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Cops out in force in OMSI construction zone

Posted by on June 20th, 2007 at 10:54 am

Looking north on SE 4th Ave.
(File photo)

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.

[This is not an official graphic.]

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

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Cecil
Guest
Cecil

I ride through the area almost every day and I watch cyclists blow the stop signs almost every day. I think a lot of the cyclists that blow through the signs, especially the ones at the Portland Opera cul-de-sac and at the intersections of Caruthers and Division Place, do so because there are so rarely any cars in that area (esp. with Water St. being closed at the time). We can question whether stop signs are necessary at the location,, but while they are there it seems to me that you blow them at your own risk.

wyatt
Guest
wyatt

Early last week in the early A.M. (don\’t remember wich day, and the time was probably between 6:15 – 7:30) I saw a biker down on the intersection of 4th and Caruthers. There was a fire truck and police. The cyclist was on some kind of emergency board and looked pretty scraped up.

It was difficult to determine what had happened, but that stop sign on 4th (heading North) is blown pretty regularly as people turn either East or West onto Caruthers.

Does anyone have any information on this accident?

Greg
Guest
Greg

Doesn\’t this enforcement just show that the previous enforcement at this location a month ago or so was ineffective at changing the behavior of cyclists in this area? Didn\’t we already show this at Ladd\’s, another place where coming to a complete stop is entirely superfluous?

Half of the stop signs in this zone are unnecessary. All should be yields for cyclists. Help make what we are going to do regardless of the law safe and legal!! I\’ll be taking 11th and 12th instead of the esplanade until the cops are gone.

silcox
Guest
silcox

I have seen this sting location many times.

A friend and I went through there the other night. He thinks they are giving more citations to bikes than cars:

Portland Police target bicyclists disproportionately.

Bonnie
Guest
Bonnie

Is anyone fed up enough to attempt level headed discussion with Portland Police/Mayor Potter about this? I\’m not talking about having it made to be OK for cyclists to blow all stop signs, but maybe the start is to push for changing the signage in this particular area? Get rid of the stop signs at the exit/entrance for the Esplanade? Signage at the Water detour/4th Ave intersection that says \’Cross Traffic Does Not Stop\’? Request that the PPB also stop motorists who roll through stops in that area? Anyone want to help pursue this?

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

Why does it feel like the Police are trying to force a confrontation with us cyclists?

Springwater Regular Rider
Guest
Springwater Regular Rider

I ride this area a couple of times a week, & have a couple of observations –

I\’ve noticed a couple of unfortunate bikelane issues in this area that do seem to affect cyclist behaviour.

Firstly, since the area is primarily industrial, I\’ve noticed a lot of trucks parking in the bikelanes. Sometimes they\’re loading & unloading, & other times it seems like they\’re parked there permenantly, forcing cyclists out into the street – particularly a whole line of them on Caruthers.

Perhaps sharrows could be a possible solution & comprimise between the need for businesses in the area to function, & the need for bicyclists of all ages & abilities to pass safely & comfortably through the area here?

I feel that the latter point is significant, since a great portion of riders in this section are families who may not be comfortable around traffic, & who may not know all of the rules of the road when it comes to bikes.

Leading on from the loading & unloading truck issue, I personally get uncomfortable riding in the newly striped bikelane on 4th that leads to the Springwater trailhead. This is because so many trucks use it to load & unload (if you look, their loading bays front the building directly onto the bikelane), there\’s a **lot** of horrible debris in the bikelane – grit, rocks, and lots and lots and lots of pieces of wood, & sections of splinters.

I worry about riding in the lane and getting a flat tire every time. And I worry about not riding in the lane, and getting a ticket from an over-zealous police officer.

I don\’t know who has legal responsibility for the bikelane, but I do think it would be nice if the factory could find it in its heart to perhaps volunteer a bit of goodwill towards bicyclists, & sweep the bikepath once a week, (since my understanding is they\’re primarily the ones dropping bits of wood & grit all over it on a daily basis, & not the city, or the bicyclists)

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

What do I need to do to get some of those cops into my neighborhood to deal with the 3,000 lb cars doing 40 in a 25 zone (near a head-start school no less) and blowing stop signs and uncontrolled intersections at near full speed?

I call them and they tell me they can send ONE cop, and if s/he doesn\’t see anything in 15 minutes, they\’ll leave.

Yet they can send out the freakin army for this.

freddy
Guest
freddy

Whaddaya bet the police are trying to fill that share the road class that got invented recently?

ME
Guest
ME

Here we are again…let\’s not beat a dead horse… Doesn\’t it register in your bike riding minds that if you blow these particular stop signs – and also those in Ladds, that there is a good chance that you\’re going to be a recipient of a very expensive and time consuming traffic ticket? I say good luck and good riddance. Until something is done on a fair and permanent basis in these areas, stay away or stay smart. I pick and choose my spots as far as running or rolling through certain signs, let\’s be honest, because we all do it on occassion. But those of you getting the tickets in SE quit bitchin.\’ The cops are probably quite familiar with a few of you by now, and I bet they\’re often left scratching their heads.

Jonathan Maus / BikePortland
Guest

ME,

I appreciate your sentiments, but I don\’t think this is a dead horse.

It\’s not just as simple as \”stay away or stay smart\”. Bicycles must have safe and efficient routes to travel through the city. If one of those is taken away, a reasonable alternative must be offered. In the case of OMSI, I\’m not aware of a good alternate route.

So, given that no viable alternate route exists, we must travel this area.

Since the area is a dangerous construction zone with lots of truck traffic, haphazardly placed traffic control devices, and bike lanes that leave a lot to be desired, I don\’t think that it is appropriate to expect (and base enforcement practices on) 100% compliance with the law.

Look at the situation on Mt. Tabor. There were some complaints about cyclists speeding. The result was a stakeholder meeting attended by police, city engineers, n\’hood groups, etc… The response was not to go out and give out tickets. Why not explore that same course of action in this situation?

Isn\’t Mayor Potter all about \”community policing\”?

I think we can do better. We need a new approach. While I do think enforcement has some positive educational impact, I remain unconvinced that this is the most effective solution.

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

Springwater Regular Rider,
Here\’s what you can do about trucks parked in the bike lanes, debris that needs to be swept up, and general traffic safety concerns in that area. Program the following numbers in your cell phone and USE THEM:

Parking enforcement will come out during business hours and ticket cars or trucks parked illegally including parked in the bike lanes. 823-5195

Pavement repair and potholes. 823-BUMP

Lane and path sweeping and plant pruning. 823-CYCL, ext. 1

Safety concerns. 823-SAFE.

Michelle

Cecil
Guest
Cecil
Steve
Guest
Steve

Dead horse or not, currently the only way to be sure (in theory) to avoid a citation is to not break the traffic laws, regardless of how ineffectual or inappropriate we feel they are. In this particular area we need to push for the city to either condemn or otherwise pressure the owners of the infamous \”SK site\” so that a better connection can be constructed. Statewide, a push for the \”Idaho\” law seems to be the logical way to go but then Ginny would probably screw that up too.

Dave
Guest

The one good thing for me about the Springwater Cooridor being ripe for the ticket harvest is that it has provided me with enough motivation to climb the Riverview Cemetary every morning and avoid the area altoghter. Judging by the increase in cyclists I see in the cemetary now, I am assuming others are doing this as well.

Phil
Guest

I took this photo riding through on Sunday:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7649140@N08/562765404/

This is what you see if you stop at the stop bar: nothing. I usually roll through this so that if there is a car bearing down on me, at least I have a little speed to swerve and get away. The long-bed articulated trucks that commonly turn here come will actually hit anyone who\’s properly stopped at the sign.

With the police crackdown, I feel much less safe, since I not only have to dodge cars and cement trucks (and cars trying to get around cement trucks), but I have to worry about following the letter of the law as to avoid $240 tickets.

Not very diplomatic, but maybe we can get a crew together to go down when they\’re stinging and hand out free bacon and soy bacon samples to cyclists who stop at the signs 🙂

N.I.K.
Guest
N.I.K.

Phil raises an excellent point. Even for those of us who stop at stop signs, the location of the stop bar at *many* intersections in this city are not at all well planned. I regularly ride on Skidmore between NE 33rd and N Albina, and from about 8th to 20th, there are numerous intersections where I have no choice but to nose out into the intersection (*after* a legal stop, mind you, as I don\’t want to get ticketed) and risk getting hit because I can\’t clearly see traffic coming from both directions otherwise. And Skidmore\’s supposed to be a relatively bike-safe street!

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Jonathan, you seem to be saying that because the area is unsafe, cyclists must blow stop signs for their own safety. And of course, therefore, cops shouldn\’t be ticketing them for taking these innovative \”safety precautions.\”

What, exactly, is it about these particular stop signs that makes stopping at them \”unsafe\”?

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

I get the impression that Jonathan\’s point is that there are about 8 zillion auto violations going on in that particular area that are being ignored while this \”enhanced enforcement\” is taking place. Things like cars and truck rolling stop signs and trucks and construction equipment blocking the bike lanes.

VR
Guest
VR

I wonder how the police would react if we started video taping their stings.

Just stand on a corner and inform them that you will be video taping and you will not violate any laws.

I wonder…

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

If that\’s the case, and the cops are targeting cyclists, and not just all traffic scofflaws in what has been described here as a hazardous area, then of course cyclists need to bring city hall into this, and even investigate the legality of targeting one group of road users.

Craig
Guest
Craig

This morning, three of us were stopped and cited by 2 motorcycle officers
for failure to stop at the stop sign just before OMSI. The officer
writing the ticket, he could see how annnoyed I was. In fact,
he noted that he COULD have just referred me to a \’biking education class\’, but due to my behavior he would instead be ticketing me. I told him (in a respectful way) that I was angry and needed a few minutes to calm down, but even after he had my written down my personal information, he continued to try to question me. I felt as if he knew by doing so he was baiting me into escalate the situation into a confrontation. I can certainly see how a simple ticket can turn into an arrest or even worse.

VR
Guest
VR

All email addresses are @ci.portland.or.us

Commissioner Sam Adams: samadams
Commissioner Dan Saltzman: dansaltzman
Commissioner Erik Sten: esten
Commissioner Randy Leonard: rleonard
Mayor Tom Potter: mayorpotter

Be polite, but let them know that singling out cyclists is bad policy, and that we are noticing that it is happening.

wyatt
Guest
wyatt

Enforcing the stop sign on Caruthers, right before OMSI?

That\’s completely absurd!

They might as well put a stop sign in the middle of the springwater trail and start enforcing.

Back to 11th and 12th for me.

ME
Guest
ME

Sorry JMaus, but safe and efficient routes for cyclists throughout the city is a bit farther away then we like to think. Alot of us travel these subpar areas too, and seem to get by with smart and experienced riding. It\’s only when the cop\’s get a lead on what cyclists are doing in certain areas, lawful or not, that they crack down in those certain areas. For now the \”hot spot\” is by OMSI. Who knows where they will be next? But geeeez, how many people have to shout it from the rooftops or write about it in the local news before cyclists get it? \”HEY…THE COPS ARE STAKING IT OUT DOWN THERE!\” I do agree this situation can be handled in the same fashion as Tabor. But until that happens, if ever, we\’re all on our own.

Matt Picio
Guest

I ride this stretch every workday, both directions. My experience on SE 4th is totally different from \”Springwater Regular Rider\” (post #7). I\’ve never seen trucks on SE 4th park in the bike lanes – they always park OUTSIDE them since the new lanes were striped and the bicycle stencils placed. (Carruthers is a different story – the trucks CONSTANTLY park across the bike lanes on that street) There is very little debris currently in the bike lanes on 4th, and what there is is easily avoidable.

Phil is right on as to the visibility. Yesterday morning, I stopped and still didn\’t see the 2 motorcycle cops that were there beyond the signs, even though they were parked in the middle of the road in (normal) plain view. The placement of the signs actually makes visibility much worse than normal.

Yesterday, 2 motorcycle cops, today there was one. I saw 4 people ride past me on 4th without riding in the bike lanes, even with the cop right there. Two of them did not stop for stop signs. We can debate all day what *should* be done, but what I\’m witnessing actually *being* done is cyclists, motorists and truckers not following the law. I have no sympathy for those who get tickets when they break the law in front of a cop. Suck it up, and pay the fine. I agree we should have Idaho-style stops, but right now we don\’t – break the law, accept the consequences. That being said, why the hell are they out there in the first place? (the cops, that is?) Where\’s the enforcement on 82nd Avenue? Sandy Blvd? Multnomah Ave.? 122nd? West Burnside? Shouldn\’t these guys be targeting the most dangerous roads and intersections? Why are we paying them to protect a half-dozen construction workers on 4 streets with next to no traffic and no recorded fatalities? How about Powell? 39th? The municipal police departments complain about funding – I can relate, and I know they have funding problems, I\’m a member of a law-enforcement advisory committee (not Portland, though). If they\’re having funding issues, then why aren\’t they using their resources efficiently and targeting areas proven to be deadly?

The Opera intersection should have the Carruthers side stop sign(s) covered during construction. They only side that needs to stop there at the moment is the Opera and construction traffic.

Oh, and the end of the Springwater should have a yield sign rather than stop, and the Ross Island S&G should have a STOP sign placed at its end – RIS&G\’s Ready Mix Plant is on a DRIVEWAY, not a road. Drivers are required by law to yield to road users, and the truckers are not doing it.

Jonathan Maus / BikePortland
Guest

\”Jonathan, you seem to be saying that because the area is unsafe…What, exactly, is it about these particular stop signs that makes stopping at them ”unsafe”?”

rixtir,

I was down there yesterday and my feeling is that for many riders, the area feels generally unsafe. There are trucks parked directly adjacent to the bike lane, trucks coming and going, flaggers, new bike lanes (that are not well designed in my opinion), etc…

In my experience, when someone feels unsafe (especially on a 20lb bike around cement trucks) they make decisions that will preserve their life and compliance of stop signs and riding in designated bike lanes goes down.

Is it an excuse to break the law? No.

But what I have misgivings about is the expectation of compliance when the conditions are unsafe, inadequate and poorly engineered for a particular user group. I realize this is something that will take a while to fix. In the meantime, follow the laws on the ground.

I could be wrong, but I feel in my gut that there is room for some advocacy and improvement on this issue (and that it goes beyond just telling all cyclists to stop complaining and follow the law). We\’ll see.

janel
Guest
janel

I just got a $242 ticket around 8:30am from officer Roland Hoesly, at the intersection of SE Division Pl and Grand. http://tinyurl.com/32cx8h

Grand is closed to traffic north of Division due to construction, and cars rarely drive on Grand south of Division. In fact, it almost acts as a T-intersection since Grand south of Division is so far west of the stop sign. So, in effect, right now it is almost like a straight road which would not require a stop sign.

I ride this every day, today I slowed and there were no cars around, so I continued on. When the cop stopped me I asked him if I was supposed to put my foot down and he said I just had to slow to a rolling stop, which is what I thought I did. I then said the road is closed on that side and the other street is rarely used. After he wrote me the ticket I asked if I could go to the safety class to reduce the fine, and he said he is not giving me that option because he claims I was contesting the ticket. All I was doing was asking questions. He is definitely on a power trip.

I asked if I could go to court, he said yes. Then he said if I pay the fine upfront the fine would be \”significantly less\” than otherwise, which I took to mean if I go to court. I called the court and they said it wouldn\’t be more if I go to court. I suppose he said this to discourage me from contesting.

I am going to go to court July 20th at 1pm to contest this, I hope others will be there too. Please e-mail me if you would like to get together on this polkamaster -at- gmail -dot- com

This is ridiculous, the fines should not be the same amount as motorist fines and punishing cyclists who slowly ride through stop signs when there are no other vehicles around is not what the police should be spending so much time and money on, especially when there are so many more important crimes they should be dealing with to ensure public safety. Perhaps the BTA could help change some regulations since so many people have problems with it.

peejay
Guest
peejay

I wonder if we should all just pick up our bikes and carry them through this area during enforcement days. If they ask you what you are doing, tell them that you wish to be a pedestrian in this area as you are unable to safely navigate it as a cyclist and remain compliant in their interpretation of the law.

Cecil
Guest
Cecil

Phil said: \”Not very diplomatic, but maybe we can get a crew together to go down when they\’re stinging and hand out free bacon and soy bacon samples to cyclists who stop at the signs :)\”

To reward us or insult us?

taylor
Guest
taylor

Cyclists deserve to be stopped. I watch them run red lights and stop signs every single day and then act absolutely furious when they\’re almost hit by cars. You are not exempt from the law just because you\’re on two wheels instead of four. You are putting yourself and others in danger by breaking these rules.

Tammie
Guest
Tammie

Really, is it so hard to stop at the stop signs? I go through this area at least three times a week on my commute and, while I love to go fast and try to beat my own times, I\’ve never found it a hardship to stop at the stop signs. This area is full of large trucks, lost drivers, and low visiblity turns so why not just stop for a few seconds, take a look, clip back in and get rolling? Granted, I\’ve \”CA stopped\” plenty of times, but completely blasting through the signs is just plain stupid. And, yes, i think the cops ought to be out doing something more productive like stopping the people going 70 on McLoughlin, but since they\’re not… Just be sure to give a heads up to cyclists you see on their way to the area if you see any cops because i\’m sure the fewer tickets they are able to give out, the less likely they will want to stay down there and more likely to do some real work. Seriously though, they should at least have the bicycle cops doing the patrols, not motorcycle cops, talk about overkill.

VR
Guest
VR

No one is complaining about having to stop. No one is advocating blowing through stopsigns.

The complaint is that the police are expending such a large effort while bicycles rarely kill anyone, yet cars kill every day.

The other complaint being that they are focusing on areas they know get violations – instead of actually focusing on unsafe areas. I have a map of the most deadly intersections in the city, and they are no where near any of these enforcement actions.

And the police are being rude and unfriendly to boot, which doesn\’t help matters much.

taylor: No one has suggested bicyclists are exempt from the law. What we have suggested is that bicyclists are getting more citations than cars because cyclists are \”easy pickings\”.

Additionally, instead of being hard asses and issuing $250 citations all the time, why not just stop everyone and talk to them about the risks involved with running stop signs, and maybe only ticket the extreme offenders or the rude cyclists.

If SAFETY was truly the objective, their practices and locations would be completely different.

There is absolutely ZERO risk to ANYONES safety if a bicyclist slows, looks, and rolls through one of the stopsigns in this area. But the police will issue a $250 citation for that.

If someone just blows the stopsign, sure – ticket them. But come on, in a bike that is moving 5 miles per hour and slows to look around then creeps through the intersection at 2.5mph – you are not going to cause any accidents or injuries. Just saving a little time and energy…

Christ, when did we lose the ability to look at the big picture as a society?

Cars kill people. Lots of people. Cyclists do not kill people (with some extreme and rare exceptions).

Why should they not have slightly different rules?

And despite what the law says letter for letter – the police still don\’t have to set up massive sting operations…

Some common sense should apply to BOTH sides, bikes AND cops.

Matt Picio
Guest

peejay (#29):

I have to wonder if we did that if we would then get cited for jaywalking.

peejay
Guest
peejay

#31:

Would you please stop talking about irresponsible cyclists who blow through traffic controls and subject themselves and others to danger? If you really read the comments thread, you\’d know that this is not what\’s going on here. Two classes of situations were described: 1) failure to stop at a sign where current construction conditions result in no cross traffic, thus no risk of collision; and 2) failure to follow traffic controls when doing so would increase danger to the rider. Neither is an example of a foolish rider who thinks she\’s above the law, so knock it off with your false comparison.

#32:

You do realize that over-zealous enforcement of traffic controls that pose no safety danger is: 1) a waste of finite resources that leads to a lack of enforcement in truly dangerous areas; and 2) dangerous in and of itself, since it conditions cyclists to be more concerned with following arbitrary controls than awareness of their surroundings, thus putting themselves in peril in an effort to get them to comply.

The well used \”do the crime, do the time\” argument is a gross simplification of this situation. It convinces no more people the more it is used in this comment thread.

PoPo
Guest
PoPo

For Jenel (#28)
What Office Hoesley might have been attempting to explain was that sometimes, depending on your driving record, you can get an automatic reduction when you go and pay your ticket without trial. If you go to trial, the judge has leniency to reduce or raise the fine, depending on what he decides, though I\’ve seen it lowered more than I\’ve seen it raised by a judge.

While you never know what will affect the judge, you will likely be disappointed at court, as all the officer has to do is convince the judge that it is more likely than not (a 51% chance, if you will) that your bike did not come to a complete stop at the stop sign, and you\’ve already admitted that it didn\’t.

I believe that most officers use some discretion when stopping bikes for running signs, stopping not all slow-look-goers but only the ones who seem to do it an a particularly unsafe fashion. But of course they don\’t have to do it that way, and what looks unsafe to them may not feel unsafe to the bike rider.

It sounds as if the traffic division is enforcing there in response to complaints, which is simply one of the things that the traffic division does–responds to comunity perceptions about unsafe driving practices. It also seems like in this case the complaints might come from a particularly credible source, as there are few intersections where people stand and watch traffic all day, many days in a row, like those flaggers do. It seems like they would have a better perspective, particularly from a safety standpoint, even than regular commuters, who might only see the intersection a few times a day.

Regarding the \”better things to do\” argument, it is a very, very common one, as it is easy to refer to all the countless traffic violations happening all over the city at any given time. Of course the police know that too, and the other 10-15 traffic officers working that day probably did spend it all enforcing traffic laws on motor vehicles, and a review of traffic citations for the year would probably reveal that the percentage f citations given to cyclists is less than the percentage of bicycle vehicles on the road (though that is conjecture–I don\’t know for sure–I think the portland police website might have those numbers and I\’m afraid to mess with my unstable brouser right now :)).

The other thing we can do is call the traffic division with a reasonable request for enforcement on the \”better places\”, and the more particular the place and time and type of infraction, the easier it will be for them to respond.

It just seems that an enforcement system that responds to the community is better than one that doesn\’t.

And by all means, if there is a system of signage or traffic control that makes better sense for bikes in that area, let\’s figure it out an propose it reasonably to ODOT or PDOT or whomever is in charge. That is a great idea!

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Jonathan, Post 27 (and VR Post 33, peejay Post 35):

I think if it were truly dangerous to stop at a stop sign– for example, if stopping at a deserted stop sign after dark in a dangerous neighborhood would have the real (as opposed to imagined) potential to lead to a mugging– then blowing a stop sign could be said to be done for \”safety.\” Blowing a stop sign because you always blow stop signs in every part of town isn\’t done for \”safety.\”

And yes, VR, despite your belief, many, many people here are advocating blowing stop signs, and complaining about getting caught when the police begin an enforcement campaign.

Sorry people, but your stop-sign blowing behavior is anti-cycling behavior. The number one complaint motorists have about cyclists is that they blow through intersections as if the law doesn\’t apply to them. And that behavior breeds resentment of cyclists, and that resentment is harmful to cycling. Blowing through stop signs is faux adolescent rebellion, nothing more, and far too many of you should have put your adolescence behind you by now. You are poisoning the cycling environment with your anti-social riding styles.

It\’s time the cycling community took a good long look in the mirror, and had a dialog with itself, before it calls for dialog with the city.

As far as I\’m concerned, the city isn\’t giving enough tickets to cyclists, because people have obviously not gotten the message about what everybody else in society thinks about their riding styles.

I say \”ticket on, PPB.\”

Jonathan Maus / BikePortland
Guest

\”Jonathan….Blowing a stop sign because you always blow stop signs in every part of town isn’t done for \”safety\”\”

rixtir,

I don\’t \”blow stop signs\”… I\’m not sure why you refer to that.

And my point was to question whether or not it is appropriate to expect 100% compliance with traffic control devices in an area that is poorly engineered, offers suspect visibility of said devices, and is generally substandard in safety for a particular user group.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Jonathan, my writing error, I realized after I posted that the entire post may have appeared to be directed at you. It wasn\’t. What I meant, rather inelegantly, it appears, is that I am questioning your statements that it\’s unsafe to stop there. Everything after that was directed at stop sign runners in general, not at you.

Jonathan Maus / BikePortland
Guest

\”I am questioning your statements that it\’s unsafe to stop there.\”

My point is not that it\’s unsafe to stop there, it\’s that when a cyclist feels unsafe (given the conditions I describe above) their compliance will likely go down.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

I would be more susceptible to being swayed by that argument if compliance was higher in other areas of the city. In my experience, cyclists blow through stops everywhere in Portland.

Perhaps the PPB received complaints about cyclists blowing stops in this particular area from the businesses running trucks in the area?

BURR
Guest
BURR

rixtir – the one cyclist in the city who comes to a COMPLETE stop at EVERY stop sign he encounters.

IMO, you\’re either a saint or a total hypocrite.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Burr, I did roll through a stop once, because I didn\’t see it. Do you feel better now?

I can\’t in good conscience see something that is harming cycling and look the other way. Blowing stops is harming cycling. It has to stop. If people don\’t care enough about cycling to protect it, they should move on to some other fad, because they\’re not doing cycling any favors by riding.

peejay
Guest
peejay

rixtir:

I don\’t know what\’s in the mind of the average motorist. I\’ve heard from a number of them that they resent bicyclists for many things that are perfectly legal, like taking the lane when there\’s no room on the side of the road, or even for occupying a bike lane when the motorsit wished to move through that bike lane. I cannot help them if that\’s what they resent about us. I also cannot help them if they resent us for doing things that don\’t affect them in the least, like skipping a stop sign when there is no other traffic. If they don\’t get it that it\’s easier for them to get to where they want to go because there are fewer cars on the road as a direct consequence of bicycle use, I am not obligated to be concerned for their feelings.

janel
Guest
janel

PoPo I did not know about the automatic reduction, thanks for the info. But I would not go to court to contest that I didn\’t stop at the sign, I would like the option to be able to go to the safety class and get a reduced ticket that way. Now I am wondering if the automatic reduction would be less or more than the reduction for taking the safety class, if I should risk it going to court.

N.I.K.
Guest
N.I.K.

rixtir – the one cyclist in the city who comes to a COMPLETE stop at EVERY stop sign he encounters.

Hey, make that two saints. ;P rixtir\’s heavy-handedness cheeses me off at times but on the whole I agree with him, if not in approach (calling people immature scofflaws is no way to initiate a much-needed conversation) then in principle – I don\’t agree with the way our current stop sign laws work and I agree even less with the inconsistent enforcement, but let\’s none of us pretend for one stinkin\’ minute that blowing a stop, even when you\’re in the clear, is an act of civil disobedience or anything of the sort. It\’s about convenience, plain and simple. You want to change things, write letters and make phone calls and give some support to the BTA (no matter how nannying Mr. Bricker may sound at times, he\’s doing it for the right reasons). Until the law changes, it\’s either follow the law or risk a fine.

peejay
Guest
peejay

rixtir:

Do you advocate stopping at a three-way intersection when you are on the cap of the \”T\”? Clearly, there is no utility in stopping there. But of course, a motorist might resent it, huh? So you would advocate that I stop, so that an ignorant driver doesn\’t think I\’m pulling a fast one on him? That I\’m cutting the line?

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

peejay,

I\’ve read all kinds of accounts from motorists, pedestrians, and anybody else who isn\’t on a bike. they all say the same thing: cyclists blow through stops as if the laws don\’t apply to them.

And it pisses them off.

Then they see cyclists do something that is perfectly legal, but they don\’t know that it\’s legal, such as taking the lane, or even riding in the street, and they assume that, like the red light and stop sign blowing, that the cyclist is once again doing something illegal.

And it pisses them off.

Are you really going to argue that pissing off everybody else in society is good for cycling advocacy?

You CAN help it that you\’re poisoning the cycling environment, even if you deny that you can\’t help it.

peejay
Guest
peejay

Motorists have not followed the speed limit since the invention of the speedometer, and cops have an unspoken \”margin\” for when they bust you for speeding: generally 10 mph above the posted number. I resnt that. Cars will never earn my respect unitl they drive exactly at or under the speed limit. This continued abuse of the law with the complicit understanding of the police is going to prevent cars from ever being an accepted mode of transportation in this society!

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

N.I.K., post 46: Sorry for cheesing you off, and I must admit, I am being deliberately provocative, but we cyclists really do need to begin addressing our own behavior if we\’re going to work cooperatively with the majority of society in creating a better cycling environment.

I suppose cheesing people off with provocative statements is similar to cheesing people off with provocative riding styles. In the end, people are just cheesed off.