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Police enforcement at Ladd Circle, N Flint ruffles feathers once again

Posted by on August 30th, 2012 at 10:48 am

The scene at Flint/Broadway last week.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Once again, two of the city’s most infamous stop sign locations are being targeted by the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). This morning, and two other days this week, multiple motorcycle cops have stationed themselves at the intersections of N. Flint and Broadway and SE Ladd Ave at the circle. These locations have gotten bicycle-focused police attention for many years, but the behaviors that bring them there — a high rate of non-compliance by people riding bicycles — continue to be problematic.

At Flint and Broadway, I have confirmed with the PPB that they are working the intersection due to a request by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT). The request comes as part of the move by PBOT last week to partially close N. Wheeler Ave (which is just a few yards west of the Flint/Broadway intersection). One vocal business owner who was opposed to the closure felt that the collisions at Wheeler were the direct result of people running the stop sign at Flint. Even though PBOT analysis shows a myriad of dangerous factors that contributed to the Wheeler right-hooks, media coverage of the closure then adopted this business owner’s perspective, thus cementing the idea with their audiences.

According to reports from readers, four or five motorcycle officers are working the Flint/Broadway intersection this morning. I am also hearing that local TV news cameras are on-scene and doing interviews. Given what happened last week when the police showed up to patrol this intersection, I expect they’ll stay very busy.

“One time I stopped at the sign at Ladd’s and nearly got rear-ended by the car behind me. Guy cursed at me and everything.”
— Brian Davis

According to Sgt. Ty Engstrom with the Traffic Division the enforcement at Ladd Circle began on Tuesday (8/28) and comes in response to a recent “uptick” in neighborhood complaints (I would not be surprised if all the media attention on Broadway/Flint reminded Ladd’s Addition residents of their pet issue). Two officers worked the location for about one-and-a-half hours the first day. Sgt. Engstrom says they stopped three people driving cars and handed out one citation and two warnings. In that same time they stopped 12 bicycle operators and wrote six citations and six warnings.

Yesterday, another officer went to the same location. According to an internal PPB email from that officer, “Only about one out of about 100 cyclists that I saw made an attempt to stop.”

But in addition to residents’ concerns, the PPB reports that their presence at Ladd Circle is being received well by all road users — including at least one woman riding a bike. Here’s more from that PPB officer who worked the mission:

“I had numerous thumbs up from several motorist and pedestrians that saw me working the Ladd Circle. One cyclist that I cited thanked me and asked that I do more enforcement to the cyclist. I thought that it was as a little unusual after being cited and we talked further. She stated that she used to stop, but felt weird being one of the only ones that stopped at the stop signs so she just started doing the same to blend in and not get hit from behind for stopping. She would like to see everyone stopping at the stop signs.”

On a similar note, reader Brian Davis shared this morning via Twitter that, “One time I stopped at the sign at Ladd’s and nearly got rear-ended by the car behind me. Guy cursed at me and everything.”

Stop sign in Ladds
The stop sign at Ladd Ave and the Circle.

The officer also said he spoke to a man walking by who identified himself as a resident of Ladd Circle and a member of the Mt. Tabor Foot Patrol (a neighborhood group formed in partnership with the City that focuses on livability issues). The officer reported that the man told him, “Good, it’s about time… ” “He said it is totally out of control/dangerous,” wrote the officer, “and thanked me for being there and requested that the Circle area gets more service for enforcement.”

Sgt. Mike Fort, a 20-year PPB veteran whose familiar with bike-related issues, called me this morning to inform me about these enforcement missions. “It’s inevitable it will blow up negatively,” he said, “But what I hope people understand is we focus on different areas throughout the city all the time.” Sgt. Fort said the Ladd Circle issues is more about livability than safety. He acknowledged there’s a lot of near-misses at the location, but not many reported collisions.

Both of these locations have long and controversial histories in Portland.

A look at the “Ladd Circle stop signs” story tag in our archives shows over a dozen stories on the issue since 2007. There has been a major discussion about swapping the stop signs for yield signs and updating the circle to become a modern roundabout. PBOT issued a statement in 2007 that made it seem as though that’s what they’d like to do, but they lack the funds to do it properly (not to mention, they’d have to convince the neighborhood that it’d work).

At Flint and Broadway, our city has been struggling with stop sign compliance since at least 2006. At that time, I reported on an “uproar” over enforcement that resulted in statements by the PPB and the Mayor. (I also wrote, “I think it’s time for PDOT, the BTA and the Police Bureau to all come to the table and figure out a more constructive way to deal with their shared concerns for traffic safety.” So much for that, huh?).

For their part, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance shared with me this morning that they feel that while the goal should be to improve safety for everyone, “We should be targeting the most dangerous activities with enforcement,” and that, “Statistics support that the most dangerous behaviors involve speeding, distracted driving and driving while impaired.”

More specifically on the Flint/Broadway situation, the BTA wants Police to take a “holistic approach” to enforcement. They’d like to see a focus on enforcing the new right-turn prohibition onto Wheeler and the I-5 off-ramp stop sign just east of Flint.

riding along with Officer Hoesly
Scene from a ride-along I did with PPB Officer Ron Hoesly in 2006.

At both of these locations, it’s blatantly clear that poor engineering and roadway design is a very large culprit. In both instances, PBOT themselves has acknowledged this fact. Until we muster the political will to fix these intersections so they work better for everyone, the police will continue to do their jobs and I’m afraid the low compliance will continue. This means the finger-pointing, confusion, media frenzy and public rancor will continue as well.

I urge everyone to try and see the bigger picture here. This isn’t about police hating bike riders, which type of vehicle users are more lawless than the other, or which ones cause the most public safety concerns. This is about imperfect humans using imperfect roadways. Those imperfections will always exist; so we need to do a better job accepting them and policing our behaviors and our attitudes — both towards these issues and towards each other.

Note: Several people in the comments are asking what the city hotline is for requesting enforcement. A specific number for that does not exist. Calling the general livability hotline, 823-SAFE, will get the job done. Better yet, show up to your neighborhood association meeting and talk to your local patrol officers and they can run the request up the flag pole.

UPDATE: 2:05 pm: KOIN TV is reporting that one of the people ticketed for not stopping at the Ladd Circle stop sign this morning was former BTA Executive Director and current Transportation Policy Director for Mayor Sam Adams, Catherine Ciarlo.

UPDATE: 2:45pm The PPB has sent out an official press release about today’s enforcement mission. I have pasted it below…

Today, Thursday August 30, 2012, the Portland Police Bureau’s Traffic Division conducted a “Share the Road” mission in the area of North Broadway and Wheeler Avenue. Officers also focused efforts along North Flint Avenue, from Russell to Broadway.

A team of four motorcycle officers and a sergeant started the mission at 8:30 a.m. and finished up at 10:30 a.m.

During the mission, officers encountered mostly cyclists who were in violation of the law. Every cyclist who was stopped and cited was offered the “Share the Road Safety Class” in exchange for a dismissal to the citation.

A total of 53 citations were issued, along with three written warnings.

50 cyclists and four motor vehicles were stopped.

Most citations were for Fail to Obey a Traffic Control Device (Stop Sign) from the North Broadway and Flint intersection; however, there were some citations for the same violation at the intersection of North Flint and Tillamook.

Of the four motor vehicles stopped, two violated the newly constructed “road closed” area at North Broadway and Wheeler.

The majority of those stopped and cited understood their mistakes and were appreciative of police efforts to help improve safety in the neighborhood. [PPB says of 50 people on bikes stopped, only two were "antagonistic" and 48 others were given option to dismiss their $260 fine by taking the Share the Road Safety Class.]

The Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division will continue to perform traffic safety missions throughout the city in a continual effort to improve public safety and awareness to “Share the Road.”

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Comments
  • Jeff August 30, 2012 at 10:58 am

    How exactly is Ladds Circle a blatant “poor engineering and roadway design” problem? There are stop signs. They are easy to see. Everyone knows they are there. There is minimal traffic. This is nothing more than a compliance issue and I commend PPB for doing the enforcement.

    I witnessed it this morning (what is up with the guy and the large video camera filming it all?) after following some woman who blasted through 3 or 4 previous stop signs coming west down S.E. Lincoln. The enforcement activities actually made her find her brake levers when we both got to Ladd’s. Go figure. It actually works.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 30, 2012 at 11:03 am

      PBOT engineers themselves have analyzed it and found that it would work better as a roundabout. they would prefer to have yield signs, but before putting them in, they’d need to make other physical changes that would require more money and a larger project scope.

      I’m not saying compliance and behavior isn’t an issue. I’m saying it’s not the only issue.

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      • Craig Harlow August 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm

        In that case, poor design has engendered legal non-compliance.

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        • rain bike August 30, 2012 at 1:06 pm

          Legal non-compliance? Don’t kid yourself.

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      • Jeff August 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm

        We’re tired of the excuses.

        CONVERT TO FULL YIELD NOW.

        The rest of the world does just fine with a full yielding circle.

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    • Randall S. August 30, 2012 at 11:04 am

      If I put a stop sign in the middle of I-5 and put up warnings, would that constitute “good roadway design” in your mind. These stop signs don’t belong there: not for cyclists, not for cars. This is a roundabout, not a 4-way intersection. Here’s a nice guide to catch you up on how roundabouts are supposed to work:

      http://www.azdot.gov/ccpartnerships/roundabouts/users_guide.asp

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      • Jeff August 30, 2012 at 11:06 am

        apologize much? Lets talk about reality, not putting stop signs in the middle of I-5, shall we?

        Until the circle becomes a roundabout, with yield signs, its not. How hard is that to understand?

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        • Randall S. August 30, 2012 at 11:11 am

          Could you show me where anyone said it was hard to understand? You were the one who tried to argue it wasn’t poor roadway design even though it fails to comply with FHWA standards.

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    • wsbob August 30, 2012 at 11:41 am

      PBOT, any department of transportation for that matter, or traffic engineers, aren’t gods, or at least…their word shouldn’t be accepted as that of gods just because something they happen to say serves some groups interest that happens to be contrary to the possibly best interest of people closest to a give issue.

      Even residents of a city should have some say in managing factors affecting the livability and safety of their own neighborhood. Chronic failure of, in particular…commuters…to stop at the neighborhood’s stop signs raises the question of whether Ladd’s is even an appropriate choice to host a commuter route. Perhaps it would be better for all parties involved if commuter traffic were diverted to streets immediately outside of Ladd’s.

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      • spare_wheel August 30, 2012 at 12:21 pm

        the non-compliance with the posted 25 mph speed limit on hawthorne is a far bigger problem. i am waiting for you to propose that car traffic on hawthorne be re-routed to powell.

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      • Chris I August 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm

        You can ride on Hawthorne if you want. Have fun with that.

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        • wsbob August 31, 2012 at 12:34 am

          “You can ride on Hawthorne if you want. Have fun with that.” Chris I

          East bound, ride 12th south, take Division east. West bound, take 20th and ride Hawthorne downhill. Ladd’s is just 8 blocks by 9 blocks square, so the cut-through isn’t saving much distance.

          If people commuting by bike were to ride the perimeter streets instead of Ladd’s streets, there would be greater bike presence on the perimeter streets that could persuasively argue for improvements to those streets allowing safer, faster bike travel than exist there now.

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          • Bald One August 31, 2012 at 9:30 am

            wsbob – I like your idea and want to join your movement, but when I tally up all the traffic signals and average waiting times of your route (I assume you meant ride 11th ave south), the Ladd St route is much shorter (by time and distance), not to mention more pleasant – avoiding stopped buses, traffic/exhuast, and speeding cars trying to pass you.

            Yield signs are the best corrective action.

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            • wsbob September 1, 2012 at 1:04 am

              “…when I tally up all the traffic signals and average waiting times of your route (I assume you meant ride 11th ave south), the Ladd St route is much shorter (by time and distance), not to mention more pleasant – avoiding stopped buses, traffic/exhuast, and speeding cars trying to pass you. …” Bald One

              That’s right…all of which help to justify obligating people to take a little time to stop at the stop signs in exchange for using a more pleasant route for biking than the streets on Ladd’s perimeter are. Should be no big deal if people really don’t want to have to bother with stopping at the stop signs.

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    • Andy August 30, 2012 at 11:46 am

      It’s poor engineering because it’s a wide, slow, low traffic circle with excellent visibility of any traffic in the circle. Stop signs aren’t necessary – especially for bikes. There are worse circles all over the world that use yield signs for all vehicles. This is a perfect candidate for yield signs. Why not try it?

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    • zefwagner August 30, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      There is a reason why no other countries put stop signs at roundabouts. The entire design of a roundabout is based on the idea of pulling up to the roundabout, slowing down, looking left, and then turning right. Stopping is inherently unnecessary…that is the whole point of a roundabout. So naturally, no one stops. They need to put in yield signs, end of story.

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      • Paulie August 31, 2012 at 10:20 am

        Ladd’s Addition was originally sub-divided in 1891, before automobiles were popular. The circle wasn’t developed as a traditional roundabout. With sidewalk crossings at the intersections, I don’t think it would be safe for pedestrians if yield signs were put up in place of the stop signs. The pedestrian crossings would need to be moved up the side streets, and you would have to convince pedestrians to use them, instead of crossing where they currently do.

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  • Stretchy August 30, 2012 at 10:58 am

    This is laughable given the number of times I’ve seen police illegally parked on SW Madison, blowing through stop signs, encroaching on the bike box on SE Madison to make an illegal right hand turn etc…

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    • Stretchy August 30, 2012 at 10:59 am

      … and yes, it’s multiple times for all of these infractions. No, they didn’t have on lights and sirens, and none of these appeared to be ‘emergency’ situations.

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  • NW Biker August 30, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I’m really curious to know something about officers citing cyclists. If a motorist is stopped by a police officer, that driver has to hand over a driver’s license, and that’s used for the ticket, right? I don’t carry my license when I ride, simply because I’m not driving. I have my Road ID bracelet in case there’s an emergency. So what do the officers use when they cite a cyclist?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 30, 2012 at 11:09 am

      NW Biker,

      Oregon law requires you to have a driver’s license when driving a car… But while walking or on a bike you do not need to show a license, nor are you legally compelled to have any ID at all. It’s complicated… Read this article by Ray Thomas for more info http://www.stc-law.com/refusal_identify.html

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      • Jess August 30, 2012 at 11:08 pm

        Oregon law also states that you must follow the rules of the road when riding in the road (i.e. bike is now considered a vehicle) with the exception of issues that don’t apply ( license, insurance, seat belt, etc ) OR in the case that obeying a rule of the road poses a safety issue to you or another vehicle. The ORS gives the example of not indicating a turn because you are using your brakes. There is a good case that can be made that stopping at stop signs is dangerous if the car behind you doesn’t expect you to, or if proceding from the stop could cause injury (stop signs on steep hills)

        This is a very grey area law and it allows Police Officers to write vague citations. Police should use common sense and so should bicyclist. I will slow WAY down, but if I feel like it is safer to “yield” than stop I am going to do it.

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      • Vance Longwell August 31, 2012 at 7:36 am

        Looking now, but pretty sure one is required to carry either a valid Oregon Driver License on their person, or a valid Oregon Identification Card, at all times. Used to have at least $20.00 on ya at any given time too. THAT, I believe, is no longer the case, however. Hehe.

        Moot point anyway. NW Biker is more than welcome to play games with the authorities over I.D.. By the time they lodge ya for the weekend to run your prints, perhaps NW Biker will have figured it out.

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        • matt picio August 31, 2012 at 9:46 am

          Let us know what you find, Vance. As far as I am aware (and I *did* look it up previously), you are NOT required to carry identification. You *are* required to identify one’s self to the police – i.e. give your name and address (Google “Terry Stop”) to a requesting officer. My understanding is that while you are required to identify yourself, you are *not* required to carry *proof* of identification – however, the police in the absence of proof of identity are authorized to hold you until your identify can be verified.

          So if what I read was correct, carrying ID is mostly a convenience for you to avoid being held by the police and taken downtown. In my case, since I’m former military, my fingerprints are in the national database – I’d still be annoyed if I had to go downtown and get fingerprinted because PPB wanted to verify my identity.

          It would be awesome if an actual Oregon attorney weighed in with their understanding of the law. I, despite expressing numerous opinions on the law, am not an attorney.

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    • A.K. August 30, 2012 at 11:13 am

      This would interest me too, as I also ride with only a road ID most of the time. Sometimes on long rides when I know I’ll be stopping at a store for food/water I’ll bring a debit card and my drivers license, but that isn’t often.

      On another note, yes it sucks that police ticket folks who aren’t much of a danger to anyone, but if you’re willing to run stop signs you need to also be willing to accept the possibility of getting a ticket. Sucks but that’s the current law until “Idaho Stops” are accepted.

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    • El Biciclero August 30, 2012 at 11:59 am

      If you are caught violating the law, an officer has the “right” to detain you until they are satisfied they know your identity. You are obligated to provide enough true identifying information about yourself (verbally) to facilitate the preparation of a legal traffic citation. If you provide false information, that is a new legal matter. You are not required to carry ID at all times, but if you’re busted for something, “Seymour Butts” won’t cut it. Any lawyer can correct me if I’m wrong, but I also believe that if you are stopped by police while on your bike, you don’t have to show them your driver’s license even if you are carrying it. Just give them a true name, rank, and serial number (and address, likely), and that should be enough.

      Officers have carried out pedestrian “jaywalking” enforcement actions before; I’ll bet not all those cited were carrying driver’s licenses.

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      • A.K. August 30, 2012 at 12:18 pm

        Yeah the link Jonathan provided (thanks!) said as much basically. If they are stopping you for an infraction with the intent of giving you a citation, you are obligated to provide your true identity, but you don’t need your ID on you.

        There seems to be a gray around surrounding the need to identify yourself if you’re not being charged with anything, but I can’t comment on that because I’m not a lawyer and I don’t know all the rules. Only time I’ve been asked for ID by a cop is when I was stopped for speeding once and given a ticket.

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  • Andyc August 30, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Shouldn’t that be, “… ruffles feathers once again” ?

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  • Adam August 30, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I think what is *more* out of control and dangerous are the motorists who routinely use the entirety of SE Ladd bike boulevard as a racetrack to shave off a few precious minutes from their car commutes.

    I have lost count of the number of times I have been squeezed at a traffic circle on Ladd by car drivers who are just too impatient to wait. Or had motorists revving their engines and acting aggressively because I take the lane around the traffic circles, and they feel feel aggrieved at having to wait.

    I guess I am just sick of large numbers of car drivers speeding down our bike boulevards in general. These are supposed to be quiet, traffic calmed neighborhood greenways, not overflow arterials for whatever major road they happen to be next to.

    If the residents of SE Ladd were serious about traffic safety, in addition to bad bicyclists, I would like to see them address issues pertaining to bad motorists too in Ladd’s Addition.

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    • 9watts August 30, 2012 at 11:25 am

      “it is totally out of control/dangerous,” Maybe he means the swarm of cops?

      That video which PPB put out a few years ago, indicating a new, pragmatic, approach to bikes and stop signs, what became of that? Is that still official policy?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKmwKP5ZRtQ

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      • 9watts August 30, 2012 at 11:51 am

        The discussion of PPB and stop sign compliance enforcement starts at 8:12. Pragmatic treatment taking the speed and attentiveness of the cyclist into account is advocated 8:48-9:11

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        • GDorn August 30, 2012 at 11:58 am

          I’ll confess that I got stopped as part of a pack at Ladd’s a couple days ago, and the motorcycle cop gave us a lengthy, somewhat condescending talking to. But one of the points he made was that several members of the pack didn’t slow down and look left before running the sign. It was clear he wasn’t looking for full-stop-foot-down stops and was taking into account speed and attentiveness.

          Of course, I _did_ look before rolling through, but as I was part of a pack it’s not surprising he missed it.

          After, I overheard a local resident thanking the cops. Her voice was practically dripping with vengeful glee.

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          • 9watts August 30, 2012 at 12:03 pm

            ” It was clear he wasn’t looking for full-stop-foot-down stops and was taking into account speed and attentiveness.”

            Glad to hear it. I think this would be good to weave into these stories to the extent that this occurs. Many comments (mine included) have I think been based on the assumption that anyone ‘not stopping’ is given a ticket/lecture/etc.

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  • Terry D August 30, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Enforcement at Flint is important since this is a very dangerous intersection.

    Enforcement at Ladd’s circle is silly. There is so much room there, and visibility is very good. Even if you are coming down the hill from Harrison as long as you slow down and look there is nothing dangerous. Unless there are accidents or people are put in danger enforcement there is only for show. It is a waste of time and money.

    I would like to see the same level of enforcement on dangerous vehicular routes like Foster, or Burnside down the hill from 68th to 60th where I have personally seen or heard at least a dozen accidents over the last 8 years. TWO people I know personally have had their cars totaled by drivers zooming down the hill that rammed into their PARKED cars in front of my house.

    The police should focus on enforcement in dangerous zones, not because an upper class neighborhood thinks it is unfair that cyclists blow through their stop-signs. This is a classist attack by the Portland Police cloaked in “safety enforcement.” You are right though, an update to our laws and some engineering re-design would solve the “problem” here pretty easily.

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    • 9watts August 30, 2012 at 11:26 am

      +5

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    • MossHops August 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      From the article regarding Ladd’s:

      “Sgt. Fort said the Ladd Circle issues is more about livability than safety.”

      What really angers me about Ladd’s enforcement is that we are putting livability above safety. Why aren’t we policing the places that are really safety issues, rather than pandering to a few loud complainers in a affluent neighborhood with absolutely no safety issues to speak of?

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      • 9watts August 30, 2012 at 12:31 pm

        “Why aren’t we policing the places that are really safety issues, rather than pandering to a few loud complainers in a affluent neighborhood with absolutely no safety issues to speak of?’

        Carhead?

        In so many of these situations it seems that we (here) notice the person killed by someone driving a car on Division and are outraged, while officialdom is writing tickets to people on bikes blowing through a stop sign in Ladd’s Addition. The discrepancy is captured (heightened) by the discrepant consequences. Will the person driving the car that killed someone on Division be cited and fined for as much as the person not stopping at a stop sign in Ladd’s?

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        • spare_wheel August 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm

          best comment on thread.

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    • Spiffy August 30, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      Terry D
      Enforcement at Flint is important since this is a very dangerous intersection.

      I disagree about it being dangerous… it’s a bike merging into a bike lane… there is no motor vehicle conflict… they should round off the corner and give bikes a yield sign…

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  • SilkySlim August 30, 2012 at 11:09 am

    What’s the number to call to request traffic stings?

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    • Spiffy August 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      I would also like to know this…

      Jonathan please include that number in future articles such as these…

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    • Adam Gniles August 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      Here is a link to a link to the contact numbers for PPB.

      http://bit.ly/RwGEPe

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  • Ethan August 30, 2012 at 11:11 am

    One little comment aimed at the Police Bureau. If you are going to have 6 officers at an intersection enforcement, consider putting 4 of them on bicycles. Use your motors to go after the cars, but Jesus, have you ever really read up on community policing? The point of curbing this behavior is as much outreach as enforcement (or could be). Use the right tool for the job.

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    • 9watts August 30, 2012 at 11:29 am

      Excellent point, Ethan. As long as our police continue to show up in menacing or authoritarian costume, or with excessive fossil fuel equpiment (Occupy, Sunday Parkways, Ladd’s stings) they’re failing where I think it counts most. If the alternative is called community policing, count me as a supporter.

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      • Hart Noecker August 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm

        I really cannot understand why they bring two to three cars to each intersection and leave them all sitting with their engines running. Maybe it’s time to get ride of the police at Sunday Parkways altogether.

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        • Dave Thomson August 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm

          I really cannot understood how cyclists who claim they check for traffic before “safely” ignoring stop signs can’t spot 3 or 4 police cars in time to stop and not get ticketed.

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          • Hart Noecker August 30, 2012 at 2:14 pm

            You’re talking about something completely different than I am. There aren’t 4 cop cars at these stings. There ARE 2 to 3 cop cars at every major intersection at Sunday Parkways running their engines and polluting our air. We can maintain our own intersections, we don’t need the police there at all.

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    • dan August 30, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      I’ve never seen a bike cop that I thought could catch up to me if I was not minded to stop. Maybe some bike cops backed up by a motorcycle cop.

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      • A.K. August 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm

        Probably why they use motorcycle cops!

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      • lyle August 31, 2012 at 7:31 am

        That’s what their radios are for.

        You wanna get a felony eluding charge just to find out?

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  • are August 30, 2012 at 11:17 am

    the twitter comment from brian davis quoted in the body of the article says it all. i do not object to ticketing people who blow through without scoping the situation, but if the intersection is clear and the cyclist has slowed sufficiently to ascertain that fact, it is generally _less safe_ for a cyclist to make a full stop than to keep some momentum. you are most vulnerable when you are not moving.

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    • are August 30, 2012 at 11:18 am

      that having been said, it is rarely if ever the case that it would be safe to roll the stop at flint and broadway.

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      • daisy August 30, 2012 at 12:24 pm

        I disagree (as I say in a comment below). Cyclists are in the far right lane, turning right only (no option to go straight), into the far right lane. Visibility is excellent. This is a classic yield situation.

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        • Spiffy August 30, 2012 at 1:04 pm

          exactly… they should just round off the corner and give bikes a yield…

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        • are August 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm

          i will read your comment below more fully, but my experience has been that as you approach broadway on flint there is almost always something coming from the left, and until you have a chance to assess it, you cannot assume it will be safe to enter even the far right lane.

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          • are August 30, 2012 at 5:52 pm

            okay, i have read it, and i guess my disagreement is this. since i will not use the bike lane on that stretch of broadway, i am in fact waiting for the right travel lane to be open. your mileage may differ, but i am not getting right hooked at wheeler, and i am not fighting to merge left on the approach to interstate.

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    • Jeff August 30, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      who says? I don’t remember a single incident when a cyclist has died in this town/state while they were stationary.

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      • Spiffy August 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm

        Tracey Sparling says, that’s who…

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        • Jeff August 30, 2012 at 1:26 pm

          Tracey was moving through the intersection after the light turned.

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          • Spiffy August 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm

            oops, my bad, I had read one article that says she was killed while waiting at a red light, but eyewitnesses say that both her and the truck were moving…

            still, it’s a good example of what COULD happen, but yeah, I don’t know if it has yet…

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      • are August 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm

        i do not want to wait around to be a statistic. but for example if i am northbound on MLK in the left turn lane at tillamook or at shaver and there is a red arrow but the through lights are green and there is no southbound traffic, i will execute the turn rather than wait to be clipped from behind. similarly eastbound sandy at 43rd. countless others.

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  • Brian Davis August 30, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Following up a bit on the tweet Jonathon quoted, I find it very intimidating to actually stop at the Ladd’s Circle stop sign often times if there’s a car behind me. More than on other greenways throughout the city, SE Ladd Avenue seems to use bicycles as its primary traffic calming measure. You’re often slowing down a car that is taking a bit of a shortcut between SE Division and Hawthorne. Often, drivers try to not-so-subtly communicate this to you via following distances, engine revving, etc.

    Folks that don’t often ride wouldn’t understand this, but slowing to a complete stop and restarting under these circumstances is EXTREMELY intimidating. The circle itself is when the impatient motorist can actually pass you and, as noted elsewhere, cars also come to a rolling stop here as well. For these reasons, this is the one traffic control device in the entire city that I sometimes disobey (following my incident), as much of the time it feels much safer to me to get into the circle and let the driver get around me as quickly as possible, at the same time maintaining some semblance of control of the circumstances under which I’m passed.

    When we think only about letter-of-the-law behavior and fail to consider the human factors involved, and when we enforce laws selectively based on politicking rather than safety implications, we do road users and our infrastructure a disservice.

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  • Charley Gee August 30, 2012 at 11:22 am

    How about one day all of us Ladd’s Circle riders just start stopping, single file, at the stop signs, put our foot down and go one after another after moving forward and putting our foot down?

    It would be interesting to see the impact that would have on traffic in the area. Of course we’ll all have to leave 20 minutes earlier.

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    • Tony August 30, 2012 at 11:30 am

      Yes to this.

      I also think, once they actually start ripping up Division, actions like this will be needed on SE Clinton to keep the cars from intimidating people there.

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      • Charley Gee August 30, 2012 at 11:33 am

        Agreed. It’s going to get just awful out there when all that traffic gets shifted to Clinton.

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    • GDorn August 30, 2012 at 11:41 am

      Organize this, name a day, get it out to Shift and the forums. Demonstrating by following the law to the letter is brilliant.

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      • Charley Gee August 30, 2012 at 11:44 am

        Well, gosh darn, maybe I just will.

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        • GDorn August 30, 2012 at 11:46 am

          Name it something catchy, like Full Stop Friday.

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          • Spiffy August 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm

            that IS catchy, and Fridays are the most casual day so taking a couple extra minutes for this action shouldn’t upset anybody when you’re a couple minutes late getting to work/home…

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            • Seth Alford September 2, 2012 at 9:39 pm

              Along with announcing the day, also invite PPB there to ticket drivers who intimidate cyclists or pass improperly.

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    • Chris August 31, 2012 at 10:12 am

      I love it! Please do! Perhaps some residents will line up and thank all of you in turn.

      As for the motorists you think you’ll be displacing… if they live in the neighborhood, they’ll happily wait. If they don’t… they are using the neighborhood as a car thoroughfare… f*** ‘em.

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  • pixelgate August 30, 2012 at 11:23 am

    The Ladd’s Addition stuff has got to get under control. I was struck by a cyclist racing into the roundabout from one of the side streets (Hamilton?), her front tire hit my shin and I fell down. Thankfully she stopped and was very apologetic which I appreciate but she totally ignored the stop sign. Just because you disagree with a law doesn’t mean you get to ignore it. Go through the proper channels to change the law (or in this case, the stop signs around Ladd Circle). PPB is doing a good job with these stings as far as I’m concerned. Cars need to follow the stop signs too, they are just as guilty as cyclists of breaking the law in this roundabout.

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    • Randall S. August 30, 2012 at 11:39 am

      I hope you don’t eat ice cream on Sundays, since it’s illegal in Portland. Just because you think the law is silly doesn’t mean you get to ignore it.

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      • Jeff August 30, 2012 at 12:15 pm

        YOu really seem to have a way of ignoring the actual conversation at hand and injecting complete non-sequiturs.

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        • Randall S. August 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm

          You really have a way of failing to understand analogies when they point out the massive flaws in arguments.

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          • Sigma August 30, 2012 at 3:38 pm

            You don’t see a difference between eating ice cream and disobeying a traffic control device then running into a pedestrian at high speed.

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    • CaptainKarma August 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm

      Are you calling in air strikes , oops, stings, on the car traffic? Thought not.

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      • Sigma August 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm

        What a disgusting thing to say to a pedestrian who was hit by a fast moving vehicle.

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    • Craig Harlow August 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      pixelgate, that’s awful that this happened to you. However, I don’t think anybody here is advocating reckless or inattentive riding, which is the behavior that caused your crash.

      It’s reasonable, and arguably SAFER (for all users) for bikes on a busy bikeway to only slow enough (and early enough) to see if conditions are safe to bike through, and then only stop if present conditions warrant it, such as a person crossing or waiting to cross the street.

      “Blowing” a stop sign is not the same as “rolling” a stop sign, and it just might be safer for everyone if people were legally justified (under these specific conditions) to only stop when needed, in order maintain a peaceful, smoothly flowing, bike and walk-friendly situation.

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  • Ross Williams August 30, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Is the issue in Ladd’s Addition traffic or pedestrians? Cyclists have the same human tendency as motorists to pay attention to their own safety. That means looking out for multi-ton motor vehicles, not pedestrians or even other cyclists.

    I am not sure that getting rid of the stop signs is going to make it easier for pedestrians in what is essentially a residential neighborhood. But it will certainly speed things up for motorists and cyclists, if that is the objective. So I guess we have found a point of agreement between commuters whether on bike and in a car, pedestrians just get in the way.

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    • spare_wheel August 30, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      its a long-time residential neighborhood with a major bike arterial that has seen a steady increase in volumes. this clearly upsets a minority of ladd’s addition — many of whom would like to see the greenways re-routed. as these individuals are gradually replaced by residents who support active transport this issue will disappear.

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  • wsbob August 30, 2012 at 11:30 am

    “…reminded Ladd’s Addition residents of their pet issue). …” maus/bikeportland

    Sounds like a rather nasty, disparaging reference. That kind of thing invites the same in return towards those using it.

    I’ve long thought issues with commute routes through neighborhoods involve issues of safety, but also, livability. What I’ve read in stories about the Ladd’s Addition commuter route describes a situation where people commuting by bike and motor vehicle, declining to observe stop signs and otherwise generally acknowledge this is a place where people live, can and do contribute to a decline in neighborhood livability.

    A decline in neighborhood livability due to commuters that are disrespectful, indifferent to, or even oblivious to, is what’s been happening in Ladd’s that residents have been working to counter.

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    • 9watts August 30, 2012 at 11:38 am

      wsbob,
      “a decline in neighborhood livability”

      I think the key here is ‘decline.’ Many neighborhoods that receive far less if any comparable attention from the police never had the livability (so measured) that Ladd’s Addition enjoyed and still enjoys. I winced a tiny bit at the word ‘pet’ too, but given the absence of bloodshed (to my knowledge) caused by anyone on a bike in Ladd’s to date, yet another enforcement at this location does seem, well, a bit gratuitous (see Terry D’s comment above).

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    • Terry D August 30, 2012 at 11:38 am

      Speeding autos do MUCH more to destroy neighborhood livability than bikes running stop signs, even if there are a lot of bikes. I would trade the speeding COMMUTERS in MY neighborhood for cyclists blowing through stop signs anytime.

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      • lisa smillie August 31, 2012 at 9:15 am

        ME TOO!

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      • wsbob September 1, 2012 at 12:52 am

        “Speeding autos do MUCH more to destroy neighborhood livability than bikes running stop signs, even if there are a lot of bikes. I would trade the speeding COMMUTERS in MY neighborhood for cyclists blowing through stop signs anytime.” Terry D

        Why trade one abusive road user for another? Why not go visit the Hosford Abernethy Neighborhood Association, offer to help Ladd’s neighbors get bike commuters to stop at the stop signs in exchange for their help to you to get enforcement details targeting speeders in your neighborhood? Maybe the route speeding commuters in your neighborhood, use, could use speed bump calming devices.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 30, 2012 at 11:39 am

      wsbob,

      it’s a fact not an opinion or a nasty remark. This is a pet issue for these neighbors. they’ve been grappling with it for a long time. What other term should I use? I don’t think “pet issue” has to be taken in a negative light and that certainly wasn’t my intention. I’ll consider changing it.

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      • wsbob August 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm

        maus…sorry, ‘pet issue’ seemed negative to me, even though you may not have intended to be dismissive or contemptuous. Described as such, it sounds as though you consider their efforts to be frivolous, unworthy, or something like that.

        For residents of this neighborhood, I imagine they view this phenomena of people using the neighborhood as a commute route, not stopping at the stop signs…to be a serious issue they probably realize they have to keep after if they ever expect to make any headway on it.

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    • spare_wheel August 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      “A decline in neighborhood livability”

      you state this like it is fact. it is not fact, it is merely your opinion. in mjky opinion, the vast majority of residents of ladds and H-A view the highvolume of bike traffic as a positive. it certainly seems to be touted by realtors…

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      • wsbob August 30, 2012 at 12:46 pm

        “…in mjky opinion, the vast majority of residents of ladds and H-A view the highvolume of bike traffic as a positive. …” spare_wheel

        I have no idea what ‘mjky’ means. I’ll presume it was supposed to be ‘my’, at least…that seems to work with what I think you may be trying to say.

        Ladd’s-Hosford Abernethy residents probably do prefer a higher proportion of the traffic through their neighborhood being bikes rather than motor vehicles.

        I doubt they feel good about the overall number of vehicles being what it is, and likely increasing because people are using the neighborhood as a commute route…essentially, a cut-through…quieter, more beautiful, slightly shorter alternative to taking 12th or 20th on Ladd’s east and west perimeter.

        About whether people using a neighborhood for a commute route and not stopping for stop signs represents a decline in neighborhood livability, I don’t think that is just my opinion. I think for some residents…certainly not all Ladd’s residents, because obviously, not all live on the key streets used by commuters, or perhaps walk along the streets for recreation, etc. …people using Ladd’s for a commute route and disregarding the stop signs is definitely affects the neighborhood’s livability in a negative way.

        I don’t know what percent Ladd’s residents actually see the commuter route use/not stopping for stop signs practice to be objectionable and a decline in the neighborhood’s livability. It would be worth getting some idea what that percent is. If it turns out that only a small percent…say 10 or 20 percent cared that people are blowing the stop signs as they commute through the neighborhood, maybe their numbers aren’t sufficient to justify resisting the practice.

        If it was my neighborhood, I know I wouldn’t like what commuters have been allowed to do to it. I don’t accept the rationalization that because conditions in other neighborhoods are poorer, Ladd’s residents should resign themselves to abuse of its neighborhood’s by commuters. That kind of resignation is no way to bring about positive change to other neighborhoods.

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        • MossHops August 30, 2012 at 12:56 pm

          ” I don’t accept the rationalization that because conditions in other neighborhoods are poorer, Ladd’s residents should resign themselves to abuse of its neighborhood’s by commuters. ”

          I think most comments refer to Ladd’s affluence to point out that poorer neighborhoods probably wouldn’t get much attention from police to improve “livability.”

          The bigger issue here is the mis-allocation of resources. Who, outside of those who live in Ladd’s, think that this is the best use of police resources when there are far greater safety issues elsewhere in the city?

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          • wsbob September 1, 2012 at 12:41 am

            “…I think most comments refer to Ladd’s affluence to point out that poorer neighborhoods probably wouldn’t get much attention from police to improve “livability.”

            The bigger issue here is the mis-allocation of resources. Who, outside of those who live in Ladd’s, think that this is the best use of police resources when there are far greater safety issues elsewhere in the city?” MossHops

            Ladd’s gets the enforcement details it does because that neighborhood is subjected to use as a major bike commuter route by people on bikes that refuse to stop at the stop signs.

            I’m not sure there’s another neighborhood in Portland that has quite the situation Ladd’s does…major bike commuter route cutting diagonally through the neighborhood’s center… but let’s assume this was New Columbia (formerly Columbia Villa) in Northeast, with the safe unique platting as Ladd’s, and being given the same treatment by bike commuters; New Columbia is hardly affluent…but despite that, I’m inclined to think that if bike commuters were acting there the way many of them seem to be in Ladd’s, residents would definitely be calling the cops, and the cops would definitely be doing some serious enforcement details.

            The ‘mis-allocation of resources’ is simply a feeble rationale pitched as an attempt to shift police away from a detail that puts people violating stop signs in the regrettable position of receiving citations.

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        • 9watts August 30, 2012 at 12:57 pm

          “I don’t accept the rationalization that because conditions in other neighborhoods are poorer, Ladd’s residents should resign themselves to abuse of its neighborhood’s by commuters.”

          That is a straw man. Abuse? Please.
          The point is that the injustices, dangers, not to mention actual carnage suffered across this town (remember it’s the PPB not the Ladd’s Addition PD) vary across many dimensions. As many have noted this action and the many preceding it at this location would appear to be a poor use of what we all know to be limited police time given the nature and distribution of problems across this city.

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          • wsbob August 30, 2012 at 7:53 pm

            “…That is a straw man. …” 9watts

            It’s not a straw man. People in response to this situation, periodically state that because it’s tougher in other Portland neighborhoods, Ladd’s residents shouldn’t be asking for help with violators in their neighborhood.

            In fact, someone offered that rationale in a comment to this story before I posted my comment. Some time back, a bikeportland forum member actually started a thread with the topic being that Ladd’s Addition residents shouldn’t be asking for help because traffic conditions in the forum members own neighborhood were worse.

            And as to ‘abuse’? When people know that negative consequences arising from using neighborhood streets as heavily traveled commuter routes in which the people doing the commuting decline to respect the level of safety and livability that traffic control devices such as stop signs are intended to help aid…and continue to indifferently or even sometimes in a hostile manner, use such streets, yes…I think that is a form of abuse.

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        • spare_wheel August 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm

          you have my deepest apology for the typo.

          the problem with your view is that this route is most definitely not a cut through. the ladd’s addition greenway is an OFFICIAL bike route. the minority of ladd’s addition residents who are upset by this established transportation route are free to move.

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          • Chris August 30, 2012 at 5:50 pm

            That’s not true. The official code for Ladds Addition, as written by the city, specifically notes that it should be designed and maintained to NOT be a thoroughfare.

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          • wsbob August 30, 2012 at 8:10 pm

            “…this route is most definitely not a cut through. the ladd’s addition greenway is an OFFICIAL bike route. …” spare_wheel

            I believe it is an officially designated bike route, but one that was never designated as such for the purpose of being a high volume commute route in which the people using the route would not be obliged to stop for the stop signs. Commuters today use Ladd’s as a cut-through. They could use 12th and 20th and spare everyone the hassle, but they choose not to.

            I believe the route was designated as a bike route some time in the late 70′s during that era’s wave of encouraging people to bike more, with the expectation that most use of the route would be recreational riding rather than a daily am/pm commute route of the numbers of people using it for that purpose today. Someone from the neighborhood may know the history that will confirm whether or not my recollection is correct.

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  • Joe August 30, 2012 at 11:34 am

    stop ppl dont know how to stop by bike and by car. but giving tickets seems rather odd. autos do more damage BTW.

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  • Bjorn August 30, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Taking officers away from actual dangerous locations and having them do an enforcemnent activity at what is arguably the safest area for all road users in the entire city (Ladd’s addition) is like taking fraud and embezzlement investigators, pulling them off of investigating large corporations and having them focus all enforcement only on children’s lemonade stands because someone in the neighborhood keeps calling in lemonade complaints.

    Even if laws are being broken the impact is non-existent as seen by the fact that the cities tracking of injury and deaths shows this to be a very safe area despite the very high usage it sees. Really I don’t think that these few loud residents are trying to achieve compliance they are actually trying to get people to pick another route because they don’t like that anyone is coming through their neighborhood. The problem with this is that nearby roads actually are dangerous and that people who change their route to avoid ladd’s are more likely to be injured or killed by a car. The cops need to quit catering to this small group of NIMBY’s.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 30, 2012 at 11:41 am

      Bjorn,

      Like it or not, decisions made by the police are not based entirely on public safety priorities. This is a fact that I’m sure even they would not dispute. It’s more complicated than that. It’s a mix of funding (some enforcement is tied specifically to grants that require specific types of enforcement), politics, public/media pressure, and so on. So, let’s admit it’s not a perfect black/white system and find a way to leverage that to get the outcomes we want.

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  • Livellie August 30, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I ride through Ladds circle daily. I agree it’s more of a livability issue than safety problem. Most people, including myself, treat the stop signs as yield signs. Not everyone slows down but most do. And I get the sense everyone is aware and looking around. It doesn’t feel “totally out of control and dangerous.” I’ve never witnessed a mishap or even heard of one happening at the circle. I do sort of feel sorry for the residents who live along Ladd St…they have to deal with a lot of bike traffic, the buses and the cars trying to zip past the bikes. Oh well, I guess that’s just part of living in the city.

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    • A.K. August 30, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      You feel *sorry* for people who live in Ladds? I *wish* I could live there and have everyone feel sorry for me in my historic house, in a beautifully manicured part of the city with plenty of trees, roses, and mini parklets.

      If the biggest issue a neighborhood has is bikes not stopping at stop signs, I’d rate it as a pretty good place to live IMHO.

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  • Nik August 30, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Police actions like this do not increase safety. They take an environment already hostile to cycling and make it more hostile.

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  • Oliver August 30, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Meanwhile, another pedestrian was struck and killed last night by a car on Division out in East County.

    Where’s the enforcement action out there?

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  • Spiffy August 30, 2012 at 11:44 am

    a near-miss at Ladd Circle is called a successful merge…

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  • andy August 30, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Ladd’s circle is a roundabout. The entire purpose of a roundabout is to slow and yield to the person to your left within the roundabout. Put in a yield sign!

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    • dan August 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      As a daily bike commuter on Lincoln through Ladd, the biggest problem that I see is that almost no cyclists look to the right for pedestrians when rolling the stop sign at Ladd Circle — they just look left for car/bike traffic.

      Looking to the right is courteous to pedestrians — the kind of consideration we would all like to receive from motorists — and it will also let you see the police in time to come to a full stop when they’re running an enforcement operation. (They usually set up in the circle just to the right of the stop sign targeted for enforcement.) That being the case, I’m surprised that so few cyclists look to the right before moving through the signs, and hope that more will pick up this habit going forward.

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      • A.K. August 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm

        I pass through Ladd’s often as I live in Brooklyn, and I frequently slow but don’t stop at the stop signs there. Usually I’ll stop at the one next to the coffee shop, since people tend to congregate there and I don’t want to look like a jerk.

        However, I have made full stops several times for pedestrians nearing the crosswalk I was at, and have been thanked every time for actually stopping. Like you said it’s not hard to look around and if people are there, actually stop.

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  • daisy August 30, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Jonathan, I know you’re trying to appeal to reason here, and I do hear you, and as I said in a comment in the last week or so (I’m not going to dig it up), I’ve generally been making extra sure to put my foot down at Flint and Broadway recently, given all the focus on that intersection.

    And this is what is so confusing to me: I can’t figure out why, exactly, I’m stopping completely at Flint when I’m in the far right lane making a right turn into the far right lane. Unlike a ton of other intersections in Portland, there’s actually great visibility coming up to Broadway, and it’s quite easy to see who is coming from the left in the Broadway bike lane. So I’ve already seen if it’s clear when I stop.

    But I stop, because it’s the law, and there’s even some writing in the bike lane exhorting me to stop. Then, I’m trying to figure out when it’s safe to go. Is it safe when I can see the bike lane is empty? I already saw that. So then I start to think I’m supposed to wait for a car lane to be empty. But that makes no sense.

    In general I follow traffic laws on my bike, and I’m not trying to make excuses for not following traffic laws. But this seems like such a classic yield/merge intersection for bikes. As PBOT seems to be saying, there is an engineering problem with this intersection. And as I believe you have commented before, conflict happens when bikes are forced to follow laws that were written for cars and don’t make sense for bikes.

    I don’t know of many police departments that pull people over for going 37 mph in a 35 zone even though those speeders are breaking the law. The police seem to prefer to enforce the laws that really do impact public safety. What’s quite frustrating here is that this intersection and whole area does have some real safety concerns for bikes — the bike lane going east on Broadway here, between the Broadway Bridge and Williams, is terrible. The bike lanes are often filled with leaves, glass, and other road debris. Cars frequently cut across the bike lanes in front of bikes to get into the right turn lanes to turn onto Interstate and Vancouver. There’s not any room for bikes to pass each other. Cars zip past bikes at high speeds. I’ve never seen the police paying any attention to real dangers for bikes here. The closing of Wheeler seems to be the first acknowledgment from the city that cyclists in this area are vulnerable users and need some engineering on our behalf.

    And now there’s a huge PR uproad, so cops are cracking down on the allegedly scofflaw cyclists who were the ones getting run over. It’s just such a waste of time and money.

    And it does seem like the police regularly warn the public about upcoming DUI and crosswalk stings/enforcements. Why aren’t cyclists warned about this? That and the presence of what I believe was a local TV reporter with a cameraman makes me think the police very much want to be filmed giving tickets to cyclists. This is more about PR than law enforcement and certainly it’s not about public safety.

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    • Randall S. August 30, 2012 at 11:56 am

      You brought up a good point: when doing the yapping on your cell-phone while driving stings (something that actually causes deaths), PPB had published warnings about the sting in the paper, and put up sign prior to the stings, and announced it. Why doesn’t this sting require the same treatment, especially when this isn’t even a safety-related enforcement?

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm

        Randall S.

        It depends. Sometimes there is a coordinated media push prior to focused enforcement missions. Usually it’s around a new law/project (like cell phones or bike boxes) or around an ongoing program/partnership (like the crosswalk enforcement actions with PBOT). But literally, just about every day when officers get to work and have their “roll call” meeting, they discuss traffic issues and decide where to focus any enforcement missions that shift. This happens every day… hence they don’t send out out press releases for something that is most often just a regular part of their job.

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        • Randall S. August 30, 2012 at 1:20 pm

          I don’t actually know the law regarding it, but for some reason I thought there was an Oregon statute requiring notification before traffic stings (like DUI stops). I may be completely off base on this though.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      daisy,

      We have to understand that almost nothing done by public agencies is black/white. Often these decisions are made due to a mix of public pressure, media/politics, internal directives, and so on. I think the reply I gave to Bjorn in this same thread will help answer your question. Here it is.

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      • daisy August 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm

        I saw that reply to Bjorn and appreciate your acknowledgment of this. I suppose I don’t mind a general heads up — “this has been a problem and we’re thinking of doing this” — but it was really weird to see that reporter this morning jumping up and down in excitement over the footage she got. I can’t believe she’s an advocate. Unless that was you in the heels and pants suit? :)

        If this action was about building bridges, I’m going to call it a complete failure. Especially when I saw the cops and cameraman and reporter blocking the bike lane! If the cops want to build bridges, then I’d like to see them go after aggressive drivers who harass cyclists. Is that actually happening?

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        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm

          daisy,

          I didn’t say that TV reporter was an advocate. I said I was.

          I didn’t say this action was meant to build bridges. I said my response and attempts at working with/listening to the police is.

          If you are serious about building bridges (as I hope everyone is), I think saying things like “going after” a particular type of road user is not the right way forward.

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  • daisy August 30, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Jonathan, am I wrong that you hinted that you knew about this in advance? How did that reporter get there for this if she wasn’t warned? I don’t think I’m being a crazy conspiracy theorist here.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 30, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Sort of. But it’s not scandalous to think that reporters and the police talk about this type of stuff in the course of working together. In my case, it’s a bit different, because the PPB doesn’t see me as just a reporter. They also know I care about these issues and I might be able to help build a bridge between the community and their police work. I welcome that opportunity. I think given all my experiences working with all sides on these issues over the years, I can help the discussion… so why not try.

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      • daisy August 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm

        Jon, sorry, I asked this question in two different places which made it confusing. I wondered if the police would have tipped the TV reporter that this was happening at Flint — otherwise, it seemed strange that a reporter with a cameraman would know to be there at just the right time. You commented that sometimes police tell advocates these things in advance. But I’m pretty sure the person I saw was a reporter, not an advocate. So, I’m wondering: are police telling reporters to come to this kind of enforcement (which would involve some pre-planning) but not telling the public? If that’s the case, it seems the police are motivated here to get the enforcement actions on camera, which is not about building bridges.

        So that’s what I was trying to get at — who knew about this advance? If reporters knew, why didn’t the police also tell the public? Do the police want to improve their relationship — or their perception of their relationship — with cyclists? Or is this more about PR?

        I don’t expect you to have answers, but that’s what I’m wondering.

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  • Maks August 30, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    just a thought, RE: Ladd — why don’t they put speed bumps on Ladd then add yield at the round-a-bout. that would slow speeders from blowing past the yield signs… what do you think?

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    • Maks August 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      i would imagine that Ladd is the main connection from Division to Hawthorne. i cannot speak about the other roads that connects to the round-a-bout and whether if they’ll need speed bumps as well.

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      • Randall S. August 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm

        If Ladd residents are worried about safety, wouldn’t reducing the number of cars speeding through here be a priority then?

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    • Spiffy August 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      put big speed bumps where the crosswalks are… it bring pedestrians up and makes them more visible and it slows down vehicles at the same time… that’s how crosswalks in other bike-conscious countries are done…

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      • lyle August 30, 2012 at 9:37 pm

        Yeah, but that’s an expense, not a revenue stream.

        The reports are stating that 53 tickets were written at Flint this morning for failure to stop, at $260 a pop.

        Some quick math makes that $13k into the cities coffers. Can’t beat that.

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  • Indy August 30, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    So, short term: Unlucky People get tickets.
    Long term: The area isn’t policed 24/7 and people continue to do rolling stops on bike and car.

    How does this enforcement action accomplish anything long-term? At all? People will continue to roll/stop just as they jaywalk, because the risk/return ratio is low/high.

    Therefore the laws or signage needs to change, not the public’s behavior.

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  • John David August 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I have personally seen many bikers being cited on NE Broadway this week. I ride the popular Vancouver > Flint > Broadway route from NE to Downtown at least five days a week and have seen some close calls at Wheeler & Broadway. If right turns on Wheeler have been disallowed, then why is this still an issue? I slow down and make a safe turn every time, but I almost never come to a full stop. I wonder how strict the police were about requiring a full at that sign…?

    The other serious hazard on that stretch is the cross merging of bikes and motorists before the bridge. Bikers typically merge one block early because the micro-block between Larrabee and the bridge is not sufficiently long. Bikers unfamiliar with this convention get stuck on the far right after everyone else has merged, which is a problem – and they are just following the rules. On the other hand, the majority that are following common sense and not the rules are occasionally yelled at / threatened by motorists that don’t like the premature merging. I witnessed a semi screaming at bikers and even revving his engine and lurching at them for merging a block early. The truck driver wasn’t cut off, he just didn’t like seeing the bikes out in his lane – however – he merged to the right turn lane on the next block and it would have been a disaster if all 10 bikers tried to cross merge with a huge semi on that block, since it is only about 40 meters long.

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  • Craig Harlow August 30, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    If only they could apply the same verve to ticketing cars that don’t stop for people waiting to use unmarked crosswalks.

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  • CPAC August 30, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Full Stop Fridays sound like a great idea to me. For riders first, but expanding it to drivers as well would be even better. I think we’d all see that actually coming to a full stop (whether on a car or a bike) adds no more than a few seconds to our overall commute times.

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    • Randall S. August 30, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      Oooh, and maybe we could also start a “Speed Limit Sundays,” where even a single motorist obeys the speed limit!

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      • Chucklehead August 31, 2012 at 7:36 pm

        Maybe instead of pointing out the shortcomings of others to justify your own, you can just do the right thing in the first place.

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  • Peter August 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Jon,
    Your last two paragraphs made my stomach ache; you wrote them the way a true politician would. Have you considered running for public office?

    You definitely do your best to represent the PPB, maybe they have a job opening in their PR department. Keep up the “loyal” work!

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Sorry you don’t approve; but I stand by those words. I have seen a lot of hate, misunderstanding, and tragedy because of these issues in the past 7 years and I’m trying to help move things forward.

      As for your jab about the PPB PR department. Give me a break. I take it you haven’t read this site very much? I am the first person to call the police out when I feel they are doing the wrong thing. I have a great record of doing that.

      As for public office. I’ve considered it; but not interested.

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      • Peter August 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm

        Jon,

        You may not see the police as doing any wrong here, but I respectfully disagree with you.
        To quote you, “This isn’t about police hating bike riders…”.
        Maybe not, but it is about intimidation, at the least. It’s also about selective enforcement of laws that punish cyclists over motorists.

        By the way, You should reconsider the public office thing…

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  • Meridith August 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    How about we just start behaving like actual ADULTS who obey the traffic laws. Rules of the road that we all agree are good for us no matter if we are bikers/cars/walkers.

    If you’re getting busted, take a good long look at your own behavior before dumping your righteous indignation on some stupid forum and finger pointing at every other group but your own.

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    • Spiffy August 30, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      which one is it? obey the laws, or the ones that we all agree are good for us?
      yes, sometimes it’s just one self-righteous jerk… but what about when it’s 1000 self-righteous jerks?

      to butcher Arlo Guthrie:
      you know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick… and if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both insane… and three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people running that stop sign… they may think it’s an organization… and can you, can you imagine fifty people a day ,I said fifty people a day running that stop sign… and friends they may think it’s a movement…

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    • spare_wheel August 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      “ADULTS who obey the traffic laws.”

      So where are these adults when I am riding down Hawthorne during the morning commute?

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  • Joe August 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    I just don’t understand how many resources can be put into these locations. Are you SERIOUS? I see EVERYDAY cars running stop signs, red lights, making illegal turns, and people texting and cell phone talking. This is the group of people that are piloting 3000+ lb vehicles and this is the the group that needs to be targeted. SERIOUSLY!

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  • J-R August 30, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I stop at STOP signs including the ones at Ladds. I think PBOT is wrong in its insistence on a big, expensive fix. Try YIELD signs for goodness sake. Just TRY them. Do enforcement to protect pedestrians. The only reason STOP signs are installed there is to discourage cut-through auto traffic.

    The occurrence of one bike hits pedestrian crash and some “near misses” (which were probably not really near misses), does not constitute a real safety problem. At least not in comparison to the three motorists who I saw run red lights just this morning.

    Come on PBOT, try some YEILD signs. You try experiments with everything else. Try them here, PLEASE.

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  • styrex August 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Thank goodness those new 20 MPH speed limit signs are also optional. If it’s a nice day and “I” feel safe…step on the gas…full speed ahead. Yea, I appreciate that approach.

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  • Mindful Cyclist August 30, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Jonathan: Maybe you have already done this and I could search the archives (there was the picture on this story that says you did a ride-a-long), but I need to get back to work.

    The question is this? Have you ever been present with the PPB when they were doing an enforcement or asked if you could? I guess the curious part of me really wonders what the police look for? Are they nailing cyclist that do basically an Idaho stop or are they going after the more egregious offenders?

    While I do think the Ladd’s addition enforcement is largely based on NIMBYism (although the sign is clearly there), Flint/Broadway is not. I stated in a previous post about this intersection about all the panic stops I had to do because of another cyclist failing to yield right of way.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      Yes. I’ve done enforcement actions with them (in a patrol car) on three separate occasions.

      On one the focus was speeders on Hwy 26 up near the zoo. This was like taking candy from a baby. Basically he cited people constantly. It was fun!

      The other focus was bike lights. We were looking for ppl without lights. I found the officers to be really nice about it, joking with people, but also giving them tickets and telling them it’s no joke.

      The other time the focus was on people rolling a stop sign in a n’hood in their cars (it was down near Reed College). The cop was mostly looking for egregrious violations, not ticky-tack stuff.

      It’s important to remember that cops are not robots. They are regular folks and they have a wide range of perspectives. Some are cool and reasonable re: bicycling and others like it — and the people who do it — less. Good/bad apples.. just like any group of people.

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      • jered August 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm

        Oh yeah 26 bridge at the zoo. Eyes on the bridge anytime I drive out to work, that is great spot to nail speeders, just around the sweeper corner out of the tunnel. Also eyes on the end of the on ramp just under the cemetery bridge and the base of the hill by murray in the median. Good times – no chatting on the phone – stay focused on 26 or the ticket will be yours!

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  • CaptainKarma August 30, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    This almost seems to be becoming a civil rights issue.

    Also, do Full Stop Fridays include taking the lane at the stop?

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    • GDorn August 30, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      Well, in the case of Ladd’s, there is only one lane with sharrows.

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    • Charley Gee August 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      I always take the lane at a stop to prevent cars from passing me on the left and then turning right across me.

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      • Nicolai August 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm

        Charley, you are just making way too much sense right now. That is exactly the issue at Flint and Broadway. Sure you can merge into the bike lane easily enough but if you can’t stop in time to not run into/get run into by the car turning right directly in front of you onto Wheeler then it only makes sense to actually put a foot down and stop right there. For your own safety, people. Let’s try not to get ourselves killed out there.

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  • John David August 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I forgot to mention that a police motor cycle was completely blocking the bike lane on NE Broadway this morning, just west of Wheeler.

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    • daisy August 30, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      Yeah, I saw this and it made me mad. A cameraman was blocking one part of the bike lane, and a cop motorcycle was blocking another part. Not so good for public safety, even if the cop was technically able to do that (he was parked right next to a parking lot).

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  • ME 2 August 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I’m not opposed to traffic stings but they do seem to be done in a political matter as opposed to being really about safety. I live on NE 37 and requested a sting on my street several years ago. The reason being is I noticed an increase in traffic speeding through our street. We figured it was traffic wanting to get off a congested NE 33rd and rush to their destination. I specifically noted the problem was greatest during rush hour (5-7 PM) so what does PoPo do? Send a car out 1 PM for an hour and send us a report noting they did not observe significant traffic volumes or speeding as the reason for declining a traffic sting. I just don’t bother with them anymore nor will I believe its about safety over politics
    after this experience.

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  • jered August 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Flint has been a longtime part of my commute and I’ve had ample experience from the Broadway side as well. The corner is one that demands a full stop. I’d love to see PPB there everyday. I’ve almost been hit by bikes pulling out in front of me. I’ve rolled the stop sign and almost hit another cyclist – NOT COOL. If you get a ticket for not obeying the law then you have nothing to complain about. If you lack situational awareness and don’t notice the sting from your bike and run the sign – oh well – pay the ticket.

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  • Spiffy August 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    “Your honor, I do not understand the nature of the law as it applies to my vehicle. As I am essentially traveling at the speed of a jogger I cannot comprehend how this represents a threat to public safety when there was no presence of an immediate safety threat to any involved party.”

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    • pengo August 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm

      Unless your hubs are filled with peanut butter and bubble gum you’re traveling at the very least three times faster than the average jogger, often more than that.

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      • Paul in the 'couve August 30, 2012 at 10:14 pm

        Average jogger’s speed estimate 12 minute miles = 5 miles per hour. I’d say very few cyclists approach- much less take – this corner at 3 times the speed of an average jogger. I observe that most coast down to right around 10 mph the last 15 or 20 feet, then some do take the corner at that speed, but most brake at least some and slow to about 5 going around the corner, so I’ll go with “about the speed of the average jogger.”

        And if those speeds sound so terribly fast, how often can cars go anything less than 10mph? 10 mph is REALLY slow in a car. THat’s why CARS do need to STOP. Because drivers judgement of speed in a car is that 10mph is barely moving. Perception, sometimes leads to bad logic.

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  • Johnny Blaze August 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    This is what our tax dollars are doing!!? go bust real criminals for pete sake!!!

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  • Jeff August 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    MAKE IT A PROPER TRAFFIC CIRCLE!!!

    CONVERT TO YIELD NOW!!!!

    ALL OTHER OPTIONS ARE UNETHICAL!

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    • Jeff August 30, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      Only to you really. I’m not sure ethics have anything to do with it.

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    • Kristen August 31, 2012 at 9:32 am

      It IS a proper traffic circle. Traffic circles are controlled by stop signs. Maybe what you needed to say was “MAKE IT A PROPER ROUNDABOUT” as roundabouts are controlled by yields.

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  • Rita August 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Ya know, if you don’t read this forum or actually run across a sting, how is a biker supposed to know it’s an issue? Yes, the stop signs are there, but as was said above, neither bike nor car actions currently lead one to believe that stopping with a foot down is expected behavior. A recommendation (along with Full Stop Friday) is to come up with a series of burma-shave style signs and place them in their series approaching the circle – shift them to different spokes to keep it fresh, put thank you messages on the back side, and make them positive. Amuse while educating! Because the goal isn’t getting some group to admit blame, but to make change the culture such that it’s not an issue any more.

    (Note: not only have I never come across the sting, I’ve never seen a pedestrian walking on the circle sidewalks when I cross it on my bike. It’s not my normal route, but I do go through it once a month or so)

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    • Rita August 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      While I hike
      Skip, twirl or hop
      I know the bike
      is going to stop
      (burma shave! – no, we need a catchy phrase here)

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  • Jeremy Cohen August 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I know it has been said before, but I can’t get around the class issue here. I’ve ridden the Ladd circle hundreds of times and there is almost no danger to be had there. Meanwhile, in other parts of the city there are dangerous driving situations by the minute. PPB traffic should use DATA to drive their decision making–not whiny callers from affluent neighborhoods. At the start of each day during the morning briefing, PPB could use the information contained in crash reports, injuries and fatalities to dictate where they need to place more officers. We live in a data-rich world yet this enforcement reeks of cronyism and connection-based favoring. How many residents in other neighborhoods can’t seem to get an officer to show up when there has been a pattern of real crime?

    This makes me wonder what the threshold is for a “sting” to be set up. Is there a guideline that PPB follows (after x number of calls we set up a sting) or is it left to the discretion of the assigning officers?

    Finally, I live near a greenway and I have never once felt that increased bike traffic was a problem–in fact I would gladly increase bike traffic at any speed and close the street to cars–which are likely to hurt/kill my children, neighbors and livability.

    UGH.

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  • Andrew August 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    So, when’s the next PPB sting for cell phones while driving?

    Never?

    Oh, right.

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    • Chucklehead September 1, 2012 at 12:13 am

      Therefore you should be able to also commit murder…..some other people are not being caught for breaking the law.

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  • Katie August 30, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I’m a Ladd’s resident. I think the stop sign stings are a poor use of resources. I put in a polite request this morning asking for more enforcement of speeding in the neighborhood: a real problem, especially around the start of school, that puts lives at risk. I hope they are able to help.

    (I’d also like to see the whole neighborhood zoned to 20 mph– with all of our blind corners, root-rough streets, narrow avenues choked with on-street parking, and uncontrolled intersections, 25 is just too fast.)

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  • Kristen August 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    “In the U.S., traffic engineers use the term roundabout for intersections in which entering traffic must yield to traffic already in the circle, reserving the term traffic circle for those in which entering traffic is controlled by stop signs, traffic signals, or is not formally controlled.”

    Reference: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/00067/000671.pdf

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  • Sunny August 30, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    A bicycle symbol in the middle of a small yield sign under the existing stop signs. Then giant signs that read ‘STOP FOR PEDESTRIANS’. Amateurs.

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  • Chris August 30, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    OK guys, I’m the mythical Ladd’s resident, AND I commute (sometimes) on bike. I also know, appreciate, and trust Jonathon to report this issue correctly. But 80% of you here just completely don’t get it.

    Ladd’s Addition is changing demographics. Parents of young children are moving in at a significant rate, buying homes from older citizens or estates. One of the big reasons so many move here…

    Abernathy Elementary… its in the Division/12th corner of the neighborhood. Each weekday, 70-80% of Abernathy children walk or ride to school. These are elementary kids. Sometimes 4 or 5 with one parent (or 6 in the case of one famous bicycling mother here in the ‘hood). We have to walk around Ladd’s Circle twice a day with (in my case 3) kids twice. Both close to “rush hour”.

    Are we nearly hit by cars? No. Cars let us go in front of them at a surprising rate, and we’re always able to spot them coming and be careful of them anyways. Cars stopping at those stop signs are not a major concern for the safety of my kids.

    Daily, there are cyclist blasting in front, behind, and around us as we try and cross the crosswalks there. With my 3 kids. You want to find something that will piss a Ladd’s resident off more than strafing his kids with a bike going 20mph? Good f***ing luck. And we see it EVERY DAY. Sure, < 20% stop and let us go. Its so rare, we actively thank anyone that does.

    You think there's a chance they'll put yield signs in here with Ladd's resident feeling this way? You've GOT to be kidding me. Might as well ask me to start driving my kids the 1/4 of a mile to school.

    I ride through the circle daily, and I've NEVER been nearly rear ended, never endangered myself by stopping AT ALL. Sure it cost me a couple of watts. So what. I'm commuting, not racing the Grand Fondo. I have, however nearly been collided with when driving my car. I stopped at the circle and a cyclist nearly slammed into the back of the car. Ironic? Moderately. This is not a cyclist safety issue. Its a major pedestrian safety issue.

    It cracks me up when you guys talk about the proper design of a roundabout. This is not a roundabout. Ladd's Circle was designed in 1892 as a road that circled a communal garden. It was never designed to be a heavily travelled round-about, and I assure you, Ladd's resident will never let it be one. If you read the KOIN article, you see they mentioned that 600 complaints were filed in 1 year regarding this behavior. *600*.

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    • MossHops August 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      Chris, I understand your point and I understand how frustrated some who live in Ladd’s must be. However, my logic goes like this:

      600 complaints < 1 death

      There are a massive amount of traffic infractions that happen in the city on a daily basis. I wish the PPD would focus on those that do, or are likely to, kill people.

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      • Chris August 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm

        That’s OK. I don’t disagree. If the police don’t have time to protect the children of Ladds, we go through the motions to make the street much, much less effective as a bicycle thoroughfare.

        There are residents here with a lot of clout and money, and all it would take is one child hurt.

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        • 9watts August 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm

          “There are residents here with a lot of clout and money”

          thanks for the reminder.

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          • Chris August 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm

            I assure you, I have neither :) But its a reminder of the obvious. I think the residents like having the cyclists around… but for most, I wouldnt call it “love”.
            An analogy would be the people living around Forest Park. It could be a world-class MTB destination if the residents just let us work out the multi-use issues. But a very small number of nearby residents have eliminated the conversation, somehow, from the universe.

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        • lyle August 31, 2012 at 8:06 am

          And how many children have been hurt, while we’re on the topic?

          Since it’s such a traffic hazard and all, with all us scofflaw stop-sign rollers?

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          • Chris August 31, 2012 at 9:42 am

            If the answer was <0, we wouldnt be having this conversation. Imagine an adult on a cycle going 15mph hitting a 4 year old. The neighborhood would have taken the city code to the city (Ladd's shall not be maintained as a thoroughfare) and forced the city to choke cyclists and cars off. Very few neighbors actually leave via the Clay/Ladd/12th, so we could just block that whole corner off to all traffic like they have in parts of Laurelhurst and isolated East Moreland.

            I'm trying to help. If I can just convince a higher portion of cyclists to obey the law, use 10 extra watts each day, Ladd's can become a legendary bike greenway.

            If cyclist want to continue to use "poor traffic engineering" as a reason they can't (or dont want to) obey the law, and the issue gets worse, its going to come to a head, and cyclist will lose what is today a nice, safe way from 12th and Hawthorne to 20th and Division.

            I thought if you could just see the problem (pedestrians) instead of what people thought it really was (cars vs. bikes), you would understand. I'm not feeling that.

            You'd rather point out that the enforcement should be used elsewhere than acknowledge that you are pissing off a neighborhood that many seem to use twice a day rather than use an extra 10 watts.

            Rage against the (stop sign) machine, guys. Fight the power.

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            • 9watts August 31, 2012 at 9:51 am

              Like I said, I think we do need to figure out a solution, a compromise, a new way of looking at the problem and hearing each other. Why not organize an event where the aggrieved neighbors and the ticketed people on bikes could sit down for some tea and cookies in Ladd’s Circle and talk through the issue, listen to each other. Maybe even invite a few policemen and Jonathan to sit in. I bet we’d all learn a lot. Who knows, an unexpected solution might even arise, float to the top?

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            • MossHops August 31, 2012 at 10:23 am

              “Very few neighbors actually leave via the Clay/Ladd/12th, so we could just block that whole corner off to all traffic like they have in parts of Laurelhurst and isolated East Moreland.”

              No way in hell this is going to happen. These streets are not owned by the those who live in Ladd’s. They are owned by the public. People in Ladd’s might not like it, but it’s in the public’s best interest to have a neighborhood greenway run through the center of it.

              Furthermore, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Ladd’s can choose one of two options:

              1. Welcome cyclists, encourage good behavior, and anticipate that there are going to be a few rule breakers at the poorly designed traffic circle that is Ladd’s circle.

              2. Don’t welcome cyclists and continue to complain and continue to trump up the safety concerns. If this is the course that Ladd’s chooses, then we should remove the greenway though Ladds. However, we should also remove the traffic calming device that currently prevents cars from going straight down Harrison into Ladds, that prevents cars moving northbound on 20th to turn left into Ladds, and remove the curb on Ladd that prevents cars from making a left on Clay. You may get less bicycle traffic this way, but you also will increase auto traffic and auto speeds.

              Either you accept a greenway complete with significant bicycle traffic and traffic calming devices, or you don’t, and you get neither.

              I live on Lincoln if anything I want MORE bicyclists on my street.

              Do you understand why Ladd’s is getting a bad reputation on all of this? Does it not strike you that this neighborhood has a very good deal going when it comes to auto/bike/pedestrian traffic and yet they still loudly complain and take city resources because it falls short of their ideal?

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              • wsbob August 31, 2012 at 5:08 pm

                “…Welcome cyclists, encourage good behavior, and anticipate that there are going to be a few rule breakers …” MossHops

                Cyclists are welcome in Ladd’s. They’re just not welcome to arrogantly use it as a bike commuter thoroughfare with a waiver to disregard stop signs. People choosing to ride through this neighborhood, or for that matter…any neighborhood, have an obligation to make a passage through it that reflects a conscientious respect for the fact that people live there.

                Ladd’s Addition is a mere 8 blocks by 9 blocks wide. I believe when designated as a bike route, the idea in mind was for the popular Ladd Ave route that runs diagonally through this older Portland neighborhood, to provide the experience of an urban byway…in a beautiful setting, a kind of relief from heavier traffic on the neighborhood’s perimeter.

                I don’t believe there was ever the intention for the neighborhood to provide a high volume bike commuter thoroughfare. If at some time that did become an intention, there’s little justification for it, given that actual thoroughfares that could serve high numbers of bike commuters, exist on Ladd’s perimeter.

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            • 9watts August 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm

              lyle:
              “And how many children have been hurt, while we’re on the topic?”

              Chris:
              “If the answer was <0, we wouldnt be having this conversation."

              I'm trying to imagine a negative number of injuries suffered by little pedestrians in Ladd's Circle. By <0 do you mean kids knocking stop-sign-blowing bikers off their bikes? That outcome could, I suppose, be scored as <0 children hurt….

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          • Kristen August 31, 2012 at 9:47 am

            I think you’d find that the number of actual injuries isn’t that high– mostly because those in danger of being injured by cyclists blowing through stop signs have the presence of mind to jump out of the way.

            Or their parents grab them out of harm’s way.

            Or the cyclist swerves to avoid running them down.

            Does it matter? The perception is that cyclists blowing through stop signs are creating a dangerous, hazardous condition. I don’t see how the neighborhoods or the city would be interested in increasing the perceived danger and hazard by NOT doing stop sign stings, by removing the stop signs and replacing them with yields.

            Maybe if 85% of the road users through here showed a willingness to even try to be polite road users, I could see the neighborhoods and city consider the idea.

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          • Chucklehead September 1, 2012 at 12:33 am

            Then you should not mind cars rolling through stop signs everywhere so long as nobody gets hurt.

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    • 9watts August 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks for posting, Chris, and providing an important counter to what many of us are saying. Your concerns strike me as valid, and important to consider, except that when compared to what happens across this big city of ours, the lack of (reported) injury or hospitalization is hard to square with the overall statistics when it comes to the 600 complaints you mentioned. To me it points to how well the Ladd’s folks are organized more than it suggests a safety crisis.
      I’m not excusing the flagrant behavior you identify, but there’s still a difference between what you call strafing by someone on a bicycle, and being run over by a car and sent to the hospital.
      Clearly a solution, a compromise, a new way of looking at this problem is overdue, but I don’t think focusing more police resources on bike riders blowing stop signs in Ladd’s is warranted when in other parts of town actual people are being run down and in some cases killed. It just doesn’t compute.

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      • Chris August 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm

        I replied to MossHops above the same way. I can’t comment on the resource issue, and I don’t disagree. If the police don’t have time to protect the children of Ladds, we go through the motions to make the street much, much less effective as a bicycle thoroughfare.

        There are residents here with a lot of clout and money, and all it would take is one child hurt.

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        • 9watts August 30, 2012 at 4:45 pm

          What some of us hear in your summary is that the imagined risks to children in Ladd’s are more important, (will be understood by city leaders as more important thanks to the money and clout) than the actual dangers faced every day by people of all ages all across this town, but along high-crash corridors in particular, that police resources are usefully distributed in this lopsided manner.

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          • Chris August 30, 2012 at 6:41 pm

            Those of us walking our kids to school every day dont *imagine* the risks… they are plain as day.

            If you are asking us to not complain to the police because we acknowledge there are greater dangers elsewhere… thats far more egalitarian than people with children are likely to be.

            Myself? I complain all the time about the people driving 35+ down my street. When I complain I don’t envision a resource being taken away from a murder… I envision one less officer radaring cars driving up Hwy26 by the Zoo.

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            • Chris I August 31, 2012 at 9:27 am

              There are risks, but I think that those complaining are biased, because they primarily drive. They equate a bike not stopping with a car not stopping, which is extremely dangerous. But bikes are fundamentally different. They weigh 20-30 times less than a car, and travel at slower speeds. They are more maneuverable, so a “near miss” with a bike is a much less dangerous event. I do think that cyclists here need to be more courteous to pedestrians, but I think the risks are overstated.

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              • Kristen August 31, 2012 at 9:49 am

                I would invite you to be the pedestrian in your example; please report honestly on how it made you feel, to be *almost* mowed down by a cyclist who swerved away from you at the last second, or who didn’t hit you because you ran to avoid a collision, or jumped out of the way to avoid being hit.

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    • 9watts August 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm

      “Ladd’s Circle was designed in 1892 as a road that circled a communal garden.”

      not so many cars or people or bicycles traveling through their in 1892 either. and let’s not forget that the STOP sign wasn’t even invented until 1915.

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    • 9watts August 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      “Might as well ask me to start driving my kids the 1/4 of a mile to school.”

      I’m not sure how that follows. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. You already mentioned that you sometimes bike. Cue Emily Finch…. Or you could all take kazoos along and if/when you enter the war zone, you could hum a merry tune. I be that would attract the attention of the would-be strafers.

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      • Chris August 30, 2012 at 6:08 pm

        My wife and Emily are good friends, they both have cargo bikes, and they both have “sound systems”. She was quite good at the Disaster Recovery cargo bike race.

        But we should be able to cross a pedestrian crossing, marked with a stop sign, without resorting to asking my 4-yr old to ride down the middle of the road.

        Again, I don’t think you are actually suggesting that none of the kids should walk to school… that would be odd.

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        • 9watts August 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm

          “Again, I don’t think you are actually suggesting that none of the kids should walk to school… that would be odd.”
          No I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that. The kazoos bit I meant as accompaniment to the walking–while we figure out a compromise that gets us past this impasse.

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    • Scott August 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      Ladd’s Addition is filled with affluent and upper middle class to wealthy people. I can’t imagine a single thing that they could internalize and pass off as an affront to their station in society that wouldn’t piss them off.

      Pay to have crossing guards. You guys have the money. Why waste the time of the police when they can be helping people who don’t have a historic homes tour in their neighborhood that costs like $25 or something.

      And yes, I do think you should use your hard earned money to change something you don’t like. You can’t take it with you.

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      • Chris August 30, 2012 at 6:12 pm

        None of the ways that influence and money will change this likely have good endings for cyclists. Again… I’m a cyclist too. Asking cyclists to *obey the law* seems the easiest way to avoid a conflict between my neighbors and my friends.

        I can assure you that if the republican next door spends money, it won’t be for something as bike-friendly as a crossing guard.

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  • daisy August 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    PPB has a press release on this “Share the Road” mission. http://www.portlandonline.com/police/pbnotify.cfm?action=ViewContent&content_id=3296

    “50 cyclists and four motor vehicles were stopped.”

    Because it’s cyclists who aren’t sharing the road?

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  • Chris August 30, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    daisy
    PPB has a press release on this “Share the Road” mission. http://www.portlandonline.com/police/pbnotify.cfm?action=ViewContent&content_id=3296
    “50 cyclists and four motor vehicles were stopped.”
    Because it’s cyclists who aren’t sharing the road?
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    Yes, they arent sharing it with pedestrians trying to cross those crosswalks.

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    • Nathan August 31, 2012 at 11:57 am

      The article is about the Flint/Broadway intersection. This is admittedly anecdotal, but I’ve seen one person cross Flint in the crosswalk despite having ridden through that intersection daily for a couple of years.

      Calling the mission a “Share the Road” mission sticks thickly in the maw of someone who regularly experiences aggressive, let alone non-sharing, behavior from people in motor vehicles.

      That said, if this report makes angry drivers feel like people riding bicycles are being held accountable for bad behavior (and thus, less angry), great. I doubt it will, though.

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  • spare_wheel August 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    “You want to find something that will piss a Ladd’s resident off more than strafing his kids with a bike going 20mph?”

    I have ridden around Ladd’s many hundreds of times and have never seen a cyclist strafe a child at 20 mph.

    Even the infamous Ladd’s addition stop sign video shows three cyclists coming to a full stop the minute a pedestrian steps into the crosswalk (as is their legal responsibility).

    http://vimeo.com/25717583

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    • Chris August 30, 2012 at 5:37 pm

      So wait… You are saying that because you haven’t seen it, it isn’t happening?

      Maybe that’s the way to make it an immediate Residents vs. Cyclists battle. Claim the residents are lying or exaggerating.

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      • spare_wheel August 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm

        You are very good at creating straw men, chris. I was merely stating my experience to counteract your statement that you and your children are strafed by scofflaw cyclists twice a day.

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    • Jeff August 30, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      I’ve seen it, a few times. Young mothers trying to walk their kids across a sidewalk, only to get 1/2 way across to get buzzed by some a-hole on 2 wheels. I typically stop as I always do, apologize for a-hole’s behavior, and wave them across.

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      • Chris August 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm

        Thank you, Jeff. Seriously. On some days it seems like a rare, very welcome deed.

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        • Sunny August 30, 2012 at 6:55 pm

          You should teach your kids to have their heads on a swivel and that danger lurks everywhere and to be alert at ALL TIMES because we’ve got to do it for the kids. Why won’t anyone think of the kids??? Let’s not grow our kids to be pansies, k. I was a tough little bastard but not everyone can have their black belt* at age 5.

          *candle making

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      • dan August 30, 2012 at 9:43 pm

        I’ve seen some poor decisions too… I once saw another cyclist go AROUND a car that was stopped at the stop sign…that cyclist then cut off a woman in the crosswalk who was pushing a stroller AND walking her dog. It was so over-the-top d*ckish that I almost laughed — talk about an inflated sense of self-importance, and disrespecting vulnerable road users.

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        • lyle August 31, 2012 at 7:54 am

          Of course that’s dickish, and that person royally deserves a ticket.

          However, in the eyes of the PPB, and of the people who complain constantly, coming to a rolling stop when you can see for fifty yards that you have a clear path, is exactly the same action as this person took. And on top of that, the same action that someone would have taken had they done it in a car/truck instead of on bike.

          The whole circular argument we’re having here is that there is no rationality to the rule. It’s a traffic circle, it gives you incredible visibility approaching it if you are riding in a safe and aware manner, and conducting a rolling stop after all these factors are considered, and after you’ve ascertained that you have a safe path to continue, is a reasonable expectation.

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          • 9watts August 31, 2012 at 8:16 am

            “if you are riding in a safe and aware manner, and conducting a rolling stop after all these factors are considered, and after you’ve ascertained that you have a safe path to continue, is a reasonable expectation.”

            My understanding (see earlier parts of this conversation) is that this is not so different from the discretion the PPB are using in their sting. They’re (we are told) not ticketing those who slow down and paying attention, just those who are ‘blowing’ the stop sign. I think we need to give credit where credit is due.
            (See this comment http://bikeportland.org/2012/08/30/police-enforcement-at-ladd-circle-n-flint-riles-feathers-once-again-76720#comment-3184935 and those surrounding it.)

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            • Chris August 31, 2012 at 11:58 am

              As long as someone can safely stop for anyone (of any size) using the crosswalk, I don’t care if they stop, slow way down, do a flip, or anything else.

              It is, however, pretty tough to see both sides of the crosswalk and come to a complete stop in time to let someone through if you dont slow down below 3-4mph.

              Somehow, I bet that’s the threshold the officers were using.

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          • Chris August 31, 2012 at 9:07 am

            But its not uncommon!!! Drive through the neighborhood at rush hour. Stop your car at the stop sign. Cyclists swing past you between the car and the sidewalk. How they could see a pedestrian, I have no idea.

            So as you are rolling NW, you can see there arent any kids behind the bus stop and paper box?
            As you are SE on Ladd, you can see there arent pedestrians behind the tree around the corner? Eventually we just say a Hail Mary and put ourselves out there.

            Sure its porrly designed, but it was designed with a stop sign in mind. Once you stop, you can see everything.

            Daily we stand there and wait as cyclists zoom in front of us… and at least 1/2 don’t even see us there.

            At least a *few* try and stop… but once you see the people a the cross walk, they cant usually stop. A couple apologize as they skid past us.

            Its getting to be such an issue here that people CANT understand how those intersections work from pedestrian point of view, I’m getting tempted to make a video… but the problem is with a video, its a) a pain in the ass (I have a job, 3 kids, and a bike-racing hobby), and b) it may irritate the residents further. Residents who don’t cross the crosswalk regularly might see the video. I want to prove a point, not start a war.

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            • 9watts August 31, 2012 at 9:18 am

              “Sure its porrly designed, but it was designed with a stop sign in mind. ”

              That is extremely unlikely, stop signs didn’t come along until a quarter century after William Ladd laid out the streets, see http://bikeportland.org/2012/08/30/police-enforcement-at-ladd-circle-n-flint-riles-feathers-once-again-76720#comment-3185379

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              • Chris August 31, 2012 at 10:39 am

                By “designed” I mean where they put the bus stop, where they put the tree, where they put the car parking.

                As people come down Harrison, they cant see a child around the car parked right in front of the intersection until they have almost stopped at the intersection.

                As people come up Ladd in the evening, they can’t see who’s around the corner past the trees at the cross walk until they are nearly AT the crosswalk.

                As people come down Ladd in the morning, they can’t see around the bus stop and the paper box if a pedestrian is waiting until they are slmost at the line.

                That is what I meant. And if folks reason “Lets make it a yeild sign, get rid of the bus stops, the trees, the car parking…” I have news. The neighborhood is NOT in a mood to make the neighborhood more accomadating to the group of people that CHOOSE not to stop at the stop signs today.

                And yes, the guy that strafes us may be the 1/20… but he sure makes an impression to everyone.

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                • 9watts August 31, 2012 at 10:44 am

                  Fine, then perhaps the redesign of these trouble spots should seek to ‘unhide’ the approaching pedestrians. This is certainly not uncommon along other corridors.
                  Or we could go with Monderman and get rid of all the signage, increase uncertainty (= vigilance) for all participants.

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      • spare_wheel August 31, 2012 at 7:04 am

        “a few times”

        vs

        “strafing his kids with a bike going 20mph? Good f***ing luck. And we see it EVERY DAY.”

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  • Lenny Anderson August 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Its sad that data does not rule in these cases. Police resources should be applied to the most dangerous activities where they occur with greatest frequency. Abusing the traffic police for PR purposes is inappropriate at best. It is a simple fact that on a daily basis residents of this town encounter numerous motor vehicles exceeding speed limits, ignoring stop sign, and running red lights. These behaviors put the life, limb and property of others at risk. Coasting thru a stop sign on a bike pales in comparison to utter insignificance. PBOT should be ashamed.

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    • spare_wheel August 30, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      there is absolutely no data showing that the ladd’s traffic circle is a dangerous intersection. so while we can disagree about our anecdotal observations of relative safety, its tragic and foolish that the city is spending money on enforcement in ladd’s addition when so many people have died on foster and other truly dangerous roads.

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  • Ted Buehler August 30, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    “Even though PBOT analysis shows a myriad of dangerous factors that contributed to the Wheeler right-hooks…”

    All the more reason for road users to comply with traffic control devices. With diligence.

    Ted Buehler

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  • Scott August 30, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Who was the guy from Norway or Denmark that scientifically proved that people actually drive, bike, and walk better in the absence of all traffic controls?

    It’s like the general back at HQ versus the general on the field. The person in the thick of it is always a better judge of the situation.

    If everyone just used their brain, payed attention, understood their vehicles very well, and stopped txt’ing/talking on the phone/tuning the radio while operating their form of conveyance it would be a huge improvement over anything achievable through obeying laws.

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    • 9watts August 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      “Who was the guy from Norway or Denmark that scientifically proved that people actually drive, bike, and walk better in the absence of all traffic controls?”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Monderman

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  • Sunny August 30, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I used to look up to that catherine ciarlo…now, um…hmmm…i don’t know

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  • Rol August 30, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Today the sun rose over Portland, warmed the air, and burned off the clouds as it traveled its usual slow arc across the sky. Farmers were busy with the harvesting of early crops. The tide went out, came back in, and went out again. People went to work and school, had lunch, came home, had dinner. Tourists and visitors wandered about in search of whatever promise is held within a new unfamiliar place. The wind blew steadily in off the ocean, rolling over the hills and through the valleys, bending leafy green branches slightly. The great groaning earth hurtled through space 800,000 miles. And a police enforcement at Ladd Circle ruffled feathers once again.

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  • Kevin Wagoner August 30, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I could not agree more with this statement, “Statistics support that the most dangerous behaviors involve speeding, distracted driving and driving while impaired.” There is too much on the line to not focus all of our efforts on the dangerous behaviors that the BTA highlights. If we had more officers for enforcement I would be totally cool with this effort. But the reality is we don’t have enough officers for enforcement. I really wish we would start automate speeding enforcement to address the issue since we likely won’t ever have enough officers.

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  • staborrez August 30, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    I’m gunna go out on a limb and say that I suspect the majority of the people using SE Ladd in cars are the people that live in the neighborhood. It’s not any kind of “real” shortcut. The lights at 12th and Hawthorn and 20th and Division (If I remember right are about 3 minute waits) are a couple of the longest duration red lights in the city.

    I don’t do it daily,but I do ride Ladd at least once a week (often more), but I’d say I’ve noticed most the cars I encounter on it don’t seem go all the way from one corner to the the other. And if people could be totally honest as car drivers, we’d all admit that the stop signs that we’re more likely to not come to a full stop are the ones closest to our houses. Familiarity brings a false sense of security.

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  • John I. August 30, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Late to this party. I ride Ladds daily and never stop. Its the law, but its a lame one. I used to try. Motorists and other cyclists made that difficult.

    Fact is a bicyclist is not a car and not quite a pedestrian. “The system” wants to lump bikes in with cars and wave a self-righteous at them if they don’t behave as a car. The whole “If we gotta then they gotta” attitude. We go along with it because it gives us certain rights on the road, but it falls short.

    We need a different set of laws for bikes. They don’t have to be to different, just enough where things like physics are taken into account. The people in Ladds complaining need to understand for every bike there could be cars instead increasing traffic (that speeds and runs stop sighs).

    Remember up on terwillegar when the put up cones to keep cars from turning the wrong direction into on of the turn off areas. It didn’t work so they made it legal for the cars to turn. Wish they could do something like that at Ladds.

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  • Terry D August 30, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    I just came back to check in and just two stores down from this one on Oregonlive.com is about two pedestrians rushed to the hospital. They were struck by an auto on SE Divison/ 142nd and were in a legal crosswalk.

    Hm…..this seems to happen on these wide arterials in east Portland a lot…..maybe the PPD could do some stings there targeting fast autos instead? OH, I forgot. Citizen’s out there are not very well connected….

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  • Dan Christensen August 31, 2012 at 1:30 am

    I must have been lucky going through there driving the #10 bus, Some people skip the stop but I saw far more stopping. Now I don’t roll in the morning but the one in 99 has to be a bit of an exaggeration. I think a interesting thread going through many of the post above is the simple fact that many stopped at the posted signs in the past, but conditions and habit has changed that. Habits are a difficult thing to combat.

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  • Brrr August 31, 2012 at 2:21 am

    I’ve never been to Portland, but I just checked out Ladd’s Circle on Google Streetview. That is roundabout, plain and simple. It’s ridiculous that anyone is expected to stop, that is not how that infrastructure is designed to work. It’s not the cyclists that are wrong, it’s the stop signs that are in error. Give those tickets to the civic planners who put them there.

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    • Chris August 31, 2012 at 9:16 am

      So wait… you havent been there, you don’t live there, but Google Maps makes it obvious?

      You see the elementary school, right? Maybe not, but thats surprising. Google Maps is all you need to know to prescribe traffic engineering.

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      • Brrr August 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm

        Not MAPS, STREET VIEW. I entered the circle from several entry points, and travelled all the way around it. I saw everything you would see if you were standing right there. I can see the sharrow paint on the asphalt, the cross walks, the stop signs, the one hour parking signs, etc. I can see that you have an unencumbered view of almost half way around the circle long before you even get to the intersections.

        And, I know how a roundabout works. Do YOU?

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        • spare_wheel August 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm

          As someone who rides this route very often I want to state that you are absolutely correct. In contrast to Chris’ assertion, the major entry points to the Ladd’s addition roundabout have unobstructed views of the surrounding side walks and the roundabout road. There is no absolutely no reason to come to a complete stop as long as the cyclist proceeds cautiously through the intersection.

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          • dan August 31, 2012 at 3:09 pm

            spare_wheel
            As someone who rides this route very often I want to state that you are absolutely correct. In contrast to Chris’ assertion, the major entry points to the Ladd’s addition roundabout have unobstructed views of the surrounding side walks and the roundabout road. There is no absolutely no reason to come to a complete stop as long as the cyclist proceeds cautiously through the intersection.
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            That’s interesting. I would say that when you’re in-bound on Ladd Ave (heading towards the circle), that your view of pedestrians to your right at the stop sign is limited by the hedge/shrub there, and a collision is a possibility if both cyclist and pedestrian are moving at a good speed (and not expecting cross traffic).

            There’s perfect visibility to the left, yes, but I feel visibility to the right is obscured enough that it merits slowing down. Spare_wheel, you don’t agree with that?

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        • Chris August 31, 2012 at 2:12 pm

          Sorry

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        • Chris August 31, 2012 at 2:15 pm

          Sorry, I saw exactly the opposite… StreetView made it look even worse than I expected, and thats from the center of the road, not the right.

          But I digress, I have no interest in arguing with someone who doesnt live here or cycle through here.

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    • Kristen August 31, 2012 at 10:59 am

      Actually, if you do your research, you will see that Ladd’s Circle was designed as a traffic circle. The difference between a roundabout and a traffic circle is that a traffic circle is controlled by stop signs– which this is.

      It was designed as a traffic circle around a rose garden, with more gardens on the outside. It was never designed as a roundabout.

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      • 9watts August 31, 2012 at 2:05 pm

        Kristen,

        I’d be curious to see the results of your research. I’ve never claimed that the center of Ladd’s Addition was designed as a roundabout, but saying it was designed with stop signs in mind is hard to square with the fact that stop signs weren’t invented until 23 years after the land that was to become Ladd’s Addition had been divided up and built up (the latter was admittedly gradual). I’ve been trying to find out when stop signs came to Portland, and someone probably even has historic photos that might show or permit calculation of their arrival in Ladd’s Addition. I’d guess no earlier than 1920. Let’s not forget that most of our signage, signals, striping, etc. came along in response to the speeds and dangers of increasing volumes of car traffic.

        Horses and bicycles and people I suspect got along just fine in the 1890s, 1900s, 1910s, etc. in Ladd’s without benefit of stop signs.

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  • lyle August 31, 2012 at 7:42 am

    I’d be interested to see the expression on the faces of all the complainers in Ladd’s that are clearly spurring on this pointless and unnecessary action if we all decided to hop in our cars and drive through Ladd’s for a week, as opposed to getting wherever we’re going on our bikes. And for realism’s sake, half of us will be on our cellphones weaving and driving erratically, half of us will be speeding 10mph over the speed limit, half of us won’t use our turn signals on ANY of the stops or intersections, and almost all of us will roll through the stop signs in the middle of the traffic circle. Except this time we’ll be in 3-5000 lb boxes of steel that make it twice as hard to hear or see people on food near said stop signs.

    How many people travel by bike per day through there? 10k?

    “God, it’s just SO loud and dangerous today. My peaceful idyll doesn’t feel so peaceful lately. I wonder what it could be. Hmmmm.”

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    • Chris August 31, 2012 at 9:12 am

      As long as you stop at the stop signs, I don’t think we’d really care. Good luck waiting for those lights at 20th/Division and 12th/Ladd.

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      • spare_wheel August 31, 2012 at 11:58 am

        I’m confused. Is it the “strafing of the children” or is it cyclists rolling through stop signs? If its its the latter then I think you are beating a dead horse. Every bit of real world evidence suggests that the Idaho stop is the inevitable destination of bicycle traffic law.

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        • Chris August 31, 2012 at 2:03 pm

          I have no problem with a cyclist ignoring a stop sign in the absence of pedestrians, other cars, or other cyclists. I’m just a fellow cyclist (who is a stop-sign Nazi even when I ride, though I wont force it on anyone else) who needs to protect his young kids walking across these intersections 6 or 7 days a week.

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    • wsbob August 31, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      “I’d be interested to see the expression on the faces of all the complainers in Ladd’s that are clearly spurring on this pointless and unnecessary action if we all decided to hop in our cars and drive through Ladd’s for a week, as opposed to getting wherever we’re going on our bikes. …” lyle

      And your expression if Ladd’s streets were closed except to local traffic, eliminating the cut-through use people make of it.

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      • davemess September 1, 2012 at 9:31 am

        Bob, it’s a designated bike route, it’s not some secret shortcut that cyclists invented. You claim that you don’t ever ride this route but keep trying to convince others that they should just take the 90 degrees routes around Ladd’s. That doesn’t add up. Come over to the east side and ride the area a few times, then get back to us about how it’s the same to ride the periphery.

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        • wsbob September 1, 2012 at 11:19 am

          davemess…there’s definitely nothing secret about the route diagonally through Ladd’s, but it certainly is being used as a cut-through, irresponsibly so on the part of people that aren’t willing to stop for the stop signs in exchange for the beautiful, more pleasant and possibly safer route it offers compared to streets on Ladd’s perimeter.

          Never have I suggested that riding the perimeter streets is the same as riding the diagonal route. I think the overall difference in distance and time it takes to travel each route isn’t so great that people should feel justified in failing to stop at the stop signs. Diagonally through Ladd’s would be my choice as the better route for bike travel…as long as I’m prepared to respect the neighborhood livability and safety by stopping for the stop signs.

          If not, I’d just take the perimeter streets, which by the way, if more people traveling by bike were using them, could help bring pressure to bear on the city and PBOT to make the perimeter streets more favorable for safe, fast enjoyable travel by bike.

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  • Welsh Pete August 31, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I stopped only b/c I didn’t want a ticket. When they’re not there I will continue to roll through the stop sign at Ladd’s Circle because its a bloody roundabout and yielding makes far more sense.

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  • Welsh Pete August 31, 2012 at 8:44 am

    zefwagner
    There is a reason why no other countries put stop signs at roundabouts. The entire design of a roundabout is based on the idea of pulling up to the roundabout, slowing down, looking left, and then turning right. Stopping is inherently unnecessary…that is the whole point of a roundabout. So naturally, no one stops. They need to put in yield signs, end of story.
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    Actually that’s changing. Back in the UK earlier this summer I noticed dozens of roundabouts with stop signs and worse… traffic lights.

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    • 9watts August 31, 2012 at 9:08 am

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundabout

      Although the term roundabout sometimes is used incorrectly for a traffic circle even in the United States, their traffic engineers now make a clear distinction between them, noting that in a roundabout entering traffic must always yield to traffic already in the circle, whereas in a traffic circle entering traffic is controlled by stop signs, or is not formally controlled, although some states are exceptions, notably New York, which follows the “yield” rule although naming them Traffic Circles.[18] In their use, circular junctions that have the following characteristics are roundabouts and those that do not are considered traffic circles:

      * Roundabouts require entering drivers to give way to all traffic within the roundabout, regardless of lane position. While traffic circles typically allow traffic to enter alongside traffic circulating in an inner lane without consequence.
      * Generally, exiting directly from the inner lane of a multi-lane roundabout is permitted, and such exiting traffic has the right-of-way over entering traffic. By contrast, exiting from the inner lane of a traffic circle is usually not permitted without first executing a lane change to the outside of the circle. In a state where older circular intersections called “rotaries” are commonplace, Massachusetts has a dwindling number of exceptions.
      * Deflection on entry is used to maintain low speed operation in roundabouts. Drivers must manoeuvre (are deflected) around the splitter islands and the central island, at speeds of 15–25 miles per hour (24–40 km/h). Many older traffic circle junctions allow entry at higher speeds due to the lack of deflection, or require a stop and a 90-degree turn to enter, creating a large difference in speed between entering and circulating traffic which can make it difficult for entering drivers to find suitable gaps in heavy traffic.
      * Pedestrians are prohibited from entering the intersection and central island of roundabouts and the crosswalk for pedestrians and some cyclists is withdrawn from the junction by at least the length of one vehicle.
      * All vehicles circulate around the central island of a roundabout in the same direction, which is determined by whether traffic drives to the right or the left. In left-hand traffic countries the circulation is clockwise; in those that drive to the right, it is anticlockwise.
      * Modern multi-lane roundabouts are typically less than 250 feet (75 metres) in diameter,[19] although signalised roundabouts and roundabout interchanges may be considerably larger.

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      • spare_wheel August 31, 2012 at 11:53 am

        sounds like a roundabout to me.

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        • Chris August 31, 2012 at 2:06 pm

          So what?

          And it is bigger than 250 ft. in total diameter… so according to this it should be “signalized?”

          So what?

          Is it a roundabout if the center area is frequently used and frequently traveled to? I have no idea, but it doesn’t matter.

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    • Chris August 31, 2012 at 9:19 am

      Because people are walking and cycling more in the UK now, and they, like the US, are moving away form a “car only” approach. The M25 didn’t work as well as they hoped.

      So traffic lights or stop signs are necessary for a pedestrian to safely cross.

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  • Marid August 31, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Chris
    I replied to MossHops above the same way. I can’t comment on the resource issue, and I don’t disagree. If the police don’t have time to protect the children of Ladds, we go through the motions to make the street much, much less effective as a bicycle thoroughfare.

    I think “much less effective” is a bit hyperbolic. You have to stop once on the way through the neighborhood. Much less effective is frequent speed bumps, narrow streets, and cobblestones.

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  • Chris August 31, 2012 at 10:47 am

    John I.
    Late to this party. I ride Ladds daily and never stop. Its the law, but its a lame one. I used to try. Motorists and other cyclists made that difficult.
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    How did other motorists and cyclists make stopping at a stop sign difficult? I have no problem (at all) doing it everytime I ride through my own neighborhood. Now that I have a “lockup” bar bike, I’m limiting my car use to a minimum, I stop at Ladd’s Circle 7 or 8 times a day on average. Never had a problem yet in 11 years of living there.

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  • redstar August 31, 2012 at 11:54 am

    So, many people (Not all, maybe not even a majority, but a large number) do not want bicyclists on the road at all (the law states they must share the road).

    Bicyclists do not want to stop at a stop sign (which, the law says they have to).

    Maybe, if the bicyclists stopped at the stop sign, the bicycle haters at least wouldn’t have the argument that the bicyclists disobeyed the law, and would have a harder time winning more people over as bicycle haters.

    And, about converting stop signs to roundabouts. They maybe nifity and all, but they are expensive and even if put on a list of projects I would guess it a long time until it was completed.

    I guess I haven’t seen anything that convinces me bicyclists should not obey the law.

    And, I am a bicyclist, I just don’t bicycle in the city of PDX. Really, I try to avoid PDX at all possible costs.

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  • jim August 31, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    I see so many cyclists blow the stop sign in front of my house without slowing down or any movement of the head to look left/right. I hope enforcement continues and has an affect on cyclists blatant disregard of the law. I don’t want to run over a cyclist in my car because of his arrogance.

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  • johnwhatever August 31, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I got pulled over at both Ladd’s and Flint yesterday for not coming to a complete stop by 2 police officers burning foreign gas while destroying my air in their overpriced tax-paid motorcycles.

    I say John Law is right, the law is the law. Stop means stop. I am now so scared of the law that I hesitate and stop at every intersection just to be extra safe and secure. I don’t give a carp about the flow or feel of traffic because the flow and the feel is subjective and the fat cops are right, we need to obey the objective law.

    From now on, if I see a car in a bike lane, I will ride my bike into it and sue the driver for breaking the law by obstructing the bike lane.

    Every time I come to a crosswalk, I WILL walk into it without making sure the cars are going to stop. The cars MUST stop. It’s the law. If I get hit, I will sue the driver as hard as I can because the law is the law and there is no room for subjective interpretation.

    I think Portland law enforcement should be so fierce that nobody makes mistakes ever. I have learned my lesson and gained respect for those 2 fat police officers.

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  • Really? August 31, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Has anyone died in ladd’s addition from not stopping. I believe se powell might benefit a little more from police enforcement.

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  • 007 September 1, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Now if only the police would start targeting people who talk on the phone while driving and who, with their heads bent towards their lap, text at stop lights. I have seen the police and these scofflaws pass each other or drive alongside each other but they do not get pulled over. I am really really fed up with drivers breaking this law as well as rolling through stop signs.

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  • J.M. Jones September 1, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Nothing like a forum!
    The basic issue is not stopping at stop signs. The driving public is universal in not liking those of us who ride and cannot be bothered to stop at stop signs. Yes, we all see many drivers who run both stop lights and stop signs. Yes the street police should crack down on these drivers as the destruction and damage issues caused by motor vehicles is much greater than that of a bicycle. Toss in street design and mix in a bit of “but everyone else does it” along with crying about this being a political issue. It may well be. But stop signs are not political. Everyone is supposed to stop. If you get caught running a stop on a bike, well, that’s too bad. Regardless of how or why you are caught, the simple fact is that you are supposed to stop. Are there people here that did not know this? If bicyclists are able to change the laws regarding stopping on bikes then more power to them (or us as it were). We should perhaps stop whining about “how others break laws all the time so why should we be held accountable?” I dislike selective enforcement as much as anyone here, but I also know that if I stop at stop signs I will not be cited. I WILL speak up about selective enforcement…but I will not use it as something to hide behind.

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    • 9watts September 1, 2012 at 8:40 am

      I agree with most everything you said, except -

      “But stop signs are not political.”

      Of course STOP signs are political.

      Their invention and deployment is intimately connected with the rise of the automobile, and the speeds and limited sensory awareness of cross traffic drivers inside these experience–a world without cars could easily get by without STOP signs. As such, their utility to people riding bikes is indirect–they offer some protection from cars, but have little intrinsic value and serve mostly to remind us that the infrastructure we get to use is not designed for us, but for the almighty, fast, and dangerous car.

      But let’s leave cars out of the discussion for a moment, since according to Chris the problem under discussion is (some) bikers strafing pedestrians at Ladd’s Circle. Note that in our traffic system pedestrian crossings for the most part don’t involve STOP signs. In Oregon, any corner, striped or not, is supposed to present the pedestrian with an opportunity to assert and be granted the right of way when crossing a street. Of course that doesn’t work very well with cars or bikes as we all know (I wonder if the absence of a STOP sign might have something to do with this?) But this doesn’t mean that clever engineering solutions (raised grade, bump outs, change in road surface, cross walk striping, etc.) can’t be used to solve what current rules and/or stop signs do a poor job of accomplishing. I suspect that a sign, even, that communicated ‘YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS, LOOK RIGHT’ would stand a very different chance of success than the STOP sign at this intersection at Ladd’s Circle.

      Have you read this piece? http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~fajans/pub/pdffiles/StopSignsAccess.pdf

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  • Seth Alford September 2, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Jonathan wrote, above, “There has been a major discussion about swapping the stop signs for yield signs and updating the circle to become a modern roundabout. PBOT issued a statement in 2007 that made it seem as though that’s what they’d like to do, but they lack the funds to do it properly (not to mention, they’d have to convince the neighborhood that it’d work).”

    Assume that the real obstacle is the lack of funds, and not the influence that this neighborhood exerts. The PBOT statement says that the intersection needs some fixes to make Yield signs work. A paint and sign only fix is $11,000. Correctly reconstructing the entries is $160,000. Knowing the political influence this neighborhood has, the correctly reconstructing option would probably be the option that has a hope of coming to pass.

    Where could the City get $160,000? I’d rather have two fewer cycle tracks and have this problem at Ladd’s fixed, properly.

    Where do I get the “two”? The Broadway cycle track “…cost the City around $80,000.” according to Jonathan’s article about it (see http://bikeportland.org/2009/08/31/first-look-at-portlands-inaugural-cycle-track-22932)

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