to and from where they are going safely. After the horrendous truck/bike collisions last year, I wouldn\’t see this as being something out of line.

    Better to have a sign up, than a tragedy.

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  • Steve Pappert July 16, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    \”sign, sign, everywhere a sign, blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind, do this, don\’t do that, can\’t you read the sign?\”

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  • Pete July 16, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Postmoves (#58): ORS 811.130 that you quoted is in the section referring to operation of automobiles on roadways (entitled \”Rules of the Road for Drivers\”).

    For the correct law pertaining to bicyclists, refer to ORS 814, in particular section 430 (\”Improper use of lanes\”).

    So if the \”poser pedaler\” in question is taking the lane for purposes of safety, it is his responsibility to move the right as soon as it is safe to do so, and yours to be patient and help ensure his safety. If he\’s impeding traffic instead of safely moving to the right, or if he\’s refusing to use a safe bike lane when there is one, he is indeed breaking the law. Keep in mind, though, that there may be impediments on the road (i.e. glass, debris, grates) you can\’t see from where you sit.

    I agree with you that education is key to safety and cooperation between bicyclists, pedestrians, drivers, and all road users.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) July 16, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Just an FYI for those of you reading the comments who might not have noticed my update to this story.

    The sign was installed by the construction company working in the adjacent lot. they are very concerned (and quite perturbed it seems) by the number of people on bikes completely disregarding the stop sign.

    i spoke with them and confirmed they did it.

    I\’ve also talked with PDOT and they are looking into it. no word on whether they will take it down or not.

    i think the non-compliance by people on bikes is a real problem in this area… but I don\’t think another sign will help… and I don\’t think PDOT should allow private companies to put up official-looking signs in the public right of way.

    they need to remove this sign and come up with a better way to increase compliance in this area. it\’s a tragedy waiting to happen.

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  • Steve July 16, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Peejay (#13),

    Let me be as clear as possible. IF you choose to break traffic laws be prepared for the consequences, (fines, accidents, etc) and refrain from solicting sympathy. Do I break traffic rules? Yes, on my bike, in my car, and even the occasional jaywalk downtown. But EVERY time I do so, I know that Portland\’s finest has every right to punish me. I don\’t claim to be perfect but I am very intolerant of this \”poor me on my bike being picked on by the man\” attitude. If you don\’t like the laws then work to change them.
    Sorry about being off-topic.
    ps. If it is against the law to post that sign, then it certainly should be removed.

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  • postmoves July 16, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Mercy! mea culpa! when!
    Afraid my sidetrtip into \’laws\’ versus common sense, and overall shoddy wording has detracted from the original post, and my use of the vehicle description, (bicycles should be seen as vehicles just sometimes?), but the sentiment applies – Radness (#71), more succinct, and better stated (on that point).

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  • peejay July 16, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    \”ALL ROADWAY USERS: DANGEROUS AREA AHEAD.
    PLEASE LOOK OUT FOR OTHER VEHICLES AND SHARE THE ROAD\”

    That\’s more like it!

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  • wyatt July 16, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    that\’s more like it, peejay #78

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  • Toby July 16, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    (Man, with all the hair pulling and scratching, you\’d think this was an exploitation flick. I just saw \”Bare Behind Bars\” the other night, gawd was that good!! Right down to the two people that dubbed the voices.)

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  • 3-speeder July 16, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    I just got back from a Springwater ride and found another handmade sign. At 9th and Linn (on one possible connection from the Bridges section to Oaks Park), below the STOP sign (on the same signpost) is a handwritten sign on yellow laminated paper that says something like \”Bicycles Please Stop It\’s the Law\”. Looks like these sorts of signs are sprouting up all over.

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  • Red Hippie July 16, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    #76

    By that logic, then all the cute signs shaped like kids on residential streets need to be taken down. Sure it does\’t meet the letter of the law, but it is a CONSTRUCTIVE attempt at addressing a nagging and dangerous problem. It is essentially for the cyclist safety.

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  • bahueh July 16, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Jonathan… sign overload? come on man, that hints of apologistic writing and excuses…every human older than 3 years of age knows what stop signs are and what they look like and where they are located.

    people are blatantly CHOOSING to run the sign. period. you said you watched it yourself down there….I\’m sadly awaiting your report on the next collision or death in that location.

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  • danodelion July 16, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Stop it, all of you! You sound like so many adolescent children. We all need to practice safety and empathy; if you don\’t follow the rules, you are wrong. It has been my experience that people who are part of the problem are usually the most defensive, argumentative, & combative.

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  • cyclist July 16, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Jonathan,

    I want to reiterate what bahueh said, that ride is on my commute and the stop sign is both visible and obvious in both directions. The reason why people don\’t stop is because it\’s a low traffic intersection (at least during my commuting hours) and they don\’t perceive a need to stop.

    At some point excuses like the one you provide here cease to be constructive. A huge red octagonal sign, with nothing blocking it, visible from more than a block away, isn\’t being missed because of all of the other signs at the intersection, (never mind the fact that the people traveling in the other direction only have the stop sign, and they also blow it). As a journalist you need to call a spade a spade, bicyclists are blowing stop signs at this intersection because they think they can get away with it, because they think it\’s safe to do so, because it\’s inconvenient to stop at stop signs, or because they think the rules don\’t apply to them. The overabundance of signs on one side of this intersection doesn\’t make one bit of difference.

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  • KJ July 16, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    What we need is a safe connection for bikes and peds to the clearwater corridor from the esplinade.

    I have no idea who\’s bright idea it was to have this trail connect via an industrial area with large amounts of big rig traffic mingle with bikes and peds… I know the issue with the trail connecting along the waterfront has issues but, was this really the best route available? I mean really. This is a horrid place to mingle the two and annoying to both groups.

    Most (not all, I know there are a lot of regulars out there) of the people using the trail are, IMHO, people who are enjoying the weather out on thier bike for whatever reason, and not regular commuting bikers who *should* be aware of traffic laws. (I have the opinion that most (again not all) of the road bikers on the trail flout the traffic laws too, \’cause they\’re cartoppers who come out from the burbs… and I could be wrong on that, but usualy thier behaviour on the trail is horrendus anyways to peds and slower bikers. I mean it\’s not a velo track peeps.)

    \”Sunday riders\” as I call \’em or maybe summer riders? usualy have no clue that traffic laws apply to bikes too.

    I use the esplanade from the hawthorne to my place of work on water ave and travel through that industrial area all the time to get to new seasons and stuff and it\’s prettly lame traveling. =( I\’d like a safer route for everyone using the area, this one sucks.

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  • Dr. Benjamin July 16, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    I ride through that area 4+ days each week and never stop at that stop sign… because I avoid it altogether. That whole area is a mess right now and that intersection is just one of the many problems.

    SE Water to SE 4th isn\’t friendly (the cars and busses trying to park in front of OMSI), but it\’s just as fast as taking Caruthers (faster if the trail is congested with trail user traffic).

    Of course none of this would be an issue if the Esplanade could be extended to the Springwater…

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) July 16, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    \”At some point excuses like the one you provide here cease to be constructive.\”

    cyclist… i agree with you! i never said that sign overload is the only reason compliance is low at that intersection.

    i wanted to share more of my thoughts about this but felt it didn\’t really fit with this particular article.. it would make more sense for me to do a separate story.

    but please, don\’t assume I am unwilling to call a spade a spade. that is just not true.

    NOTE: I\’ve edited the post to try and make my position on \”why are people not stopping\” a bit more clear.

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  • cyclist July 16, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Jonathan:

    cyclist… i agree with you! i never said that sign overload is the only reason compliance is low at that intersection.

    The caption under your picture says:

    \”It’s no wonder compliance is low at this intersection.\”

    Your caption indicates that you think sign overload is the main reason compliance is low, if that is not the case, you may want to change the caption.

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  • junixrose July 16, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    As the unequal enforcement of traffic laws has been referred to several times in these comments I ask this:

    Is anyone aware of any published data that actually indicates the distribution of how traffic laws are enforced?

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  • bobcycle July 16, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    We need more illegal signs not less… For starters how about on Sandy Blvd.for the \”bus bump outs\” \”CAUTION ROAD NARROWS AHEAD BICYCLISTS IN ROADWAY\” or how about \”CAUTION ROAD NARROWS AHEAD CYCLISTS MAY LEGALY TAKE THE TRAFFIC LANE. PLEASE YIELD RIGHT OF WAY\” or how about on I-5 \”THE LEGAL SPEED LIMIT IS 55 MPH PLEASE OBEY\” or how about at every residential area stop sign \”THE LAW REQUIRES A FULL STOP AT THE STOP SIGN BEFORE ENTERING THE INTERSECTION PLEASE COMPLY\” or at all the marked crosswalks in PDX bikeland \”LAW REQUIRES YOU TO YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS IN CROSSWALK\” Hey this could be a lot of fun!

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  • Roma July 16, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    I can\’t agree that \”sign overload\” could be ANY part of the problem.

    If you can\’t see that stop sign, you should not be operating a car or a bicycle.

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  • brewcaster July 16, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Jonathan, I think you might be hinting at a great article about the real subject here. Why are cyclists ignoring traffic laws? And I don\’t want to hear anyone say that this is a rarity. I commute 15 miles a day, and on average I see 5-10 people blow stop signs, run a red when they want, etc…DAILY. These range from dangerous, cars slamming on brakes, to no big deal as far as safety is concerned. But this creates a feeling to me and drivers, that one can not expect a cyclist to obey basic traffic signals, and that is a shame.

    I have mentioned that I follow these laws to a T. This has nothing to with feeling better or superior to others, but basically for the fact that I want to be a part of a movement that can improve how cyclists are viewed by the public and drivers.

    Whether you want them to or not, most drivers lump us together. They are afraid of hitting a cyclist. When I drive, I get freaked out around cyclists on the road because of the before mentioned \”unpredictable\” behavior a lot of cyclists on the road have.

    If you were in a car, at a stop, and you KNEW there was no danger of you going before the green, would you? Why is this different on a bicycle? I have not heard a convincing argument.

    Ramble over, I would love to see an article on this subject from you. You never fail to present these issues with fairness and balance IMO. Thanks again for all you do.

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  • Roma July 16, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    I never \”blow\” stop signs, and I think most cyclists don\’t either.

    When there are no cars around, and especially at 4-Way stops, I slow and roll through the stop sign. Which is treating the stop sign as a \”Yield\” a la the Idaho law:

    \”Idaho law holds that bike traffic should treat a \”Stop\” as a \”Yield\”, and a red light as a stop sign\”

    No, we\’re not in Idaho, but I\’ll follow their forward thinking law anyway.

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  • Z July 16, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Take all the signs down at the intersection and post someone there with a Kalashnikov. Shoot those who don\’t stop properly (regardless of transportation mode). I\’m sure compliance will soon approach 100%.

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  • Patrick July 16, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Rob @ 18. \”To me, it\’s all about being predictable in traffic. When this happens, I always wonder, \”So if I take the offer, go into the intersection, and then there\’s an accident, what then?\”

    Yes, not to mention the angry driver who wonders, \”hmm cement truck is stopping I should go around them. Matter of fact I should stomp on the accelerator around the cement truck\” BAM, kills the cyclist. blah blah blah.

    Yes, this bugs me to no end.

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  • Patrick July 16, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Just checked the Vegas odds, they are 2:1 that the sign will be down tomorrow.

    Seriously, Vegas does have odds on this kind of stuff.

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  • XXXstout July 16, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    What KJ said.

    This area is not meant for the volume of combined bicycle, auto and industrial traffic that is redirected there.

    Everytime I ride through that intersection I look over at the Portland Spirit buildings and imagine how nice it would be if the Esplanade continued along the river & was accessible farther south…

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  • Duncan July 16, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    I love all the folks that say that everyone should follow the law, and then say that the sign (the placement of which was against the law) should stay.

    The difference between a \”please slow down\” sign and this sign is obvious- this one is masquerading as a traffic control device. If the businesses had put up a sandwich board saying \”please stop at stop sign for your own safety\” I would think it a great idea.

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  • 2GOAT July 16, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    I am not familiar with this intersection. What I do find extremely puzzling from the view in this photo is the small blue sign to the right peaking under the big orange signs that says,
    \”Pedestrians and bike traffic use trail\”.
    Is the trail the side walk path to the right? Not to defend blowing thru the big stop sign, but technically speaking if your directed to use a different path than the road that has the sign, don\’t you follow the signs on your path. I can\’t see a smaller stop sign for the \”trail\”.

    #35, FYI- The question of track stop vs foot down was brought up in the Share the Road Class . Portland Police have given tickets but if you fight it in court and get Judge Christopher Larsen, your ticket will get thrown out.

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  • Forseti July 16, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Them are some good odds. I personally guarantee it will be gone. You can bet on it.

    And this was the last straw. I\’m sick of everyone breaking traffic laws, but I\’m even sicker of the hypocrisy of the motorists, almost all of whom speed and roll through stop signs themselves. They bitch about the transgressions of cyclists as though they are without sin, but on any given road at any given time, most of them are breaking the law – and giving the rest of them a bad name, right? LOL

    I am going to empower cyclists and pedestrians in this town in a whole new way, and the motorized hypocricy is going to end. I guarantee that too.

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  • Chase July 16, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    I ride through this intersection every day. The 2 stop signs should be removed on SE Caruthers. Leave the stop sign on SE Water up.

    The reasoning is that there are hundreds or thousands of bikes/cars that cross this intersection to/from the Springwater trail while there are only a handful that enter the intersection from SE Water. Make anyone entering the T junction from SE Water stop and let everyone else go through. If you look at it simply as a traffic problem and not a bike/car problem – the intersection should be redesigned.

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  • BURR July 16, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    I went through there and checked it out this afternoon. It would be much smarter, simpler and less controversial if they posted a sign for their drivers as they were leaving that said:

    caution, watch for bicyclists when pulling out

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  • Aaron July 16, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    kind of reminds me of the signs people put on their streets pleading with drivers to SLOW DOWN.
    River Road in Milwaukie even has a huge banner to that effect.

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  • N.I.K. July 16, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Wrong. The police do not consider it a complete stop unless you have a foot down – ask some of the people who have been ticketed for trackstands.

    Right. But again, nowhere does the *letter of the law* connect putting a foot down with a complete stop. The people issued tickets have been subject to poor interpretation.

    And if you\’re not coming to a complete stop, you\’re breaking the law.

    Never suggested otherwise. Go back and read it again.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) July 16, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Folks, the whole \”you need a foot down or it\’s not a stop\” idea is an urban legend.

    FACT: Most sensible police officers do not require you to put your foot down at stop signs. If you slow down, look both ways, and only proceed once it\’s safe, you are very unlikely to get a ticket.

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  • rixtir July 16, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    There is, to my knowledge, no law in any state that requires a cyclist to put a foot down when making a stop. And that includes Oregon.

    If you look to the PPB for legal advice on what the statutes mean, you\’ll also discover that drivers don\’t have to yield to cyclists in the bike lane unless the driver \”perceives\” that s/he must yield.

    It\’s best to just stick to observing your legal duties, and let the judges toss out any tickets that may arise from enforcement of non-existent laws.

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  • Crash N. Burns July 16, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    #102

    \”I am going to empower cyclists and pedestrians in this town in a whole new way, and the motorized hypocricy is going to end. I guarantee that too.\”

    Can\’t wait…(yawn)

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  • Keith Walker July 17, 2008 at 1:43 am

    This is my commute and that intersection (and the left turn from 4th onto Caruthers) is a mess. Why that stop sign is there, I guess it was from when Water Ave was a throughway.

    Now it is just bullshit. Why should a bicycle, car or pedestrian that is going straight west on Caruthers have to stop there?

    Is it a convenience to the trucks entering and leaving the construction sites? I think so.

    The only time I saw police enforcement was at Water and Caruthers and the po-po were giving a ticket to a cyclist….

    Now having said that, of the three stop signs leading from Springwater to the Opera/OMSI waterfront path, 95% of bicyclists ignore the stop signs (including me). And by that I mean a \’rolling stop\’.

    I have a simple solution to the stop sign at Caruthers and Water though. Ride legally on the south sidewalk. Then you are not required to stop and you can pass through to the river path.

    There is a driveway on that side so do be cautious.

    This will be particularly satisfying if the police are \’targeting enforcement\’ at that stop sign.

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  • Matt Picio July 17, 2008 at 2:07 am

    Chase (#103) – Lots of cars enter from SE Water – just not now, while the construction is going on. The only traffic entering SE Caruthers from Water at the moment are employees in the Portland Opera building and the trucks entering and leaving the Big Pipe work site. Since the road is closed to through traffic and is effectively a driveway, the city should be mandating it be treated as such – cover the stop signs on SE Caruthers and allow the through traffic to travel unimpeded.

    The constuction company working the site should be allocating employees to work that intersection when trucks enter and leave – you have large commercial vehicles with poor side and rear visibility navigating an intersection that daily handles hundreds of cylists, joggers, rollerbladers and pedestrians.

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  • peejay July 17, 2008 at 5:57 am

    Matt:

    Finally, you get to the heart of the matter, which is that the sign suffers high non-compliance rates because of bad design. Not saying you shouldn\’t stop, but most people make the same calculation for a reason, and they\’d make it in their cars, too. If you say most people perceive this as a driveway, due to various visual cues, they tend to discount the importance of the sign. Again, so I\’m not misquoted, I\’M NOT CONDONING THIS!

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  • kg July 17, 2008 at 6:56 am

    Yesterday, on 92nd I was in a Trackstand in a line of cars when I thought I heard someone on a PA system say something which I just assumeded was directed at me since I didn\’t see any other bikes around, but I just ignored it. after the light changed and I merged back into the bike lane after the right turn lane ended the car behind me passed and I realized it was a police cruiser and that they were the ones who said something. Traffic was only moving at about 20 mph so I did a mini sprint and caought back up to them and asked what they said. \”We said nice balancing\”. I laughed and told them to have a nice day.

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  • kg July 17, 2008 at 6:59 am

    I\’ve seen several of these homemade bike specific signs lately and I find them very annoying. That said this is a construction zone and everyone should use extra caution in this area.

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  • Roma July 17, 2008 at 7:23 am

    \”FACT: Most sensible police officers do not require you to put your foot down at stop signs. If you slow down, look both ways, and only proceed once it\’s safe, you are very unlikely to get a ticket.\”

    When they setup these stings, they routinely stop people and ticket them for doing exactly what you just described.

    I believe you even did an article about the \”lack of consistent enforcement\” regarding stop signs.

    I agree with you that \”most sensible police officers\” won\’t stop to ticket a single cyclist, but I\’ve personally witnessed the bicycle stings they do, and I see people getting ticketed for not coming to a *complete* stop.

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  • Bob July 17, 2008 at 7:26 am

    On my commute home from work, I saw a home made sign on the Hawthorn bridge. I may have been subject to \”sign overload\”, because I don\’t remember the exact text, but it read something line \”Good Job, Beer Soon\” I am happy to say that I was in full compliance with its directive.

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  • Jeff July 17, 2008 at 7:48 am

    Lately I\’ve seen a lot of the same poor law compliance here in Duluth MN. Obviously it\’s a problem wherever there are bikes on roads. I wrote a little rant the other day in my blog about 4 instances where bicyclists made very poor decisions- in my opinion. I\’d like to know what can be done in a positive manner to keep everyone as safe as possible. I love this site as, even though there are still problems, Portland is making great strides in bike use and safety w/ other motorists.
    http://bikingduluth.blogspot.com/2008/07/whats-wrong-with-people-or-why-i-hate.html

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) July 17, 2008 at 7:54 am

    …I’ve personally witnessed the bicycle stings they do, and I see people getting ticketed for not coming to a *complete* stop.\”

    thanks Roma,

    one of the problems we\’ve had for years with the Traffic Division is that, despite sensible leadership, sometimes there are different behaviors from officers out in the field. Thanks for sharing your experiences. What I can tell you is that there is a great working relationship with the Traffic Division right now and I\’m personally very excited to be working with them. Not everything is perfect right now, but it will be getting better.

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  • Dave July 17, 2008 at 8:04 am

    \”Sign overload?\”

    Perhaps there is such a thing but the ubiquitous red octagon STOP sign in your photo stands pretty prominently. Instead of raising hypethetical reasons to excuse our behaviour, why don\’t we acknowledge our responsibility, as road users, to read and follow control signs regardless of the environment in which they\’re placed?

    Perhaps there needs to be more mirrors placed around the city so we can stop to take a look at ourselves from time to time. It seems to me that the challenges faced can\’t always be everyone else\’s fault.

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  • Big Wheel July 17, 2008 at 8:05 am

    The sign has been removed. I think peejay took it.

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  • wyatt July 17, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Is the sign gone? I didn\’t see it.

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  • Bob_M July 17, 2008 at 8:45 am

    People don\’s stop because they are lazy. That is nuts I know, because we are on bikes and spending our energy is part of the bicycle equation. To give up hard earned momentum to stop, then gain back that momentum takes more energy than just blowing the stop sign. Simple.

    To be honest I sometimes act lazy and roll through stop signs (but never red lights)

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  • 007 July 17, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Signs, signs, everywhere signs, blocking up the scenery, messin\’ my mind; do this, don\’t do that, can\’t you read the signs?

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  • Jean Reinhardt July 17, 2008 at 9:31 am

    New, unskilled, \”urban cyclists\” (read, too stupid or fashion conscious to wear helmets or use lights) either don\’t realize that cyclists need to follow the vehicle code, or deliberately don\’t as a social protest. Show me an art student with body piercings, I\’ll show you someone who rides like a fucking idiot.

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  • John Reinhold July 17, 2008 at 10:21 am

    This story has a mandatory \”post the lyrics to \’Signs\’ every 30 comments rule.

    Glad to see it is being followed!

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  • Keith Walker July 17, 2008 at 10:27 am

    This sign was gone this morning.
    The STOP sign is still there.

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  • Diogo July 17, 2008 at 10:41 am

    rixtir:
    \”The distinction between \”vehicles that cause the most damage\” and \”vehicles that don\’t\” is a false dichotomy.\”

    Have you completely lost your sense of reality???? Nothing could be more TRUE than this distinction.

    cyclist:
    \”The reason why people don\’t stop is because it\’s a low traffic intersection (at least during my commuting hours) and they don\’t perceive a need to stop.\”

    You\’re right, that is exactly the reason that I, at least, don\’t come to a stop at that intersection. Seems pretty reasonable to me. But I\’m always aware that the responsibility is mine, just like the (small) risk of injury. I also avoid bothering the workers.

    Perhaps that makes me a bad biker. But, hey, if it wasn\’t for us bad bikers, the good bikers wouldn\’t be able to boast about their moral superiority. So, brewcaster, you should totally make you t-shirt, but be thankful to us that you have someone to look down on!

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  • N.I.K. July 17, 2008 at 10:48 am

    People don\’s stop because they are lazy. That is nuts I know, because we are on bikes and spending our energy is part of the bicycle equation. To give up hard earned momentum to stop, then gain back that momentum takes more energy than just blowing the stop sign. Simple.

    It doesn\’t take that much energy if you\’re working a sane gear ratio. Lots of folks either don\’t shift or, if riding fixed, don\’t bother to get a practical gear ratio, because there\’s that huge misconception that riding a bike is supposed to be some push-push hard work affair, and as such, it\’s some tiny 14 or 15 tooth rear sprocket and a 52 up front. Maybe that\’s all well and good under race conditions, but seriously, when are you going to be going fast enough to warrant that *in touch-and-go city traffic*? :) If you\’re standing to pedal for much more than the initial lever-style start, and you\’re not on a steep hill, you might want to try a lower a gear. It makes accelerating faster and less work all in one go.

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  • toddistic July 17, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Thanks for the explaination N.I.K., myself and many of my fellow readers never understood how gear ratios work.

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  • N.I.K. July 17, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Eh. My point\’s not so much to say, \”Hey, here\’s this smarmy crap I know,\” but rather, \”starting after a stop\” is a crap excuse for not stopping. That\’s all.

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  • N.I.K. July 17, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Er, typo. Make that \”\’starting after a stop *is hard*\’ is crap excuse.\” I promise to proof-read more in the future. :

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  • Russ July 17, 2008 at 11:06 am

    This argument that bicyclists don\’t need to obey traffic laws because they are less dangerous road users reminds me of the argument my niece made to me when I was babysitting her (7) and her brother (9) a few months ago.

    After punching him in the face, she attempted to tell me that she shouldn\’t get in trouble for it because she was smaller and younger, and she couldn\’t really hurt him as much as he could have hurt her doing the same thing (thereby hedging her argument for when she wanted me to punish him when he retaliated).

    Grow up. I\’m all for a rolling stop law for bicycles, but put the energy into making it happen and save yourself $242, cause the judge isn\’t gonna buy your \”I shouldn\’t get in trouble cause I\’m smaller and didn\’t do as much damage as I would have driving a car\” argument.

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  • rixtir July 17, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Diogo, if you believe that we can only enforce laws with one class of vehicles or the other, but not both, you believe in a false dichotomy, and it is you who has lost all sense of reality.

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  • rixtir July 17, 2008 at 11:16 am

    er, false dilemma…

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  • Laura July 17, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Matt @111 and others hit the nail on the head with the comment about design. With the various construction activities at Big Pipe and MLK, many of the stop signs are not warrated, at least on a temporary basis.

    The City and/or ODOT need to work with the contractors on the MLK Project to bag the stop signs as appropriate to the varying closures of the underpasses, and the Carruthers St./Water signs need to favor through traffic and stop crossing (or private driveway) traffic, at least while the Big Pipe staging area is in use.

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  • rixtir July 17, 2008 at 11:24 am

    All of the excuses made for cyclists not observing their legal duties are just that– excuses, and as N.I.K. noted, crap excuses at that.

    My guess is Russ\’ 7 year old niece grows up before the people peddling these crap excuses.

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  • BURR July 17, 2008 at 11:37 am
  • rixtir July 17, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Yep, drivers are peddling crap too. That doesn\’t sweeten the stench of what we\’re peddling.

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  • BURR July 17, 2008 at 11:44 am

    that last link is to \’The Myth of the Scofflaw Cyclist\’, from Wash. DC, where a young woman recently died when she was right-hooked by a large truck, and the local motorists are blaming the victim and whinging just like they do in Portland….

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  • rixtir July 17, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Yes, Alice Swanson. Another needless death, and the same old excuses and blame-shifting…

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  • Keith Walker July 17, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Russ #132:

    Is that the fine for running a stop sign? $242?

    I would rather get a punch in the face from your 7 yr. old niece.lolz

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  • Diogo July 17, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Its clear to me that most people don\’t agree with me – and that\’s fine. But what really irritates me is the arrogance, condenscendence that all the self-righteous, self-described law abiding folks constantly express.

    Immature? Unskilled??? Who in the hell do you folks think you are that you can judge people that you don\’t even know like that. What a bunch of prejudicial, narrow minded people!!

    And – regarding the whole \”breaking the law\” argument, please keep in mind that not all the laws have the same value. Its not like running a stop sign is felony. It\’s this unfortunate trend of legal fundamentalism that goes by the name of \”zero-tolerance\” that blurs every distinction and promotes this mentality. So lay down the endless recrimination already!

    And for those that agree that a lot of rules are inadequate for bikes, but disagree that about disobeying them at once, keep in mind that if everyone was so obedient and timid things would never change. And please don\’t tell me that I need to be an activist or a politician instead of just acting according to what I think its reasonable, because I don\’t.

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  • madmike July 17, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks to Diogo (127) for calling to attention the elephant amidst this thread, in that it really isn\’t a dangerous intersection in the slightest. It\’s only a 3-way stop, and with perfectly clear visibility in all directions. I slow down there every day, but not to less than 10-15 mph, and I can unequivocally guarantee that I\’ll never cause, nor be involved in, an accident brought on by my own negligence there.

    Am I opportunistic and engaging in that whole \’selective adherence to laws\’ phenomenon? I suppose so. But at any intersection with even a perceived risk (or at THAT intersection when there\’s other traffic, pedestrians, etc) I slow and/or stop completely. But it is a fact worth repeating that I\’ll never be in an accident brought on by my own negligence at that intersection.

    Jonathan — I love your site and read it several times per day, but disagree that this constitutes a \”tragedy waiting to happen\”.

    So there it is — go ahead & rip me a new one everybody…

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  • Patrick July 17, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    I think who ever took the sign down should now put it up on Ebay and donate the money to charity.

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  • cyclist July 17, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Diogo:

    You\’re right, that is exactly the reason that I, at least, don\’t come to a stop at that intersection. Seems pretty reasonable to me. But I\’m always aware that the responsibility is mine

    I\’ve really got no problem with that at all. My problem is that there is a percentage of bikers here that complain vociferously about receiving a ticket for blowing stop signs, but have no plans to change their behaviors. So long as you understand that you\’re breaking the law, and are willing to accept the consequences of breaking the law, you\’re fine in my book.

    FWIW, I\’d be shocked if there wasn\’t some sort of enforcement action in this area some time soon. So do keep a look out over the next couple of weeks.

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  • Whyat July 17, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    RE: 128- I ride a 48 x 16 ratio, am in my 30s, and come to a complete foot down stop at all stops signs and red lights. I\’m not saying it for attention. I just don\’t understand why a pudgy guy in his 30s can do it with no problem while so many teens and 20 somethings seem unable to. It is NOT a difficult thing to do. It would take me more time to spit out my excuse as to why I don\’t stop than to actually stop.

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  • Sodapop Johnson July 17, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Whyat, you\’re right in that it isn\’t a difficult thing to do. But many of us think it\’s a sometimes pointless thing to do, and therefore we don\’t bother unless we need to.

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  • N.I.K. July 17, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    And for those that agree that a lot of rules are inadequate for bikes, but disagree that about disobeying them at once, keep in mind that if everyone was so obedient and timid things would never change. And please don\’t tell me that I need to be an activist or a politician instead of just acting according to what I think its reasonable, because I don\’t.

    Oh, come off it! Your violation of traffic laws is not an action that\’s going to result in that law being changed. You want to risk your life and/or a traffic ticket, that\’s fine, but other people\’s physical well-being factors in here too. This isn\’t civil disobedience, this is personal convenience held up as a half-assed screed against pesky pesky rules. Either step up and claim some responsibility or can it.

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  • Deborah July 17, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Tuesday, eastbound on Hawthorne @ Grand, stopped at the red. Youngish biker boy in front of me decided he was tired of waiting and started through the intersection. I yelled, \”HEY\” he gave me the evil eye over his shoulder, 5 blocks later I had a flat.

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  • Chris July 17, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    The STOP sign needs to be gone as long as Waters is a driveway. Until it is, be careful, and if you don\’t stop, I hope you have a spare $242 in the bank…

    I\’ve never seen so many signs and lights giving the right of way to people exiting private businesses than in Oregon. Beaverton is particularly bad at that one.

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  • Chris July 17, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Of course, if you follow the construction sign, \”… bikes use trail\” you do not have to stop. Maybe everyone should just ride on the sidewalk until they post someone to watch traffic.

    Do they realize they posted completely conflicted signs? Probably not. Its another case of people not knowing traffic laws.

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  • Gustavo July 17, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Diogo,

    \”Immature? Unskilled??? Who in the hell do you folks think you are that you can judge people that you don\’t even know like that. What a bunch of prejudicial, narrow minded people!!\”

    I\’d call anyone who\’s riding around in traffic blowing stops & lights \”unskilled and immature\”.

    Furthermore, I\’d add riding no-hands in traffic, wearing an ipod, using a phone, not using lights at night while wearing dark clothes, riding without a helmet, riding drunk, and not having brakes on a fixed gear to that list – but that\’s just a personal opinion. :)

    Regardless of the legality of the sign or the usual bikeportland.org righteous indignation – the facts remain:

    The trucking company just wants to avoid hitting cyclists who blow the stop.

    SOME cyclists feel entitled to run stops.

    Yes, there should be a safer route, yes there should be a connection between the esplanade and the springwater, and yes trucks should not park in the bike lane.

    Perhaps a moment of reflecting on the reality of the situation, and extending some courtesy to the trucks and other vehicles (including other cyclists that your reckless behaviour might endanger) might be better. It could at least prevent some accidents.

    And instead of crying and moaning and creating a hostile \”us vs them\” mentality (as decried in many of the other posts on this site), maybe everyone could just contact the city and put some pressure on them to improve the intersection?

    Wow that might actually be constructive. Forget I suggested it.

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  • shut up and ride July 17, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    I could complain about all those bikers who do a double overtake or overtake on the right or overtake in curves, blow stops signs, blow red lights, ride one-way streets the wrong way, ride on sidewalks…(and that was just last week\’s commuting!)
    But I will not! I am going to shut up, ride and stick to the rules…
    Glasshouse – stones- ring a bell?

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  • kg July 17, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Diogo,

    You left out selfish. Not to mention your selective choice of which laws to follow based solely on your personal beliefs makes you a complete hypocrite if you turn around and complain about others (like auto drivers) who don\’t follow the rules.

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  • rixtir July 17, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    I used to think rules were for other people, but not for me. That was in my late teens, early twenties.

    Then I grew up.

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  • Deborah July 17, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Is McAffee out of jail?

    http://blog.oregonlive.com/breakingnews/2008/07/cyclist_smashes_window_of_trim.html

    This strory was picked up by MSNBC

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) July 17, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    \”Jonathan — I love your site and read it several times per day, but disagree that this constitutes a \”tragedy waiting to happen\”.

    there are big rig trucks in a construction zone and there are some people in the street that are oblivious to the stop sign… and even when trucks are present try to continue riding around them (instead of stopping). that to me is crazy and is just asking for a tragedy.

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  • Crash N. Burns July 17, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    KGW just ran a story about this area featuring \”the sign\”.

    In two hours they saw 166 cyclists run the stop sign out of 186. 90%.

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  • Roma July 17, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Did anyone just see the KGW story? They were watching this very stop sign. I think they said out of 186 cyclists they saw, 166 of them ran the stop sign…

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  • Crash N. Burns July 17, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    However…their earlier report of an \”unscientific sting\” show a very interesting result. In two hours at Clinton and 15th they saw the same/equal amount of cars and bikes run the stop sign. Video below.
    http://www.kgw.com/video/video-index.html?nvid=264347

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  • BURR July 18, 2008 at 9:23 am

    you know, they raise speed limits based on the speed motorists are actually going, I think they should remove these stop signs based on the lack of need for them since water avenue was closed to traffic for the sewer construction project.

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  • kg July 18, 2008 at 9:58 am

    It is without a doubt a very stupid stop sign. I do believe we need an Idaho style law regarding stop signs. Unfortunately the rampant disregard for the current laws will make it harder for that to happen as enemies are created and distrust is increased.

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  • Dave July 18, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Look, we are a visible minority, we have to be \”whiter than they are\” to have one whit of respect at all. There is what you could call \”road apartheid\” only we\’re all on the same roads, and there is an overprivileged, underregulated majority–motorists–who want it kept that way. We have to be as kosher as a rabbi\’s cock in traffic, we have no other choice.

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  • SkidMark July 18, 2008 at 11:02 am

    That is absolutely ridiculous. Everyone just needs to acknowledge that the their \”side\” is not innocent. We both have our share of rule-breakers.

    It as not as pure as majority and minority, as many cyclists get to their riding spots by automobile. After all, \”Share the Road\” license plate go on cars. We are not being enslaved and persecuted and slaughtered for riding bikes. The compirison is an insult to South Africans an Nelson Mandela.

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  • BURR July 18, 2008 at 11:34 am

    It\’s a stop sign in a location where there is vitually no cross traffic, except for a tiny little bit coming from the two private driveways on either side. Everyone ignores it because there is no cross traffic and it is therefore completely unnecessary.

    The Bike Boulevard design guidelines include turning stop signs to face the perpendicular streets, I would think this location, on a major bicycle route, would qualify in spades for turning these stop signs the other way. Why isn\’t PDOT doing this ASAP?

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  • krx July 18, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I just love this guy in the Clinton & 15th sting!
    -Did you come to a complete stop?
    -The bike did…

    Stellar! :-D

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  • woogie July 18, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Once and for all it is not a sting when police enforce the law !!!!!

    From Webster\’s Dictionary

    4: an elaborate confidence game; specifically : such a game worked by undercover police in order to trap criminals

    There is no trap, the stop signs are in the open. There is no confidence game, the police are just sitting there observing the law being broken.

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  • Roma July 18, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    \”Once and for all it is not a sting when police enforce the law !!!!!\”

    Semantics aside it\’s still a ridiculous waste of police resources (IMO).

    They may be \”observing the law being broken\”, but they are specifically targeting cyclists. It\’s not like they setup a cop at a stop sign to pull over anyone (car or bike) who\’s violating the law.

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  • BURR July 18, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    when you put numerous police resources that could be used better elsewhere on a project to bust cyclists in a location where the safety risks of the cyclists behaviour are diminishingly minimal, all as a result of media sensationalism, with the cops often hiding in the bushes and whatnot, it\’s a sting.

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  • Zaphod July 18, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    I humbly suggest that it *is* a sting in modern parlance. Language is a function of how people use the term. People often refer to a speed trap as a sting. The police sits just beyond where a speed limit drops from 45 to 25 and nip them right at the line.

    So while it\’s not a sting in the webster defined sense, in any situation where the police set up camp to enforce a law, typically speeding or stop signs/lights, we, right or wrong, colloquially call that a \”sting.\”

    While I don\’t speak for everyone, it seems that the over arching complaint on this blog in these stings is their disassociation with real safety issues and the priorities of the PPD. They target places where law breaking occurs but safety is not an issue. Where they perhaps should be focused on places where real safety issues exist and their enforcement actions there could reduce injury or death. I would argue that the public good receives the highest benefit when they focus on keeping citizens safe over keeping them within the letter of the law.

    All of that said, don\’t run stop signs and eat your vegetables.

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  • Forseti July 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Have you seen them do this at this intersection? They hide sometimes. I\’ve seen them hide and then come out of hiding to give people citations.

    I\’m calling it a sting. It\’s an easy descriptor for this kind of behavior and it appropriately connotes the dishonesty with which it\’s done, both from hiding and from focusing precious police resources on such trivialities.

    If you don\’t like that word, too bad. Don\’t use it.

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  • Deborah July 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    check this out
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25695376/

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  • KJ July 18, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    deborah: nice link, I keep wanting to shout at my screen \”and HOW many people die in CARS every year?\” for real. can you compare the two? augh. auto deaths in 2007: 42,642 all of which were probably due to somthing the driver or another driver was doing \’something that put them at significant risk.\” lordy.

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  • BURR July 18, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    and how many people did cyclists kill in the same time period?!?

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  • Grant July 19, 2008 at 5:52 am

    Based on the views here any police officer witnessing a law being broken and issuing a citation is initiating a sting.

    The police are hiding and it\’s dishonest? This is such a narrow self serving view. It\’s dishonest to blame the police for your choice to violate the law.

    I guess you only have to obey the law if police are in clear view. This says a lot about your moral compass.

    Quit trying to justify your choice to violate the statutes. Take responsibility for your actions.

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  • AR July 19, 2008 at 8:04 am

    Sometime in the early 1980\’s I think, California politicians starting ordering traffic engineers to put stop signs where yield signs would normally go for \”safety\” reasons. The result is that stop signs are overwhelming placed in the U.S. in spots where a yield sign is all that is needed. Hence the California stop. Motorists (and cyclists) recognize the situation, so they yield to cross traffic (which is what prevents you from getting hit, not the actual stopping) and roll through. Cyclists of course want to preserve momentum, coming to a full stop and restarting is tiring. So long as they yield, there\’s no problem, at least from a safety perspective.

    The fact that the PPD focuses so much of their police effort on something with such a trivial safety aspect (if any) is kind of sad. I\’ve been thoroughly convinced that they\’re more into harassing cyclists and controlling them for the convenience of motorists (like ticketing cyclists for not riding in a bike lane or not riding close enough to the curb) than actually safeguarding their safety. Especially when they don\’t cite motorists for violations of ORS 811.050 and taser Rev Phil for not riding with a head light. Portland has become a bicycle police state. Sad…

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  • Donna July 19, 2008 at 8:19 am

    While I don\’t speak for everyone, it seems that the over arching complaint on this blog in these stings is their disassociation with real safety issues and the priorities of the PPD. They target places where law breaking occurs but safety is not an issue. Where they perhaps should be focused on places where real safety issues exist and their enforcement actions there could reduce injury or death. I would argue that the public good receives the highest benefit when they focus on keeping citizens safe over keeping them within the letter of the law.

    You speak for me, Zaphod, and quite eloquently.

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  • Grant July 19, 2008 at 8:58 am

    As long as the letter of the law is good enough for cyclists it should be good enough for all users of the road.

    All I\’ve heard is that I don\’t want to lose momentum, I am justified in breaking the law. So the laws of physics out weigh the laws of the road. Well physics applies to cars as well. By that logic cars should be allowed to roll stop signs. It\’s greener to allow cars to do this rather than come to a stop, idle, then burn more fuel to get back up to speed.

    Yes it is about safety and running a stop sign is not safe. The police are doing their job. If you don\’t like the law change it, but until it changes it is the law.

    I make my living in the bike industry so it is in my best interest to ensure that cycling is accepted as a legitimate form of transportation and that cycling in all forms is not forced from the roads and trails. That said the more people on the road on bikes who don\’t want to follow existing law the more likely you are going to get knee jerk reactions from government whereby the enact legislation to restrict bicycles on the road. If you break the law you are not a bicycle advocate.

    Bicycle advocacy is not about standing up for all cyclists regardless of their behavior. Bicycle advocacy is not about drawing attention to yourself by making unsafe decisions and writing it off as being justified in doing it because the law is \”stupid\” or I\’ll have to pedal harder to get up the hill.

    How do you expect to be taken seriously when you demand that drivers respect all users of the road and you don\’t do the same?

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  • 2GOAT July 19, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Deborah #172
    Fantastic link. As a metropolitan Portland resident, I was wondering if the traffic issues covered in, for example, Jonathan\’s site, are just a local phenomena, but as the link you posted demonstrates, major changes in transportation mentality are erupting across the country.
    Bicycling deserves a more respectable piece of the National Transportation Bill pie in 2009. We all need to stay alert and get involved with legislative activity that encourages greener transportation planning.

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  • BURR July 19, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    good to see Grant standing up for the motorists\’ double-standard! Way to go dude!

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  • Roma July 19, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    \”If you break the law you are not a bicycle advocate.\”

    Who\’s claiming to be a bicycle advocate? I ride my bike, I roll through stop signs. I\’m not part of a \”cycling community\”. I\’m an individual who rides a bike.

    The day all cyclists start obeying all traffic laws will be the same day motorists do (i.e. NEVER).

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  • jim July 20, 2008 at 12:23 am

    I am suprised at how many cyclists take issue with stop signs, especially in a cunstruction area where the additional sign is for their safety. It is frustrating to have a bunch of cyclists acting like 6 yr olds. The sign should stay. perhaps if it is a danger for bikes to be riding in a consrtuction zone then maybe they should not be let to ride through that area

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  • T Williams July 20, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Jim,

    There… I fixed your post.

    I am suprised at how many drivers take issue with stop signs, especially in a cunstruction area where the additional sign is for their safety. It is frustrating to have a bunch of drivers acting like 6 yr olds. The sign should stay. perhaps if it is a danger for driversto be driving in a consrtuction zone then maybe they should not be let to drive through that area

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  • rixtir July 20, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Yeah, \’cause nobody here is taking issues with stop signs, right T?

    :rolleyes:

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  • Grant July 21, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Burr,

    Read the whole post, I was standing up against the double standard presented by cyclist.

    Drivers have to respect my right to the road by following the law and not endangering my live, but I don\’t have to show you the same respect by following the law and not endangering my life.

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  • toddistic July 21, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Still trying to figure out what a \”cunstruction\” zone is.

    Grammar nazi reporting for duty!

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  • BURR July 21, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    well grant, what I hear you saying is that cyclists need to obey all traffic laws but motorists do not.

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  • Grant July 21, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    When did I say that drivers don\’t have to follow the rules of the road???

    I was commenting on the hypocrisy of cyclists who want the police to spend more time enforcing the rules of the road when it comes to cars and to let them continue to break those same rules.

    No where did I say cars don\’t have to follow those same rules. Please provide a quote from any of my posts to back up your claim.

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  • jim July 21, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    cunstruction-
    now dats funny

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  • jim July 21, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    I hear from the Overlook neighborhood assoc. that the right turn from Interstate to Greely will be perm. closed and filled in with concrete. That is a good thing as it was an accident by design that took away an extraordinary life to make a change.
    There should be a better way to get the transportation engineers to look at the potential problems abounding us. I\’m sure many of us recognize these area\’s perhaps by bad circumstances. Anyways we should be able to learn from our mistakes (I\’ve plenty) and somehow have the resources to rectify them.

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  • SkidMark July 21, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    California Roll, because you roll the stop sign.

    It is possible to come to a complete stop and not put your foot down, if you are moderately skilled, certainly long enough for it to be considered a \”stop\” but not long enough to really be a trackstand.

    Grant, cyclists are 5% of the population on the street, therefore we should get 5% of the enforcement. For every 5 tickets given, 95 should be given to cars, any less would be unfair targeting of cyclists. And the Police should spend 95% of their time focusing on cars for moving violations.

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  • wrnchbndr July 22, 2008 at 6:30 am

    Jonathan #76

    Way to be part of the problem instead of the solution!! I suppose you would rather have something to write about on your blog, another biker run down by a car or truck. Never mind that they were the one who blew the stop sign.

    Obviously they put that sign up to try to save someones life and I for one appreciate that, but I geuss that I am a minority in the bikeing community. I wish that the rest of you radical riders would share the road and not act like you have the right to do or ride wherever and however you feel.
    There are some of us that are just plain tired of getting the hatred from the motorists because of you!!!

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  • KT July 22, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Thank you, Grant, for expressing what probably a lot of us are feeling.

    I wasn\’t aware that Portland cyclists are so weak that they can\’t stop and start again.

    C\’mon, people, the equation isn\’t that hard to figure out: if you ride or drive on the public roads you have to follow the laws.

    Just because Johnny Cardriver rolls the stop signs doesn\’t mean Barry Bikerider should do it to. If Johnny jumped off a bridge, should Barry also jump?

    Grow up, people. Don\’t expect me to respect you if you won\’t respect me.

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  • Myra July 22, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Man this post is so funny.

    I think I may change my mind. Maybe they should not make laws harder for bikes. What they should do is remove all laws from biking. Do anything you want on a bike but also remove liability from all other drivers. This way the careless drivers will be taken out of the genetic pool. Wait careless bike drivers that could be all of them!

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  • woogie July 22, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    skidmark,

    Faulty logic basing the ratio of tickets on the population break down cars vs bikes.

    If 50% of violations are by cyclist then 50% of the tickets should go to cyclists.

    Quit trying to justify violating the law.

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  • BURR July 22, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    faulty logic is that 50% of violations are committed by cyclists, you\’ve been brainwashed by the Oregonian…mwahahahahah!

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  • woogie July 23, 2008 at 6:23 am

    I did not present 50% as fact, just as an example to show that the previous logic was flawed.

    Notice the word IF at the beginning of the statement.

    Teenagers between 16 and 18 represent around 3% of the population, would you say they represent 3% of all bad driving?

    No because percent of population does not correlate to actions by that population.

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  • Olaf July 23, 2008 at 11:48 am

    If cyclists want to be treated like real traffic, they have to start obeying traffic laws. Period.

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  • BURR July 23, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    just like the motorists, eh?

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  • steve July 23, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Myra-

    Liability for drivers!? Ha!

    Like the lady who murdered a cyclist last year while making an illegal turn with a suspended license? Nothing much happened to her. Drivers face no consequences for the illegal and reckless behavior behind the wheel, unless of course they have been drinking.

    But I am sure you know all about drinking. You sound like the type to have a few shots before climbing out of bed in the morning. Probably helps you be able to look at yourself in the rearview mirror while putting your make up on.

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  • Grant July 23, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Gee Steve, name calling really makes me want to take on your point of view.

    If you can\’t argue the point presented then just accuse that person of being a drunkard.

    What an excellent rebuttal, right up the with \”sez you\”, \”oh yeah\”, and \”so\’s your mother\”.

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  • steve July 23, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Grant-

    I obviously could care less what your point of view is. I don\’t play nice with people like Myra. Deal with it, or don\’t. I do not care!

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  • SkidMark July 24, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    I do not justify violating any laws. If you break the law in front of a cop you should get a ticket, car or bike. My issue is that if you give more tickets to cyclists than 5% of the number that you give to cars, then you are unfairly targeting cyclists. if you give 60 cyclists tickets in one day , then you need to get back out there and pull over 1140 cars in one day. It is fair, based on the number of cyclists on the road compared to the number of cars on the road.

    And don\’t try to tell me that cyclists break more laws than cars drivers per capita. If cyclists did, there would 100\’s of cyclists dying every day.

    It\’s amazing how everyone can see cyclists make moving violations, but when they make a left turn in front of one the first thing out of their mouth is \”I didn\’t see him\”.

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  • Whiney McWhinerson July 25, 2008 at 10:45 am

    @SkidMark

    \”And don\’t try to tell me that cyclists break more laws than cars drivers per capita.\”

    Per capita, cyclists run more stop signs than car drivers. (I have no facts, but from my experience that is a pretty solid statement in Portland.)

    I am one of the choir (daily commuter) and I just can\’t buy what you are selling. It sounds nice, but I just don\’t believe it is true.

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  • Whiney McWhinerson July 25, 2008 at 10:49 am

    This morning (7/25 – 6:45am) there was a cop stopped at the stop sign on Caruthers pointed West at the circular round (he was stopped in the middle of the road).

    If it was a sting, it wasn\’t very sneaky, but people were coming to a stop at the sign. A drastic change from typical behavior.

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  • SkidMark July 25, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Another pathetic troll. Go crawl back under the bridge.

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  • Duncan July 26, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Hey Whiney-

    Who is more likely to drive over the speed limit? a car or a bike?

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  • Grant July 26, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Skidmark,

    Just because 5% of people on the road are cyclists does not mean that they commit 5% of the offenses.

    I worked at a University that demanded that 50% of the engineering faculty be female because it represents the population breakdown. Sounds great until you realize that the only people who could join the engineering faculty had to hold a PhD in engineering. So in truth the break down should have been based on the gender breakdown of within the population of those with a PhD in engineering.

    The same way that the % of cyclist receiving tickets relates more to the population made up of those who the police witness violating the law.

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  • PJ July 26, 2008 at 10:02 am

    i agree w/the too many people blowing off stop signs comments. I work on N Vancouver and Stanton and, because I bike commute, I hear from colleagues every day about those cyclists who blow that light. And I\’ve almost been hit myself when I\’ve tried to walk across the street. I know is sucks to lose the momentum and have to stand at a light that often doesn\’t have cross traffic but there are reasons for these controls, especially at a hospital entrance.
    as far as do cyclist blow more stop signs… probably. But how many car drivers seem to think signals are an optional feature of their car? or thinking stopping at a stop sign means being half-way into the intersection. I walk when I\’m not riding and often feel less safe on two legs than on two wheels, especially in NW Portland, where I live. The pathetic little sheepish waves I get as an apology for nearly running me over with your SUV doesn\’t make me hate you less. And let\’s not even talk about driving while on your cellphone…

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  • SkidMark July 26, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    I still say that you only notice it when some breaks the law, because they stand out. You don\’t notice when someone obeys the law, because they aren\’t doing anything out of the ordinary. Same thing with people who are capable of stopping a fixed gear without a handbrake, when they are proficient at handling their bike, you just assume they have a handbrake.

    You also seem to be forgetting that bicycling is pretty much unregulated, and there is very little effort spent educating kids on the correct way to ride a bicycle in the streets. Look at all the wrong way riders out there, do you think all of them are scofflaws, or do you think some of them don\’t even know that the rules of the road apply to them?

    The answer is rider education, and education is not extorting $242 dollars out of someone. The first \”ticket\” should be a mandatory bicycle rider education class. If the Police and the courts did that, then I would believe they had our safety as their concern, instead of filling their own pockets.

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