[*Updated 12/19, 9:42 am]
Wednesday night at 6:00pm, (*NOTE: This Council session has been rescheduled) City Commissioner Sam Adams will present a resolution and report about bike safety to City Council that outlines “initial City policy improvements and engineering enhancements undertaken to increase bicycle safety in response to recent bicyclist fatalities.”
The document includes a resolution, a 19-page report titled Improving Bicycle Safety in Portland, a detailed fact sheet titled Colored Bicycle Lanes, Bike Boxes, and Right Hooks, and a page that outlines safety equipment upgrades for the City’s truck fleet.
You can download the entire resolution and report here (links to a PDF on the City Auditor’s website).
for 12 city trucks.
The section on equipment upgrades for trucks focuses on the suggested installation of side-underrun guards (like the one in the photo at right) on 12 trucks in the City’s fleet. The guards would cost $4,500 a piece and the Vehicle Services division is already finalizing design and installation plans.
None of the resolution will become binding city policy. But, according to Adams’ transportation policy chief Roland Chlapowski, getting this information on the Council’s agenda is a chance to, “brief them on on what we’ve done, share what needs to be done in the future and give people a chance to testify.”
Absent from this report and these policy recommendations is anything on the Police Bureau and the enforcement situation. The only mention of enforcement comes in the opening resolution where they wrote,
“discussions continue with the Portland Police Bureau to further refine and improve their internal processes for the most effective handling possible of automobile-bicycle crashes, and Commissioner Adams shall return to Council with a follow-up resolution and report outlining the results of said talks.”
For many in the community, the police and enforcement issue is the most important component that has yet to be addressed.
Even though Chlapowski admits that Adams’ office has “limited clout” on this issue (the police answer to the Mayor’s Office), he maintains that they are working hard. In a recent comment wrote,
“…our office is doing everything in our power to get the police to change the way they have been/are doing business re: cyclist rights and the enforcement of traffic rules…we are pulling out all the stops…While our behind-the-scenes work might not be headline-grabbing, don’t think it isn’t happening.”
Part of what Adams’ office is working on includes; drafting an official Community Policing Agreement, setting more clear ticketing priorities and working with PDOT to determine potential intersections for enforcement actions (a.k.a. stings).
According to Chlapowski, because the enforcement component is taking a bit more time than expected, the plan is to bring it back to Council at a later date.
The Council session is being held in the evening to allow for more public testimony. You can download the entire resolution and report as a PDF from the City Auditor’s website here.