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.


City Council will adopt Community Policing Agreement tomorrow

Posted on October 14th, 2009 at 11:30 am.

Tour de Fat '06
(Photo © J. Maus)

Tomorrow, the Community Policing Agreement that was first proposed by Police Chief Rosie Sizer following two high-profile fatalities in October of 2007, will be adopted by Portland City Council.

The five page document outlines the current state of the working relationship between the Bureau of Transportation, the Police Bureau, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, and the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition.

Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to the agreement (which you can download as a PDF here) :


Portland Police release new bicycle traffic enforcement training video

Posted on October 7th, 2009 at 11:01 am.

The Portland Police Bureau has just released a new internal training video meant to educate officers about bike-related traffic laws.

This is an internal training video for the Portland Police Bureau. It is narrated by Officer Robert Pickett, who serves as a liaison for bicycling issues, Bicycle Transportation Alliance advocate Michelle Poyourow, and a team of police officers who worked together to come up with the points in the video. The video is meant to educate officers, the two say, remind them of relevant laws, and “to advise officers’ discretion in bicycle enforcement situations.”


Woman arrested after stop sign violation, question about ID

Posted on August 27th, 2009 at 3:31 pm.

bike stop markings at broadway flint-3.jpg
Broadway and Flint.
(Photo © J. Maus)

A woman was handcuffed and placed under arrest this morning after she was stopped for running the stop sign at NE Flint and Broadway when she asked the police officer if she was required to show identification. She was subsequently issued a citation and released.

Jessica Jarratt, 37, the executive director of an arts funding nonprofit, was commuting from her Northeast Portland home to her office in the Pearl this morning around 9:00am. In a phone interview this afternoon, she described being stopped by a police officer at Flint and Broadway, along with several other people on bikes, after she had turned right onto Broadway from Flint without coming to a complete stop.


One hour, 22 citations at Clinton street stop sign (updated)

Posted on April 14th, 2009 at 1:49 pm.

bike stop markings at broadway flint-2.jpg
(Photo © J. Maus)

The Portland Police Bureau sent three motorcycle cops to SE Clinton Street this morning to observe and enforce stop sign compliance at 34th and 21st Avenues.

According to Traffic Division Lieutenant Bryan Parman, the “enforcement mission” (a.k.a. sting) came after his office received a complaint via email last week from a nearby resident. Parman said,


Seeking a national legal standard to ensure traffic justice

Posted on March 11th, 2009 at 7:05 am.

National Bike Summit 09 - Day One-3
Rep. Jim Oberstar, speaking
at the opening night dinner.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Representative Jim Oberstar (D-MN) — the man whose passion for Safe Routes to Schools helped establish it as a national priority in America — is now throwing his energy behind a new idea. And, as Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that will be writing the new transportation bill, Oberstar’s ideas have real potential to turn into policy.

Today at the National Bike Summit in Washington D.C., Oberstar will meet with the country’s top bike lawyers to discuss the potential of a new legislative initiative to draft the country’s first piece of legal policy that would directly relate to the respect and recognition of bicycles as users of our roadways.


Tickets dismissed in Ainsworth case

Posted on January 29th, 2009 at 4:02 pm.

“…approaches are sometimes different, and misunderstandings likely because we are all human — regardless of whether we wear a stretchy bicycle jersey or an itchy police uniform.”
— From a public statement issued by the City Attorney’s office as part of a settlement reached in the Ainsworth Incident

Traffic citations given to two men who were ticketed for riding on NE Ainsworth Avenue back in November have been dismissed.

The case went in front of a Multnomah County traffic court judge at 1:30 pm this afternoon and, instead of arguing over who was at fault, all parties in the incident have signed onto an “Open Letter to the Community” (read it below, download here).

Reuben Vyn and Peter Welte were stopped by Officer James Pryce of the Portland Police on November 16th. Pryce said the men were impeding traffic, but Vyn and Welte, along with numerous witness accounts said otherwise. They claim Officer Pryce came within inches of them as he passed by on the narrow street and that he only turned around to cite them after one of the riders — in response to the close call — gestured and yelled at the officer.