BikePortland

Updated: Police target Ladds for educational mission


**See results and a statement about this morning’s enforcement mission from Captain Larry O’Dea below**

Ladds Circle in Southeast Portland.

Officers from the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division were out in force this morning in the Ladds Circle area of Southeast Portland.

This area, which is a traffic circle ringed by streets with stop signs, is a busy bikeway where Police have focused enforcement efforts in the past.

But unlike past enforcement actions, this morning’s effort was an “educational mission” where officers only gave warnings and no actual citations were issued. Commenters have reported that up to 10 motorcycle officers were on the scene and they were told this week will be warnings and next week tickets will be written (carrying a $242 fine).

**
Traffic Division Captain Larry O’Dea has just released results and a statement from this morning’s “educational mission” (emphasis mine):

“Due to numerous neighborhood complaints of traffic safety concerns, the Traffic Division conducted an educational mission from 0730-0830 hours this morning in Ladd’s Addition. Violators, primarily those who ran the stop signs cold, were stopped and warned, not cited, and the neighbors concerns were discussed with them, as well as recent injury accidents that occurred for failing to stop at traffic control devices. Our goal is to address neighborhood concerns and improve safety and compliance.

This is one part of our plan in working with PDOT and the neighborhood association to improve livability and we all will be meeting with the neighbors in the near future in our continuing joint efforts. Numerous neighbors thanked officers for addressing their concerns during the mission.

The following stops resulted:

Pedestrians – 0 stops
Motor vehicles – 7 stops / 7 warnings & 1 DWS citation
Bicycle Operators – 60 stops / 60 warnings no citation

***

Stop sign enforcement at Ladds has long been a touchy issue. Residents want more people to stop before entering the circle, some people feel there are other areas (and issues) that should be the focus of police resources, and others feel like the stop signs should be yields.

The issue last came to a boil in April of last year. After that enforcement action, the idea of turning the stop signs into yield signs came up. In response to numerous emails and phone calls, a PDOT traffic engineer issued a statement saying that a larger solution is needed.

That April 2007 enforcement action resulted in 59 citations: 47 for “bicycle moving violations”, 3 for “bicycle equipment violations” and 9 for “motor vehicle violations.”

According to someone at PDOT who I spoke with this morning, today’s enforcement action is the start of a larger effort to finally approach a real, lasting solution at Ladds Circle that will allow for the safe, efficient and comfortable flow of traffic.

In the coming weeks, representatives from the adjacent neighborhood, Traffic Division leadership, and PDOT traffic engineers will sit down and work toward a more permanent solution.

In the meantime, the Police Bureau will increase enforcement at this intersection until a higher rate of compliance is seen.


[Editor’s note: I have changed the title from Police target Ladds for enforcement (again), to Police target Ladds for education mission. I did this to communicate that today’s mission was not about writing tickets, but more about improving safety and trying to raise awareness about this intersection. The new leadership at the Traffic Division (Captain O’Dea and Lt. Parman) have been doing great work to extend an olive branch to people who ride bikes and this is part of that effort. I look forward to reporting more about their efforts in the coming weeks.]

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