City releases draft of Vision Zero Action Plan

Posted by on September 14th, 2016 at 10:36 pm

Redesigning big streets is a major thrust of the plan.

Over one year after Portland City Council unanimously supported a commitment to Vision Zero, the task force assembled to help lead us there has released its action plan.

The 36-page document (PDF), still in draft form, contains the highest level of details ever shared by the Portland Bureau of Transportation about how they’ll completely eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our streets by 2025.

The main thrusts of the plan are equitable implementation, using data to drive decision-making, and holding the city accountable for its progress (or lack thereof).

One thing not prominently featured in the plan is the thing many people think should be the highest priority: more police enforcement.

PBOT is not hiding from this decision to de-emphasize enforcement. Here’s how they address it:

The enforcement action in this plan are limited in order to reduce the possibility of racial profiling and disparate economic impacts.

That statement follows a major shift in thinking about enforcement from national Vision Zero experts and racial justice activists. They make the case that the idea of “more police presence” can mean safety to some communities and fear and discrimination in others.

This reduction of prominence for enforcement comes despite the fact that of all the deadly traffic crashes between 2004 and 2013, 91 percent of them were due to speed, impairment or dangerous behaviors.

Where bike crashes happen.

PBOT is also tying the need for safer street designs directly to “communities of concern” — that is, places with a higher rate of low income residents, seniors, people of color, people who are disabled, and so on.

Map of “communities of concern” based on TriMet’s equity index.

The action plan contains some strong words about the need for better street designs:

Streets should discourage dangerous driving by design… In areas of Portland where streets were built to move cars efficiently, they must be redesigned to move people safely.

All the actions in the plan regarding safer designs are focused on the city’s high crash corridor network — big and fast streets that have higher than average rates of deaths and injuries. 50 percent of Portland’s fatal crashes occur on just 7 percent of our streets.

When it comes to specific actions to address dangerous street designs, PBOT says they’ll begin capital projects on two sections and five intersections on high crash streets every year.

Where the money for these projects will come from remains to be seen. The action plan includes no budget or funding commitment.

PBOT also says they’re going to create a multi-agency fatal response team that will analyze how crashes happened and how to prevent them.

PBOT feels this plan will guide them toward our 2025 Vision Zero goal. “All too often,” reads one passage, “we as a community have accepted this [more traffic deaths than homicides each year] as an unfortunate but inevitable cost of moving around the city. Vision Zero rejects that assumption. With this action plan, Portland makes a clear statement that the cost is too high — and directs attention, commitment and resources to ending traffic violence in the city.”

The next step for the plan is to draft a final version and then get it passed by City Council sometime next month.

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

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204 Comments
  • Avatar
    Pat Franz September 14, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    It would be interesting to know the per person mile and location stats to go along with the list of high crash streets. I myself won’t ride any of them any more except for Terwilliger. Cross them, sure, you have to, but ride along them? No thanks. I find other ways.

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    Eric Leifsdad September 14, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    I hope their analysis team will start with past fatal wrecks rather than waiting for more. At least they’ve identified the pattern of a wide open road as dangerous. So, how many plans do we need before we go put some stuff in the street?

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      rick September 15, 2016 at 8:44 am

      Yes

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      paikiala September 20, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      Eric,
      Not sure what you mean. How do you think they arrived at the 90%, other than historical documents?
      You might also want to rethink your statement in light of the fact that where a fatal crash occurs is random, with many factors involved. It would be more constructive to focus on typology, things fatal crashes have in common with each other, or specific factors of one fatal that are common elsewhere and for which the same fixes could be systemically installed.

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        Eric Leifsdad September 21, 2016 at 2:24 pm

        Yes. So, let’s get on with putting more stuff in the street.

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    endo September 14, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    This is such obvious wallpaper, it looks great but all it’s doing is attempting to hide the terrible problem underneath.

    Put another way: if they can figure out a way to design a street that prevents a drunk driving for killing cyclists I’ll happily jump on board. This just sounds like a program to allow people to drunk drive with impunity.

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      matt September 15, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      If people are going to drink and drive. Let’s do our best to design our streets so that the only people they can harm are themselves.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 10:54 pm

        Yes! That was how we did it in the 1950s, when we built subdivisions with really wide streets, so that even a fairly inebriated driver could make it home “safely”!

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      paikiala September 20, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      E,
      Vision Zero is not just about street design. Anyone who thinks one silver bullet exists to solve the problem hasn’t been listening. Vision Zero can only be achieved with a multi-pronged attack. Better roads, better road users, better laws, better enforcement, better adjudication, better vehicles, better emergency care and response.

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    S. Brian Willson September 14, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    The most important policy is to make it very difficult for cars to drive fast on city streets – lots of physical barriers in the streets making it impossible to drive fast, supplemented with physically protected bike lanes and pedestrian walkways with cement barriers or potted plants. Physical design literally obstructing speed is critical.

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      rick September 15, 2016 at 8:46 am

      That is greatly needed on SW Terwilliger.

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      paikiala September 20, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      Brian,
      Can you name some of these physical features?

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. September 14, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    This plan looks promising. At the recent Hawthorne safety meeting, Director Treat stated that she and her organization are taking Vision Zero very seriously, and this is evidence to support that statement. The line about designing streets for people rather than cars is particularly striking. I hope that there will not be any hi-viz/helmet campaigns as part of this effort.

    Great on PBOT for de-emphasizing enforcement and officially recognizing the issue of racial profiling. It would not be Vision Zero if the efforts resulted in more people getting killed by police during routine traffic stops.

    Not seeing any concessions to the typical offenders (business, freight, parking, etc), but we have yet to learn the details, so I’ll save judgement until them. I remain cautiously optimistic.

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      Eric Leifsdad September 14, 2016 at 11:51 pm

      We’re going to need plenty of hi-viz foam caps for all of those bollards.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 11:52 am

        Better than invisible bollards, no?

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    buildwithjoe September 14, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Nobody trusts PBOT or Treat or Novick who are to blame for not doing cheap and highly effective fixes the last 2 years. All talk and near zero action. Speed cameras can’t be blamed for racial profiling. The plan is too weak on cameras and the 20 is plenty vision. The plan could fully support citizen DIY projects and wave a permit fee completely.

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      paikiala September 20, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Joe,
      a human being still looks at the photos and decides who to process.

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    Vera September 15, 2016 at 12:11 am

    Why is Barbur not on the list?

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      Kyle Banerjee September 15, 2016 at 5:52 am

      Perhaps because there are not that many crashes. Barbur moves right along, but the conflict points aren’t that bad and the total number of cyclists on this street is relatively low.

      You’ll notice Columbia is also not on this list and it has some of the worst riding in town.

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        B. Carfree September 15, 2016 at 5:14 pm

        Yes, the number of cyclists is very low on Barbur and thus the number of dead former cyclists is also low. You’ve hit on the magic formula: make things so unpleasant for cyclists and pedestrians that they don’t show up and you can eliminate their deaths. Clearly, ODOT and many other transportation departments already implement this vision.

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. September 15, 2016 at 5:20 pm

          This is also the same argument people make against marked crosswalks. “Don’t paint a crosswalk and no one will cross there, eliminating all deaths at that corner!”. It’s equally as absurd.

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            B. Carfree September 15, 2016 at 9:25 pm

            Eugene’s former traffic engineer, (unlicensed) Tom Larsen, actually said to me, “I’ll agree to mark some crosswalks when you can show me the research that says marking them increases pedestrian safety.” Obviously, there is no such research since very few people will cross at unmarked crosswalks and therefore very very few people get killed at those crossings. He knew that just as well as we do.

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              paikiala September 20, 2016 at 12:58 pm

              B,
              The 2005 Zegeer report tells you where marking crosswalks is unlikely to decrease safety.

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        Mike Sanders September 16, 2016 at 12:12 pm

        And both are maintained by ODOT. I’ve always wondered about that crosswalk across Barbur at Capitol Hwy., which is right next to a major transit station. Supposedly the longest crosswalk in town. That spot cries out for a ped / bike tunnel under Barbur or an enclosed bridge over it. Preferably the former rather than the latter. NE Sandy Blvd. is also too wide and too fast.

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          paikiala September 20, 2016 at 12:59 pm

          Mike,
          People won’t use a bridge and feel unsafe in a tunnel. No real point in wasting tax dollars for something people won’t use, particularly if there is no issues at the crossing (actual crashes) or if surface paths can be improved for 10% of the cost.

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      canuck September 15, 2016 at 6:57 am

      Aren’t Barbur and Columbia are state highways? And as such they are under ODOT.

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        Spiffy September 15, 2016 at 8:22 am

        Powell is also a state highway and it’s listed…

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        David Hampsten September 15, 2016 at 11:17 am

        Powell, Lombard, & 82nd are listed, and all are state highways.

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      Noel September 15, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Barbur is on the overall High Crash Network, just not the Bike High Crash Network. See page 22 of the overall plan. This plan includes ODOT roads if they are within Portland city limits

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        Kyle Banerjee September 15, 2016 at 10:36 am

        One of the great ironies is that I personally feel safer riding some roads in the high crash network than other areas that get little or no attention. My personal experience is that drivers tend to pay much better attention in these areas.

        I believe numbers can reveal useful things, but I really don’t like the idea of letting numbers control things too much. Two things that have an enormous impact on the numbers are how many cyclists actually take certain routes and how those cyclists ride. Routes that present actual challenges have relatively few cyclists and the few that are there are better with traffic so they appear safer from a statistical point of view than they actually are.

        One thing I see too much of that I consider a major detriment to safety as well as an extreme disservice to everyone as well as cycling is what I see as failure to encourage good riding practices or even actively encouraging dangerous behaviors. This leads to more cyclists getting hurt or worse, deployment of infrastructure in ways that benefits fewer riders than it should, and discourages people from starting cycling in first place.

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. September 15, 2016 at 11:21 am

          One of the great ironies is that I personally feel safer riding some roads in the high crash network than other areas that get little or no attention. My personal experience is that drivers tend to pay much better attention in these areas.

          That sounds great for you, but many of us (myself included) simply flat out refuse to to ride on those streets. If I absolutely have to, I’ll be on the sidewalk.

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            Kyle Banerjee September 15, 2016 at 11:54 am

            You realize that sidewalks are significantly less safe unless you move near walking speeds?

            When you’re on the sidewalk, drivers on roadways/alleys/driveways/etc don’t expect and cannot see you. Plus, drivers on the road won’t be looking for you. To make matters worse, your ability to see them isn’t so good.

            There are a few exceptions, but in most areas, sidewalk riding is a great way to get t-boned and hooked on a regular basis.

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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. September 15, 2016 at 1:34 pm

              I find it hard to believe that riding a bike on 82nd Avenue or Outer Division is safer than riding on the sidewalk of those streets. Especially since I average about 8 mph uphill and 15 mph downhill.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 1:35 pm

                I’m confident the pedestrians agree with you.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. September 15, 2016 at 3:50 pm

                I have never once hit a pedestrian because I ride close to walking speed when on the sidewalk. Also worth noting that there is in fact quite a bit of bike traffic on the Outer Division and 82nd Av sidewalks, so I am clearly not the only one who feels this way.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 3:53 pm

                How many times have you been hit by a car on your bike?

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. September 15, 2016 at 3:54 pm

                Two.

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              soren September 15, 2016 at 3:33 pm

              your claims that sidewalks are less safe is unsupported. do you have some evidence to back up your claim?

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                Kyle Banerjee September 16, 2016 at 4:53 am

                This is not new information and has been widely been extensively documented for many years.

                My experience is it’s a total waste of time to provide information to people who use facts only to bolster preconceived notions rather than to inform opinion.

                But since someone who sees your post might actually believe it, all I’d say is check Google. If you just want to check one reasonably decent and easy to digest source, try http://www.bikexprt.com/bikepol/facil/sidepath/sidecrash.htm

                BTW, I’ve noticed a high correlation between people who believe riding sidewalks is unsafe and those who believe riding against traffic is safer because you can see the cars coming at you. That is also untrue.

                With regards to Adam’s question about a few specific locations, there are places where a sidewalk is probably safer. The sections of 82nd that I’ve ridden probably fall into this category. No shoulder and lane butts into curb, high car speeds, good visibility so it’s easier to guard against getting hooked and t-boned, and he rides slowly. But in most areas, it’s not a good idea.

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                soren September 16, 2016 at 9:00 am

                your citations are amusing — the “n” are in the single digits or teens and were cherry-picked by a famous proponent of VC cycling. in one case the “study” was conducted by a local bike club.

                To provide some context: A study published in the journal of the international transportation engineers (Wachtel and Lewiston, ITE Journal, September 1994, pages 30-35) found that riding on the sidewalks with the direction of traffic was safer than riding on the roadway:

                Riding on sidewalk with traffic

                “n” on sidewalk: 656
                “n” on roadway: 1897
                adjusted risk ratio: 0.9

                http://www.bicyclinglife.com/Library/riskfactors.htm

                PS: I am not and have never been a proponent of riding against the flow of traffic.

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                Kyle Banerjee September 17, 2016 at 10:05 am

                But you’re suggesting that as a general rule, sidewalk riding is a good idea for most cyclists?

                Encouraging behaviors that get people hurt really sets things back. Riding on sidewalks except under certain types of conditions is more dangerous. You’ll have a hard time finding people who actually ride who think otherwise.

                But it’s a BP tradition to stoke fears held by people who don’t really ride much, whether or not they have much basis in reality.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 17, 2016 at 10:07 am

                And, I would add, is it a good idea for most pedestrians?

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              JeffS September 15, 2016 at 3:54 pm

              The frightened victims of BP will never agree with you.

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            Dave Thomson September 18, 2016 at 4:07 pm

            Thanks for illustrating why giving statistics to people who don’t understand stastics isn’t helpful.

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    J.E. September 15, 2016 at 1:52 am

    There are plenty of ways to enforce the streets in a color-blind manner. Cameras, for one. Addressing parking violations (parking over the crosswalk, in a bike lane, etc) for another, as the driver is usually not in the car at the time. Then there’s the equitable Finnish approach of calculating their speeding ticket amounts on the offender’s income level, which could be applied to any number of different traffic citations. What’s great about traffic enforcement is that unlike infrastructure, it’s the street safety program that if set up properly will pay for itself directly (rather than indirectly through improved economic activity, property values, etc). If PBOT was rolling, we could perhaps dismiss enforcement and focus on education and infrastructure. But in PBOT’s current financial state, we need all the help we can get from all departments.

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      Spiffy September 15, 2016 at 8:24 am

      getting the parking bureau to do their job is like getting ODOT to make safe streets… they won’t ticket anybody that’s not highly visible and knew they violated a parking law…

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 11:56 am

      Law enforcement should NEVER be seen as a revenue generator.

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        J.E. September 15, 2016 at 3:15 pm

        Revenue generator? No. But it can at least recoup some of its immediate costs. I bet it could break even easily if we started fining people amounts high enough to actually deter dangerous behaviors like speeding and cell phone use.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 3:30 pm

          More than that: Policing decisions and revenue issues need to be completely divorced. There has been a lot in the news lately about what happens when these concerns get mixed. In short, nothing good.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 3:35 pm

            I want to be clear that I am a supporter of increased traffic enforcement.

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    Kyle Banerjee September 15, 2016 at 5:48 am

    The devil is in the details. I’ve ridden every one of those streets and am unconvinced that high numbers of crashes are necessarily associated with safety problems — or that some that have lower numbers of crashes aren’t much more dangerous. Much better to focus on more specific areas and specific problems.

    Most of those roads contain areas where some areas are easier than others. Yet the complaints I hear seem to be about the easy areas. For example, Broadway once you get well into NE has no bike lanes and can be a bit tricky but everyone whines about the sections downtown where traffic crawls. Though I see conflicts there just about every day, I would describe almost all of them as self inflicted as well as too slow to be a serious safety issue — which is why the raw numbers for serious events is so low even if the number for all events is high.

    On another note, the reason some of these streets have smaller/bigger numbers reflects the number of cyclists on them. Consider MLK. A lot of that road is brutal. No bike lane, genuinely fast traffic when it’s not gummed up, plus some sections have streetcar tracks on the right. It’s on this list, but I rarely see other cyclists on it when I’m riding it.

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      soren September 15, 2016 at 8:57 am

      One approach towards vision zero for cycling would be to have the city and PBOT admit that Broadway and MLK are fine and that the real problem is the clueless inexperienced cyclists who do not use proper VC technique and do not wear hi-viz/helments/tube-socks. With this kind of active transportation policy we could see a significant decrease in serious injury accidents and fatalities by depressing cycling mode share to 0.1%! For example, it’s been years since someone died on a bike in Topeka Kansas. When is Portland going to follow Kansas’ lead?

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        Eric Leifsdad September 15, 2016 at 9:25 am

        ODOT is already on-board with this approach.

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    Cycledadpdx September 15, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Does this cover how street redesigns will be paid for? Does this money come from local/ state/ Federal?

    Where does the manpower for enforcement come from? The PPD is already understaffed and can barely enforce livability issues. Where is that money coming from?

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      paikiala September 20, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      C,
      The PPB budget hasn’t been shrinking, just their payroll. Poor succession planning is the reason for the lack of personnel, not budget cutbacks.

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    Adam September 15, 2016 at 7:42 am

    I like the anatomy of a dangerous street diagram they show.

    However. One thing they don’t show that I feel contributes horrifically to a dangerous street is wide turning radiuses.

    I like streets with narrow, tight ones, because traffic is forced to slow down before making a 90 degree turn.

    Compare that to roads with huge turning radiuses. Traffic turns right without so much as even slowing down, let alone looking for pedestrians.

    A GREAT example if this is all the new streets they’ve constructed around OMSI. Despite having a totally blank slate to work from, the City if Portland STILL for some reason that is unfathomable to me decided to design all the new roads there with wide turning radiuses.

    In addition to traffic flying round the corners of these roads without so much as even tapping the brakes, the wider turns also COMPLETELY and NEEDLESSLY increase the crossing distance for pedestrians. I would guess they double it.

    So a pedestrian can feel twice as unsafe, for twice as long, with vehicles travelling at twice the speed, while they’re in the crosswalk.

    Thanks PBOT!!!!!

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      Adam September 15, 2016 at 7:44 am

      And to all the naysayers who insist they are required: No they are not.

      That’s what advanced stop bars painted on the road in the oncoming lane are for.

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        Let's Active September 15, 2016 at 9:10 am

        They were designed that way based on radius needs for trucks. Given the industrial activity in the area, freight concerns and the City Freight Plan was likely the basis for the decisions. It’s a tradeoff, like it or not.

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          Eric Leifsdad September 15, 2016 at 9:20 am

          Trucks can roll over or straddle many things that would stop or deter smaller vehicles. We could also have removable or retractable bollards. Many of these places don’t really need big truck access, or only need it very rarely. So rarely that “something you need a forklift to move” should be a category we consider in our trade-offs. Trade-offs are made based on priorities.

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            Adam September 15, 2016 at 10:41 am

            @ Eric Leifsdad: PBOT actually experimented with truck corners a few years’ back.

            I can’t remember what they are officially called. But basically they are a two-tier corner curb. Regular traffic turns tightly, but trucks that are big and have a raised chassis can roll up onto the regular curb, and over the truck curb instead.

            Anyone remember what they are called?

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              nuovorecord September 16, 2016 at 2:48 pm

              I believe “mountable curb” is the term you’re looking for.

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              paikiala September 20, 2016 at 1:04 pm

              A,
              Corner truck islands. First test at 11th and Clay. Second version at N St Louis and Ivanhoe.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 20, 2016 at 1:17 pm

                I thought those were precast pillows, to make camping in those locations more comfortable.

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          Adam September 15, 2016 at 10:38 am

          @ Let’s Active: Right. But a truck does not need a wider intersection to turn. It just needs ONCOMING traffic waiting at the intersection to be stopped further back. Like I said in my comment, that’s why you have advance stop bars.

          Have you ever noticed when a truck is turning a corner, the traffic waiting in the oncoming lane has to shift into reverse and back up a few feet?

          That’s why the advance stop bars are in place.

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            Let's Active September 15, 2016 at 3:42 pm

            OK, I see what you are getting at. I’d like to look at some designs that have the stop bar placed back. Do you have a sense of how far back they need to be (compared to the standard stop bar) to accommodate a steady stream of large truck traffic?

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              Carrie September 16, 2016 at 12:22 pm

              A place to see this in action (and watch car drivers violate at > 50% of the light signals) is the intersection of SE 13th and SE Tacoma. They had to push the stop bar back on SE 13th to accomodate turning buses.

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            paikiala September 20, 2016 at 1:05 pm

            Adam,
            Depends on the road turning from and road turning onto.

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      MaxD September 15, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Agreed Adam! PBOT just rebuilt a bunch of curb ramps along SE Sandy between 12th and 7th but didn’t do anything to address crossing distance or angle- a real missed opportunity.

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        Adam September 15, 2016 at 10:43 am

        I think PDXLoud should go in, and put some traffic cones a few feet out from the curbs to tighten the turn radius there. Problem solved.

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        paikiala September 20, 2016 at 1:06 pm

        Max,
        A curb ramp is $2k. A curb extension is at least $10k per block face per crossing. Curb ramps are a civil rights requirement. Curb extensions are not.

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      Kyle Banerjee September 15, 2016 at 10:41 am

      I don’t think narrow turning radiuses are a good idea.

      WAY too many cyclists in Portland pull up on the right of large vehicles, either because they are unaware of how large vehicles work or because they’re willing to bet the driver is watching for them. This is extremely dangerous.

      Wider radiuses result in higher speeds and longer crossing times, but getting rolled over is the greater threat and wider radiuses also give better visibility.

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        Eric Leifsdad September 15, 2016 at 11:54 am

        No. Just.. what? Tighter turns are slower. Vulnerable users will need an escape route. If the curb radius is smaller than the vehicle’s inner wheels can track it actually requires the driver to leave more space rather than squeezing right up to the curb as it follows a bigger radius. People get run over by semi trailers while standing on the sidewalk too, so let’s just get rid of the sidewalks.

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          Kyle Banerjee September 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm

          You hyperbole isn’t very convincing. To squash a ped on the sidewalk, a truck would need to take out any street signs and poles at the corner and the ped would have to not move. How about a few examples of this since you seem to think it’s a problem?

          Turns need to be designed for the roads and vehicles that use them and there are significant disadvantages to forcing vehicles into other traffic lanes (possibly oncoming ones) to make turns.

          The problem isn’t speed on the turns. If you get run over at 5mph, you will still die. If you are next to a large turning vehicle, in many places, your escape route is jumping over the curb. Larger radius turns do allow vehicles to turn in closer, but they also provide more escape options.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 1:23 pm

            I disagree on this point — roads shouldn’t be designed for whatever vehicles people choose to drive, the vehicles should be selected based on the roads they need to navigate.

            I think we should build our streets to serve people, and if someone needs to make deliveries/pickups on that street, they should use an appropriate vehicle for that context.

            I wouldn’t follow this to an absurd endpoint, but I don’t feel that our city streets need to accommodate 53′ trucks, or whatever those really big ones are.

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              Eric Leifsdad September 15, 2016 at 2:15 pm

              How can you take a family of 4 out to dinner or bring home the groceries without a 53ft truck?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 3:36 pm

                I recommend a 54ft truck.

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                q September 16, 2016 at 1:04 pm

                I second 54. 53 seems odd.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 16, 2016 at 1:08 pm

                That’s why it’s the prime reason for adopting that length.

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                q September 16, 2016 at 1:13 pm

                At least it’s not 288′ long. That would be two gross.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 16, 2016 at 2:51 pm

                You win.

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                rachel b September 17, 2016 at 1:48 pm

                I disagree, Kyle–and I live on SE 26th. It’s no Macadam, but the difference here is that many houses are smack next to the road–very little buffer. And so BIG trucks are pretty much on your doorstep. Macadam is not a residential street. SE 26th is.

                I commented in full yesterday before you left your last post–it’s awaiting moderation. p.s…I don’t have a car.

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              rachel b September 16, 2016 at 12:04 am

              “…roads shouldn’t be designed for whatever vehicles people choose to drive, the vehicles should be selected based on the roads they need to navigate.”

              YES! Hence, get the multitude of *$#%ing semis and heavy construction and delivery trucks off SE 26th Avenue!!! I’m well aware that ODOT wants to get rid of the bike lanes solely for the purpose of making the road (26th) fit the trucks. Right now, they can’t even fit in the lane!

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              Kyle Banerjee September 16, 2016 at 5:02 am

              Yeah, no need to move fire trucks, moving vans, and the like in residential areas.

              What I find curious is what appears to be widespread concern for taking large trucks in residential areas. There is no incentive to take large vehicles in these areas without a legitimate reason. Many roads are absolutely too small to let two of them pass or even a car and one of them pass.

              The only places where I routinely encounter heavy truck traffic is near industrial areas.

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                rachel b September 16, 2016 at 10:32 am

                Do you live near or on SE 26th, Kyle? I have for a long time, with one gap. The traffic has changed drastically in recent years. Nobody begrudges an emergency vehicle coming through–certainly not me. And those occasions are (thankfully) few and far between. My gripe is with heavy freight traffic, which has increased exponentially here with the expansion of Brooklyn Yard, and UPRR’s big, lucrative uptick in train freight traffic (i.e., traffic from here to Chicago doubled in a single year). Does UPRR’s pursuit of profit count as “a legitimate reason” for the sudden, huge increase in freight trafiic and the accompanying diesel emissions on SE neighborhood streets?

                My understanding is that freight traffic (UPRR) used to be prohibited on SE 26th between Holgate and Division. The road is simply too narrow to accommodate it and this is primarily a residential street, with higher than average foot and bicycle traffic and a school, teeming with ambulatory students. 😉

                When UPRR moved there main operations to Brooklyn Yard–without consulting neighborhoods–they knew the location lacked good access to freeways. This meant they would “need” to introduce scads of heavy freight semis onto inadequate neighborhood streets. Is that ok? Because it’s a “legitimate reason”? I don’t think so, though that’s certainly the tack ODOT and PBOT seem to be taking.

                Yes– many roads are “too small to let two of them pass or even a car and one of them pass.” Including SE 26th.

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                Kyle Banerjee September 16, 2016 at 4:32 pm

                I don’t live near SE 26th now, but I used to and am familiar with what you’re talking about and agree with your basic assessment.

                That road is arguably too small for such traffic but the basic problem is that movement in that entire area of town, especially any kind of large traffic is hopeless.There are other areas of town with similar problems.

                In all honesty, I don’t know what the best thing to do is. If I were D̶o̶n̶a̶l̶d̶ ̶T̶r̶u̶m̶p̶ dictator for life, I’d be tempted to limit street parking to limited metered spaces which could only be used for a few hours. People would have to park on their own property or rent spaces in lots/garages the same as practically everyone who lives in an apartment or condo has to. At the least, that would free up movement.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 16, 2016 at 4:45 pm

                I strongly disagree with your proposed solution. 26th already suffers from high speeds, in part because the bike lanes make it feel wider than it is. Removing parking to make the street wider will only make the problem worse.

                I do not support, nay strongly oppose, taking any action to further enable UPRR’s abuse of the local street network. I would go further, and prohibit them from using Holgate to move containers from one side of Brooklyn yards to the other, or, at the very least, assess a toll for each truck that crosses that bridge.

                “Freeing up movement” would be bad for the neighborhood.

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                rachel b September 16, 2016 at 6:58 pm

                Agree absolutely with HK, here, re: SE 26th Avenue: ““Freeing up movement” would be bad for the neighborhood.”

                This is exactly what ODOT and PBOT–who has basically ceded SE 26th Avenue to ODOT, wimping out and agreeing to have the bike lanes removed, “kinda sorta, sigh, well, what are we gonna do?”–want! They want to move freight on SE 26th. With 20th speedbumped and 11th and 12th heavily compromised by (oh, the irony!) train and MAX traffic, they can now argue “We HAVE to use SE 26th Avenue! What are we supposed to DO?” SE 26th’s burden is heavy.

                This aggravates me, worries me and fills me with impotent rage, because it seems to be working, that ODOT/UPRR/PBOT line. Every time SE 26th Avenue–which was not that long ago slated to be a Green Street w/ enhanced and improved bike lanes in both directions and parking removed and trees ‘n’ more bioswales and crosswalks and traffic calming and stuff–is talked about now, it’s treated like the ugly N-S traffic dumping ground stepchild of SE. From Belle of the Ball to Dumped. And why? I suspect some pretty serious thumb screws, applied by our dear and all-powerful UPRR.

                Anyway–if they get their way and SE 26th is widened, this already speedalicious avenue will become even more of a nightmare. And all the while, more and more people walk, bike, stroll and caper about here. And–as I mentioned before–SCHOOL. SCHOOL. SCHOOL. Think of the children! THAT’s how bad things are for SE 26th, right there–we have a school, and children all over this damned street. And it DOESN’T MATTER. Freight trumps all! Children, neighbors, oldsters, babies, dogs, cats, and most of all, safety and the safe (and relatively pollution-free) enjoyment of our neighborhood.

                Such a potential knock-out of an avenue–it really is so pretty, you know, and such an amazing location. What a pity it went from future glorious Green Street to Ugh.

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                Kyle Banerjee September 17, 2016 at 5:39 am

                They might be a special case, but there are a couple common attitudes I remember from living there that I disagree with. The first is that traffic in the area is particularly dangerous when it’s quite easy overall. The second is this idea that people who live in a neighborhood can treat/restrict public roads as if they are private property.

                I totally get why people don’t want a lot of traffic go by their homes. But as someone who has only lived on large busy streets except when I was in SE I don’t a lot of sympathy for those who think they should be able to use public resources for private storage and direct everything they don’t like on others. Most people here who complain about trucks, speed, noise, whatever have no idea what life on an actual busy street is like. Try living on MLK or Macadam which I have. Not only are these streets themselves busy, but they directly connect with other fast heavily trafficked streets. Many people live in areas that are genuinely busy, noisy, and/or tricky to navigate. The resources to make things more livable seem disproportionately directed to those who already have it better than everyone else.

                With regards to 26th, I don’t think it’s that bad. But if we take it as granted that it is, there are a lot of ways of moving a bike in that area on pretty quiet streets but vehicular and stuff traffic is hopeless. I get around almost exclusively by bicycle and running, but I don’t pretend for a second that there aren’t needs that require other types of traffic to have reasonable movement.

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                rachel b September 17, 2016 at 1:49 pm

                Crap–this lodged in the wrong place (above). Sorry for the repeat, but:

                I disagree, Kyle–and I live on SE 26th. It’s no Macadam, but the difference here is that many houses are smack next to the road–very little buffer. And so BIG trucks are pretty much on your doorstep. Macadam is not a residential street. SE 26th is.

                I commented in full yesterday before you left your last post–it’s awaiting moderation. p.s…I don’t have a car.

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                Kyle Banerjee September 17, 2016 at 6:56 pm

                I get what your saying, particularly if you live on 26th. I believe that if movement weren’t so hosed in the area and practically all traffic weren’t directed down just a few streets (26th being one of them), your situation might not be so miserable.

                I see two problems. One is that the streets are tiny and density keeps increasing. The second is there will be people who need to move through areas, just as they do elsewhere. Unfortunately, I can’t see how this isn’t going to continue to get much worse.

                It does seem that when large numbers of trucks (or any kind of vehicle) can be attributable to a single source, that source should pay costs proportionate to infrastructure improvements that can reasonably be attributed to new demands they place that strain/exceed capacity.

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                Kyle Banerjee September 18, 2016 at 5:29 am

                The trick in these tight areas that could use more infrastructure is where the space would come from. Condemning land is super expensive and is very hard on the people that it affects most directly.

                But so long as growth continues to occur, something has to give because the problem won’t go away. Sometimes the best option is not so great.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      Adam – I am totally on board with the wide-turn radius issue. But where near OMSI do they have any impact at all on crossing distances?

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        MaxD September 15, 2016 at 1:13 pm

        SE Sandy between 7th and 12th

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 3:37 pm

          I agree, but those are a totally different geometry than Water Ave. near OMSI.

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        Adam September 15, 2016 at 10:16 pm

        @Hello Kitty – the intersection I am referring to is SE 8th & Division Place.

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          Adam September 15, 2016 at 10:18 pm

          Which is the intersection that has the brand-spanking new multiuse path intersecting it. Disaster.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 10:59 pm

            I agree there too. I thought you were specifically complaining about the rebuilt Water Avenue in the area around OMSI, which doesn’t have bad crossings.

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      pooperazzi September 15, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      Bicyclists were clearly third tier priority when designing this area and approach to the new Tillicum bridge…

      Really bugs me there’s no stop sign on water ave when crossing at caruthers, cars fly through there. Also long waits for freight trains to pass at peak commuting times

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        Kyle Banerjee September 17, 2016 at 10:21 am

        If this is your idea of a cycling problem, you need to get out more. Just wait until the light on Water turns red which makes the cars slow down or if that’s too scary, cross at the light itself and take the sidewalk for a few feet. If occasionally getting caught by a freight train is such a big deal, cross at Hawthorne.

        Cycling traffic in this area is quite modest but certainly enough by BP standards to advocate for totally reengineering paths with no real traffic exposure and try to convince the powers that be that freight trains shouldn’t inconvenience cyclists.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. September 17, 2016 at 11:26 am

        I agree about the stop signs at Caruthers and Water. They need to be flipped. I ride through there every day and it’s very difficult to cross in the afternoon peak.

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          Kyle Banerjee September 17, 2016 at 3:47 pm

          I used to ride there every day 5pm ish and still do occasionally. I have never experienced any kind of issue. The worst I’ve had to deal with is wait on occasion for a line of cars that had just been released by the light. If you’re really unlucky, a couple cars coming the other way might make you wait a little extra. On a bad day, that might take a minute.

          Are you proposing having a stop sign literally feet from a light on the street that has more traffic so that a low traffic bikeway has easier access for people who are unwilling to cross at that light?

          The worst part of that entire area is the crossing at 8th, and that’s because a lot of cyclists wait so long before responding to the light and roll out so slowly that you can miss the light.

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    Spiffy September 15, 2016 at 8:30 am

    that “ODOT crash data” pie is telling of how ODOT assigns blame… they don’t think that speed or dangerous behavior have anything to do with the built environment so they lump it with driver-caused actions like impairment…

    I’d like to see how the chart looks with those 2 things on the other side and then let’s see ODOT explain themselves…

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      Kate September 15, 2016 at 9:57 am

      Jonathan just posted the composite graphic of these actions, but if you click through to the plan- you’ll see the ODOT data where each of these factors are broken out separately (e.g. speed is a factor in 51% of crashes, etc.) I’m not sure if that’s the point you were making, but it is interesting to see the data isolated as well.

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      paikiala September 20, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Spiffy,
      You do know that most crashes are self-reported, yes?
      Yet you say ‘ODOT assigns blame…”?

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    ethan September 15, 2016 at 8:36 am

    I wouldn’t be surprised if “Vision Zero” looked almost identical to the top picture for the foreseeable future.

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      rick September 15, 2016 at 8:40 am

      The top photo looks far more pleasant than most of BH Highway in pdx limits.

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    rick September 15, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Per TriMet, SW pdx has no communities of concern despite having pdx’s largest employer?

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      David Hampsten September 15, 2016 at 11:31 am

      Not compared to other parts of town. There is poverty in SW, but it tends to be white; there are immigrants and minorities, but they tend to be well-off; etc. The further east you go, the worse the poverty, higher the youth population, the bigger the families, the more immigrants, etc. The Glenfair neighborhood between 148th & 162nd on East Burnside is at the very bottom of the spectrum – highest crime, lowest income, etc. It’s also the 5th or 6th densest neighborhood by people per area in the city.

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    Work Account September 15, 2016 at 9:07 am

    By “Unprotected Bike Lanes” I assume they also mean unprotected from left hooks like the new atrocious attempt at a separated bike lane on 2nd Ave.

    Simply tucking bike traffic off and to the side does not make streets safe for us. Lowering speed limits, and putting up “BIKES MAY USE FULL LANE” signs do.

    Creating fines for even simply putting vulnerable road users in danger, and well as criminal charges for negligence when they do hurt us.

    And shaming, public shaming, public confidence in news media is down to 1/3 of Americans. Use that platform to shame bad behavior by people operating a weapon, and I’ll tune in. I may even get a cable subscription, Comcast!

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      paikiala September 20, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      W.A.,
      They do not. They mean bike lanes without any buffer, or any buffer filled with something else.

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    KristenT September 15, 2016 at 9:22 am

    That top picture is missing an element: Lack of sidewalks. Lots of places in the Metro area have major gaps in their sidewalk networks, often on arterials or major collector streets.

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      David Hampsten September 15, 2016 at 11:34 am

      The image looks like outer Division between 148th and 162nd, near 157th. And yeah, PBOT only recently filled in some of the missing sidewalks.

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    Craig Giffen September 15, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Vision Zero agenda:

    2016 meetings
    2017 meetings
    2018 meetings with more pie charts
    2019 meetings
    2020 meetings, field trip to global Vision Zero summit in the UK
    2021 Finally some Action! Signs go up asking drivers to “be nice”
    2022 meetings
    2023 meetings
    2024 big meeting about why no action was taken during the last 10 years and how “we” can do better
    2025 photo ops and new billboard signs

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      David Hampsten September 15, 2016 at 11:37 am

      You forgot to add the part where Treat resigns to take a position under President Hillary Clinton in 2017. The new PBOT director decides to abandon Vision Zero in favor of expanded freeways.

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        Craig Giffen September 15, 2016 at 11:42 am

        Yeah, that is a good point. Or, by some miracle self-driving cars will be mandatory on urban roads by 2025 rendering Vision Zero (mosty) unneeded, or at least for the reasons we need it now. (aggressive drivers, inattentive drivers, impared drivers, etc).

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      Adam September 16, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      YES.

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    JL September 15, 2016 at 10:06 am

    And some of the locals are thinking….

    http://www.ifish.net/board/showthread.php?t=1303602

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    rachel b September 15, 2016 at 10:22 am

    So…no, or negligible enforcement of traffic laws? That’s an answer? I agree with those who suggest more cameras. And more “Your Speed Is” signs, portable and permanent. Bajillions of them!

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      JeffS September 15, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      Every driver coming down the street has a “your speed is” sign right on their dash.

      We don’t need another sign. Just mail them a ticket. If you can’t afford to pay a ticket, then it’s an excellent deterrent to not speed.

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        rachel b September 15, 2016 at 5:21 pm

        Hi JeffS. I read somewhere (and posted it here, once upon a time) that those “Your Speed Is” signs were about the only thing proven to work in getting people to permanently change speeding habits. They definitely seem to play to some instinct in people–maybe the competitive instinct? “I win!” Anyway–someone, somewhere proved they work. Hence, my jonesing for them.

        And we most definitely could use more signs on SE 26th. Despite my calling to have the ones we do have made visible again, nothing’s happened. 25mph!!!

        I’ll try to find that link.

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          paikiala September 20, 2016 at 1:15 pm

          Rachel,
          Great imagination, or poor memory. Speed feedback signs, like anything new, have shock value that degrades over time. The official term is decay.

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    Bald One September 15, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Shameful that N. Interstate is on this map. This after the city / metro spent $100Ms on the Max line through that entire length just a few years ago. Interesting to think about this relative to the other post about ridership: public transit in Portland has 2x ridership as private biking in commuting mode, but gets >100x the funding, and when they throw a bone to the cycling infrastructure it is done as a half-baked afterthought and still dangerous after all those dollars spent. Orange line was only a mild improvement and not done very well with 99% emphasis on the max/bus services through there and only a bit of focus on the cycling for a few broken up sections.

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    soren September 15, 2016 at 11:38 am

    I want to thank PBOT, OR and WA Families for Safer Streets, OR Walks, Apano, and the BTA for their efforts in drafting this plan. I do have some criticisms/comment but, overall, it is a very good start. I am not going to post criticisms here because, of late, BP comments have been far too negative.

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      Dan A September 21, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      That West Midlands Police blog is full of wisdom:

      https://trafficwmp.wordpress.com/category/traffic-blog/

      This is my favorite bit:

      Cyclists don’t cause us, as an organisation, problems, that’s because they aren’t causing our communities problems, they aren’t killing nearly 100 people on our regions roads as mechanically propelled vehicles currently do. Yes we do get complaints of the “nuisance” variety, pavement cycling, some anti-social behaviour (usually yobs on bikes rather than “cyclists”), red light running etc. but you get the idea, most peoples interpretation of “1st world problems” or the “modern day blues”, nothing that’s a priority for a force like our own in a modern day society. Bad cycling is an “irritant” to the wider community rather than a danger, and maybe an improvement in infrastructure and policing may alieve many of the reasons that cause a very small minority of cyclists to be an “irritant”

      So what can we do to do our bit ?, to encourage along with our partnership agencies people onto bikes and get the personal and community benefits already discussed. Well as we already touched upon in the first part of this blog, people’s fear of the dangers of cycling is the largest barrier, particularly the close pass. The media plays a large part, every cycling tragedy is to the fore, not that they shouldn’t be, such incidents can be a force for change but there is very little to re-address the balance, to convince people that cycling is safe. We as a force must do our upmost to protect the vulnerable on our roads and convince them that if anyone does endanger them on the road the perpetrator will be dealt with. The flip side of this is of course that anyone endangering a vulnerable road user should expect to be identified and prosecuted; this is the key to policing the problem.

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    encephalopath September 15, 2016 at 11:59 am

    The bit about enforcement and racial profiling is interesting.

    Implicit in that statement is the recognition that enforcement COULD be part of the solution to preventable deaths but policing as a public institution is too messed up to be depended on to provide that solution and must be written off entirely instead.

    That’s a really powerful statement. Expect whining and hurt feelings from the police union shortly.

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      David Hampsten September 15, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      Not necessarily. I live in a community that is 43% black and 40% white, highly segregated geographically. Aside from the very real bias of police (including black police) against black motorists (3x more likely to be pulled over), when someone is apprehended for a traffic violation, a white “accused” is much more likely to be able to go to court (have time off from work and be able to get there) to contest the charges than a black person.

      Let’s say the red light cameras and speed cameras remove the police profiling bias, you still have the issues of being able to take time off from work to contest the charges in court, as well as make the journey from far East Portland into downtown (7-10 miles each way on unreliable transit). Statistically, in Portland, a white offender is much more likely to make it to court and get the charges dropped, usually with a lawyer on hand, than a black or Hispanic person, who is usually not represented. Portland police know this, as does PBOT, which is why they cite bias in the system. It’s not that the police are racist, even if they might be, it’s that the whole institution of government – transportation infrastructure, transit, the courts, where one lives – is biased and racist.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 1:50 pm

        In terms of who contests tickets, gets a lawyer, etc., I think it’s much more a question of class than race. Would a poor white person be more likely to take time off work and seek legal counsel than a upper middle class Latino?

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. September 15, 2016 at 3:52 pm

          Ah, the old “it’s not racism, it’s classism” argument. I’m not buying it.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 3:55 pm

            Are you telling me it is more plausible that the poor white person would go to court than the well-to-do Hispanic person?

            In any event, in this case, at least, it would be easy to measure.

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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. September 15, 2016 at 4:03 pm

              Yes, person to person this may deviate. However, racism and classism are effectively the same thing because the system is specifically set up to split Americans into economic classes based on race.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 4:18 pm

                I disagree that racism and classism are the same thing, though I do agree that for some groups there is a significant correlation between race and class. For others, even groups that suffered severe historic race-based oppression, this is not the case.

                When it comes to access to resources to pay for legal assistance and freedom to take time off work to attend court to fight a ticket, class is a much better predictor than is race.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. September 15, 2016 at 4:27 pm

                But even the poor white person still has white privilege on their side. It’s all about intersectionality. Even given equal economic footing, a white person still is going to have an easier time with the legal system than a black or latino person, and is far less likely to even have been pulled over or issued a citation in the first place. Even if the only factor is economic, black people have an average income that is half of what white people earn. You can’t say there’s not a racial factor at play here.

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                MaxD September 15, 2016 at 4:30 pm

                But being poor or being a minority should not exempt someone from obeying traffic rules and laws. A poor speeding can kill someone just as easily as a rich person. I like the idea of proportional fines for dangerous activities like excessive speeding like 5% over the limit, driving drunk/high/distracted, speeding in a school or construction zone, etc.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 4:40 pm

                I don’t say there is no racial factors involved, at any level, and I do agree we have a policing problem that involves racial factors (though I think it is much more complex than is usually portrayed). I’m saying that differential access to the courts (which is a problem) is more class based than race based.

                However, despite all of these problems, I still want to see increased traffic enforcement.

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                JeffS September 15, 2016 at 4:41 pm

                “what white people earn.”

                Either you have no clue that poor white people exist, or you’re denying it. I’ve bred hogs with poor white people; built cabinets with poor white people, processed turkeys with poor white people and been to jail and prison with poor white people.

                Then again, maybe we should just ignore what you, as a white male, have to say altogether. If only BP has a block button so you wouldn’t have to see a dissenting opinion.

                ——–

                Only a fool would deny racial inequalities; or generalize so broadly about “whites” and “blacks”.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. September 15, 2016 at 4:43 pm

                being poor or being a minority should not exempt someone from obeying traffic rules and laws

                No it should not. However, the issue of police killing unarmed black men in routine police stops is a serious issue that has no obvious and immediate solution, so the only sane course of action for a transportation bureau would be to de-emphasis this enforcement.

                Even simply taking away someone’s drivers license can be a serious blow, as they may live in an area that is utterly car dependent (because it’s cheaper) and depend on a car to get to work. Losing their license likely will result in them losing their job, and other hardships arise from that. You may say, “well, if they don’t want that to happen, then don’t do something to warrant that punishment”, which I would agree with if not for, again, the issue of profiling by police. I am all for curbing dangerous driving, but if the punishment results in serious economic hardships, loss of housing, or even loss of life, are we really better off as a society?

                What we really should solve is the reasons people need to depend on a car in the first place. Unfortunately, America lacks basic social safety nets such as universal health care and high-quality public transport, so the loss of driving privileges can have serious repercussions on low-income people.

                Better would be to automate enforcement through speed and red light cameras with, as you stated, proportional fines or alternative sentences for people who can’t afford it. Best would be to design the infrastructure so that the dangerous behavior doesn’t happen in the first place.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 4:45 pm

                For the reasons listed, are you saying you want less traffic enforcement?

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. September 15, 2016 at 4:54 pm

                Either you have no clue that poor white people exist, or you’re denying it

                I’m looking at the median incomes. Yes, of course there are people earning above or below the median; that’s what a median is. I’m not claiming that literally every white person earns double literally every black person, or that poor white people or rich black people don’t exist. That would make no sense.

                http://www.city-data.com/income/income-Portland-Oregon.html

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. September 15, 2016 at 5:03 pm

                Hello, Kitty
                For the reasons listed, are you saying you want less traffic enforcement?

                Based on the current state of police, I cannot in good faith say I would like more police enforcement. Do I want less? Not necessarily. What I would like is to take the human interaction out of enforcement entirely. Automated speed and red light cameras are a good idea, if we can figure out how to not economically burden low-income people. I would also seriously support brethalyzer-starters in every car, though I admit that even though this is technologically easy, it is near impossible politically and would likely have to come from federal regulation. I would like the infrastructure to be self-policing, but designing streets to encourage slower speeds and by protecting vulnerable road users by default. I would like to see public transport improved so that less people have to drive.

                But do I want more police enforcement? Absolutely not.

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                rachel b September 15, 2016 at 5:25 pm

                If you are speeding, no matter who you are, I’m not going to shed a tear if you get a ticket and it’s an inconvenience.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. September 15, 2016 at 5:46 pm

                rachel b
                If you are speeding, no matter who you are, I’m not going to shed a tear if you get a ticket and it’s an inconvenience.

                I agree with you about the inconvenience part. However, what is merely an inconvenience to you or I could be a massive economic hardship to a low-income person living paycheck to paycheck. The punishment should take the person’s ability to pay into account.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 5:49 pm

                Does this apply to license revocation for drunk driving, or punishment for driving without a license/insurance? Should hardship reduce punishments?

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. September 15, 2016 at 6:21 pm

                Probably not but my point was that we need to be taking people’s social situations into account when making Vision Zero plans. Hence my support of PBOT’s decision to focus on environment and infrastructure over enforcement.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 6:31 pm

                I think removing enforcement from the equation will make achieving Vision Zero much more difficult, so I disagree with this decision.

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                rachel b September 15, 2016 at 6:41 pm

                Adam—everyone has equal power to avoid the hardship. DON’T SPEED. It’s ludicrous to try to bend the law around everybody’s special circumstances, pitiable though they may be. You don’t want the hardship? Don’t speed. Take care to never, ever speed. It is doable!

                I grew up at poverty level and stayed at that level for quite awhile. When I got a ticket, I sure could’ve used that money. I sure didn’t have the time to show up in court (in school, which I paid for myself, and working). It was my first and only ticket and I had a good leg to stand on for asking for a reduction (according to the cop who ticketed me and admired my Safe Driver Extension). No previous tickets and a “Safe Driver Extension” sticker on my license.

                Anyway–I had to miss class, reschedule an exam and get someone to fill in for me at work (and I lost income). Showed up in court and didn’t get a reduction in the fine. My thought was, “Crap. That’s life. Crap.” And also–I took even more care not to speed, because that ticket hit me where it hurts. Hence the beauty of traffic enforcement, for everyone, for the greater good.

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                Eric Leifsdad September 15, 2016 at 10:14 pm

                I like how the infrastructure of this blog makes it impossible to nest comments more than 7 deep. What if our transportation infrastructure did something similar for the posted speed? Rather than let rich people buy extra mail-order speeding tickets, everyone should be unable to drive too fast.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 10:56 pm

                In school zones, we should only allow nesting comments 5 deep.

                Keep it at 5 to stay alive!

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. September 16, 2016 at 9:19 am

                rachel b, I agree with you in principle. However “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time” completely ignores the issue of racial profiling. Some people get pulled over for no reason other than “driving while black”. The black men shot and killed by police were literally doing nothing wrong, some just happened to be standing at the wrong place and time. Systemic racism is very real and exists at every level of the police and judicial system, so we can’t simply ignore this fact. If the crime is “being a minority living in a racist society” then we can’t simply tell people not to “do the crime”. Fix the racist police forces and judicial systems first, but until then, don’t exacerbate the problem by upping enforcement.

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                rachel b September 16, 2016 at 10:37 am

                Adam–I thought we were talking about camera ticketing–?? In general, though–the answer to police corruption is not to stop enforcing the law until you can “fix the system.”

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 16, 2016 at 10:42 am

                Maybe the police should only stop white-looking people. Adam H., would that address your concerns?

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. September 16, 2016 at 12:01 pm

                rachel b: Oh right, but on that note I should say that there is no reason to slap a person with a fine and potential jail time if the person in question as no hope of paying it off. I am not saying the person shouldn’t be punished for their crime, I am saying they shouldn’t be further punished for being poor. Therefore, the punishment should be something that does not interfere with the person’s ability to access jobs, feed their family, etc., while still being large enough to deter future infractions.

                And note, that I am not calling for zero enforcement, I am calling for not increasing police enforcement and replacing police with automation. It would be wise to remember the fact that calling for increased police enforcement is necessarily sentencing more black men to death by police.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 16, 2016 at 12:12 pm

                If decreasing enforcement meant sentencing fewer black men to death by the police, why wouldn’t you favor that?

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                rachel b September 16, 2016 at 12:32 pm

                “I should say that there is no reason to slap a person with a fine and potential jail time if the person in question as no hope of paying it off.”

                Wow. There’s some real incentive to be an indigent ahole! I do think that’s kind of what we’ve already come to in Portland, hence many of the problems we’re struggling with now. Lot’s of excuse-making for execrable behaviors.

                So–the person who, say, rapes me, or you–shouldn’t, if poor, be “further punished for being poor”? How do you punish them in a way agreeable to them and their circumstances? Do you ask them–“How may we punish you today? What would make you comfortable?” What punishment for a crime DOESN’T “interfere with the person’s ability to access jobs, feed their family, etc., while still being large enough to deter future infractions”?

                More police enforcement has some very positive sides to it. As a woman, for example, I’ve been mightily concerned at the reports I’ve heard from other women in town who say they haven’t been taken seriously when reporting flashing, stalking, harassment, threats of violence. It’d be nice if police had the personnel to process a few more rape kits. It’d be nice if a police presence was obvious so we could feel safer on the Esplanade, the Springwater, in Portland parks.

                Too many of my female friends have been sexually assaulted or molested or smacked around by boyfriends, husbands, brothers, fathers. Common groping? That’s something I’d wager every woman I know has experienced. It’s well known there’s been a huge systemic failure when it comes to addressing crimes against women, that, for example, the police have proven to protect their own when it comes to a brother-in-blue getting accused of “domestic violence” (horrible term–just call it assault). But that doesn’t make me feel police enforcement, and forces, shouldn’t be increased.

                You can’t stop pursuing crime because of systemic failure. You are NOT going to cure racism and misogyny overnight, and you hurt a lot of people in both camps by weakening the enforcement of existing laws.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. September 16, 2016 at 12:41 pm

                rachel b: Let me clarify that I was referring to lesser traffic violations such as speeding and running red lights. I would not make the same argument for more serious crimes like drunk driving, sexual assault, etc, or if the “lesser crime” resulted in a death. I agree with you 100% about the issue with reporting sexual assault and agree that the system is broken and sexist, but I would never make the argument that we should not enforce the laws here.

                There is a line between forgivable and unforgivable crimes, and I would only make the alternative punishment argument for forgivable ones. The whole point of automated enforcement is to deter behavior, not endlessly punish someone.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. September 16, 2016 at 12:45 pm

                Another point I’d like to add regarding killings by police: this issue comes up specifically when talking about enforcement of traffic laws because a good portion of the black men shot and killed by police were pulled over for traffic violations. I am not making a blanket “enforce all laws less” argument.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 16, 2016 at 3:00 pm

                This might be a good time to ask the question of whether the traffic enforcement unit has a record of discriminatory enforcement and perpetrating violence against certain populations. If there is not a problem with those officers, then there should be no problem with asking them to increase enforcement.

                And, in fact, there is reason to believe those officers are not the problem:

                “It found that traffic stops by Traffic Division officers weren’t as disparate. Black drivers stopped by traffic cops accounted for 7.1 percent of the division’s stops, closer to their makeup in the population.”

                http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/02/portland_police_traffic_stops.html

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                rachel b September 16, 2016 at 4:08 pm

                “There is a line between forgivable and unforgivable crimes, and I would only make the alternative punishment argument for forgivable ones.”

                The problem is the slippery slope, Adam. You get lax about “forgivable” crimes (i.e., traffic violations in Portland, which used to be far less in number) and unforgivable crimes quickly ensue (careless drivers injuring and killing people).

                Sad to say, but cutting people (or maybe I should say Americans) a break for bad behavior usually results only in that person huffily expecting you to cut them the same break next time, or a bigger break. Give an inch, most take a mile. Hence, a population of self-entitled, careless drivers who get indignant over being called (ticketed) on their shitey and illegal driving. “Radar is UNFAIR!” “I didn’t see him!” “The sun was in my eyes!” “I was drinking a coke!”

                The best comparison I can make is to parenting, and the living hell it is to have to coexist with a child who has been cut a break over every misbehavior and never held to account for their actions. And when that child grows up? Even more acute misery for all.

                p.s…I believe in endless punishment. 😉

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 16, 2016 at 6:27 pm

                Ah, yes. Raised Catholic.

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                rachel b September 16, 2016 at 7:02 pm

                Well…Lutheran. Catholic light. Missouri Synod, though–so still punishy!

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. September 16, 2016 at 11:51 pm

                rachel b, I think perhaps you are misunderstanding me. I am not saying to “cut people a break” because they are low-income. I am saying that the same punishment for them could be far worse, simply because of the fact that they are low-income. This perpetuates a endless cycle that ensures they remain in poverty. Allowing something like this to exist is not becoming of an effective and equitable society.

                What I am saying is to come up with a punishment that is equally as effective, but is not exacerbated by the person’s ability to pay a fine. Fwiw, I would also make the same argument for someone who is rich – that a simple fine is not enough of a deterrent, and something more effective should be done.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 17, 2016 at 10:25 am

                The only punishment I can think of that is truly equitable to all people is zero. Anything else will cut different ways based on circumstance.

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                q September 17, 2016 at 10:37 am

                In Finland, some traffic fines are based on income, hence the situation where someone can get a $100k ticket for speeding: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/03/finland-home-of-the-103000-speeding-ticket/387484/

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 17, 2016 at 10:49 am

                Do you honestly think that would pass constitutional muster? I would refer you specifically to the 8th Amendment (excessive fines) and the 14th Amendment (equality under the law).

                I am not a legal scholar (I know this may shock some of you), but I cannot imagine a $100K speeding ticket passing muster, especially if others committing the same infraction only had to pay $100.

                As with other enforcement issues, it is the chance of getting caught that deters people much more than the severity of the punishment. Increased enforcement of our existing rules will be effective at getting people to alter their behavior. Evidence for this can be seen in areas with high levels of enforcement; drivers do slow down.

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                q September 17, 2016 at 11:35 am

                I’m not advocating it. I’d heard about it years ago, and thought it was an interesting idea.

                I think for most people, especially wealthier ones, the big deterrent to offenses like speeding may not be the fines, but instead knowing that if you get multiple tickets, your insurance costs go up significantly for some period.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 17, 2016 at 11:43 am

                I agree. Even if it doesn’t “hurt” as much, it may be equally effective at deterring bad behavior. The key is getting people to realize that bad driving will have consequences. Currently, it doesn’t.

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        MaxD September 15, 2016 at 4:24 pm

        IF a person doesn’t have the means to defend against a speeding ticket, they should not be speeding! I agree it sucks, but not as bad as it sucks to hit by someone speeding, or driving drunk/high/distracted. Unfairly targeting people should be avoided, but I am ok with equal opportunity fines from cameras. Real punishment is a deterrent, and we need deterrents.

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          rachel b September 15, 2016 at 5:26 pm

          Hear, hear MaxD!

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          B. Carfree September 15, 2016 at 9:38 pm

          That can actually work. Back before the amnesty program for undocumented immigrants (pre-1986), I lived in a locale that performed zero-tolerance traffic law enforcement. As it turned out, the safest drivers on the road were the many Hispanic farm workers (mostly undocumented in that time/place). They had something important to lose if they got a citation, so they drove super safely at all times.

          If we were to do traffic law enforcement again, sure there would be a few sob stories. However, the lives saved, both immediate and long term as more people ride and walk instead of driving, make it worth it to me. Even the possibility of wayward cops murdering black and brown skinned people is worth the risk because of the huge numbers of people killed and maimed by scofflaw motorists relative to the number shot by cops.

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    Todd Hudson September 15, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    “The enforcement action in this plan are limited in order to reduce the possibility of racial profiling and disparate economic impacts.”

    This kills Vision Zero.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      I don’t believe it does. The solution to problems with policing is not to stop policing, it’s to fix the problems.

      All communities need the police.

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        JeffS September 15, 2016 at 4:03 pm

        They’re not proposing to fix the police though. They’re proposing to admit defeat and not use them.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty September 15, 2016 at 4:21 pm

          Ah, ok, I see Todd Hudson’t point. Well, it’s a bit of a cop out, no pun intended.

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          paikiala September 20, 2016 at 1:19 pm

          J,
          False. Not focusing on enforcement is not the same as no using them.
          Enforcement in Vision Zero should focus on the behaviors that result in fatal collisions, not the minor infractions that do not. You would think the police would be on board with a legitimate reason to focus their efforts away from tail light outages to preventing death.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty September 20, 2016 at 1:29 pm

            Could we agree on what those minor non-issues are?

            Tail lights are an important safety feature, and if they are malfunctioning, drivers should be under some obligation to fix them.

            If the law serves no purpose, we should repeal it altogether.

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      eawrist September 16, 2016 at 2:49 am

      I think PBOT’s viewpoint here (please correct me if I am wrong) is one that sets it apart from many DOTs, which often use the predictable lack of enforcement as rationalization for not redesigning roads. The table labeled Factor: Street Design is something DDOT would certainly not admit to.

      In DC DDOT often ignores its own research and NACTO standards by saying speeding is a “policing problem.” When roads have no ped. extensions/median, are 12′, no speed cameras, are 6 lanes wide, etc. these salient design features can be ignored when there is virtually no enforcement. Most people don’t think of streets as mutable or designed to kill. They do see unsafe driving and consequently think of enforcement. Bureaus can blame each other. Nothing happens.

      PBOT is admitting that “50% of deadly crashes are on 7% of streets.” For a DOT, that is a bold thing to admit. That puts the onus on them to redesign (ODOT is clearly in the “Where’s my enforcement?” camp). Portland is very lucky to have PBOT. Give it some money so it can do its job.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty September 16, 2016 at 10:29 am

        I agree with this. I see enforcement as a short-term fix while we figure out how to redesign (and fund reconstruction) of our streets. In the meantime, though, doing nothing on the enforcement front simply means more people will die.

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  • Tony T
    Tony T September 15, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    They left off, “No enforcement. Ever.” from that first poster.

    I know a lot of folks around here stress design, and surely that’s a big part of it. But I think people can get focused on design like Libertarians get focused on the mythical free market. “If we just get it right, everything will fall into place.”

    Most drivers know that they can pretty much do whatever the heck they want in any neighborhood and as long as they don’t hit anyone, there will never be any consequence. The more sociopathic drivers take that as a personal challenge.

    We need widespread and random enforcement so that drivers fear that there might be a cop, or a speed camera, around any corner.

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    JeffS September 15, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Portland, the city where every project is killed in the womb by equity staff.

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    B. Carfree September 15, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    In the pretty drawing, they neglected to show one of the most hazardous conditions: door-zone bike lanes. Most bike lanes in PDX are of this defective sort. The San Francisco Bike Coalition determined that the most common cause of injuries and deaths to cyclists at the hands of motorists was from doorings. When Chicago was measuring, they came to a similar conclusion.

    Of course, being absent from the drawing means that these deadly implementations won’t be addressed in any way. It’s so nice to know that the storage of private cars on the public right of way is so much more important than the lives of people on bikes that the issue cannot be dealt with even in the aspirational form of this weak Zero Vision plan.

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    Kevin Wagoner September 15, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Argh, that is frustrating. So we can’t get more enforcement on places like Barbur or Spring Garden (which I have been requesting through PDXSafe forever)?

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    Rain Waters September 16, 2016 at 10:40 am

    A vast majority of road users are driven by social conditioning to propel their reinforced steel shipping containers at a typical 10% above any posted speed limit while texting. Monkey see, monkey do.

    “Edgy” speeding is totally and absolutely institutionalized in motor vehicle society. Users justify this with the same words, “going with the flow”

    Gasoline is decreasing in price as EVERYTHING else continuously rises. And no, you do not understand why. . .it is just what it is. Going with the flow.

    Motor vehicle operators outnumber bicyclists by orders of magnitude, 7% being a pipe dream and everyone here knows it! This is most likely never going to change significantly in our lifetime. .

    Keep this heads up constantly while negotiating auto-centricity to maintain situational awareness. The playground is crawling with bullies who know there’s little to no penalty for behaving otherwise.

    Enjoy the ride kids

    RW

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    Eric Leifsdad September 16, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Can we at least put out some “enforcement action ahead” signs in more places more often. Sure, people will start to ignore them, but intermittent reinforcement works (see Pavlov.)

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    Adam September 16, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    @ Craig Giffen:

    >>
    Vision Zero agenda:

    2016 meetings
    2017 meetings
    2018 meetings with more pie charts
    2019 meetings
    2020 meetings, field trip to global Vision Zero summit in the UK
    2021 Finally some Action! Signs go up asking drivers to “be nice”
    2022 meetings
    2023 meetings
    2024 big meeting about why no action was taken during the last 10 years and how “we” can do better
    2025 photo ops and new billboard signs
    <<

    AND IN THE INTERIM, BIKELOUDPDX SOLVES EVERY PROBLEM WITH 10,000 TRAFFIC CONES, YEAH!!

    Seriously, less meetings, more concrete being poured and paint being striped. BikeLoudPdx can achieve for $200 what PBOT can't achieve for $200,000.

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    David Hampsten September 16, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    MaxD: “IF a person doesn’t have the means to defend against a speeding ticket, they should not be speeding!”

    So, are you saying that if one does have the means to defend against a speeding ticket, then they should be able to speed? That all privileged rich people of whatever race, nationality or gender, have a god-given right to go any speed they please, as long as they can afford to defend themselves?

    I’m only asking for clarity on your position.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty September 16, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      I think that’s exactly what he’s (not) saying. At the same time, it’s hard to deny that the same punishment will have a disparate effect on different people, and this is not just limited to fines.

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        Kyle Banerjee September 16, 2016 at 3:32 pm

        This cuts different ways depending on the situation. Losing your job because you got tossed in jail has a much greater effect if you had a lot of responsibility and high pay than if you had no job (or had one where serving jail time didn’t affect your employment prospects). Getting arrested and not being convicted is no big deal for some people, but others lose their livelihood.

        Which reminds me. One of the great ironies of getting too many DUIs is that you may lose your right to drive, you can easily lose your ability to work — but one of the few things you are always still able to do is drink.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty September 16, 2016 at 3:40 pm

          In some professions, even an accusation can be highly damaging.

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            Kyle Banerjee September 16, 2016 at 4:01 pm

            The basic rule is the more responsibility and the more outward facing, the more this stuff hurts you

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        JeffS September 16, 2016 at 5:48 pm

        It’s not a punishment it’s a deterrent.

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      MaxD September 19, 2016 at 10:12 am

      I am saying that everyone should get punished for speeding. Some people may choose to accept that punishment if they can afford it, but hopefully the deterrent will increase as fines for repeat offenses escalate and insurance increases with multiple violations. Eventually, even a driver who is unconcerned with the fines will face license suspension. Of course, license suspension is only meaningful if there is enough enforcement.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty September 19, 2016 at 10:36 am

        Most “rich” people take things like insurance seriously. That’s how they keep from being “poor” if they were to get sued for being involved in a crash. Many “rich” people buy more than the minimum liability insurance required by law. Tickets can lead to loss of said insurance.

        Tickets are an effective deterrent where there is sufficient enforcement.

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          paikiala September 20, 2016 at 1:21 pm

          HK,
          Some countries assess penalties on a sliding scale based on income.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty September 20, 2016 at 1:30 pm

            I know they do, but I think doing so here would be on questionable constitutional grounds. Equality under the law and all that.

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              soren September 21, 2016 at 8:42 am

              Progressive taxes and fees are not constitutional? Interesting.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty September 21, 2016 at 10:39 am

                I didn’t know that. Are you sure?

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    rf September 17, 2016 at 9:00 am

    probably not a good sign they misspelled UNPROTECTED BIKE LANE in their graphic.

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      q September 18, 2016 at 10:49 am

      I noticed that, too. Totally uprpofessional.

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    inwe September 18, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Three cheers for infrastructure and technological “fixes” for behavioral and cultural problems! Because car alarms, cigarette filters, and lobotomies have all worked so well.

    We should apply this to everything: if your dog pees in the house, the problem isn’t one of training or a possible health concern! It’s that the interior of your home hasn’t been coated with a hydrophobic sealant and outfitted with moisture-detecting floor-cleaning robots. With flashing lights! No more problem!

    But, of course, if your house was designed by a DOT, the problem may have something to do with the fire hydrant installed in the living room.
    There’s no denying we have a lot of bad/unsafe streets, and they need to be fixed. However, the far greater problem is reckless behavior and an automobile culture that values speed, power, status symbols, and limitless free parking above all else, where “please slow down! becomes “WAR ON CARS!”

    Vision Zero can’t be attained by engineering alone.

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      Eric Leifsdad September 18, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      If your dog runs through the kitchen too fast, put a slippery rug at the corner so you can watch him hit the wall and learn his lesson. He’ll be okay, (except for ego) and the pot of boiling water will be less likely to get spilled on someone. We don’t generally have crashes due to people urinating in the streets.

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        Eric Leifsdad September 18, 2016 at 3:19 pm

        Though, come to think of it, I did see what appeared to have been the eastbound portion of a westbound horse left on Tilikum Way at about Milwaukie Ave yesterday morning. (Thinking “there ought to be a law”… https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/article/91711 )

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty September 18, 2016 at 4:26 pm

        Speak for yourself… I have crashed several times while attempting to urinate in the streets. Pro tip: Apply brakes, dismount, and only then let loose.

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          q September 18, 2016 at 5:45 pm

          Now I know why when they wrote “unprpotected bike lanes” in the illustration above, they put that extra “p” in it.

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    MaxD September 19, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Adam H.
    rachel b: Let me clarify that I was referring to lesser traffic violations such as speeding and running red lights. I would not make the same argument for more serious crimes like drunk driving, sexual assault, etc, or if the “lesser crime” resulted in a death. I agree with you 100% about the issue with reporting sexual assault and agree that the system is broken and sexist, but I would never make the argument that we should not enforce the laws here.
    There is a line between forgivable and unforgivable crimes, and I would only make the alternative punishment argument for forgivable ones. The whole point of automated enforcement is to deter behavior, not endlessly punish someone.
    Recommended 1

    Adam,
    speeding and running red lights are the kind of “minor crimes” that actually kill people. These should not be overlooked for people because of their individual circumstances. We need police and automation to help re-create a culture of driving that drives slowly and obeys traffic controls.

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