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Update: Report on Traffic Enforcement Action

Posted by on February 22nd, 2006 at 10:54 am

Traffic Enforcement Action NE 7th & Knott

[*Update: Here’s a link to the story and video from the KATU TV news coverage]

Just got back from this morning’s Traffic Enforcement Action that was held at the intersection of NE Knott and 7th. These actions are a joint effort between the City of Portland Office of Transportation and the Portland Police Bureau. The goal is to raise awareness of neighborhood traffic laws, especially stop sign enforcement.

On the scene were bike activists Elly Blue, Jasun Wurster and Mark Ginsberg (also a bike lawyer), the Commander of the traffic division Bill Sinnott, city traffic safety specialist Greg Raisman, and John Canda, director of the NE Coalition of Neighborhoods. The media that showed up included KATU television and KPAM radio.

Traffic Enforcement Action NE 7th & Knott

[Greg Raisman talking to KATU]

The intersection was less crowded than the previous enforcment action at SE 26th and Clinton. Here’s the final tally of citations and warnings given.

Motorists:

    15 citiations
    5 warnings

Bicyclists:

    7 citations
    1 warning

There might have been more bicyclists cited if it weren’t for the verbal warnings being given by Jason Wurster, who showed up to make sure everyone came to a complete stop.

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West Cougar
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West Cougar

Any sidewalk bicyclists that proceeded through the intersection via the crosswalk at an “ordinary walk” pace, but without stoppping, as is permitted under ORS 814.410?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

So there are big signs saying “Traffic Enforcement Ahead,” tv crews, a herd of people, including one guy yelling “Come to a complete stop,” and yet 7 bikers STILL get ticketed?

Who are these 7 bikers, and why are they allowed to mingle with the general population?

Severt
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Severt

So a car can do 45 in a 25 but as long as they come to a complete stop they don’t represent a menace. A bicycle comes down the street at 8 mph but fails to come to a complete stop and they get a $230 fine to insure that they understand what kind of danger they represent to the public. Don’t ya just love it?

Scott
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Scott

Inspite of the fact that the cops claim it is an equal oppertunity enforcement action based on the numbers of cars vs. bikes on the road it seems like they are doing some unethical targeting.

At least if they want to target cyclists they should do it with their bike cops. I guess that you be too symetrical. Got to use fear and intimidation. Harass the homeless and protesters on horseback and bikes, bikes with motorcycle cops, etc. If they want to be useful they could dial down the rage and try using reason instead of overwhelming force. Maybe, if they really cared about public safety they could leave the guns at the station and ride some bikes out. It might actually send a positive message as well.

Running stop signs can be dangerous, it seems like punitive actions against folks with this power dynamic is not going to make people change behavior in a positive way. They will just look out for cops before running stop signs.

I really hope that people don’t give these pigs their drivers liscences so the cops can screw them over on their driving records. Does anyone know for sure if your legal duty is limited to providing accurate personal information? If they were asking for liscences maybe it would be a nice way to get the cops burned for once. Since one is not required to operate a bicycle it seems like they would have no reasonable reason to be able to require you to produce one.

Changing behavior would be much superior then making people fearful.

-S

C3PNo
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C3PNo

Damn it, people!

What policy makers and all others foreign to the cycling way of life fail to understand is that we have our “enforcement action” built in. If we fail to “enforce” our “actions,” we get all smashed up. Maybe some “education action” is in order: On the finer points of being an educated commuter (not to mention an educated consumer) on BOTH sides of aisle (lane, whatever…).

What about some recognition of the existence of bicyclists in the OS Driver’s Manual, testing and education materials, etc. Cyclist education? One who feels compelled to propel one’s self will surely contain enough impetus to educate one’s self. However, the authorities are wasting time by not engaging in dialogue with the Cymunity to develop official literature pertaining to the unique needs of this cultural showdown, this unneccessary transportational duel.

Doug
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Doug

Wow! Someone didn’t get their caffeine fix today! This appears to have been a pretty routine targeted enforcement detail with more warnings then tickets handed out. More warning was given then you would ever find in a sting targeted at cars. In reply, the cops are called pigs and derided as bully’s. Cops do this sort of stuff all the time to cars, but it’s not news because its routine. Now some light is being shed in a very minimal way on bicyclists who still don’t seem to understand that the rules apply to them, and some people fly off the handle and have the audacity to deem the cops negative! Talk about extremist rhetoric, sheesh!

Regarding the identification issue; You are required to give accurate information to a police officer if he/she is issuing you a citation. If you lie and are caught, you can go to jail for giving false information.

Contrarian
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Contrarian

More warnings that tickets? Is one more than seven?

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Oh the hypocrisy! Bikers love to complain about how drivers don’t share the road…but as soon as they are actually expected to follow the rules..the complaints flow like a river. I have an intersection right out my work window and at 8:30am I can watch an average of 5 bikers a minute break the law by not even slowing down for the stop sign that sits on a blind corner. And get this…they’re crossing HAWTHORNE right after the bridge…traffic goes 35mph. Personally, I think if some of these idiots get killed..I won’t shed a tear. Modern Darwinism in full effect and the gene pool just got improved.

jason
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jason

To “Jeremy”:

A person on a bike being killed by some self-righteous jack-ass motorist may indeed be what someone such as yourself views as an example of modern-day evolutionary progress. But then one day (in the not too distant future) when you can no longer purchase the ridiculous amount of energy it takes to fuel your SUV for your cross town drive to work every monring, you’ll see the contradiction in your above statement.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

The funny bit…is people like you who make ignorant stereotypes simply because I have a position that you don’t agree with. I am sure if you met me you would judge me as some sort of political conservative too. Reality is, I drive a compact vehicle that gets 35+ mpg because I am concerned with our oil dependancy and its impact on the environment and our national security. And get this…I drive, because I have to use my vehicle for work…moreover, its MORE expensive to take Trimet. I think people who own an SUV without a justifiable need are borderline morally reprehensible.

As for the issue at hand?… Well, I also think all you bike idiots out there who think they are above the law simply because they ride a moral highhorse (bike) to work everyday are major league d**ks. Your defense is..oh, we’re not going to do anyone any harm because we’re on a bike. BS. The ignorance/blindness of this is astounding. While your in the hospital because you failed to yield and acted like a self-righteous arrogant butthole…society at large now has to deal with endless legal BS, court time, lawyer time, insurance settlements, medical costs and on and on. You don’t think this is important? Oh…I see, in your little world the fact that you bike to work trumps all , yes? Who gives a rip about the cost that you impose on the rest of society…which will be far greater than the miniscule amount of gas you save. Not to mention the emotional impact you have on the driver who, even if its obvious that it wasn’t their fault, has to deal with the guilt burden of having put you in the hospital or having killed you. Nope, none of this matters…because…its all about you and your little myopic view of the world. So…uhh…yeah, I think the world could use a few less of this brand of ###hole.

Jonathan Maus
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Jeremy and Jason, you guys both make some great points and I appreciate your participation on this site. But please tone down the name-calling.

I don’t appreciate or tolerate personal insults and I work hard to moderate these comments so that the dialogue remains civil and constructive.

Please keep this in mind when you leave your next comment.

Thanks.

Doug
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Doug

Jonathan,

Actually Jason makes no good points. His typical actions on this list have been to attack anyone who disagrees with his extreme radicalism, as being SUV driving idiots, no matter what the evidence to the contrary. His lack of any discernible ability to openly and civilly discuss an issue is getting old and it would be better for all of us if he went back to throwing his bombs on indymedia, where I’m sure he’s likely to find lots of like-minded individuals.

jason
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jason

Doug-

More than one Jason uses this site. I believe you have mistaken me for a different Jason as I have never posted to the indymedia forum.

But interesting that you continued to carry on with the insults and stereotypes (on this out-dated thread).

By the way, if you are basing your assessment of who I am off my previous post in this thread, bear in mind that there is NOTHING radical about being pissed at a guy that would outright, publicly wish death upon a fellow cyclist.

Crankers
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Crankers

He didn’t “publicly wish death upon a fellow cyclist”, he said he wouldn’t “shed a tear” if a bicyclist flaunting the law while blowing a light died doing so. After that he made a variation of a eugenics argument facetiously in bad taste to get a rise out of you and punctuate his frustration. I wouldn’t feel much more sympathy for the same hypothetical biker, but I’m not wishing death on anyone.

One of the main (if not the main) tensions within the bicycle community is that there are plenty of bicyclists who ride just as aggressively (or even more) as the worst drivers. Also like the worst drivers, they have dozens of rationalizations and arguments why their behavior is acceptable, if not even responsible. As bicycle numbers increase it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. I’m sure that the few traffic division actions we’ve seen are just the beginning.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Ah…now we are engaged in historical revisionism! Wonderful. It always amazes me how people can read the printed word and get whatever they want out it regardless of what it actually says. (ie…lets kill the abortion doctor and somehow use the Bible to justify it)
So…to the point then. I didn’t ‘wish death’ on anyone, I simply said, “I won’t shed a tear.” Or am I required to be sad for those people in the world who have complete and total selfish disregard for their fellow man and people they share the community (and yes roads) with?!?! To be honest, this is really the same complaint cyclists always have about drivers. Selfishness. It seems that many cyclists really are just as bad then.

Mr. Know it All
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Mr. Know it All

Post # 5 nailed it with this statement:
“What policy makers and all others foreign to the cycling way of life fail to understand is that we have our “enforcement action” built in. If we fail to “enforce” our “actions,” we get all smashed up.”

We REALLY need to get the laws changed for bicycles at lights/signs to match the Idaho laws as was discussed previously on this site.

Has there been any progress on that or is this going to be a case typical for many important things in our country where our politicians need to get something done, but instead they sit on their asses for several years and GET ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WORTHWHILE DONE!?

Marc
Guest
Marc

I’m interested in those Idaho laws… as for me, I ride in a middle ground.. I, shall we say, have a fairly liberal attitude toward stops and red lights, but I always try to look all directions first and TRY to make sure I NEVER inconvenience a driver by my liberal attitude.. so for example if anyone is within a block or so of the intersection, I’m waiting. And of course, the lower the visibility, the more completely I stop. The questions are, what do people think of this? I know some think we should obey all laws to the letter. And the other question is, are there really a lot of riders out there who don’t care how they scare mototorists by their antics? Because I think that anything that scares or makes a driver unnecessarily nervous is messed up. Are there a lot of cyclists who can’t keep straight the difference between slowing down and going through if no one is within a block or two, and just blowing through with a ‘f—‘ the driver attitude?