(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
crosswalk enforcement action
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has been doing "crosswalk enforcement actions" for several years. The events, which place a human decoy in a crosswalk with a phalanx of cops waiting to pull people over nearby, have helped raise awareness for crosswalk laws and traffic safety in general. In the past six years, the actions have netted nearly 1,000 citations.
One of the most dangerous streets in the city is SE Foster Road. It's a high-speed arterial that has claimed many victims over the years, including a fatal hit-and-run just last week. Portland Mayor Sam Adams himself launched a safety campaign on SE Foster in 2010, calling it a de facto "freeway."
Today I noticed that PBOT had a crosswalk enforcement action scheduled for tonight on SE Powell at 54th — a location less than a mile from SE Foster. In an email from PBOT traffic safety staff about the actions, I read this:
"The crosswalk enforcement action scheduled for Thursday, February 2nd... has been postponed until a later date to be respectful to the residents of Foster Powell and Mt. Scott Arleta that will be having a candlelight vigil for Jason Lee Grant on Thursday at 5:30 PM on SE Foster near SE 71st Avenue. Mr. Grant was crossing SE Foster near SE 71st on Saturday evening when he was struck and killed by a hit and run driver."
These arterial streets are so frustrating and so sad. Despite efforts to hang banners over them, install blinking lights at crosswalks, do enforcements actions, and hold vigils to remember their victims — these streets continue to win in the end.
Surely there's got to be more we can do to tame these streets? What we're doing now is great; but sometimes it seems like it's just not enough.
For more information about tonight's candlelight vigil, contact Christian Smith via email at christianbsmith [at] me [dot] com.
Check out more details in the press release below from PBOT:
Crosswalk enforcement with Police is Wed. at W Burnside, NW 20th
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Police Bureau and Portland Bureau of Transportation announced a crosswalk enforcement event for Wednesday, October 26, to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and traffic law.
The enforcement will take place from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at a crossing of W Burnside Street NW 20th Place.
A crosswalk enforcement action includes a pedestrian decoy positioned at marked or unmarked crosswalks. Those in cars and on bicycle who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians who jaywalk may be issued a warning or citation by the Portland Police Bureau.
Crosswalk enforcement actions are an effective way to communicate pedestrian right of way laws to all who use our streets. The transportation and police bureaus do enforcement actions in response to community requests and to educate the general public on the rules at marked and unmarked crossings. They are conducted approximately once a month.
The City of Portland's latest crosswalk enforcement action resulted in 22 citations on Tuesday during rush hour on N. Williams Avenue. The event lasted from 5:30 to 7:30 pm and is part of an ongoing effort by the Police Bureau and Bureau of Transportation to raise awareness of Oregon traffic laws among Portland vehicle operators.
The police focused on the intersection of Williams and NE Morris near Dawson Park. Even though extensive warnings were made to the public both in advance and during the event, the police still managed to nab 22 law-breakers. Of the 22 citations written, 8 of them went to bicycle operators, 1 went to someone walking (for unsafely crossing the street to catch a bus), and 13 were given to people driving cars. (more...)
The Portland Bureau of Transportation and the Police Bureau will be watching you during the evening rush on N Williams Avenue on Tuesday night (8/23).
As I reported back in July, PBOT and the PPB will be doing a "crosswalk enforcement action" at the intersection of Williams and Morris. The idea is to educate the public about Oregon's crosswalk laws.
The cops will be out in force with a special focus to make sure people operating cars and bikes stop — and stay stopped — when someone tries to cross the street. (They'll also be watching for jaywalkers, they say.) (more...)
cops and crosswalks?
(Photos © J. Maus)
One of the tools we can use to make our streets safer is to get tougher on enforcement. So, what happens when police officers focus on particular violations at specific locations?
Recently, we came across a report detailing five years of crosswalk enforcement actions carried out by the Traffic Division of the Portland Police Bureau. The results (below) show that in most locations, there is either simply ignorance or blatant disregard for basic traffic laws that protect our most vulnerable road users.
Sharon White is PDOT's pedestrian safety chief. One of the many programs she oversees is an ongoing "crosswalk enforcement action" campaign. Working with the Portland Police Bureau, White and staff at PDOT identify high-risk intersections and then employ decoys to walk across them while officers stand by.
White is so committed to her work that often, she herself takes on the role of crosswalk guinea pig. A few weeks ago, during one of the enforcement actions, she got more than she bargained for. (more...)