Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Man arrested for leaving scene after hitting 9-year-old with pickup

Posted by on August 1st, 2013 at 10:37 am

Jerod Brasky booking photo.
(Multnomah County Sheriff)

A man who allowed his pickup truck to collide with a nine-year-old girl who was riding her bike in North Portland last Saturday (7/27) has been arrested by the Portland Police Bureau for felony hit-and-run. The collision occurred at 4:24 pm at the intersection of North Bryant and Borthwick in the Piedmont neighborhood.

28-year-old Jerod Brasky was arrested at his home just 12 blocks away from the collision on Sunday after a witness turned his license plate number into authorities.

According to the PPB, the girl (who KPTV has identified as Jayauna Nelson) was riding her bike in the street when Brasky hit her with his 1999 Dodge pickup. “A witness saw Brasky pulling the girls bike out from under the truck then drive away,” a PPB spokesman told BikePortland. She received many scrapes, bruises and road rash, but the PPB says she had no “serious injuries.” Nelson was taken to the hospital but has since been released.

KPTV reported that witnesses said Nelson was “dragged on the pavement.” Here’s more from a witness interviewed by KPTV:

“He’s like, β€˜It’s not my fault. I didn’t see her coming. I got to get to work,'” said Sahaune Randle, who heard the crash right outside her house. “So I took my phone out, and took a picture of his license plate.”

I live just a few blocks from this collision so I know the area well. The corner of Borthwick and Bryant is should be a calm neighborhood street. Bryant is an officially designated “neighborhood greenway” as per the Portland Bureau of Transportation. It has speed bumps, sharrows and other treatments designed with the goal of making it a “low-stress, family friendly” place to live and bike.

Reader Tony Tapay says he used to live at this intersection and had repeatedly called PBOT with concerns about traffic safety. “I was doing everything I could to get enforcement for the drivers who ripped through there,” he shared via a comment below, “Nothing ever happened. I can’t even tell you how many times I called the 823-SAFE line. I was told that that at best they’d show up and if no one was speeding in the first 10-15 minutes they were there, they’d leave.”

Tapay adds that he now lives on a neighborhood greenway in southeast Portland and he sees a lot of speeding and dangerous driving there too. He’s tried to get more police presence to write tickets, but says, “Portland’s enforcement for drivers in neighborhoods is non-existent.”

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  • Dan August 1, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Take away his license.

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    • A August 1, 2013 at 11:17 am

      For life, in conjunction with attempted manslaughter charges.

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  • lazyofay August 1, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Thanks J.M., Don’t hate me, this kinda’ crap just pee’s me off.
    I appreciate all you do…btw.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 1, 2013 at 10:48 am

      I hear you lazofay. No hard feelings on my end. It was just strange to me that the PPB didn’t issue a media statement about this when it happened. Then, the fact that only KPTV covered it, made me sort of wonder what was up. I contacted PPB and was just waiting to hear back from them and confirm the details before running anything on it. I really prefer not to base an entire post solely on what one other media outlet reports.

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  • One Less :( August 1, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Its ridiculous that no one but crappy KPTV covered it. A 9 year-old get hits and the guy says “its not my fault” and drives away, completely foolish. He should be forced to ride a bike and get hit by a truck, so he knows what it feels like. Sorry, but this crap is far beyond the realm of normal human behavior. You hit someone and then go to work! I hope the DA throws the book at this selfish and self centered tool!

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  • Bjorn August 1, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Unfortunately in Oregon non-DUI felony hit and run is pretty much going to be a probation offense, and I don’t think he is even going to lose his license for any more than one year, maybe less depending on how they classify her injuries. He may even have a defense to drop this to misdemeanor (i.e. property damage hit and run) since her injuries were not “serious” according to Oregon law. The problem is that the penalties are way to connected to the amount of injury/property damage, which is really just luck. If he had killed her he would lose his license for 5 years, why does the fact that he got lucky and she wasn’t badly hurt mean he should get less of a penalty? If you hit a vulnerable road user you should have to stick around, get medical help if needed, exchange insurance information etc. regardless of how badly you hurt them, because often injuries aren’t immediately obvious, if you don’t the penalty should be the same regardless of how badly the person you hit was hurt. The way are laws are written now if you are drunk and you hit someone you have a huge incentive to run and hope you don’t get caught, and the worse you hurt someone the more incentive you have to run as well, that doesn’t make any sense.

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  • Victor Vazquez August 1, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Add to “Dan’s” comment. To take away his licence, and give him a Bike.

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    • K'Tesh August 2, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Better still, make sure he only operates shoes and sandals

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  • dmc August 1, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Props to Sahaune Randle for their quick reaction to take a picture. Otherwise this jerk would still be free.

    He ran someone over on a neighborhood greenway…. Some insight into how he was driving and his level of concern for the safety of others.

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    • 9watts August 1, 2013 at 11:30 am

      “He ran someone over on a neighborhood greenway….”

      happens all the time –

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    • lyle w. August 2, 2013 at 6:02 pm

      Neighborhood Greenway?!

      Oh, you mean the streets with those cute little bikes painted in the street that have infrequent or no stop signs for long distances of time, and have minimal automobile traffic allowing me to speed and get to where i’m going faster than some close-by streets with actual lights and cross-traffic?

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  • 9watts August 1, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Scofflaw bicyclists, blowing stop signs.

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  • Jeff August 1, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Wow, that is someone bereft of any conscience or moral code. Why would we want someone like that to ever drive again?

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  • AndyC of Linnton August 1, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Schucks. Welp. Hmm. Golly, I guess that’s just one of those things that happens, huh? No sense in trying to change anything. (Shrugs shoulders, walks off whistling in to the sunset).

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  • tonyt
    tonyt August 1, 2013 at 11:28 am

    “The corner of Borthwick and Bryant is a calm neighborhood street.”

    It SHOULD be a calm neighborhood street.

    This is THE intersection where I used to live and while there I was doing everything I could to get enforcement for the drivers who ripped through there. Nothing EVER happened. I can’t even tell you how many times I called the 823-SAFE line. I was told that that at best they’d show up and if no one was speeding in the first 10-15 minutes they were there, they’d leave.

    I now live in SE on a greenway, and for the last 2+ years, several neighbors and I have been trying to get enforcement for the speeders (it’s 20mph) and for drivers entering the street against “DO NOT ENTER” signs.

    Again we get nothing. Portland’s enforcement for drivers in neighborhoods is non-existent.

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    • 9watts August 1, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Priorities. Speed limits are pretty much everywhere treated like minima. Where to begin enforcing them, turn this ship of acquiescence around? Reese? Hales? Novick? All three?

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  • J_R August 1, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Take away his license and his truck. Give him a rowboat and drop him off about 100 miles west of Astoria.

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  • Dan V August 1, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Here’s to hoping that his boss/coworkers/place of employment has/have a nice chat with him about priorities. You ran over a child and WORRIED ABOUT MAKING IT TO WORK ON TIME? I like to think that “I hit someone and had to ensure that they received proper care” is a justifiable excuse for tardiness.

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  • Todd Boulanger August 1, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Yes this is the dark behavioural side of “neighbourhood greenways” (aka Bicycle Boulevards) that the design mitigations do not wholly address…along with poor arterial crossings.

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    • tonyt
      tonyt August 1, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      This is the dark behavioral side of neighborhood streets period. As long as we never see random speed enforcements, we will rely on drivers’ inclinations to do the right thing. This does not work.

      The speed issues on Bryant precede its designation as a greenway. I lived on Bryant before it was a greenway and the speed at which some of the drivers drove was frightening. Now I coincidentally live on a greenway in SE. The city put up four 20mph signs (in really bad locations I might add) and pretty much walked away. We’ve seen zero enforcement despite countless pleas.

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    • Craig Harlow August 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      Diverters, diverters, diverters, dammit.

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  • Dwainedibbly August 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Can I be on the jury? Please?

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    • tonyt
      tonyt August 1, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      He’ll plead.

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  • Anne Hawley August 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    From previous reports of cyclists being dragged under trucks, I’m leery of believing the “No serious injuries” statement from police. For Jayauna Nelson’s sake, I sure hope it’s true in this case.

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  • Stretchy August 1, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I hit a cyclist yesterday.

    I was driving northbound on SE 30th Ave approaching the Hawthorne intersection. As I approached the light turned green and a car that was waiting at the intersection up ahead went through. I could tell by the crosswalk signal that there was plenty of time for me to get through without needing to speed up. I checked my rear-view mirror to see if there were any cars behind me (if there had been cars behind me, I might have given it a little extra gas to make sure we could all make it through). This is all still ~20 yards south of the intersection.

    About 10 yards from the intersection, I noticed a cyclist crossing in the crosswalk to my right (crossing from north to south, on the east crosswalk). He was not walking his bike but, was riding slightly faster than walking speed. He got to the southeast corner of the intersection (next to Claudia’s) and immediately turned right to cross the intersection (crossing 30th ave, against the light). He didn’t stop to look for cross traffic. He literally just rode out into the crosswalk with me about 5 yards from the crosswalk at this point, without even pausing.

    He was a white teenager, probably 15-19 years old, wearing a black bike helmet. One of the bigger helmets that comes down and covers the sides of the head. Just casually crossing against traffic.

    There was something in his body language as he was crossing Hawthorne blvd that told me to slow down. There was something in the way he was riding that told me he was going to just hang a right and cut right in front of my path. Had I sped up to catch the light, had I not noticed this body language, had I been distracted by anything, I would have plowed into him. Yes, it was that close.

    Instead, I slowed down as I approached the intersection because something about this rider told me, “he’s about to do something stupid.” I hit the brakes when I saw his front wheel come out into the crosswalk. I’ll never forget the look on his face as he stared at me while he was crossing. It wasn’t, “sorry, my bad.” It wasn’t, “oh crap! thanks for not killing me!” It was, “F*** you a**hole, what are you looking at?”

    There is a part of me that thinks I should have cut it a little closer to try to put a scare in this kid. There is an even smaller part of me that thinks I should have given him a nudge and knocked him down. That way he has something to dwell on.

    Mostly, I think about how we’ve gotten here. This isn’t a bikes thing. This isn’t a “you dang kids!” thing. This is, how did we arrive in a place where someone just steps out into traffic, against a light and acts put off by me giving him a bit of the stink-eye? This isn’t even an unusual occurrence. I see pedestrians doing it all the time on Hawthorne. If I’m trying to cross, and my light turns green, people will cross in front of me without even a first glance to see whether they have the walk sign. I’ve thought about laying on the horn but, what is the use? I’m pretty sure everyone around is just going to view me as the jerk for expecting everyone to obey the traffic signals or, at the very least display some common courtesy.

    If you’ve read this far, thank you, and I apologize for rambling so long. Yesterday morning a driver nearly ran me into the wall in the 26 tunnel by quickly changing lanes without looking and, yesterday afternoon I nearly killed someone.

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    • dan August 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      Good save Stretchy – nice that you were able to put the “spidey-sense” you’ve honed by riding a bike to work as a motorist. To clarify, the first sentence in your post was not the literal truth, right?

      I confess to making liberal use of the horn in situations when someone pre-empts the right of way; particularly if they do something that puts themselves or others at risk and seem blissfully unaware of the danger they’ve created. People do seem to resent this, but occasionally it seems to get through, typically when they had NO IDEA that a car was 5 feet away from the intersection where they were disregarding the traffic signal and lollygagging across without checking for traffic.

      As you can tell, the situation you described is a pet peeve for me too. πŸ˜‰ Wish people would get it through their heads that it’s to everyone’s benefit to at least check for cross-traffic before disregarding a signal.

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    • Craig Harlow August 1, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      Your post says, “I hit a cyclist yesterday.”, but your details say that you didn’t. ??

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    • Stretchy August 1, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      No, I did not hit the cyclist. At the time of the incident I was thinking, “but for a random hunch, I would have hit you.” I kept playing in my head, over and over, what happens if that big utility box on the SE corner obscures my view of the crosswalk just a little bit more? What happens if something on the other side of the street distracts me? What happens if, what happens if, what happens if? The answer? I hit that cyclist yesterday.

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    • Chris Anderson August 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      If more people would jaywalk maybe it’d be easier to get a citywide 20mph limit. Glad you were paying attention. I’m gonna go play in traffic now, hope to startle some drivers.

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    • Nik August 1, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      That’s a nice story, but what is the purpose of relating it? It’s almost as if you’re saying, “oh yeah? A driver did something wrong? Well look at what this person on a bicycle did!”

      People on and near roads do stupid, inattentive things constantly. The difference between modes is only that some are much more likely to cause physical trauma or death to other people than others. The pedestrian or cyclist might wind up dead vs a vehicle, but the driver will usually escape entirely unharmed.

      But, like one recent Oregonian letter to the editor asked, won’t someone please think of the feelings of the poor person who killed somebody with their car? That dead pedestrian really ruined that guy’s day!

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      • esther c August 3, 2013 at 12:33 pm

        the point seemed to be that many people need to quit thinking they are the only one on the road and respect their fellow humans.

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    • Spiffy August 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      pedestrians are being told that they’re more important than cars and bikes, and that bikes are more important than cars…

      it seems that some in the more vulnerable modes are shifting the paradigm by asserting themselves…

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    • Ian August 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      congrats for excellent driving. Been there & done too that & I mean on my bike & and in the steel can. And if I could have[being the potential receivee] I would have say to the other operators – thanks.
      Feel good for being an competent driver, Stretchy. It’s something I strive for being on the road. Just gotta gettit upta that 100% of the time.

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  • d August 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    “Portland’s enforcement for drivers in neighborhoods is non-existent.”

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  • Patrick August 1, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    It seems like people need to live on streets with unbearably high volumes of traffic to actually get a response from the city/PPB. Luckily, Portland actually has plenty of those. It’s odd for such a “livable” city it’s hard to find a calm street that isn’t a block or two from a much busier, crazier street. I guess it’s the short blocks and the hard-to-kick love of cars.

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    • gutterbunnybikes August 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm

      Or live in neighborhoods where the average property value is about 650k (looking at you Ladds…)

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  • nicholas August 1, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    wow, what a scumbag. i live two blocks from there, but i’m so glad i have other neighbors to report the offender.

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  • wsbob August 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    More of the story, such as, what the police may have discovered about Brasky during their interview with him, would be good.

    One of the first things they would have seen, is whether he had priors, and what they were that may shed some light on what seems at this point, to be callous indifference on his part towards another person he has some responsibility for having hurt.

    Ascertaining people’s fitness to drive is already part of what police routinely do, for example, with DUI and obvious medical conditions. Given details so far about this collision, if it turns out the driver wasn’t DUI, I wonder if somehow, mentally, he wasn’t quite up to snuff to be driving.

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    • Spiffy August 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      or why he was at home if he was in such a hurry to get to work…

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    • esther c August 3, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      you never find these details from news reporters. more likely to find it here in the comments section of the oregonian. The mainstream media in portland are just transcriptionists. I don’t even think they know how to google.

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  • JonathanR August 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    2007 Speeding
    2008 Speeding
    2008 Failure to Obey Traffic Control Device
    2008 Possession of Marij
    2012 Speeding
    2012 Speeding

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    • Dan August 1, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Yeah, sorry dude, but you should be done. Out of the pool.

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    • JRB August 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      I’d usually rather somebody convicted for the first time of a hit and run offense do jail/prison than lose their license permanently. Keeping people employed has significant societal benefits and a lot of jobs still require that people drive. But if this is really that guy’s driving record, a five-year suspension or more seems in order to protect the public from his recklessness.

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      • J_R August 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm

        What’s the chance he’d actually stop driving?

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        • Ian August 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm


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        • lyle w. August 2, 2013 at 6:09 pm

          Marginally less than if it isn’t suspended for five years?

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      • esther c August 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm

        Portland has excellent public transport. Plus his excuse was he was on the way to work.

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  • albyn August 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    “A man who let his pickup collide with a nine-year-old girl…”

    That’s an odd construction. I’d say something like “A man who struck a 9 year old girl with his pickup…”

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    • John Lascurettes August 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Right, as if the pickup was doing it on its own and he failed to act to stop the pickup from acting irresponsibly. What?

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      • mabsf August 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm

        Cars are just vicious, vicious animals!

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    • CaptainKarma August 1, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      Made perfect sense to me. He failed to stop his pickup.

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      • Chris I August 1, 2013 at 3:08 pm

        Did the pickup accelerate itself? It is a minor lingual difference, but the media has a habit of de-humanizing the actions of drivers.

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  • Lisa Marie August 1, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Wow. This makes my stomach sink. This is down the street from my house, and I see kids playing in the street around there all the time.

    Over a year ago that I was angrily asking “when are we actually going to DO something to make our streets safer”, and that was after my own life changing collision with a stop-sign running driver on Going St, another bike boulevard (and note: I had no “serious injuries” as it is typically reported, but completely destroyed my back and herniated a disc. Still in physical therapy).

    Why do we wait until death upon death upon maiming pile upon one another before we do anything? It’s infuriating.

    Thank God the girl is OK. And I hope no one else has to lose life or limb due to inaction. Maybe it’s time for more of us to start demanding more.

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  • Rob Chapman August 1, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Does anybody in that neighborhood know how the kid is doing and whether or not the family needs help with medical expenses?

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  • Hillsons August 1, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    I hope that felony hit and run pie tastes good.

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  • Chris Sanderson August 1, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    So this what a chicken s##t looks like!

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  • Kevin Wagoner August 1, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    One of the things that caught my eye in this story is the frustration with the lack of action by the enforcement of the law. I call the SAFE number periodically and email them periodically to ask them to enforce the speed on our road. My mom was a probation officer and my step dad was a deputy sheriff so I was around law enforcement a lot growing up. I have a deep respect for the people enforcing our laws. However I can complete relate to the frustration about the SAFE number and email system. The only feedback I’ve ever received from using it was a a local neighborhood meeting. At that meeting the officer noted that they had calls to enforce the speed. The officer went on to explain what they witnessed (cars going over 16mph over the speed limit near a daycare and school). The officer went on to tell us we, “really needed to enforce this.” This of course confused us and someone asked, “how?” He proceed to show us how by flying the bird (middle finger)…this was a joke and I’ll admit sort of funny. I like the officer, but unfortunately that is my story related to the SAFE system. I still use it, I encourage others to use it, we need to as it is a method to be heard. But my confidence in it is rather ruined. What other method do we have? I’ve thought about buying a speed radar detector and hanging out on the road with it to capture data. Anyone interested in going halves with me on a speed radar detector and doing some kind of project?

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    • 9watts August 2, 2013 at 6:52 am

      maybe along with greater transparency about future phasing of bike infrastructure we could use greater transparency (or even direct participation in) the prioritization of police time? Are there examples from other municipalities where the public gets to weigh in on how much police time to devote to, say

      – gangs
      – graffiti
      – harassing homeless
      – harassing protesters
      – harassing black kids
      – domestic violence
      – speeding drivers
      – stop sign blowing cyclists
      – other priorities?

      Are there ways to find out how the PPB prioritize these or other tasks right now? How they arrive at those rankings? What it could take to bump, say, speed limit enforcement on local streets up a few notches? What other assignments would have to be scaled back? I’d really like to have this kind of discussion.

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      • Spiffy August 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm

        more cops…

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        • wsbob August 2, 2013 at 8:06 pm

          More money to hire more cops.

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          • Chris Anderson August 2, 2013 at 8:08 pm

            Bike cops?

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            • wsbob August 2, 2013 at 10:31 pm

              To catch people driving too fast in their motor vehicles?

              Generally though, more bike cops seems like a good idea to me, even though city and police seem to be of the mind that motor cops are more versatile and cost effective.

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    • Rob Chapman August 2, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Make it a set of spike strips and I’m in Kevin.

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    • wsbob August 2, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      “…I’ve thought about buying a speed radar detector and hanging out on the road with it to capture data. Anyone interested in going halves with me on a speed radar detector and doing some kind of project?” Kevin Wagoner

      I recall reading about some police departments having radar detectors which they loaned out to neighborhood associations and so forth. How successful it is for neighbors to try reduce speeding, I don’t know. Even with that equipment, someone has to put time on the street, running it. I think speed bumps help, but they’ve their own drawbacks.

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    • Ted Buehler August 2, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      Kevin — I wrote a long reply down below, it’s in “moderation limbo”, so check back tomorrow.

      But, basically, you can start with this

      and go to your neighborhood association again and ask for their support to ask for a more proactive response from the police officer at the next monthly meeting.

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  • Michael August 2, 2013 at 7:53 am

    I live a few blocks from Irvington Elementary on a corner. Motorists blast through the stop signs with impunity It’s just a matter of time before one of them hits a cyclist or pedestrian, including young kids. For what? To save a few seconds?

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    • 9watts August 2, 2013 at 7:59 am

      “For what? To save a few seconds?”

      No. I don’t think looking for instrumental explanations is going to be fruitful. People speed not because they know this will get them there a few seconds faster than if they proceeded with greater caution, but because the whole idea of the car (effortless speed, freedom, open road) presupposes that you will/can/deserve to do whatever it takes, whatever suits your fancy, whatever the car was designed to do. It is a largely unconscious, habitual, reflexive thing.

      Proceeding in a pokey fashion in a car undermines the whole notion of why you are in a car in the middle of town in the first place. You might as well be …. on a bike, or walking.

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  • q`Tzal August 2, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Modification to state statue “vulnerable road user”:
    + applies automatically to drivers when collision occurs on any ped or bike safety corridor: MUP, sidewalk, neighborhood greenway, bike lane, bike path, separated bike way.

    The intent here being not to start with guilty until proven innocent but to establish that areas designated as safer for non-automotive users are going to be extra high risk for the the driver if he drives dangerously.

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    • Bjorn August 2, 2013 at 11:22 am

      the VRU law already automatically applies on all these types of roads, but VRU only applies to death or serious injury which is why it would not be cited in this case.

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      • El Biciclero August 2, 2013 at 11:32 am

        I think that by “applies automatically”, q `Tzal intends to nullify the “serious injury” requirement in the stated locations. I tend to agree–any collision in a “safe zone” should be treated with elevated severity.

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      • q`Tzal August 2, 2013 at 5:59 pm

        Exactly what El Biciclero said.
        We’ve had the VRU law for a while now and few applications.
        My thought process is that if we as a society set aside road areas as safer (for VRU) than most others it is because we acknowledge that drivers and their automobiles are fundamentally unsafe around VRU.
        It is then incumbent upon us to ask ourselves if the designated “safe” walking & biking area is experiencing injurious or fatal automotive collisions what have our prior efforts achieved.

        If an area is designated and signed as an area safe for VRU then we should reasonably expect that the same sort of double or triple fine multipliers used in construction zones could be used here. If a driver hits a construction area worker the driver is assumed to be at fault: signs & flashing lights were up everywhere so the driver is assumed to be at fault for not being aware that workers would be in the way.

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        • wsbob August 2, 2013 at 8:03 pm

          “…If a driver hits a construction area worker the driver is assumed to be at fault: …” q`Tzal

          I don’t think ‘at fault’, is quite the correct basis behind corrections zone violations being accompanied by higher fines. Higher fines in construction zones simply assign greater liability for violations in said areas.

          Your idea below, is interesting:

          “Modification to state statue “vulnerable road user”:
          + applies automatically to drivers when collision occurs on any ped or bike safety corridor: MUP, sidewalk, neighborhood greenway, bike lane, bike path, separated bike way. …” q`Tzal

          You’re using the phrase ‘ped or bike safety corridor’. If you’re sure that’s an official term…good. If it’s not an official term, and you’re saying it should be, carrying the double or triple fines associated with construction zone violation penalties….o.k. . In the case of bikes, because bikes often travel into intersections, a part of the road where the law doesn’t actually consider bike lanes to exist…something to cover that could help.

          Saying that Oregon has a VRU law (vulnerable road user law), is a bit of a misnomer. Oregon doesn’t have a stand alone VRU law. It’s contained within and therefore activated only if specs of the ‘Careless Driving’ law apply to a given road user action.

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      • q`Tzal August 2, 2013 at 6:10 pm

        And another thing: this whole only in case of death or serious injury malarkey…
        As long as drivers think they can get away with it unless they kill you nothing will change.
        If my car scuffs the paint job of some other car my insurance goes up. What amounts to a tiny ouchy on a 9 year old girl could cost me upwards of $1,000 if my car touches another car. I would argue that even minor car on bike or ped collisions need to cost about that much with the presumed guilt pointing firmly at the driver. If we assume a driver is as fault for running down peds on a sidewalk there is no reason not to extrapolate from there to bike lanes, MUPs & neighborhood greenways.

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  • Ian August 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Will be interested to see the results of this. In my part of the world, Queensland, cars & trucks rule, backed by the courts.
    Incidentally the injuries are irrelevant imo,it’s the event/decision to result in the contact. The injuries are a matter of good – bad luck.
    Hey little girl, we’re with you and been there too, recover well.

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  • Ted Buehler August 2, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Kevin wrote:

    “I like the officer, but unfortunately that is my story related to the SAFE system. I still use it, I encourage others to use it, we need to as it is a method to be heard. But my confidence in it is rather ruined. What other method do we have?”

    Interesting story, I’m disappointed, but not too surprised, that a couple calls to 823-SAFE got the speed issue looked at, but not dealt with.

    Here’s two follow-up strategies when initial responses to 823-SAFE calls aren’t enough to get an increased level of compliance.

    Part 1

    * Call the police nonemergency (823-3333) and ask for a “Speed Reader Board” That’s the big sign that displays the speeds vehicles are traveling at. It’s more effective than spot-enforcement. (Looks like the portable Speed Reader Boards are called “Smart Carts” (not a descriptive or memorable name, but short and unique) “Smart Cart” on top — http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/189548

    * Call PBOT and borrow some “please slow down” plastic people. Yellow. I used to be able to find them on the website with the “Please Slow Down” plastic signs, but can’t find them now.
    Here’s the order form. http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/141759

    * Buy some of the yellow plastic people that say “please slow down” — I think they sell them at Fred Meyer for about $40. Move them to different houses in the hood each week so folks don’t get complacent.

    * Make your own signs that say “please slow down, children live here” “pets live here” etc. Make them pretty big, plant them on posts high enough to see above parked cars. I’ve seen some really nice ones around town.

    * Get a radar gun. Use it. Continue to report speeding cars to the authorities. Tape an old cell phone to the side of it to “date stamp” your photos, and then take photos of the offending cars, with their speed readouts, with the time and date. And ask for increased enforcement “Thursdays from 4-5”. I have a Bushnell like this, it’s very easy to use. http://www.amazon.com/Bushnell-Velocity-Speed-Colors-vary/dp/B0002X7V1Q I loan it freely. ted101@gmail.com BTA has one too. But you might as well get one for yourself.

    * Stand in the street with your neighbors. Get a basketball hoop. Get the other grown men out there shooting hoops. Park your car on the greenway and unload a big box. Or stick a lawnmower next to it at the evening commute. People slow down when there’s stuff going on and material in the road.

    Part 2

    Then, up the ante with your neighborhood association. Portland has very strong neighborhood associations. There’s lots of changes that will only be granted if requested by a NA.

    * Show up at the monthly neighborhood meeting, ask the cop again. If the cop blows you off again, talk to the other neighbors after the cop leaves. Ask them if they thought the cop’s response was adequate. If not, tell them you want to work on the project.

    * get your other neighbors to borrow “slow down” and “slow down yellow people” from PBOT, stick them up all over the neighborhood.

    * Your neighborhood probably has an “Safety and Livability rep” and a “Land Use and Transportation” rep. They, or the board chair, can ask the police to come back next month with some other ideas on how the problem can be dealt with. I’m on the Boise board, and I’ve talked to folks on the Humboldt board and loaned them my radar gun for problems on Albina near Rosa Parks (not far from Borthwick and Bryant).

    * Go to the “association of neighborhoods” LU&T or S&L meetings. That’s where 10 or so neighborhood reps all get together. At the “Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods” (“NECN”) it’s on like the third Wednesday for LU&T, for instance. Tell them you want a NECN resolution asking for increased police patrol, and regular installations of Speed Readerboard signs in the neighborhoods, esp. on the neighborhood greenways.

    * Look into further solutions. Bryant and Borthwick? Put in a diagonal diverter somewhere between Albina and Vancouver to cut out the through traffic (see p. 42 of http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/85590).
    If the neighborhood association is by far the best entity to use to ask for this sort of thing.


    While these things might seem like the things government ought to be doing on its own, they’re not doing it good enough for us right now, as evidenced by the 9 yr old girl getting whacked by a driver with a history of speeding who didn’t care enough to stop.

    And I think that Portland has made excellent progress in “calming” its streets in recent years. Drivers go slower and more carefully all the time.

    But this is only partly a result of governments acting on their own, a lot has been citizens pestering government to get it done. Pestering works. Especially when you’re asking them to 1) enforce existing laws and 2) accelerate a desirable trend.

    & by slowing traffic on Bryant, or whatever neighborhood greenway is near your house, you’re also slowing traffic on all the other greenways in the city. The speeding problem can be (partly) rectified everywhere by enforcement and education in just a few places.

    This will work. It’s not that much time and effort, all there’s a lot of support for citizens doing this kind of thing in Portland. There is some effort required, but its not like you need to blaze your own trail through a bureaucratic wilderness. The cop in your neighborhood meeting basically flipped you off, but all it takes to pull him into line is a few more steps along the same line of what you’ve already done.


    Ted Buehler

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    • wsbob August 3, 2013 at 10:10 am

      Those are all excellent suggestions for neighbors interested in working to sustain and restore safety and livability on their streets. Relying entirely on police enforcement details to do this isn’t a good way. Citizens actively monitoring problem situations and working together to correct them can be much more effective.

      It can take a lot of time and effort to do these things, and…people as neighbors to each other have to work together to make it happen…something it seems many people aren’t much inclined to do, any more than absolutely necessary.

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  • jim August 3, 2013 at 12:45 am

    What a maroon. I hope his insurance goes so high that he will never drive again.

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  • Kevin Wagoner August 3, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Ted, thanks for the response. I’m going to put this into a checklist on my Trello. This is great information and thanks for the motivation. I’m going to go ahead and order the Bushnell Velocity Speed Gun you recommended. We have had the speed board before and I believe our NA is on the waiting list again but I’ll check. I should have ordered those signs from PBOT already so I’ll get on that. I particular like the suggestion about the basketball hoop. I’ll add your email to my checklist and send you a note in a month or so on what I did. These are great.

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    • Ted Buehler August 4, 2013 at 1:02 am

      Kevin — glad you appreciated it. I look forward to a report.

      It’s a bit of a quandary how to tackle the problem as a whole.

      I like the case by case approach, because it fits within existing policy, existing funding, and advances existing goals. But its still a bunch of work to do everything on my list. You could achieve a lot of the gain with only half of those things, though.

      & Portland is an easy town to do them in — the city has “please slow down!” signs available for checkout, and Fred Meyer (I think) sells those little yellow “SLOW” plastic dudes for sale. & a lot of other support available. & powerful neighborhood associations.

      The other thing is to form a grassroots advocacy group of some sort, or work with an existing one. And try to get these things addressed on a citywide basis, get them pushed up the priority chain. Figure out what PBOT and PPB need to do twice a many stings on speeding on neighborhood greenways & distracted driving, for instance. What staff resources, what budget? & get a name behind ourselves and set up a couple meetings with city council and tell them to spend the $ to do it. Take 5 passionate parents and have them speak at council’s public comment period. That sort of thing also works, and can work citywide. If you have a tight strategy and someone to shepherd folks through the process the time commitment is pretty small.

      Food for thought,
      Ted Buehler

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  • TOM September 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    updates ?

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