Last of three ‘bike education missions’ this morning in North Portland

Posted by on July 24th, 2008 at 12:39 am

Traffic Enforcement Action NE 7th & Knott

(Photos © J. Maus)

Yesterday morning (7/23) the Portland Police Bureau’s Traffic Division conducted their second of three “educational warning missions” focused on bicycle operators at the intersection of North Flint and North Broadway.

The results?

According to Traffic Division Captain Larry O’Dea there were 61 total stops. 8 motor vehicle operators were stopped (all were given warnings) and 53 “bicycle operators” were stopped. Of those, 51 received warnings and 2 were written up for citations (for “egregious behavior”).

A cyclist blows through the
stop sign at N. Flint onto Broadway.
The street to his right is N. Wheeler.

There are many issues at this intersection. Not only is there a very low compliance of the stop sign by bicycle operators, but there are right-hook issues at Wheeler Ave., and O’Dea says bicycles cause there are also “numerous issues” for pedestrians crossing Broadway at Ross. During Wednesday morning’s mission, he said that, “Neighbors from the apartment building, visitors and employees from the Northwest Cancer Center, and passing pedestrians thanked officers for addressing this location.”

Wednesday’s mission was the second of three such efforts that are, in the words of O’Dea, “designed to improve safety by raising awareness in a very positive manner of the importance for all roadway users to follow the traffic control devices for safety.”

This morning in North Portland the last of these bike-focused missions will be carried out (Ladds Circle was the first).

This time, the Police will be stationed at North Vancouver Ave. and North Russell St. from 7:30 – 8:30 am. UPDATE, 8:08am: This morning’s mission has been canceled.

If you ride through that intersection, feel free to stop and talk with Traffic Division personnel. They will be on scene to answer your questions and hear your feedback.

Also, if you rode through that intersection this morning, share your experiences in the comments below.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

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KTesh
Guest
KTesh

They are advertising this on KPTV… And pointing out the huge difference in the number of cyclists stopped.

My co-workers are giving me a lot of flack about this.

People, DON\’T give the newsmedia the opportunity of making us look bad. Obey the traffic laws, we know that we have a lot less Mass and our potential for physical damage is a lot lower, but our behavior causes a LOT of damage to our reputation.

It takes a LIFETIME to build a reputation. It takes a SECOND to destroy it.

KTesh
Guest
KTesh

Well, I just heard that they cancled today\’s mission… but I\’ll be willing to bet that the newsmedia will still be staking it out

Cmy
Guest
Cmy

Yesterday I watched as two cyclists repeatedly ran stop sign after stop sign. Oh, and a couple of red lights as well. I was a little frustrated by their actions but I couldn\’t catch them to say something because I was stopping. I was within 30 meters of catching these two when we were approaching Broadway on Flint. They blew through that intersection. Again, I chose to stop. And I\’m sure glad I did. Both cyclists got pulled over by a moto cop.

I have to admit that after watching them disregard at least 6 stop signs and two traffic lights, I was thrilled to see them pulled over.

I don\’t always make a perfect stop but I think I operate my bike well within the legal limits. When we as cyclists blow through stop signs and red lights it just pisses off everyone around us. Just obey the damn law!

jeff
Guest
jeff

Flint and Broadway is a great spot to do a \’mission\’ like this (aka, target bikes) – favored by cyclists who turn into their own lane, and hardly any cars making the same turn.

Want to swap those numbers to 53 cars and 8 bikes? I can name 100 intersections where this would be _easy_. Where are the car education \’missions\’? The crosswalk \’missions\’?

Donna
Guest
Donna

Northwest Cancer Center? So some of the pedestrians who have been buzzed by cyclists are likely cancer patients? Oh, dear.

Jessy
Guest

Yesterday I rolled up to the stop sign at Flint & Broadway, signaled my turn, came to a stop, and… was staring right at several cops.

I ALWAYS stop at that intersection. Not only because it\’s frequently enforced, but because it\’s just dangerous not to. And to let motor vehicles know that I expect them to follow the rules as well. Mutual respect while sharing the road.

There was a TV crew at Vancouver & Russell this morning… I also came to a complete stop there. Kudos, me.

B.C.
Guest
B.C.

I ride through both of those intersections every day. For the intersection at Flint, it is a good idea to stop, because there are often cars coming down Broadway and cars waiting to turn right on both Flint and and freeway offramp to the east. There is so much activity going on in the area of this intersection that it is a good idea to stop to aviod confusion that could end up in someone getting killed.

For the intersection at Russell, there is a huge open field, so it is easy to see if cars are coming or not. However, I always stop because I am on the \”Please stop at stop signs\” side of the argument. I think the biggest issue here is that the cyclist will be looking for cars and might not see the pedestrian waiting to cross the street and the pedestrian, not hearing the cyclist, steps into the crosswalk, then BAM. Negative bike publicity and \”BIKES VS PEDESTRIANS\” plastered all over the front page of the Oregonian.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Remember, the media gets more advertising dollars from car dealers and oil companies than from bike stores. We are the visible minority and we will be watched more carefully–in the US, every cyclist is the equivalent of a black person in 1935 Alabama.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

just FYI in case you missed the update in the story above… this mission has been canceled.

Jim
Guest
Jim

Does anyone know how the cops are treating the intersection. Do they want a full stop, a foot on the ground and total halt of momentum or is it OK to slow down to a walking speed and look both ways?

What is the law and what is the way it is being enforced?

Thanks.

RJ
Guest

If you would like cars to stop- PLEASE STOP on your bicycle.

If you would like cars to blow through signs and squish you- PLEASE STILL STOP on your bicycle, because you\’re ALSO endangering ME if you don\’t!

Don\’t squish me.

Thank you.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Jeff #4:

In fact, there was quite a bit of motor vehicle (especially semis, apparently) enforcement going on yesterday. In the 90 mins I spent getting back from a jobsite I saw at least 3 rigs pulled over and at least 2-3 different speedtraps laid out.

If you don\’t think the numbers are the same, I\’m guessing a single photo truck will bag a good number motor vehicles on any particular \”mission\” – and they don\’t get warnings.

Yes, you pull into your own lane, but I\’ve seen bikes blow that sign so fast they overshoot into the other lanes. Bikes popping out of Flint also can surprise vehicles coming out of or into Wheeler from Broadway. As mentioned above, there\’s a lotta stuff going on there, with people having to watch for cars coming off the freeway, pedestrians, and cyclists. Why make it harder for everyone just for the sake of convenience?

KT
Guest
KT

On the one hand, I applaud the PPB for their actions in attempting to educate the cycling community. How many of those pulled over didn\’t know the law, that they had to stop at stop signs and red lights? I\’m hoping that any newbies caught in the act learned something.

On the other hand, the PPB targeted bikes in these actions… thereby presenting a really skewed picture of road users at these intersections.

It would be nice if the PPB would spend more time targeting ALL ROAD USERS… instead of the easily-caught cyclists.

And fellow cyclists: PLEASE, for the love of all you hold dear, stop at stop signs and red lights. PLEASE. I\’m begging.

Moo
Guest
Moo

Still don\’t understand why a track stands at stop signs aren\’t considered to be true stops- even for a three to five second count. I think that many don\’t stop because in order to put your foot down on the pavement, many have to disengage – then re-engage their feet from and back onto the pedals…I\’m of that category.

kg
Guest
kg

In the top story on oregonlive is yesterdays enforcement action which has transformed into a bike only event. Just below that and apparently of less importance is a story of a mother who was killed when another motorist ran a red light.

Mike M
Guest
Mike M

@#10, Moo
This mornings article in the Oregonian actually quotes a police officer saying that a track stand is acceptable. I was pretty surprised to hear that.

Andy
Guest
Andy

I thought someone spoke to one of the officers at the first enforcement bonanza, and they said they were NOT looking for foot-down stops? That rolling stops went unenforced as long as they appeared to have a \”significant reduction in speed\” and looking both ways?

I know it\’s subtle, but whip your head around in doing that look! I remember getting dinged on my drivers test long ago because I glanced to the side instead of craning my head wwaaaaaaayyyy over to look over my shoulder (at the big solid C-pillar that I can\’t see through anyway)

Lol, funny rules. 😉

kg
Guest
kg

From Officer Parman in the Oregonian article,
\”At the end of the day, as long as a stop sign is posted, the expectation is that people come to a complete stop,\” he said, which he defined as coming to a clear pause in motion for a few seconds — either by balancing or with a foot down.

\”The stop sign is there, and it means exactly what it says.\”

Rico
Guest
Rico

You want a sting operation? Try the corner of SW 3rd and Washington where cars come over the Morrison bridge and have two left turn lanes to attempt to mow down pedestrians in the crosswalk. They could give out 51 \”warnings\” to drivers every day.

Jessy
Guest

I didn\’t put my foot down on the ground. I just stopped & paused.

They didn\’t pull me over, but there were half a dozen people already pulled over and they snagged a couple people behind me.

Who ever said that you do have to put on your foot on the ground? Is that real? I doubt it.

k.
Guest
k.

I go through both those intersections every morning. I got a warning at the Flint intersection two years ago. Since then, I\’ve slowly come around to the point where I stop at all red lights and stop signs, at least the ones that are on other then residential streets. Pretty much anywhere where there is car traffic, I try to present a good face for cyclists. I wasn\’t always like this though. But if I can see the light, just about anyone should be able to.

My big question is, is it OK to politely remind or encourage other cyclists to obey red lights? Ever since the recent heavily publicized altercations between street users, I kind of hesitate to say much to anyone. Any opinions here? Remember, it\’s probably only a tiny percentage of bike commuters who ever read this site.

Chad
Guest
Chad

I saw the news van setting up at the corner of Flint and Broadway this morning at six.

I heard yesterday on the Rick Emerson Show that news crews are setting up people at commonly ignored stop signs with walkie-talkies to radio ahead to reporters two blocks down the road so they can interview the cyclist.

To say the media is all over this is an understatement.

If the end result is more cyclists obeying the rules of the road I am very much behind this media and PPB frenzy.

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

Vancouver and Russell. What a great place for a stop sign. Travelling Downhill, almost 1000 linear ft of visibility due to that nice vacant lot to the east. These are factors on the ground that the DOT planning book doesn\’t consider. There never was a better spot for a Right turn permitted without stopping, sign. (Except maybe the 8 @ Ladds circle)

I live on a block that\’s a freeway ramp rat-run. Maybe once the city is done wasting money going for the easy wins we could get them to come to my hood and ticket a few of the 100 or so cars a day that run the stop at the end of my street and proceed down my narrow (pre-freeway) street & past my house @ 35. (but as there are no million dollar houses on my block guess i\’m out of luck)

Andy
Guest
Andy

k #17:

If someone tries to take a swing at you for casually saying \”Hey, I read there\’s a sting up ahead, better make sure you stop.\” deserves the expensive ticket and more.

TF
Guest
TF

I was one of the bicyclists stopped; the officer was friendly, stating that while I went through the stop sign at Flint, I did slow and check for on-coming traffic.

The issue for me seems to be that bicycles are not motor vehicles; when bicycling, I rely more heavily on my inertia to make it through intersections and to wherever I\’m going. The time it takes to go from a dead stop to getting back in high gear seems more dangerous at the Flint-Broadway intersection than a yield. The same also seems true when crossing lanes of traffic from a stop sign.

Bicyclists who yield but do not stop do not have the same ability to injure a pedestrian or otherwise compromise safety that a motor vehicle yielding but not stopping does. Bicycles are a different form of traffic, just as pedestrians who jay walk or cross at a crosswalk when no oncoming traffic is present do not present the same danger as a bicycle or car running a red light.

Paul Vincent
Guest
Paul Vincent

I overheard some fellow cyclists talking about this earlier in the morning. I have to say I\’m pretty amused at what seems to be a common assumption among many self-styled \”serious cyclists\” that because they\’ve saddled something between their legs they are above the law. \”I\’d be p#*)@ed if they messed with our group ride.\” (Thinking to myself, sure would be nice to shout \”clear\” to my fellow motorists and expect the authorities to know that we had OK\’d them to run the stop sign.)

bahueh
Guest
bahueh

When the educational missions stop..the enforcement will begin…

I have a feeling the city will be gaining a lot of extra income in the following weeks…

all of you who try to justify blowing stop signs and lights…have fun paying the $280.00. It will be a joy to watch..

Paul Cone
Guest
Paul Cone

Vancouver and Russell has a traffic light. I also go through this intersection every morning. I imagine the issue is people who don\’t stop when the light is red and then dodge across traffic to make the left onto Flint. Strangely enough, it\’s usually green by the time I hit it… I am guessing it is timed well with the light further north at the hospital driveway (N Stanton St).

Todd
Guest
Todd

\”in the US, every cyclist is the equivalent of a black person in 1935 Alabama.\”

Dave, that\’s a horribly tasteless joke. Getting a warning for running red lights and stop signs is not the same as racist vigilantes murdering, lynching, shooting and firebombing people. The reality is bicycles are more accepted in Portland than almost anywhere else in this country. Study history and you will realize how privileged we all really are and how thankful we should be.

Erin
Guest
Erin

These same officers perform crosswalk enforcement actions, so they aren\’t targeting cyclists. They are out here to educate. I\’ve worked with these guys (and continue to do so) and understand that they are most interested in the safety of cyclists and pedestrians – and part of that is ensuring we all abide by the laws we have in place. Don\’t like the laws? Lobby to get them changed!

Chad
Guest
Chad

Yes, Russell is timed out nicely from the stop light at the hospital. The only way you\’d have trouble at Russell is if you…um…blew the stop light at N Stanton…hmmmm…

Speaking of light timing on N Vancouver, last year one could hit the green light at Alberta and if you put your legs into it you\’d get greens all the way to Broadway, but in the last nine months or so I always miss the green at N Fremont by about ten seconds. I know this is kinda trivial, but I\’m curious as to why the light timing changed.

Ron
Guest
Ron

moo (#14)

I have done track stand stops in front of multiple police cars, and they have never had enough of an issue that they even bothered to talk to me. Maybe I\’ve just been lucky and they\’ve been pressed with other issues at the time.

However, were I given a ticket for a full track stand stop, I would definitely fight it. My reading of the law does not require a foot down (am I wrong)? Only a full stop.

Moo
Guest
Moo

Re. the track stand issue…it wasn\’t just a few months ago that they were ticketing everyone down by OMSI who weren\’t putting a foot to the pavement at the stops…ala motorcycle style.

kg
Guest
kg

It seems to me that if you are going to fast to stop when you see the police then you are probably not doing a safe roll through the stop sign. For this Broadway and Flint stop everyone should be coming to a complete stop as this is a very busy area which also feeds into a hill. With repsect to cars and stop signs I would like to see some efforts to educate motorists that failing to stop before the white line is the same as running the stop. As a cyclist who is trying to ride safely I fell forced to take the lane at most intersections because it seems 90% of the cars fail to stop until they are already out into the lane.

madmike
Guest
madmike

These \”sting\” operations not withstanding, the letter of the law isn\’t really quite so important as is the discretion & targeted bias of the officer(s) enforcing it.

I\’m a former messenger who still has the gall & audacity to periodically use my bulky messenger bag for my daily commute and/or some around town riding. However, having been pulled over several times now for silly infractions (\”equipment violations\” & slow-pedaling through stop signs with clear, 4-way visibility) I\’ve simply learned to not wear my messenger bag. I ride in the EXACT same fashion as ever, but have never been pulled over or harrassed the way I was when looking like part of the defiant \”underclass\” or whatever those crazy messengers are.

The motorcycle cops have a sad vendetta against a particular breed of cyclist and if you simply dress \”appropriately\” you can guarantee yourself a much more liberal & relaxed interpretation of the laws.

Gosh, I\’m gonna get flamed for this one…

Urbane Naif
Guest
Urbane Naif

When I get the stats on the number of injuries caused by bicycles blowing stops versus automobiles, I might change my mind about these efforts. Until then, I know that motorized vehicles blowing stops are a hazard to life and limb and think our efforts should be directed toward motorist awareness of bicycles and pedestrians, not bicyclist awareness of stop signs. These \”education missions\” are a ridiculous waste of municipal resources.

If this keeps up, we\’ll be ticketing, er, re-educating, dogs who hang their heads out of car windows next!

madmike
Guest
madmike

(and I don\’t mean to suggest that ALL motorcycle cops are a-holes. The same way that a few over-zealous and self-absorbed cyclists have tarnished the reputation of the many, such is the same with a few a-hole traffic cops. Sorry if this rant got slightly off-topic.)

Diogo
Guest
Diogo

bahueh,

Your mean spirit and enjoyment watching others being extorted for money illustrates the true motivation behind this crackdown of cyclists. Its not about concern for safety; its a matter of envy and despise against people who act carefree.

One more example of the law reflecting and giving legitimacy to the ugliest facets of human nature.

kg
Guest
kg

Speaking of dogs, we could use a leash law sting in Forest Park.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Stopping at a sign means no forward momentum. Track stands are legal under Oregon law, but I\’ve heard there are cities that have ordinances dictating that a cyclist (moto or bike) must put one foot down at a stop sign. I\’m told Forest Grove is one of them, but I don\’t know this for sure.

Yellow Guerciotti
Guest
Yellow Guerciotti

yup. I saw it as I rode past. Personally, it was pretty damn silly. a half dozen moto cops waiting in a line to pull over cyclists. The cyclists running lights, not right hand turns with quarter mile visibility in every direction are what get my goat. The \”sting\” was not to affect the behavior of bikers but rather to show motorists that bikes are getting in trouble too.

We can do ourselves all a favor, obey the same laws that you expect drivers to. Call it out when you see your peers not complying.

wyatt
Guest
wyatt

There was some guy sucking off my wheel on the Springwater which I didn\’t really mind since I was going to go that fast anyway. But once we get to the first stop sign he blows past me and turns left into the other bike lane – heading the wrong way. I come even with him and stop at the next stop sign near the opera house and he passes me again. I get on the OMSI path and pass him, going my normal rate of speed and again he starts sucking off my friggin rear wheel.

Now that\’s just f*cking lazy.

I slowed down drastically and waved him past. I considered saying something, but that never seems to solve anything.

Forseti
Guest
Forseti

All I can say is it\’s a good thing they use motorcycles, because there isn\’t a single one of those middle-aged fat-asses who could catch me on a bike.

the future
Guest
the future

three words….keep portland wierd

Steve Pappert
Guest
Steve Pappert

vancouver and russell is a non-issue. miles of visibility and little traffic. If the police are going to do education missions they should focus on the dangerous intersections. public safety laws start out with good aims, but all too often just end up as an enterprise. Vancouver and Russell is probably a great place to set up if you want a lot of tickets, but it\’s not going to make the streets any safer.

Robert Dobbs
Guest
Robert Dobbs

Again, it is time for the Idaho roll-stop law.

BTA? Where are you on this?

Nate
Guest
Nate

When I got a ticket for blowing the stop in Ladd\’s a year or so ago, I got to go to that \”Share the Road\” safety class instead of paying the fine. They had a traffic judge there who said explicitly said that track stands are legal in his court. I forget his name, but he\’s a youngish guy, pretty cool, and a cyclist himself.

travis
Guest
travis

While I am all for following the laws:

-In the neighborhoods I bend them a little. If I have a clear view through a 4way STOP I am going to run it (down hill on Salmon).

-All of the laws we have in place now are geared towards and CAUSED by cars, which only became a THREAT in less than 100 years. The laws bicyclist follow (for the most part) are to make life easier for those driving. Streets for the most part are designed to relieve / help the flow of motor traffic.

steve
Guest
steve

Robert, the BTA is busy working on behalf of the CRC. And of course, fundraising.

brian
Guest
brian

Sad the way such a cool and good movement (more bike riders) can be made to look bad by a bunch of idiots who can be bothered by laws or common sense.

Thanks guys.

I\’ll continue to ride/drive ticket free. Smart and safe.