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On night of protest, police stop 43 people for driving violations on St. Johns Bridge

Posted on November 4th, 2016 at 9:57 am.

Portland Police Sgt. Ty Engstrom on the St. Johns Bridge last night.(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Police Sgt. Ty Engstrom on the St. Johns Bridge last night.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

On the same night hundreds of community members took over the lanes on the St. Johns Bridge for a solemn memorial and protest event, the Portland Police Bureau was doing their part to raise awareness of safety issues.

The Traffic Division is stationed right at the eastern end of the bridge and they took advantage of their presence on last night’s ride to conduct an enforcement action — a.k.a. “traffic safety mission”. The bureau also said the recent death of Mitch York was a key motivator of this action.

The result: According to a police bureau statement they made 43 stops in just two hours. 30 citations were written and they made 13 warnings. The violations were “numerous” but predominantly for speeding. One person was arrested for driving on a suspended license.

Imagine if we did more enforcement like this and Joel Schrantz — the man driving with a suspended license who lost control of his vehicle and killed Mitch York on Saturday — was arrested before he had a chance to commit that tragic act of violence?

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Police write 31 tickets, 34 warnings and make two arrests in enforcement mission

Posted on September 6th, 2016 at 2:21 pm.

Wheeler Ave traffic and meeting-4
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Our roads are so full of dangerous and irresponsible vehicle operators that finding them is usually as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

Case in point: In response to a spate of collisions caused by reckless and illegal driving, the Portland Police Bureau decided to conduct a traffic safety mission on Friday night. For two hours between 7:00 and 9:00 pm they patrolled the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Grand Avenue couplet between the Ross Island Bridge and Broadway.

In those two hours they wrote 31 traffic citations and 34 warnings. They also arrested two people — one for driving under the influence and another person for outstanding warrants.

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Portland Police announce extra patrols after rise in fatal crashes

Posted on April 1st, 2016 at 8:49 am.

Chief O'Dea
Chief O’Dea is not messing around.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This is not an April Fools post.

The Portland Police Bureau has seen enough. After a troubling spate of fatal crashes on Portland roads, the bureau announced this morning they’ll be doing additional traffic enforcement citywide.

Yesterday’s morning fatal collision on SE Powell Boulevard was the 12th so far this year. That’s up from seven last year at this time. The PPB sends out their Major Crash Team — a special unit that includes experts in crash reconstruction and analysis — each time there’s a fatal or serious injury collision. A statement released by the PPB this morning says that the unit averages about 14 cases in the first three months of the year. However in 2016, they’ve already responded to 23 fatal or serious injury crashes.

PPB Chief Larry O’Dea, a former commander of the Traffic Division, said he’s making the announcement “in response to this devasting series of events.”

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Police write 15 citations for illegal driving during Clinton enforcement action

Posted on February 11th, 2016 at 3:38 pm.

SE Clinton 2.10.16 1
Two users of Clinton Street during yesterday’s enforcement action.
(Photo: Felicity J. Mackay, Portland Bureau of Transportation)

All 15 of the citations written by the Portland Police Bureau during Wednesday’s traffic enforcement action on Southeast Clinton Street were given to people who failed to obey traffic laws while driving their cars.

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Police and transportation bureaus team up for enforcement on SE Clinton tomorrow (2/10)

Posted on February 9th, 2016 at 5:44 pm.

SE Clinton traffic diversion project-6
Last month an officer jumped into harm’s way to
stop someone from driving the wrong way through
a recently installed semi-diverter on SE Clinton.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland will return to Southeast Clinton street for more traffic law enforcement tomorrow morning — one month after installing diverters aimed in calming down traffic. The last time they sent police officers to this area it was to deal with complaints about unsafe driving on what is supposed to be a neighborhood street that prioritizes cycling and walking.

They ended up pulling over 60 people and writing 35 citations for a variety of offenses. We heard several complaints from the community that the police officers assigned to the mission weren’t positioned in a way that allowed them to see the unsafe passing many people are concerned about. Now a lot has changed on Clinton since the Bureau of Transportation installed two new traffic diverters last month: one at SE 32nd and the other at 17th. While we’ve heard reports that biking conditions have improved on the street since the diverters went in, we have also heard that some people still drive dangerously through the diverter at 32nd, which is only a semi-diverter and leaves open the possibility of driving in a zig-zag through it.

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In defense of neighborhood greenways, city will send police to Clinton Street

Posted on December 14th, 2015 at 4:33 pm.

Guerrilla diverters on SE Clinton-9

As promised last week, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is calling out the police to beef up enforcement on SE Clinton Street.

It’s just the latest tool in their arsenal in the battle to defend neighborhood greenways from rude and dangerous driving behaviors.

According to a statement just sent around by PBOT, the police will take part in an “education and enforcement action” on Clinton between 12th and 50th tomorrow (12/15) from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 4:30 to 6:30 pm (it’s unclear why they’re avoiding the morning rush).

The aim of the increased enforcement is, “to enhance the Clinton Greenway and make it more inviting for people who are walking and biking.” It’s part of a multi-pronged effort to educate people who use Clinton that it was designed specifically for people to walk and bike. In addition to the enforcement, PBOT has placed 22 signs on the road to get the point across.

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

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

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

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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.

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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
Slower.
(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.

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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.

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