Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 14th, 2009 at 1:49 pm
The Portland Police Bureau sent three motorcycle cops to SE Clinton Street this morning to observe and enforce stop sign compliance at 34th and 21st Avenues.
According to Traffic Division Lieutenant Bryan Parman, the “enforcement mission” (a.k.a. sting) came after his office received a complaint via email last week from a nearby resident. Parman said,
“The email was about poor compliance at the stop signs by everyone, not just bikes. The resident was specifically concerned at people not yielding to pedestrians.” (There are marked crosswalks at both intersections).
The result? In the one-hour mission, three officers issued 22 citations; five to motor vehicle operators and 17 to people on bicycles. Parman says everyone given a ticket was given the option to attend the Share the Road Safety Class so it won’t affect their driving record (that option can be given only at the discretion of the officer who issues the citation).
Parman says the officers were “focusing on blatant behavior that creates a potentially dangerous situation,” and that “given the results we found, we need to talk about a workable solution.”
What Parman is referring to is his ongoing conversation with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation about how to most effectively enforce laws for bike traffic on popular bike boulevard streets.
who said he’s already discussed this morning’s mission with the BTA’s Michelle Poyourow* — wants to find a more long term solution on how to best respond to these type of complaints. He said he’ll also be discussing the issue at the Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting tonight.
“I understand that Clinton is a bike boulevard,” said Parman on the phone this morning. As such, Parman said he wants bikes to become the preferred mode of transportation on the street, but he also wants to make sure bike operators are being safe and legal.
UPDATE: 3:23 p.m. A commenter just pointed out a YouTube video (below) uploaded on April 8th by “batboyfan”, who explains it as, “Proof that the majority of cyclists in Portland do not stop at stop signs or stop lights. This is not just a few bad apples, it is the general consensus among cyclists in Portland that the traffic laws do not apply to them.”
*This was a miscommunication between Lt. Parman and I. Michelle Poyourow did not discuss the enforcement activities on SE Clinton.