‘Aggro’ driving on neighborhood greenways annoys Portlanders in cars too

clinton speed

Here’s another take on the much-discussed and increasingly well-documented problem of people who are in a big hurry to drive on some of Portland’s neighborhood greenways (sometimes known as bike boulevards).

My commute has me driving for four blocks on the Clinton bike boulevard west of 21st. For the second time this month I’ve had an aggressive drive pass me to speed down the street. This morning there was a line of bicyclists in front of me basically taking up the lane through to the next signal, as well as oncoming traffic. It would not have been safe or prudent to overtake the bicyclists as I would have to either cut one of them off or stay in the oncoming lane until the next signal. Instead I just drove at the speed of the bikes which was around 18mph. The car that passed me nearly took out a cyclist trying to get back in our lane to avoid a head on collision. It’s completely ridiculous to me that PPB has nearly zero traffic enforcement, especially on our neighborhood greenways where safe respectful driving is even more important. I’ve tried calling in requesting enforcement but have not seen any cops. Any ideas on how to make our streets better, and what the fuck is going on this summer that is making all the drivers extra aggressive?

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No one has ever died on one of Portland’s neighborhood greenways; the more direct safety problems (and, some argue, the more pressing ones) are on larger streets. On the other hand, there’s no question that incidents like the one described here would make most people uncomfortable with being on a bike in the street.

As we reported last week, a recent city study found that significant amounts of motor traffic travels well over the speed limit on most neighborhood greenways in the city. Some neighborhood advocates have, like the person above, wondered if the city should dedicate more traffic enforcers’ time to this problem.

Hat tip to the Reddit Portland community, which already has a rich thread going.

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Allison
Allison
7 years ago

I wish I had an answer on how to get enforcement on these streets. I live on one of the main SW bikeways, our closest thing over here to a Greenway, and I’ve been BEGGING the city and Pdx Police for almost 5 years for speed enforcement (via all possible channels). We constantly get drivers doing 50+ mph on our 25mph street. They tailgate and I see many drivers pull over to the side to get out of the way. (And let’s not get into the people texting, swerving all over the road.) We have not received any speed enforcement. Lately, I’ve been encouraging my neighbors to help by parking their cars on both sides of the street to help narrow the roadway.
I was once told that the only way to get traffic calming was to first have PPD confirm that we have a speeding issue. Can anyone confirm this? I am open to all suggestions, and willing to join any group to get help on this.

Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy
7 years ago
Reply to  Allison

If you are on Vista, I think that PPB is going to start watching it soon.
My bike Buddy on his Scott was about a foot from my back wheel when a kid in a new BMW came off the stop sign at the last street before the bridge. A Mercedes had blown by us on the chicane and the Multnomah county sheriff was right behind us. The BMW pulled out turning left, as we were passing the last parked car, less than 100 feet, looking to the right, at approaching car, as he was turning left. This was midday last Wednesday. The sheriff was chasing the Mercedes. No lights no siren. after the collision there were 4 PPD cars on the scene by the time that 911 answered (2 minutes), another 30 seconds and 2 PPB motorcycle officers were on the scene.
The ambulance took 5 minutes.

Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy
7 years ago
Reply to  Allison

Try joning BikeloudPDX for one, and come down to the city hall at 8 in the morning. The prime offenders are in Europe the last I heard, but PPB will be there. forcasted at least 200 protesting the city council spending the federal bike money on their consultants (buddies) instead of the streets and enforcement.

Steve B
7 years ago
Reply to  Tom Hardy

huh?

paikiala
paikiala
7 years ago
Reply to  Allison

Advocate to triple the size of the Traffic Division at PPb.

Chris Anderson
Chris Anderson
7 years ago
Reply to  Allison

You can use the city’s Encroachment Permit process to get a temporary encroachment permit. They have design guidelines and I’ve talked to them about my community outreach efforts and they like it. Info: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/59332

So basically the deal is you need X amount of adjacent neighbors to support it. Go for 100% and define adjacent to be at least a few houses (in my case I only needed 3 signatures).

You need an engineering sketch that they can show at meetings. It should include street names and a drawing of where you want to put planters, 3ft+ playground logs, etc to make an auto path 18ft or wider. So I did my drawing with 18ft guides and will use it to know how much log to buy.

Here is a link to an earlier comment where I detail the process I’m (hopefully) 99% done with. http://bikeportland.org/2015/06/12/city-engaged-battle-speeding-epidemic-144336#comment-6421274

It’s not cool that it takes me 5% time for a year to do something that the city is actively looking for. From an equity perspective, it should be as easy as dialing a number and leaving a voice mail that says “yes I want my block to be green, and my address is _______” and when we get enough support the org does more outreach to close the deal.

BTW the same app can also be used to support block party permits. 🙂

The implementation is only a few hundred dollars a block, and it could work for something like NE 72nd north of Prescott where I don’t feel safe riding slow because I don’t like the odds of being passed by a fast driver. Today the design speed is higher than the posted speed, but a few big logs (if the neighbors are into it) would bring the design speed down to neighborhood levels and provide protected areas for pedestrians at a fraction of the cost of sidewalks and with nothing from the city but a design review (and a Metro grant? hint hint).

Todd Hudson
Todd Hudson
7 years ago

>No one has ever died on one of Portland’s neighborhood greenways

…yet. This morning on the NE Davis greenway in the 60s (can’t remember exactly which cross street), I watched a heavy-duty pickup run a stop sign and come a few inches from hitting a bike commuter who had the right of way. Fortunately the driver slammed on their brakes in time, but the person in their path was pretty terrified.

I caught the near-crash on my Contour bikecam. There was a contractor’s name on the truck….

Seth Alford
Seth Alford
7 years ago
Reply to  Todd Hudson

YouTube link?

Kyle
Kyle
7 years ago
Reply to  Todd Hudson

Report it to the company! I witnessed a garbage truck blow right over the divider on Ankeny at SE 20th where it’s right turn only except bikes, and after following him with my GoPro and having a conversation with him I was able to get enough footage to send several photos to his employer, and they took action.

KVC
KVC
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle

Kyle- could you please contact me?

Todd Hudson
Todd Hudson
7 years ago
Reply to  Kyle

I need to install video editing software on my computer this week…I don’t think I could put up the 2GB file of my entire work commute on Youtube.

Matt
Matt
7 years ago
Reply to  Todd Hudson

This has happened to me numerous times on NE Going. The last time was a couple of days ago when a young lady blasted through a stop sign staring straight ahead without slowing down. She nearly hit me, a car in front of me, and a cyclist coming the other way. We need enforcement NOW!

ethan
ethan
7 years ago

Why does that person drive on Clinton anyway?

Steve B
7 years ago
Reply to  ethan

Perhaps they live on or near Clinton.

ethan
ethan
7 years ago
Reply to  Steve B

So? I’ve been told countless times by many people that I shouldn’t bike on MLK / Hawthorne / Powell / Alberta / Division / etc. no matter if I lived there, worked there or visited there.

Surely, this driver could drive on Division rather than Clinton until it’s absolutely necessary to be on Clinton.

John Lascurettes
7 years ago
Reply to  ethan

Ah, sorry, I thought you were talking about the bike user, not the car driver in my comment below. Yes, if one is on a greenway, or just even in the pretense of one bike rider (let alone a “line of riders” as described here), the chill the heck out for a bit.

I get aggressive drivers all the time on NE Siskiyou and Klickitat east of NE 7th. And that’s a purely residential zone with no businesses like on Belmont. It’s ridiculous.

John Lascurettes
7 years ago

“presence” not “pretense”

ethan
ethan
7 years ago

Ah, your reply makes much more sense now. Thanks for the clarification.

I have also noticed NE 7th has gotten worse and worse lately.

I take 7th to/from work, but I wish I didn’t. It’s gotten that bad. A while ago, someone intentionally hit me with their car on that road.

That’s one reason why I’m pushing NE 15th so hard for a bike route (it has the added benefit of going almost directly from my house to my job).

ethan
ethan
7 years ago
Reply to  ethan

I’m having trouble reading today… I thought you meant NE 7th, but now I see you’re talking about the other streets.

John Lascurettes
7 years ago
Reply to  ethan

15th has a lot of car traffic already. 7th does not have nearly the same volume (north of Broadway anyway). Seems like it would make more sense to keep cars on Vancouver/Williams and 15th and discourage through traffic on 7th. I agree about 7th though, I only ride it two blocks north of Knott and do my best to get off of it asap.

ethan
ethan
7 years ago

15th can keep the car traffic. Even as a somewhat frequent rider of the #8, I don’t really mind the car traffic.

What I really, really, really don’t like is that the city of Portland does not want to add bike facilities to NE 15th, since it would require parking removal on the entire street, on both sides. However, in this area, every single residence (I counted) has off-street parking.

Bike facilities should be a much higher priority than free parking for people who already have free parking!!

Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy
7 years ago
Reply to  ethan

Division is usually on gridlock this last year. It takes 4 times as long to travel division from 60th to past 12th as it takes to drive Clinton with the diverters. I tried it on both car and bike. I drove the car at 10 to 20 mph on Clinton. Most of the stop signs were not visible from the front.

ethan
ethan
7 years ago
Reply to  Tom Hardy

What does “Most of the stop signs were not visible from the front.” this mean?

KYouell
7 years ago
Reply to  ethan

Blocked by foliage. It’s horrible. I tried taking photos of just the speed limit and zone signs, but stop signs have the same problem. The worst was the “School Zone” sign. Barely visible.

Steve B
7 years ago
Reply to  ethan

Last I checked, Clinton is still a street on our network, and cars are allowed. Likewise, bikes are allowed on all of those streets. You may face consternation from either action from other road users, but neither is “wrong.” In other words, there are legitimate reasons for someone to be driving on Clinton. They should do so slowly and patiently as the OP was.

John Lascurettes
7 years ago
Reply to  ethan

That’s toeing the line of blaming the victim. It’s a greenway, one should expect calm streets on a greenway.

ethan
ethan
7 years ago

I’m not blaming anyone. Obviously the streets should be calm. But they’re probably not helping by driving on a bikeway.

Perhaps they could stick to Division.

And I’m not seeing any victim here. Who’s the victim and how were they victimized? All I see is they watched some driver do something stupid. If that makes them a victim, I was born a victim and have been a victim my whole life.

Hello, Kitty
Chris
7 years ago
Reply to  ethan

It’s not drivers on Clinton that are the problem, it’s bad drivers on Clinton that are the problem.

ethan
ethan
7 years ago
Reply to  Chris

Drivers in general are also the problem. Too many vehicles makes it “impossible” to lower the speed limit.

Plus, when people see other people taking a “shortcut,” they are bound to follow.

Scott H
Scott H
7 years ago
Reply to  ethan

Too many vehicles makes it impossible to speed, actually.

davemess
davemess
7 years ago
Reply to  Scott H

And slower average speeds actually make it more likely for ODOT to allow the speed limit to be lowered.

TonyT
Tony T
7 years ago
Reply to  Scott H

I think the point is that PBOT won’t lower the speed limit on Clinton because the car volume is above a certain threshold, Catch 22 if there ever was one. The lack of a lower limit is part of what is attractive about Clinton, which leads to more cars which is why we can’t have a lower limit.

Just think about the fact that Division has the SAME speed limit and more lights and more cars stopping to park. Given these factors, why are we surprised there is so much car traffic on Clinton?

We need an ENFORCED 20mph limit and diverters on Clinton.

paikiala
paikiala
7 years ago
Reply to  Tony T

Tony,
Can’t without ODOT permission is different than won’t.

Kyle
Kyle
7 years ago
Reply to  ethan

Too many drivers, regardless of how they’re driving, also ends up choking the greenway with exhaust fumes and making it nearly impossible for more adept cyclists to pass slower cyclists. It also increases the chance for conflicts. We can’t encourage more in the 8-80 group to ride while weapons are barreling down bikeways.

paikiala
paikiala
7 years ago
Reply to  ethan

It does not make it impossible to lower the speed limit, just more difficult.

KYouell
7 years ago
Reply to  paikiala

Tell me more. All I get is, “We can’t, because ODOT. Over 3000 cars/day means the lowest Clinton can be is 25.”

Cheif
Cheif
7 years ago
Reply to  KYouell

They should make it illegal for more than 3000 cars per day to drive on that street, then drop the limit. Problem solved.

Dwaine Dibbly
Dwaine Dibbly
7 years ago

When I drive (which is very rare) I try to be supportive of others who are on bikes. Bikes taking the lane? I’ll follow along, a respectful distance behind, and go 18 (or 15, or 10) mph for as long as I need to. I have your back and will take the lane with you! People in cars can be great allies for people on bikes.

Maybe that person lives on Clinton? Driving like that near where you live makes your own neighborhood less liveable and could lead to someone confronting you in your own driveway….

Peter
Peter
7 years ago

I’ve lived on SE Lincoln for 7 years. Every evening around 5:30 there are lots of cars racing down it, using it as a cut-through. I’ve never seen a cop pull anyone over for speeding on Lincoln. They could write tickets at 35th every night but they have no desire to enforce the speed limit. It’s the same on Clinton.

Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy
7 years ago
Reply to  Peter

I think it is much the same PPB problem that was evident in Portland from the late 1800’s until about the end of the Korean conflict. Rampant “Shanghi” labor, Opium trade, and white slavery supported the PPB for their lack of enforcement. December 1941 ended the opium trade and the forced ship labor. White slavery finally came to an end under Mayor Schrunk.
Maybe Vision Zero can help end the HPV carnage.

JonM
JonM
7 years ago
Reply to  Tom Hardy

wtf?

paikiala
paikiala
7 years ago
Reply to  JonM

Peter,
You have a street and a time of day the police can focus on, so you called 823-SAFE and requested enforcement, yes?

mran1984
mran1984
7 years ago
Reply to  Peter

I can verify your experience to this day. Traffic is worse than ever.There should be a difference between growth and gaining unwanted pounds. It’s not the speeding that irritates me to the extent that the unsafe passing within two or three houses prior to a four way stop does. Btw, speed bumps have little effect on many current vehicles. I have no delusion that anything will improve. Ride like your life depends on it.

Tyler
7 years ago
Reply to  Peter

Its the same in the morning going west from 52nd. Parents racing thru to the school or others simply cutting thru to save 9 seconds.

Psyfalcon
Psyfalcon
7 years ago
Reply to  Tyler

That section is just way too wide.

jonnycactus
jonnycactus
7 years ago

This is getting ridiculous. It’s everywhere – greenway or otherwise. I’ve never experienced this much anti-cyclist aggression in a PNW city for 10 years I’ve been here. The recent rash of people suffering from major injuries or dying has only made drivers more militant. Here’s a short sample of my summer bike indignities, all of which have happened in the past two weeks.

– Riding to PIR via Interstate. I drifted out of the bike lane because a driver in front of me was threatening to turn right w/o signaling. The driver two car lengths behind me railed on his horn for the next 60 seconds and yelled at me. I have no idea what we was saying because he wouldn’t roll the window down.

– Riding west on Clinton, a car on my right preceded to make a left turn in front of me. When I confronted the driver, he claimed I was going over the speed limit and that I almost hit a pedestrian (there were none in sight)

– My wife was clipped by a contractor van’s mirror. I got the plate and confronted the driver who basically just shrugged. I called non-emergency but the police were too busy to come take a statement and did it over the phone. The officer said nothing could be done since my wife wasn’t injured but promised to follow up with the company.

I ride enough that I figure the chance of me being killed or seriously injured by a car at some point is significant. At least spare me the bullshit excuses for poor enforcement and infantile behavior while I’m still alive.

talus
talus
7 years ago
Reply to  jonnycactus

Yesterday I woke up in an ambulance after being tailgated and honked at by a white BMW on Broadway northbound (at Davis). I have complete amnesia of the assault but it is clear to me that I ended up in the hospital because a motorist intentionally attacked me. I am lucky to escape this time with just a painful concussion and fractured nose. I have no witnesses, and no evidence to provide police with.

I don’t see the political will to change the culture on our streets any time soon. The simple truth is that the majority of our system is unwilling to view bicyclists as vulnerable road users who have an equal right to be on the road (particularly on established bike routes) as do motorists. When the police took my report, it was suggested that maybe the motorist was frustrated and just trying to get around me, or maybe I spontaneously fell off my bike. The incident was treated casually, as though it was of little importance. In their narrative I was riding a bike and “was hit by a Car”. The correct story is I was assaulted with a deadly weapon. Given how bad this could have been for me any my family, its hard to understand how law enforcement can’t call it what it is – assault with the intent to injure/kill.

In my view, the surest way of reducing the routine violence we are subjected to on Portland streets is for many more of us to USE HELMET CAMS. They are the surest way to increase prosecutions and address the way some motorists regard us as objects that are in their way. I will be buying one once I have recovered and deal with the hospital bill. I am encouraging those who can afford one to do so as well. It is pretty scary waking up after a hit and run. I have motorists honking at me all the time – how will I know next time if it will result in another attack, this time more seriously hurt?

Be careful out there folks, it is getting more and more dangerous

Seth Alford
Seth Alford
7 years ago

You can see Ted Buehler using a radar gun on Burnside to show speeding traffic in this video from the Oregonian:
https://youtu.be/1UJwJEgTEhU

Maybe we need to get video of speeding cars on greenways, with the display on a radar gun showing the speed. I don’t know if the radar gun in the Oregonian video is Ted’s, or if he willing to loan it out, etc. Amazon will sell you a Bushnell radar gun for $80.

Will PPB finally do something about aggressive drivers on greenways if we can show them video evidence?

Cheif
Cheif
7 years ago
Reply to  Seth Alford

They’ll just claim your radar gun wasn’t calibrated by them so it’s meaningless.

TJ
TJ
7 years ago

Greenway. Highway. Interstate. Street. Avenue. Parking lot. Parking Garage. Portland has a speeding problem. Little enforcement and an expected 5-10 mph leeway contribute, but also contributing are the base speed limits. Drivers get comfortable going 35 through neighborhoods, paying little attention to their communities or neighbors. While safety is the utmost concern, noise and livability would also be improved if speed limits were lower and enforced.

I will get involved in any organize effort that does not just focus on the greenways and also includes the state highways.

15-25 on all residential streets. Use the money to build traffic calming devices. Every street becomes a greenway. 35 on all highways (dirty 30 included) that run through the city.

Chris I
Chris I
7 years ago
Reply to  TJ

I think America has a speeding problem.

John Liu
John Liu
7 years ago
Reply to  TJ

Surely you don’t mean a 35 mph speed limit on Hwy 84, 405, 5, etc where they run through Portland. That would be ridiculous.

gutterbunnybikes
7 years ago
Reply to  John Liu

Not like any of them move any faster at rush hour, what’s the difference.

KYouell
7 years ago
Reply to  TJ

Sounds like it’s time to get People for 20 going for real. Please join BikeLoudPDX. I’m there as are all but one of us that tried to get some momentum behind that in 2013.

B. Carfree
B. Carfree
7 years ago

A lack of deaths is likely just a testament to the ability of the (few) people riding to avoid being taken out. However, it does have a huge negative impact in terms of getting anyone else onto a saddle. What’s the rate of increase of cycling in PDX over the past five years?

Unless something changes, like getting rid of the level of service standards for roadways (travel time for cars MUST NOT be impacted by any improvements) or getting PPB on board with the need to vigorously enforce traffic laws for motorists, I doubt if the percentage of people riding will change either.

gutterbunnybikes
7 years ago
Reply to  B. Carfree

Oh come on now, for every driver that you have an “incident” with you interact with 100’s with no incident.

Broad brushes don’t paint accurate pictures of bicycle riders or drivers.

J_R
J_R
7 years ago

Blame it on The Oregonian because they’ve been doing everything possible to create an us versus them mentality and for declaring “it’s just a accident” when a motorist in Springfield kills three children when he blows through a red light at 40 mph.

Blame it on the Portland Police who seem unwilling to declare “the motorist was responsible for this crash” even when it clearly was.

Blame it on the Portland Mayor and Council for not making traffic enforcement a priority and for generally being unwilling to publicly recognize that motorists are allowed to get away with killing and maiming vulnerable road users.

MartyS
MartyS
7 years ago

Another reason why Portland should be demoted from Platinum! We have already reached Vision Zero, ZERO ENFORCEMENT!!!

bjorn
bjorn
7 years ago

Careful what you wish for, my guess is that any neighborhood greenway enforcement we get will turn out to be cops targeting cyclists who are safely executing Idaho stops at one of the few stop signs the city hasn’t turned.

KristenT
KristenT
7 years ago
Reply to  bjorn

It doesn’t matter how safely you are executing an Idaho Stop, it still violates Oregon law. You should be doing an Oregon Stop. Isn’t that what you have your awesome muscles for?

Bjorn
Bjorn
7 years ago
Reply to  KristenT

Stop sign violations are a lot easier to spot than speeding, what I am saying is that increased enforcement on this street will not be focused on the dangerous behaviour that people are concerned about and will instead focus on the easiest way for cops to write some tickets. The fact is that fewer than 20% of motor vehicles and 10% of cyclists stop at stop signs when there is no cross traffic that needs to be yielded to.

The city has installed far too many stop signs most of which should either be removed or replaced with yield signs, and no one actually obeys them because everyone realizes that they are not being used for the proper purpose. The city says they won’t install a stop sign for traffic calming, but they do it all they time pretty much whenever anyone calls and asks for one to be installed.

KYouell
7 years ago
Reply to  KristenT

I mostly agree. The “exception” is I don’t think we should have to put a foot down any more than someone driving a car has to put it in “park” at a stop sign. I’m not wearing headphones, I’m looking left-right-left-right-left-right at a minimum (including sidewalks for peds hidden by overgrown plants) — when I know there’s no one there but me I should be able to go without planting a foot on the ground. It is not the same experience as a driver’s.

That being said, if I can stop my 90-pound bike, usually with 60-130 pounds of kid in it, at the stop signs on Clinton (especially 26th, 21st, and 17th), then others can stop their 1-person bikes. I’m losing a lot more momentum and have to work harder to get it back; don’t whine about it, just stop. It makes the Greenway a less-attractive option if we are all stopping individually at these stop signs and taking our turns in order. Every single commune is an opportunity to slow that traffic down and make them want to use a different street.

Spiffy
Spiffy
7 years ago
Reply to  KYouell

It makes the Greenway a less-attractive option if we are all stopping individually at these stop signs and taking our turns in order.

it also makes it less attractive to me as a bicycle commuter… I might as well be on Division or Powell where there are less stop signs and well-defined lanes…

KYouell
7 years ago
Reply to  Spiffy

Then use them! Take the lane! 🙂

Frankly, until this aggravated passing issue gets resolved, those of us biking with kids need your help. Sorry if it slows you down, but that’s the same thinking that the drivers are using.

Bjorn
Bjorn
7 years ago
Reply to  KYouell

If you want to solve that problem what you want is diverters not enforcement. History tells us that Neighborhood Greenway enforcement will disproportionately target cyclists and not have any impact on speeding or passing.

Chris Anderson
Chris Anderson
7 years ago
Reply to  KYouell

I wish I lived in your neighborhood. 🙂 Keep it up! I’m sorry it has to be any work at all, aren’t you the kind of Portlander they are wanting more and more of?

Bald One
Bald One
7 years ago
Reply to  KristenT

Yes, if we can get PPB to offer routine traffic enforcement in these areas – routinely. I agree they probably won’t show up for traffic enforcement without a TV news crew in tow – thus furthering the antagonistic divide.

Chris Anderson
Chris Anderson
7 years ago

The sad part is there is no good reason to delay fixing this. The cost is trivial and the benefits for everyone but cut-through drivers are astronomical.

Maybe the Copenhagen study group will walk through this neighborhood? https://goo.gl/maps/8r0jE

Chris I
Chris I
7 years ago

Can we please stop using “Aggro”?

jered
jered
7 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

why so Aggro bro?

Chris I
Chris I
7 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

That is, unless we are talking about the Aggro Crag.

TonyT
Tony T
7 years ago

“Some neighborhood advocates have, like the person above, wondered if the city should dedicate more traffic enforcers’ time to this problem.”

“More?” How about some? The only times I’ve seen enforcement on Greenways is when PPB is going out of their way to target people on bikes. Of course they claim that they’re “also enforcing people in cars,” but please, we’re not fools.

There is currently ZERO enforcement happening on Greenways and in neighborhoods.

Huey Lewis
Huey Lewis
7 years ago

Too many out of staters. It’s my go-to lately for a lot of things. But I’m sticking with it. Too many people moving here. Too many people maybe not stoked with greenways and cyclists.

jered
jered
7 years ago
Reply to  Huey Lewis

build a wall and fund more border security.

The Duke
The Duke
7 years ago
Reply to  Huey Lewis

How NIMBY of you.

Uhhh Merica.

Huey Lewis
Huey Lewis
7 years ago
Reply to  The Duke

If you aren’t aware of some of the dramatic changes that have happened here in the last few years then I just don’t know. Yeah, nimby….

KristenT
KristenT
7 years ago
Reply to  Huey Lewis

It’s not just too many out of staters— it’s too many out of staters moving here who don’t know our laws and don’t change their driver’s licenses and car registrations over to Oregon until they expire. Sometimes, that’s a couple of years down the road.

It should be a requirement of moving to a new state that you have to read the driver’s manual and take a test within 30 days of moving here, or you can’t drive in this state. Period.

Or, standardize the driving laws for the entire country, and have one federal government issued license for driving in this country.

Huey Lewis
Huey Lewis
7 years ago
Reply to  KristenT

I do not disagree.

Spiffy
Spiffy
7 years ago
Reply to  KristenT

It should be a requirement of moving to a new state that you have to read the driver’s manual and take a test within 30 days of moving here

that is the law… but unless somebody like a neighbor is documenting it then it’s hard to enforce…

Oregon Mamacita
Oregon Mamacita
7 years ago
Reply to  KristenT

Don’t forget that there are a ton of Vacasa/AirBnB rentals in close-in SE. The guests have no respect for our hotel laws, so don’t expect them to drive in a considerate way.

Bald One
Bald One
7 years ago

I think it’s also these guests and visitors that we need to protect from speeding drivers – locals cutting through on greenways during rush hour gridlock. These folks visiting here to enjoy the “livability” and walkability of these areas are not part of the problem – it’s the regular commuters and commercial drivers cutting through in these areas. I don’t think visitors come here to intentionally violate the hotel laws, although maybe you have some issue with AirBnB. I can only think of one hotel in inner SE – the sketchy motel 6 on 32+Powell.

Oregon Mamacita
Oregon Mamacita
7 years ago
Reply to  Bald One

I have zero respect for AirBnB guests- they participate in tax evasion and displace residents. Their cars add to the problems. There is a place for tourists- it’s called a hotel and they offer parking, pay taxes and have water and energy saving features unavailable to most homeowners.

Scofflaw hosts & guests have no standing to whine about how residents drive.

Clark in Vancouver
Clark in Vancouver
7 years ago

My experience is that unless there are physical diverters on a greenway, people will continue to drive fast. There can be enforcement blitzes now and then but they can’t sustain those for long and things will be back to the way they were soon after.
It’s better to demand diverters. Design a neighbourhood so that locals can drive easily to a major street but not allow any through traffic.
I was just reading on Bicycle Dutch about a new neighbourhood where the entire area is permeable for walking and cycling but for motoring there are only access roads for locals.

https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/main-cycle-route-in-a-city-expansion/
http://tinyurl.com/pwsfeyb

Could this be done in Portland?

Bjorn
Bjorn
7 years ago

Agreed, enforcement on a greenway is just going to be focused on cyclists, if we really want safety diverters are the answer.

Gil Johnson
7 years ago

I have been advocating this for several years. How expensive could it be to put up a couple of posts every two or three blocks on the greenways? Bikes could go around then, cars could not. That allows for residents to drive to their homes and emergency vehicles to get to a place, but would prevent other drivers from zooming down these streets because they have fewer stops signs and traffic signals than the main streets.

Eric
Eric
7 years ago

Agree. In fact, let’s put more immobile, large, heavy things in the street as a general rule. Massive rocks or steel posts (wearing hi-viz clothing, of course) are very easy to understand, even for those without an Oregon driver’s license. It’s a reminder of the simplest traffic rule: don’t hit things (or people.) Imagine 10in steel bollards, yellow, 3ft high, filled with concrete with 19ft between them (for 2 lanes) at each crosswalk. If nothing else, there’s two places to take some cover when the crazy happens. Probably would also make nice places to mount “right turn yield to bike lane” signs and similar reminders.

Chris Anderson
Chris Anderson
7 years ago
Reply to  Eric

You are making it very hard for me not to bust out the Omnigraffle. I think there is room for this under the current Encroachment Permit rules.

I can’t stop talking about this b/c it’s such a cool discovery. I will be publishing something real about it soon. For now, my BP comments 🙂

KristenT
KristenT
7 years ago

It’s not just drivers on greenways in Portland. It’s all drivers in general, and the later in the day it is, the worse the driving gets.

Here in Tigard, I’ll frequently have zero issues with aggressive and dangerous drivers on my morning commute, but those exact same drivers become angry aggressive a-holes for the afternoon commute. Same roads, same me, same drivers, just later in the day.

I’ve pointed out to all the drivers I know, in passing conversations, that they will wait far longer for their computer to boot up and log in in the morning; for QuickBooks to decide to do ANYTHING including export to excel, calculate payroll, open a report, or heck open at all; for their morning coffee to be ready– it takes longer for any one of those things to happen than they’ll be delayed by a bicyclist, especially out here in the ‘burbs. But hey don’t have screaming fits of rage and try to hurt or kill their computer, their barista, their co-workers because of these delays.

What is it about the presence of two wheels being human-powered that throws people into such rage?

Chris I
Chris I
7 years ago
Reply to  KristenT

It doesn’t matter who is outside of the windshield. I’m sure you have seen countless news stories about motorist-on-motorist road rage. Cars are socially isolating. It makes it easier for the driver to view the people outside as “others” and removes empathy. Combine that with the fact that they are driving vehicles capable of very high rates of speed, yet are restricted to lower speeds due to limits and traffic, and you have a recipe for disturbing behavior.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
7 years ago
Reply to  KristenT

I think Chris I is on the money with the real cause of rage when driving: unmet expectations. When driving is your default mode, everybody from auto advertisers to your neighbor bragging about his new Charger, to the guy driving in the next lane over or behind you is telling you, “you should be going faster!“.

Instead of a car, many people have purchased a story. The story is about empty streets, unlimited speed, beating the other guy, winning the race, and feeling sorry for or looking down on all the other losers who don’t drive a car like you. The problem is that most of the time, the streets are chock-full, your speed is in the single digits, the other guy cuts in front of you and “wins”, and often the “losers” make faster progress. It’s a recipe for nothing good.

In my industry, we sometimes discuss “managing expectations” by being careful what we promise, so when we deliver what we are really able to, the picture matches reality and the customer is “delighted”. If only we could manage the expectations of drivers at rush hour, disabusing them of the notion that a car is magic.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
7 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

Oops. Italics should end after “going faster”. Sorry.

Elliot
Elliot
7 years ago

“No one has ever died on one of Portland’s neighborhood greenways.”

Well, maybe not since before they were called neighborhood greenways. I don’t know the year, or the victim’s name, but I heard years ago that the intersection repair project at SE 37th and Taylor is a memorial to a bicyclist who died at the intersection when a driver ran a stop sign. This happened back in the 1990s (?), when the Salmon Street neighborhood greenway was just a signed bike route. Maybe some other long time Portlanders remember the details?

Street view of the location here: https://goo.gl/maps/NjM2R.

rachel b
rachel b
7 years ago

Portland, from the top down, seems to endorse a laissez-faire approach to every problem. Maybe when we were a smaller, less populous city, the “sit back and let it work itself out” theory had a (shaky) leg to stand on. But not now. It’s beyond aggravating. Sometimes it seems like everybody in this city is high. I frequently wish Portland would grow a spine.

Cheif
Cheif
7 years ago
Reply to  rachel b

Maybe it would help if everyone actually were high. That’s certainly the case in Seattle and they seem to be getting things done.

CarsAreFunToo
CarsAreFunToo
7 years ago

Is it really that hard? Really? This is what happens when you get rid of arterial streets like Division. You just push the traffic elsewhere. All these people aren’t magically going to jump on bikes instead. Division in particular is undrivable now. And God help you if you have somewhere to be and you get stuck behind a bus or worse, a garbage truck to stops every half block to get a dumpster. That happened to me so what did I do, go around it via Clinton.

Put on your thinking caps and put yourself in this situation: you’ve got somewhere to be so you’re briskly walking along a narrow two lane sidewalk, allowing only single file in each direction. Now ten feet ahead someone steps into your lane and saunters along, taking their sweet time. You catch up, and because of other oncoming walkers, you’re stuck behind them going half as fast as you want to walk until there’s a break in the on coming traffic, which you can’t see anytime soon. Anyone who says that they wouldn’t get irritated by this is a damn liar. And this is the kind of thing people driving deal with cyclists. People going half as fast as they want to, and in the case of Clinton, after they’ve already bailed on Division, their former go-to, because people bitched it wasn’t walk/bike friendly enough, ignoring all the possible negative affects it could have.

Then, on top of that, y’all are very vocal about wanting heavy enforcement for people in cars but conveniently leave yourselves outside of said enforcement (and then complain to high heaven when it comes down on you). Like it or not, blowing stop signs and lights is illegal and when you do it and then cry bloody murder when a car does it, that’s just plain hypocritical and totally destroys any argument you may have. If it’s safe for a bike to do it, then it’s safe for a car to as well. And as long as you continue to, people are going to ignore everything else you say because you’re showing them that you’re not willing to do things for your own safety, so why should they pick up your slack.

But at the core, I get it, y’all want to be a protected class, where everyone else has to look out for you so don’t have to and can focus on being Copenhagen Cycle Chic. You want all kinds of money for this and that new infrastructure ignoring that fact that there are people in this city who live on streets that aren’t even paved nor do they have sidewalks. All you want to do is punish everyone else but have a special set of rules for yourselves, and complain that others are making it ‘us against them’ while you continue to refer to all cars as ‘weapons.’

As for the speed kills myth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=274&v=2BKdbxX1pDw

While going faster makes hitting a tree more likely to hurt you, just as it does while you’re on a bike, it doesn’t follow that speed was responsible for the crash. Two different things. Also, I’ll wager that part of the decrease in crashes with an increase in speed is that people payed more attention while going faster. Again, we need better road-using education for everyone. But again, I get it, you’re intolerant extremists.

As to your desires for police-state levels of traffic enforcement for everyone but yourselves:

http://jalopnik.com/how-americas-speeding-tickets-and-traffic-fines-are-fuc-1693112151

Oh wait, I forgot. All people in cars are evil sadists, so who cares?

anna
anna
7 years ago
Reply to  CarsAreFunToo

i think perhaps you’re ignoring the fact that several of us that bike, also drive when we have to, and are not ignorant or unaware of bad behavior on both sides. Instead of slinging mud both ways, it might be far better for those who bike or drive exclusively, to try the other mode of transport, I find that “walking in the other person’s shoes ” does indeed promote understanding , empathy, and most of all, greater patience in dealing with the fact that we are living in a city (and a world) that is far too crowded, and as a result, tempers are going to flare. Please try it.

CarsAreFunToo
CarsAreFunToo
7 years ago
Reply to  anna

I worked in bike shops for almost a decade, commuted plenty and even lived carless at various times. Been there.

Eric
Eric
7 years ago
Reply to  CarsAreFunToo

You make a really good case for diverters.

Chris I
Chris I
7 years ago
Reply to  CarsAreFunToo

As long as it isn’t rush hour, Division is just fine.

So basically, to sum up your point, we should have a few, really fast, unsafe roads in our city, so that all of the other ones have no traffic on them? That sounds a lot like outer-east Portland to me, which also happens to be the most dangerous sector of the city.

CarsAreFunToo
CarsAreFunToo
7 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

Just because deep east Portland has faster big roads, it does not follow that they’re the reason it’s dangerous.

CarsAreFunToo
CarsAreFunToo
7 years ago
Reply to  CarsAreFunToo

And just to be clear, deep east Portland has always sucked and it probably always will. Even God has turned his back on that area. So no, that’s not what I’m advocating for.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
7 years ago
Reply to  CarsAreFunToo

“This is what happens when you get rid of arterial streets like Division.”

When was Division vaporized? What happened to it?

“God help you if you have somewhere to be and you get stuck behind a bus or worse, a garbage truck to stops every half block to get a dumpster. That happened to me so what did I do, go around it via Clinton…Now ten feet ahead someone steps into your lane and saunters along, taking their sweet time…you’re stuck behind them going half as fast as you want to walk until there’s a break in the on coming traffic, which you can’t see anytime soon…this is the kind of thing people driving deal with cyclists.”

Now this is interesting. Get stuck behind a bus or garbage truck? Then the answer is to move over to Clinton where all the bicyclists are. Get stuck behind a cyclist? Don’t move over to Division where all the cars are, ‘cuz you’ll just get stuck again—aggressively pass and intimidate the bicyclists! Duh!

“…when you [run red lights and STOP signs] and then cry bloody murder when a car does it, that’s just plain hypocritical and totally destroys any argument you may have.”

Hypocritical depends on whether you want to optimize for legality or for safety, because the statement, “If it’s safe for a bike to do it, then it’s safe for a car to as well”, is false.

“…you’re not willing to do things for your own safety, so why should they pick up your slack.”

Again, you are confusing “safe” with “legal” they are not equivalent.

“…y’all want to be a protected class, where everyone else has to look out for you so don’t have to.”

I’ll assume you are a driver for the majority of your travels and ask you this: don’t you already look out for other things on the road? Don’t you watch for trucks barreling down on you? Don’t you watch for traffic signals, buses that might stop in front of you, garbage trucks, turn signals (assuming anyone uses them), oncoming traffic, drivers you know are going to squeeze through the left turn signal after it’s red—tons of stuff you “look out for” as a driver. Do you assume that bus drivers, garbage truck drivers, other car drivers—all the other road users you “look out for”—think they don’t have to look out for themselves? If not, what makes you assume bicyclists believe they shouldn’t have to look out for themselves? As a follow-up question, what is it that you think bicyclists should have to “look out for”?

About your “Speed Kills (your pocketbook)” video, there are two major items to point out: 1) the context of the entire video is cars-only, no peds or cyclists, and 2) The narrator himself points out that in crowded urban or residential settings, such as a “neighborhood greenway”, limits on speed do indeed make sense. The only argument being made in the video is that on open roadways with no intersections where everyone is going the same speed, it doesn’t matter as much whether that universal speed is fast or slow. The video doesn’t really pertain to any discussion being had here. On a residential street full of non-carred people, speed most definitely kills; it just doesn’t usually kill the people in cars as much.

Hey, but I get it: you want to be able to drive wherever you want as fast as you want without having to watch out for other people or think about how much destruction you could cause with one small mistake. Everybody should get out of your way if they know what’s good for ’em.

Psyfalcon
Psyfalcon
7 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

I am very much for raising the speed limits on the interstates. Maybe ever some state highways with long sightlines. But we should lower the urban speed limits.

One thing I come back to though, is that speed limits are typically divorced from engineering. There are a lot of wide 6 lane roads around the country with 35mph speed limits. That just flies in the face of how human brains work.

CarsAreFunToo
CarsAreFunToo
7 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

That’s a lot of assumptions about what I think there home skillet.

The point isn’t that car drivers should be able to do whatever, and drive likes dicks, it’s about understanding why they’re frustrated and what can lead them to get angry and for some that can’t check themselves, aggressive.

And, no. If the intersection is clear enough for a bike to roll the stop sign, then it’s safe for a car to do the same. I think the crux of the . . . issue . . . is that everyone here sees this as, “if I screw up I just hurt myself, but if you screw up, you can hurt others,” and that’s not a universal truth. You blowing a stop sign in front of car can also lead to a crash that hurts other people. So, if the possibility exists, just like it does for cars, then shouldn’t you be held to the same standards? If you same no, you’re arguing for a special set of rules, just for you.

As to speed kills; if the driver is paying attention, then no, no it doesn’t, save for extremes. (Again: I’m not advocating that people should be able to drive as fast as they want on any road.) To steal from Nader, an inattentive driver is unsafe at any speed. But I’m also of the mind that if say, a cyclist blew a stop sign and got hit by someone doing 25 on a greenway, that’s 100% on the cyclist no matter what the result, but I’ll bet many on here wouldn’t agree.

About driving and looking out for things, you’re not really making yourself very clear, but I’ll take a stab at it. There are plenty of people that drive like they’re the only people on the road. They suck. But many on here argue for making everyone else conform to what they want, regardless of the negative impacts it on everyone else. Hence, the protected class comment. This whole ‘we know what’s best for everyone’ attitude is irritating at best and offensive at worst. Particularly when things like Division happens and it only makes things worse (and I’m defining worse as more bike+car conflicts). If where saying that I should be able to drive as fast as I want (which is probably not as fast as you think), wherever I want, without having to use basic caution, then I would be be asking for everyone else to conform to what I want, which is what I’m dogging on y’all for. And that would be hypocritical.

Cheif
Cheif
7 years ago
Reply to  CarsAreFunToo

“Assumptions about what you think”? Seriously? You’re on autopilot based on a marketing scheme from the 1950s. Not much thinking going on at all.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
7 years ago
Reply to  CarsAreFunToo

Hm. I thought I had made a respectful and rational reply to this comment, but it was moderated away. Perhaps there is a length limit? If the moderator(s) see fit and get a chance, please replace this reply with my original; I don’t have time to reproduce it.

Spiffy
Spiffy
7 years ago
Reply to  CarsAreFunToo

I have a great retort to everything you said, but it’s pointless because you obviously don’t care…

you sounds just like me before I grew up and realized the world didn’t revolve around my car…

CarsAreFunToo
CarsAreFunToo
7 years ago
Reply to  Spiffy

Unfortunately no, the world does not revolve around my car. That would be pretty sweet though. And if I didn’t care, I wouldn’t take the time to read all these comments, nor write my own. You sound like the two perma-stoned characters in PCU: “This is hard. Let’s just give up.”

John Stephens
John Stephens
7 years ago

I commute up and down Vancouver/Williams. I’ve felt that since the road diet, Williams (on my home commute 5pm-ish) has gotten better. I also notice the traffic (cars) are jammed up all the time, which makes me wonder if those drivers who were in a hurry before found a new way home.

Steve B
7 years ago
Reply to  John Stephens

I concur. Speeding on Williams has become less of an issue thanks to the re-design.

Rob Chapman
Rob Chapman
7 years ago
Reply to  John Stephens

They are jammed up on N Interstate now. I think it’s kind of funny except for the reduced air quality around here.

Pete
Pete
7 years ago

KristenT
It doesn’t matter how safely you are executing an Idaho Stop, it still violates Oregon law. You should be doing an Oregon Stop. Isn’t that what you have your awesome muscles for?Recommended 2

Well, that’s a nice fantasy. The reality is, very very few cyclists come to a complete stop at four-ways and neither should they. The law and common sense as it pertains to cycling don’t always intercede.

Asking the police to enforce traffic law on cars will probably backfire on cyclists.

Chris I
Chris I
7 years ago
Reply to  Pete

The reality is that NO ONE actually comes to a complete stop, unless they have to yield to someone already at the intersection. Just watch a busy 4-way stop intersection for a few minutes. No one stops unless they actually have to.

Spiffy
Spiffy
7 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

when I’m driving I come to a full complete stop every time…

when I’m biking I only stop if I need to…

I know that my motor vehicle is inherently dangerous and that my bicycle is not…

KYouell
7 years ago

CarsAreFunToo
If it’s safe for a bike to do it, then it’s safe for a car to as well.

No.

CarsAreFunToo
CarsAreFunToo
7 years ago
Reply to  KYouell

Yes. See reply comment above.

gutterbunnybikes
7 years ago

“It would not have been safe or prudent to overtake the bicyclists as I would have to either cut one of them off or stay in the oncoming lane until the next signal. Instead I just drove at the speed of the bikes which was around 18 mph.”

Am I wrong, or isn’t the speed limit 20 mph on that stretch of Clinton as it is on all Greenways. If that is the case, why was the author of the letter even contemplating passing the bicycle riders ahead of him?

Even contemplating passing in such a circumstance highlights the problem just as much as the accounting of obscene miss use of the roads s/he witnessed.

The author wouldn’t have contemplated passing a car at 18 mph, why would you do so it is someone on a bicycle?

John Lascurettes
7 years ago

The ongoing standard for Greenways is 20 mph. But it’s not a hard and fast rule, particularly for Greenways that were instituted before that standard was settled into. Also, sometimes PBOT has to jump through hoops legally speaking to get the speed lowered to 20. So there’s still a number of greenways, particularly the old ones, that are something above 20.

Psyfalcon
Psyfalcon
7 years ago

But Clinton isn’t a greenway!

John Lascurettes
7 years ago

Oh, but it is. It was simply designed when they were still called “bike boulevards”: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/46371

This plays exactly into my point that the older greenways (or bike boulevard) were not standardized to 20mph yet and most of those older ones have not been converted fully “up to code” of the more modern definition of the Greenways. Part of the change from “bike boulevard” to “greenway” was political in a sense (remove the word bike to avoid backlash), but the other part was to have a more holistic view of traffic calming on neighborhood streets.

Spiffy
Spiffy
7 years ago

Clinton is 25 mph west of 39th… Ladd Ave is also 25 mph…

they should have never been above 20 mph, ever…

kittens
kittens
7 years ago

A perfect storm of income inequality, gentrification, traffic congestion, lackadaisical enforcement, ruthless bike-baiting by Joe Rose and a general fear of change is brewing.

I fear for myself and others.

Psyfalcon
Psyfalcon
7 years ago

See, all this talk about how aggressive and fast Oregon drivers are? Portland drivers are the most docile drivers in the country.

Lowest speed limits in the west.

NJ-NY-CT-MA? Last time I was home I was told I was in Portland too long. I didn’t pass a truck doing 10 over on an interstate. They can merge though. Chicago? Texas? They’d have everyone doing 85 down I84.

Cheif
Cheif
7 years ago
Reply to  Psyfalcon

Time to redefine “home”..

Psyfalcon
Psyfalcon
7 years ago
Reply to  Cheif

You’ve never heard it in that context? “Going home for the holidays?”

Cheif
Cheif
7 years ago
Reply to  Psyfalcon

Maybe if you’re in college?

Rob Chapman
Rob Chapman
7 years ago

Does anybody know if the basic GoPro can capture plate numbers? I’m considering a GoPro/Fly6/Glock combo for peace of mind in the near future.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
7 years ago
Reply to  Rob Chapman

It depends on the amount of motion at the time the plate is in view. My old GP2 can capture license plates fine, as long as they are within about 15-20 feet and I can find a video frame without too much motion blur. I haven’t tried the higher frame rate because it uses so much more memory, but that might make it more likely to get a clear shot.

Rob Chapman
Rob Chapman
7 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

Thanks for the info. I’m hoping to avoid one of the $300 and up versions if I can help it.

VTRC
VTRC
7 years ago
Reply to  Rob Chapman

Monoprice has a camera they’re launching in July. I tend to like their stuff.

Adron Hall
7 years ago

If we had some decent diverters enforcement would be almost irrelevant.

Design, would fix the assholes that can’t wait 20 seconds and either A: go the speed limit or B: go just ever so slightly slower than the speed limit.