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PBOT crosswalk enforcement actions net 904 citations in five years

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 7th, 2011 at 9:16 am

What happens when you mix
cops and crosswalks?
(Photos © J. Maus)

One of the tools we can use to make our streets safer is to get tougher on enforcement. So, what happens when police officers focus on particular violations at specific locations?

Recently, we came across a report detailing five years of crosswalk enforcement actions carried out by the Traffic Division of the Portland Police Bureau. The results (below) show that in most locations, there is either simply ignorance or blatant disregard for basic traffic laws that protect our most vulnerable road users.

PBOT data reveals that from 2005 to 2010 police officers gave out 904 citations during 51 enforcement actions focused specifically on failures to yield to a person in a crosswalk (an average of about 18 citations for each 1-1.5 hour enforcement action).

Crosswalks in action-3

The actions (you might have seen this excellent Streetfilm on them) are managed by the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation's Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety program.

According to the PBOT staffer in charge of the program, Sharon White, the actions are typically conducted every month on Wednesdays between 12:30 and 2:00 and the number of officers that participate varies from three to as many as eight (therefore, the number of citations issued also varies). During the actions, a decoy is "strategically positioned" at locations that have marked or unmarked crosswalks (after all, in Oregon "every corner is a crosswalk"). Locations are chosen based on high walking volumes and/or known trouble spots.

Below are results from the 51 crosswalk enforcement actions in Portland from 2005 - 2010 (data taken directly from PBOT, with emphasis given to highest citation action of each ear):

2005
  • 800 Block of NE Multnomah St.: 25 citations, 3 warnings
  • NW Pettygrove at 25th and 23rd: 20 citations, 3 warnings
  • NE Glisan St. and NE 76th Ave: 31 citations, 3 warnings
  • N Killingsworth and N. Kerby; NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Jessup St: 7 citations, 7 warnings
  • SW Barbur and SW 13th: 28 citations, 25 warnings
  • 800 Block of NE Multnomah st: 12 citations, 5 warnings (repeat location)
2006
  • 1111 SW 10th Ave.: 25 citations: 60% vehicles, 40% pedestrians & bicyclists
  • SW Sam Jackson Park Rd. & SW US Veterans Hospital Rd. 1 citation
  • SE 82 Ave. and SE Foster: 37 citations, 5 warnings
  • SE Powell at SE 36th Ave.: 33 citations plus 1 tow
  • NE 30th & NE Killingsworth; 41 citations, 6 warnings, 2 arrests
  • 1111 SW 10th Ave.: 48 citations (62% vehicle; 31% pedestrian and bicycle; 7% other non-moving violations), 1 warning
  • NE Fremont & NE 48th: 18 citations (14 Failure to yield to ped (all vehicles, no bikes); 3 seat belt violations, 1 misc. non-moving violation), 4 warnings
  • Westbound “slip lane”, intersection of SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy & SW Bertha Ct.: 15 citations, 8 warnings
  • SE 82nd and Holgate, and SE 82nd and SE Francis: 18 Citations (9 Failure to yield to pedestrian; 3 Non-moving violations, 2 Pedestrian disobey signal, 4 Other moving violations), 9 warnings
2007
  • N Lombard at N Richmond: 11 citations (1 uninsured, 1 tow), 3 warnings
  • SE Powell at SE 45th and SE 49th: 3 citations (all 3 vehicles towed), 4 warnings
  • NE Alberta at NE 19th Ave. and NE 33rd at Jarrett: 11 citations (10 to motor vehicles, 1 ped; all citations except 2 were given at the NE 33rd location)
  • SE Foster at SE 80th: 4 warnings, 1 citation
  • NW Pettygrove at NW 25th, NW Vaughn near NW 27th, NW 21st at NW Irving: 15 citations (14 of them at NW 21st and Irving), 6 warnings (4 at NW Vaughn, 2 at NW 21st)
  • SE Belmont at SE 33rd, 8 citations
  • NE 47th at Multnomah: 22 citations (22 Fail to Stop for Peds, 2 speeders, and an assortment of other violations), 4 warnings
  • E Burnside at SE 16th: 35 citations (35 Fail to Stop for Peds, 1 custody for a warrant), 3 warnings
2008
  • SW 4th at College: 40 citations (36 for Fail to Stop for ped, 2 Ped disobey signal, 1 Obstructing cross traffic, 1 No operator’s license)
  • SW 4th at College: 23 citations
  • SE 122nd at Main: 26 citations (18 for Fail to Stop for ped, 8 for other issues, 3 vehicle tows)
  • W Burnside at SW 20th Place: 33 Citations (33 for Fail to Stop for ped, 1 arrest for an outstanding warrant, 2 warnings
  • N Williams at NE Morris: 34 citations (31 for Fail to Stop for ped (29 vehicles, 2 bikes), 3 non-mover violations, 3 vehicle tows), 6 warnings
  • NW 16th at Johnson: 21 citations (20 for Fail to Stop for ped, 1 for Driving with a Suspended License), 3 warnings
  • NE Multnomah at NE 6th and NE 8th: 17 citations, 10 warnings
  • SE Division at SE 58th: 10 citations (10 for Failure to Stop for ped (this Crosswalk Enforcement Action was for 1 hour compared to 1.5 hours for typical Crosswalk Enforcement Actions)
  • NE Broadway at Ross: 20 citations (20 for Failure to Stop for ped (18 vehicles, 2 bikes) (involved 3 officers compared to 5-7 officers for a typical Crosswalk Enforcement Action)
  • E Burnside at SE 24th Ave.: 14 citations (all for Fail to Stop for ped (11 vehicles, 3 bikes)), 3 warnings
  • SE Division at SE 35th Place: 5 citations (2 for Fail to Stop for ped, 3 other (involved 2 officers compared to 5-7 officers for a typical Crosswalk Enforcement Action)), 10 warnings
2009
  • NW Glisan at NW 22nd Ave.: 13 citations (11 for Failure to Stop for ped, 2 others (1 for not wearing seat belt)), 2 warnings
  • SE Tacoma at SE 7th Ave.: 19 citations (all for Failure to Stop for ped)
  • NE 82nd at Pacific: 13 citations, 18 warnings
  • SE 82nd at Cooper: 23 citations, (1 rear-end crash at the site), 7 warnings
  • NE 82nd at Thompson: 21 citations (17 for Failure to Stop for ped., 4 others)
  • SE MLK at E Burnside: 10 citations (2 for Failure to Stop for ped, 2 for equipment violations, 6 for Failure to Stop for the light), 4 warnings (Failure to Stop for ped)
  • SE 17th at SE Center (outside TriMet depot): 5 citations
  • SE 17th at SE Marion: 2 citations, 17 warnings
2010
  • NE 33rd at Klickitat St.: 10 citations, 4 warnings
  • SE Foster at SE 80th Avenue: 9 citations, 3 warnings
  • In front of 9920 NE Cascades Parkway and 10005 Northeast Cascades Parkway: 6 citations, 2 warnings
  • N Kerby north of N Graham: 9 citations (3 for Fail to Stop for ped, 6 for speeding), 3
  • 7635 SW Barbur Blvd. (near SW 13th Ave.): 9 citations, 21 warnings
  • SE Foster at SE Cora: 10 citations (9 for Fail to Stop for ped, 1 for cell phone usage), 1 warning
  • SE Division at SE 68: 2 citations (1 for Fail to stop for Pedestrian, 1 for speeding) 10 warnings
  • SE 122nd at SE Stephens: 5 citations (2 for Fail to stop for Ped, 3 for other violations), 4 warnings (2 vehicle drivers, 2 pedestrians)
  • N Williams at NE Failing: 27 citations (most for Fail to Stop for ped, a few for Driving While Suspended and unlawful use of cell phone), 5 warnings

While the outcry about "scofflaw cyclists" continues to permeate the public dialogue, what these actions show is that, similar to cell phone use and speeding, violation of the crosswalk law is common among motor vehicle operators. Just imagine how traffic behavior (and our entire street culture) might change if we had more funding and stronger tools to make enforcement actions like this a much more common occurrence.

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Comments
  • Alex Reed January 7, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Wow, given the constant violations of these laws, 904 citations over five years seems like a tiny, tiny number. We can do better.

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    • Jackattak January 7, 2011 at 9:56 am

      I think you have to take into consideration how often they were running the stings and for how long. An average of 18 infractions in a one hour to 1.5 hour period is pretty high.

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      • matt picio January 7, 2011 at 10:05 am

        One infraction every 3-5 minutes - that speaks volumes.

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        • Alex Reed January 7, 2011 at 10:28 am

          Whoops, looks like I was unclear. I absolutely agree that there are tons of infractions. I was trying to advocate for more stings in order to improve road users' behavior.

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          • craig January 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm

            Right. PBB is writing traffic citations all day every day for speeding, etc., from their rolling patrol cars and speed traps. To elevate crosswalk enforcement actions to the same level of activity seems well justified, is much more critical to public safety and driver education, and provides more bang for PBB buck.

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          • craig January 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm

            Can officer Picket comment on this issue?

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          • q`Tzal January 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm

            Traffic enforcement deparments: balance thy budgets, write as many of these tickets as possible.

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  • Brewcaster January 7, 2011 at 9:49 am

    So, if we celebrate these "crackdowns" on drivers, I expect to not hear any whining about crackdowns on cyclists blowing red lights and signs.

    Right guys? It goes both ways right?

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    • Jackattak January 7, 2011 at 9:57 am

      It absolutely should. I for one am both a cyclist and pedestrian on any given day as those two modes of travel are my two primary modes (I gave up driving in 2008 to help "do my part").

      I am very vocal when I see either cyclists or motorists disobeying the laws (particularly cyclists, as we should be policing ourselves harder than we police anyone else).

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      • BURR January 7, 2011 at 10:24 pm

        Mind your own business might be a better approach

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        • Jackattak January 10, 2011 at 8:49 am

          It is my business if I'm a bike rider. Scofflaw cyclists' actions negatively influence motorist's feelings towards us.

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    • cold worker January 7, 2011 at 10:19 am

      for sure. those pedestrians that were hit on division this week, they were hit by cyclists, right? was angela burke hit by a cyclist?

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      • valkraider January 7, 2011 at 11:13 am

        Brewcaster
        So, if we celebrate these "crackdowns" on drivers, I expect to not hear any whining about crackdowns on cyclists blowing red lights and signs.
        Right guys? It goes both ways right?

        Sort of. When Cyclists start killing people I will feel just as strongly about cracking down on their behavior.

        Cars are a 4000lb weapon. They deserve a little bit higher scrutiny, I feel.

        Of course I do understand that a law violation is a law violation, and that if a cyclist or pedestrian chooses to break the law they can and will often be held accountable. No debate there.

        I am just saying that cyclist and pedestrian violations don't typically kill others, and as such don't really warrant such extreme "crackdown" efforts.

        When in the USA 30,000 people a year are killed by cars - and probably less than 10 a year are killed by pedestrians and bicycles - we should have priorities...

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        • valkraider January 7, 2011 at 11:14 am

          sorry my reply got associated with the wrong comment. Wonky reply system... Should be associated with the grandparent...

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        • rigormrtis January 7, 2011 at 12:12 pm

          Please stop with the "car is a weapon" rhetoric. Unless it is intentionally used to harm someone, it is not a weapon. Is your fist a weapon? Only when you punch someone.

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          • Opus the Poet January 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm

            Sorry, but when something is 200 times more deadly than something intended to kill people (a gun) then it's a weapon even when not used as such, and an SUV at 60 MPH is 200 times as deadly as a .44 Magnum.

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          • cold worker January 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm

            alright. you want to parse words, that's fine. a car isn't a 'weapon'. but do yourself a favor and check out the Center for Disease Control website and see what kills more people in the u.s., guns or cars. hint: it's not the weapon.

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        • wsbob January 8, 2011 at 1:23 am

          "...When Cyclists start killing people ..." valkrider

          It creates big problems to use such a condition as a means to determine at what point and to what degree enforcement of cyclist's failure to heed traffic regulations should be applied.

          There's plenty of road user vehicle operators that subscribe to the notion that as long as they '...aren't killing anyone', with their driving and biking activities, then the cops should leave them alone, and confine their efforts to the capture of 'serious offenders', or, 'relatively more serious offenders'.

          The result of this type of thinking, is that many road users feel entitled to break any road use regulation there is, short of actually killing somebody. So it is that road users consequently are biking and driving excessively fast, blowing and rolling stop signs. It's due to this type of thinking...the use of the road for personal gratification over safety and consideration for other road users, that roads can become unnecessarily chaotic, stressful, unsafe and dysfunctional asphalt wastelands.

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    • matt picio January 7, 2011 at 10:24 am

      You're going to hear the whining anyway - there are always complainers, and always folks who believe they don't deserve a ticket. In some cases, they're right - though I'd wager that's a minority of cases. Regardless of how folks view the Idaho stop law, it's the *Idaho* stop law, not the Oregon stop law - people can and do still get tickets for failure to obey a stop sign. But the other argument is true, too - this should not be where the focus lies. Theft and rape are both against the law, but which crime is the more damaging? How about theft vs littering? If we accept that some crimes are more damaging than others, then it makes sense to focus enforcement on the more damaging crimes, and address the less damaging ones as resources become available to do so.

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    • Jonathan Gordon January 7, 2011 at 11:18 am

      I'd be comfortable with devoting an amount of police resources to bicycle enforcement proportional to the deaths/injuries they cause. I'm having difficulty finding any US statistics. If we can guess that rates of collisions are roughly the same here as in the UK, this chart might be helpful:

      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansrd/cm090126/text/90126w0003.htm#09012627000041

      From those numbers, it looks like cyclists cause less than 1% of deaths/injuries compared to motor vehicles. We've had 51 enforcement actions from 2005-2010. So sure, let's say every ten years we have one single enforcement action against cyclists. Right Brewcaster? Going both ways is fine by us.

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    • rigormrtis January 7, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      I was thinking the same thing. Or better yet "why aren't the cops doing more important things, like arresting rapists?"

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      • Ethan January 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm

        I would wager that motor vehicle -related deaths and injuries are every bit as statistically significant as those stemming from rape. That kind of argument is a pretty typical play to diminish the credibility of a real truth (cyclists "not paying their way" is the other classic one).

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  • Jackattak January 7, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Nice article, Jonathan thanks. I am a big advocate for pedestrian safety as I live Downtown and deal with the motorcade madness every day. I also ride a bike and am big on calling out scofflaw cyclists when I see them (I always keep it mature and non-abrasive).

    I find it interesting that the worst of my travels at Park Ave & Market wasn't mentioned. I witnessed two stings from the police with motorcycle and cycle cops this year after I contacted Mayor Adams that this was a problem intersection for peds. Suburbanites flying in from the HWY-26 parking lot on their morning commutes were simply not stopping for pedestrians in the early morning (6:30-7AM) rush.

    Those two stings produced quite a few infractions, I'm almost certain, as I witnessed two myself.

    Also to add, motorists stop for me in the crosswalks more often than cyclists. I cannot stress this enough: If you are on a bike on the city streets (and Downtown you have to be, legally as it is illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalks Downtown), YOU MUST STOP AT THE CROSSWALKS TOO.

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  • Steph Routh, WPC January 7, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Thank you very much for this thoughtful article, Jonathan. Sharon White and the Traffic Division are pioneers in crosswalk enforcement actions, and watching Sharon in action crossing and recrossing the street for two straight hours is poetry in motion. You are a star for highlighting both the need for these actions and their valuable work.

    WPC will be working in the next year on crosswalk safety education and enforcement actions in partnership with PBOT. We are thrilled and look forward to getting us all just a little closer to the golden apple of safer streets for everyone. During such a tragic week (and season), recognizing the importance of this work is crucial.

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    • adam January 9, 2011 at 11:26 am

      I agree with this sentiment - but I use crosswalks most everyday - and, I have proven I can close down streets - but, drivers still don't stop for me - as required by law. how would you recommend I address this safety concern?

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  • twistyaction January 7, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Has there ever been a sting for under-illuminated cyclists? I think we could use some action(s) to bring that responsibility up from it's abysmal state of compliance. Without using stereotypes, there is a certain, large percentage of "lifestyle cyclists" that take the minimalist approach too far when equipping themselves to share the streets with all other users at night, especially in the reduced visibility of rainy weather. A car would get pulled over for driving with its lights off in a second (rightfully so) if a cop passed it, yet I see so many bikes riding around every night under-illuminated. Sorry to stray a little, but the stings for safety aspect brought this issue to mind.

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    • valkraider January 7, 2011 at 11:17 am

      twistyaction
      Has there ever been a sting for under-illuminated cyclists?

      Yes. Happens almost every fall. Usually they give out warnings for a week or so then start writing tickets.

      And I agree with this one, cyclists should use lights at night - and in the fall it starts getting to be "night" at 4pm so it means more cyclists need lights.

      My bike is currently stuck in the garage because my light system wires got cut and I haven't had the time to patch them, so I have been walking for the last month or so... I can never guarantee I will be home before dark in the winter...

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  • CRM January 7, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I'd like to commend PBOT and Sharon White for continued improvements at one intersection in particular - N Killingsworth at N Concord (near the Lucky Lab if a landmark helps..). Over the last 5 years it's gone from no crosswalk, then to a single one with 'traffic island', which helped. But drunk? or distracted drivers kept running over the island and taking out the sign. Recently they added a 2nd crosswalk lane (both W & E sides of the sidewalk feed into it). The addition of the 2ND LANE of striping, etc was a HUGE improvement. I've walked across that intersection 2x/day for 8 years, and with the "double crosswalk", it REALLY slows down traffic & drivers almost always stop. I'm blown away by how much more effective this type of crosswalk layout works. Thank you PBOT!

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  • Joseph Rose January 7, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Jonathan, you don't mention that transportation officials and police see apathetic and uneducated motorists as half of the problem.

    The other half: Apathetic and uneducated walkers. (My guess is that the average pedestrian caught jaywalking is more the former than the latter.)

    For instance, as you note, the last 90-minute crosswalk mission of 2010 resulted in 27 citations issued to motorists, the highest number from any of the nine such enforcement actions last year. The two missions before that led to 5 citation and two citations.

    Now, let’s look at the last time that Portland police conducted a 90-minute mission to crackdown on jaywalkers. It was in November along the Portland transit mall, a particularly dangerous area for pedestrians unwilling to cross at the corner or wait for a light.

    Police gave out 23 warnings and 32 citations, primarily for entering traffic in the middle of the block and disobeying a traffic control device.

    After the record number of pedestrian deaths in 2010, this is a problem that requires attention from everyone in traffic -- walkers, bicycle riders and motorists.

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    • Jackattak January 7, 2011 at 10:41 am

      He posted the numbers accurately, Joseph. You can see the infractions given out to pedestrians just easily as the cars and cyclists.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) January 7, 2011 at 11:08 am

      Thanks for the feedback Joseph. I mentioned what I mentioned, it was not an attempt to ignore other issues, I simply focused on this one, 5-year report. Obviously I feel that all road users need to be responsible and follow the law. We also need to focus energy and enforcement resources on the most dangerous violators -- and I do not feel that jaywalkers present anywhere near the danger that motor vehicle operators do.

      There's the legal issue and then there the moral/ethical/community responsibility issue. We must balance those two things.

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    • rigormrtis January 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      No kidding. I've seen people just walk into the street and not even look to see what traffic was doing. It's just arrogant.

      This happened one time on N Williams and I made a point of coming within one inch of the guy as he sauntered across the bike lane. I hope I scared the heck out of him.

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    • BURR January 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      Alternatively, a city that is safe to jaywalk in is a pedestrian friendly city.

      You'd have to be an idiot to stand there and wait when there is no traffic coming.

      The fifth and sixth avenue transit mall carries relatively little traffic and it usually is completely safe to cross against the light as long as you wait for the traffic to clear and don't do anything stupid.

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      • Chad January 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm

        I agree. I'm a runner on the suburban streets nearly every day for the past five years. I've learned that paint and traffic lights will not keep me safe. I will jaywalk when it is safer to do so. Waiting for a walk signal or a crosswalk is just asking to get hit by an impatient/inattentive motorist.

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    • El Biciclero January 7, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      Police gave out 23 warnings and 32 citations [to pedestrians], primarily for entering traffic in the middle of the block and disobeying a traffic control device.

      Were those peds wearing their license plates/registration stickers? How else could they possibly have been cited?

      /sarcasm

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    • spare_wheel January 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      Joseph Rose
      Jonathan, you don't mention that transportation officials and police see apathetic and uneducated motorists as half of the problem.
      The other half: Apathetic and uneducated walkers. (My guess is that the average pedestrian caught jaywalking is more the former than the latter.)
      For instance, as you note, the last 90-minute crosswalk mission of 2010 resulted in 27 citations issued to motorists, the highest number from any of the nine such enforcement actions last year. The two missions before that led to 5 citation and two citations.
      Now, let’s look at the last time that Portland police conducted a 90-minute mission to crackdown on jaywalkers. It was in November along the Portland transit mall, a particularly dangerous area for pedestrians unwilling to cross at the corner or wait for a light.
      Police gave out 23 warnings and 32 citations, primarily for entering traffic in the middle of the block and disobeying a traffic control device.
      After the record number of pedestrian deaths in 2010, this is a problem that requires attention from everyone in traffic -- walkers, bicycle riders and motorists.

      i am fairly certain that i am not going to be hit and killed by a pedestrian. imo the pdx jaywalking law is a frivolous law that has more to do with revenue than safety.

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    • are January 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      were these pedestrians presenting a threat to anyone? was there actual moving motor traffic within range at the time? or were they just ticketed for crossing midblock? for whose convenience have we signalized pedestrian crossings?

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  • cyclist January 7, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Brewcaster: I agree 100%. It actually made me really angry when Jonathan posted a "look out for the stop sign sting" article a few years ago (http://bikeportland.org/2007/04/11/enforcement-action-at-ladds-circle-3382) because he was essentially trying to circumvent the enforcement action. It's been nearly 4 years since that article, maybe he's come around on the value of enforcement actions in that time?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) January 7, 2011 at 11:09 am

      cyclist,

      That was three years ago. If you read this site often, you should have no doubt the amount to which I've learned and changed in terms of my perspective on such things.

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      • cyclist January 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm

        I can't find any post on this site supporting stop sign enforcement actions by the PPD, maybe you can point me to one? What I have found is the following recent statements by you:

        "Everyone knows that stop sign compliance by all modes is much less than perfect. A big reason why is stop signs are often installed as a result of politics (to quiet a citizen complaint for instance) rather than as a result of sound traffic engineering analysis"

        "People riding bikes should take extra care to slow down and stop completely if neccessary when riding through Ladds Circle."

        "but then again, cops have the right to cite if you didn't come to a complete stop... but those type of 'ticky tack' violations are not really favored by the BTA, PBOT, etc...

        all of this is why some folks are frustrated by the continuing turnover of leadership at the traffic division. The community really needs to know what is expected of them in terms of how laws will be enforced."

        All of the above comments (posted in the last year and a half or so in articles about stop sign issues) reveal a pattern of minimizing the need for stop sign compliance.

        Have you actually had a change of heart wrt stop sign enforcement actions? If so, why not write about it?

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    • valkraider January 7, 2011 at 11:37 am

      cyclist
      Brewcaster: I agree 100%. It actually made me really angry when Jonathan posted a "look out for the stop sign sting" article a few years ago (http://bikeportland.org/2007/04/11/enforcement-action-at-ladds-circle-3382) because he was essentially trying to circumvent the enforcement action. It's been nearly 4 years since that article, maybe he's come around on the value of enforcement actions in that time?

      There is nothing wrong with notifying people of where sting actions occur.

      The objective of a sting action is to increase public awareness and safety. For some it may take punitive measures, for others it may just be awareness which helps.

      There is no difference with Jonathan telling folks where a sting is than the 1000s of online ways which inform drivers of speed traps. GPS devices now come with audible warnings of known speed traps...

      The goal is to get people to slow down and pay attention. Not to write tickets.

      Even with everyone in the world telling people about enforcement actions, some will ignore it and get a ticket anyway. But if all the others stop like expected, then didn't it have the desired results?

      Or is our desired result just to generate revenue for PPB by writing citations?

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  • LDA January 7, 2011 at 10:53 am

    What exactly is the law regarding crosswalks. I mean, I know a car needs to stop at a marked crosswalk if people are waiting to cross but do they need to stay stopped until the pedestrian leaves the crosswalk? Even if the crosswalk spans 4 lanes? Does a car need to stop at every intersection if a person is waiting to cross the street regardless of whether there's a crosswalk? What about stopping distance for the car behind you?
    Also, is a crosswalk spanning 4 lanes of traffic really a good idea? I don't know how many times I've seen someone trying to cross MLK at a crosswalk and 3 of the 4 lanes stop but the 4th lane doesn't see the person. Wouldn't a light be safer?

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    • valkraider January 7, 2011 at 11:25 am

      LDA
      What exactly is the law regarding crosswalks. I mean, I know a car needs to stop at a marked crosswalk if people are waiting to cross but do they need to stay stopped until the pedestrian leaves the crosswalk?

      I believe the law is drivers have to give them one full lane of space on a straightaway, or two full lanes of space if drivers are turning.
      (someone will correct me if I am wrong)

      LDA
      Even if the crosswalk spans 4 lanes?

      Yes.

      LDA
      Does a car need to stop at every intersection if a person is waiting to cross the street regardless of whether there's a crosswalk?

      If the person steps out into the street, yes. Every intersection in Oregon is officially a crosswalk.
      If people are waiting on the curb, then no. The driver is only required to stop once pedestrians enter the street.

      LDA
      What about stopping distance for the car behind you?

      That is the responsibility of the car behind you.

      LDA
      Also, is a crosswalk spanning 4 lanes of traffic really a good idea?

      Yes.

      LDAI don't know how many times I've seen someone trying to cross MLK at a crosswalk and 3 of the 4 lanes stop but the 4th lane doesn't see the person. Wouldn't a light be safer?

      Maybe. Lights are also very expensive and can cause more traffic congestion. In Oregon it is against the law to pass a stopped vehicle in an adjacent lane. In reality, people just need to pay more attention as drivers.

      Being "right" or "wrong" or "legally correct" means nothing when someone is killed.

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      • Steph Routh, WPC January 7, 2011 at 3:51 pm

        Valkraider is spot on with regard to most of LDA's questions. Way to go, VR!

        The Stop and Stay Stopped law has slightly different applications of stopping lane numbers depending on whether it is a signalized intersection or not. Here's a swell video that demonstrates, created by local cobbler and co-owner of Animated Traffic Safety Law, Jeff Mandel:

        http://www.portlandonline.com/mayor/index.cfm?c=49278&a=248292

        As for whether it makes sense to have a 4-lane crosswalk, I think the question you may have meant to ask is whether it makes sense to have a 4-lane street.

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  • Brian January 7, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I'm tired of this supposed lack of funding and stronger tools to make enforcement actions. The fines should fund the action. The data above shows the revenue would be there. The real problem is that most people find the status quo acceptable.

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    • craig January 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm

      Hear, hear. Where do traffic infraction payments go? Can anyone speak authoritatively on whether the city can channel funds from a specific enforcement program back into that self-same program? Do/can they at least go back into the PBB budget in some way that enforcement staffing gets funded? Is there some inherent conflict of interest/legal obstacle to what I'm suggesting?

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  • VIE January 7, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Jonathan, you call these stings a "tool" to "make our streets safer." But, based on a quick review of the above data, it looks to me like there is no relationship between giving out citations and motorists behaving more safely. The police just occasionally pick places to do stings, but nothing much seems to change.

    Am I missing something? If not, it's not much of a "tool," is it?

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  • mabsf January 7, 2011 at 11:25 am

    I understand all the calls for enforcement of traffic laws for cyclists and pedestrians.
    On my daily rides I see many under-lit bikes and pedestrians who cross neighborhood streets without looking in dark clothing.
    BUT here is the big difference: As a cyclist I can go slower, swerve around the pedestrian, call out to them, stop easily... Even if in the worst case scenario I would hit somebody, it is unlikely that I would kill them!
    If you operate powerful machinery, you need to accept the responsibility for it!

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    • rigormrtis January 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      And if you are the most vulnerable element in the environment, you should display the most caution.

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      • spare_wheel January 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm

        i disagree. it is those who drive dangerous vehicles who should display the utmost caution.

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      • Jackattak January 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm

        The burden is on those making a choice to drive the most dangerous thing on any road in the world.

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        • El Biciclero January 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm

          This is what I find so frustrating: the burden should be--and perhaps legally is--on those with the greatest potential to do harm. Problem is, the risk is all on those who would be harmed. Nobody cares about burden; perceived risk is the real behavior modifier.

          Careless driving needs to come with some serious risk of consequences before most drivers will feel the "burden".

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  • valkraider January 7, 2011 at 11:30 am

    While the outcry about "scofflaw cyclists" continues to permeate the public dialogue, what these actions show is that, similar to cell phone use and speeding, violation of the crosswalk law is common among motor vehicle operators.

    I recorded a video of drivers violating laws near my home - just for this purpose exactly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRRJzoxwo2Q

    For every "scofflaw cyclist" there are 100 "scofflaw auto drivers". Any time someone complains about cyclists, feel free to show them this video...

    I plan on making one with more cars once lighting conditions get better during rush hour. Last night I caught 4 violators on video in less than 5 minutes!

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    • A.K. January 7, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      I'll man up and admit to both driving and biking straight through that very intersection. If they really want to keep people from doing that, they need to install a yellow curb down the middle.

      I understand the reason for the "right turn only" is that 15th is a busy street, and since it intersects with Broadway it can get backed up, but when no one is around, and you need to go straight, it is just easier to do it, especially when no other streets around there are marked with the same instructions.

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      • cold worker January 8, 2011 at 12:37 am

        yeah the yellow curb/median. i used to live on 20th just south of hawthorne. there is one of these curbs at lincoln? i believe. i have watched cars drive over that thing many times. if you should find yourself cruising that section of 20th check that curb out. the bumps that they install on the curb (i don't know what they do) are all busted up in spots.

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    • rigormrtis January 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      You should hang out at the corner of shaver and mississippi. you will find the opposite to be true.

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    • Spiffy January 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      as a driver approaching that intersection it's easy to dismiss the sign as overly nanny state and deduce that going forward is safe despite the sign... I don't see any close calls in the video... and the intersection doesn't look that tricky...

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      • Brewcaster January 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm

        Traffic control is not entirely about safety. It also can be for traffic flow. I imagine there have been issues with traffic backing up there because of people waiting to turn left or go straight. Forcing a right reduces the wait times for each car, I am guessing.

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        • Spiffy January 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm

          I'm not familiar with how heavy the traffic flow is there... they could have put in a right-turn only lane... or a curb to keep people from going across... a sign doesn't do much other than tell people what to do, and a lot of people don't like that...

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      • valkraider January 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm

        Spiffy
        as a driver approaching that intersection it's easy to dismiss the sign as overly nanny state and deduce that going forward is safe despite the sign... I don't see any close calls in the video... and the intersection doesn't look that tricky...

        My family is nearly hit in that intersection at least twice a week.

        When pedestrians or bicycles are crossing Schuyler they are not paid attention to by people violating the "right turn only". The drivers are looking for traffic on 15th then shoot the gap - and nearly run over anyone walking across Schuyler.

        That's why I started paying attention to it.

        But the point remains, it is against the law. People will complain about cyclists "breaking the law" by running stop signs (which really harms no one) but then try to justify people breaking the law here with cars.

        It is easy to dismiss most laws as "overly nanny state".

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        • Spiffy January 10, 2011 at 11:53 am

          no amount of signs are going to keep drivers from not paying attention...

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  • BURR January 7, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Meanwhile, in other news, we're still waiting for the first enforcement action that targets motorists who violate cyclists' right of way....

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  • VeloBusDriver January 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    valkraider
    Sort of. When Cyclists start killing people I will feel just as strongly about cracking down on their behavior.

    It happens. Here is a tragic case from the Seattle area.
    There are also somewhat regular incidents in the city of cyclists blowing through crosswalks and mowing down pedestrians. A child, legally crossing in a crosswalk, was seriously injured by some bozo sometime last year although I can't find the article. The trick is to motivate authorities to do enforcement of the most dangerous infractions and not focus on easy items to write tickets for, like a helmet infraction.

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    • cold worker January 8, 2011 at 12:46 am

      yeah it happens, but sooo infrequently. infrequent enough that you're able to recall very specific happenings. but with auto related fatalities they occur so often that it's like yeah they happen, you know this, but the specifics become a blur. sure, high profile fatalities will stick out, but by and large they just all morph into this thing we don't give the attention it deserves.

      that tragic case you link was from april 19! how many other pedestrians or cyclists did cyclists kill in the seattle area last year? now how many auto drivers, pedestrians and cyclists were killed by auto drivers in the seattle area last year?

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      • spare_wheel January 9, 2011 at 3:47 pm

        its offensive to contrast these incredibly rare bike accidents with the motor vehicle carnage on our roads locally and nationally.

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    • wsbob January 9, 2011 at 5:06 pm

      Some cyclists routinely attempt to make a persuasive case that because a bicycle's weight is far less than that of motor vehicles, bike riders should not be held to basic road use standards. In other words, they seem to be saying:

      -Until bike riders are killing and maiming people on a level approaching the havoc caused by drivers unsafely operating their motor vehicles on the road, bike riders should be free to disregard basic road use laws at will.-

      That's one very strange standard to choose for determining whether or not cyclists should be obliged to observe basic road use laws. I believe the public is not going for this idea, and also...that animosity existing between bike road users and motor vehicle road users is due in no small part to cyclists subscribing to ideas along the lines of the example I've enclosed in hyphens above.

      It's very difficult, if not impossible to have safe, enjoyable to use roadways without safe, considerate road use procedures being broadly acknowledged and practiced by road users.

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      • Jonathan Gordon January 9, 2011 at 8:12 pm

        Somehow in Idaho they manage to have different rules for different road users with no attendant increase in collisions. With full buy-in from the public, even.

        Having the same rules for bikes and cars reflects a general rigidity that I think is mirrored in much of contemporary American culture and discourse. To the point where nuance is almost a dirty word. It doesn't have to be a race to the bottom, where our rules are governed by the childish, "Well if I can't then you can't either" ethic. We can do better!

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        • wsbob January 9, 2011 at 11:19 pm

          "... Somehow in Idaho they manage to have different rules for different road users with no attendant increase in collisions. With full buy-in from the public, even. ..."

          Does the Idaho public really buy into, for example, Idaho's law allowing bikes exclusively, to regard stop signs as yield signs? Whenever this question has come up in association with past bikeportland stories, nobody has ever been able to answer with any particular certainty. If any has been conducted, it's also very hard to find any reporting within the state that has attempted to survey general public opinion in regards to the Idaho law I cited.

          I've never happened across any source that explains how Idaho's bike stop law came about. True, is that the Idaho public doesn't seem to say much in the press about their unique law.

          Does this mean the Idaho public doesn't care whether or not bikes are entitled to roll stop signs under circumstances that motor vehicles aren't? Does it mean that Idaho's bike stop law is compatible with ideas of general livability that Idahoans seek to sustain in their communities?

          If Oregon's streets and roads are to become safer and more inviting for people traveling them by means other than motor vehicles, a definite sense of Oregonians thoughts and ideas about how this needs to be arrived at.

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      • El Biciclero January 10, 2011 at 9:18 am

        I hear what people are saying as something a little more subtle. It is not that since bikes do less (logarithmically less) damage than cars, they shouldn't have to follow the rules, it is more about how those rules--which everyone should follow--are enforced. Should the fine for running a stop sign be the same for a cyclist as a driver? If so, then shouldn't it also be the same for a jaywalking pedestrian? Last I heard, the fine for jaywalking was less than for running a stop sign. Should enforcement actions target cyclists at locations where there are rarely--if ever--cyclist-caused crashes while ignoring motorist behavior at high-crash intersections?

        What people want to focus on is the true reason there are traffic laws and enforcement: is it to make the roads "fair" by punishing everyone equally, or is it to mitigate the most dangerous behavior in order to prevent deaths and injuries? Without a substantial increase in enforcement resources, I don't think we can have both, so which one should take priority? My understanding of what the "bikes don't kill people" philosophy might be is not that cyclists should be above the law, but that in an environment where enforcement resources are thin, we should concentrate on actions that will result in the safest streets. If the aim is to have the safest streets, then it is probably a higher priority to ticket texting drivers than stop-sign-rolling cyclists.

        In my observations of authorities, however, I have noted that enforcers, when faced with multiple offenders, tend to pursue and punish those who they perceive as most compliant and easiest to catch.

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        • wsbob January 10, 2011 at 10:22 am

          "... Last I heard, the fine for jaywalking was less than for running a stop sign. ..." el biciclero

          First of all...jaywalking is not illegal. More specifically, if a person crosses mid-block, outside of a traffic control device, this wouldn't be an illegal maneuver. Standing before a crosswalk signal and walking on red might be what some people consider to be jaywalking, but it's not. If someone wants to look up the Oregon statutes to confirm this, I encourage them to do so. I heard that jaywalking is not illegal, and had it demonstrated personally to me and a group of other people by a Washington County Sheriff's Deputy.

          "... It is not that since bikes do less (logarithmically less) damage than cars, they shouldn't have to follow the rules, it is more about how those rules--which everyone should follow--are enforced. Should the fine for running a stop sign be the same for a cyclist as a driver? ... " el biciclero

          I could see a vehicle weight associated surcharge added to current traffic violation citation amounts, to account for additional seriousness of traffic violations committed by heavy motor vehicle operators. What I've found suspect about the seeming motivation of people commenting to bikeportland, asking for different citation amounts according to type of vehicle involved in commission of the violation, is attention given to the amount of the citation. The objection expressed in those comments seems to have been...not that motor vehicle operators aren't being charged enough when they're cited for a violation, but that cyclists are charged too much.

          In other words, the objective that seems to be sought after, as indicated by those comments, is to have the citation amount, for a cyclist rolling a stop sign be reduced significantly from the amount it currently is...which I think is around $220.00 . This, rather than raise the fee for motor vehicle operators that roll stop signs.

          "... Should enforcement actions target cyclists at locations where there are rarely--if ever--cyclist-caused crashes while ignoring motorist behavior at high-crash intersections?

          What people want to focus on is the true reason there are traffic laws and enforcement: is it to make the roads "fair" by punishing everyone equally, or is it to mitigate the most dangerous behavior in order to prevent deaths and injuries? ..." el biciclero

          I'm outdoing even myself today with this unusually long post, so I'll try wind it up quickly:

          One of the additional, often overlooked reasons there are traffic laws and enforcement of them, is to help sustain a quality of livability in areas through which streets and roads pass. People tend to more readily recognize this reason as it's associated with the presence of motor vehicles....less so with lighter weight vehicles such as bikes, because there's fewer of them. That's changing though, as the number of bikes in use on the street increases.

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          • El Biciclero January 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm

            Well, OK, "jaywalking" is not a legal term and has no meaning relative to statute. We should refer to something like "mid-block crossings", "intersection crossings" (which are all crosswalk crossings), "signalized crossings", etc. It turns out I was confusing OR law with City of Beaverton Ordinance when I imagined that mid-block crossings were illegal. They are in violation of Beaverton city code if made within 150 ft. of a crosswalk. I don't know whether Portland has a similar ordinance.

            Regardless, the fine for a pedestrian crossing against a signal, i.e., crossing while facing a "Don't Walk" signal, is less than it would be if the same person did the same thing in a car. Why is that? If we want to be "fair" then shouldn't everybody pay the same fine for failure to obey a traffic control device? Or does the sliding scale of fines for this violation imply that committing the same offense in different ways warrants different punishments--apparently more severe for more dangerous behavior? If the latter, then doesn't that suggest that enforcement is designed to mitigate dangerous behavior, with higher priority on more dangerous behavior? If so, then expending concentrated resources on enforcement actions against less dangerous behaviors would appear to be inconsistent with those priorities. Maybe that just fits with the arbitrary nature of traffic enforcement in general.

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  • Just wondering January 7, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    These are called "cross walk enforcement actions", in this article, does that mean you'll start calling the actions in the Ladds neighborhood, "stop sign enforcement actions" in future articles?

    Either all these actions are "stings" or they are all "enforcement actions".

    Which is it?

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  • deborah January 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    i can tell you that everywhere else I've lived (6 states) this is a HUGE infraction with a very large monetary penalty. What makes the difference is 1. enforcement and 2. stronger penalties. This police force is obviously hugely pro-car.

    Until the Portland Police Bureau sees enforcement of crosswalk infractions as a high priority drivers will continue to be mowed down while crossing streets.

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    • adam January 9, 2011 at 11:28 am

      in SF, for example, it is a $271 fine for being in the intersection when the light is red. and, they actually take it seriously and issue tickets. I wish the PPB had the same sort of gravitas. however, that is just not the case, is it?

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  • Spiffy January 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    did the Streetsfilm video intent to include a cyclists breaking the law in the first clip? guy in the green jacket is clearly exceeding the speed of the pedestrian... or is this ok because the cyclist moved into the street and is no longer a pedestrian but rather a vehicle making a left turn?

    I'm curious about this one because I often turn out of the middle of a crosswalk to enter the roadway while crossing as a pedestrian... and other times I enter the crosswalk from the bike lane and convert myself instantly to a pedestrian... I don't remember seeing laws related to this activity...

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    • Jackattak January 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      If you're in a crosswalk ON your bicycle then you're wrong. If you enter a crosswalk with a bicycle then you should be walking it alongside you.

      You don't get it both ways on your bike. You're either a pedestrian or a cyclist.

      On bike: Road.
      On foot: Sidewalk/crosswalk.

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      • Facts, maybe... January 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm

        This is not my understanding. You CAN be riding your bicycle in a crosswalk, but you must be going NO FASTER than walking speed.

        ORS 814.410(d)

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        • Jackattak January 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm

          I stand corrected and thanks for the info, honestly. I had it differently (obviously).

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          • jim January 9, 2011 at 12:24 pm

            I think some people get tired of bikes that are riding in a lane that jump over to a crosswalk to get cars to stop for them, this works 50/50 % of the time. It's a little bit of a cheat for the bike as they not walkers..

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          • lothar January 10, 2011 at 2:26 am

            More of a reply to Jim than Jackattak: I think consistency is the key. I want to be predictable and not erratic in my mode. If I am switching between cyclist (vehicle on the road)and pedestrian at a moments notice then the rest of the traffic cannot reasonably predict my actions. I want to be predictable just as much as I want the other traffic around me to be predictable. I think that half of our motion around each other on the roadways is governed by laws and the other half is judgment. I drive like that as well. If people are following the laws and etiquette then we can make better judgments.

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  • craig January 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Jonathan, in paragraph 5, did you intend to write "locations that have marked or UNMARKED crosswalks..." ??

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  • SE Cyclist January 7, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Crosswalk enforcement actions are a joke! The police even put up signs in advance warning of the enforcement ahead! And they enforce for 1 1/2 hours during mid-day on Wednesdays?! I can't count how many times I've had cars zoom through the crosswalk when I've been in it.

    Instead of writing citations, the police should make each motorist serve as the decoy crossing the street until they snag the next offender. That way the motorists would start getting a feel for what it's like to be a pedestrian!

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  • Kevin Wagoner January 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Interesting. I guess I am shocked at how little enforcement there is. I wonder if there is a way to treat that like a revenue stream, similar to taxing tobacco?

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  • Doug Klotz January 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    If the Enforcement Actions or Stings net this many violators just between Noon and 2 PM, think what they'd find if they actually did them at rush hours, when a much larger driving population is on the road. The actions would reach more of the population that is causing the problems. (Of all the working population of our area, how many are out driving between Noon and 2?) Another factor is darkness. Why aren't there Enforcement Actions in the dark, say at 5:30 PM in December? Even drivers who stop for pedestrians at noon often don't even see them at 5:30 PM. To really improve compliance rates, let's see some Enforcement Actions at rush hour in the dark. (And yes, have the "decoys" dress as the majority of our population does, in dark clothes. The law still requires drivers to stop, so let's enforce it)

    I would bet that the reasons these things don't take place at rush hour are 1. "They'd slow down traffic" and 2. "It's shift change time for the police (5 PM)". Whether the city is willing to work around these issues will be a good test of their Traffic Safety priorities.

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  • El-Db January 8, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I'd like to know where are the police when I'm riding home across Marine Dr at the 205 intersection? I've stood with my bike in the middle of the east bound lane with cars stopped waiting for me while the west bound lane FLY by. The yellow flashing lights don't do squat. That and the 33rd St crossing are two of the most dangerous that no one seems to mention.

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    • Spiffy January 10, 2011 at 11:14 am

      roll your bike out into the lane in front of you as you walk... works for me most of the time...

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      • are January 10, 2011 at 11:39 am

        that's how i use the new crossing at northeast 33rd and going, heading west

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  • Steve B January 8, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    For those of you who would like crosswalk actions in your own neighborhood, the only way to get it is to ask, and I encourage you to do so! 503-823-SAFE or safe@portlandoregon.gov should get you there.

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  • wsbob January 10, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    "... It turns out I was confusing OR law with City of Beaverton Ordinance when I imagined that mid-block crossings were illegal. They are in violation of Beaverton city code if made within 150 ft. of a crosswalk. I don't know whether Portland has a similar ordinance. ..." El Biciclero January 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    hey el biciclero ...I didn't know that about there being a specific ordinance in Beaverton, discouraging mid-block crossings 150 ft from a traffic control device. With Beaverton's through-city thoroughfares, Canyon Rd and Beaverton-Hilldale/Farmington, the ordinance is probably a good idea. Occasionally, people do cross those thoroughfares mid-block during peak traffic hours, which is kind of flirting with death.

    About the rest of your comment; Again, I think that sustaining an essential level of safety is only part of the reason traffic violations are enforced. Livability is another reason they're enforced. Not thinking of a very good example right now, but how about vehicle noise violations? I'm fairly sure there's laws on the books prohibiting excessively loud exhaust motor noise. Is this because loud pipes are unsafe (lots of motorcyclists argue just the opposite.) . Or are citations for loud pipes a livability issue? Because...a lot of vehicles driving around without quiet exhausts can have a devastating effect on people's peace of mind. (by the way...cops generally seem to blithely ignore loud pipes on harleys ...fortunately, they're far and few enough between that it's mostly possible for people to enjoy the mellow but loud pipes.

    The fine for a pedestrian walking against a traffic control device is probably less than that for a motor vehicle running a stop sign or stop light...number 1). Because pedestrians, though they are road users, they aren't vehicles that actually travel in main travel lanes with other vehicles. Pedestrians mostly only cross streets in a crosswalk, and at only 3-4 mph (but then of course, what about joggers that travel 10-12 mph?)

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    • El Biciclero January 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      Ok, so let's consider some "livability" law such as "vehicle too loud", or whatever you want to call it. If a traffic officer witnesses a texting driver making an unsignaled lane change and nearly sideswiping a Harley rider on a bike with loud pipes, which person should get pulled over? Would it be worth devoting extra resources to conduct an "enforcement action" specifically targeting noisy vehicles? Should the fine for having a noisy vehicle be the same as for a crosswalk violation?

      To me, the "livability" laws are best enforced by officers who happen to notice violations and have nothing better to do. I wish we could enforce auto headlight intensity laws. When I am out on the road it increasingly appears as though almost everyone is driving around with their high beams on...

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      • wsbob January 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm

        I have a feeling that Harleys with loud pipes almost never get pulled over (the reasons I've heard that to be, are interesting.). Which is generally o.k., if it's not excessive, such as a large group of 20-30 loud bikes regularly driving through a sensitive neighborhood. In such a situation, the loud pipes ordinance thus gives the neighborhood and law enforcement some means to get the situation under control.

        In the example you cited: Harley with large pipes sideswiped by a texting driver, I don't think there's any question that the texting driver would get nailed for that violation.

        I don't know whether the fine for a pedestrian walking against a traffic control device should be the same as the fine for loud exhaust noise.

        One of the ways livability laws get enforced, is that neighbors call up City Hall and tell their elected officials 'Hey! We've had it with what's going on here, etc. etc. etc.'. Actually getting a situation corrected can be a lot more complicated than just a phone call/email, etc.

        El Biciclero, in a couple of your earlier comments, you brought up prudent use of slim resources as a consideration that should factor into what enforcement actions should be prioritized over others. This is something that should definitely happen, and...I expect that it does happen.

        Some people though, seem to get the idea that police, should be devoting all their resources to the task of enforcing violations according to degree of severity before devoting any resources to enforcing violations of lesser severity.

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  • Spiffy January 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    it seems that they cited pedestrians... I understand the "failure to obey a traffic control device" when crossing at a corner... but can somebody post the ORS for jaywalking in the middle of a block? I can't seem to find the law...

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    • spare_wheel January 11, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      That because its legal to jaywalk in Oregon. Another reason for the antiquated local law to be ignored.

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      • craig January 11, 2011 at 3:13 pm

        Would love someone to post the legal reference that states Oregon law allows crossing midblock.

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  • craig January 11, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    There's no ORS, but Portland City Code 16.70.210 oughta do it for you.

    "No pedestrian may cross a street other than within
    a crosswalk if within 150 feet of a crosswalk."

    http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=28596&a=16267

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    • wsbob January 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      Downtown Portland, fairly consistently, has 200' blocks with lots of crosswalks. Not all parts of the city do. Find yourself in a 300' block and you're good to go jaywalking.

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    • Spiffy January 13, 2011 at 11:27 am

      thanks, I think that covers most of my pedestrian crossing escapades... now to start measuring the blocks I frequent... hehe...

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  • jim January 11, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    I stoped at a midblock crosswalk today just after I passed a bike, I just knew he wasn't going to stop for the pedestrian trying to cross. It is a really safe bet that a bike will not stop for someone in a cross walk. True it's pretty unlikely that you would kill them, but I would really hate to get ran into by a bike. Since I noticed that this is how bikes behave I pay more attn. to it, they just never stop

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    • El Biciclero January 12, 2011 at 12:09 pm

      Never say "never", dude. Or at least don't make any bets if you see me coming...

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    • wsbob January 12, 2011 at 4:09 pm

      "... It is a really safe bet that a bike will not stop for someone in a cross walk. ..." jim

      When I read this last night, I wondered about what you're saying here. Maybe the kind of cyclist behavior you're referring to is somewhat unique to a particular part of town, and/or, time of day. Might be kind of interesting if you could start keeping a record of when, and where it happens, general description of rider, and so on.

      I used to walk a lot Downtown Portland. I never once recall a cyclist not stopping for me while I was in a crosswalk, if they really had need of doing so. Changing to other lanes, if they were open to create distance between myself and them?...yes..., but not refusing to stop.

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      • Jackattak January 12, 2011 at 4:26 pm

        wsbob,

        I live Downtown in the Park Blocks and if needed, would be happy to provide this information to you. I deal with this on a near-weekly basis from "people on bikes". I am primarily a pedestrian and I also work Downtown on 2nd so I walk through the Park Blocks from home to work and back again every M-F. Going to work it's right around 7:10AM and coming home from work it's right around 4:40PM.

        It's bad enough that the suburbanites clog the crosswalks on their ways back to their communities in their cars and I have to deal with them. The fact that they're all practically turning Clay & Jefferson into parking lots when I am coming home at least makes them easy to avoid (they're all stopped).

        Many a "person on a bike" has barreled through a crosswalk I was in. Come to think of it, I can't remember having seen a "person on a bike" ever stop for me in a crosswalk. I don't so much mind if they aren't near me but when they are or if they startle me I can get pretty hot pretty quick.

        We need to be setting better examples when we're out riding. Otherwise the perpetuation of "scofflaw cyclists" will continue throughout the populace.

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    • Spiffy January 13, 2011 at 11:31 am

      a few months ago I stopped on 92nd for peds crossing over to Lents Park... motor vehicle traffic did not stop... I slowly inched my bike towards the middle of the road until cars were inches from me and honking...

      the men thanked me for trying and were finally able to cross once motorized traffic went away...

      but that's only a few blocks from the Holgate bike lanes to nowhere so the behavior of motor vehicles was not surprising...

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