Travel time and speed data shows impact of Powell protest

Posted by on May 12th, 2015 at 10:37 am

Powell protest ride-54.jpg

Concerned Portlanders tamed a major state highway last night by simply crossing the street.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

One of the stated goals of last night’s protest action on Southeast Powell Boulevard was to slow traffic down. And according to data live traffic data from Portland State University’s Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) lab, it worked.

David Backes, a graduate student at PSU’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning program contacted us with two charts pulled from the ITS portal tool. One of them showed travel times and the other showed travel speeds. The protest occurred during the yellow sections in the charts below:

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This is a visual representation of what many people experienced last night. Activists are buzzing today at how effective and simple the protest was. Here’s what a volunteer with BikeLoudPDX wrote in an email to other volunteers this morning:

“Yesterday we learned how easy it is to shut down an ODOT facility, with just a few activists at a crosswalk. Maybe we should make a campaign of shutting down all the ODOT highways until jurisdiction is transferred to Portland.

I am sure if folks were to do crosswalk protests on a regular basis, it wouldn’t take long to make the safety situation something even suburban commuters worry about. Certainly it starts to make the budget for a signalized crosswalk look affordable.”

As we mentioned in our previous post, BikeLoudPDX is planning a “die-in” event tomorrow (5/13) at 4:00 pm at the regional headquarters office of the Oregon Department of Transportation (123 NW Flanders St).

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82 Comments
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    John Lascurettes May 12, 2015 at 10:47 am

    If I’m reading those mean times right, it took what was roughly a minute and half normally at that hour and at the very worst mean time made it something that was still under 7 minutes. In other words, the sky didn’t fall (seriously, an extra 5.5 minutes tops), but I’m sure many commuters felt like it did (particularly the UPS guy that gunned it through he crosswalk while it was occupied).

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      invisiblebikes May 12, 2015 at 11:14 am

      Jonathan, Do you know if the person that shot that video of the UPS driver called it in to UPS?
      UPS (as do most delivery company’s) has a hot line specifically for driver’s not following the laws or aggressive disrespectful driving.

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        Spiffy May 12, 2015 at 12:35 pm

        I put it in a tweet to them after reading the story earlier…

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      paikiala May 12, 2015 at 11:41 am

      If you want to know how to sabotage the street system, ask a traffic engineer.

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        invisiblebikes May 12, 2015 at 12:27 pm

        And their usually easy to spot… riding a recumbent.

        Just kidding, lol

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      SJE May 15, 2015 at 8:09 am

      IOW, Portland gets to experience what traffic is like in most big cities. Its those big cities that are encouraging cycling to decrease the rush hour jam.

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    Coldswim May 12, 2015 at 10:50 am

    So travel time mean prior to the protest is ~1. During the protest it was ~5 minutes to get from 21st to 33rd. Meaning people added around 3.5 minutes to their commute. It’s amazing how angry and dispassionate people can get over taking a few minutes out of their lives to slow down and be considerate of other’s safety.

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      9watts May 12, 2015 at 10:54 am

      car = entitlement.

      The whole aura, the promise, the mystique of the car is that it permits you to transcend the tedium, the delays, the risks of getting around by other means. When that promise is thwarted we feel wronged, get angry, resentful. Cars are a bad idea, a bad fit for Homo Impatiens.

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        Spiffy May 12, 2015 at 12:36 pm

        the speedometer often goes to 120 mph… it’s annoying to never be able to realize the full potential of such an expensive purchase…

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          q`Tzal May 13, 2015 at 10:07 am

          My father had an RX-7 tuned for racing with 375hp. I got it up to about 110-120 and the only way to describe the handling is “fluttery”; I had the distinct feeling that the vehicle wasn’t attached to the road very well.
          Besides, it isn’t the speed itself that’s fun but the acceleration getting there.

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        Mossby Pomegranate May 12, 2015 at 5:28 pm

        typical BikePortland car-hating. Not constructive.

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          matt picio May 18, 2015 at 3:53 pm

          and yet a very effective demonstration, and an effective news story. I don’t think most of the motorists affected knew what the protest was about, and that educational component really does need to be addressed, but if the goals were to slow people down, then it worked – whether anti-car, or adversarial, or both.

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        davemess May 12, 2015 at 9:25 pm

        car shaming.

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          9watts May 12, 2015 at 9:53 pm

          dave,
          I can’t tell if you actually disagree with anything I wrote, or just like to sprinkle Taz’s phrase around? The way you’ve been deploying it strikes me as intending to shut down conversation rather than explore the holes in my reasoning.
          If you read closely I don’t think what I wrote has any overlap with car shaming as the object of my contempt isn’t the people in the car, or choosing to drive, but the statistical, physical, and mental challenges of meeting the requirements that the car presents. We are fallible; get tired; lose focus, make bad judgments, etc. This is just human nature. Where it gets tricky is when we are expected to be on high alert for extended periods of time.

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            davemess May 13, 2015 at 6:40 am

            I like to point out that there clearly is an anti-car bias on this site by some (which some people were arguing in that article wasn’t the case).

            It’s fine if you want to feel that way, but I agree with the above commenter that it really doesn’t add anything productive to the conversation or help further the cause. It just alienates you to the rest of the general public (85%+ of whom have, drive or ride in a car) as one of those “crank” (no pun intended) extremists.

            And on the flip side, you are just presenting your own “aura” of bicycling as “freedom” and “fun” and “the answer to transportation problems”.

            It’s alright for us to all have our own biases. But at least acknowledge them and then not attack people for pointing them out (I don’t know that you specifically have done this).

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              9watts May 13, 2015 at 7:25 am

              Thanks, dave, for your response.

              “I like to point out that there clearly is an anti-car bias on this site by some (which some people were arguing in that article wasn’t the case).”

              Biased means one-sided, lacking a neutral viewpoint, not having an open mind. Bias can come in many forms and is often considered to be synonymous with prejudice or bigotry.
              First off, I think the automobile/automobility can handle my (or anyone’s) ostensible bias. Why so sensitive? Is automobility endangered? Perhaps they strike a chord because people, deep down, recognize the problematic, fraught dimensions of the automobile my posts sometimes highlight. But getting back to whether my post(s) evidence bias, as wikipedia defines it above, I readily admit that I have a tendency to emphasize some of the downsides to automobility, but given the century plus of wall-to-wall boosterism the car has enjoyed in this country I’m really not understanding why you or anyone is taking offense. I’d like to think I have an open mind, and some experience with cars – as objects of veneration, utility, as well as social and technical interest. I can send you the syllabus of the course I co-taught on automobility at Berkeley, if you’re interested. My sometimes stridently critical posts about the automobile are meant to explicitly acknowledge how entrenched our dependency on the automobile is, how difficult it will be to extract ourselves from it.

              “It’s fine if you want to feel that way, but I agree with the above commenter that it really doesn’t add anything productive to the conversation or help further the cause. It just alienates you to the rest of the general public (85%+ of whom have, drive or ride in a car) as one of those ‘crank’ (no pun intended) extremists.”

              Well I generally try to be constructive. And this post was no exception. I was responding to Coldswim who wrote: “It’s amazing how angry and dispassionate people can get over taking a few minutes out of their lives to slow down and be considerate of other’s safety.” I too have experienced this, both as a driver and someone not in a car. It is a very familiar experience. On a bike or on foot I don’t feel this way (nearly as easily). I meant my post as an exploration of this discrepancy.

              “And on the flip side, you are just presenting your own ‘aura’ of bicycling as ‘freedom’ and ‘fun’ and ‘the answer to transportation problems’.”

              Guilty as charged. (As you know,) I’m happy to debate this with anyone.

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                davemess May 13, 2015 at 9:14 am

                I don’t really have an issue either way, although I do think your extremism, if presented to the public sometimes can hurt the cause.

                Also I”m not really offended. I just find it ridiculous that people on this site were commenting that they didn’t think there was an anti-car bias on it some time. Just pointing out that there is (and you seem to agree).

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                9watts May 13, 2015 at 9:28 am

                “Just pointing out that there is (and you seem to agree).”

                I referenced the wikipedia definition above, abbreviated as: one-sided, lacking a neutral viewpoint, not having an open mind.
                I’d love to debate this, explore whether the statements (of mine) you and others are criticizing fit this description.
                Identifying serious flaws with a central feature of our society that implicates all of us, harping on these, is unsurprisingly going to raise hackles, but that doesn’t ipso facto mean that these comments are an example of anti-car bias. If I excoriate bad drivers, does that automatically mean I have an anti-bad-driver bias? Of course not. It means that I have chosen to highlight what to me seems like a problem that needs more attention. If I lament our society’s generally lopsided enforcement of laws that affect how people bicycling receive justice when injured in traffic, does that mean I have anti-police bias? No. It doesn’t. It means that I am highlighting what to me seem like injustices, inequities, poor choices, etc.

                I’m also not clear on the ‘we don’t have anti-car bias here on bikeportland’ assertion you keep referencing. Is that something I said?

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                davemess May 14, 2015 at 6:01 am

                Did you read any of the 100+ comments on the car-shaming article? Many of those were refuting her premise.

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                9watts May 14, 2015 at 12:38 pm

                * Car shaming
                * Anti-car bias
                * Highlighting downsides of automobility

                I’m not sure why you keep conflating these three different things. I’m trying to differentiate among them because I think we can have a more productive conversation if we don’t paper over the distinctions.

                car shaming: dissing someone for not being perfect about jettisoning their dependence on a car, cf. Taz Loomans

                anti car bias: railing against the automobile without having an open mind; the implication is that these complaints are unreasonable, unfounded, one-sided, arise from a vengeful mindset, cf. Jason Rantz(?)

                taking a dim view of automobility: focusing on the downsides, risks, inherent flaws, costs, injustices of the car, in part because of the dominant boosterist narrative which skips over all of this, and also because it doesn’t have to be this way, we don’t have to keep perpetuating the same inequities, cf. me, I guess.

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                9watts May 5, 2017 at 1:10 pm
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              Eric Keller May 13, 2015 at 8:12 am

              it’s not anti-car to expect motorists to take other’s comfort and safety into consideration. I expect that of myself when I drive my car. The road system is for people, not a freeway where aggressive drivers can expect to have others cater to their every whim

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      paikiala May 12, 2015 at 11:44 am

      It is the unknown we fear most. Not knowing the wait/delay was only 5 minutes is what frustrates people driving, along with the cause. The view that avoidable delays are bad/wrong, but systemic problems are unavoidable, is the logic gap for most users.

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      davemess May 12, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      And yet, how many time have we seen people bristle on here at the idea of cyclists actually stopping at stop signs or slowing down to go over speed bumps on the Hawthorne bridge?

      I’m not belittling this protest, but I think that most people, whether riding a bike or driving in a car don’t like to be delayed or slowed down.

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        soren May 13, 2015 at 8:46 am

        I have absolutely no problem slowing down for stop signs. And the complaints about the vigilante speed bumps were focused on how jarring they were (unlike the ones further to the west) not on speed reduction.

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          davemess May 13, 2015 at 9:11 am

          just not STOPPING for stop signs.

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            Eric May 13, 2015 at 9:45 am

            When the car in front of me *and* the one 5ft behind my tire come to a full stop, it might be safer.

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    Coldswim May 12, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Sorry, meant to say prior to the protest travel time was around 1.5 minutes.

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    Cheif May 12, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Unfortunately as long as the police continue to disregard the safety of people on bike and foot it’s only a matter of time before someone in a car runs someone not in a car over out of impatience.

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    Jonathan Radmacher May 12, 2015 at 11:22 am

    The danger of doing this on any kind of regular basis is that cars will leave these thoroughfares and use the neighborhood streets instead, creating even more danger for bikes/peds in the neighborhood(s) around Powell.

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      Reza May 12, 2015 at 11:32 am

      That’s one of the inconvenient truths. Another one is that people in buses were stuck in the same congestion, even know they made the prudent decision not to drive their cars to work.

      To think this is going to soon be a “BRT” corridor? Not if ODOT refuses to budge on dedicated lanes on Powell.

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    BikeSlobPDX May 12, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Am I the only one that doesn’t see the connection between auto speeds on Powell and bike safety? I hate crossing Powell — sometimes I have to wait 3.5 minutes for the light to change — but when I do get to cross, the traffic speed is zero.

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      Bill Walters May 12, 2015 at 11:44 am

      At 26th (and 21st and no doubt other locations), no it isn’t. You have people in cars turning left (and right) during the same cycle as when you’re going straight across. That’s what set the stage for the Sunday horror that catalyzed the protest.

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      Reza May 12, 2015 at 11:54 am

      It’s all interrelated. Those excessively long signal cycles (necessary to flush all the traffic on Powell through the corridor) leads to short greens on cross streets like 26th, which can sometimes encourage motorists waiting to turn left to make dangerous maneuvers in order to make it before the light turns red and another long wait ensues.

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    • Tony T
      Tony T May 12, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      As someone who lives only blocks from Powell, I can assure you that people driving on Powell often carry their freeway speed expectations right into the surrounding neighborhoods.

      The speed culture engendered by no enforcement spills over.

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      Chris I May 12, 2015 at 3:31 pm

      They are directly related. Because ODOT valued Powell as a fast way to move cars, they would not permit a dedicated left-turn cycle for the signal at 26th. Because there is no dedicated left-turn cycle, people turning on to Powell often choose to make dangerous maneuvers (running red lights, shooting between small gaps) because they are tired of waiting.

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    Granpa May 12, 2015 at 11:28 am

    There is no doubt that Powell is fraught with hazards, but I find the timing and location misplaced. During rush hour traffic is already pretty slow, slower than the speed limit. Also the location, close in, is just short of gridlocked on a typical evening (or morning) rush hour, so slow speeds are already in place.
    The (terrible) collision that resulted in the loss of a cyclist’s leg occurred because a driver on 26th and a cyclist on 26th crashed at Powell. It was not Powell traffic that precipitated the collision. To put it mildly, the driver was a terrible driver and it is unlikely that roadway improvements on Powell or anywhere would change the behavior of his kind. Engineering is an ineffective way to modify the behavior of people who refuse to abide by the conventions of a civilized society.

    The protests were affecting (for the most part) people who do abide by those conventions.

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      paikiala May 12, 2015 at 11:48 am

      A protected left turn phase would have separated the left turn movement from the through movement. The short-term fix might cost $10k.

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        BikeSlobPDX May 12, 2015 at 2:26 pm

        But you need a separate left turn lane for that. On 26th, there’s not even enough room for the bike lane.

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          J_R May 12, 2015 at 2:35 pm

          No. There is already a separate left-turn lane on 26th in both directions. I ride and drive that section regularly. You can also see it on google maps using either aerial and street views. The bike lane is narrow, but it and the turn lane are there today.

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            BikeSlobPDX May 13, 2015 at 1:03 pm

            Gadzooks, I had to go check it to correct my mental image, but you are correct. So then the left-turn arrow would likely have prevented Sunday’s accident. Why aren’t we protesting for that?

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              J_R May 13, 2015 at 7:21 pm

              Several people have advocated the installation of a left-turn phase for the north-south movement. There is already one for the east- and west-bound traffic.

              The trade-off for adding an extra signal phase is that there is an additional yellow clearance interval, which means another 4 seconds of time when vehicles aren’t flowing through the intersection. There’s also some cost, though not really very much.

              It is pretty obvious that ODOT provides favorable treatment for through traffic on Powell since it is a state highway. To a certain extent, that’s an appropriate decision since without good traffic flow on a major arterial like Powell, there will be just that much more commuter traffic (note how we can blame others by referring to them as “commuter traffic”) using our parallel neighborhood collectors, like Holgate, Gladstone and Woodstock.

              One reason for NOT adding a left-turn phase at Powell and 26th is that by making it easier to make a left turn at that location, it might encourage motorists to use 26th more than they do now. I’ve been through that intersection during peak hour often enough that I don’t plan to make that turn.

              That said, I’d be inclined to add a separate left-turn phase for north-south traffic at 26th and Powell.

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        Velokitten May 12, 2015 at 5:57 pm

        I would love to see a protected turn phase at NE Fremont turning onto MLK. But, I’m guessing this is an ODOT situation too?

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    Lester Burnham May 12, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    So you slowed them down at that intersection only to have them angrily speeding elsewhere. Is this really a win?

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    Jen May 12, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    I’m so glad people went to Powell to peacefully protest. I had to drive this road every day to get to work and was terrified that I would hit someone. I am very vigilant in looking for cyclists and pedestrians, and there’s always going to be times you don’t see people. Powell is not safe and the city needs to do something about this.

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      9watts May 12, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      “Powell is not safe and the city needs to do something about this.”
      Sure.
      But then there is the inherent(?), unavoidable(?) danger of having such a high proportion of us sitting in cars for so long that we start to amuse & distract ourselves with food, entertainment, conversation. Or those driving are drunk, or would rather attend to their dog in the back seat than watch what is in front of them. I’m all for Vision Zero, for motivating ODOT to get off its ass and apply some sound engineering fixes here, and in about a hundred other locations, but let’s be clear that cars + highly fallible people can still be a bloody mix. Remember Karl Moritz? He was biking through Ladd’s addition. Eric Davidson? In front of the parking lot of Safeway. Tracy Sparling? Waiting at a stop light.

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    nuovorecord May 12, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    “Maybe we should make a campaign of shutting down all the ODOT highways until jurisdiction is transferred to Portland.”

    Simply transferring ownership to Portland isn’t the issue. It’s coming up with the funding, and determining who should pay to fix them. ODOT would be thrilled to rid themselves of Powell, but I suspect that Portland doesn’t have the desire to take it knowing that they don’t have the money to make all of the required investments.

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    Aaron May 12, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Am I the only cyclist that dislikes these types of protests? The only affect seems to be pissed off people in motor vehicles.

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      tnash May 12, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      I also dislike them. Motorists who are tired of irascible cyclists who “punish everyone for the behavior of a few” could easily organize a completely legal rush hour clog-up of Clinton & Gladstone.

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        Zach May 12, 2015 at 1:47 pm

        Not if Clinton or Gladstone (or any number of other bicycle blvds) had the necessary diverters that folks have been asking and agitating for.

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        soren May 12, 2015 at 1:47 pm

        What exactly did you see that was illegal?
        Is using a crosswalk or cycling on Powell illegal?

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        Pete May 12, 2015 at 3:13 pm

        I see motorists organizing completely legal shutdowns of local roads every weekday, twice a day, and then some.

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      Granpa May 12, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      I rode through the protest on my way home and although it was peaceful, I sensed a mood of enacting retribution upon drivers. Clearly it does piss off drivers, and riders everywhere know that this type of anger is quick to heat and takes a long time to cool. Haters have cast broken glass on the 28th st. bike path more times than I care to count, so pissing people off has consequences that go beyond the protesters to stoke the car vs. bike conflict.

      But what else can be done to bring change. If a kid dies walking home from school, the neighborhood gets sidewalks, If old ladies die crossing the street, crossings are improved. Protests are better than allowing people to die to make things better.

      Still it is only facility engineering that is being targeted for revision. Where is pressure to improve enforcement of laws and punishment for violators? Where is education and training in the safe operation of vehicles, and the consequences of unsafe use? One can’t engineer a road to prevent a willfully bad driver from causing harm. For that, training and real punishment need to be brought into play.

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        Paul in the 'Couve May 12, 2015 at 7:27 pm

        Agreed. We need to find a way out of this but at this point I see protests like this as one of the few good options to “Start a dialogue” to use a phrase.

        So, cyclists and pedestrians were inconveniencing motorists for a couple of hours for one day. Why? Because we have gotten so used to the fact that motorists threaten the safety of vulnerable road users, and inconvenience walking and biking 24/7/365 that most people just take that for granted. We take for granted that crossing Powell Blvd. is dangerous and inconvenient, that while cars must be given direct, obstruction free routes that pedestrians should go 4 or 6 blocks out of their way to find a beg button, and even then be subject to extreme danger from right on red, and left turning motorists.

        So no, it isn’t a way to have a dialogue. But we can’t have a dialogue if the people that need to hear aren’t listening (and can’t here us in there mobile armored shell and sound studio). What is required is enough action and enough spectacle and if necessary, frustration and anger from motorists and the general public, that ODOT, PBOT, the city Council and the motoring public realize that “oh, we need to have dialogue about this.”

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      The Odd Duck May 12, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      Watch for thumbtacks in the middle of the bicycle lane.

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        9watts May 15, 2015 at 8:29 am

        Is that a threat?

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    ontwowheels May 12, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    The only thing those righteous clown who chose to “slow down” Powell yesterday have achieved is confrontation and resentment. Thanks to their childish, passive-aggressive actions, riding my bike today I felt fearful of revengeful motorists.

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      Alex Reed May 12, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      Protests are a very important way for a movement that lacks money and political power to increase its voice and influence. They were crucial in the Stop De Kindermoord movement that had a lasting effect on the Netherlands, changing its trajectory from ever-increasing priority of motor vehicle throughput to a balanced, comfortable transportation system for all modes.

      The Stop De Kindermoord protests – along with a bunch of other social movements – did include slowing down motor vehicle traffic and other short-term inconveniences for people in the area. Many successful protests do, as those actions help to gain attention. I think this protest was warranted and successful.
      http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/how-did-bicycling-take-over-netherlands.html

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      CaptainKarma May 12, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      Down south on I-10 through cities, the righteous clowns (State Hwy Patrol) would drive down the freeways in formation, blocking all lanes, at a speed less than max speed limit. Reeeealy pissed off the drivers when they couldn’t speed 20 over, and text, eat, put on makeup, drink beer.

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      jeff May 12, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      comments like this are complete and accurate snapshots into the fact America is a young and dumb country whose people have yet to realize they truly have the power to change the world around them. Protests like this are common place in other countries whose governments work for the people, not a create a system for the lowest common denominator and convince you its the best thing ever made…

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    Fred May 12, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    What we need is a fundamental change in our transportation system and how we live as a community. As people move here from other areas and our population grows, it will only get worse without change. It has to come in many forms. Better and more frequent driver testing. Better and more enforceable traffic laws. Changes in employment hours and practice, why does everyone have to move to and from home at the same time? More public transportation. Higher costs and fees for motorists that drive large vehicles and commute long distances (no more subsidizing their way of life). And, people need to understand that their bad behavior, whatever their form of transport, has real consequences for when things go wrong. It’s time to own up to those risks and minimize them. Everyone out on the road is someones mother, father, brother, sister, lover, spouse, etc.

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      Brendan May 13, 2015 at 10:28 am

      Completely agree. This is about a long term shift in the culture of transportation to a world where cars don’t have the same carte blanche they do now. The simplest way to charge people who drive large vehicles / long distances is a gas tax.

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    Tom SEPDX May 12, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I’m sorry, but it is absolutely childish that some folks have gone out of their way to try and get a UPS driver fired for trying to do his or her job. You make it seem like he was trying to run over a civilian, when it’s clear as day folks were baiting people into doing something they shouldn’t. The argument is a two-way street – bikers shouldn’t be engaging in dialogue ON POWELL especially while trying to set an example of safe commuting. It’s just absurd. Grow up, people.

    I commute by bike all the time. Seeing this type of nonsense is embarrassing.

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      Brad May 12, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      The UPS driver very blatantly failed to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. The driver broke state law. Period.

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      Chris I May 12, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      If UPS requires them to break the law to do their job, they need to find a new business model.

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    Eric Iverson May 12, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    I was proud to be part of the ride yesterday. At the 11 PM news, (I’m one of those rare Portlanders who admit to owning a Television machine) I jumped between 3 channels and it was the top story on all 3. Despite them making it a predictable cars vs. bikes story, each channel talked about the tragedy as well as stating some facts about accident rates on a known high crash corridor. I’m sorry if some people get upset with the tactics used, but it’s now a top story, Hales is talking about PBOT taking over, and ODOT can’t possibly ignore this. The alternative to these tactics is waiting until 2017 for changes which probably aren’t good enough, or until more people die. Both are unacceptable to me. There were 16,000 people at East Sunday Parkways, and it could have been any one of us that had to cross Powell to get there that day.

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      invisiblebikes May 12, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      I couldn’t have said it any better, well put!

      The facts are that this protest (and many more to come) are the squeaky wheel and we all know what that means.
      Politicians now days don’t react to letters or emails asking for change, they only react (quickly) to media confrontation. and the more pressure we put on the media whether its giving them juicy emotion provoking stories or tons of compelling data to report on its all good for us.

      As they say in Hollywood and Politics “there is no Bad press” the more often we’re in the press the better!

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    babygorilla May 12, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Brad
    The UPS driver very blatantly failed to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. The driver broke state law. Period.Recommended 7

    It wasn’t that blatant. The person walking entered the roadway right in the middle of moving traffic. The people on bike had sufficient time to stop (although even then they were right up to the edge of the crosswalk markings and well beyond the stop bar) and owing to physics and momentum, the person driving the van may have not.

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      invisiblebikes May 12, 2015 at 5:06 pm

      The Law says “You MUST yield to pedestrians and bikes in the crosswalks at all times! There is no exception to that law, it doesn’t matter if its a protest, or if you’ve already crossed the “stop bar” you must stop once a persons has stepped off the curb!
      In this case the UPS driver very clearly had visibility of the cross walk, ample reaction time to stop once e started moving and plenty of distance to stop before crossing.

      Its that simple.

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        babygorilla May 12, 2015 at 5:34 pm

        There is an exception to that law. A pedestrian is required to yield to vehicles in certain circumstances under ORS 814.040. What I saw from the video is that the person walking walked right into flowing traffic (the line of people on bikes) causing an immediate hazard to moving traffic. Thankfully, the people on the bikes were quick enough to stop in the face of the immediate hazard. Given the physics involved with stopping moving motor vehicles vs. moving bicycles, the immediate hazard remained despite the ability of the people on bikes to stop just in the nick of time.

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          Invisiblebikes May 12, 2015 at 6:08 pm

          Um sorry that is incorrect, ORS 814.040 is failure to yield to a vehicle if the pedestrian is Not In A Crosswalk! Read the law
          (b) Fails to yield the right of way to a vehicle upon a roadway when the pedestrian is crossing the roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.

          There is absolutely no exception to the pedestrian right of way in a crosswalk! There are however different crosswalk laws for instance if it is a metered crosswalk that requires a signal to cross.

          Try reading this story for clarity and seriousness of this law in Oregon
          http://bikeportland.org/2015/04/07/cops-cite-61-people-4-hours-single-unmarked-82nd-ave-crosswalk-138984

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            Babygorilla May 12, 2015 at 6:59 pm

            I think you are referring to subsection (1)(b) and you would be correct that that addresses a situation when there is no crosswalk. Subsection (1)(a) has no such limitation.

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              Invisiblebikes May 12, 2015 at 7:09 pm

              You really need to learn how to read and understand the law because you are once again incorrect.

              That law in its entirety is for pedestrians crossing outside of a designated crosswalk.
              Designated crosswalks are 100% protected domain, there is no exception.

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                Tait May 12, 2015 at 10:48 pm

                http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/814.040

                814.040 (1) A pedestrian commits the offense of pedestrian failure to yield to a vehicle if the pedestrian does any of the following:
                a.
                b.
                c.

                n.b. ANY of the following: meaning a, b, OR c. The “…other than within a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection” language is specific to b and does not apply to a or c.

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                Babygorilla May 12, 2015 at 10:56 pm

                http://americawalks.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Right-of-Way-in-the-Crosswalk.pdf

                Page 7. Common sense interpretation of subsection (1)(a) that people walking have an obligation to not create an immediate hazard and is still valid law.

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                invisiblebikes May 13, 2015 at 5:03 pm

                http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/811.028

                The law is the law, you can try and add interpretation or common sense beliefs but the minute you step into a court of law or in front of a traffic court judge he/she will shut you down every time.

                I’ve seen it 1000 times, people trying to fight a traffic ticket for ORS 811.028 they lose every time.

                Pedestrians are 100% protected In a Cross Walk its that simple. ORS 814.040 does not apply to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
                You can find all the interpretation on the internet you want but if want to try and prove me wrong… Ask a Traffic court judge.

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                El Biciclero May 14, 2015 at 3:28 pm

                “You can find all the interpretation on the internet you want but if want to try and prove me wrong… Ask a Traffic court judge.”

                Even that traffic court judge is applying an interpretation. Granted, there is no exception in ORS 811.028 that excuses drivers from stopping and remaining stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. But there is a competing duty on the part of a pedestrian using a crosswalk to allow a realistic opportunity for a driver to stop (ORS 814.040). The only difference in 814.040 between using or not using a crosswalk is that if using a crosswalk, a pedestrian can expect drivers to slow down and stop for them if they have entered a crosswalk allowing enough time for those drivers to do so—and drivers should accept the requirement to stop as a legal given. Otherwise, if a pedestrian is crossing outside of a crosswalk, they should not expect drivers to accommodate them by slowing or stopping (although drivers would still have a moral obligation to avoid running over jaywalkers), and should wait for a big enough gap in traffic so as not to cause any driver to have to slow down.

                If I am standing on the sidewalk next to a crosswalk, having not yet entered the crosswalk and thus not having invoked my right-of-way as a pedestrian, and I wait until some driver is within 10 feet of the crosswalk and jump out into the crosswalk in front of that driver and get hit, who broke the law?

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    SD May 12, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    We have learned recently from ODOT’s discussion of Barbur that their most valued metric is automobile travel times. I believe that the people working at ODOT are well-meaning and would like for roads to be safe. However, we are all at risk of becoming mesmerized by the data that we can measure easily and are trained to measure and value. I am concerned that the entrenched mentality around high-speed arterials does not take into account the quality of lives or the safety of the people who live close to these roads.

    Frequently, people who live next to highways/ interstates are of lower socioeconomic status and are expected to tolerate the level of danger they are exposed to because they can’t afford something more desirable. They are expected to tolerate noise, pollution, limited areas to walk so that others can travel quickly.

    Fortunately, the people of Portland are better than this and have higher expectations.

    This protest was highly successful at speaking in the travel-time language of ODOT. I am sure that there are some people who work at ODOT that enjoy being pressured into doing the right thing and prioritizing safety and livability.

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      Tait May 12, 2015 at 11:38 pm

      “Frequently, people who live next to highways/ interstates are of lower socioeconomic status and are expected to tolerate the level of danger they are exposed to because they can’t afford something more desirable. They are expected to tolerate noise, pollution, limited areas to walk so that others can travel quickly.”

      The logical conclusion of this is untenable. Are you proposing that we condemn residential properties within X distance of freeways? If I purchase or construct a house adjacent to I-84 or 405, the speed on the freeway in that area should be reduced to community or school-zone speeds and sound barriers installed, etc.? Those areas are cheaper BECAUSE of the very issues you speak of. The only way to not have such areas is to mitigate a tiny number of properties at exorbitant public cost, or to not have any freeways and foreclose transit of long-distance and commercial traffic.

      The decision to put a major freeway, without limited access, through the middle of residential neighborhoods — as is the case with 26 — will inevitably result in conflict. Trying to balance the opposing desires of the freeway and what’s around it in a way that satisfies everyone won’t be possible. Safety is absolutely critical and (as we see in recent events) not good enough, but as long as it’s still a freeway the areas adjacent to it aren’t going to be noise-free, unpolluted, and idyllic walking areas.

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    Alan 1.0 May 13, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    I’m guessing that section of Powell slows down during 15:00-18:00 most week days, in which case simply showing data for the day of the protest doesn’t actually show the effect of the protest on travel time. May 11 needs to be compared against other week days at the same time to actually show the effect of the protest. I’m sure it did have an effect, but the data above don’t show it.

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      grumpcyclist May 13, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      The sad thing is that the “journalists” on this site wouldn’t point that out. The notion that travel times increase and travel speeds during rush hour shouldn’t be too terribly shocking.

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