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Police and transportation bureaus team up for enforcement on SE Clinton tomorrow (2/10)

Posted by on February 9th, 2016 at 5:44 pm

SE Clinton traffic diversion project-6

Last month an officer jumped into harm’s way to
stop someone from driving the wrong way through
a recently installed semi-diverter on SE Clinton.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland will return to Southeast Clinton street for more traffic law enforcement tomorrow morning — one month after installing diverters aimed in calming down traffic. The last time they sent police officers to this area it was to deal with complaints about unsafe driving on what is supposed to be a neighborhood street that prioritizes cycling and walking.

They ended up pulling over 60 people and writing 35 citations for a variety of offenses. We heard several complaints from the community that the police officers assigned to the mission weren’t positioned in a way that allowed them to see the unsafe passing many people are concerned about. Now a lot has changed on Clinton since the Bureau of Transportation installed two new traffic diverters last month: one at SE 32nd and the other at 17th. While we’ve heard reports that biking conditions have improved on the street since the diverters went in, we have also heard that some people still drive dangerously through the diverter at 32nd, which is only a semi-diverter and leaves open the possibility of driving in a zig-zag through it.

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This time around PBOT says the enforcement action is specifically intended as part of their effort to, “To project to enhance the Clinton Neighborhood Greenway and make it more inviting for people who are walking and biking.” “The Portland City Council has also made a commitment to protect and enhance the city’s neighborhood greenways,” reads a statement about the action in reference to the Neighborhood Greenway report adopted by Council in August. This enforcement is also part of the City’s dedication to Vision Zero.

Here’s another excerpt from PBOT’s statement:

During the enforcement action, the Portland Police Bureau will be on the lookout for violations that threaten the safety of people walking and biking. These violations include people driving who violate “do not enter- except bicycles” sign, illegal and unsafe U-turns, and people driving vehicles (including scooters and motorcycles) through the new diverters. Police will also monitor stop sign compliance on streets surrounding Clinton, including the SE Woodward and 32nd Avenue intersection.

Portland’s neighborhood greenways are where people of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to bicycle, walk and play. As such, neighborhood greenways need to maintain low motor vehicle volumes and speeds, provide protected crossings at major intersections, and create an environment that encourages people of all ages to travel actively. Between SE 12th Avenue and SE Cesar Chavez Boulevard, traffic volumes currently exceed the upper acceptable limit of 2,000 cars per day by 200 to 1,000 cars. Much of this traffic is believed to be non-local cut-through traffic that should be using either SE Division Street or SE Powell Boulevard.

Tomorrow’s enforcement action will happen on Clinton between SE 12th and 50th during the morning and evening rush hours (7-9:30 am and 3-6:30 pm).

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Opus the PoetpaikialaAdam H.RMHampeljeff Recent comment authors
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Adam
Subscriber

Watch out. Last time they pulled over a few people riding bikes. I expect the same to happen this time.

Jonas Grumby
Guest
Jonas Grumby

I like the diverters and think they will prove beneficial in the long run. And while I support the enforcement actions, dangerous behavior will continue until traffic enforcement is a continuous process across the city rather than scheduled, focused events like this one.

J_R
Guest
J_R

Please, please, tell me they will at least try having officers riding bikes for a little while.

PaulaF
Guest
PaulaF

I sent a note to PBOT earlier to create a “coned off” area on the left side of the barrier at 34th for people biking, since there is construction in that area that blocks the intended bike pathway.

wsherrett
Guest
wsherrett

I work as a traffic flagger, was working on Clinton from Cesar Chavez to 36th Monday – I saw the same driver turn West onto Clinton from C.C. twice within an hour. The only way to stop willful violation of these traffic controls is with an approach that is more intensive and less predictable than spot enforcement actions. If something similar to the radar-photo vans used for speed enforcement were deployed randomly on bike boulevards, I think you would see a marked reduction in violations.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Why isn’t the diverter at 32nd a full one as well?

You can’t argue it’s “because the emergency services have to be able to get through”, because using that logic, the full diverter at 17th would not have been installed either?

Adam
Subscriber

I saw one cop on a motorbike this morning around 8:00 pulling over a driver.

Doug Klotz
Guest
Doug Klotz

I was out there this morning observing. There was also an officer in an unmarked car. I saw him citing a car driver, and also citing a motorcyclist. Both of these were on Clinton west of 32nd, so I presume they’d cut through the diverter.

A motorcycle officer was stationed on Woodward at around 32nd. He was going after drivers who rolled through stop signs, and who were speeding on Woodward.

Standing at 31st and Woodward, I saw a lot of drivers coming north from the Powell vicinity, and then heading west on Woodward or Brooklyn and then cutting west to 26th.

I saw only one person do a u-turn around the diverter at 17th. However you could see a line of drivers heading north on 17th from Powell, who then turned west on Woodward or Brooklyn, and then went north on 16th to Clinton, and west from there on Clinton. Quite a backup of cars, and a fair amount of unsafe passing of cyclists on Clinton between 16th and 12th. I did not see an officer in that vicinity.

I did not get east of 34th, so no report from there.

Paul Atkinson
Guest
Paul Atkinson

When I passed the diverter at 17th this morning around 8:00 there was a motorcycle cop monitoring the intersection.

While nothing happened on my ride though, I hope she could see / monitor the intersection at 16th and Clinton as well (she was facing west). That’s where I occasionally still see conflicts, as drivers trying to bypass the diverter sometimes move aggressively.

Josh G
Guest

Biked through Clinton diverter at 32nd about 9:10 a.m. Didn’t see any police, but maybe there was a motorcyle officer well hidden still, or unmarked police car.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

I have recently noticed an alarming uptick in motorists making u-turns in intersections in traffic. I have no problem with people doing this in a traffic-free area, but doing it in traffic is dangerous.

shirtsoff
Guest
shirtsoff

I just biked through Clinton from 21st Ave to 52nd Ave this evening around 4:30 PM. Perhaps they were will hidden but I didn’t notice a police presence at all.

Doug Klotz
Guest
Doug Klotz

We went to 16th and Clinton, to Taggert and east. Then up Clinton to 33rd. Went to Woodward and watched there, went east to Clinton. This was between 5:15 and 6:00. Did not see any cops.

TheCat
Subscriber
TheCat

I turned came down 34th at 7am onto Clinton westbound and saw about 4 motorcycle cops and 2 unmarked cars. I guess this explains it.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

The PortlandPolice twitter feed helpfully warned drivers about this. So helpful.

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

BB
Easy, throw on a camera, an e assist and a set of red and blue flashing lights just like an unmarked car. If the person doesn’t stop they’ve not only threatened a cop with their car they’ve attempted to evade arrest as well.
Recommended 0

I would generally not like the police to start using plainclothes officers and unmarked cars to pull over citizens for traffic citations. When someone is behind me and then ordering me to pull over, roll down my window, get out of my car – I prefer not to wonder if he is actually a police officer, or a carjacker who bought a blue light off eBay.

Adam
Subscriber

So how many people cycling did PPB pull over?

RMHampel
Guest
RMHampel

Beware unintended consequences – I’ve noticed a significant increase in AM cut through traffic on Woodward since these diverters went in. Next step, someone gets hurt by a motorist doing 35 down the narrow parts of Woodward. I sincerely hope it doesn’t happen, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

Opus the Poet
Guest

How many cars were pulled over in this operation?