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

by 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 53 speeding citations in just two hours on Highway 26 near the Zoo

by on October 12th, 2016 at 3:41 pm

PPB officers camped out on Highway 26 up near the Oregon Zoo to catch speeders. Read their press release below for how that turned out…

53 CITATIONS ISSUED DURING A #VISIONZERO TRAFFIC SAFETY MISSION

News Release from Portland Police Bureau
Posted on FlashAlert: October 12th, 2016 3:04 PM
Downloadable file: Vision_Zero.jpg
On Tuesday October 11, 2016, the Portland Police Bureau’s Traffic Division conducted a Vision Zero traffic safety mission on the Sunset Highway at the Oregon Zoo overpass. For approximately two hours, officers conducted high-visibility enforcement and education stops.

In total, 53 traffic citations were issued along with three written warnings. The average citation speed was 70 MPH in the 50 MPH zone. This location was selected for the mission due to the number of crashes that occur on the Sunset Highway.

This mission was conducted in an effort to address the high number of traffic crashes this year resulting in serious physical injuries or death. So far this year, 32 people have died in traffic-related crashes.

The Traffic Division and Precinct operations will be conducting future enforcement missions as staffing allows.

The Portland Police Bureau is committed to working with our partners in government and the community to create safer streets and work towards reducing, and eventually eliminating, traffic fatalities as part of Vision Zero.

Bike Theft Task Force returns with popular u-lock exchange program

by on July 22nd, 2016 at 9:44 am

After receiving a new u-lock, this woman learned how easy it is to cut her old one.(Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

After receiving a new u-lock, this woman learned how easy it is to cut her old one.
(Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

Last month’s inaugural U-lock? U-Rock! exchange was so popular that the Portland Police Bureau’s Bike Theft Task Force (BTTF) ran out of locks within the first hour.

“Before we even got set up, there was a line. We could not keep up with the demand,” Portland Police Bureau Officer Dave Sanders wrote in a debrief. “At one point, there was a line of cyclists a block long and so many people congregating around our tents, that it was interfering with other organizations.”

Officer Sanders and a crew of volunteers (more are needed!) and city partners will be prepared for the onslaught this Sunday when the program returns for Sunday Parkways Northeast. (more…)

Crash victims in limbo as police records backlog swells to six months

by on April 21st, 2016 at 4:16 pm

rowan
Small business owner Rowan Kimsey was seriously injured in a traffic crash over five months ago. She still doesn’t have a copy of the police report.
(Photo: M. Andersen/BikePortland)

For many traffic crash victims the difference between getting a check from the insurance company and getting nothing comes down to one document: a police report. And for an increasing number of Portlanders the time it takes to receive a copy of that report has ballooned from two weeks to up to six months.

These victims are in limbo. Without a police report they can’t get paid what they’re owed and they can’t fully heal emotionally because they often aren’t even able to find out basic information — like the first and last name — of the person who hit them.

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Federal trial lined up for police who Tasered Hillsboro man after bike infraction

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 14th, 2015 at 10:39 am

robinson in dirt
A Hillsboro police photo from the aftermath.

Two police officers and the City of Hillsboro are on course to defend themselves in a jury trial over their choice to Taser a man who they’d stopped for biking illegally beside Tualatin Valley Highway.

The man who was tackled and Tasered in the 2012 incident, Jermaine Robinson, had been riding after dark without a front light on his bike, and the officer who stopped him says Robinson had been crossing the Southeast 13th Avenue crosswalk against a “don’t walk” light.

After the officer, William Blood, pulled his car over to confront Robinson, Robinson refused to give his name and (according to Blood, but not Robinson) seemed to be preparing to pedal away. Blood’s colleague Brian Wilber then shot him with a Taser twice.

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Portland Police now making Vision Zero part of standard procedure

by on August 19th, 2015 at 12:32 pm

ppbsign

Just two days after the Chief of the Police Bureau spoke at the kickoff of Portland’s Vision Zero Task Force, we just noticed one small — yet important — change in how they operate.

Early this morning there was a fatal traffic incident in northeast Portland. Someone driving a car crashed into a garbage truck at 49th and Prescott and did not survive the collision. As they always do following one of these tragic episodes, the Police Bureau’s public information officer broadcasted a press release with the details.

I always scan these releases whether they include a bicycle operator or not. This morning as I read I noticed something new at the end of the release: (more…)

Hillsboro police Tasered and tackled man who biked through stoplight, records show

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 8th, 2015 at 9:22 am

13th tv highway
This is the Tualatin Valley Highway intersection where Jermaine Robinson biked, from right to left, immediately before a police stop that rapidly escalated into a Tasering and takedown.
(Image: Google Street View)

The City of Hillsboro and two of its police officers may head to trial this fall over a largely unreported 2012 incident in which the officers Tasered a 39-year-old Hillsboro man and kneed him into the ground after he allegedly rolled through a “don’t walk” light on his bike and then refused to give his name.

The interaction escalated over the course of three minutes from an evening traffic stop to a Taser-assisted takedown of a man who by all accounts had never attempted to physically harm the officers, though he did pull away from them when they tried to restrain and tackle him without warning.

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Why Portland’s new Chief of Police is good news for bicycling

by on October 7th, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Platinum celebration at City Hall-61.jpg
New Chief of Police Larry O’Dea outside City Hall in 2008. He’s standing with former Bicycle Liaison Officer Robert Pickett.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Police Chief Mike Reese announced his retirement today, and when the new chief steps in to replace him in January, his name might sound familiar to some BikePortland readers.

Larry O’Dea, a former captain of the bureau’s Traffic Division, is the new Chief of Police.
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Dispatch from a crosswalk enforcement action on NE Killingsworth

by on September 5th, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Crosswalk enforcement action NE Killingsworth-5
PBOT’s Sharon White and Leah Treat acted as decoys for a police action on NE Killingsworth this morning.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

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Dispatch from downtown on sidewalk biking enforcement day

by on July 31st, 2014 at 3:03 pm

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…)