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Dispatch from downtown on sidewalk biking enforcement day

Thursday, July 31st, 2014
Crowded sidewalk where we should create a plaza-4
Things got crowded earlier today at the food carts on SW 5th and Oak.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

With today’s police enforcement action targeting bicycling on downtown sidewalks, I took a few minutes to check out the action for myself.

Here are some of my thoughts… (more…)

Gresham PD announces stepped up ‘Safe Routes to School’ enforcement

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

It’s always good to see local law enforcement agencies devote more time and attention to dangerous driving — especially around schools. Check out the press release below from Gresham PD to see what they’re up to…

Operation Safe Routes Helps Kids Get to School Safely

Speeders and inattentive drivers beware! Gresham Police Department’s traffic division is beefing up its education and enforcement of traffic laws around area schools. This focused enforcement will start immediately and continue to the end of the school year, June 11. Officers are hoping to ensure the safety of children and pedestrians; preventing accidents and instilling healthy driving practices.

Funds from a Safe Routes To Schools grant will pay for the additional, target-specific enforcement in Gresham’s school zones and surrounding areas. Particular attention will be given to the areas around Hall Elementary School (2505 NE 23rd St., Gresham) and Mt. Hood Community College (2600 SE Stark St., Gresham).

Officers will concentrate on school zones, student pick-up and drop-off locations, and crosswalks. Drivers who are identified as breaking laws will be stopped and may receive a citation in addition to an educational pamphlet.

Oregon laws require drivers to obey posted speed limits, including the posted 20 MPH zones near local schools during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Drivers must also yield to pedestrians crossing streets within marked and unmarked crosswalks, stopping their vehicle before the solid white line when a crosswalk is in use and before reaching a stop sign.

Pedestrians too must obey traffic laws, comply with posted signs, cross within crosswalks and perpendicular to the roadway. Motorists and pedestrians alike are encouraged to remain alert and help keep each other safe.

Scofflaws abound on local freeways: Police make 452 stops in five hours

Thursday, January 30th, 2014
traffic on i-5 -1
Many law-breakers among them.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Just how much do people break the law when they drive on local freeways? A lot.

This fact is usually hidden from public eye for one main reason: Local law enforcement agencies simply don’t have the human resources to stop all the people who break the law. They are underfunded and understaffed. Dangerous driving and blatant disregard for Oregon traffic law is so common that police officers are forced to stop only the most egregious violators.

It’s only when law enforcement agencies do targeted enforcement missions that the full picture of lawlessness emerges.
(more…)

Police plan crosswalk enforcement mission near Parklane Elementary

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Here’s the news on the latest crosswalk enforcement action planned by PBOT/PPB;

Crosswalk enforcement planned Sept. 25th on SE 148th Avenue and Main Street

(September 18, 2013) – The Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Police Bureau advise the traveling public that a crosswalk enforcement action is scheduled for September 25th near the Parklane Elementary School in Southeast Portland to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and traffic law and to emphasize safety at the start of the school year.

The enforcement action will be from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on SE 148th Avenue and SE Main Street. The location has pavement markings, signage, and an overhead flashing beacon to help pedestrians cross safely. (more…)

Driving dangerously: Police issue over 1,100 citations in back-to-school mission

Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Beach Elem. School encourages biking and walking-7
School’s back in session and for some folks
the reminder came in the form of a traffic citation.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

During a two-week period that coincided with the start of the school year, the Portland Police Bureau issued well over 1,100 citations to people who violated traffic laws in school zones.

According to PPB Sgt. Tim Sessions, during the first day of “Operation Safe School Return,” photo radar units nabbed 400 speeding motor vehicle operators. After the first week, the number went up to over 800 (word spread fast apparently, because he said by the second week that number went down to 75). At the end of the two week mission, the PPB had issued 1,193 citations.

“I wasn’t surprised at all,” said Sgt. Sessions in a phone interview this morning. “People don’t remember that school is starting,” he said. “It’s like when it starts raining and the first thing you should do is slow down because the roads are slick, but people forget.”
(more…)

Stop! Police will target Ladd Circle stop sign violators today

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
Stop sign in Ladds
A stop sign at Ladd Circle.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Police Bureau is all set to do a targeted enforcement mission at Ladd Circle today. The action comes after they received complaints from area residents about people rolling through the stop signs.

As regular readers of this site know, this issue has plagued road users in this southeast Portland neighborhood for many years. We first reported about police activities at these stop signs in April 2007. Since then, the lack of compliance and resulting frustration from neighbors who say they’re afraid to walk around the circle and from people who feel the enforcement is unfair and a poor use of police resources, has continued.

On Monday, we received a phone call from PPB Traffic Division Lieutenant Chris Davis. He said he plans to send several officers out for the mission. “We’ve been getting complaints again of people running stop signs out at Ladd Circle,” said Lt. Davis. “We’re having the same issues with bikes and cars running the stop signs.” Lt. Davis said now that school is back in session, the bureau’s biggest concern is the safety of people walking in the area.

We’ve heard from various police sources that the mission might occur this morning and this afternoon. (more…)

Police ticketing riders for not following signs near SE construction zone

Thursday, August 8th, 2013
SE light rail construction detours-2
Navigate poorly and you could wind
up with a $260 ticket.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

On Tuesday, the Portland Bureau of Transportation proudly boasted about their traffic law enforcement crackdown around the light rail construction zone in inner southeast Portland. They issued 316 citations, 104 warnings, and arrested four people in just over two weeks of patrols. In press statements, PBOT says this stepped-up enforcement effort is being done in the name of safety and that their efforts are — understandably so — directed at speeding and, “motorists who are distracted, impaired, or aggressive.”

But what they haven’t said is that people on bikes are being ticketed simply for failing to properly navigate the confusing, stress-inducing, and inadequate detour signage. (more…)

PBOT, Police stepping up enforcement of traffic laws

Thursday, July 25th, 2013
Wheeler Ave traffic and meeting-10
To improve safety, the police are on high alert.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Last week we told you that Portland Mayor Charlie Hales was rolling up his sleeves to improve road safety. Today he and Commissioner Steve Novick teamed up with the Portland Police Bureau to launch a key component of that effort.

Hales and Novick have ordered the PPB to blanket notoriously dangerous roads with enforcement resources. This “crackdown” on dangerous road users comes after what the City describes as “An unusually high number of traffic fatalities so far this year.” “The public needs to know driver awareness can help keep the roadways safe,” reads their official statement.
(more…)

Careless driving to blame for death of woman in SE Division crosswalk

Thursday, July 11th, 2013
The bus operator was in this lane prior to collision.

The Portland Police Bureau have given the driver of a school bus two citations for her role in a collision that killed a 43-year-old woman who was walking across a southeast Portland street.

Renee Bates was walking on SE Division with her husband Shawn Bates on Tuesday afternoon when they attempted to walk eastbound across SE 148th (from the northwest corner). At the same time, 55-year-old Billie Jean Neel was attempting to make a right turn onto Division from 148th. Neel failed to operate her bus safely and ran over the Bates couple. Shawn was not seriously hurt but Renee died from her injuries later that day in the hospital.
(more…)

Police send message with 80 citations to drivers near major road closure

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

The Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division has sent a clear message to people how are driving fast and dangerously around the closure of SE Cesar Chavez Blvd: slow down and follow the laws. A statement issued by the transportation bureau this morning says they’ve written 80 citations so far in a “stepped-up” enforcement effort aimed at preventing people from cutting through residential streets — some of which are important arteries in the bike route network.

After we posted a story about this closure last week we immediately heard feedback from readers both via Twitter and in the comments about people who were driving too fast on neighborhood streets. SE 41st in particular, which is a popular street for biking, had become a thoroughfare for high-speed, inconsiderate drivers. Reader Pat Franz, who lives in the area, shared via a comment that, “we’re definitely getting more traffic- probably 3X normal. And more fast traffic.”

Here’s more from Franz: (more…)

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