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Ladd Circle stop sign issue heating up again

Posted by on June 27th, 2011 at 11:58 am

Ladd Circle stop sign.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The infamous traffic circle in Ladd’s Addition seems once again poised for headlines. The circle — which has frequently ignored stop signs at each entry point — is on one of Portland’s busiest bike routes and it has been the sight of numerous police enforcement actions (a.k.a. “stings”) over the years.

Some nearby residents (and members of the Hosford Abernethy Neighborhood Association) have a well-known dislike of bicycle operators who blow through the stop signs without considering the presence of people trying to cross. Tempers got so heated about these stops signs that last summer someone put up a trip-wire across the intersection in hopes of ensnaring a scofflaw.

Back in 2007, even PBOT all but admitted that stop signs at Ladd Circle aren’t the right solution. In a statement, traffic engineer Scott Batson said PBOT has drawn up preliminary plans to turn what now considered a “traffic circle” in a “modern roundabout” with yield signs instead of stops.

However, to put up yield signs would require engineering changes and financial investment (estimated $160,000), that PBOT says aren’t warranted because — despite what might be low compliance with the law and a lot of complaints from neighbors — the amount of crashes at the intersection is very low (two crashes in five years as of 2007).

But it seems the issue is coming back.

I received a press advisory this morning about a “Pedestrian Safety Action” to be held there tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon (4:30 – 6:30):

Bicycling Advocates Hold Pedestrian Safety Action in Portland’s Ladd Circle

A group of Abernethy Elementary School parents will join the Bicycle Transportation Alliance in a pedestrian safety action along Ladd Avenue tomorrow. With support from the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition and the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation, this Crosswalk Safety Education Action will call attention to the need for people in cars and on bicycles to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.

Community volunteers will line the streets entering the circle with Burma Shave-style signs, giving cyclists and motorists a reminder of our state’s crosswalk laws. Not all crosswalks are painted. Every street corner is a crosswalk and, when a person is trying to cross the street, all road users (including bicyclists) must stop and stay stopped while the person crosses. Depending upon the success of tomorrow’s action, the actions will continue around Abernethy throughout the summer and into the school year.

Ladd Circle has been the site of numerous police crackdowns on motorists and cyclists, who often fail to heed the stop signs entering the circle, thus posing a safety hazard for people walking.

Given that this issue has been around for so many years and shows no signs of slowing, it makes me wonder whether public outreach and more enforcement will be enough.

Perhaps it’s time for those engineering changes? We shouldn’t have to wait for a crash history to build up before acting — especially when PBOT engineers are well aware of the issues here, neighbors are upset, and law compliance is low (and creates an unsafe situation).

Or, a simpler and less expensive option might be to pass the “Idaho Style” law in Oregon (which was attempted back in 2009). Mia Birk, former PBOT bike coordinator, CEO of Alta Planning, and resident of the Ladd’s Addition area recently advocated for the Idaho Style solution in an article for The Portland Tribune:

“A bicycle is not a motor vehicle. To expect bicycle riders to behave exactly like motorists is like expecting kayakers to follow the same rules as motor boaters. Ultimately, we need to tailor a set of laws that is based on cycling as its own form of transportation, rather than today’s the-bicycle-is-mostly-the-same-as-a-motor vehicle line of thinking.”

— For more on this issue, see our Ladd Circle Stop Signs story archives.

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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Dan Kaufman
Guest

What more engineering do you need? Ladd’s circle is already a roundabout. Just remove the silly stop signs and enforce right of way as necessary.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Guest

Dan,

The add’l engineering is needed because if vehicles are not required to stop before entering the intersection than more must be done to “deflect” vehicle speeds prior to entering. Read the link to the PBOT 2007 statement for more.

Dan Kaufman
Guest

I have to disagree with the report. Rules are already in place for uncontrolled intersections. Anyone approaching that type of intersection must be prepared to yield.

I would love to see all the signage removed and decoy pedestrians used as an enforcement sting against any vehicle operator who isn’t prepared/won’t yield.

Matt
Guest
Matt

I totally agree. The whole point of roundabouts is to avoid stopping. One simply yields. I never saw a roundabout with a stop sign until I moved here. I never saw a 4-way intersection without a stop sign until I moved here either. It’s ridiculous.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…In a statement, traffic engineer Scott Batson said PBOT has drawn up preliminary plans to turn what now considered a “traffic circle” in a “modern roundabout” with yield signs instead of stops. …” maus/bikeportland

I would advise Ladd’s Addition residents, to use all available resources, and rally together to resist any such efforts on PBOT’s or anyone else’s part to make such a change. In some situations, there are things more important than vehicle flow and maximizing street volume carrying capacity.

Traffic circles are more than simply infrastructure designed to keep road users from having to stop at stop signs. One of the things traffic circles can do, is provide street landscaping, so people have something less sterile to look at than other vehicles on the road. Some traffic circles, such as those in Ladd’s, allow neighborhoods to achieve a more livable environment. Plus, they help to keep people that are operating vehicles from colliding with each other and with people on foot.

It’s really kind of infuriating that PBOT and people not living in Ladd’s or other somewhat similar neighborhoods, imagine they’ve some right to sweep in and re-purpose a quiet neighborhood’s streets for a rapid travel high volume travel corridor.

Scott Batson
Guest
Scott Batson

Actually, PBOT has received support from a historical perspective to narrow the current medians and decrease the corner radii since that is how the traffic circle (not roundabout) was originally designed.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

No traffic circle should have stop signs; this is just silly. The stop signs are a nuisance for riders and waste fuel for drivers. Is it because drivers in the U.S. don’t know how to yield properly?

Pedestrian safety is a valid concern, but people around here are pretty good about it, with a few exceptions. I was driving down Everett in the Pearl this past weekend and stopped for pedestrians waiting on the corner (a non-painted crosswalk). A C-Tran bus came up behind me and swerved around (without slowing down), cruising in front of the people about to step off the sidewalk. I should have gotten his plate #.

Andrew Seger
Guest
Andrew Seger

I commute down 6th every workday and it’s like C-Tran trains its drivers to confirm all the worst stereotypes about drivers from Vancouver. Totally impolite and dangerous. Especially if you’re on a bike.

SilkySlim
Guest

This again? Ughghg. Bike through there twice a day (as I have for the last three years), and it sure seems to me that everyone is being pretty civil about things.

Just a non-issue if you ask me.

cold worker
Guest
cold worker

this is almost exactly what i came to say. i was going to start it like this however, “hey, it’s this again.”

Wayne Myer
Guest

Non-issue my ass. I bike through Ladd twice a day. If anyone wants the video evidence of cyclists blowing through stop signs, cutting off cars, pedestrians, and cyclists alike, just talk to me. I have at least eight occurrences (on video) per week.

cold worker
Guest
cold worker

then document it. specifically peds being cut off/hit/destroyed by cyclists bombing through the n’hood.

Mike Fish
Guest
Mike Fish

Were you the guy out there today??

BURR
Guest
BURR

As far as I know there is no serious crash history in Ladd’s circle, which makes this whole ‘debate’ a non-issue.

OnTheRoad
Guest
OnTheRoad

At least with stop signs, pedestrians have at least some hope that a vehicle will stop and allow them to cross.

Replacing them with Yields would essentially make pedestrians wait until there is a gap in the traffic or until a sympathetic vehicle operator does them a favor and stops.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Depends on the pedestrian. I tend to walk up or even take a step out without slowing down, making them think they are about to kill someone. They usually stop, but if they don’t, I can easily lean back.

KJ
Guest
KJ

As a ped. I have only a small dim scrap of hope at any intersection in the city that any vehicle, motorized or not will stop for me. Sad but true.

I stop for peds on my bike, but fellow cyclists and motorists behind me just blow on by. =( I am always effusively nice to people who stop for me and peds are always really surprised when I stop and wave them through when I am on my bike, even though they have right of way.

I don’t think any changes they make to Ladd’s will really change how people use it unless they make it harder to enter the roundabout or something. No one stops or even looks for peds crossing. If they turned the stops to yields nothing would really change for peds since they have to yield right now anyways.
Signage changes won’t fix the compliance problem in this city for people who just want to cross the damned road. it’s not just Ladd’s.

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

Not true. Yield means yield; to pedestrians when they have the right of way (aka always)

OnTheRoad
Guest
OnTheRoad

If many don’t yield to pedestrians when it says stop, what makes you think a yield sign would give better results?

Bumpy topped
Guest
Bumpy topped

I live in Ladd’s. I commute to work every day via bicycle, ride frequently on the weekends, and participate in a few organized group rides. I also walk and ride through the neighborhood every day with my toddler. We’ve almost been hit by cyclists on this circle dozens of times.

I agree it’s a total pain to stop. But when there’s a pedestrian at the crosswalk you need to stop. if you can’t see the sidewalk on both sides as you approach the intersection to determine if there is a pedestrian about to enter the crosswalk (as is the case where SE Ladd intersects the circle on the NW side due to some bushes), please at least slow down to a speed where you could stop if you needed to, and look BOTH ways.

Alex Reed
Guest
Alex Reed

I don’t think it *is* a total pain to stop. I find that making a habit of stopping at every stop sign reminds me that life isn’t a race. Slow down and breathe a little!

fiets503
Guest
fiets503

“please at least slow down to a speed where you could stop if you needed to, and look BOTH ways.”

that’s called “yielding” that’s what should be happening there anyway! Not a silly stop when no one is around.

Chris
Guest
Chris

I’ve never had a hard time stopping on my bike. Part of riding in the city.

commuter
Guest
commuter

I always stop to yield to peds at this roundabout but most often than not they actually wave me on. I never assume this though.
I’m all for ticketing drivers and cyclists who run through these stops…especially when there are peds about to cross.

Norman
Guest
Norman

If the issue is failing to yield to pedestrians, a Idaho stop law or a change in signage will not remedy the situation. I think increased public outreach and enforcement are the viable ways of changing behavior in this instance.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

The Idaho Stop isn’t necessary if traffic controls are updated to the latest MUTCD edition, which favors yield signs over stop signs except for the worst intersections too quiet to warrant a signal.

MeghanH
Guest
MeghanH

I, like a LOT of SE Portland residents who bike, ride through here twice a day. I make a careful effort to slow WAY down every time I get close to the Ladd Circle, and ALWAYS stop if I see someone near the crosswalk. I just wish more people (both in cars AND on bikes) would do the same…

Mindful Cyclist
Guest
Mindful Cyclist

One of the things I have noticed about Ladd’s when I have biked through there is that a lot of motorists drive way too fast on the main diagnonal streets. I sometimes wonder if those stop signs actually help slow that traffic down a bit. I know most roundabouts do not have stop signs, but as far as I am concerned, I have no problem stopping at them.

jeff
Guest
jeff

how hard is it to find your brake levers, folks?
the displays of impatience I see around Ladd’s nearly every day is astounding.

David Parsons
Guest

Well, it *is* a traffic circle, and stop signs are not the typical traffic control device you’d expect to see on them, particularly when there are nice wide boulevards leading into a nice wide roundabout.

I’d surprised at PDOT’s claim of $160,000 for resigning the roads leading into that traffic circle. Are they also planning to put in speed bumps, islands, and bumpouts to make incoming traffic STFD?

Scott Batson
Guest
Scott Batson

Many people confuse older styles of circular intersections with modern roundabouts. Rotaries are not modern roundabouts. Traffic circles (Arc D’Triumph) are not modern roundabouts. European Vacation was not a modern roundabout. New Jersey/Europe are not removing modern roundabouts. Visit http://www.ksu.edu to see the differences. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov has a video about modern roundabouts that is mostly accurate (http://tinyurl.com/3hjrqus ).

cold worker
Guest
cold worker

j.m. can you dig up some real info on ped/cyclist crashes here in ladd’s? aside from anecdotes about near misses.

Scott Batson
Guest
Scott Batson

2000-2009 *reported* crashes:
2002, 30 ft s/16th-Ladd; auto rear end auto
2004, 200 ft NE/elliot-ladd; auto into parked auto
2007, 150 ft NW/Harrison-ladd; auto into two parked autos

Nick V
Guest

I was one of the cyclists caught in the Great Sting of ’07. Instead of paying the full fine, I went to a class where the judge told me that a trackstand is a sufficient “stop”. I do NOT think that it is too much to ask for cyclists to sacrifice an extra 20 seconds max to trackstand at the two (I think???) stop signs that we encounter each way.

That said, I think that the whole plan for volunteers to “line the streets entering the circle with Burma Shave-style signs, giving cyclists and motorists a reminder of our state’s crosswalk laws” is self-righteous nonsense at its best.

I quote from Jonathan’s article, “despite what might be low compliance with the law and a lot of complaints from neighbors — the amount of crashes at the intersection is very low (two crashes in five years as of 2007)”. Heaven forbid the “utopia” that is Ladd’s Addition be subjected to even the slightest “disturbance” from the common man.

deborah
Guest
deborah

BURR
As far as I know there is no serious crash history in Ladd’s circle, which makes this whole ‘debate’ a non-issue.

We are missing the point here. It’s the pedestrians that are having issue with the bikes yielding. If a pedestrian is not yielded to and hit, it is a big issue.

The pedestrian walk ways are often blind, especially when a pedestrian is crossing Ladd St (coming from Hawthorne) from west to east in the circle. Because of the nature of the roundabout going counter-clockwise and the brush on the sw side of the street there, it would be easy for a pedestrian to step out and a bike not see them. It’s really on us (as bicyclists) to make sure we look in both directions coming into the circle to look for peds.

gumby
Guest
gumby

And it’s not that pedestrians are getting injured, it’s that they feel the threat of injury. People should feel like they can cross streets without feeling like they’re dashing across the interstate.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

I ride in Ladd’s everyday as it is where I live. I also drive through the main circle regularly. My biggest problem with people not stopping at the stop sign is that it is almost impossible to turn right on Harrison out of the circle (the first exit after the Ladd stop sign) without worrying that a cyclist will blow through the stop sign and come around that corner faster than you turn. It sounds extreme, but I have been within feet of hitting cyclist at least half a dozen times in the last year because they go through the stop sign with so much speed.
I also think a major qualm of residence who drive through there (from talking with some neighbors) is that many cyclist do not “take the lane” but attempt to pass on the right. That works on streets but not in roundabouts where everyone is turning. Take the lane in traffic with cars please!
On a good note, I couldn’t be happier living in a neighborhood whose main issue is too many bikes!

dan
Guest
dan

That’s interesting, I had always assumed that riding on the right side of the circle was “better” (expected behavior among the largest group of motorists). Do you think that most motorists would prefer to see bicycles taking the lane? I assumed taking the lane would hold up traffic, as I’m routinely passed by cars in the circle.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

I cant say I speak for other motorist, but as for myself, when I am driving and not riding, I would much rather (and do) take a slower approach and be “stuck” behind a bike for 10 or 15 seconds than take on the chances of right hooking someone. We are talking about such a small amount of time that you are in the circle that I cant see why anyone would want to increase the potential to get hit.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

I can’t go as fast as a car so I’m never passing on the right… if I try to “take the lane” by moving closer to the inside of the circle then a lot of bikes come up on my right and then I can’t make my turn because I’ve been muscled out of the pack…

so I’ll stay on the right outside of the circle and cruise slow like I always do…

David K
Guest
David K

I really appreciate your comments here. They are very constructive, and I agree with the taking of the lane in the circle, to avoid right-hook situations. We shouldn’t forget about hand-signals either, they allow drivers and riders a heads up for soon to pcur changes in lane position!

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Traffic engineers agree almost universally that stop signs at roundabouts are a dumb idea.

But even if we do switch Ladd Circle to Yield signs (as we should) I too have noticed that many cyclists fail to stop for pedestrians. THAT is where we need enforcement and awareness.

Also, narrowing the pavement of the circle itself would improve things immensely. I tend to stick to the right, near the outer edge, as I am supposed to do, but many (most?) cyclists cut to the center of the circle. I often find myself being passed on the inside by a slower cyclist who just ran a stop sign, and just end up passing them again once off the circle. Moronic.

Besides yield signs, I would hope the “additional engineering” might include narrowing the pavement to <20 feet and striping a bike lane around the outside of the circle. That kind of "calming" would reduce vehicle speeds and make it FAR easier for pedestrians to cross to and from the center (a significant problem today), which would probably also reduce the pedestrian crossings and conflicts around the circle somewhat

It would also force cyclists to actually make some sort of turn (instead of blasting straight ahead towards the inside of the circle) when entering the roundabout, reducing the speed at which they enter the pedestrian crossings.

BURR
Guest
BURR

cyclists are allowed to ride on the left side of a one way street; striping a bike lane around Ladd’s circle is a terrible idea, as it will create more conflicts than already exist between cyclists and motorists attempting to turn right to exit the circle.

The biggest problem I routinely see in Ladd’s circle is motorists exceeding the speed limit or simply driving too fast for conditions.

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

But the circle is nearly two lanes wide now, another terrible idea. As it is, there is almost no use in yielding, since you have an entire “lane” to enter. It can be a problem as a poster above points out, if you enter too fast, you can overrun a car (or bike) exiting the circle at a slower speed.

BURR
Guest
BURR

you are supposed to merge to the left of right turning traffic, and not ride into the right hook…

are
Guest

interesting how many comments here indicate a lack of familiarity how the d*mned thing is supposed to work. you take the inside lane until your exit approaches, then you move to the outside. thus if you are heading southeast on ladd, you should have no conflict with traffic exiting onto harrison, because you are in the inside lane waiting for the extension of ladd on the other side.

this is, or should be, an entirely separate question from yielding to pedestrians. neither a stop nor a yield sign is needed, and neither is relevant to the pedestrian’s right of way at the crosswalk, striped or unstriped.

could we have some education out there, please?

Jacob
Guest
Jacob

There are Stop signs there, whether you agree with them or not, it’s your duty as a vehicle operator to stop. If you don’t like them (stop signs) work to get them removed, but until then, be a good citizen and obey the freakin law. Jeabus, it’s not that hard folks!

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

there are many generations of repressed people that would disagree that obeying stupid laws is a good thing…

Chris
Guest
Chris

I hardly think not wanting to stop at a stop sign on your bike falls into the same category as the repression felt by previous generations.

cyclist
Guest
cyclist

Hey, let’s compare slavery to stopping your bike at a stop sign!

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

No doubt. People who make such stupid comparisons shouldn’t be allowed to operate a vehicle (bicycle or otherwise) given that they’re actively resistant to the idea of executing the duties of a vehicle operator.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

in a democracy a good citizen also disobeys laws that they do not agree with.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Good thing this isn’t a democracy, but is a constitutionally limited, representative democratic republic, then.

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

Honestly, I think the pedestrians are just BIMBYs.

While I’m sure there are a few idiots on bikes who would run over their grandmother at the circle, mid crosswalk, visibility is not a major issue.

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

That would be a NIMBY.

Ross Williams
Guest

Perhaps the solution is to get rid of the traffic signs altogether and let people negotiate the intersections. That has been done in some European cities with the effect that traffic slows down. That isn’t going to solve the problems with people who don’t yield to pedestrians, but making everyone a little more cautious might have some effect.

sabernar
Guest
sabernar

Alternative solutions to the problem are a great thing, but ignoring the current signage because you’re too damn lazy to come to a stop, is irresponsible. If you have another solution, work within the law to change it.

shirtsoff
Guest
shirtsoff

Any one want to have low impact mountain bike crashes with other willing clunky bike participants to artificially up the crash numbers? Call PBOT with crash details every time we bump tires until something is done. 😉

9watts
Guest
9watts

If a pedestrian at Ladd’s is faced with a stream of cyclists none of whom are paying attention to them I’d see that as a problem, the cause of a delay and an annoyance for the pedestrian. Is this one of the scenarios we’re talking about here?

But as a pedestrian I find crossing a street on which an individual is bicycling (fast) really pretty straightforward. A bicycle is so diminutive and its speed easier for me to gauge than a car that (if the bike is close enough) I let the bike by and cross behind it. I’m not slowed down by a fast cyclist, and I don’t feel the need to leave lots of room between the just passed bike/cyclist and me because the speed differential/size/menacing qualities are just not very large. Both of us can see and hear what’s going on around us pretty well, compared to the situation where one of the two participants in traffic is in a car. Eye contact is, of course, always good for/from both parties.

There is the matter of the stop (or perhaps future yield) sign, and that to me is somewhat separate: are folks on bikes (or cars) being considerate of cross traffic (pedestrians) when they enter the intersection? It sounds like there is room for improvement here, but I don’t see it as a matter of safety as much as a matter of courtesy.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

I wonder when Coe Circle will become a proper roundabout. Right now, it’s a real clusterfsck by any mode due to the outdated design and stop signs. To comply with federal standards, it needs these markings and signage instead.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

It also needs a physical adjustment to the entrances and exits to the circle to make it compliant with set USDOT/FHWA safety standards.

Scott Batson
Guest
Scott Batson

Signing and marking are not the only characteristics of a modern roundabout. There are physical characterisics also, geometries and slopes.

eljefe
Guest
eljefe

Cars don’t often stop at stop signs. They choose routes that don’t contain them! If people make it any more of a headache to get through Ladd, I’ll just comply with the letter of the law by taking the lane on 12th, 20th, Hawthorne, and Division, which contain no stops signs.

Seriously, though, I consider myself a pedestrian advocate, and I have about 10,000 higher priorities than Ladd circle, starting with vehicles parked on sidewalks and crosswalks.

sabernar
Guest
sabernar

Go right ahead a do that. It’ll reduce the number of people blowing through the stop signs in Ladd’s.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

PERCEPTION!

as gumby stated it’s not that the intersection is dangerous, people just think it is… the people on bicycles don’t see a problem with riding around the people on foot, the people on foot feel that people riding bicycles around them is dangerous…

seems like the usual misunderstood bicycle issue…

as 9watts states it’s not very hard to time your steps either as a pedestrian or a cyclist to avoid a collision…

seems like people walking need to trust in the fact that people bicycling are trying to avoid them just as much…

no action needed, just chill out and quit being so paranoid…

sabernar
Guest
sabernar

Wrong. The people on the bikes need to obey the law and stop and the stop signs. It’s not rocket science. And if a car doesn’t stop at a stop sign, that doesn’t give a cyclist permissions to blow through it, too. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

captainkarma
Guest
captainkarma

I don’t trust peds, bikers, cars, trucks, segways, skateboarders, joggers, UPS, or dogs on leashes, & cats in general. None predictable.

andy
Guest
andy

Yield! Next please.

jeff
Guest
jeff

many cyclists through the circle are already supposed to do that…and don’t.

Shoemaker
Guest
Shoemaker

How about a bike speed bump with that yield sign? Adding a raised crosswalk would emphasize the transition through a pedestrian zone and discourage motor vehicles from cruising quickly through the crosswalk. It would look nice and provide effective traffic calming.

marshmallow
Guest
marshmallow

Cars are not to turn at an intersection unless there are one and a half lanes between it and a pedestrian. Being that the width of a lane is representative of the width of the largest vehicle allowed on public streets, the spirit of the law allows bicyclists the same one and a half bicycle widths to safely pass a pedestrian. So all that “dangerous” pedestrian passing is really just hogwash. It’s done in New York every day and not dangerous at all, just perception.

canuck
Guest
canuck

That is such a major case of justifying your bad behaviour.

The one and and and a half lanes is for all vehicles, and as a bike you should obey that law.

Nowhere in the law does it state one and and a half widths of your vehicle, it’s one and a half lanes.

Just remember the next time you have a complaint with a driver that they may be interpreting the law differently and therefore are justified in their actions.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

are you really trying to argue that 16-20 foot passing distance should be used for all pedestrian-cyclist interactions? i’m not sure how that works on a sidewalk.

clearly some laws are intended for motorists and not cyclists. this is one of them.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Easy: You don’t drive on the sidewalks to begin with.

marshmallow
Guest
marshmallow

I try to leave at least a foot of clearance when I drive my car on sidewalks.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Need to go out ther early, ~4:30am, dressed up homeless looking and stake out an enterance to Ladd’s Circle with a webcam, a seperate camera and 12 hours battery life.
Perform a total uneditted audit of traffic violations at all 4 entrances.
While it is resonable to assume ther will be more auto violations than cyclist the telling number will be the %noncompliance/mode.

kittens
Guest
kittens

Slow news day huh? If PBOT can’t put up a dozen yield signs for less than $160,000, then it should just give them to me and I will for free! Additionally, I volunteer to find activities for these annoying busy-bodies with seemingly nothing to do but complain about bikes at a traffic circle.

Ross Williams
Guest

“seems like people walking need to trust in the fact that people bicycling are trying to avoid them just as much…”

… as we trust the driver of a car to avoid us who passes at 40 mph six inches to our left when we are riding a bike? I don’t really think so.

Anyone who has paid attention would agree some cyclists are reckless and can’t be trusted. A pedestrian has no real way of knowing if they are dealing with one of them.

There seem to be three different issues here:

1) Should bicyclists stop for pedestrians? There seem to be several people who think that pedestrians should stop for bicyclists, even when the bicyclist has a stop sign. With all due respect to those folks, they sound a lot like drivers who think bicyclists should stay out of their way.

2) Can people roll through a stop sign when is is safe to do so? People who think bicyclists should yield to both traffic and pedestrians at stop signs, but not necessarily stop. These folks want the “Idaho law”.

3) Should they replace the stop signs with yield signs to make this legal at the Ladd’s circle? People who think everyone should stop at stop signs regardless of the safety requirement. They just want signs that match the behavior.

I think this is more likely to create an extremely difficult environment for pedestrians who will have both cyclists and motorists sailing through the intersection without slowing down. And it will also make it more dangerous for cyclists and motorists.

Norman
Guest
Norman

Interesting how some people don’t want to give pedestrians the same courtesy and respect they are asking from motorist.

Spencer Boomhower
Guest

Stop signs were designed for people travelling in vehicles that diminish their ability to perceive their surroundings, while also vastly magnifying their ability to do damage to their surroundings.

To stop at a stop sign when you’re on a bicycle and you’ve got the right of way – and there’s very obviously no one coming – is to adhere to an aspect of the law that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Of course, if you want to adhere to this law for the sake of appearances, feel free. But I think there’s just as much value in showing a willingness to observe the spirit of the law while questioning the letter of the law, i.e. showing that it’s possible for someone on a bike to do a safe, respectful “rolling stop,” without endangering others, nor disrespecting their rights of way.

I think what’s extra important is for people on bikes to respect the rights and comfort zones of people on foot. I try to give them a massive amount of buffer room when I’m on my bike, stopping waaaay before I get to where someone on foot is crossing.

Of course the one time I had to chance to do this at Ladd’s, the lady waiting to cross seemed to get all annoyed with me :). I must have stopped 30 feet before the crosswalk but she waved me on. As I passed she said, “I don’t expect bikes to stop.”

sabernar
Guest
sabernar

Rationalize much?

Spencer Boomhower
Guest

sabernar,

“Rationalize much?”

Maybe! If we’re talking the, “to make rational,” or “to interpret from a rational standpoint,” definitions of “rationalize,” I try my best. But if we’re talking the, “to devise self-satisfying but incorrect reasons for one’s behavior” definition… I hope not. I don’t think I am. But maybe I’m fooling myself, in which case I’d be the last to know.

All I know is that this topic is one that, for whatever reason, I find very intriguing, and I’ve given it a lot of thought. Case in point:

http://www.vimeo.com/4140910

Now that may just be an extremely elaborate justification of my own malfeasance. But I’m attempting to come at this topic with a positive and constructive approach.

Or rather, a deconstructive approach: I think unnecessary laws are a waste of time and energy and should be removed, and in some cases ignored.

meh
Guest
meh

Well how aware of their surroundings were the cyclists who got pulled over and ticketed?

Seems if they were aware, they would have seen the police officer and known to stop.

naess
Guest
naess

how can you have the right of way if you need to stop at a stop sign?

are
Guest

if no one else is there

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

Aren’t speed limits reviewed based on the on the 85th percentile speed? If so why not apply that logic to this situation? If running the stop signs is that much of a problem,then maybe the stop requirement itself is the problem.

No one suggests that every intersection needs a stop sign, and yet in most cases pedestrians manage just fine, barring a few high profile tragic instances which are dealt with (yes, always too little, always too late)

Finally if the feeling is that motor vehicles are speeding and not adhering to right of way; which in my experience is highly likely, then maybe it’s time there was targeted enforcement of vehicle speed.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Not in this state (or speed limits in neighborhoods would be more like 30 or 35, and freeway speeds would be more like 75 or 80).

Justin
Guest
Justin

How about this, Stop sign=stop. Bike, Car, Foot. stop

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

are
interesting how many comments here indicate a lack of familiarity how the d*mned thing is supposed to work. you take the inside lane until your exit approaches, then you move to the outside. thus if you are heading southeast on ladd, you should have no conflict with traffic exiting onto harrison, because you are in the inside lane waiting for the extension of ladd on the other side.
this is, or should be, an entirely separate question from yielding to pedestrians. neither a stop nor a yield sign is needed, and neither is relevant to the pedestrian’s right of way at the crosswalk, striped or unstriped.
could we have some education out there, please?

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Ladd Circle one lane with a parking shoulder?

are
Guest

actually, i think there are signs all around the circle that say no parking or stopping

Chris T
Guest
Chris T
Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Kind of a silly choice of route given that Paris LCNs 5, 4 and 2 all take a substantially less moronic route. Arc de Triomphe is so notoriously dangerous that all accidents in that roundabout are considered equal fault of all parties involved.

http://osm.org/go/0BPIBrTIs-?layers=C

marshmallow
Guest
marshmallow

Idaho Stop law would have the most benefit for the greatest number of cyclists. Cycling organizations should get right on this and make it their only agenda. I’ll call my congressman and complain, if only he wasn’t wearing a tiger suit, drunk, and popping pills.

J_R
Guest
J_R

Come on, PBOT. Try the yield signs as an experiment. And get PPB to do an enforcement action on yeilding to peds by all operators of all vehicles.

Try implementing the roundabout with signs and paint. If it fails, try adding some cones or candlesticks. If that doesn’t work go for the whole thing. Try the $5000 solution (I just made that up.) then the $15,000 solution. Don’t let the search for the perfect solution hinder the implementation of the good solution.

rootbeerguy
Guest
rootbeerguy

it is up to PDD to enforce… i am pedestrian sometimes. Cars do not always stop. what should i do about it? i just walk defensively.

sabernar
Guest
sabernar

Or maybe cyclists could stop at the stop signs.

Schrauf
Guest
Schrauf

are
interesting how many comments here indicate a lack of familiarity how the d*mned thing is supposed to work. you take the inside lane until your exit approaches, then you move to the outside. thus if you are heading southeast on ladd, you should have no conflict with traffic exiting onto harrison, because you are in the inside lane waiting for the extension of ladd on the other side.
this is, or should be, an entirely separate question from yielding to pedestrians. neither a stop nor a yield sign is needed, and neither is relevant to the pedestrian’s right of way at the crosswalk, striped or unstriped.
could we have some education out there, please?

I think you might be confused. There are not two lanes – do you see any paint? A poorly engineered unpainted wide swath of asphalt does not automatically constitute as many lanes as full-size vehicles can fit.

Ladd’s is not a roundabout. Until stop signs are removed, it is a traffic circle. Part of the general confusion is some people treating the infrastructure incorrectly, and of course part of the problem is also people just blowing the stop sign when someone else has right-of-way.

Significantly narrowing the circular lane would reduce speeds and improve safety, regardless of keeping the silly stop signs, or replacing them with yield signs.

are
Guest

well then you go ahead and ride to the right of traffic that might turn right across your path and see where it gets you

are
Guest

i would argue that this is a roundabout, with inappropriate use of stop signs at the entry points. however, i concede your arguments (a) that there are not two marked lanes and (b, paraphrasing) that given the residential character of the place it would be better to narrow the available travel surface through the circle, though not by putting in onstreet parking. a lot of the difficulty with the pedestrian crossings could be alleviated by setting the crosswalks back a bit from the edge of the circle.

Doug Klotz
Guest
Doug Klotz

There is a substantial body of thought that “roundabouts” with yield signs are bad for pedestrians, especially the vision-impaired, because no driver will stop for them. With stop signs, at least some of the drivers will stop at the stop line, which should also be where the crosswalk is. Changing these to yield signs will mean zero drivers will stop for pedestrians. The signs should remain at Ladd Circle and Coe Circle.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

[citation needed]

Spencer Boomhower
Guest

Doug,

That’s a good point. I think roundabout and I think 39th/Caesar Chavez and Glisan. Great to drive through – it has a great flow, to the point that it kind of pulls cars into its vortex. Which makes it so I wouldn’t want to bike it, and I’m nervous for the people on foot I see crossing around its perimeter.

Maybe Ladd’s would be a whole other deal being as it’s so much quieter, but on the other hand maybe it would also induce more traffic if it was to become a roundabout, and thus create an easier shortcut through that neighborhood.

marshmallow
Guest
marshmallow

A yield sign is not a hazard to blind people. Being blind is a hazard for blind people.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

Perhaps this would be true if there was a ton of traffic at ladd’s addition, or limited sight lines, or if the streets were wide, but really this is a non issue. Everyone on a bike already treats it as a yield, and it is one of the safest intersections in the city, lets focus our efforts on streets like sandy where people are being killed crossing the street on a regular basis.

marshmallow
Guest
marshmallow

Clearly bicyclists are neither pedestrians or motorists so should follow rules that are allowed each according to speed. What’s an average runner’s pace, 6 mph? Do runners have to stop at stop signs? How about cyclists slow down to that pace at stop signs and on sidewalks with people present? Oh, bicyclists should always obey vehicle codes all the time? Ok, but it’s legal for them to ride on sidewalks, ride in bike designated lanes, and not have brake lights. Clearly these people demanding cyclists ride exactly like motor vehicles are delusional.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Bicyclists aren’t allowed on sidewalks if they’re operating faster than walking speed, and when they are on a sidewalk, operate by pedestrian rules (in which case, why bother with the bike in the first place?)

are
Guest

actually, the only reference in 814.410 to riding at walking speed on a sidewalk is when the cyclist is approaching a crosswalk or a driveway or a curb cut _and_ a motor vehicle is approaching. in fact, the statute goes on to redundantly state (apparently for emphasis) that it _does not_ require a cyclist to ride at a reduced speed under any other circumstance.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Courts have ruled in favor of a more broad interpretation of ORS 814.410 in the past. Besides, it’s rather inconsiderate and stupid to invade the pedestrian space with a vehicle. Are you Oregonian or Californian? If it’s the former, ride like it. If it’s the latter, move back to where that flies with the locals.

marshmallow
Guest
marshmallow

Quiet rude child!

MUPS.

pixie
Guest
pixie

You often state this and fail to back it up with any court citations. Find any yet?

are
Guest

i was not describing how i ride, i was correcting a misstatement of the statute.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

People using bikes for transportation and other uses, that don’t want to stop at the stop signs, have alternative routes of travel available to them on the perimeter of Ladd’s: 12th Ave and 20th Ave. Both alternatives represent just a slight addition in distance to ride. The aforementioned streets work fine for people people originating outside of and who are traveling beyond Ladd’s Addition.

Ladd’s Addition is essentially being used as a ‘cut-through’.

Ladd’s Addition is a quiet neighborhood. It was never intended to be a major thoroughfare for commuting by people using bikes or motor vehicles for transportation. Conserving and sustaining the neighborhoods’ quality of life by the simple act of stopping at stop signs in the neighborhood, is an important issue that should be observed by everyone passing through this neighborhood.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Ladd’s Addition is not being used as a cut through: It’s a part of three different bike boulevards! That’s what makes the whole thing so absurd: Stop signs on this roundabout violates the city’s own policy regarding stop signs on bike boulevards, and federal highway standards for roundabouts.

Norman
Guest
Norman

My guess is that yield signs would further reduce compliance to crosswalk laws. Ladd’s Addition is a walking neighborhood not just a bike thorough fare.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Let’s stick to the facts instead of “gut feelings.”

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

While I agree that we shouldn’t always have to wait for a bunch of people to get hurt to fix a dangerous situation Ladd’s is the opposite problem. It is clear from years and years of data that the people who yell and scream that it is dangerous are full of it and the city needs to order the police department to stop setting up stings there. We have intersections that are dangerous, people are really dying trying to cross Sandy and Broadway and I am really tired of the city wasting the tiny amount of resources they spend on crosswalk stings on Ladd’s addition because one or two neighbors are super vocal about a perceived problem that does not exist. I am also very disappointed in the WPC, an organization that I generally support for wasting their resources on an intersection that is one of the safest in Portland. Total BS all around.

jim
Guest
jim

If bikes had a license plate on the front of their bike they could just get their ticket in the mail like cars do

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

marshmallow
MUPS.

MUPs aren’t sidewalks. They’re MUPs. Comparing the two is like comparing apples and hammers.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…the city’s own policy regarding stop signs on bike boulevards, …” Paul Johnson

Could you supply us with an official City of Portland description of what you refer to as the city’s policy regarding stop signs on bike boulevards?

As much talk about Ladd’s Addition as there seems to be, referring to it as part of a ‘bike boulevard’ and whatnot, Ladd’s Addition is a mere 9 blocks by 10 blocks square. Despite it’s diminutive size, some people react to having to stop at the 7 or so stop signs, starting from Division, along Ladd Ave and 16th to Hawthorne Blvd, as if the Ladd’s Addition neighborhood was a mile or more across.

If the city’s policy on bike boulevards/neighborhood greenways really is that streets so designated aren’t supposed to have stop signs that people riding bikes for transportation have to stop at, I very much want to hear what people in neighborhoods with such streets, think about that idea. Something tells me…they wouldn’t think much of it.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Sure, go to Portland Bureau of Transportation and look at the plans for all of the bike boulevards. Consistently, stop signs are removed and any roundabouts involved are upgraded to meet current standards, which includes yields and excludes stops.

Ross Williams
Guest

I think the point that these are NOT traffic roundabouts is well taken. They were designed as part of the central plaza of a neighborhood. They are a neighborhood street.

The site lines are great for knowing whether there are any motor vehicles coming, you don’t really need to even slow down. And some people don’t. I have watched cyclists, including groups of cyclists, blow through the stop signs in the circle as if they weren’t there.

The argument that it is “safe” can be applied equally to motor vehicles. Assuming that they are equally attentive to oncoming pedestrians and cyclists as they are to other motor vehicles. Unfortunately that is not always the case. They are less likely to see a pedestrian or cyclist than a car and, as some have expressed here about pedestrians waiting for cyclists, they expect the more vulnerable person to be give them the right of way.

It might surprise people. But you ought to be able to walk around the circle without paying any attention to traffic. Traffic should stop at every intersection. And it is required to wait for pedestrians. Its one thing to say it is unreasonable to expect cyclists to stop at every intersection, it is quite another to say that they can ignore the stop signs in ways that diminish that sense of security for pedestrians. It appears at least some people here won’t make that distinction. Which is why we enforce traffic laws.

Paul Johnson
Guest
Paul Johnson

Considering every intersection on that circle is an unmarked crosswalk, that already applies, and would still apply after the roundabout is brought to code.