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...)

Riders discover woman driving car on I-205 Bridge bike path

Monday, April 22nd, 2013
Steven Basden calls police after talking with a woman who drove her
car up onto the bike path in the middle of the I-205 bridge.
(Photo: Paul Anderson)

On Sunday around 10:30 a.m., Half Fast Velo teammates Steven Basden and Paul Anderson were pedaling along on the Glenn Jackson Bridge/I-205 bike path when they made a suprising discovery: a woman in a car was headed right for them. (more...)

Beaverton PD launches distracted driving diversion program

Friday, April 12th, 2013
New program would offer class in
lieu of $110 ticket.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Beaverton Police Department wants to increase public awareness about distracted driving and especially the dangers of using a cell phone while driving. As of today, when people get stopped by Beaverton PD officers for violating Oregon's cell phone law, they will be given the option of going through a Distracted Driving Diversion Program.

Here's more from Beaverton PD Public Information Officer Mike Rowe:

"This new program provides drivers who have been stopped and issued a citation for using a mobile communication device an opportunity to attend an educational class. The class has an emphasis on distracted driving with a focus on the use of a cell phone. If you choose to take the Distracted Driving Diversion class, pay the diversion fee of $85.00, and successfully complete the class. The case will be dismissed and there will be no conviction on your driving record."


Activists suspect ride participant is an undercover Portland Police Bureau captain - UPDATED

Monday, April 1st, 2013
Krisapon Chaisawat
(Facebook profile)

Note from the publisher, 6:14 pm: This story was originally posted described a situation wherein attendees at a ride on Sunday believed they were accompanied by a Portland Police officer named Chris Uehara. After seeing photos of the officer and learning other similarities, I posted a story describing the situation and included quotes from ride participants who believed the man to be Captain Uehara.

I have since heard from the Portland Police that the man on ride was not Capt. Uehara.

In addition, I have also now confirmed that the man was indeed not Capt. Uehara but was instead a man named Krisapon Chaisawat (here's his Facebook profile). Chaisawat (who goes by Kris) is a 35-year-old food server who lives in Portland and works in West Linn. He called me after his wife saw his photos on this site. He said he's from Key West, Florida and just moved to Portland a few months ago. Chaisawat said he attended the event after hearing about it on BikePortland and just wanted to go on a ride and meet some people. About the story, he said, "I thought it was an April Fool's joke."

For what it's worth, Chaisawat seemed very understanding of what happened and just wanted to clear things up. The Veloprovo folks feel bad about the error and have reached out to Kris with offers to connect, go on a ride, and/or buy him a drink or two.

Portland Copwatch to host 'Your Rights, Bikes and the Police' seminar

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
N17 protests
Interactions happen. Knowing the law and
your rights can make them smoother.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Copwatch announced a seminar event today that's aimed at people who ride bikes. "Your Rights, Bikes and the Police" will be an informational event that will feature local attorney Mark Ginsberg and members of Portland Copwatch, a non-profit, "grassroots group promoting police accountability through citizen action."

Here's more about the event: (more...)

Police consider bike-focused stop sign enforcement on Springwater

Friday, January 4th, 2013
Streetview of Springwater and Spokane.

In response to multiple citizen complaints, the Portland Police Bureau says they plan to begin a series of enforcement actions on the Springwater Corridor Trail near Sellwood Riverfront Park.

BikePortland was contacted by Sgt. Ty Engstrom of the PPB Traffic Division on December 14th in hopes we could spread awareness about this intersection (Engstrom has been the bicycle liaison officer but was just recently transferred to Central Precinct). Sgt. Engstrom said, "I wanted to let you know about this issue to see if you could help spread the word to local cyclists of a complaint we've received multiple times. We will be starting some enforcement in the area."

Man cited for 'impeding traffic' during Pedalpalooza ride

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012
Kevin Stone's ticket.

During the BikeBOT Radio Ride on Monday night, Kevin Stone received a citation for impeding traffic. The ride is part of Pedalpalooza, a nearly month-long celebration of bicycling that includes hundreds of group rides.

Stone was approached by a Portland Police officer at 7:45 pm as he straddled his bike in the intersection of SE 34th and Belmont. The officer cited him for violating ORS 811.130, "Impeding traffic". Stone was fined $110. That statute reads (in part):

"A person commits the offense of impeding traffic if the person drives a motor vehicle or a combination of motor vehicles* in a manner that impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of traffic" [*Note that ORS 814.400 applies vehicle laws to bicycles.]

I happened to be on the ride, but had peeled off just a few blocks before Stone was pulled over. Stone contacted me after the ride to share his version of what happened. Turns out he was "corking" an intersection (when riders hold up cross traffic in order to let a larger group of riders stay together and safety pass through) and one of the vehicles he held up happened to be driven by a Portland Police Officer.

Here's Stone's version of what happened:

50 kids get free bikes thanks to Milwaukie Police Dept

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
Lewelling Elementry student Nikolas McKinney (green shirt) stands with Milwaukie PD Cadet John Pyle and Captain Steve Bartol. His friend Kayden Miller is in the background.
(Photos: North Clackamas School District)


New Portland Police Bureau videos aim to debunk "traffic myths"

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

The Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division just released a series of videos to debunk what they call "the top five most common traffic myths." All the videos could apply to people riding bicycles and one of them is targeted specifically at bike traffic.

The PPB says the videos cover issues that officers frequently hear as excuses when citations are issued. The videos are narrated by PPB Traffic Division Sergeant Bret Barnum. Along with the videos, Sgt. Barnum shares the specific Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) that goes along with them.

Here they are:

Hit someone biking and then flee the scene? Think again says PPB

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

"To me, driving off and leaving a bicyclist or pedestrian laying on the side of the road is one of the most cold-hearted things a driver can do. We'll go after them every chance we get."
— Sgt. Todd Davis, Portland Police Bureau

The Portland Police Bureau takes hit-and-runs seriously — especially when they involve someone walking or biking. I know their response to incidents doesn't satisfy everyone all of the time; but in my experience, when they have enough evidence to work with, they go after suspects until they find them.

So far this year, I've learned of two arrests that have been made. In both cases, the person driving the car hit someone riding a bike and then fled the scene. In both cases, the PPB opened an investigation and made an arrest. (more...)

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