Special gravel coverage

Police report on Ladds Circle enforcement

Posted by on April 12th, 2007 at 5:32 pm

I just received a report on Wednesday’s enforcement mission at Ladds Circle from Traffic Division Sergeant Mike Fort:

Normally, I would just report the statistical results from an enforcement mission, but this mission in Ladd Circle was so dynamic, that I am obligated to share much more of the story. Traffic officers worked this location because of a specific complaint from a neighborhood resident that said he and his wife were hit by different bicyclists on different dates. Most violators were referrred to the Share the Road Safety Class.

No less than a dozen people from all modes of transportation contacted us during the mission, and thanked the police for “finally doing something about the bicycle problem that has been going on for years….” People on bikes, cars, and walking their dogs approached us with unsolicited offers of thanks and encouragement.

Attached is a photograph (above) of some the enforcement activity that shows bicycles and motor vehicle violator contacts as well as a bicycle in the distance that ran the stop sign at Ladd Ave. and was later stopped. This photo shows the dynamics of this area that is full of multi-users including pedestrians that cross streets during routine neighborhood walks.

Additionally, I personally witnessed three incidents that nearly resulted in serious crashes. One of those incidents was a bicyclist that passed two other bicyclists that had stopped, and just started to go again, when he passed by their left through the stop sign at nearly 20 mph, then cut to the right in front of them causing them to veer away to avoid collision. All this happened while a car had just passed in the circle.

Finally, at two different times, two different cyclists warned other cyclists that police were working the stop signs.

In spite of those warnings, here are the numbers:

DATE: Wednesday, April 11, 2007
TIME: 0730-0930
LOCATION: Ladd Circle, Southeast Portland
OFFICERS: Seven (7) Motorcycle Officers




So that’s the Police perspective on the situation.

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Todd B April 12, 2007 at 6:01 pm


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  • Burr April 12, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    I’d be really curious what the ‘bicycle equipment violations’ were.

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  • Clark April 12, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    I wonder how many meth-related crimes happened while those 7 motorcycle officers were busy working in Ladds Circle.

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  • Disco D April 12, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    Fixies w/o brakes probably.

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  • Paul Cone April 12, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    Any word on the afternoon report? They were there until at least 6:40 pm. I didn’t count exactly but it seemed to be about the same number of officers, and they had two or three bikers pulled over.

    Also I find it curious that the report includes comments from residents but not any from the bicyclists.

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  • Joe April 12, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Clearly, there are certain rogue bicyclists who not only refuse to follow traffic laws, they endanger others when they do it. I usually don’t come to a complete stop at a stop sign unless there are other vehicles approaching, but I certainly would never pedal at top speed through a stop sign or signalized intersection, like the one described in the report. We know they’re out there and because of them and the problems they’ve created, no matter how few there may be, they will continue to make the rest of us look unsafe and cause anti-bicyclist sentiment to brew among others.

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  • Martha S. April 12, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    Well, it does make sense that they wouldn’t include comments from the cyclists… you can pretty much assume that anyone getting a ticket is going to be unhappy. Did any cyclists who were not pulled over make any specific comments to the cops?

    There is also the possibility that this is more of a local disruption than many of us immagine it to be. That said, I have serious trouble imagining two seperate occations of pedestrian/bike collisions as were desribed above, unless that couple has a tendancy to jump out in front of cyclists or something. It does, however, seem like many of us are ignoring the pedestrians in Ladds addition. I still think yeild signs in this area would be wise; but perhaps those signs could be sure to mention pedestrians, reminding cars and cyclists to yeild to peds. We all know to look out for cars… but I think we may forget to keep an eye out for peds some times.

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  • alan bluehole April 12, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    Thank you for getting the report. Someone on the Mercury comments chastised me for wanting the report. What is wrong with information, I say?

    Now it would be nice to know if the story of the two family members getting hit is true.

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  • Jim F April 12, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    I can’t even tell you how many fellow cyclists blow by me every day while I am stopped at red lights. I hope the cops do more of these enforcement actions. They are needed.

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  • Rider April 12, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    “People on bikes, cars, and walking their dogs approached us with unsolicited offers of thanks and encouragement.”

    I’m guessing some ofthose bikers who thanked the cops are residents. This is an example who I mean would be understandably thankful for the cops being there http://bikeportland.org/2007/04/11/enforcement-action-at-ladds-circle/#comment-363312.
    I wonder what the other two close calls he saw were. One things for sure if you could see so good that you don’t need to stop, you wouldn’t have gotten a ticket because you would have seen the 7 motorcycles and close calls wouldn’t have happened because your perfect vision and hearing would have worked their magic. Oh well. being a biker doesn’t give you magic powers.

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  • conquistador April 12, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    Regarding the officer’s observation of several near-misses, it seems obvious to me (but apparently not to the officer) that Heisenberg’s Uncertainty principle was at work.

    That said, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for those who didn’t stop. If you didn’t see 7 motorcycle cops riding around in a very confined space directly in front of you, you probably wouldn’t see a small child or elderly person crossing in a crosswalk.

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  • wyatt April 12, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Don’t let the statistics provided lull you into a false sense that bicycles were not specifically targeted. They were. Granted, that much may be obvious to anyone reading this blog, but cars need to be watched far more closely. That too should be obvious. Police focus on far more dangerous intersections would be time, and taxpayers’ money, better well spent.

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  • wyatt April 12, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    To summarize: bikes just aren’t that dangerous to warrant that kind of operation.

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  • Klixi April 12, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    It’s a copout to say “Why are they wasting resources here when there are bigger problems elsewhere?” Shifting blame when caught breaking the law is cowardly, and if you have a problem with the law then do things to change it rather than pretend the law doesn’t exist or apply to you. Why do cyclists always get mad at cars who run stopsigns yet I see the majority of cyclists run stopsigns on a daily basis. We can’t claim to want all the rights that cars are afforded and then also say “but since we’re bikes, we should also be allowed to do this, this and that.”

    If I think a loaf of bread is being sold for too much, does that give me the right to just steal it because that is what I think should happen? Of course not. If you disagree with the location of a stop sign, follow the legal procedure to have it reviewed and/or removed. Until that happens, obey the laws that are around. They will not only keep you safe, but they will improve the opinions that peds and drivers have of us as a bunch of bike riding miscreants.

    Also, just to throw this in: A few nights ago I was walking to Fred Meyer (I live on NW21st) and as I was walking through an intersection (no cars coming in either way, and it was night) a lady on a bicycle came BLASTING through the intersection, literally hitting my ribs with her handlebars, then not even bothering to apologize. She was a very “normal” looking girl, not like the hipper-than-thou cyclists who hang out at Portland Coffee Shop all day. I think I’m pretty sure I know how the people in Ladd’s Addition feel now about cyclists who don’t stop.

    Just think about your actions.

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  • Logan 5 April 12, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    wyatt and others, I think the whole point of this is that people who ride bicycles do not ride in some sort of selfish, elitist utopia. Picture this: I am a car at an intersection and proceed forward after a full stop. Just then, a bicyclist comes hauling through the intersection in front of me (much like the 47 noted above). Being a human, I naturally don’t want to kill somebody and I slam on the brakes and wham, I get hit from behind by the person who thought I was continuing on. To say that there are better places to enforce the law is ridiculous.

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  • Qwendolyn April 12, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    I have to disagree strongly with Klixi.

    Here’s why:

    There ought to be something done when a bicyclist hits a pedestrian. But that’s not what this story is about. Nobody hit any pedestrians today. People were ticketed for moving violations and equipment violations.

    What happened today was about the police being at the beck and call of people with money.

    There are laws on the books that never get enforced except when they are needed to control people. If everyone had the book thrown at them every time they did anything illegal we would live in a damn police state. I guarantee that someone with money and power could make your life miserable by prosecuting you for trumped up charges.

    That is why a sting like this is nothing more than harrassment. When laws are arbitrarily enforced (as they were with this stop sign sting,) it means the common man is getting shafted and the police are overlooking some fat cat in a suit somewhere who is making money off the sweat of others’ backs.

    The criminal justice system in this country is classist and has its priorities way out of whack.

    So here’s to militancy, and here’s to cycling.

    Watch out for cops, and ride on.

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  • Peter April 12, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    Isn’t this just more incentive to get the Idaho-style ‘stop-as-yield’ law passed? What’s the status with that proposed legislation, anyway?

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  • Paul Cone April 12, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    The officer used the extreme example, rather than what I think is what happened to most of the other 46 people cited, which was probably slowing to almost a stop, looking around, and making sure it was clear to go before proceeding. That is what most people on bikes (and in cars) do. The posts on previous threads from people who have gotten tickets indicate that.

    This is a lot of things (bikers being dangerous among them) but it is mostly as Qwendolyn said, harrassment at someone else’s beck and call.

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  • brad April 12, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    I guarantee that even if everyone on my residential street called 10 times each this week to report cars speeding, there might be one officer lurking around.

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  • N.I.K. April 12, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    She was a very “normal” looking girl, not like the hipper-than-thou cyclists who hang out at Portland Coffee Shop all day.

    Alarmed by the fact that it’s not just those smug tattooed hooligans who are simply *always* breaking the law, are you? I’d advise you to also wise up to something even bigger than that, Klixi: this *was* a waste of resources, and I get to say this without it being any sort of copout because I always stop at stop signs and follow traffic laws to a T.

    Why was it a waste of resources? Because all that happened was the PPB made 47 examples to satisfy residents of one community who were organized enough to issue complaints in a given window of time. A scant handful of the stopped cyclists will think twice before blowing a stop sign. The rest will consider it as one of those few instances where they got caught and keep doing what they do. Meanwhile, the PPB, having flexed its muscles and seemingly made a point, can go back to discretionary enforcement at the sheer whim of how much a given officer cares to do their job*. The rogue cyclists will continue blowing stop signs and motorists will continue to do rolling stops because most of the time, there’s precious little to worry about, as long as there’s not a cop around or another human being winding up under a given vehicles tires.

    *Yes, this is acknowledgment that some care to do things right and others do not. No more, no less.

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  • Rider April 12, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    Are you talking about examples of tickets like this one Paul? http://bikeportland.org/2007/04/11/enforcement-action-at-ladds-circle/#comment-362517
    Hav you ever riden through Ladds? Have you kept your eyes shut to that fact most bikers simply blow throug the stop signs there. Bikers don’t even hit their brakes. At least car drivers slow down there. Go watch – get a cup of coffee at Palios and watch- then come back and say that most are coming to a near stop. You won’t be able to because it is not a true thing to say. Bikers not even slowing is why neighbors there are talking about their kids getting hit. Why would someone like Chris who lives there, rides a bike, and fears for his kids when they try to cross at the circle lie?

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  • Curt Dewees April 12, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    In response to the commentator who wrote, “Bikes just aren’t that dangerous to warrant that kind of [police sting] operation.”


    A year or two ago, a bicyclist ran a red light or stop sign in Corvallis, Ore., and hit and killed a pedestrian. That’s right, KILLED the pedestrian.

    And here in Portland, a bicyclist trying to speed through a crowd of people near the Rose Garden Arena apparently lost control of his bike and struck a young child, seriously injuring the child.

    I sincerely believe that most of the complaints from Ladd’s Addition residents were from nice, normal folk who are afraid of this kind of serious bicyclist-pedestrian crash happening in and around the crosswalks of Ladd’s Circle. I tend to disagree with those who contend that is was mostly irate motorists who were irritated at having to slow down behind bicyclists taking the lane who were calling the police and demanding action.

    Think about it: Why would a motorist who is in a hurry call to complain about a cyclist blowing a stop sign? If anything, having the bicyclist in front of them blow through the stop sign at cruising speed would tend to keep traffic moving at a faster pace for the in-a-hurry motorist, whereas a cyclist who stopped and put a foot down at every stop sign in a narrow-lane roadway would tend to slow down car traffic even more.)

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  • Burr April 12, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    The cops do this maybe once a year, have fun out there, but do be vigilant. My condolences to the folks who got caught.


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  • jami April 12, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    i was annoyed with the complainants at first, but if what the cop says is true, it sucks that some cyclists hit those pedestrians. if cars had hit the same two cyclists in the same area repeatedly and just kept going without an apology, you bet we’d be complaining to the police.

    i always slow down enough at intersections not to even scare anyone, let alone hit them. but at least once a week, i see a cyclist making us all look like jerks by blowing a stop sign so fast that a pedestrian steps back on a curb or a car slams on its brakes. it sounds like a few of those full-speeders got tickets. good. but it sucks that a couple nice cyclists who make sure they aren’t scaring or hitting anyone probably got scooped up along with them. that’s the fault of jerks who hit pedestrians and leave them angry enough to call the cops, not the fault of cops or the people who get hit.

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  • Tom April 12, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Traffic circles/roundabouts should be Yield controlled. Most places in the world recognize this as the norm. Catch the wave…

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  • Martha S. April 12, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    I honestly think that getting the idaho style stop sign laws passed here would make it far easier for the police to go after cyclists that behave in a genuinely dangerous manner. Clearly, if anyone has to take evasive action to avoid a collision you didn’t yield the right of way.

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  • Greg April 12, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    This is ridiculous. I can’t believe how many people are standing up for this enforcement action. Stop signs should be treated as yield signs and stop lights as stop signs. That means I can blow through a stop sign at 20 miles per hour as long as it’s safe and there are no peds or cars coming. And you know what? This circle used to be on my route and entering the circle at 20mph while pedaling without even slowing was completely safe because it was incredibly easy to see any and all traffic on half the circle. Cyclists get demonized for the fools who don’t yield to cars at stop signs, and that is the real problem, not the speed at which we enter intersections. The situations that Logan and others use to express their frustration about cyclists who don’t yield are valid, but they have missed the point that, treated as yield signs, there would be no conflict.

    This police action is a joke; a complete waste of time. Using the one (questionably) reckless cyclist as an example just shows that the other 45ish probably would’ve yielded at the Ladd stop sign to any oncoming traffic like any sane individual would’ve, but biked through because there was no traffic.

    To all of you who use the example of the Corvallis death to justify stupid traffic laws: my grandma is 80 and smokes and she’s perfectly healthy so that means smoking is okay. What the hell are you thinking? For the thousands of times people TREAT STOP SIGNS AS YIELD SIGNS on bikes no one has been killed. When people do not yield, bad things happen, usually to the cyclist who fails to yield. It’s pretty awesome that cyclists have only killed one person because shoes, sidewalks, dishwashers, showers, and anything else you see around you right now has probably killed a bunch of people throughout time.

    This discussion has been beaten to death many times on this board and people need to “get off the internet” and start writing letters.

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  • David Dean April 12, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    Would anyone like to shed some light on Comment #11? If the ticketed cyclists were approaching the intersection safely, why were they not able to stop for the signs after seeing seven cops camped out in the middle of the circle?

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  • Jon B. April 13, 2007 at 1:02 am

    I have no comment on the enforcement action other than to say that it would be nice if these kinds of “hot spots” could be identified and perhaps altered to improve traffic flow and reduce conflicts.

    More importantly I just want to say that it is encouraging to read that I am not the only one who is driven crazy every time I see somebody on a bike blatantly blow red lights in high traffic areas.

    We are vehicles and we affect those around us.

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  • Jen April 13, 2007 at 3:58 am

    There seems to be a consensus here that this sting was a clear act of harassment and a differential enforcement of the law (similar sting operations are not enacted against cars).
    What troubles me is the lack of cohesion and organization within the cycling community to fight police action such as this. It comes down to money, and it comes down to lobbying power. Why are we as cyclists so divided? Commuter against messenger, recreational rider against professional racer, etc.? If we organized, if we came together as a lobbying power we could take action against such differential and discriminatory treatment and actually have a voice to make change.
    Imagine that when something like this happens 30 or 40 of us wrote or called the police commissioner and voiced our anger. We could have as much or more say as the people with money who request such stings.
    We all ride bikes. We all care about the rights of cyclists. Why do we waste our energy arguing with each other?
    Johnathan, you have created a wonderful forum here. You are an integral part of the bike community. I don’t expect you to take on the role of organizing Portland cyclists, but I would love to see more support for such organization.
    All cyclists share common goals and interests. If we organized we could actually effect change.
    There could be an email list of those interested in taking action, willing to write senators and representatives (which Johnathan frequently helps us do already) or organize protests. There could be a forum for specifically discussing and supporting legislative change. We could build a coalition of cycling organizations who together would have greater lobbying power and voice than each alone.

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  • Coyote April 13, 2007 at 7:03 am

    Many of you labeled this sting as a waste of resources. The opposite is true. One of the primary priniciples of traffic enforcement is to correct behavior. In this case 7 officers (with the aid of this site) have made thousands of cyclists think about their behavoir, and many will take a extra careful look before rolling a stop sign. That is pretty effective enformencemt.

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  • Matt Picio April 13, 2007 at 7:21 am

    “Why are we as cyclists so divided?”

    A bicycle is the most individual form of transportation one can take. I think that plays a large factor. Also, a lot of the individual sub-groups in our community don’t like authority, or bureaucracy, and any kind of “collective” measure involves both. The most effective actions are the ones that involve consensus. The surest way to get us all together on an issue is to get us all upset at the same issue, for the same reason. Those issues where we line up on opposite sides aren’t likely to be easily resolved.

    “In this case 7 officers … have made thousands of cyclists think about their behavoir, and many will take a extra careful look before rolling a stop sign. That is pretty effective enformencemt. ”

    That depends on your point of view. The vast majority of these people will still not stop. Many will probably slow down, but whether that is effective enforcement or not depends on whether you believe they should be obeying the law, or whether you just want them to slow down and be more aware.

    In any case, the best way to keep the number of complaints down at Ladd’s (which is supposedly what instigated the sting) is to work with the neighborhood to find out what their concerns are and to encourage cyclists to behave in a way that satisfies the residents. That may or may not involve folowing the law.

    If we don’t care about what the locals think, and don’t want to put forth the time and effort, then we shouldn’t be surprised if the locals complain to the city, and we shouldn’t be surprised when the police show up and start ticketing.

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  • steve April 13, 2007 at 7:33 am

    Jen, which is it? Do we have a consensus or are we divided?

    Myself, I see no evidence of consensus. In fact I see one person after another saying it was a good idea and recounting anecdotal experiences of reckless cyclists blowing through signs.

    And Greg! Once again for the bleacher seats, if you can see so well at 20 mph entering an intersection, you will never receive one of these tickets. Why you ask? Because with your super senses you will see the 8 cops on their hulking motorbikes and you will of course stop and then go on your way.

    Anyone oblivious enough to miss the cops, is plenty unaware and should receive a big ol ticket. I think anyone that dim should also have the air let out of their tires and be forced to demonstrate how quick they can fix two flats. But hey, thats just one guys opinion!

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  • Michael April 13, 2007 at 7:49 am

    Rude, unsafe, selfish, bad manners. Is that the basis for this issue?

    We encounter these traits every day. Sometimes they endanger us. More often just irritate the hell out of us.

    We are conditioned to call in the law with their big guns to put down a problem better dealt with by education and diplomacy.

    Bikes – how about some simple courtesy? At least slow down and look around like you mean it. If there is a pedestrian or car, then stop and give them the right of way to cross.

    Residents – how about a smile and “please be careful and watch the stop signs”? How about talk to your neighborhood association? You have a good one, with some real diplomatic skills.

    Cops – why do treat a nuisance complaint with a full platoon of shock troops? How about assigning a bicycle cop to spend a few hours endlessly circling, he/she could ride along with ill mannered cyclists a few blocks and talk. Give warnings or tickets only to the most egregious offenders.

    To everyone here with your “support our troops” law and order fantasies – Are not there better, more nuanced ways, that might be just as effective without causing so much more grief? Haven’t we had enough of, and learned something from the endless wars that ensue when our government gets ham fisted with its militant solutions to civil problems, as in the middle east, and the drug wars?

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis April 13, 2007 at 7:52 am

    “One of the primary priniciples of traffic enforcement is to correct behavior. In this case 7 officers (with the aid of this site) have made thousands of cyclists think about their behavoir, and many will take a extra careful look before rolling a stop sign. That is pretty effective enformencemt.”

    Coyote (or anyone else), I will bet you $100 that if you go back to the same location next week or some suitable time after this sting is over, you will see no lasting difference in cyclist behavior.

    Now, the gauntlet has been thrown. I’m calling your bluff. Do you want to put your money where your mouth is on the absurd idea that randomly citing a small proportion of people over a very restricted time period will actually change behavior over the long term? Or do you just want to keep making statements that are divorced from reality?

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  • Rider April 13, 2007 at 8:03 am

    AO. Do you think they should stop giving out speeding tickets? I saw a speeder again yesterday! I bet you $1,000,000 there will be a speeder again today. You want to call the mayor’s office to ask for them to stop giving out speeding tickets? I bet there will be drunk drivers out tonight. The last thing police should do is go to “random” places and hand out tickets to drunk drivers. What an absurd idea. Do you want to put your money where your mouth is on the absurd idea that randomly citing a small proportion of people over a very restricted time period will actually change behavior over the long term?

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis April 13, 2007 at 8:11 am

    So, I take it Rider does not want to wager that the Ladd’s sting will change cyclist behavior at that location. Anyone else?

    I figure we can agree on a time frame (I’m thinking more like a month later now), a scheme for judging cyclist behavior that has inter-rater reliability, and an independent third party (Jonathan, perhaps?) to hold the money and do the judging.


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  • steve April 13, 2007 at 8:14 am

    AO, again with your inflammatory nonsense. Is this some more of your positive contribution? What a mature and wonderful idea you just had, yep very insightful. Sheesh.

    The police are not there to change behaviour. Anyone with a brain should be able to see that. The police are there to provide an illusion of security for their handlers.

    Just like the security at airports and customs. Wait in line for an hour coming into the country. Get searched sniffed by dogs and interrogated. My see how safe we all are! Of course you can pilot a semi across our borders any time of day or night, full of lord knows what. Or park a boat off shore, or on and on.

    Wealthy people call the cops and out they come. Big shocker there. 911? Hah! All the police do is pander to our insecurities and subdue dissent.

    Do you get so worked up about all the other nonsense we pay these clowns for? How about the government? Do you really think our elections are going to change anything?

    I bet you $100 that if you leave the country for a week after our next elections and come back the same stuff will still be going on. Your persuasive argument has one me over, I will apply it to lots of stuff now, thanks! Look, your twisted logic just let me negate our entire system of governance. Thanks!

    I sound ridiculous, right? So do you.

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis April 13, 2007 at 8:16 am

    steve’s out. Anyone else?

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  • Rider April 13, 2007 at 8:16 am

    So I take it that AO does not want to wager that there will not be drunnk drivers tonight or that there will not be speeders today in the same places where they’ve already given out tickets. Anyone else?

    I figure we can agree on a time frame (I’m thinking like a month since they’ve given out that last speeding or drunk druving ticket), a scheme for judging driver behavior that has inter-rater reliability, and an independent thid party (Jonathan, do you still see speeding cars and drunk drivers around?) to holdf the money and do the judging.

    Anyone? AO?

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  • April April 13, 2007 at 8:20 am

    I have to agree with Jen- these stings are discriminatory. Seriously- how many drivers come to a full and complete stop at EVERY stop sign and EVERY stop light and ALWAYS use ther signals EVERY SINGLE time they drive? None I’ve seen. Cyclists bend the same rules in the same way, but because of some random (and probably helmetless) a-holes, normal commuters are being targeted for violations specifically in bike-heavy areas. I was ticketed last week near OMSI- there was no machinery, trucks, cars, or peds within blocks, and I slowed to about 4 mph. The cop was hiding behind a delivery truck. This type of sting infuriates me- no harm done, no foul. No person was so much as inconvenienced by my actions. If I’d caused a close call or failed to give a ped a right of way- sure, violation. But how many cited cyclists in these 2 areas caused no one harm, fear, inconvience, and didn’t endanger themselves? My guess is most. How many crazy reckless riders are ticketed? Probably few. And where are the cops when a motorist runs full speed thru a stop sign (saw that yesterday) that could have made me a speed bump, as I had the right of way?

    The cops are cracking down on anyone on non-motorized 2 wheels to satisfy the vengeful victims of close calls by unscrupulous riders that don’t represent us as a whole. I feel targeted, angry, and fearful that if I do ANYTHING wrong, Officer Friendly is going to pop out from behind a tree and nail me. I want to run some errands today on my bike, but am anxiety ridden about it because I feel we’re all under a microscope. If they want to be that nitpicky, I’ll drive. Then I can roll through a stop sign.

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  • Curt Dewees April 13, 2007 at 8:21 am

    I will fully support turning all of the stop signs on Ladd’s Circle into “yield” signs–if a 51% majority of all the resident who live within three blocks of Ladd’s Circle agree to this change and sign a petition to that effect.

    You know where they live. Good luck!

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  • steve April 13, 2007 at 8:26 am

    April, I have heard Dabby talk like this before and I am curious. Are you being dramatic or serious?

    Because of one ticket you now feel under the microscope and are afraid to ride? Seriously?

    Do you honestly think there is some big conspiracy and that bikes are on the cops most wanted list?

    I am amazed that they have not broken into your home to silence you.

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  • Jonathan Maus April 13, 2007 at 8:28 am

    steve and A_O,

    Please be wary of your tone with each other.

    I just deleted your last comment and your comment #38 is borderline.

    thanks for understanding.

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  • steve April 13, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Sure thing Jonathon. You are the bomb, yo!

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  • April April 13, 2007 at 8:31 am

    I don’t know who Dabby is, but yes, I’m serious. I feel discriminated against. Big conspiracy? No. Cops making residents feel better by ticketing a targeted group? Yes!

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  • sam April 13, 2007 at 8:36 am

    I feel so dirty for saying this:

    I got a ticket a couple of months ago and read about the Ladds action: I now double check every intersection I pass with my bike.

    So annoying but I know these cops don t joke with this…

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  • steve April 13, 2007 at 8:39 am

    So breaking the law regularly over many years and finally receiving one ticket is discrimination?

    Funny thing is, I ride through stop signs every single day. Sometimes I speed on my bike. I go through red lights after stopping too. I have been doing this every day for 20 years.

    Only one ticket and yup it was for speeding. I am quite proud of my speeding ticket, by the way.

    I really can not understand your leap to discrimination, fear and self-righteousness. How are we victims here? If we are traffic, we have to deal with traffic cops as well as their laws.

    So what is it? Are we delicate children needing to be coddled and protected? Or are we traffic? Are we vehicles with rights and responsibilities?

    We obviously can not have it both ways and our desire to try that path is pissing a lot of people off.

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis April 13, 2007 at 8:46 am

    FWIW, I am serious about the wager. People can *say* the sting works, but it’s an empirical question. If it does work, then fine — take my money! I can admit when I’m wrong.

    But if it doesn’t, then we have to ask: If it is not doing any good and is discouraging people like April from riding, why is this a policy the Mayor wishes to pursue?

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  • April April 13, 2007 at 8:48 am

    I don’t think it’s going to change cyclists behavior to ticket a bunch of us at a couple of locations after someone complains. And would it work the other way? If cyclists complained to the PPB that motorists were consistently running signs or lights in a particular area and we’d had close calls or wrecks because of it, would they come out with 7 cops to ticket said motorists?

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  • Paul Cone April 13, 2007 at 9:12 am


    If you had read this entire thread you would have read that I rode through Ladd’s the day of the sting, in the evening. I live in NE Portland now but I used to live on Clinton so I rode through Ladd’s every day for years. I have been riding in Portland for probably 15 years. Again, most people are cautious, and the cops are going way overboard on this. They could make their point and they would have most of the cycling community behind them, instead of against them, by citing just those who are reckless. Most riders do not “blow” stop signs in Ladd’s or any other place… as I said before, they approach cautiously, slowly, look around to make sure it’s clear to go, and proceed. This overkill by these shortsighted police is stupid.

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  • LP April 13, 2007 at 9:14 am

    I was in my car and I did see the officers ticketing (mostly cyclists) and would have sworn I stopped (he said my tires did not stop completly). I entered the circle doing the speed limit, put my blinker on, left the circle was at the next intersection before they came after me and issued a $242 ticket. I was shocked.

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  • Michael April 13, 2007 at 9:17 am

    I have long lingering, and unanswered questions related to all this.

    Is a cyclist required to show ID when stopped by the police?

    What if this ID is also a motor vehicle driving license? I understand the violation can cause an increase in your auto insurance.

    So can a cyclist refuse to show a driving license ID?

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  • Brian. April 13, 2007 at 9:22 am

    This enforcement action certainly has gotten me to change my ways.

    I slid through a stop both wheels locked, and left foot down on the road. Never did come to an actual stop.

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  • ian April 13, 2007 at 9:23 am

    “Cyclists bend the same rules in the same way, but because of some random (and probably helmetless) a-holes, normal commuters are being targeted for violations specifically in bike-heavy areas.”
    This comment reeks of discrimination.
    Basically you are saying that if no one see’s you break the law and no one is affected by it, then its fine. Is it ok for me to drive 95 miles per hour back from the beach in the middle of the night, when I don’t see anyone?
    I can’t understand why this is so difficult to figure out.
    If you don’t stop at a stop sign-you get a ticket.
    The laws of the road are there to keep us all driving in an acceptable manor.
    If you don’t like the law-then work to change it.

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  • steve April 13, 2007 at 9:41 am

    Hey A_O,

    Looks like we have 2 riders stating they will slow at this intersection(posts #47 and #54). I also will be minding my manners there from now on.

    Looks like you owe someone $100.

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis April 13, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Sorry steve, you didn’t accept the wager. And I think perhaps you didn’t read #54 very closely. Also, anecdotal evidence doesn’t cut it. We have to see whether the rate of stopping actually changes by actually observing behavior in a principled way (as I stated previoiusly).

    Sure you don’t want to put up your c-note and join me on May 12 to see who’s right?

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  • Coyote April 13, 2007 at 10:12 am


    Correcting behavior is rarely accomplished with a single action. If that were the case then I would not have to remind my kids to brush their teeth almost every morning, and Jonathon would not have to keep warning people about their posts.

    My point (#31) was that there are thousands of Portland cyclists engaged in a more or less thoughtful discussion of stop signs, traffic enforcement, and community perceptions. This was accomplished in a single day, and the cost was minimal given the number of people involved. I know that I reviewed my own personal stop sign policy on the ride in this morning. I would imagine many other cyclists reviewed their internal policies as well.

    Your wager is untenable since the conditions prior to the sting were not measured. However, in the spirit of being emprical, perhaps we could use the frequency of citizen complaints as a metric? If the purpose of the sting was to mitigate resident complaints, then the frequency of those complaints should drop in the coming months. Perhaps the number of resident complaints for the month of March could be compared to the number of complaints for the month of May?

    If you want to do the legwork on this wager, I will take it. If the number of complaints is lower in May than they were in March, you will donate $100 to bikeprtland.org. If the situation is the same or worse I will donate $100 to bikeportland or other bicycle orientated nonprofit of your choosing.


    (BTW you might want to check the defintion of random. You and Mr. Webster are not well aligned)

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  • Bjorn April 13, 2007 at 10:21 am

    As a former corvallis resident I have to comment on post number 22 about the elderly woman who died after being hit by the bicyclist. The author is misinformed of what occured in corvallis. What actually happened was that an elderly woman stepped out in front of a cyclist from between two parked cars. That cyclist was a developly disabled man whose bicycle is his only form of transportation, he had run a stop sign recently but it was ruled to not be the cause of the accident. He was not able to stop because she stepped out right in his path. The accident did not happen at the intersection, and going through the stop sign was unrelated to the collision. While the local paper sensationalized the event it was in fact unfortunately the fault of the elderly woman who died and in the end he was not put on trial because the grand jury decided he was not at fault.

    The saddest part of the case besides the womans death was that this man was put in jail for 7 days because he did not have the money to pay the outrageous bail set in the case. He is a longtime corvallis resident and represented no flight risk.


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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis April 13, 2007 at 10:34 am

    Coyote, nice offer but I’m not interested in wagering on complaints. I would expect those to go down, as people are unlikely to complain again the next month after the police attempted to address their complaint. That bet is a loser.

    More importantly, it’s a distraction from the issue. The goal of the sting is not to decrease citizen complaints (although I’m sure the PPB would be delighted with that), it’s to change cyclist behavior. In case I haven’t been clear on this, I’m only interested in wagering on *what cyclists actually do at the intersection.* And not one or two cyclists who have gotten a ticket, but cyclists generally. I want to answer the question: Do stings enhance compliance with the law?

    You are obviously right that we have a bit of a problem since we didn’t measure the behavior before the sting. The only way to do it is to agree on a proportion of cyclists who stopped before, perhaps by asking neighborhood residents. Then we can do an observation and see whether the proportion of cyclists stopping post-sting is significantly greater. I have a PhD in cognitive psychology and a great deal of experience collecting and statistically analyzing this sort of data on human performance, so I’m comfortable doing this whole thing. Also, to address concerns of my bias and financial interest, I am willing to allow “blind” (i.e., independent and unaware of the hypothesis) individuals to collect the data and to submit my analyses to anyone you choose in order to verify the accuracy of my conclusions.

    If you’re actually interested in doing that, I think it would make a great article here and I would be happy to have the wager money donated to bikeportland. If you want, email me privately at cmheaps [at] gmail [dot] com and we can draw up a short agreement and go from there.

    Also, I think you have a good point about how many cyclists are “review[ing] their internal policies” with regard to stop signs. I have no doubt that’s true…today. Personally, I’m not, but I may be in the minority. And I notice that you didn’t say that you now stop! Is that right?

    But I’m interested in whether there is any *lasting* impact at the location. Even one month out is pretty short-term, but I’m confident that even there the effect on the stop rate will not be significant.

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  • Rob April 13, 2007 at 10:46 am

    Obviously there are those that flagrantly violate traffic laws while biking. They reflect poorly on all cyclists. However, the traffic management at Ladds Circle is poorly designed. As a traffic circle, the approaches should have yield signs instead of stop signs. All traffic approaching the circle would yield to traffic in the circle and pedestrians in the crosswalks. This keeps traffic flowing and incidentally reduces vehicle noise and emissions that result from braking and acceleration. That said, public safety is the primary concern. If people can’t demonstrate common courtesy for all user groups, especially vulnerable pedestrians, then enforcement is warranted.

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  • Gordo April 13, 2007 at 11:06 am

    I live in Ladd’s and I cannot begin to tell you how many close calls I have had with cyclists blowing thru the stop signs at the circle or going the wrong way around the circle. Every time I drive around the circle I am afraid that I will hit one of them.

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  • Burr April 13, 2007 at 11:18 am

    I rolled that stop sign just this morning.

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  • Burr April 13, 2007 at 11:20 am

    BTW, the coast was clear, I endangered no peds, and I saw no motor vehicles, or cops. Why not?

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  • Lorena April 13, 2007 at 11:27 am

    I linked over here from the OregonLive.com Oregonian site to see if the cycling community was having a pity party or engaging in mature discussion. I’m pleased to see mostly mature discussion (faith renewed!).

    I noted that Jen (Post #30) & April both claim cars are never targeted in stings. Absolutely untrue. Every holiday there are extra patrols to discourage drunk driving and reckless driving. Police units regularly engage in specific crackdowns, as in those on seatbelts, speeders, road rage, uninsured drivers. In areas of Washington where cops rode with truckers to radio troopers about which drivers were passing and cutting in too close in front, the rate of dangerous passes went way down for an extended period of time.

    People are forced to consider their driving habits when subject to random (or regular) stings. That never means that the truly reckless and idiotic will change their ways, or that somebody won’t “slip up” here and there, but in general it seems to have been a helpful tool in problem areas and with specific behaviors. The cycling community rarely has to experience this because they are generally considered above the law or not worth pulling over. If the community wants credibility as a viable transportation option then cyclists have to accept the road rules and the possibility of stings and the occasional enforcement of those rules.

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  • SKiDmark April 13, 2007 at 11:29 am

    I started riding off-road so I don’t have to deal with the Police. I still commute to the off-road spots by bike, I don’t car-top it. It’s bad enough I have to keep an eye on every car, making sure they are paying attention and not too engrossed in their phone conversations, and don’t make some sort of moving violation that will endanger me, I also have to look for Police looking to fuck with me. There are no Police in the woods, thank Buddha. I ride much less on the street now and when I build a BMX bike for the skateparks, it will be even less.

    The Police need to back off on this. It’s interesting, they pulled over 50 cyclists and not one of them was intoxicated, criminally suspicious, or had a warrant. I wonder if they could pull over 50 cars and get the same results.

    Bicycles are only 5% of the traffic on the road, so they need to get back out there and pull over 950 cars to make traffic enforcement even.

    I think a lot of the people who got tickets were probably under the impression that they wouldn’t be ticketed. Why else would they break a law with such heavy Police presence? Not everyone who rides a bike is aware that the Police are targeting or even ticketing cyclists. They probably thought the Police were there to ticket cars.

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  • Artesian April 13, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    I did get one of these tix from westbound Harrison in the AM and I did blow the stopsign. And I haven’t had a moving violation of any kind in 16 years. There was no way I could’ve seen the police until it was too late… he had me from around the corner. On the way home I noticed them HIDING IN THE BUSHES in the center circle… I waved. This wasn’t a friendly warning, this was a quota-padding sting. And I learned my lesson… I’m taking Hawthorne westbound to avoid the only stopsign I blow and a potential future $242 ticket. So sorry A-O, I did learn something.

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  • Matt Picio April 13, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Michael (#53) –

    You are *not* required to show ID in the state of Oregon. You *are* required to give the officer your full legal name when asked. Questions as to your home address, work address, social security number and others are a legal gray area, and you’d be best to consult an attorney on those.

    The requirement to give your name comes from the so-called “Terry Stop” and the results of the Hibel case”:


    Currently making its way through the Oregon Senate is Senate Bill 932


    which *would* make it a crime to fail to produce identification. I strongly recommend to anyone who does not want this to happen to write their local state senator.

    SB932 was instigated by the Judiciary Committee at the request of the Eugene Police Department.

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  • Coyote April 13, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    Perhaps that was sucker bet (#50), if you would like to substitute June or July for May, my offer stands.

    We may not be able to find common ground for this wager. I believe that you and I view the sting very differently. I believe that it was motivated by an effort to increase public safety in the area, perception of safety, and calm citizen complaints. I don’t think that the PPB cares whether cyclists stop at stop signs. For the most part, I think they care about safety, real or perceived, and this is behavior PPB is trying to correct. (I also think they are tiring of being asked what they are going to do about scofflaw cyclists.)

    For a variety of reasons, I believe Portland is in real danger of moving backwards on bicycle advocacy. So for myself, I don’t care how many cyclists stop, I do care about the public and police’s perception of cyclists. Therefore the number of complaints is more important to me than compliance with the law.

    You asked (#60), so here it is, Coyote’s Personal Stop Sign Rules:

    1.Assume you are invisible until you make eye contact with any driver at every stop sign controlled intersection.

    2.Assume you are invisible until you make eye contact with any driver at every stop sign controlled intersection.

    3. Always slow down and look before entering a stop sign controlled intersection. Momentum is a resource that should not be squandered recklessly, however, after evaluating traffic, you must be able to stop gracefully before entering the intersection.

    4.Yield right-of-way as appropriate. (This may or may not include stopping. Sometimes stopping is the only way to clearly indicate that you are yielding. Sometimes a smile and a wave works too.)

    5. If there is some question of right-of-way, stop, smile, and avoid rolling your eyes.

    6. If you see a cop, stop. If you did not see the cop, review rule #3.

    7. If a fellow cyclist blows a stop sign, or fails to yield, in your presence try to let him know in a cordial way that he may wish to review this behavior.

    8. When there is lots of traffic at an intersection, use the other cars as a shield, and be willing to expend extra effort to negotiate the intersection at automobile speeds.

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  • Todd April 13, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Yield! The US uses stop signs far more than Europe. There you see far more yield signs and fewer stop signs. A yield sign means you must slow down and only proceed when safe, if you are involved in an accident then it is your fault. This allows traffic to move forward without stopping. I am not advocating changing all stop signs to yield, only where prudent.

    How much gas would cars save by not stopping at stop signs when no one is coming?

    This is especially true of traffic circles (like Ladd’s Addition). Traffic should yield to those already in the circle, not stop.

    Other bike throughfares should also use yield signs, it would allow bikes to move forward faster and at a more even rate.

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  • anthony reimer April 13, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    First, I would like to say that I appreciate bikers. They are doing their part to save the environment or whatever.
    However, I do feel that with this save the world attitude comes a little bit of smugness. I know that a lot of bikers feel that they are entitled to special treatment because they have chosen to ride, but that just isn’t fair. They are not above the law.
    I grew up in Portland, not five blocks from Ladd Circle, and I have seen this city grow into a more and more bike friendly place everyday. More so than any other city I have been to. This is a bike friendly city, so why can’t the bikers be a little friendlier?
    I also see that bikers are constantly breaking laws. They run red lights, they don’t using proper hand signals, they weave in and out of traffic, etc.
    Bikers use cell phones too, just like that annoying super slow guy on the freeway that won’t get out of the fast lane.
    Bikers are very frustrating and at the same time scary. Just because you ride a bike everyday does not make you better than me or anybody else that needs to drive. Believe me, I wish I didn’t have to sit in traffic on the freeway to get to work on the other side of town.
    The primary reason that people don’t like bikers is because there are so many of them that abuse the privileges that have been afforded to them.
    I have never seen a police sting like this one, which is why I think it’s so great. The police have been sitting on the corner of 26th and Harrison, just up the hill from Ladd, for years ticketing cars that run the stop signs. What’s the difference? Motorists will continue to be targeted after all of this is said and done.
    Besides, this will probably never happen again, so what’s one ticket compared to all the other times bikers have broken a law and all the times they will in the future?

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  • P-Town Joe April 13, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    I drive around town and constantly get dirty looks and fingers from hipster bikers that are afraid of me hitting them. I see you! Yeah, I see you in your tight little black jeans and stylish haircut about to cut me off by squeezing past me and that punk ass Scion on my right. Put a helmet on. I’m just trying to get home. Where are you going that’s so important? To get another tattoo? Stumptown? To pretend like you’re an actual bike messenger? Maybe to the bank to get some cash out of that sweet trust you’ve got set up? Maybe to pick up a rack of PBR to get the afternoon started off right? Go back to the Midwest or California or where ever you people came from and let us real Portlanders have our city back.
    Let the real bikers that have been here for years raising there kids to properly use their bikes continue to obey our laws and respect the road.
    This town is overrun with bikers who think they are above the same set of laws that automobiles are required to follow. You are all making every other biker look bad.
    Also, stop cutting through Ladd’s Addition. Nobody wants you there. Stop coming south of Hawthorne. There’s nothing here for you. Go away. You already stole Mississippi, Alberta, and are about to steal MLK, and the Williams corridor. There are plenty of other hip cities out there. Go pick one and ride away from here.

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  • Burr April 13, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    Actually, it has been happening about once a month on Wednesdays for at least a year now.

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  • Rabbit April 13, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    I’m not a commuter biker, just recreational. I follow the laws and get bothered by those who don’t. I find this thread interesting in a couple of ways.

    I find it highly unlikely that so many of you people have never seen a real police sting before. I’ve witness them numerous times in places all around town. I’ve seen 8 motorcycles on the Zoo overpass on US26 waiting for people to break the law…multiple times I’ve seen 4-6 police near school zones waiting…not to mention just random stings in streets around the city for what appears to me to be no apparent reason.

    I also find it strange that people insist that this was a waste of resources because it’s ‘relatively’ safe. 59 citations is a LOT of people breaking the law in one place on a single day…it obviously should be under watch.

    A waste of resources? Well, I doubt that just because the cops were there that means that a dozen meth houses weren’t busted that day…not to mention $242 x 56 tickets = $13,552 …..7 officers for let’s say 10 hours = $193/hour. Unless the PPD pays their cops waaay to much per hour, this sting brought it needed funds…which can be used to bust those meth houses some of you were speaking of.

    Bikes need to follow the laws. I’m glad the neighborhood did something about this. And for those who say they can call the cops and have nothing happen…maybe it’s the way you’re going about asking.

    That’s all. Bike on!

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  • SKiDmark April 13, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    Anthony, I think most cyclists stop to use their cell phone. Most car drivers would rather hold their phone to their ear, rather than operate their turn signal to change lanes. I drive a car too, and I experience it all the time.

    And a polite screw you to P-Town Joe. Not everyone who gets tattooed is young and hip and just doing it to be cool. There are also plenty of Portland natives who do the things you are railing against. Your property value would not continue to skyrocket if people weren’t moving up here from California and other parts of the country. Also last time I checked this is the UNITED States which I thought that meant that if you are a citizen of the US then you can live in any place you damn well choose. You are not the only person with kids and from what I see most parents tell their kids to ride on the wrong side of the road, without a light, or a helmet. What the hell does “real biker” mean? Spandex Warrior or Orange Vest Commuter? Does having a Yakima rack on your Subaru come into play?

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  • N.I.K. April 13, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    What the hell does “real biker” mean?

    Dang, SKiD, I’d be much more interested to know what the hell “real Portlander” means. I’d go off the given example, but given all the nice folks I’ve met who were born and raised here (including my wife), I don’t think that’d be fair or accurate.

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  • Spanky April 13, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Well, so much for informed and courteous dialogue. A shame too. I had high hopes. The tone here has reached LCD (lowest common denominator) status. Congrats folks! Maybe you all should go over to the other thread and read Dabby’s post. He’s been around a helluva long time and he is saying leave the stop signs alone…. And doing so without talking trash.

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis April 13, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    Wow, Coyote, I think we have virtually identical Stop Sign Rules. Too bad they can produce a $242 fine per stop sign, huh? Hooligan! Scofflaw!! (I hope it’s clear that I was kidding, but you never know on the internets. So: I was kidding there, just trying to be funny, and no personal insult was intended.)

    I find it incredible you could say, “I don’t think that the PPB cares whether cyclists stop at stop signs….[but instead] they [mostly] care about safety.” I think their behavior and their policy shows exactly the opposite. Either that or they’re just really dumb about it. There are a lot better ways to promote safety than doling out fines for those who follow “Coyote’s Personal Stop Sign Rules.” And, let’s be clear, even those people got tickets. Rather, they’ve demonstrated an inane focus on the letter of the law to the detriment of more comprehensive and positive policy solutions, not to mention terrible prioritization of relevant hazardous situations around the City. But I think it’s clear we’re going to have to agree to disagree here.

    And too bad we couldn’t wager. I think you’re smart enough to know you would have lost that one, but I guess we may never know.

    The offer still stands to anyone else. I maintain that the Ladd sting will not increase long-term legal compliance by cyclists with the stop law and I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.

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  • Greg April 13, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    AO–I’ve been thinking about the change in bicycle behavior because of the sting as well. I too would be willing to be bet if you went out to Ladd’s on Monday people might be a little more scared as they approach the stop signs but would mostly yield but not stop as they approach as they always have. As usual I think you write well for at least my side of these traffic issues.

    Steve–You claim anyone “dim enough” to miss the cops should have the air let out of their tires. While it’s more obvious what’s going on at these types of stings, cops often hide to bust people. A cop hiding around a corner is not an accurate representation of oncoming dangerous traffic.

    Bjorn–thanks for clearing up the Corvallis death. As I stated before one death is completely irrelevant statistically and the facts of that case make this even more so.

    Re the divided cyclists issue… Yes, this is frustrating and difficult. I think that we all can agree that we should (at least) yield to oncoming traffic. I don’t know that anyone has come on here to argue that they should be able to blow stops/lights and inconvenience or endanger traffic/peds/cyclists/self in the process. Examples used are always people ignoring traffic signals in the presence of oncoming traffic and peds, annoying or putting other people in danger. So why do we keep going back to these examples? There’s no reason to argue about what we already agree on. It would maybe be more effective to argue about what the rules should be (as we have on here before). Let’s hope our friend from Idaho is still working the issue as well.

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  • Dabby April 13, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    P Town Joe,

    With an attitude like that, this makes you the problem………

    Not the little hipsters you speak so fondly of…

    You are the problem.. A bitter older cyclist who likes it how it used to be, a few bikes here and there, in and out of the shadows….

    New biker’s and new idea’s scare you.
    You just like it the way it used to be..

    How do I know this?

    Because I am the same way. I like it how it used to be.
    I am a bitter older cyclist.

    But it isn’t how it used to be..

    And your hate “Is The Problem!!!”

    Maybe you should just set your trainer up in your garage and ride there from now on..

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  • David Dean April 13, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    P-Town Joe,

    I used to drive all day through Portland as a small business computer consultant and I have never been flipped off by a cyclist, so if this is constantly happening to you, maybe you should re-evaluate your driving habits.

    Also your endless use of stereotypes really diminishes whatever point you were trying to make.

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  • frankie April 13, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    Portland is a great city, I used to live there (25 years). In my experience it is also much friendlier than other cities when it comes to biking in the US.
    I used to bike to work in PDX for many years and have been pulled over but and got off with a warning. PPB always does periodic stake car outs of Terwiliger curves on I-5 or other places. Warnings may have been better than tickets but perhaps they wanted to make a point. I have gotten pulled over on bike and car several times for rolling a stop sign in PDX and other places (even in Idaho) and just dealt with it as it is the law.

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  • grabowsky April 13, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    If I wanted to sit around at stop signs I’d get in a car.

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  • Burr April 14, 2007 at 12:17 am

    I can see that this thread has now been ‘sanitized’ by Jonathan. The truth is that the city is not doing their job if PDOT, PPB and City Council leadership cannot agree on appropriate measures to maintain safety for all road users, of which bicyclists are actually one of the most vulnerable user groups. Sanitizing this thread won’t change the fact that the PPB are helping to increase, rather than decrease, animosity all around, or that PPB is probably no longer working in cooperation with PDOT’s CSTSP (Community and School Traffic Safety Program) when they perform these stings. The city has repeatedly promised that the CSTSP program will provide the three E’s – Engineering, Education and Enforcement – as part of their CSTSP program. So far, however, I think all we have seen as far as cyclists are concerned, is enforcement. Once again, the PPB is out of control in this respect, and PDOT is dropping the ball completely on the education and engineering components.

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  • Jonathan Maus April 14, 2007 at 11:16 am


    Please let me know how you think I’ve “sanitized” this thread.

    Yes, I have deleted some comments that were completely inappropriate.

    I do not delete comments based on their editorial tone, I delete them because they add nothing but insults and/or inappropriate language to the dialog.

    As I have said many times, this site is my business and I consider inappropriate comments to be trash that litters my storefront and I will remove it as quickly as possible so that it does not have a negative impact on my visitors.

    I allow all opinions to be heard, but I do not allow name calling and foul language (unless it is used intelligently).

    Thanks for reading and for all your contributions. If you have an idea for a story that needs to be told, please get in touch with me and we can talk about it.

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  • SKiDmark April 14, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    I want to know why the Police continue to target cyclists making moving violations, when I can go down to Chinatown and buy crack, heroin, and meth.

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  • robert "bob" April 15, 2007 at 11:10 am

    i got onto the bike to get away from the car culture of “move to the right”, “i’m tailgaiting you ’cause my destination is more important and you’re in my way”, “thanks for stopping i’ll roll through to get ahead of you”, “i’m such an excellent driver i don’t need to follow traffic laws”, and on and on. reads like a lot of lars larson clones have moved to cycling.

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  • Sid April 15, 2007 at 11:51 am

    The police should only cite bikes, when the bikes violations pose a risk to other peds/bike/motorists that are in the area. It takes alot of energy for bikes to start up again after stopping for nothing. There is plenty of motorist violaters that pass to close to bikes, honk, and dont stop at crosswalks.

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  • Lenny Anderson April 16, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    Hmmmm, most bikes with riders weigh in at 300 pounds, if that. Motor vehicles are about 10 times that…3,000 pounds, some a lot more.
    Bikes travel on average between 5 and 15 mph; motor vehicles between 25 and 35mph, or let’s say twice as fast.
    So which do you think does more damage to life, limb and property? Which should be subject to enforcement efforts when resources are scarce?
    With which would rather have a collision?
    The laws of physics pretty much dictate that when bike riders do something dumb, they pay with life, limb or property. Do we need the laws of the state to add insult to injury?
    What is to be done?
    Get PDOT to add “Bikes Yield” signs to all Stop signs on designated Bikeways.
    Shift police resources to behavior that really puts the public at risk. Only in police states are they the tool of the few. Otherwise, Portland should be considered a “Copper” bike town as in police harassment is the norm, not Gold, let alone Platinum.

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  • Rabbit April 16, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    ~~With which would rather have a collision?
    The laws of physics pretty much dictate that when bike riders do something dumb, they pay with life, limb or property. Do we need the laws of the state to add insult to injury?~~ *Lenny


    “Approximately 1,000 children are killed each year in pedestrian-related incidents.”
    Source: National SAFE KIDS Campaign


    ^^Just a little interesting fact for those who don’t believe that your bike can hurt someone else.

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  • run rabbit run April 16, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    You are not reading that site very well. They are referencing pedestrian children being hit by cars, not bikes.

    How someone could think 1000 kids a year are killed by bicyclists hitting them is beyond me.

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  • April April 16, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    “The laws of physics pretty much dictate that when bike riders do something dumb, they pay with life, limb or property. Do we need the laws of the state to add insult to injury?
    What is to be done?
    Get PDOT to add “Bikes Yield” signs to all Stop signs on designated Bikeways.”

    I wholeheartedly agree with Lenny- if cyclists make a wrong decision or an unsafe move, we pay for it with our skin and bones. I like the idea of a “bikes yield” addition, but think that the cost alone would be probitive. Any why would PDOT want to spend a bunch of cash just for cyclists to conserve momentum? *sigh*

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