The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

Portland Police team up with PBOT for ‘Back to school’ enforcement

Posted by on September 3rd, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Trillium Charter School bike train-5-5

School is back in session tomorrow!
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Tomorrow is the first day of school for thousands of Portland students and the Police Bureau plans to beef up enforcement to make sure they get to school safely. And, taking safety one step further, they’re also urging parents to leave the car at home and walk and bike to school instead.

According to a statement from the PPB, they will perform “high visibility patrols” around all Portland schools as part of what they’re calling a “Back to School safety campaign.” The plan includes dozens of officers and the use of photo radar units to help enforce traffic laws in school zones. The effort is being done in partnership with the Bureau of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program.

Here’s more from the PPB:

“There will be emphasis placed on traffic safety and traffic education for the students, bicyclists and drivers of motorized vehicles during the morning hours when students arrive at their schools and in the afternoon hours when the schools dismiss their students. Hours of enhanced patrol will vary but generally will be between 7:45 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. then again from 2:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. “

The PPB also offered these tips to the public:

  • If you’re driving, obey the 20 mph speed limit in school zones
  • Be vigilant and courteous to children crossing the street.
  • If you’re a parent, consider walking or biking to school with your students where possible to reduce congestion, improve safety and provide young people with needed physical activity.

That last tip is notable because it’s not very often that an official statement will directly encourage people to walk and bike.

Unlike some other cities where there seems to be a constant tension between police and bicycle/traffic safety advocates, Portland is lucky to have a productive and collaborative relationship between PBOT and the PPB. There are many great staffers at both bureaus who are committed to traffic safety and it’s a very good sign to see them team up on this these school-related enforcement missions.

If you’re out and about tomorrow, be ready for the streets to be even more hectic than usual. I’m always amazed at how many more people are using the streets when school is in session.

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. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Mark Allyn September 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I go past Sunset High School on Cornell in Beaverton. Sometimes they have a photo radar unit with a digital display showing how fast you are going.

    My complaint is that the darn thing is too wimpy to pick up me on my bicycle and it shows me going 0 miles per hour no matter how fast I am going.

    Has anyone else notice that these portable photo radar units are too weak to detect bicyclists?


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    • dwainedibbly September 3, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      Go faster! 🙂 (On a more serious note, is your bike carbon?)

      Here’s hoping that enforcement will be looking at things other than speed, like distracted driving.

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    • Eric September 3, 2013 at 9:24 pm

      the digital display on Foster picks up my bike and even picks up when I’m running on the sidewalk, but only when I’m the only person there. If there is other traffic it skips over me.

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  • John Lascurettes September 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Jonathan, do you have the link to the full PPB statement?

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  • PoPo September 3, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    nice work team!

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  • Jeff September 3, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Seriously folks. Watch out for the auto driving madness near Sunnyside “environmental” school.

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  • meh September 4, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Yes school is back in and the maniacs driving school buses are back on the road.

    They have a complete lack of regard for the rules of the road pertaining to bike lanes.

    They use them for turn lanes, they are incapable of holding a line on the road without wandering in an out of them, they don’t know how to user their mirrors to check for cyclists in them.

    One ride and twice had to give way to the yellow behemoths because they wouldn’t stay out of the bike lanes.

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    • Mark Allyn September 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Well, school bus drivers have to contend with World War III going on in the back seat. Do you really blame them? Go to youtube and look up school bus fight. You’ll see.

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  • Jeff September 4, 2013 at 11:10 am

    I’ll just say that this week last year, I had more close calls than the rest of the year combined. So let’s all be *particularly* aware this week

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  • GlowBoy September 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Be careful out there. A lot of parents are frazzled and not thinking about their driving. Some of the worst, craziest, most inconsiderate driving I see is around schools — especially in the morning as parents are racing off to work. Glad to see stepped-up enforcement. (And I say all this as a parent who occasionally drives his own kids to school).

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