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View Full Version : Warning (Cops ticketing near Broadway bridge)


jewis22
04-27-2007, 09:16 AM
A friend and myself just got tickets for not slowing down for a stop sign, heading from Vancouver taking a right onto Broadway, (I think we were on fifth actually) heading to the Broadway Bridge.
The cop was on a motorbike. Later in the evening as we rode past that spot again he had another rider.

Just watch out for those busy bike intersections. And pass the word.

We have the option of paying a $240 fine (each)
or attending a traffic safety class for $30 (they specify cash only) which may dismiss the ticket (hopefully)

We both used hand signals as we made the turn but it didn't matter, we didn't stop for the sign. I'm guessing it's the end of the month and they have quotas to fill. We're new in Portland and it puts a damper on our love for bike riding.
Should we just take the class?
How often to other people get tickets? is it just a part of Portland? or bad luck. We're not crazy aggressive riders, but we do sometimes pass a stop sign here and there.

tvhwy
04-27-2007, 10:20 AM
Portland has a recent history of bike stings. In an infamous recent one, something like 4 cop cars were staked out at a back-street stop sign; whereas bike community members have told of incidents where cyclists were threatened and called the cops, and none ever showed up.

It's a misallocation of resources, I think, in enforcement of a law that doesn't make sense for bikes. I think the BTA (http://www.bta4bikes.org/) is lobbying for a law like Idaho's, in which bikes can treat stop signs like yield signs.

TiAx
04-28-2007, 12:34 AM
This is the third known sting I'm aware of. Six officers were set-up at SE 22nd and Salmon last year and stopped some dozen bicyclists for rolling through a stop sign that rarely sees any traffic other than cyclists. Then there's been the well documented Ladd ticketing, and now this. I'm sure we haven't seen the last of it.

I agree that it's illogical to prosecute this. A much better resource is to judge cyclists on safe practices, not to the strict letter of the law. This is tantamount to ticketing people who drive 68 mph on highways out near Joseph, or fail to signal on the freeway at 4am when there's no other traffic.

donnambr
04-28-2007, 09:07 AM
A much better resource is to judge cyclists on safe practices, not to the strict letter of the law.
There's a problem with that. How do the police learn to judge safe practices so as to appropriately use the enormous amount of discretion they are given to enforce the law? I personally know of only one police officer in Portland who uses his bike on a regular basis for transportation. I doubt there are more than a few in the whole Bureau. As the bike patrol officer who spoke at the last Bike Master Plan Ride confirmed, Portland officers are not required to spend any time on bike patrol duty after their initial training. In fact, most of them are wary of even riding a bike in the city. He went on to offer his opinion that such a requirement would be heavily resisted by rank-and-file officers, and that most likely their union would make sure it never happened.

If a community's police force does not adequately represent all of the community that it serves, certain members of the community will never receive fair treatment.

worldsafari
04-29-2007, 06:26 PM
here is a novel idea, try stopping at the stop sign.

fetishridr
04-30-2007, 08:06 AM
how hard is it to just freaking stop at a busy intersection????? it seems that many people bitch on this forum about police stings and all of those fascist pig cops writing tickets, yet those same people dont do anything to push bike legislation for yield signs and the like. stoplights are just that, stoplights. if you are dumb enough to run a light right in front of a moto cop you deserve the ticket and bike safety class. BECAUSE YOU ARE THE CYCLIST THAT EVERY MOTORIST HATES. YOU ARE THE ERRATICALLY MOVING BIKER, YOU ARE., This gives motorists ammuniton about dealing with stupid bikers running lights/stops/going the wrong way/etc....
The stop sign is there to protect you. at the very least, during your scan to see if its clear, look for a cop too.
But as for coming down the busiest bike corridor in portland, and then running a stop onto an arterial that crosses the river right next to the freeway onramp. STOP!!!!!! and then you wouldnt have a problem.

i'm tired of this poor me BS propagated on this site about unfair police stings. i rode through the springwater sting w/out incident during its "sting". THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT EVERY CYCLIST THAT FEELS ITS THEIR GOD GIVEN RIGHT (OR DARWINIAN RIGHT) TO RUN STOP SIGNS IS JUST AS SELFISH AS THE MOTORIST THAT FEELS THAT NO BIKES SHOULD BE ALLOWED ON THE ROADS OR THAT DRIVES IN BIKE LANES AND TURNS RIGHT WITHOUT CHECKING THEIR BLINDSPOT.

GET REAL!!!! stop being such a hypocrit.

****** note this response is not directed at just this poster, but at the wider audience who feels they are above the law.

brock
04-30-2007, 02:45 PM
I don't always stop at stop signs, but I do make darn sure the intersection is free and clear.

Here's the test - if you slow and look for traffic, see none, procede, and then get pulled over by a cadre of officers, well you're not paying close enough attention.

nishiki
04-30-2007, 03:18 PM
A friend and myself just got tickets for not slowing down for a stop sign, heading from Vancouver taking a right onto Broadway, (I think we were on fifth actually) heading to the Broadway Bridge.
The cop was on a motorbike. Later in the evening as we rode past that spot again he had another rider.

Just watch out for those busy bike intersections. And pass the word.

We have the option of paying a $240 fine (each)
or attending a traffic safety class for $30 (they specify cash only) which may dismiss the ticket (hopefully)

We both used hand signals as we made the turn but it didn't matter, we didn't stop for the sign. I'm guessing it's the end of the month and they have quotas to fill. We're new in Portland and it puts a damper on our love for bike riding.
Should we just take the class?
How often to other people get tickets? is it just a part of Portland? or bad luck. We're not crazy aggressive riders, but we do sometimes pass a stop sign here and there.


Plead not guilty, go to your court day (the officer may not show up!)
Explain why you thought it d be safer for you to not completely stop (cf your hand signal)
The judge will send you to the class. $30 vs $242 good math.

Don t let this unlucky occurence stop you from biking and don t listen to people like fetishblah. Portland loves all bicyclists and pedestrians, thank you for moving to this town and keeping one less car in the street.

jwdoom
04-30-2007, 04:33 PM
Don t let this unlucky occurence stop you from biking and don t listen to people like fetishblah. Portland loves all bicyclists and pedestrians, thank you for moving to this town and keeping one less car in the street.

Absolutely false. You are completely incorrect, Nishiki.

I can tell you that even in bike Nirvana a good portion of the city DESPISES cyclers and it's largely due to the jackasses who routinely blow red lights and cut off buses and cars with barely a glance. When I got my bike I had plenty earsful from friends and acquaintances who drive about how many assholes on bikes there are. Just yesterday I was waiting for a light on second and no less than four fixed gear hipsters blew the red light, splitting lanes (also illegal) to do so. That kind of bullshit makes us all not only look bad but puts us in greater danger every day.

And as someone who's been a pedestrian for much longer (my feet and TriMet were my only regular transportation options before I got my Marin about three years ago) crosswalks are WAY more dangerous than riding a bike.

By all means, continue riding your bike. But listen to sensible cyclers like worldsafari and fetishridr and stop where the signs say to.

That said, a yield law for bikes would be awesome.

rubbish heap
04-30-2007, 09:29 PM
Haha.. fixed gear hipsters...

i wonder, if i wear a safety vest and clipless shoes but i still have a sweet track frame, would someone like jwdoom call me a fixed gear hipster if i passed him/her on ankeny?

tvhwy
05-01-2007, 09:17 PM
aren't you a hipster by merit of being on ankeny? :p

TiAx
05-01-2007, 10:38 PM
How do the police learn to judge safe practices so as to appropriately use the enormous amount of discretion they are given to enforce the law?

I see your point, but their lack of experience as riders shouldn't cloud their common sense judgement. They can use logic and reason the same way they do with traffic.

Having said that, I must say I agree with Worldsafari and Brock in this regard - If you don't stop at the stop sign (for whatever the reason), and get ticketed, you can't argue that "no one was around". Well, obviously there was a police officer around, so you weren't paying attention.

My complaint stems from the impression that the areas they are chosing to set up stings aren't because they are dangerous areas where cyclists are most likely to cause traffic accidents (or get hurt), but because they are easy to write a lot of tickets.

fetishridr
05-03-2007, 07:29 AM
the sting at the broadway and williams/weidler is all too important. when that fancy pdot map came out with bike/car accidents. the intersection on broadway coming from N PO was one of the worst areas, so a sting is not a "crazy misallocation of police resources" there. there is a lot of fast moving traffic trying to get on the interstate (or off it) in that part of town.

however, the stings on ladd's circle and on the spring water trail by omsi is complete BS. thats a waste of resources.

By the way. there was a moto cop on the springwater yesterday (1st) around 2pm writing tickets. I stopped and . . . . . no ticket!

TiAx
05-03-2007, 10:35 AM
Thanks for the clarification fetishidr.

jwdoom
05-06-2007, 11:57 AM
Haha.. fixed gear hipsters...

i wonder, if i wear a safety vest and clipless shoes but i still have a sweet track frame, would someone like jwdoom call me a fixed gear hipster if i passed him/her on ankeny?


Safety vests are SO HOT right now.

If you don't ride in cowboy boots (and stop at red lights) you're probably okay.

Leat
05-11-2007, 05:52 PM
There was another sting in Ladds Addition last week. I am surprised no one wrote about it. My friend, who slowed down and looked both ways before going through the stop sign, was ticketed to the tune of $240! For riding a bike through a quiet neighborhood stop sign? Give me a break.

I think the issue is, when is it practical to stop? If there is traffic, stop. Easy. On a bike you can hear traffic from a block away, and see it very easily, unlike in a car. I will continue to ride my bike in this manner regardless of the law. I do this because the physics of riding a bike is different than driving a car. And I will continue to be pissed off when the police do senseless stings to enforce this.

PoPo
05-17-2007, 01:19 PM
There's a problem with that. How do the police learn to judge safe practices so as to appropriately use the enormous amount of discretion they are given to enforce the law? I personally know of only one police officer in Portland who uses his bike on a regular basis for transportation. I doubt there are more than a few in the whole Bureau. As the bike patrol officer who spoke at the last Bike Master Plan Ride confirmed, Portland officers are not required to spend any time on bike patrol duty after their initial training. In fact, most of them are wary of even riding a bike in the city. He went on to offer his opinion that such a requirement would be heavily resisted by rank-and-file officers, and that most likely their union would make sure it never happened.

If a community's police force does not adequately represent all of the community that it serves, certain members of the community will never receive fair treatment.

Hey let me just clarify a little....

There are more than a few officers who bike on a regular basis. There are bicycles parked in the precinct hallways most days I go to work. I don't think that bicyclists are significantly under-represented among officers. Keep in mind that the job generally attracts active people who like to be outside, away from a desk, etc. I think that is the type more likely to have ridden in the past, if not presently. And for the past several years, all new Portland Police Officers have be required to take the 40-hour law enforcement bicycle certification course (I know, that's not that long). I am sometimes an instructor at these classes and always ask on the first day how long it's been since officers have ridden a bike. There are always one or two who haven't since they were kids, but most have reasonably recent riding experience. That said, not all officers want to ride bicycles at work, just as not all want to ride horses or motorcycles or be a detective, etc, and it would probably be counter-productive in many ways to force them to do so, even if bicycle-patrol slots were available for all of them. This job is emotionally challenging enough as it is, I can't imagine being forced to patrol on a tool I didn't like to ride in the first place.

I hear that argument a lot, about officers not really knowing what it is like to ride a bike in traffic, and that if they only knew they might change their enforcement practices. I agree that it is good experience to have, and that more have it than one might assume (see above), however as both an officer and avid bike rider, neither do I believe that it is that mysterious. I can also tell you that when the vast majority of your "work" is driving around in traffic, I think it is possible to form a reasonable opinion on what is safe and what isn't, even for non-bike riders. Do they get it wrong sometimes? Sure. But is their thought process usually pretty reasonable, for most traffic stops? I think so. What we don't have in this thread is the explanation from the officer regarding why he/she decided to stop the bicyclists. What was the traffic situation? How fast did they blow the sign? Did they see something the cyclists didn't, etc.

We rarely get that, unless we go to court to argue the case, which the bicyclists should definitely do here if they have the time!

PoPo
05-17-2007, 01:20 PM
Hey I think I figured out a while ago that if you post 30 messages you promoted from Junior to full Member....here we are, let's hope it works......

PoPo
05-17-2007, 01:21 PM
Yay! It switched over!! I'll expect my credentials in the mail any day....

Haven_kd7yct
05-18-2007, 09:02 AM
Is it "senseless", though? As a bike rider, passing through an area, you only have one perspective. Maybe there are other issues that you are unaware of that prompted the sting, or stings.

("You" not being a specific person, I'm not attacking anyone, just trying to think about other people's points of view.)

In any case, PoPo, it's nice to hear that officers go through a 40-hour bike class. That's about 40 hours more than everyone else gets. :) I know there wasn't a class when I bought my bike, but hey, maybe other places do that for their customers.

Anyway. I think I posted enough to get to be a full member. Don't recall getting a certificate or anything, though. :)

mizake
05-18-2007, 12:58 PM
Anyway. I think I posted enough to get to be a full member. Don't recall getting a certificate or anything, though. :)

I got two!

marco452
05-18-2007, 05:46 PM
The thing I'm curious there is - and I know we should all pretty much stop for red lights etc. - did their going through the light, splitting lanes, etc., actually inconvenience anyone? I.e. was there anyone actually anywhere close coming in the perpendicular direction? Because, if not, we are back to what to me is aserious question (ok, I need a life): I know it's not good bike diplomacy to even stop at a red light, check cross traffic, then glide carefully through if no one is coming -- and with drivers there seeing me do this. But how do I resist the temptation? And should I? At least until I get a zillion dollar ticket?

TiAx
05-20-2007, 02:35 PM
I still wonder what I did before. Why specifically do the police target places like Ladd's Edition? Is it because even though it doesn't look like it at all, this is a dangerous area with a past history of a lot of accidents or near accidents, resulting in bodily harm and property damage? Or is it because it's an easy place to rack up revenue by ticketing cyclists who casually roll through a stop sign there?