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Spate of collisions highlight urgency of safety improvements

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 25th, 2010 at 10:30 am

Headlines like this don't exactly
encourage folks to walk more.
(Screen shot from KGW-TV)

A spike in traffic collisions over the weekend highlights the urgent need for traffic safety improvements across the Portland area.

On Friday, two Franklin High School students were hit while walking in a crosswalk near their school. According to the Police Bureau, the boys were attempting to cross SE 52nd Avenue at Woodward, when someone driving a car sped around already stopped cars, struck them, and then drove off. Their injuries were not life-threatening.

52nd Avenue is slated for crossing safety improvements as part of the 50s Bikeway project we highlighted last week. That project was first identified as a priority 13 years ago.

Story continues below


Then on Saturday night, a 44-year old man was struck and critically injured while he tried to cross SE Foster* at 122nd. This collision was initially reported by the Police Bureau as a fatality, but the man was later revived while at OHSU and remains in critical condition.

According to the PPB's Major Crash Team, the man was attempting to cross south to north and the person driving the car was going west on 122nd. "Witnesses reported that the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk and walked in front of one car before walking in front of the vehicle that hit him."

*On a related note, Jessica Finlay, one of two women hit by a vehicle driven by Tito Jose Feliciano while walking across SE Foster back in November, passed away Friday morning. She had been in a coma since the collision. Finlay's friend, Lindsay Leonard, died at the scene.

Also on Saturday night, a man was struck while riding his bicycle near N. Willamette and N. Bryant. The person who hit the man on the bike did not stop and the police later arrested him. According to booking information on the Multnomah County website, 55-year old Lilifi Toutai spent the night in jail and was released on Sunday.

PBOT is aware of the dangerous conditions for non-motorized traffic on Willamette. There are plans on the table to remove on-street parking on the north side of the street in order to create more room for bike traffic. Bryant, the intersection where this collision took place, is slated for major bike boulevard improvements this year.

As more Portlanders move around under their own power, it's essential that the City invests in long overdue roadway improvements to make our streets safer. You can remind City planners about the urgency of these investments by telling them to build the projects listed in the Bicycle Plan for 2030 and by getting involved in the upcoming budget process.

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Comments
  • Shamus January 25, 2010 at 10:40 am

    This would probably be a good place to plug the 4th annual Transportation safety Summit being hosted by Mayor Sam Adams on Tuesday February 16th. Details here:
    http://www.portlandonline.com/TRANSPORTATION/INDEX.CFM?c=44721&a=281423&showpollresults=1

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  • Linda January 25, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Regarding the pedestrian hit near 122nd & Foster. The article says the car was westbound on SE 122nd. However, like all numbered streets, 122nd Ave runs north-south. Perhaps you meant to say the car was traveling west on Foster.

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  • Marcus Griffith January 25, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Out of sheer curiosity, last summer I took my video camera, thumb counter and note book--the tools of a nerd--and spent a few days at various high traffic crosswalks monitoring motor vehicle and pedestrian collisions. After going over my observations, I realized that the surprising thing about collisions in crosswalks is that they don't happen more frequently.

    As a general rule, motorist disregard the capacity for carnage a motor vehicle inherently possesses while pedestrians tend to deny the inherent vulnerability a pedestrian maintains on or near a roadway.

    I saw and video typed far too many SUVs, cars, trucks and even semi's passing within a few feet (and inches in some cases) of people in the roadway.

    The average person would throw a fit if you shot a bullet within a few feet of them, but that same average person would be okay driving a large SUV at a high rate of speed through a crosswalk within feet of people in it.

    Any viable (and non-violent) solutions?

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  • thefuture January 25, 2010 at 10:59 am

    I have to admit that driving one time (yeah i drive sometimes sorry) I did a similar thing to that first case. The car in front of me slowed down making me think it was going to turn left and I was going to change lanes anyway. I changed lanes to the right and realized right away that there was a crosswalk with two people starting to cross it. Luckily I was going slow, but had to hit the brakes really hard. They had just started to cross so wouldn't have been in front of me anyway, but man that scared me pretty bad. I'm way more conscious of it when driving and always make sure EVERY car is going to stop when crossing roads as a pedestrian or on bike.

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  • Jackattak January 25, 2010 at 11:13 am

    @ Marcus Griffith #3 -

    I was going to give some viable solutions until I saw your non-violent clause.

    :P

    Seriously these types of instances and other instances that I experience on a near-daily basis as a pedestrian are making me angry to the extent that I fear for motorists who might do me wrong.

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  • Vance Longwell January 25, 2010 at 11:25 am

    "The average person would throw a fit if you shot a bullet within a few feet of them..."

    Which makes it supremely good advice to stay-off the rifle-range, yes?

    'Spate' is, "a lot". '3', is not a lot. What is a 'spate', relative to this past weekend's traffic, is the number of event-free, perfectly-safe, trips taken on all modes. That's a spate. Safety is not zero-sum. In fact, 'safety', only exists in your head. Anybody who would ignore this ratio, and just keep bang, bang, banging away on the same tired drum simply must have an agenda. Whatever that agenda is, I sure wish you'd put it's name there in place of, "Bicycle", in the title of this site.

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  • rixtir January 25, 2010 at 11:29 am

    "Safety improvements" are generally a good thing.

    But in at least one of these incidents, two pedestrians were injured because a driver did not stop at a crosswalk-- in fact, the driver "sped around already stopped cars," hit the two pedestrians, and then sped off.

    That's not an infrastructure problem, it's a "failure of the state and law enforcement to crack down on dangerous drivers" problem.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief) January 25, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Vance,

    I have never tried to hide that I have an agenda. Yes, one of the things I try to do with this site is to raise the awareness of traffic safety issues. Perhaps "spate" isn't the most accurate word, but when my news alerts over the weekend include FOUR (one of them in Gresham I didn't include here) collisions between people in cars and people walking and biking, I think it merits attention... especially since these are only the collisions that made the news.

    Also, these collisions happened in places where there are already known traffic safety problems that are yet to be addressed.

    Thanks for your input.

    Rixtir,

    There are a lot of "problems" at play in these incidents... but I'd disagree that simply because crosswalks were present that these are not infrastructure problems. Do you really feel that crosswalks should be the be-all, end-all solution? I don't think you do. If crosswalks only work when Johnny Law is on the scene, perhaps we need different solutions. We could use more education of road users (walkers, bikers, and drivers) about the laws and about how to be safe, we could experiment with better crossing treatments, and so on.

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  • Stepen Upchurch January 25, 2010 at 11:32 am

    And on the bright side we, the pedestrians, can enjoy the increased visibility created by the now operational crosswalk signal at NE 30th & Killingsworth.

    This intersection has been rough. The PPB conducted stings here and I believe the Concordia Neighborhood Association pushed for the signal as well.

    Remember, if the fun between your legs is decreasing and the traffic is unceasing you may find it somewhat pleasing, to walk your steed increasing, your right of way, I hope.

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  • rixtir January 25, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Vance should really rethink using the phrase "bang, bang, banging away on the asme tired drum."

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  • Stig3 January 25, 2010 at 11:36 am

    BP: Could you follow the Lilifi Toutai case? I'm sure many would like to know the outcome.

    It doesn't seem to be off to a good start considering he's already been released with no bail. What genius decided he wouldn't be a flight risk considering he's already fled the scene of the injury incident he allegedly caused? Is he even suspended from driving?

    I hope the victim makes a full recovery and rides again very soon.

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  • andy January 25, 2010 at 11:40 am

    As a pedestrian, cars and bicycles are equally dangerous on crosswalks, there's a number of them on front (naito pkwy) that I have to cross everyday.

    many of these crosswalks form a t-junction, with the bike lane on front at the top of the T, so bicyclists generally ignore the red light for front ave traffic and keep going, so walking is always hazardous, having to look around stopped cars for bikes on one side and cars on the other.

    same applies to non-light-controlled crosswalks, bicyclists rarely ride like they might need to stop, and get angry when you are in their way crossing the road.

    Laws are laws, but if we could all be more courteous, reading the road and not riding or driving like you own it, maybe pedestrians - and bicyclists, might have more of a chance.

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  • rixtir January 25, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Jonathan,

    No, I don't think that crosswalks alone are necessarily the be-all, end-all solution to pedestrian safety. It may be that more is required-- signals, for example. Signs alerting drivers to the presence of the crosswalk. I'm all for those kinds of improvements.

    But this wasn't simply a case of a driver making a mistake-- it's against the law to go around a car stopped at a crosswalk. Period. This driver did that. It's against the law to continue to drive on after hitting somebody. Period. This driver did that. It's even against the law to drive over the speed limit, and if your use of the word "sped" wasn't hyperbole, then this driver was also breaking that law. The bottom line is this driver is dangerous, and should not be on the road. Period. And the fact that the driver is on the road-- and is not the only dangerous driver on the road, by a longshot-- tells me that among the other thingswe need to do to make the roads safer, we need a serious, sustained crackdown on dangerous drivers.

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  • Stig3 January 25, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I think the bar for suspending a license is way too low. Many of those who wreak havoc on the streets (against all modes) have long histories.

    We wouldn't need to spend nearly as much on infrastructure if these people were kept off the roads and harsher sentences handed out for fleeing the scene and DUI.

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  • Jackattak January 25, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Agree with Andy and I'll put it a little simpler to my cycling brothers and sisters:

    Cars must yield to pedestrians.

    So must bicycles.

    That's all I'm gonna say.

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  • Aperture January 25, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    The tragic death of the second young woman hit by a motorist at Foster and 80th again raises the question of why police frequently don't bring any charges against drivers who are responsible for the deaths or injury of pedestrians and bikers. According to the Oregonian, the driver of the double-fatality vehicle on Foster "cooperated with investigators and was not charged." These two women were crossing the street in a crosswalk. The law requires that drivers stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. Why wasn't the driver charged with anything? What message does this send? The police must stop excusing vehicular manslaughter and start holding accountable those who commit it.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief) January 25, 2010 at 12:18 pm

      Aperture,

      The law does not say that cars must immediately stop the moment you walk out into the street. Simply stepping into a crosswalk does not protect you. Cars must have the ability to see you and react before they are guilty of not stopping. Also, it's important to remember that unless we read the full investigation of these collisions, we should not speculate as to who is at fault.

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  • h January 25, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    By my observation, 1 of 100 or so drivers would stop at unsignalized crosswalks. If the road is busy, you need to have signalized crosswalks.

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  • mbsf January 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    I am contemplating peaceful demonstrations during rush hour with posters, flyers and lights at my favorite unobserved cross walk! Crossing guard costumes might or might not be involved...

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  • Anon January 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    It would be important to note how many of these actually occured at a crosswalk, how many occured at a crosswalk with a big red hand flashing at a walker, and how many occured with someone jaywalking. To often when I drive I see peds jumping out into the street or cyclists running red lights. I know this is the minority but these are the ones that usually have accidents, and then public outcry occurs without regard to whether the individual was following the legal measures in place provided to keep them safe. It is our duty as such (pedestrians and cyclists) to do our part to maintain our safety rather than assume that it will always be the drivers responsibility. Perhaps it might be more effective to further increase education to peds and cyclists as to the importance of following safety measures rather then put more in place that people will just choose to disregard. Jonathan brings up an example of one such very common misconception that I'm sure has cost more then one indiviual their life.

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  • Vance Longwell January 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    "I have never tried to hide that I have an agenda."

    Right. So why not call this site, "TrafficSafetyPortland.org"? Rhetorical question really. In my opinion, a title like that doesn't attract visitors. Perhaps bikes are what brought into traffic-safety-activism(?), I don't know, but there are quite a few non-bike issues being reported here. I haven't done a count, but I'd be inclined to believe that between The Church of Green, the male-bashing, and the whites-bashing that goes on here, there are a minority of stories pertaining to cycling here.

    You say it's unsafe out there. I say it's fine. Let's look at the weekend. I see 10,000, 100,000, 1,000,000, you pick the number, no go ahead. I see un-tolled gazillions of event-free, perfectly safe trips made on all modes, in every corner of the region, and four that ended badly.

    Logic dictates that this ratio doesn't adequately cover even a modest margin-of-error; and that it's safe out there, yet you would advocate for change.

    Most people, knowing it's safe through personal experience, and statistical data both, see people like you going on and on; and then the situation becomes political. Not only that, you're flying a flag with an image of a bicycle on it. Saying that you are motivated by safety, or the lack-of, in the face of over-whelming evidence to the contrary, is disingenuous. Much like hiding your Church of Green, Nanny State Agenda, behind the image of cycling-transportation.

    Additionally, there is a long history in this country of making dumb rules. Alcohol prohibition comes to mind, as does the prohibition of cannabis. Occasionally, we make rules so dumb that everybody just ignores them. Such is the case right now with cannabis. Pervasive public sentiment on this says that when so many people break a law or, and most especially, when a law seems to effect one group of people more than any other, we look at that law; and see if maybe something is wrong with it, and not the symptom it addresses. Your so-called infrastructure improvements are statistically irrelevant.

    To me your treatment of safety as a zero-sum is not logical. In order to effect the types of changes you advocate for, unnecessary encroachments into people's lives need be made. Add to that, nobody follows most of these rules anyway. We've done what we can, anymore and what is lost outweighs what is gained.

    Where is the line? When do you stop making more, and more laws, that only effect poor people anyway, and instead ask yourself the question, "Maybe this is an unreasonable expectation?"?

    Bicycles have nothing to do with your 'agenda' and you'd do many of us a service by directly addressing that agenda, and leaving bikes out of it.

    In my opinion of course.

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  • thefuture January 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    I wish cars wouldn't tailgate so much too. Every time I stop for a pedestrian I'm convinced I'm going to get rear-ended. Its especially hard on road like mlk where there are long stretches between stoplights, but more than a few crosswalks. People drive really fast and tailgate (if you drive slow which I usually am).

    Ok yeah, I drive sometimes....I already admitted it.

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  • rixtir January 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Vance, you are engaging in "psychological projection." It's your agenda that has nothing to do with bikes, and everything to do with promoting your libertarian beliefs.

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  • Ted Buehler January 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    I think it's no coincidence that this was a rainy weekend.

    Portland has done great things for bikes and peds on a very limited budget.

    Unfortunately, many of the adaptations that have gone into Portland's success only work in fair weather, because they require bikes and peds to negotiate for space on the road, and don't leave much margin of error.

    Throw in some heavy rain, and the ability of a bike or ped to actually negotiate with cars goes down to practically zero. Side mirrors are worthless, so you'll get doored or right hooked. Visibility is limited to those parts of the windshield that get wiped on the outside *and* defogged on the inside. It's much harder to read those helpful little signs that tell drivers in the middle lane on NE Broadway to yield to through bikes as they get on the freeway at Williams.

    If all drivers were fully competent, attentive, and are already familiar with the places they're driving, it wouldn't be so much of a problem. But throw in any driver with even somewhat impaired vision, or distracted or drunk, is going to miss a lot of those pedestrians negotiating for space in the crosswalk or bicyclists on streets without bike lanes. Add to that poor traction because all the major roads in this town have had their driving surfaces ground off by studded tires and the cars are driving on surface of smooth pebbles. Add in driving through unfamiliar parts of town, and you pretty much eliminate most of the stuff Portland has done to make bicycling safe.

    To get 8% of commuters riding bikes year-round will take a lot more protected bicycle infrastructure than it took to get 8% of commuters bicycling in the summer.

    Same for getting people to walk to places within their 20 minute neighborhoods in the winter -- need a lot more than just a law that says that every intersection legally has crosswalks -- you'll need to make it so that a family of 3 can cross Burnside or 39th to get to their venue without having to negotiate for crossing rights cars in nearly-blind driving conditions.

    Just an observation -- I have nothing for praise for what Portland *has* done with its skimpy bike budget, but I'd like to point out that there's a great opportunity here if they up the spending to provide really good facilities.

    Ted Buehler

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  • BURR January 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    still, the idea that implementing the projects in the proposed new bike master plan will make our streets measurably safer for cyclists is a naive idea at best.

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  • Rico January 25, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I've got one for ya. Today on Killingsworth in front of the NoPo Library, a westbound bus was stopped at a bus stop in front the crosswalk and one car was stopped behind the crosswalk. It is one lane each way and one car behind the car stopped decided it was a good idea to pass the stopped car and bus on the wrong side of the road while pedestrians were in the crosswalk between the bus and the stopped car. A second car followed on the wrong side of the street. Both accellerated to avoid oncoming traffic. Luckily me and the other pedestrians waited. Sheesh.

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  • peejay January 25, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Vance:

    1)I don't think you understand the meaning of "zero sum" as a concept. Zero sum refers to the idea that there is a fixed supply of good outcomes in a system, and if one party receives more of these outcomes, another is deprived of them. I don't see any efforts to improve safety as being truly penalizing for any group, except of course for the group of individuals who wish to do harm to others. Neither does Jonathan, I'm guessing.

    2)As for the rifle range, I disagree entirely with your analogy. If a particular mode of transit -- one that requires great expanses of public space in a network that chops up all other public and private spaces into little islands -- is as unsafe to navigate in as a rifle range would be to walk across, then the problem isn't with the people who wish to cross that space; it's with the people operating that mode of transit.

    3) Since you've shown to be quite concerned about others insulting you on these forums, then you must be aware that "Church of Green" and "Nanny state" are insults. Certainly you meant then that way, since you know that nobody in the environmental movement would self-describe themselves as members of such a "church", nor would an advocate of responsible, effective government self-apply the "Nanny state" label to themselves.

    4) If you believe that this site should really be named "TrafficSafetyPortland.org" but is not by some kind of error, well now you know the secret, and you can use that information to avoid reading it in the future.

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  • David January 25, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    The best part about logical errors is when they're employed in the guise of logic.

    Thanks for the laugh, Vance! You're a great source of quotes for illustrating deductive/logical fallacies, or how to derive a false conclusion from a true premise.

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  • jo January 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    52nd and se Woodward is a terrible intersection for car, peds and even worse for bikes. Everyday there are near collisions!!!!

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  • are January 25, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    i accept the rifle range analogy, but when i asked the motorists where exactly the rifle range was, so i could stay away, they said "the entire planet."

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  • Donna January 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Right. So why not call this site, "TrafficSafetyPortland.org"?

    Because this is Jonathan's site and he can call it what he pleases and write what he wants on it. Private property rights are awesome!

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  • feralcow January 25, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    I was hit Saturday afternoon crossing Powell south on Milwaukie. It was a large black truck making an abrupt right turn, and they sped away. A good samaritan waiting for the bus called 911 and the police came. I was OK, but bike is messed up. The police took a report, and the person that called gave them the license plate number. I tried to find out info today from the Portland Police, but was told I would be contacted if/when they discovered anything. It would seem they could track the owner assuming the license plate was correct? Wouldn't a hit and run by a priority? Can anyone else share their experience in this instance?

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  • peejay January 25, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    feralcow:

    You should post that license number in as many forums as you can, so that we all can help the police do their job. And I am certainly not implying doing anything to that vehicle, just, you know, calling the cops when we see the truck.

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  • anonymous January 26, 2010 at 12:42 am

    All the road safety improvements in the world won't make a lick of difference until we start passing and enforcing laws which make people act responsible when they are behind the wheel. Better education, better and more frequent testing of actual driving skills, actual fines and punishments for things like driving on a suspended or without a license, keeping your vehicle in good repair, requiring insurance companies to notify traffic authorities when coverage is cancell ed, etc. would go a long way to making our streets safer.

    As is, it's basically a free-for-all with deadly weapons and little more than a slap on the wrist for negligence. You choose where you live, and if you "have to have a car" to get somewhere and you can't fulfill the basic responsibilities for operating a motor vehicle, then you should move somewhere that it isn't "needed."

    Call me a jerk for suggesting we limit people's freedoms (is driving really a right?), but isn't the idea to get people out of their cars, anyway?

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  • Stig6 January 26, 2010 at 5:16 am

    I nearly get hit by right-turning vehicles on a regular basis at crosswalks. Most motorists are responsible, but many just barrel into the crosswalk against at a red light and make their right-turn, slowing only as much as they have to. They can't see that the crosswalk signal is activated and just plow on through.

    Unfortunately, the crosswalk may be in use, but the motorist is paying far more attention to traffic coming from the left that might cause them harm. Aggressive right-turning traffic is probably the biggest threat to me on my commute.

    Exercising your right of way in crosswalks will get you killed. Nothing less than eye contact with right-turning motorists is needed.

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  • Vance Longwell January 26, 2010 at 10:02 am

    peejay-

    1)You're just wrong about zero-sum. I don't know what dis-ambiguous reference you are making, but the phrase makes perfect sense to me. Safety is a subjective abstract. There is no such thing as absolute safety. Ergo, safety is not a zero-sum. Usually the case with things that only exist in one's head.

    2)Riding a bicycle around on streets intended for use by cars, then whining about the outcome, is most certainly like walking around a rifle-range worried about getting shot.

    3)I've never said one, single, thing, about being insulted here. I have been censored on numerous occasions the most frequent reason given - That I was being insulting. So, when people insult me, and are not censored for it, I like to point out the double-standard. Nuanced, but not exactly sophisticated stuff here, peejay, stay with me.

    Man, that is fun! Putting words in people's mouths that is.

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  • BURR January 26, 2010 at 11:29 am

    There's a reason cities like New York do not allow right on red. Allowing motorists to make right turns on red is one of the most anti-pedestrian laws out there.

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  • Michael M. January 26, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Completely, 100% agree with BURR (#37). Get rid of RTOR -- instantly, the city will be much safer for pedestrians and cyclists. And the cost to taxpayers would be very small, compared to all the infrastructure we're supposed to build.

    Two problems: 1) motorists will hate the idea; 2) cyclists will ignore the rule, if RTOR ever is eliminated.

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  • david....no the other one January 26, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Many years ago people used to be ashamed to have their shortcommings pointed out. My aunt used to throw a broom out in front of speeding cars on her street, in an effort to avoid roadkill of children who should know better. Long story short she stopped when a motorist angrily verbally confronted her. This practice was effective and funny, a grown woman throwing a broom. I guess you just can't assault a car like that.

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  • Jackattak January 26, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    @ Michael M # 38 -

    Back when I used to own a car and drive, I can remember very vividly drivers honking at me in traffic as I sat at a light waiting to turn right when there was a RED ARROW (which means it's illegal to turn right while the red arrow is on)! Just think what abolishing RTOR what would do to these people. You'd think Hitler was taking a crap on their front lawn!

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  • Duncan January 26, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    I live near 52nd and Woodard and the big problem I see is the speed of cars traveling on 52nd, along with the angled crossing and less than ideal placement of the cross walk... Of those lowering the speed on 52nd is the easiest to accomplish. It is after all a school zone, so it should be marked 20MPH during school times, no?

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  • Stig6 January 26, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Some intersections it's not just right-turn on red, it's right turn on green because the cross walk signal activates in sync with the green light for motorists traveling parallel. The walk signal is a deathtrap by design. Pedestrians have right of way? No, actually I think I'll yield my right of way to the rampaging steel beasts.

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  • Stig6 January 26, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Solution I think already exists in Europe: Dedicated pedestrian cycle- red light in all directions for the duration. As a bonus, pedestrians can even cross diagonally.

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  • mechanic Mark January 26, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    @ Jackattak #40

    The drivers behind you were likely impatient because in Oregon, a right turn on a red arrow is treated the same as a right turn on solid red.

    This is from the Oregon Supplement to the MUTCD adopted July 2005:

    "Except when a sign is in place prohibiting a turn on red, vehicular traffic facing a steady RED
    ARROW signal indication may enter the intersection to turn right into a two-way street, or to turn right
    or left into a one-way street in the direction of traffic upon the one-way street after stopping. Such
    vehicular traffic shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to
    other traffic lawfully using the intersection."

    Yeah, I looked it up a few years ago because I turn at SE 12th and Hawthorne all the time. Don't feel too bad though, I see suckers wait out that light all the time.

    I have no problem with right on red if it's done properly, that is to say, a full stop, look and yield. Of course, many road users can't be bothered to do all that, it would slow them down too much.

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  • peejay January 26, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Vance:

    1) Zero sum, from wikipedia:

    In game theory and economic theory, zero-sum describes a situation in which a participant's gain or loss is exactly balanced by the losses or gains of the other participant(s). If the total gains of the participants are added up, and the total losses are subtracted, they will sum to zero. Zero-sum can be thought of more generally as constant sum where the benefits and losses to all players sum to the same value of money (or utility). Cutting a cake is zero- or constant-sum, because taking a larger piece reduces the amount of cake available for others. In contrast, non-zero-sum describes a situation in which the interacting parties' aggregate gains and losses is either less than or more than zero. Zero-sum games are also called strictly competitive.

    2) A rifle range is a place you choose to go to, or not, depending on your choice. Streets are everywhere, and if you wish to get somewhere, you must use them. They were not built for cars; most streets in this city predate automobiles, so they were intended for other uses, and eventually co-opted by cars.

    3) You have indeed complained in the past about being insulted by others on this site. "Church of Green" and "Nanny state" are insulting phrases; they do not encourage any intelligent discourse on any topic, but are meant specifically to raise peoples' ire. Cut it out.

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  • are January 27, 2010 at 8:22 am

    re comment 44, the statutory references are ORS 811.260(6) and 811.360. the summary from the manual is reasonably accurate.

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  • Jackattak January 27, 2010 at 8:22 am

    @ Mechanic Mark # 44 -

    You are correct on Oregon law...I looked it up right around the same time you did, actually, and was quite surprised to find that out! :)

    I should've specified though that this was at the I-5 overpass just outside Battleground, in southwest Washington when it happened regularly. I'm still not sure on WA State law regarding this.

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  • David Feldman January 27, 2010 at 8:41 am

    We need changes in our legal system--expand police power to stop MOTOR vehicle operators and to sieze property, such as cell phones and cars, on the spot. When you step into the car and get behind the wheel, you should leave the US Constitution and Bill of Rights outside.

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  • [...] the lowest in a century, but the number of pedestrians killed was up, to 155. In Portland, Oregon, Jonathan Maus writes that “A spike in traffic collisions over the weekend highlights the urgent need for [...]

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  • jim January 28, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Andy #12 is right. Everytime I stop at a crosswalk for a pedestrian if there is a cyclist coming up behind me they have never stopped to yeild for the pedestrian. generally the pedestrian has to put on their brakes so they don't get run over by a bike. The cyclist knows he can get away with breaking all sorts of laws with very little chance of ever getting a citation. I am gunshy of getting tickets when I drive and do stop for peds in crosswalks when I can, i even got rear ended for stopping quickly for a hard to see wheelchair once. I wish cyclists would show more respect to pedestrians.

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  • jim January 28, 2010 at 12:55 am

    " They were not built for cars; most streets in this city predate automobiles, "

    So these streets are built for horses?
    Wait till the crc hears this, 12 lanes for horses
    PJ should trade in his bike for a horse

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  • Vance Longwell January 28, 2010 at 8:42 am

    peejay - you do know my comments are right there, right? I mean, you do read them prior to cherry-picking some out-of-context statement from them, don't you? I do not accept 'game theory". That's it. It's right in there with traffic-planning, psychology, and voo-doo. You kids can make-up all the pseudo-science you want, and I still won't buy. I couldn't care less what a bunch of '80 Alliance Pallys' and Texas-Hold 'em buffs have to say about anything. You indeed are using some arcane, only known to game-geeks and college student's, DIS-AMBIGUOUATION of a phrase I've used in scientific, and clinical settings since before you were born.

    I also write agonizingly long emails, purposefully, 'cause the idea that there is some 'email paradigm' as established by a bunch of computer nerds is offensive to me. About the last people we need defining any convention is a computer nerd. Yet, you will find consensus on the issue. That's a case of the blind leading the blind, in my opinion, and their participation changes nothing. It's just stupid to constrain the length of an email for any reason.

    You again just ignore my comment and go on to repeat your own earlier comment the gist of which is that I have complained about being insulted here. I said it once, I'll say it again, you are just wrong. I've only ever complained about being censored for insulting other users, while their insults to me are left intact. The purpose of which is to expose/raise-awareness that opposing view-points are routinely censored on this site. Not, as you say, to simply have the editors fight my battles for me, and to have those comments removed. On the contrary, I find the censorship policy here childish, and oppressive. I feel like I have to 'watch my mouth' or mommy will make me stand in the corner 5 minutes. So I complain.

    You don't have to make s**t up. My writing style is repellent, and I often am way over-ambitious trying to put a little vim-and-vigor into my language. Leaves a lot of what I write looking really stupid. I also repeatedly contradict myself, something you've clearly picked-up-on. You're on the right track, I guess, but not on these three points.

    "2) A rifle range is a place you choose to go to, or not, depending on your choice. Streets are everywhere, and if you wish to get somewhere, you must use them. They were not built for cars; most streets in this city predate automobiles, so they were intended for other uses, and eventually co-opted by cars."

    As long as we are taking our grievances with other people out on each other (I'm man enough to admit it, are you?) I want to say this statement here busts you six ways from Sunday. I similarly busted Maus twice on this in as many days. These off-hand remarks you guys make often reveal your duplicitous nature. See, you feel entitled to the road. Though you've repeatedly chastised pro-cager commenters for maintaining this belief. You see access to the public right-of-way as some civil right. What you forget when you write s**t like this is that you also advocate the use of public money for mass-transit. So, not only do you possess zero 'rights' in this, you also have viable options that you a) have foisted on the tax base against their will, and b) won't use the stupid s**t yourself, likely 'cause as a transportation option, it's a joke.

    If you are so weak and inept that operating a bicycle on Portland streets, sans a mandate that others give up their freedom of choice to accommodate you, by all means, feel free to walk, take a bus, take a trolley, car-pool, hell ride on the back of somebody's cargo-bike, I don't care. But your use of the road is an opt-in affair, and a majority of people like it just fine without all this bike-BS. So, again, it is quite acceptable to compare complaining about whizzing bullets on a rifle-range to that of complaining about cars on a road built and designed for them.

    There's plenty to gripe at me about, for which I have zero defense. My a** would hang-out all over if it weren't for the fact I've occasionally got my head lodged way up in there. But I do what I can. I feel so constrained here, that I have to write in a completely different way than I'm used to. If I utter a peep in the wrong direction BAM, censored. So, I tone it down, tone it down, and in the end, I'm saying what YOU all allow me to say, and you STILL gripe at me.

    I don't like you (Anybody who reads this site, or considers it anything but a hate-site). I think you are a small, young, and diminutive man that tongue-lashes, and ridicules those of intellectual inferiority. To me, you are an intellectual bully. I would further guess that this is due to you being a tiny, impotent, effeminate 'lil-guy, IRL! I don't like men like that, and my view of men like that often interferes with any productive discourse. Fine, we don't like each other. But if you are going to compulsively enter into this take-Vance-down-a-peg nonsense, at least take the time to produce something. Anything. Well, something other than shaky semantic dissemination of my admittedly limited writing skill.

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  • lisa February 22, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Lowering speed limits is the obvious solution, but it is hardly ever mentioned.

    When pedestrians are struck by a car the fatality rates are as follows:
    At 20 mph 5% fatal
    At 30 mph 37-45% fatal
    At 40 mph 83-85% fatal

    http://humantransport.org/sidewalks/SpeedKills.htm

    Why do we accept this threat to public safety?

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