(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)
Illegal and dangerous behaviors are rampant on the streets of Portland. Most of us who use the streets are keenly aware of this, but every time the Bureau of Transportation does a crosswalk enforcement action we see the problem even more clearly.
On May 27th, PBOT and the Portland Police Bureau teamed up for an enforcement action at the marked crosswalk that runs across SE Powell Blvd at 24th. Like always, the event was publicized ahead of time both in the media and via signs on the street. What’s interesting about this location is that it’s the same crosswalk that protesters used on May 11th to bring awareness to safety issues on this corridor. At that event, dozens of people took turns using the crosswalk during rush-hour with the explicit intent of making people using Powell stop and wait for them.
When PBOT sent their human decoys out for this latest enforcement action (they’ve been doing them consistently for the past 10 years), police officers issued 60 violations in under four hours (10:00 am to 1:45 pm).
Here’s the breakdown:
- – 18 Failure to stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian
– 14 Operating a vehicle while using a mobile communication device
– 7 Passing a stopped vehicle at a marked crosswalk
– 2 DWS [Driving While Suspended] (violation)
– 1 DWS (Misdemeanor)
– 1 Careless Driving
– 2 Failure to obey a traffic control device,
– 3 No operator’s license
– 1 No proof of insurance
– 4 Driving uninsured
– 1 Failure to drive within lane
– 1 Operating without proper fenders or mudguards
– 1 Expired registration tags, 1 Obstruction of vehicle windows
– 1 Speeding
– 2 Failure to register vehicle
– 2 warnings
If that scary tally doesn’t convince everyone that we are dealing with a public health crisis, I don’t know what will. And for what it’s worth, this is not an aberration. Back in April, the police issued 61 citations in four hours at a similar crosswalk on 82nd Ave.
As the City of Portland and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance ramp up their efforts to implement a vision zero policy (based on the idea that we should not accept any traffic injuries or deaths), I’m glad to know that enforcement will play a key role. At yesterday’s traffic safety meeting, PBOT Director Leah Treat and her boss, Commissioner Steve Novick, both said they are eager to start using fixed speed radar cameras on Portland’s high crash corridors. And the City’s two-year transportation work plan calls for more red light cameras.
But engineering and enforcement will only get us so far. Education and cultural change must happen too.
Mayor Hales began to find his traffic safety education and marketing voice at yesterday’s press conference. He told reporters that, “It’s not OK to put other people at risk for our own convenience… It will take years and millions of dollars to re-engineer the city the way we believe we need to. It will take a huge effort by the police bureau with enforcement to make sure we penalize drivers who don’t do the right thing. But today, this afternoon we can all drive differently. We can all look around, slow down, pay attention, get rid of the telephone and follow the law. That’s common sense. And those are things we can do today.”
And, let’s not forget, these actions are done with plenty of advanced warning (unlike the Ladd’s stings where no decoys are used in the crosswalks at Ladd’s circle; the question is stop sign compliance in the absence of any humans(.
Just like the traffic circle at 39th and Glisan where PPB has been known to do stop sign stings… both of these circles should be converted to modern roundabouts with yield signs, and the 39th/Glisan circle should have the dangerous mid-circle bus stops removed. Simple fixes, yet PBOT doesn’t seem to care and PPB is collecting $$$ from it.
If I remember correctly, both of these would need to be completely re-engineered to comply with federal regulations for traffic circles (thus allowing yield signs).
The primary issue at both is the speed of entering and circulating vehicles.
At Ladd, entering is a smooth pathway and needs to be slowed down before entry (the speeds in the circle are already slow).
At Chavez/Glisan the entry is smooth and the circular roadway is crowned.
The roadway should all slope outward to slow all traffic circulating, along with the removal of internal bus stops.
PBOT has concept plans for converting both, but either could be changed to yield control without those permanent structural changes.
Kickstarter to fund the conversion work rather than waiting on legislative sanity.
I was told by PBOT that Ladd needed to have the entry exits redesigned because they would not remove the stop signs with entry/exit being at a 90 degree angle to travel.
“redesigned’ takes many forms. Large flower planters, as on NE Multnomah or N Central, could do the trick while waiting to fund new splitter islands.
no that’s not really a question. if you want enforcement, prepare to be enforced yourself.
I’d like enforcement of anyone going 5mph over the limit in the city.
How about a special except to the mandatory human at a speed camera rule specifically for the Portland Metro area?
Any densely packed urban region is an area where consistent traffic enforcement has been proven impossible without some form of automation.
Isolate the ticket revenue from these speed cameras to driver education and public transportation; no other use would be authorized.
This is missing a couple critical datapoints if we want to draw any kind of conclusion from it.
How many vehicles could be expected to travel this section of Powell normally over that period? Presumably some drivers received more than one citation – how many drivers were stopped and sited? How many vehicles stopped properly for the crossing and were not pulled over or sited for anything?
dave.. according to ODOT the average daily motor vehicle traffic in the corridor (20th – 34th) is 34,600.
Do you have any info on the number of people who received multiple citations?
It took you guys less than 24 hours to woefully misrepresent more data. Nice work! There are likely at least 5000 cars in that (slightly less than) 4 hour time period. In that amount of time you had 60 citations issued. Of those 60 citations, at least 11 could not have possibly been issued without some other citation:
– 2 DWS [Driving While Suspended] (violation)
– 1 DWS (Misdemeanor)
– 3 No operator’s license
– 1 No proof of insurance
– 4 Driving uninsured
And one was operated by a bike:
– 1 Operating without proper fenders or mudguards
So we’re talking about a maximum of 48 citations (and quite possibly less) issued to at least 5000 cars and your conclusion is “Illegal and dangerous behaviors are rampant on the streets of Portland?” Are you willfully misreading the data or is there some other explanation?
Yeah, good luck using rational arguments here 🙂
Please tell me you don’t really believe there’s a citable statute about operating a bicycle without fenders.
Or if you do believe that, please link to the relevant ORS section.
“Kinds of fenders or mudguards required for specified vehicles”
Yep, has to do with trucks, trailers, buses, jeeps. Bikes not mentioned.
you have to read the part that says “Type III fenders are required for all other motor vehicles not mentioned in I and II” …
Yes, and you have to parse the word “motor.”
You may be assuming the rate of citation issuing is limited by the number of violators. The rate of one citation every four minutes may be just the max rate out which they could write citations, thus the rate may be citation issuing limited. I’m picturing them pulling someone over, writing a citation as fast as they can, getting back into position, then almost immediately pulling someone else over. Who knows how many violations occurred while they were writing a citation for someone else, or how many violations occurred at the same time and they could only pull over one of the vehicles.
Also keep in mind the enforcement officers would have been visible at the intersection, which should have an effect of lowering violations itself.
To get a better estimate of the true rate of violations at the intersection, you would need to multiple plain clothes monitors positioned on all eight sidewalks just recording violations and not issuing citations, plus a couple of unmarked parked cars with vehicle scanners to estimate the number of people driving without a valid licenses.
Just for the violation of driving without a valid license, the true number could be estimated by 5000 x 6/48 or 625 violations during the four hours. To me that seems pretty bad. I guess it depends on how low you think the bar should be.
Plus, does any of us really need to see “data” to be convinced that traffic crosswalk violations are a rampant problem around Portland? This seems like a quibble; most of us probably personally witness this every single day. I know I do. Add excessive speeding in the neighborhoods to it.
Yes, this is exactly why data is needed. Otherwise it’s just anecdotal and subject to any number of cognitive biases.
So assuming four officers writing citations, 48 stops in four hours would be 12 per hour, three per officer — which means 20 minutes per stop.
I don’t know enough about procedure to say whether that’s on par (any PPB willing to chime in?). But if there’s procedural stuff that each officer has to square away after each stop, maybe it is. Maybe that number represents the officers doing land-office business during the whole four hours.
“It took you guys less than 24 hours to woefully misrepresent more data.”
I looked above your post and found no evidence that anyone equated the 60 violations with 60 distinct violators.
Your right, they didn’t try to claim that it was 60 violations instead of 48, the misrepresentation is that they refer to it as “rampant law-breaking” and a public health crisis. Even if all 60 stops were unique we’re still talking about 60 stops in 5000 vehicles. The way the misrepresent the data is by providing the absolute number of citations without the appropriate context: the number of vehicles that didn’t get stopped. A less than 1% noncompliance rate doesn’t in any way equal “rampant law-breaking.” This is another BS story meant to create outrage and drive traffic. Maus has been really cynical with his use of data. You *should* be outraged.
The point is that it is generally not safe to cross the street. That far too high a percentage of the time, like 1/3 at least, someone crossing the street either has difficulty getting cars to stop, or has to play frogger, or has someone not see them and almost run them over. It doesn’t even matter if it is 90% compliance or 95% compliance, which it isn’t. What matters is much more than 1% of the time pedestrians get screwed. And not all of the 5000 cars going through got tested. They didn’t have a special crossing for each individual car. 60 tickets in 4 hours is rampant law breaking. 2/3 of that time there would be a police vehicle with flashing lights present which is just about the only thing *most* drivers actually do notice.
I’m not sure how good you are at math, but <1% does not equal 1/3. And as previously mentioned, there weren't 60 people breaking the law, it was an absolute maximum of 49.
*hospital CEO addresses demonstrators*
“Folks, folks. Calm down. Only 1% of people who check into the hospital are randomly given the wrong medication. It’s a minor problem.”
Hey, great to know that you’re doubling down on your mischaracterization. No matter how much you disagree with the behavior a <1% rate of noncompliance does no equal "rampant." If this tag were applied to cyclsts at a Ladd's Addition sting when <1% of them were ticketed I'd be shocked if you guys didn't vehemently disagree. Shame on you.
First, I don’t claim that the non-compliance rate is actually 1% but rather that even 1% would be rampant and too high. I think the true non-compliance rate is at least 30% and that has nothing to do with the 48 motorists stopped which can’t possibly tell us anything about the compliance rate.
1% is too high, and even that qualifies as *rampant* because 1% of the 40,000 vehicles per day on Powell blvd is 400. That would be 400 drivers a day exhibiting unsafe and potentially fatal driving behavior on an urban street where pedestrians should be safe to cross. I call that rampant.
If there were 400 illegal discharges of a firearm in one neighborhood wouldn’t that be called rampant? What percentage of non- compliance of gun carries would that be? or would it matter? Of course not. The only thing that matter is 400 gun owners a day were dangerously and illegally discharging firearms in an urban area where people are all around. Drivers not following the law at cross walks are probably more dangerous.
Over in the Stark St. Scaffolding SNAFU thread I posted a bunch of statistics the CDC and MADD have amassed showing the number of drunk driving in the population (self reports) vs. the number who are nabbed for drunk driving. I think those figures and the ratio of the two corroborate Paul’s position about dangerous driving more generally.
How did they cite two for failure to obey a traffic control device? I can’t picture any device at this crossing, if it’s where I think it is.
I took another look. I suppose one could run the stop sign southbound on 24th and turn right on Powell while everyone else is stopped at the crosswalk. I’m going to go with that.
Most likely ORS 811.260(10): Traffic control devices at places other than intersections. If a traffic control device that is a signal is erected and maintained at a place other than an intersection, the provisions of this section relating to signals shall be applicable. A required stop shall be made at a sign or marking on the roadway indicating where the stop shall be made, but in the absence of such sign or marking the stop shall be made at the signal.
Thus, if you stop beyond the stop bar at a marked crosswalk then you failed to obey the traffic control device.
The painted crosswalk is the device.
The scariest part of this is that assuming that some of these folks probably got multiple tickets but even if it was only one ticket per stop 4 of 60 tickets were for driving uninsured. Being hurt is bad enough, but being disabled by someone’s incompetence or inattention and then having no chance to recover the massive costs associated with your recovery is far worse. We have to figure out some way to increase the insurance compliance rate.
According to http://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/uninsured-motorists 9% of Oregon drivers are uninsured, more distiburbing though is WA is 16%.
seems accurate considering it was 6% uninsured of the law-breakers for just this 3.75 hour window at 1 location…
This percentage of ‘uninsured” would likely climb to a much higher percentage of drivers involved in traffic crashes or collisions.
or are drivers more careful knowing they do not have insurance?
Make it “single payer” through the DMV & DOT.
The only way to avoid paying would be to drive without a license too; then were looking at jail time.
Second advantage: with a governing body on the hook for some part of the insurance premiums they will have much more “skin in the game” in educating drivers to be better, revoking licenses from bad drivers and all manner of traffic enforcement.
The “skin in the game” argument is the justification for taxing the poor; what’s good for us is good for them.
and then require drivers show a license to buy gas, which could work in Oregon since by law you already can’t pump your own
I have always thought that the license req. is a good idea. It would also cut down on credit card fraud (some places already ask for your zip code.) before you get gas.
My idea for increasing insurance compliance rate is to require proof of insurance each time you buy gas.
Your insurance company would provide you with a bar code tag on your proof of insurance card. The bar code tag would be like your rewards tag from a merchant (like the rewards car you have from Fred Meyer that gets you a 3 cent gas discount). Scan the proof of insurance tag at the pump or cash register and the pump is unlocked. If you don’t have one: no gas. Or maybe it allows a maximum of two gallons (enough to get you home, if you simply “forgot” your card).
Another option might be for your credit card or driver’s license to “store” your insurance information.
I have a proposal for the Mayor and the PPB: you do this every day in multiple places around the city, and we will fund your PERS.
That list of infractions is insane considering the short amount of time they were present. The next time someone talks about “scofflaw cyclists”, I’m going to laugh in their faces.
PPB does not have the staff. Enforcement officers for each shift is about 6-10 for the whole city. They also have other work to do.
I also heard an interesting factoid the other day. It takes about 2 hours to book a DUII suspect. That’s 25% of an 8-hour shift of one officer.
I agree with Chris. Milwaukie has come down hard with speeders over the last couple of years and the result is very few speeders on Mcloughlin going through that part of town. The tickets will pay for themselves and encourage safe driving habits.
It has always baffled me that the police department doesn’t seem to want to issue more tickets. Traffic enforcement is obviously not the most glamorous police work, but the importance is widely understood. And it beats cleaning up after a fatalities that are a direct result of speeding. Not to mention, it pays the bills, and if it doesn’t, then have our friends in Salem increase the maximums until it does.
Part of the reason is ROI. About 60% of the fines collected goes to the State and County (courts).
Another reason is a meme about ‘important police work’. Crimes have more cache, even though more people usually die in Portland from road crashes than other forms of violence.
These stings are good. But, they are uncommon and rather publicized in advance. Do they actually change driver behavior (all the other drivers who were not ticketed or warned or in the area that day)?
Secondly, it’s my theory that these stings actually dilute the PPB’s everyday enforcement activities for this type of traffic law breaking. I think the PPB have learned that traffic policing is only done 4 times per year, and only when the mayor and the news crews are there to document it. The other 361 days per year, it’s business as usual for traffic enforcement: DUI late night near downtown, speed traps on I-5, and hassling minorities and teenagers in East Portland. Is there any incentive for police to be monitoring cross walks and speeding in residential neighborhoods, around schools, and on bike arterials during the day other than these few large scale events? I have seen the response of 823-SAFE requests for police action enforcement for unsafe activities: the police officer will park their cruiser in a conspicuous spot at the requested area for a couple of hours and do nothing else. Perhaps they are catching up on paper work. But, no speed guns, no going after people, no talking or outreach – just sitting there. Citizen request has now been satisfied.
When will city of Portland figure out how to actually enforce traffic laws in a way that is not a media circus event?
Even of they are not red light, ticket issuing cameras intersections are the #1 place for fatalities and traffic law breaking in general. Why not have good video evidence for later prosecution?
There are already [iphone] cameras at nearly every intersection. Is it possible to report vehicles that blow through crosswalks by sending pictures to PPB? Could there be an app that would send these plate and driver images with time and date stamp to an automated PPB ticketing center?
This would be a good time for the NSA to justify their Big Brother-y behavior by offering this as a service.
The public posts their videos to wherever and tag it with #NSA.
Their servers would automagically analyze the GPS data and match driver faces up with imagery we know they have squirreled away.
They would then forward that to a local jurisdiction police AI whose only job is to verify actual crime from evidentiary video.
The problem is that the camera phones in the right place at the right time are in the hands of drivers who shouldn’t have a phone in their hands lest the cause another collision.
Better to have a permanent camera on every corner aiming in. All video would be held at least 48 hours
They need to put these up on Youtube. How in the world do you manage to get a careless driving ticket at a crosswalk enforcement. (which are usually announced!)
How are more people driving suspended or w/o licences than driving uninsured? Someone else’s car? Can we ticket them for letting someone drive their car without a license?
Las Vegas did put it on you tube. I like the ones where the drivers don’t stop for the guy dressed as a traffic cone.
In NJ they used Donald Duck.
>”They told me that I was getting a ticket for not stopping for a duck,” she said. “But it scared me. I’m a woman. This huge duck scared me.”
My vote is that driving without a license or insurance yields a forfeiture of the vehicle regardless of who owns it.
My understanding is that due to a supreme court ruling it is difficult to take the car permanently even for dui, but towing a car to impound and then charging storage fees is totally legal.
That’s what they would do if it was a gun. Sounds good.
I’m curious how these enforcements work… when I’m standing in a crosswalk, waiting for traffic to stop, often a long string of a dozen or more cars will pass. Would PPB have pulled over all dozen of these drivers in this situation? Honestly over a 4 hour period I would expect hundreds of violations, if they were able to be caught.
This is just fantasy, but I’d like to see an automated crosswalk ticketing system… Sensors would detect if there is a human in the crosswalk and photos taken of all drivers in violation of not stopping. There would be some amount of time between human detected in the crosswalk and the photo enforcement. This would rack up so much cash for the city.
I give drivers 5 seconds before I start walking into the road…
that’s enough time to identify a hazard and stop for it…
There are usually at least four motorcycle cops there, and they each go after one driver. Then, however, there’s a time lag while they all write those tickets, and get back to the position to go after more drivers.
60 in 4 hours is probably about how many tickets they can issue(1 every 4 minutes), not how many ticketable offenses occurred.
Hey Jonathan, do you have any idea what happened after the tickets for driving without a license or insurance were written? Were the cars towed? It seems like the right answer would not be to allow the person to continue driving if they don’t have a license and/or insurance.
“Were the cars towed?”
My neighbor had his license taken away more than a year ago. Drives every day. The cops are well aware of this. And have pulled him over quite a few times since. DWS + other things every time. Car’s still parked out front.
Impounding the vehicle is an option, and one that I think we should be demanding. http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/809.720
Not acting on this statute is another example of Car-head, of giving people driving a pass, even when their behavior is egregious. Thanks for digging that up, Bjorn.
It has been tried, and it failed. The problem with impounding is that people just go out and buy a junker every time you impound their car. Then the police end up with a large collection of junk cars that they have to store and eventually sell at auction, and around they go again.
Seems more effective than just a $427 dollar fine and putting them back on the road immediately. You wouldn’t let a drunk driver get back in their car and hit the road because of the danger both financial and physical to others. Clearly an uninsured driver is a financial danger to everyone around them.
Why should it be legal to purchase a car without license or insurance. Felons can not legally purchase firearms, so why can drunk drivers go out and purchase a car. Or worse, make bail and retrieve their car off the impound lot and drive away before they have even sobered up. It has happened.
I also wouldn’t underestimate the hassle and expense of buying, transferring the title, switching the insurance, renewing the registration (to the extent that they are attending to these matters). It isn’t quite as easy as going out and buying a skateboard.
You assume they register it. Check CL for “tags good for 2 years!”
You’re supposed to register it when you buy it, but it seems plenty of people dont. Especially in Multnomah with the bridge fee.
If the seller reports the sale as required and you don’t register the vehicle in your name then you are driving an unlicensed vehicle, the cops are less likely to notice since you have the stickers but you are required to complete title transfer within 10 days.
Yeah, I sold a car a couple of years ago & the driver didn’t register it. He drove it back & forth over a toll road a bunch of times and the bill was sent to me. Took a while to get that cleared up.
How about painting their car fluorescent yellow? At least we’d have some warning.
Pizza hut delivery sign on the roof, except skull and crossbones.
I already know to stay FAR AWAY from pizza delivery drivers, so yeah, I could see that working.
I’ve posted this here before…
in my young and fast years I got pulled over and cited for DWS over a dozen times… only once was my car impounded, I took my friend to sign for it, then I drove it away… usually they will let your friend drive you away after they stop you, or arrest you and just leave your car there on the side of the road for you to pick up later when they’re done booking and releasing you…
there wasn’t much incentive to stop driving… the incentive was to drive better so you didn’t get caught… but eventually somebody will likely crash into you and then you’re busted…
they should impound the car each time, then on the 3rd time they should confiscate it and auction it off and invest the money into safer streets… that would be a start…
How many of these were multiple violations for one person (e.g. failure to stop, also while talking on a cell phone, and hey you have a suspended license!)
See above comment, that at least 11 violations had to have been connected to some other violation. So that this is not 60 violators … it is 60 violations.
Unsignalized crosswalk stings are BS because 99%+ of Oregon drivers do not know the full definition of crosswalk (801.220) or when someone has indicated they want to cross. (811.028)
How many drivers know that you don’t have to stop for a ped who simply pushes the button at a passive, marked crossing (RRFB)? The ped still has to move a body part or ‘thing’ into the roadway.
I think they’ve only done one at an unmarked crosswalk…
Am I reading you right? You actually think we Oregon drivers should not be held responsible for knowing (and following) the laws we are licensed to apply?
If so, that’s a real jaw-dropper.
Makes me wonder whether driver’s education covers this.
You can phrase it however you want, Bill, and thank you for the dialogue, but my first priority is to bring awareness and protection to the most vulnerable road users. Stings at daytime, unsignalized crossings using largely unknown laws is not how I would do it.
Another benefit of low-light/dark stings is that you can hide many police officers and tow trucks at the intersection, ready to do work.
Sadly, I think I agree with how you would do it.
Clearly *you* know the law. What i found jaw-dropping is how you so casually channeled that aspect of car-headed entitlement: “I haven’t bothered to keep up with changes in the life-respecting laws I’m expected to follow, so it’s not fair for you to enforce them.”
So: Good job. You really underscored what we’re up against when we’re not in our cars, and why it is that people are dying.
Ignorance is not a valid legal or ethical defense.
I need to correct a mistake I made on this post. An automated passive pedestrian crossing has no buttons, so the ped just goes to the infrared/microwave detection zone to trigger the signal or flasher.
I think signalized and even marked crosswalks are BS because they condition drivers to ignore people crossing the street everywhere else.
I would prefer to see pedestrian safety stings at signalized intersections where peds are most vulnerable and in low-light or dark conditions, where they are hardest to see.
winter evening commute at Powell and 129th… they’re be writing a lot of tickets…
The PPB and PBOT did an evening winter sting a couple of years ago at SE 54th and Powell, a marked but unsignalized intersection. The motorcycle cops were constantly busy. They never stopped giving tickets.
Are pedestrians more at risk at signalized intersections? At least there some of the motorists stop.
Wish they’d write tickets for driving in the bike lane on outer SE Powell, which is actually occupied by mamas with gaggles of children walking, out that way.
I’d guess they are afraid they would get run over. With good reason.
This is not new behavior, its consistent with what we all know. Infrastructure needs to change to minimize the effects of human error. It’s farcical to believe that we can change human behavior. We need to design infrastructure to accommodate human errors into the equation, while still keeping our roads safe for all people.
” It will take years and millions of dollars to re-engineer the city the way we believe we need to. It will take a huge effort by the police bureau with enforcement to make sure we penalize drivers who don’t do the right thing. But today, this afternoon we can all drive differently. We can all look around, slow down, pay attention, get rid of the telephone and follow the law. That’s common sense. And those are things we can do today.” -Hales
And it only took people dying and lots of people annoying me for me to even say this, and tomorrow I’ll probably go back to not caring.
No drivers license, No Insurance, suspended license, DUI?. I thought these were impoundment violations. I know they used to be when I graduated from Benson in 62. A couple of years ago a DUI was an automatic loss of driving priviledges for a year for the first. Oh I get it! A drunk driver is not responsible for what he/she is doing! Give me a break judge.
Enforcement is nice, but unless constant, like a stop light camera; will not have a lasting effect. Rather have more engineering for safety.
Drivers cited for failure to yield should be required to serve as the pedestrian decoy for the next enforcement action. THAT would cause a change in behavior.
Yes, if anything is going to convince poor working class people who can’t afford insurance or plate renewal, it’s a $240 ticket for improper mudflaps
People don’t fail to have insurance because they can’t afford the normal cost of insurance they fail to have insurance because they have DUI convictions/suspended licenses, or such a bad driving record that their insurance is far more expensive than average. I don’t buy this idea that there are tons of really good drivers out there who just can’t afford the absurdly low level of liability insurance required by law.
Back when I had a car, my insurance was quite expensive (young male), but when I moved, it went up nearly $50 a month. I couldn’t afford it… so I got rid of the car.
Unfortunately the “car free” lifestyle doesn’t work for everyone. Most people who pay themselves on the back for not owning a car have done so for idealogical reasons, not economic necessity.
How do you know this?
I think Michael A can produce all sorts of interesting statistics that will show that the demographics of households without cars is much more interesting than your comment allows.
Well you won’t find them on a blog like this, where we debate the merits of a custom $6000 cruiser bike suited to (maybe) fetching artisan espressos a couple times a month…
There are lots of us commenting here, many of who have never and probably won’t ever spend that kind of money on a bike.
I agree that features like yesterday’s can give one the impression that this is about rich people and their bikes, but I don’t think bikeportland as a whole should leave you with that impression.
Odds are the mudflaps ticket was against a large commercial truck where not having them or their not functioning properly is a CSA Violation.
The BTA is not the only organization working on Vision Zero. Oregon Walks has been a huge part of this conversation, and they deserve mountains of support for the work they do around these issues.
What about tinted windows? Aren’t they illegal in Oregon? It’s bad enough when I cannot make eye contact with a driver or I don’t know if they see me or not.
I believe that Oregon law allows something like a 30% tint; WA law allows more tinting. Joseph Rose did a piece on tinting a while back.
So how do we get the city to do more of these?
Or if the city won’t do more, what would it take for a few people with halfway decent cameras to run their own sting?
I ride a high performance BMW motorcycle (same model as cop bikes), and just for fun I ride the speed limit. I am passed by every Tom, Dick & Harry and their grandmothers on every single road in Portland with room to pass. I have made a game out of it; if I’m in the pole position at a light, I’ll use all 1200cc to zoom out in front until I get to 35mph or whatever the speed limit is, and then see how long it takes before I am overtaken, which is never very long at all.
Let’s face it: motor vehicle operator permits are a joke, traffic laws are not enforced and fuel is cheap. We are 0 for 3.
The state is responsible for licenses. The city, county and state are responsible for law enforcement, which they save for special occasions, and wars and fracking have saved us from expensive pickled dinosaur blood as fuel. We have our bases covered!
This story was a report on a dog and pony show, and it’s clear how much government serves the people it is supposed to, which is only during crises. How about when things are going well?
okay so I kind of stand on all sides of this topic I think everybody needs to be held accountable when we deal with the road correctly. as a driver I respect the bicycles I stop for people crossing the roads I stopped to let other Cars enter the road. as a driver here is my issue I have witnessed time and time again multiple times a day irresponsible pedestrians and bicyclists not using crosswalks jumping out in front of traffic causing rearend accidents , pile ups, multiple times a day do I witness people of all ages gray hair, parents with their children(badbadlesson)crossing one block away from an intersection where there’s a crosswalk I am all for putting more crosswalks in that stopped traffic lights that stop traffic to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to Cross, safer, no excuses to not stopt. Everybody stops first. what I don’t get is why the cops put so much effort into pulling drivers over and raking them for their money when do we hold the pedestrians and bicyclists accountable to do the right thing also they’re the ones jumping in front of traffic and getting themselves ran over majority of the time we cannot excuse the impaired drivers that swerve off the road and hit people or impatient ones that go around cars that are turning and run somebody’s kid over there is nothing we can do to change that thoughtless careless person but I just don’t see y police always hammering on the drivers when it’s the pedestrians a bicyclist jumping in front of traffic a lot, all day long because their in a hurry also. I be glad to stop for anybody anytime but I’m also about the little process of – walk/bike to a crosswalk, use button to activate stop lights, stopping traffic, that makes sense to me, more of those and enforcing pedestrians and bicyclists to use them and forcing drivers to stop at them make sense to me
You may not be aware that every intersection is a crosswalk, and any pedestrian has the right of way always, unless there is an active no-go crosswalk light. Just try to cross MLK or Grand and you’ll see tens of thousands of automobile operators cluelessly breaking the law by failing to yield the right of way.
Your #1 risk as a driver is other automobiles.
huh? do you know how many cyclists have been tickets for running stop signs in the past few years? I’ve seen it dozens of times. there’s even an educational class for them after they’re ticketed doing so – ticket is reduced, they have to pay for the class.
as to pedestrians, they have the right of way if they’re crossing at any curb/intersection, marked or otherwise. voted in 2006 by popular demand I believe. now if pedestrians choose to run in the middle of the road or cross mid-street they lose their right of way privileges if I understand the law correctly.
I do wish more cyclists would be ticketed for bad behavior – seems like a lot of people just haven’t learned yet. I witnessed some guy with his young child blowing signs at full speed this morning on SE Harrison on his bike/tag-along. un-freaking-believable. he should be ticketed for child endangerment alone.
Do undercover DEA officers advertise impending drug busts in the media? Maybe bank robbers should post notices outside the bank, too: “Robbery in progress, please have your valuables ready.”
I think its time to realize that the current method of enforcement can never be sufficient with any feasible amount of manual labor. Its time for a 2nd generation approach that utilizes technology and automation, beyond just speed cameras and red light cameras.
Using a continuous collection and automated analysis of accelerometer, gyro, GPS and mapping data, a very accurate overall safety rating for a driver can be generated and tracked over time. This would allow a driver to be compared to their peers, and the worst of the worst identified for retraining and license suspension. By weighting the degree of acceleration, breaking, cornering speed, rate of lane changes, red light running, and many other parameter by their known risks, a probability of collision can be calculated for each driver and society can set a upper limit for acceptable collision risk.
This sensor technology is already present in your phone, in most newer cars, and can be easily added to those add on toll tracking devices or other add on devices such as dashboard cams. The analysis technology is also well established and already used for fleet telematics and by certain insurance companies as special programs. Its time for pilot program to collect data and work out the bugs for wider use in personal vehicles, in preparation for a future larger roll-out. Specifically we need legislation to require behavioral telematics data to be collected as a condition for reinstatement of a suspended license, and to incentivize and loosen restriction for insurance companies to start collecting this data and using it to give rebates.
It can’t be done as a moonshot, but will need multiple incremental steps, but can be done and would result very safe streets and a dramatic lowering of collision rates, as well as saving cities huge sums in traffic enforcement.
For so long now we have pleaded for drivers to slow down and drive safer, or for cities to beef up traffic enforcement. Its time to realize that this approach will never ever result in the kind of safety improvements that we need for our streets. The technology is already established for a 2nd generation approach based on identifying the worst drivers then applying carrots, education, and re-evaluation…..we just need to start phasing it in.
Chicago automobile crosswalk percentage of legal yielders is lower than some Portland neighborhood’s bike mode share. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/hilkevitch/ct-crosswalk-survey-getting-around-met-0908-20140907-column.html
60 sounds like a lot of violations, but things like expired tags and improper fenders don’t mean much for pedestrian safety. How do the number of safety-relevant citations compare to other enforcements?