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Dispatch from downtown on sidewalk biking enforcement day

Posted by on July 31st, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Crowded sidewalk where we should create a plaza-4
Things got crowded earlier today at the food carts on SW 5th and Oak.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

With today’s police enforcement action targeting bicycling on downtown sidewalks, I took a few minutes to check out the action for myself.

Here are some of my thoughts…

The downtown core is really amazing this time of year. Or crazy and annoying, depending on your perspective. Sidewalks, stores, and cafes are jam-packed with all types of people. Drivers barely get anywhere as they wait for crosswalks to clear. Today, there was a huge live concert on stage at Pioneer Courthouse Square and people were dancing with themselves, strangers, and their babies in arms. Put another way, it’s very crowded everywhere you look.


Given the above, I can see why the Portland Police (and/or the person who requested today’s enforcement action), would want to highlight the sidewalk bicycling law. On the streets where it applies (“bounded by and including SW Jefferson, Front Avenue (Naito Parkway), NW Hoyt and 13th Avenue”), bicycling on sidewalks is an uncool maneuver.

That being said, not all sidewalk bicycling is the same. If someone is flying down a crowded block with reckless abandon, throw the book at them! But on the other side of the spectrum are people who safely roll a few yards on their bike before dismounting at their destination. Between those two things is where we must rely on the good judgment of the fellow citizens we entrust with enforcing the law (a.k.a. police officers).

While I don’t think a targeted enforcement of sidewalk bicycling is that big of a deal, the thing that does concern me is how it gets handled in the local media. Headlines that include “sidewalk bicycling crackdown” leave the audience thinking one of two things (neither of which help make our city better): “Yeah! Get those damn cyclists off the sidewalks before they kill again!” or “Hmm, I had no idea this was such a huge problem.”

Which leads me to my next point: Relatively speaking, sidewalk bicycling downtown just isn’t that big of a problem. For anyone who’s been hit by someone riding on the sidewalk, or knows someone who was hit, it’s a very big problem. But outside of anecdotes and personal annoyances, we have much larger public safety issues happening in our city every day.

So, what exactly went on during this targeted enforcement action today? I spent about 45 minutes or so biking and walking around looking for some of the action.

The first encounter I had was with two, middle-aged women walking by as I unlocked my bike: “Watch out, they’re out looking for you biking on the sidewalk!” one of them warned. They stopped to chat and were actually really upset. They’d just seen two cops busting a guy one block away. “I would never ride in those streets,” she continued, sweeping her hand at SW 4th Avenue near Oak. “Where do they expect people to ride?! I almost went up to them and said something!”

pulled over for sidewalk bicycling downtown-1
Warning from police
Warning notice being handed out today.

After that unexpected exchange, I saw a man clearly pulled over for biking on the sidewalk. I waited for the police to ride away and then talked to him. He said just got a warning and that he’s totally fine with what the cops are doing. “They were cool about it,” he said. The man said he rides on the sidewalk because he was once hit by a car while biking in a bike lane in Salem. “I ride against traffic now,” he said, “so I can see what’s coming at me.” He also said he was completely unaware of the boundary where sidewalk biking is illegal and was thankful that the police explained the law to him.

pulled over for sidewalk bicycling downtown-2

A few blocks over I saw another guy who has just been pulled over. After the cop rode away, I tried to talk with him but his words were almost completely unintelligible. Was saying something about how he had just “taken a huge hit” and didn’t really know where he was. Suffice it to say, he was thankful all he got was a warning about biking on the sidewalk and nothing more.

Over near the MAX stop at SW Stark and 5th a motorcycle officer was stationed up on the sidewalk facing the street. I saw a man on a bike riding down 5th (illegally, in the bus/train lane). He then rolled up onto the sidewalk right in front of the police officer. He biked about 30 yards before dismounting and looping back to wait for a nearby train. I saw the officer’s head follow the man’s movements, but the officer decided to ignore it. I was happy to see this. Technically a law was broken, but the officer used his discretion and made the right decision.

In conclusion, I know it’s frustrating to see this type of thing going on when many of us see such rampant law-breaking and (truly) unsafe behavior by other road users every hour of every day. In fact, our friend Kirk P. shared an image on Twitter a few minutes ago that perfectly captures this frustration. As you can see below, the image shows a man who had just been stopped by the police for biking on the sidewalk while several other illegal traffic behaviors were taking place nearby…

kirkdowntown

What did you see out there today? How are you feeling about this? I’m interested to see how the local media handled it. Stay tuned for an update on the official PPB tally of warnings and citations.

UPDATE: PPB has announced results of today’s enforcement action. 58 warnings were issued. No citations. Read more about it via the official statement.


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Comments
  • Alan Love July 31, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    In 2012, more than four thousand pedestrians were killed in auto-related collisions. Meanwhile, to my knowledge, one singular pedestrian was killed by a person on a bike (the case in SF of the Strav-A-hole). Yes, let’s remind people on bikes of how to ride safely, but the public perception of the reckless scofflaw on 2 wheels is so grossly out of line with reality…

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  • Reza July 31, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    I’m impatiently waiting for the first “illegal driving on the transit mall” sting. Preferably on a Saturday.

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    • Greg August 1, 2014 at 12:30 am

      I’d like to see any weekday :)

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      • paikiala August 1, 2014 at 9:09 am

        Here, here!

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  • Ron July 31, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Great point Alan. The 24 hour news frenzy feeds the causal viewer only the perspectives that create buzz and outrage and the public generally lacks the motivation to think critically. Many people just form the opinion they are fed.

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  • Joe July 31, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    I’m ok with the educational effort today, but not in the vacuum that currently exists. Without addressing the root cause of why people choose to ride on he sidewalk (usually because it feels safer), it’s not going to accomplish much. Where is the accompanying enforcement of dangerous driving? I am tailgated, yelled at, passed unsafely, etc, every single time I ride downtown, without fail. All it takes is taking the lane on any street without bike lanes (most of downtown).

    All told, I’d have been ok without today’s mission at all.

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    • Pete July 31, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      “I am tailgated, yelled at, passed unsafely, etc,…”

      This happens to me every time I drive, because I’m bold enough to strictly obey speed limit laws (and not floor the gas pedal at every green light) where it’s hugely unpopular.

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      • Joe July 31, 2014 at 5:06 pm

        Ha! Me too. Also happens when yielding to pedestrians or just stopping for them to be courteous.

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        • Rob Chapman July 31, 2014 at 6:48 pm

          Thanks Pete and Joe for being good drivers!

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        • Eric July 31, 2014 at 9:01 pm

          I think it is the combination of this site and riding a bike that has made me a better (and more aware) driver.

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  • michweek July 31, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Will the cops please educate drivers on where bikes belong? Especially those drivers that like to yell at me to ‘get on the sidewalk’. Cool, also we need a hell of a lot more crosswalk stings, marked and unmarked. And please amp up the ticketing on cars that are parked in the crosswalk as well.

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    • Kyle July 31, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      I’d love a nice day of crosswalk stings – especially unmarked. It seems that a very small percentage of drivers understand the law in Oregon. I walk around the city frequently and I’ve been yelled at, flipped off, and even had an angry motorist attempt to run me down (no exaggeration here) while crossing in unmarked crosswalks. Meanwhile, the city has refused to install marked crosswalks at intersections such as SE Ankeny and 12th, claiming that marked crosswalks make crossing less safe for pedestrians.

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  • John Liu July 31, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    The reaction to this “eduforcement” action is much fuss over nothing.

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    • davemess July 31, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      I agree. It’s 4 hours over the course of the year. Sure we all wish the police did more out there (on many fronts), but the time spent on this “enforcement” was a drop in the bucket.

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    • 9watts August 2, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      I respectfully disagree. I think Jonathan’s framing of this action was superb. The behavior can be problematic, but overall is really all but a non-issue; but what an opportunity for the rest of the media to get it wrong….

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  • VTRC July 31, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I know it’s Summer, and a bunch of people are out there who wouldn’t normally be riding. They might be riding like people who are new at it. How about a mass push of the bike manual and other good information in a non-enforcement manner…

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    • Pete July 31, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      LAB puts out a small, brief, informative pocket manual called “Smart Cycling Quick Guide.” For an effort like this, it would be great for the officers to be budgeted and equipped with a number of them to hand out along with warnings/citations.

      http://bikeleague.org/content/get-your-own-quick-guide

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  • Pete July 31, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    “I ride against traffic now so I can see what’s coming at me.”

    Using an appropriate rear-view mirror would achieve the same results without placing you in the dangerous position of going against traffic (and positioning yourself where drivers are not focused when they pull out of driveways).

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  • Joe July 31, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Pete
    “I am tailgated, yelled at, passed unsafely, etc,…”
    This happens to me every time I drive, because I’m bold enough to strictly obey speed limit laws (and not floor the gas pedal at every green light) where it’s hugely unpopular.
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    Ha! Me too. Also happens when yielding to pedestrians or just stopping for them to be courteous.

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    • Joe July 31, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      This was a failed reply, you can delete it from the comment thread if you like.

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  • Dwaine Dibbly July 31, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    If that guy is salmoning (on Salmon?) I’d rather he was on the sidewalk!

    If more people ride on the street, it will have a traffic calming effect and make it safer, right? Either that, or we’ll all get hit & killed. I can’t decide.

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  • John Lascurettes July 31, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    It’s sociopathic that they expect an average person (i.e., not a bike wonk) to know what the no-sidewalk-boundaries boundaries are in downtown Portland with exactly zero signage or demarcations of any type whatsoever. It’s particularly tough on tourists – how are they ever to know?

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    • Scott H July 31, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      Holy smokes, that a good point. Is there any signage relating to this at all? Are tourists supposed to keep their Portland city code booklets handy whenever they visit?

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      • John Lascurettes August 2, 2014 at 4:00 am

        Zero.

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        • Arem August 2, 2014 at 11:59 am

          I walked my bike on the sidewalk to leave a business and get over to the ramp up onto the Hawthorne and a guy walking by me asked if bikes were allowed to ride on the sidewalk. I told him that within a certain section of downtown, no, other areas it is okay for the most part. He asked me if there were signs. I could only laugh and tell him “of course not, you just have to know.”

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          • wsbob August 3, 2014 at 1:03 am

            He asked somebody, in this case you, and you were able to give him an answer that was approximately correct. For something like this Downtown common sense ordinance, people talking with each other about it, may be better than signs.

            I suppose bikeportland’s astute minds will claim the city just has to put up dozens of signs advising about the no bikes on sidewalks ordinance Downtown, so they won’t ever have to endure receiving a warning from a police officer.

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            • John Lascurettes August 3, 2014 at 2:31 pm

              Doesn’t even need expensive signs. How about just a simple spray stenciled, “No riding/skating on sidewalk zone” at each corner sidewalk ramp. It’s a lot cheaper and just as informative and effective.

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    • Psyfalcon July 31, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      And the rule is different in every city and town in Oregon.

      Skateboards are even more confusing, in some towns they seem to be grouped with bikes, and others have their own boundaries.

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    • Katherine Rose July 31, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      This is definitely the first time I have ever heard of this law in Portland. I don’t ride on the sidewalks downtown so it’s no matter to me, but if they want to enforce this, they need signage. I’m from Boston and I have a keen memory of the robust signage in Harvard Square in Cambridge advising cyclists not to ride on the sidewalks. Same thing in Amherst, MA, where I went to school.

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      • matt picio August 1, 2014 at 12:17 pm

        It’s in the vehicle code. OAR (Oregon Administrative Rules) to be specific. The courts and police would say “ignorance of the law is no excuse”, and the state requires everyone to adhere to the law – but without providing easy resources to do so. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” worked just fine in 1776 when the nation was founded, or even in 1859 when the state was founded, or even just 100 years ago when automobiles first became common. Nowadays, there’s 10x or 100x the number of laws, and we require everyone to know them all even though it’s impossible for even the police, judges, and attorneys to know them all.

        That all said, if you ride in Portland I highly recommend getting a copy of Ray Thomas’ “Pedal Power”. Download it from http://www.stc-law.com/pdf/pedal-power.pdf and put it on your phone, or go to the BTA office and get a printed copy.

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    • Art fuldodger August 1, 2014 at 8:09 am

      My thought as well. The boundaries are the “downtown traffic district”, defined decades ago – downtown has changed a bit since then. Yet it remains legal to ride on the narrow, and usually crowded sidewalks, of Hawthorne, Mississippi, or any of the neighborhood commercial districts.

      What would seemingly make sense is to do away with this prohibition and enforce the state law as it exists regarding unsafe sidewalk riding. here’s the link, read it for yourself: http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/814.410
      But the key phrase is that it’s a Class D traffic infraction to “ride a bicycle on a sidewalk in a careless manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger persons or property”.

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      • wsbob August 1, 2014 at 10:24 am

        “…What would seemingly make sense is to do away with this prohibition and enforce the state law as it exists regarding unsafe sidewalk riding. here’s the link, read it for yourself: http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/814.410
        But the key phrase is that it’s a Class D traffic infraction to “ride a bicycle on a sidewalk in a careless manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger persons or property”. ” Art fuldodger

        With or without the ordinance, if the city got away with it as you suggest it should, how would you propose the city enforce the state law you cite? With limited resources to which a number of people commenting here have expressed doubt about the city’s priorities in using them, as it is, the city’s only able to muster an informational enforcement detail.

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    • paikiala August 1, 2014 at 9:13 am

      Considering PBOT posted signs for streets where people skating should roll, it does seem odd there are no signs for the City specific ordinance. Bike sharrows in each lane at the beginning of each block downtown would be good as well.

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  • wsbob July 31, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    “…For anyone who’s been hit by someone riding on the sidewalk, or knows someone who was hit, it’s a very big problem. …” maus/bikeportland

    About this, you’re right Jonathan. And not even as extreme as being hit, but having had or hearing about close calls and anxiety in using the sidewalk as a pedestrian, over encounters with people misusing the sidewalks with their bikes.

    Given many people’s woeful lack of good judgment, it makes very good sense for the city to have some of its busier sidewalks bike free.

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    • 9watts August 2, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      “hearing about close calls and anxiety in using the sidewalk as a pedestrian, over encounters with people misusing the sidewalks with their bikes.”

      That part of your list, I’m afraid, is not a very good guide. In my experience, retelling apocryphal stories like this represents a fair fraction of conversation in certain circles. My impression about this sort of conversation is that at base many (most?) people are ignorant of the rules about where to bike and therefore misinterpret, concoct, or repeat a broad range of stories about near misses or what-ifs with people cycling.

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      • wsbob August 3, 2014 at 12:53 am

        “…That part of your list, I’m afraid, is not a very good guide. …” 9watts

        It’s an excellent guide for basic reasoning why people shouldn’t really be riding their bikes on Downtown’s sidewalks. People on foot are distinctly vulnerable to people riding their bikes on the sidewalk.

        Nevertheless, in stories like this one Jonathan has written, and comments to it, efforts are made to underplay that vulnerability to try make a case for turning a blind eye to use of bikes on the sidewalk. I don’t think the effort will go over well with the greater majority of the public, or be successful.

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        • 9watts August 3, 2014 at 7:05 am

          “People on foot are distinctly vulnerable to people riding their bikes on the sidewalk.”

          ‘distinctly vulnerable’?
          As as Jonathan noted above, common courtesy suggests avoiding biking on sidewalks in downtown. But to elevate the risks posed by people biking there to those walking seems unnecessary and unhelpful. We do have a Vulnerable Road Users law, which it seems the police have trouble enforcing or applying in cases where people biking have in fact been all but killed by someone driving a car–and which you’ve made a habit of casting doubt upon, of imagining extenuating and exonerating circumstances vis-a-vis the driver’s behavior* in situations where some of us felt the law should be applied.

          I find it interesting that you are here emphasizing that pedestrians are distinctly-vulnerable-to-bikes-on-sidewalks in the context of a preemptive sting, something altogether broader and it seems unconcerned with fault or even injury, as opposed to an actual collision.

          *http://bikeportland.org/2012/07/17/should-hwy-101-collision-have-trigged-vulnerable-roadway-users-law-74755#comment-3072940

          also http://streetsblog.net/2012/07/18/when-vulnerable-user-laws-go-unenforced/

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          • wsbob August 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm

            “…But to elevate the risks posed by people biking there to those walking seems unnecessary and unhelpful. …” 9watts

            Why? The risk of bike use to people on foot, is inherent where vehicles, which is what bikes are, are allowed to use infrastructure, sidewalks, that is first and foremost, the province of people traveling by foot.

            This is distinctly different situation than the road itself, which is primarily used by people for travel and transport by way of motor vehicles.

            By the way, Oregon doesn’t have a stand alone ‘Vulnerable Road User Law’, which, as I’ve expressed thoughts on in past, may help to explain why the Careless Driving law which includes the VRU element, does not lend itself to citing people operating motor vehicles, for having collided with vulnerable road users.

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            • El Biciclero August 4, 2014 at 1:21 pm

              Is it distinctly different from a MUP? I believe the rules for a MUP are the same as those for a sidewalk, and I’ll bet the Waterfront Park MUP gets as crowded or more so at times than some sidewalks in the exclusion zone. The ban on sidewalk riding is not so much for “safety”, IMO, as it is for “making shoppers and Important Business People feel safer so they’ll spend more time/money downtown”—which is fine, if that’s what you want to do. Also, it is easier to enforce than the State’s “Dangerous Riding On a Sidewalk” statute (814.410), because there is no judgment call involved with the city ordinance.

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              • wsbob August 4, 2014 at 11:55 pm

                “Is it distinctly different from a MUP? I believe the rules for a MUP are the same as those for a sidewalk, and I’ll bet the Waterfront Park MUP gets as crowded or more so at times than some sidewalks in the exclusion zone. …” El Biciclero

                Yes, the Downtown sidewalk situation is distinctly different than MUP’s and the Waterfront Park MUP. It’s not just the comparative numbers of people using the examples of infrastructure at any given time, but the differences, that distinguish each other.

                For example, Downtown has relatively narrow sidewalks, short blocks and view blocking tall buildings on almost all of them, making for treacherous travel on foot if people riding bikes there can’t be consistently relied on to do so in a manner that’s compatible with people walking. Which they can’t.

                The waterfront esplanade on the other hand, has wider,, much longer stretches of sidewalks not broken up by street intersections. Views over most of it are wide open, with no buildings or other obstructions to block them.

                Sure, Downtown’s health and vitality relies on many different types of people feeling good about coming there, being able to walk the area’s sidewalks comfortably, so they’ll feel like the money they hopefully will spend there is money well spent. I can’t imagine this is news to the majority of people reading here.

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  • q`Tzal July 31, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    If the PPD expects this “no bicycle riding on sidewalks” law to be obeyed the boundaries need to be labeled, both with actual MUTCD standard street signs AND paint on the sidewalks themselves delineating every square inch of the boundary.

    Signs are easy, cheap and quick to install. The painted boundary on the sidewalks needs to include a big red line.

    I’m thinking something IKEA would come up with: red line on the prohibited side of the boundary with a bike symbol in the standard red circle with a crossbar, green on the other side with a green circle and a smiling bicycle stick figure. Attached to this line out of sidewalk traffic needs to be one of the official MUTCD signs explaining everything in plain English y Español.

    I don’t agree with our unilateral ban on sidewalk riding but if a government intends to enforce vehicular laws on bicycles they need to put the same effort in to communication with bicycle users as they do automobile user. The current paradigm of “I heard from a friend” is not effective communication of a law nor is it fair to otherwise law abiding citizens.

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  • Kevin Wagoner July 31, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    I live on SW Spring Garden St where it is not uncommon for someone to drive 45mph in a 25mph zone. I bought a speed gun to capture data to include it in my many attempts to get enforcement. There is a light that often gets run between two school. I’ve called and emailed the PDX safe line a lot. I’ve encourage others to do the same, some have. If you look at crimereports.com it is pretty clear that there is next to no enforcement on this street, last time I checked there were zero tickets this year. I’ve actually had the local cop show up at a neighborhood meeting and tell us we need to enforce it ourself. If I felt like our city did a good job enforcing people driving violations (which kill and injure many people) then I would be completely cool with them enforcing other transportation laws. I just don’t think this is a good prioritization of their time. This is a big fail in my opinion.

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    • wsbob July 31, 2014 at 11:16 pm

      “…I’ve actually had the local cop show up at a neighborhood meeting and tell us we need to enforce it ourself. …” Kevin Wagoner

      If you asked and he gave an answer, what ways did he suggest residents use to enforce speeding laws themselves? From past comments of yours, posted to other stories, I remember your telling about difficulty your neighborhood has had in managing vehicle speeds on this street near the school.

      I think the suggestion some people make from time to time, that the city should apply police enforcement details according to a very rigid list that prioritizes outlying neighborhoods over Downtown, isn’t a strong sell. What more you and your neighbors got to do to get excessive speeding under control near the school, I’m not sure. From what you’ve described here though, it sounds like you could step up your effort a bit.

      It seems to me though, that, especially if the city does actually come to have a bike share system, it will be increasingly important for people not to use the sidewalks in Downtown for biking. Information about the city ordinance restricting bike use on the sidewalks can be conveyed to bike share users with their agreement to the terms of service.

      People walking on the sidewalk, basically should not have to contend there with vehicular traffic, whether it be motored vehicles or human powered vehicles.

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      • Dan August 1, 2014 at 11:12 am

        In our neighborhood you can borrow a speed gun and write down the license plates & speeds of passing cars. Then the county will mail out ‘nasty grams’ to the drivers (ooh! scary!), but only if they are exceeding the speed limit by 10mph. 34mph in a 25mph zone is considered compliance.

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        • Kevin Wagoner August 1, 2014 at 4:23 pm

          What hood do you live in and how did you get this agreement?

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          • Dan August 1, 2014 at 5:09 pm

            Washington County, the Neighborhood Speed Watch program, as part of the Neighborhood Streets Program:

            http://www.co.washington.or.us/nsp/

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            • 9watts August 2, 2014 at 5:14 pm

              I love bikeportland!

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      • Kevin Wagoner August 1, 2014 at 4:22 pm

        Thanks for asking. I’m actually not sure what the neighborhood could/should do. We don’t have the ability to enforce law. At the meeting there was a long moment of silence and finally someone asked what we should do. The officer lifted his hand and extended his middle finger as an example of what we should do. The officer has good character, so that is not something we should judge the officer on. However I think it communicates two things….enforcement will not happen (and it hasn’t) and basically there is not much the neighborhood can do without escalating the situation into something that would likely turn violent at some point.

        I am going to have to follow up with Dan and figure out how he got the government to send out nasty grams for speeders. Maybe that is something we can do.

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        • wsbob August 1, 2014 at 9:23 pm

          Getting off topic, sorry… .

          “…I’ve actually had the local cop show up at a neighborhood meeting and tell us we need to enforce it ourself. …” Kevin Wagoner

          “If you asked and he gave an answer, what ways did he suggest residents use to enforce speeding laws themselves? …” wsbob

          “Thanks for asking. I’m actually not sure what the neighborhood could/should do. We don’t have the ability to enforce law. At the meeting there was a long moment of silence and finally someone asked what we should do. The officer lifted his hand and extended his middle finger as an example of what we should do. …” Kevin Wagoner

          Good character and a sense of humor is fine, but the city and the PD has got to be able to give your neighborhood a better answer than that, especially when the best a police officer presenting at a neighborhood meeting can do, is give answers like you’ve related. That’s just not acceptable for the situation you’ve described.

          I’ve been to a few neighborhood meetings out in the Beav. Often an officer from the PD is there to update people in attendance with news and information. Their demeanor is always earnest and enthusiastic, prepared to give the best info possible, or if they don’t have the answer, will help track it down.

          I’d ask the PD more about nastygrams. Unless the PD can use them to build a case file for help with later citations or charges on people violating the regulations, I don’t see how that approach can be effective.

          Photo speed camera vans may have some potential, if the neighborhood can make a case for them. If the neighborhood doesn’t already have them, speed bump, or other calming devices too. Quite a few years back now, SW 124th Ave, north of Center St, got split speed bumps. Helps a lot to calm traffic speeds down to 15 or 20 mph. Don’t know what pressure brought them about, but they’re good.

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    • paikiala August 1, 2014 at 9:19 am

      Some residents in the neighborhood have complained loudly to PBOT when they installed the raised crosswalk at the school signal. Imagine what might happen if PBOT added eight more speed tables?
      One of the problems with the school signal (a design not longer permited per MUTCD) is that it only stops Spring Garden (not 17th) and is only activated by the pedestrian button. So most of the time, 99%?, it is green. It rarely turns red, so people easily miss it.
      At least the north side has sidewalk all the way to Terwilliger now.

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  • reader July 31, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    “I just took a huge hit.”

    Comment of the week!

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  • reader July 31, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    I wonder what the overall ticket-to-warning ratio was.

    “Avoiding a traffic hazard in the immediate area” provides a lot of room for interpretation. Who decides if there was a hazard and if it was in the immediate area? The rider? The cop? The judge?

    It is quite hazardous to ride a bike in nearly all of downtown. There is mad vehicle, pedestrian and other bike (and skateboard) traffic, but many dangers are static and ubiquitous, like disappearing bike lanes and bone-crunching rail tracks.

    I live near downtown and ride my bike all over the city but almost never downtown, except along the Eastbank Esplanade, in the bike lanes on Jefferson Street (west) and 14th Avenue (north), and taking the lane on NW 18th/19th (south/north) and Salmon (east).

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    • Psyfalcon August 1, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      First the rider, then the cop, then the judge.

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  • Greg August 1, 2014 at 12:35 am

    I think it’s crazy for the PPD to enforce this law (thankfully just giving warnings) without any sort of signage about where the boundaries are.
    I asked 6 cyclists at work today where they thought the northern boundary is, none got it right at Hoyt, myself included.

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  • Steve August 1, 2014 at 8:37 am

    ONE HAS TO DECIDE! Are you a pedestrian or a cyclist? It a sideWALK SO GET OFF AND WALK or with the consequences.

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    • Pete August 1, 2014 at 9:15 am

      Clearly you’ve never used clipless pedal systems.

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    • El Biciclero August 1, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      So when pedestrians cross the street, they need to sprout wheels?

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  • wsbob August 1, 2014 at 10:05 am

    “…UPDATE: PPB has announced results of today’s enforcement action. 58 warnings were issued. No citations. …” bikeportland

    “…It is quite hazardous to ride a bike in nearly all of downtown. …” reader

    You and others riding Downtown’s streets by the rules, and regularly, in ever greater numbers, has the potential to check some of the hazardous conditions.

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  • Dan August 1, 2014 at 11:12 am

    In our neighborhood you can borrow a speed gun and write down the license plates & speeds of passing cars. Then the county will mail out ‘nasty grams’ to the drivers (ooh! scary!), but only if they are exceeding the speed limit by 10mph. 34mph in a 25mph zone is considered compliance.

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  • Roger Averbeck August 1, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Any breakdown of warnings for cyclists vs skateboarders?

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  • q`Tzal August 2, 2014 at 6:09 am

    Isn’t it time for a stop sign sting at Ladds Circle?

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