5 takeaways from Portland Auditor’s report on red light camera program

Posted on July 22nd, 2015 at 11:30 am.

Locations of red light cameras in Portland.
(Image from Audit Services Division)


Traffic enforcement action uncovers rampant law-breaking on SE Powell

Posted on June 3rd, 2015 at 1:35 pm.

Powell protest ride-50.jpg
Police wrote up 60 violations in less than four hours at this location last week.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Illegal and dangerous behaviors are rampant on the streets of Portland. Most of us who use the streets are keenly aware of this, but every time the Bureau of Transportation does a crosswalk enforcement action we see the problem even more clearly.


City preps to cut speed limit on four mid-sized streets

Posted on February 4th, 2015 at 4:57 pm.

First look at NE Multnomah project-4
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is ordering slower traffic speeds on four streets, three of which have recently been redesigned to be more neighborhood-friendly.

The four are Southwest Vermont Street from Capitol Highway to SW 45th near Gabriel Park, which will go from 35 to 30 mph; SW Multnomah Boulevard from Interstate 5 to SW 31st, going from 45 to 35 mph; NE Glisan Street from 27th to 79th, going from 35 to 30 mph; and NE/SE 47th Avenue from NE Tillamook to SE Oak, going from 30 to 25 mph.

All four streets have bike lanes for some or all of those segments.


Entering 10th year, PBOT ‘crosswalk enforcement actions’ still going strong

Posted on January 28th, 2015 at 11:01 am.

Crosswalk enforcement action NE Killingsworth-2
The warnings don’t seem to stop folks from breaking the law.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

While everyone likes to argue about which type of roads users break more laws — and we are currently being forced to have the tired debate all over again thanks to a well-intentioned but misguided legislative concept — the Portland Bureau of Transportation is doing their part to address the issue.

PBOT’s Crosswalk Enforcement Action program has been going strong since 2005. We checked in on one back in September and have reported on them many times over the years. The idea is simple: Place a human decoy (sometimes a notable politician but more often PBOT safety staffer Sharon White) in a crosswalk and wait for people to break the law while a phalanx of Portland Police motorcycle officers wait in the wings, armed with radar guns and quick twists of the throttle to chase people down.

The efforts are usually quite fruitful and they offer us a small window into the rampant disregard many road users have for the law.


‘Bicycling community’ work noted at swearing-in for new Portland police chief

Posted on January 8th, 2015 at 2:34 pm.

Chief O'Dea and Asst Chief Modica
Chief O’Dea (L) and his new Asst. Chief
Kevin Modica at the swearing-in
ceremony today.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s new police chief took the oath of office in the 2nd floor auditorium of the Portland Building this morning. Larry O’Dea was sworn-in along with over a dozen other officers who also made their promotions official at today’s ceremony.

I was there mostly because I figured it’d be a rare chance to see many of the officers I’ve gotten to know over the years all in one place. I also wanted to snap photos of Chief O’Dea (and others) in case we need them for future stories.

And admittedly, I haven’t been as excited for a police chief since I moved to Portland 11 years ago (and it’s so encouraging to have a peaceful and productive transition given the scandal and controversy surrounding our last two chiefs).


‘Bait bikes’ deployed at Reed College lead to arrest

Posted on January 6th, 2015 at 1:58 pm.

Bait bitten then busted.
(Photo: Reed College Community Safety)

Putting out “bait bikes” to lure bike thieves is a very popular idea. For some, the idea of setting a trap and then waiting for an unsuspecting thief to fall into it, gets the vengeful heart pumping. While the idea comes up almost every time we report about enforcement of bike theft, to our knowledge there has never been an organized bait bike program in Portland.

Until now.


Police search suspected Springwater chop shop, find stolen frame (video)

Posted on January 2nd, 2015 at 9:31 am.

PPB officers on the scene.
(Photo: Guthrie Straw)

The Portland Police Bureau swung into action after hearing about a suspected bicycle chop shop on the Springwater earlier this week.

On Tuesday we highlighted an encampment just south of the Ross Island Bridge that was overflowing with bike parts and frames. The person who sent us photos for our story suspected that the parts and frames were stolen. After hearing about the encampment a day later, Portland Police Bureau Officer Dave Sanders and his partner Officer Bryant went to take a closer look.


Police ticket man who was run over during ‘Don’t shoot’ protest

Posted on December 14th, 2014 at 1:02 pm.

Guilty for “improper position on a highway”.
(Still from Multnomah County Copwatch video)

Portland Police have issued a ticket to a protestor who was taking part in a march downtown yesterday.

The march was organized by Don’t Shoot PDX, a fledgling group of activists who have organized a sustained movement for more police accountability and justice following protests in Ferguson, Missouri that started last month.

According to people involved with the march, there was a collision on West Burnside near Powell’s Books between someone driving a car and one of the marchers. A man who has uploaded video footage from the scene alleges that the driver swerved into protestors and yelled, “Get a job” before running over a man’s foot. The driver did not stop.

There was almost immediate outrage on Twitter once people learned that not only was the driver not charged with anything, but the man whose foot was run over was the one given a citation.

Below is a video from the scene uploaded by Multnomah County Copwatch:


New Police Chief puts Traffic Division in new ‘Community Services’ branch

Posted on December 11th, 2014 at 3:34 pm.

Chief O’Dea in 2008.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Incoming Portland Police Chief Larry O’Dea appears to be making good on his promises and his potential. The new Chief, who community advocates have hailed for his record on community policing, announced a host of changes to the bureau today.

Effective January 8th, 2015, the bureau will have a fourth branch: Community Services. This new branch will include the Traffic Division (previously under the Operations Branch), which is a part of the bureau that interacts closely with our community. Traffic Division officers write the vast majority of traffic tickets, they investigate collisions and hit-and-runs, they work targeted enforcement actions, parades, protest marches, Sunday Parkways, and so on.


Why Portland’s new Chief of Police is good news for bicycling

Posted on October 7th, 2014 at 2:17 pm.

Platinum celebration at City Hall-61.jpg
New Chief of Police Larry O’Dea outside City Hall in 2008. He’s standing with former Bicycle Liaison Officer Robert Pickett.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Police Chief Mike Reese announced his retirement today, and when the new chief steps in to replace him in January, his name might sound familiar to some BikePortland readers.

Larry O’Dea, a former captain of the bureau’s Traffic Division, is the new Chief of Police.