Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

City will step up truck parking enforcement on SE 4th Ave – Updated

Posted by on August 30th, 2012 at 2:27 pm

trucks near Springwater entrance-2.jpg

Trucks in bike lanes leads to
people in streets.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation says they’ll step up enforcement of illegal parking on SE 4th Avenue just south of Caruthers. On Monday, we pointed out that large trucks servicing industrial businesses along the street are parking in the bike lanes that connect the Springwater Corridor and Eastbank Esplanade. This gap between the two paths is very popular with people bicycling, walking, and jogging and the illegally parked trucks are forcing them out into the middle of the roadway.

Cheryl Kuck, a media spokesperson for PBOT says they will tell Parking Enforcement Officers to put this area on their regular patrols. In Oregon, it’s illegal to park a motor vehicle on a bike lane unless you are there only “momentarily” and actively loading/unloading. Kuck also encourages people to call the parking hotline to report issues:

“When bicyclists see a vehicle parked in a bike lane, we recommend they call our enforcement line at 503-823-5195 and report the particular location. We will send an officer out for enforcement.”

In addition to the bike lane law in the Oregon Vehicle Code, reader John C. found a Portland City Code that may very well apply in this situation. Chapter 16 of the code, “Off-Street Parking Required for Trucks,” reads:

A person owning or controlling any truck or truck trailer must provide at his or her own expense complete off-street parking facilities for the storage of all such equipment.

I’ve asked PBOT for comment about whether or not that code is applicable to the Caruthers situation and I’ll update this post when I hear back.

An employee with McCoy Millwork (which is located on the corner of Caruthers and 4th) didn’t want to comment on the issue but said they’re aware of the problem. The owner is out until next week and I’ll share his response to the truck parking concerns when he returns.

UPDATE, 3:45pm: PBOT says he code doesn’t apply. Here’s their reasoning as per Kuck:

The Code you cited does not apply to the SE Caruthers situation. Trucks and other vehicles that park in a bike lane can be cited for a “bike lane violation.” The bike lane violation is the pertinent violation in this situation regardless of other reasons a truck or other vehicles might be parked there.

Because there is no on-street parking in this area on SE Caruthers, vehicles cannot be cited for violating the on-street parking code you cited. The Code you cited is one of many codes that regulate time limits for trucks parking in commercial and residential on-street parking zones or areas.

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  • Johnny Blaze August 30, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I ride here every weekday and rarely see cars parked in the bike lanes, plus the street is so freakin wide that I feel safe riding where the trucks are supposed to be. I do, however, feel the need for a safe bike lane for younger riders. For me, I could really care less.

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  • q`Tzal August 30, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    That little piece of Portland City parking code misses the obvious problem that truckers are only half the problem.
    The other half of the problem is shippers and receivers not actually having any on site parking and forcing truckers arriving on site to simply park in the street because they (property owners) don’t feel like buying the extra real estate to have on site parking.

    It is a tidy bit of cost savings for them because they store part of their active inventory in the public right of way the saving them the cost of buying extra property and paying property taxes on it.

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    • rain bike August 31, 2012 at 6:58 am

      Darned big government infrastructure subsidies and hand-outs. The President might say, “Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

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      • q`Tzal August 31, 2012 at 9:19 am

        And you might trust FOX “News”‘s misquote and hyperbolic spin.
        How about we stick to real empirical FACT here?

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        • rain bike August 31, 2012 at 10:53 am

          Sorry. I didn’t realize that you were the new discusion moderator. Let me know what the empirical facts are and I’ll try to limit my comments to those.

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  • kww August 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    PBOT should also replace the faded ‘no parking’ signs, photos to follow…

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    • q`Tzal August 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      Paint the curb adjacent the bike lane red and then label curb NO PARKING; this is very common in the entire country.

      It could also be labeled as a fire lane just for fun;)

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      • Spiffy August 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm

        It could also be labeled as a fire lane just for fun;)

        there’s probably a special set of conditions that need to be met in order to label it a fire lane…

        but I support painting it red…

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      • was carless August 31, 2012 at 10:30 am

        There is no curb along the West side of the street.

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        • q`Tzal August 31, 2012 at 10:54 am

          Easily resolved: put up a continuous line of jersey/concrete barriers.

          At every truck stop I’ve been to these are painted road warning yellow (occasionally red) and labeled “NO PARKING!”.

          They would be much more visible than a sign or curb, any transportation department probably has hundreds of these unused and they are easier to remove when a better solution is reached.

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  • feralcow August 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    In the morning there is always a silver pickup truck that is parked in the loading area of the business at the corner of Caruthers and Water. While not in the bike lane, it does block sight lines of anyone at the stop sign coming up Water.

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    • John Lascurettes August 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      Also illegal. ORS 811.550(18):

      This section establishes places where stopping, standing and parking a vehicle are prohibited for purposes of the penalties under ORS 811.555 (Illegal stopping, standing or parking). Except as provided under an exemption in ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking), a person is in violation of ORS 811.555 (Illegal stopping, standing or parking) if a person parks, stops or leaves standing a vehicle in any of the following places:

      (18) Within 50 feet upon the approach to an official flashing signal, stop sign, yield sign or traffic control device located at the side of the roadway if the standing or parking of a vehicle will obstruct the view of any traffic control device located at the side of the roadway. Exemptions under ORS 811.560 (Exemptions from prohibitions on stopping, standing or parking) (2) and (4) to (7) are applicable to this subsection.

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      • Spiffy August 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm

        I thought I read that the vehicle had to be over a certain height but I’m not finding that now.

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  • Spiffy August 30, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    thanks for crediting me for sending you the Portland City Code 16.70.450 info… (:

    I actually found it while looking up silly Oregon laws in response to a comment on another recent article you posted… little did I know you were planning to write a follow-up to the story…

    I’d like to know what actions the PPD takes with their increased patrols…

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  • jram August 30, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    somehow i doubt KATU will be there with the cameras rolling for this enforcement.

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  • Zaphod August 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I’ll surely be at odds with some who post here with what I’m about to write but I have a significant amount of empathy for truck drivers navigating these giant beasts and it seems to take a fair amount of skill to simply make a right or left turn without hitting curbs or fitting in places.

    If it’s simple laziness or lack of understanding, then enforcement seems appropriate.

    If it’s practical bordering on necessary and reducing risk by parking in the bike lane then maybe a redesign is in order. Also, suppose cyclists always have a clear bike lane but we force giant trucks to do a lot of backing up into that street then we’ve replaced one static lower-risk danger with a larger one. Again, maybe the driver would be at-fault in the event that they back up and run someone over but I’d rather avoid focus on blame as a metric and instead focus on safety, fairness and efficiency. If backing up into that street is required, I’d prefer the bit of illegal parking left alone.

    Do consider this possibility: It may less of a hardship/risk for a cyclist to go around a truck on this wide road than for a trucker to position the giant machine in a different place.

    We are all simply trying to get by here. Let’s not penalize truckers and small businesses.

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    • Spiffy August 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      I’d like to empathize with the truckers, but too many of them pull out directly in front of me from the side streets when I’m cruising down the bike lane there…

      there’s railroad tracks right there, so rail would seem to be the better delivery method…

      I blame our corrupt capitalistic conversion to motor vehicle more than anything…

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      • q`Tzal August 31, 2012 at 10:38 am

        These corrupt corporate capitalists are not as capitalist as they think.

        If they didn’t have they hands in corporate welfare/energy subsidy cookie jar for almost a century I might trust that this situation we’re in was purely the result of market forces.

        But they gave up the moral high ground of pure capitalism when they colluded with and bribed the government to abandon more efficient modes of transport in favor of an automobile based mode with lots or money making waste and inefficiency.

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    • kww August 30, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      I agree Zaphod. When the no parking signs are entirely illegible(!), this is not a trucker issue, it is a PBOT issue. They have to maintain the no parking signs and road paint so the trucks (who may park there at night) can see the signage.

      PBOT should give consideration to redesign the street to accommodate truck parking and NOT having the bike lines as wide as a vehicular lane (a comment to the last post I had).

      Those issues can be ‘designed out’ and parked trucks and rolling bicycles accommodated.

      It’s too bad PBOT didn’t seek any redress to redesign the intersection, they may of been able to get funds under the Trimet station project.

      Writing tickets won’t change the situation.

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  • Spiffy August 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Because there is no on-street parking in this area on SE Caruthers, vehicles cannot be cited for violating the on-street parking code you cited. The Code you cited is one of many codes that regulate time limits for trucks parking in commercial and residential on-street parking zones or areas.

    I’m confused.

    I see nothing in the code about a time limit. It simply states that a truck/trailer can’t be stored on city streets. It does not say for how long. A direct reading of the code seems to apply to any truck that’s not making a brief (under a minute) stop for loading/unloading.

    Perhaps you can ask them where the time limit comes from. There may be another city code that defines “storage” time.

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  • J-R August 30, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Of all the places to seek parking enforcement, this is really low on my list and I ride this regularly. I’m fine with riding around a parked truck on this wide, low-volume, low-speed street.

    This starts looking like a revenge issue. First, Bicyclists complain about right hooks at Wheeler, a business owner wants revenge and pushes statewide licensing. Ladds Addition residents complain, PPB does enforcement. Bicyclists want trucks ticketed.

    I’d give some slack to the truckers and those businesses if PBOT would just put in YIELD signs at Ladds.

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    • kww August 30, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      Expect a stop sign enforcement action at this intersection very soon by the PPD. Just my spidey-senses tingling….

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  • jim August 30, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    perhaps they justneed to build some sidewalks so that lady won’t have to walk in the bike lane

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  • Jack August 31, 2012 at 8:04 am

    I’ve often wondered about the similar issues on Division where it connects with 4th. There is no bike lane issue because there is no bike lane, but the truck bays are so short that when large trucks are docked, they often stick way out into the road, sometimes past the center line. And this can happen from both sides, effectively blocking the entire roadway. There’s no way this can be legal.

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  • Juanita August 31, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Enforcement probably won’t make much difference since many trucking companies are willing to pay their drivers’ parking tickets if parking illegally means getting the job done faster. I’d say a redesign is in order. If trucks park here so frequently it seems that loading zones are needed. It seems that it should be possible to create a loading zone without compromising bicycle access on such a wide stretch of road.

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  • Duncan August 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    From my own perspective this is an issue for those of us who ride with kids more than for solo riders- when I ride alone the trcks parking dont really bother me (nor do the dirty looks from motorists who obviously seem to think I should be in the bike lane currently occupied by the trucks) but biking with kids (either in a trailer or on their own bikes) makes every transition a cause for concern- such as going out of the bike lane and into the road around a illegally parked truck) as this is a major recreational pathway used by people with kids frequently I think it is fair to require trucks to follow the law here.

    BTW I am still waiting for the Oregonian to post a “scofflaw trucker” editorial.

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  • mark August 31, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I ride this way quite a bit. The bike lane is not clearly marked.I don’t blame the drivers for thinking it a loading zone. I think more bike lane signage would go a long way.

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  • Joe Adamski September 1, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I am guessing part of the issue are over the road drivers ( as opposed to local drivers) who neither understand of care to understand the strong cycling culture in Portland. Coming from elsewhere, often places where the discussion is SUV vs Pickup.. they don’t understand, will not respect local law unless it costs them and the expectation that they will be out of there in 30 minutes, whats the beef?
    The best education is the one they have to pay for. The word will get out.

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  • Dk September 5, 2012 at 7:08 am

    I’m on the empathy side. Most of the time it’s no big whoop riding through there even with 4 or 5 trucks. Also, I think we risk retaliation in the form of an enforcement on the stop sign coming out of the spring water. I slow down and yield if I see a concrete truck coming out of or going into Ross island and from what I see, I come closer to stoping at that thing than anyone else in Portland. Granted, the stop is asinine, but if have to worry about a motorcycle cop being there every time we ride through…

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