Back in February, I shared the word from the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division that the OMSI construction area would be an “enhanced enforcement zone” (see map below).
Now, given the amount of emails and phone calls I’ve received in recent days, it seems like they’ve significantly ratcheted up their efforts to cite bicyclists in this area.
One person — an employee at the Portland Opera who rides through the area every day — called me this morning to vent frustrations about the situation. During our 10 minute phone conversation, she watched four cyclists get pulled over.
Yesterday, I interviewed about the situation on KGW-TV. In the story they ran on their 5 and 6 o’clock newscasts last night, reporter Amy Troy said,
“In two days police handed out at least three-dozen citations to bicyclists who ran stop signs in one area of Southeast Portland (the OMSI construction zone).”
Is this simply bicyclists getting what’s coming to them for breaking the law? Can the engineering of this area be improved? Is it reasonable to expect 100% compliance in an area that is unsafe and confusing to navigate for bicyclists? Is this even an issue we should be concerned about? Do we need to take a closer look at different solutions? Do you care about this issue?
If you ride through this area, I would love to hear about your experiences.
In the meantime, let this serve as a reminder that Traffic Division officers are watching this area very closely.
*Here’s a map of the project area and approximate enforcement zone.