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City’s first speed camera already having major impact

Posted by on September 23rd, 2016 at 10:22 am

This SUV was caught by Portland's new speed camera going 72 mph in a 40 mph zone.(Photo: (PBOT)

This SUV was caught by Portland’s new speed camera going 72 mph in a 40 mph zone. View a video of it below.
(Photo: (PBOT)

Oregon’s first speed camera has had a very busy first month. And that’s great news for fans of safer streets.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation installed the camera on SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway on August 25th. It’s been issuing only warning since then but the agency announced this morning that as of tomorrow (9/24) the warnings end and the citations begin.

If the first month is any indication, the camera will be a huge success (unless people don’t mind getting tickets). PBOT says the presence of the camera (and associated signage) has already reduced top-end speeding by 93 percent (more stats below).

To go along with their announcement today, PBOT is doing something else that’s very smart. They’re using the media to shame unsafe drivers. As both warning and example of how the camera works, they’ve singled out a person they caught driving a white SUV at 72 mph — in a 40 mph zone. Watch the dangerous driver get caught on film in the video below:


While anecdotes like that are fun, PBOT is keeping their promise that all their Vision Zero-related work will be based on data. Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway (locals call it “BHH”) is part of the city’s High Crash Network and stats show that its dangerous not only for people in cars but that people who walk along or across the road are twice as likely to be struck by another road user than the average city street.

We can sit around and talk about how inherently dangerous streets like BHH are, but these cameras give us a way to add authority and focus to those conversations.

State law requires warnings like this at least 100 yards prior to the camera.(Photo: PBOT)

State law requires warnings like this at least 100 yards prior to the camera.
(Photo: PBOT)

Here are some facts about the BHH camera released by PBOT today:

— Before the cameras were installed, an average 1,417 vehicles a day traveled 51 mph or more over the speed limit faster, according to readings by a pneumatic tube laid across the roadway.

— During the warning period from Aug. 24 to Sept. 18, an average 93 vehicles a day were found traveling 51 mph or faster — a 93.4 percent reduction from the tube count.

— In the first week of the warning period, cameras recorded an average 115 violations a day. Violations dropped to an average 72 a day by the week of Sept. 12 to 18.

PBOT Director Leah Treat, who had to spearhead a change in Oregon law just to be able to install cameras like these, said, “For us to reach our Vision Zero goal of ending traffic fatalities and serious injuries, we need tools like these cameras.”

Thanks to the passage of HB 2621 last year the City of Portland can install speed cameras (PBOT calls them “safety cameras”) only on designated High Crash Corridors within Portland city limits. When someone is caught speeding by one of these cameras, the typical fine is $160. By law, that revenue must be spent to pay for the camera program or to make safety improvements along High Crash Corridors.

Next spring PBOT will roll out cameras on three very notorious streets: SE 122nd Avenue between Foster and Powell, Marine Drive, and Outer SE Division.

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

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144 Comments
  • Ted Timmons (Contributor) September 23, 2016 at 10:39 am

    The sad thing is the SUV doesn’t appear to be going that fast- I assume the other traffic is going well over 40 too.

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    • Vinny September 23, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Just based on the length of the pavement striping I estimated the SUV at about 68 mph, pretty close to the 72 noted in the description. Same method shows the red car at 42 mph and the white car at about 44 mph. The truck is passing the white car but hard to estimate. So everyone is speeding but not necessarily going crazy fast.

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      • Ted Timmons (Contributor) September 23, 2016 at 11:31 am

        Thanks. Guess it was just my impression- 42 and 44 are basically the speed limit (at least compared to 72).

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      • Spiffy September 23, 2016 at 12:32 pm

        “42 and 44 are basically the speed limit”

        yes, that’s what drivers think… they’re “close enough” to the speed limit… no harm if they’re just 2 or 4 over…

        I say zero tolerance! tickets for going 1 mph over! it’s a LIMIT!

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 23, 2016 at 1:04 pm

        until we change our culture of speed and change legal system handles this stuff what you suggest about “zero tolerance” is just not possible.

        The reason police don’t cite until people go 10-12 mph OVER the limit is because they get tired of showing up in court and having the judge throw the tickets out. the judge goes soft of the offender and figures “well everyone drives a bit over so it’s ok”… and then the officer has just wasted their time. They figure if they only write for 10-12 over the ticket has a lot higher chance of surviving in court.

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. September 23, 2016 at 1:07 pm

        So have the machines ticket everyone going 1 over the limit, send each one to court, and maybe the judge will get sick of hearing these cases and actually punish people so they don’t do it again!

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      • paikiala September 23, 2016 at 2:01 pm

        one of those often identified points of attack to achieve vision zero is …
        better adjudication.

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      • q`Tzal September 23, 2016 at 2:10 pm

        Proposal for Automatic Ticket Fine assessed by “safety cameras” :

        $ Fine = $1 × MPH over speed limit × (# of moving violations in the last 30(¶) days +1(¤)) ÷ (number of years with zero moving violations (¢) +1)

        (¶) should this be 90 days instead of 30 days?

        (¤) The “+1″s are to prevent problems with Zeros in the equation. Not having any tickets in the 1st time range would make the fine $0; I imagine that trying to divide by zero would fry a bureaucracy’s widdle bwain.

        (¢) The last term serves as a one-time bit of hard coded leniency for long term safe drivers with otherwise spotless driving records by reducing the fine. Maybe they had a bad day, maybe this is their wake up call to get thier vision checked. Of course next time the counter has been reset.

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      • B. Carfree September 27, 2016 at 6:26 pm

        Fair enough equation, but I would start with $50 per mph over the limit and put something in to account for the weight of the vehicle and, if only this were possible, something to account for the income of the scofflaw along the lines of the day fines of Northern Europe.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty September 27, 2016 at 6:35 pm

        You know, before getting too wrapped up in the “fines proportional to income” thing, I’d ask the question: do we have any evidence it is necessary to get the behavior we want?

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      • q`Tzal September 27, 2016 at 9:34 pm

        I tried to simplify the equation I provided as much as possible so as not to confuse the audience or fry neurons. I do have much programming experience in industrial automation and multi-variable balancing problems.

        For the “income adjustment factor” instead of using “$1” what could be substituted is a term similar to “0.001% of the annual net income of the violator”.
        This would work out to $1 for someone who’s annual income is $100,000 per year and less than 25¢ for an individual living below the poverty line.

        Naturally there would need to be permissions built into such a law to allow a judge to commute part or all of a fine if the situation demands it. Logically there would also have to be failsafes included to prevent the mandatory liquidation of assets required to maintain their residence and family.

        No one should be made homeless regardless of the amount of the fine they must pay nor should their family, and especially their children, be punished for their parent’s bad behavior.

        I can quite easily codify all this as a flowchart and logical IF-THEN-ELSE statements. The goal being to remove as much irrational, situationally-moronic human judgment and bais from the punishment process while still allowing for empathetic forgiveness when it is appropriate.

        Any equation so detailed is a constant work in progress, as is the Human Race.

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      • JeffS September 27, 2016 at 10:19 pm

        I find it a little odd that this is a common pushback here. We’ve seen it with increased parking fees (to discourage car trips) and speeding tickets (to discourage speeding).

        The whole point (or so I thought) was to create a deterrent, yet the assumption is that it’s not going to work, as evidenced by the idea that people are still going to park; people are still going to speed. There’s a certain irony in the assumption that it’s not going to work, and then fighting to lower the penalty because of said assumption.

        If anything, I think this is an argument for why the fines are too low. Make a speeding ticket a thousand dollars. We won’t be discussing speedometer accuracy and tire diameter variance because everyone will be going considerably under the limit. We won’t do that though, because, well, there’s no will to.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty September 28, 2016 at 2:10 am

        It’s generally understood that certainty of punishment is far more important than severity of punishment in deterring bad behavior.

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      • TonyT
        TonyT September 23, 2016 at 2:11 pm

        This. I had someone from PBOT tell me this explicitly (they actually said 11-14mph). When I suggested that on our 20 mph street, that translated to over 50% over the speed limit, they balked. I repeated what they had just said and asked them to do the math. They reluctantly admitted that this was correct.

        There should be zero tolerance. If people want there to be an allowance for error, then drive under the limit.

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      • nport September 23, 2016 at 2:38 pm

        How about we apply the same principle when bikers run stop signs or injure pedestrians? I have seen folks on this website dismiss such peccadillos since “very few pedestrians are hurt that way”. If we are to adhere to rules, then why are bikers allowed to skate?

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      • Chris I September 23, 2016 at 2:54 pm

        Do you think that 20lb bicycles and 5000lb vehicles should have to follow the same rules, and suffer the same penalties for breaking them?

        Which would you rather be hit by as a pedestrian?

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      • jeff September 23, 2016 at 3:37 pm

        false dichotomy. neither. they should both be treated the same.

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      • Dan A September 23, 2016 at 8:02 pm

        They should both be treated proportionately.

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      • Mike September 24, 2016 at 11:31 am

        So, if I shoot you with a .22 I should be punished less than if I shoot you with a 50 cal? Of course getting hit by a car is much worse but stop with the bikes don’t do much damage argument. Some jerk off on a bike who can’t be bothered with the rules can certainly ruin a child’s day.

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      • Mike September 24, 2016 at 7:41 pm

        If you plow into a child on a bicycle it just might do some damage but since the other guys aren’t following the rules by all means ride on brother.

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      • JeffS September 24, 2016 at 7:56 pm

        I think you should either enforce a law or change/rescind it.

        The non-enforcement of laws creates widespread problems. It implicitly condones the behavior in question. Just look at how victimized someone acts if they get a traffic ticket after seeing virtually everyone around them do the same thing for months/years.

        Obviously there are levels of severity, but can I not cite someone for littering if, somewhere in the city, someone is running a stop sign? Can I not cite the stop sign runner if a burglary might be happening?

        Try to change the laws if you want, but the argument that X isn’t as serious as Y is not convincing.

        And just for reference… I slow and sometimes go through a stop sign without fully stopping if I can see for certain that it’s clear to do so. It’s not the same as the cyclists who pass through stop signs without ever slowing down. Still, I’ll pay my fine and not complain a bit if someone decides to ticket me for my actions.

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      • Dan A September 24, 2016 at 8:06 pm

        Stealing a bicycle is not punished the same as stealing a car, and yet they are both stealing. Why do you suppose there is a difference?

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      • 9watts September 24, 2016 at 8:07 pm

        I bet it is because are easier to steal… 😉

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      • Gary B September 23, 2016 at 3:36 pm

        If there were zero tolerance for motor vehicle speeding AND stop signs, I will gladly stop at every stop sign on my bike. I could argue all day about the false equivalence, but no, I’ll gladly take that deal.

        I’d estimate 25% of cars make a legal stop at a stop sign. The other 75% stop well into the crosswalk, if they stop at all. So yeah, let’s deal.

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      • Dan A September 23, 2016 at 8:03 pm

        25% is very generous.

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      • B. Carfree September 27, 2016 at 6:31 pm

        I lived where that was the case. The many people on bikes complained bitterly about having to stop at stop signs and such, but the bottom line was that there were far more bikes on the road than cars. Freed from the dangers of scofflaw drivers, and also not being allowed to blithely speed and run stop signs when driving, made cycling safe in both reality and appearance while making driving a hassle.

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      • J_R September 23, 2016 at 5:47 pm

        When the PPB does a “stop sign enforcement” at Ladd’s Addition where there is minimal if any evidence of a safety problem, they give the bicyclists virtually no tolerance. That is, the issue a cyclist a citation for “running the stop sign” even if they rolled through at 2 mph. If the cops give a 10 mph cushion for speeding, wouldn’t it make sense to give the bicyclists a 3 or 5 mph cushion that allows them to roll through stop signs at a walking speed if there is no conflicting traffic?

        For what it’s worth I stop at stop signs at Ladd’s Addition EVERY F@&KING TIME.

        So, no. There is not equal treatment. Motorists are given much more latitude.

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      • wsbob September 27, 2016 at 10:20 am

        “When the PPB does a “stop sign enforcement” at Ladd’s Addition where there is minimal if any evidence of a safety problem, they give the bicyclists virtually no tolerance. That is, the issue a cyclist a citation for “running the stop sign” even if they rolled through at 2 mph. …” j r

        If information provided in bikeportland’s stories about Ladd’s Addition stop sign enforcement details, is accurate, what you’re saying is untrue; in that police on those details were observed granting latitude to people riding bikes through the stop signs, if people riding displayed indication that they were looking for oncoming traffic and people on foot, before rolling through the signs at very slow speeds.

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      • Eric on Blue Island September 25, 2016 at 12:57 pm

        Ambulance driver: Patient has multiple compound fractures, lacerated femoral artery, severed foot, blood loss, skull fracture, and just went into cardiac arrest.

        ER Doctor: Head wound looks bad, suspect traumatic brain injury, too. Sounds like a punctured lung, as well. Put him in OR #2.

        Patient: Sweet jeezus this hangnail is killing me! Lawdy somebody help me!

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      • Dan A September 23, 2016 at 8:06 pm

        I’ve definitely heard this before, but I wonder how we know that the judges are to blame. It’s a long shot, but is there a source for this? Or is this just something the police say?

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      • 696duke September 26, 2016 at 3:47 pm

        The truth is that speedometers are not that accurate, there are many legal cases that prove speedometers have a varying range of accuracy of up to 5mph on average.
        And there have been many studies done that show speedometers can be out of calibration on vehicles simply from tire pressure. And can have a variance of 10 mph just by changing tires/manufacturers.

        The DOT has a posted tolerance of +/- 3 mph on average. This is why car manufactures speedo’s only show increments of 5mph and many old cars only have hash marks every 10mph… Accuracy costs more!

        The lenience of courts and Police departments stems from this data alone not “because judges are unwilling to hold drivers accountable for 5-10 mph over the limit” most judges are not lenient in any way, unless you can prove to them you were not at fault.

        It’s also unrealistic to hold drivers accountable to drive an “exact” speed at all times…would you rather they pay attention to the road, or stare at the speedometer to make sure they are at under the speed limit?

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      • 9watts September 26, 2016 at 9:54 pm

        +/-10mph from tires?!

        You mean the guys who put 32 inch tires on their pickups so they can drive up and over smashed cars as spectacle? Cause normal tire swaps ain’t gonna produce that kind of variance. If you think so I invite you to show your math.

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      • 696duke September 27, 2016 at 8:43 am

        Let me google that for you. Hum, I see 15 different listings on the first page referencing speedometer accuracy studies.

        “An exclusive Drive test has shown 93 percent of new car speedometers are inaccurate”

        Reference: http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/how-accurate-is-your-speedo-20140716-ztmh4.html

        “Car and Driver” magazine in 2002 did a study on the accuracy of speedometers. The results showed that, on average, there was a noticeable discrepancy between the speed displayed in the vehicle and its actual speed. After studying 200 vehicles moving at 70 mph, the speedometer readings on average were 1.37 mph faster than the actual speed. Some vehicles were off by an even larger margin.”

        Reference: CarandDriver.com

        “Causes of Inaccurate Readings”

        “Many things cause the speedometer reading to be off. For example, tires of a different size or with different air pressure than what was on the vehicle when the speedometer was originally calibrated contribute to inaccurate readings. In addition, GPS-based speedometers are inaccurate if you can’t get a clear signal from the GPS satellites, such as when the vehicle is surrounding by tall objects.”

        There is Your inconvenient truth 9watts.

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      • Eric Leifsdad September 27, 2016 at 8:56 am

        hahaha “show your math”

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      • Ted Timmons (Contributor) September 27, 2016 at 11:24 am

        696duke, your followup for “+/-10mph” is a source showing less than 2mph, and “as much as 6 per cent at 100km/h”?

        Combining sensor data and (say, semi-reliable) GPS data into real numbers isn’t hard. This isn’t the old days where there was a plastic speedo gear used to change ratios. Even then, the “10mph” difference could be addressed.

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      • 9watts September 27, 2016 at 12:24 pm

        1.37mph – sure. I get that and never disputed it. Who cares?

        But your claim of 10mph got my attention, and that was what I was, specifically, questioning. No need to get saucy with me.

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      • 696duke September 27, 2016 at 1:59 pm

        It’s a fact of life Ted, tolerances must be exist. Human error will happen that’s why traffic law is separate from criminal law.

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      • 9watts September 27, 2016 at 2:05 pm

        human error – more specifically yours?

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      • 696duke September 27, 2016 at 2:44 pm

        Here ya go bubba, now do your own homework and stop bugging the teacher!

        65 FR 30915 – Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (This is part of Federal Register Volume 65, Issue 94)

        “The speedometer must be accurate to within plus or minus 8 km/hr (5 mph) at a speed of 80 km/hr (50 mph). for passenger vehicles”

        49 CFR 393.82 – Speedometer (federal regulation of motor vehicle manufacturers.

        (excerpts)
        “Vehicle loads not to exceed maximum road allowance or vehicle registry, maximum allowable variance of +/- 8 mph. Speedometer not to exceed maximum allowable variance when vehicle is at or near maximum load.”

        This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

        “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: recommendation for speedometer enforcement, allow up to 8-10 mph based on Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for speedometer variance, age or state of vehicle maintenance.

        Foxnews article 2012: How fast are you really going? The accuracy of speedometers.

        Excerpt from paragraph “How Accurate are speedometers?”

        “However, Edmunds adds that any change in the effective rolling diameter caused by replacement tires will bring with it speedometer error.”

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      • Dan A September 28, 2016 at 10:08 am

        There are ‘your speed is’ signs all over the place. Look at your speedometer and compare to the sign, then adjust your driving accordingly.

        A ‘1.37mph’ variance is not a valid reason for a 10mph cushion.

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      • wsbob September 27, 2016 at 10:54 am

        “…“Car and Driver” magazine in 2002 did a study on the accuracy of speedometers. The results showed that, on average, there was a noticeable discrepancy between the speed displayed in the vehicle and its actual speed. After studying 200 vehicles moving at 70 mph, the speedometer readings on average were 1.37 mph faster than the actual speed. Some vehicles were off by an even larger margin.” …” 696 duke

        From 14 yrs ago, during which time there may have been technological advances in speedometer accuracy, the reliability of car and driver mag’s study may be questionable. Still the excerpt above, about speedometer accuracy, is notable. What it’s saying, is that on average, speedometers will say the motor vehicle is going faster than it actually is. In other words, if the posted speed limit is 40 mph, and the motor vehicle’s speedometer reads, let’s say 41, (to allow for reduced error amount at a lower speed.), the motor vehicle will still be at the posted speed limit, rather than being in excess.

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      • 696duke September 27, 2016 at 2:08 pm

        Those were just the 1st two listings on a google search… Facts are facts there chief

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      • El Biciclero September 27, 2016 at 4:40 pm

        “Those were just the 1st two listings on a google search… Facts are facts there chief”

        Hey, Chief, I found a cool tire size calculator from Discount Tire here. It lets you compare tire sizes and even shows your relative speed increase due to tire size! No one is disputing the claim that speedometers are inaccurate; I believe the initial incredulity was expressed at your claim that tire size could affect speed by up to 10mph. Change in speed (at the same tire rpm) due to tire size is proportional to the change in tire diameter; a 5% increase in tire diameter results in a 5% increase in actual speed, which would be underestimated by the speedometer. So to get a 10-mph difference in speed, one would need to increase tire size by 10% (going from say, 26-inch tires to 28.6-inch tires) and go 100 mph (according to the speedometer). With changes of that magnitude, yes tire size could affect speed by 10 mph.

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      • wsbob September 27, 2016 at 7:07 pm

        “Those were just the 1st two listings on a google search… Facts are facts there chief” 696duke

        I’m not disputing the stats of the study you cited…chief or 696duke, or whatever it is you want to call yourself. What I wrote, is that the error in speedometer accuracy that the Car and Driver found, favors people driving by helping keep actual motor vehicle speed below that which the speedometer reads.

        So for example, if somebody wanting to plead down their speeding citation in court were to say ‘According to my speedometer, I was going the speed limit. It must be inaccurately telling me I’m going slower than I actually am.’, a judge that knows something about speedometer accuracy, might question that excuse.

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      • James Sherbondy September 23, 2016 at 4:52 pm

        So, maybe not a history lesson, but back in the day. The margin for “error” was 10 PERCENT, not MPH. Over time though, somehow, it morphed into a flat 10 MPH, no matter what the speed. 72 in a 40 should be a felony as far as I’m concerned. That’s basically the same as randomly shooting a gun any direction in a crowded place.

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      • John Lascurettes September 24, 2016 at 1:06 am

        I’ve often wondered why the “standard” leniency wasn’t 10%. That would mean on a newer greenway that anyone breaking 22 MPH would get a ticket. Yes please. … As opposed to 30, 50% over the speed limit (as already pointed out).

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      • Joe in Spokane September 26, 2016 at 9:03 am

        I think a big part of the problem is analog (“normal”) speedometers. The needle is kind of pointing toward 40, so the driver calls it 40. Of course, they’re always on the high side.

        I have a Chevy Volt, with a digital speedometer. I can easily tell if I’m going 36 in a 35 mph zone, and decelerate gently. All cars should have an easy-to-read digital speedometer.

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      • Ted Timmons (Contributor) September 26, 2016 at 10:46 am

        Car speedos are accurate within a percentage.

        .. of the highest speed:

        To begin with, manufacturers are afforded the latitude to aim for within plus-or-minus two percent of absolute accuracy or to introduce bias to read high on a sliding scale of from minus-one to plus-three percent at low speeds to zero to plus-four percent above 55 mph. And those percentages are not of actual speed but rather a percentage of the total speed range indicated on the dial. So the four-percent allowable range on an 85-mph speedometer is 3.4 mph, and the acceptable range on a 150-mph speedometer is 6.0 mph.

        https://www.quora.com/On-a-vehicle-dashboard-is-the-speedometer-accurate-or-does-it-incorporate-a-margin-for-error

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      • BB September 27, 2016 at 2:36 pm

        There is very little tolerance for stopping at a stop sign. Heck I don’t even know what a stop is.

        But when it comes to speeding 9mph over is not good enough.

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    • Adam September 23, 2016 at 11:35 am

      How many miles over the speed limit do you have to be for it to activate I wonder?

      The reason I ask is, the first car – the red one – was flooring it too. Yet no flash. At least 55mph I would guess.

      I think if you are going 50 in a 45 zone, you should get a ticket. Otherwise, what’s the point?

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    • Eric Leifsdad September 23, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      The SUV’s driver is only getting a warning for 72mph?

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      • 9watts September 23, 2016 at 1:37 pm

        Just like bikers who roll the stop sign at Ladd’s Circle 😉

        Funny how Car Head gives so much lenience to evident, dangerous, flagrant law breaking but slams someone on a bike doing something far less harmful, and something that a neighboring state even allows.

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      • soren September 26, 2016 at 11:39 am

        Is there any evidence that running the stop signs at Ladd’s has ever harmed anyone?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty September 26, 2016 at 11:44 am

        I’d ask that question about both cars and bikes.

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      • JeffS September 26, 2016 at 12:18 pm

        Sure. The persistent inability to cross the road with the knowledge that approaching traffic will stop when legally required to do so. That’s undeniable harm in my book.

        Maybe if you pretended that it was a poor or black neighborhood you could muster some sympathy for the residents.

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      • wsbob September 27, 2016 at 10:42 am

        The unique circumstances at Ladd’s Addition, in which both the city and great numbers of people biking, have appropriated one of that neighborhoods’ diagonally laid out streets for a high volume bike route…harms the neighborhoods’ livability when road users decline to stop at the stop signs as they proceed through the neighborhood.

        Biking culture, fundamentally is, or at least its advocates seem to seek to present biking as wholly supportive of neighborhood livability. Yet when a maximum convenience of people biking becomes subject to a simple, basic road use obligation such as proceeding through a neighborhood at a peaceful rate of speed considerate of people living in the neighborhood, including stopping at stop signs, the rationalizations attempting to justify maximum convenience for people biking, at the expense of the neighborhood, seem to have no end.

        Excessively high speeds of motor vehicle on major thoroughfares, used also by people traveling by bike, are an entirely different situation than that of streets through quiet neighborhoods.

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      • Ted Timmons (Contributor) September 27, 2016 at 12:01 pm

        Commuting culture, fundamentally is, or at least its advocates seem to seek to present driving as wholly supportive of neighborhood livability. Yet when a maximum convenience of people driving becomes subject to a simple, basic road use obligation such as proceeding through a neighborhood at a peaceful rate of speed considerate of people living in the neighborhood, including stopping at stop signs, the rationalizations attempting to justify maximum convenience for people driving, at the expense of the neighborhood, seem to have no end.

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      • wsbob September 27, 2016 at 6:51 pm

        Nearly word for word, you’ve stolen my writing to try make your point. I would have thought you’d have more respect for yourself than to stoop to plagiarism,

        At any rate, I don’t think residents of Ladd’s Addition, or residents of any other neighborhood, are interested in rationalizing that it’s ok for people driving to not stop at stop signs…but not ok for people biking not to stop at stop signs.

        Past bikeportland stories, and comments to them on the traffic situation in Ladd’s Addition, reported that, people objected to people driving and not stopping at the neighborhood’s stop signs (though there were fewer of them not stopping than there were people biking and not stopping.). And also, when police conducted their stop sign enforcement details, people driving that failed to adequately stop at the stop signs, got citations too.

        I think it’s fair to presume that neighborhood residents would like everyone using the streets within their neighborhood, to do so within the prescription of the law, and with consideration for people living there.

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      • Ted Timmons (Contributor) September 27, 2016 at 6:54 pm

        Sorry, you lost me at plagiarism.

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      • wsbob September 28, 2016 at 11:39 am

        “Sorry, you lost me at plagiarism.” timmons

        I think you do understand that you took the lame and dishonest approach of stealing my writing, instead of using your own writing, to make your point. You presented my work, as your own, making no note of whose writing it was, or the couple words you changed in what I’d written, to serve your own purpose: that’s plagiarism.

        As to the central issue, I think definitely, efforts to bring about lower motor vehicle speeds that still allow efficient travel and transport… enables roads and streets to be safe and functional, and neighborhoods to retain a high quality of livability, is something worth putting energy into. Much more important, and far more likely to get worthwhile things done, than playing silly, dishonest games.

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      • Ted Timmons (Contributor) September 28, 2016 at 12:13 pm

        “stealing your writing” for criticism, with attribution being (literally) right there.

        You may not like the style of “mad libs of sweeping statements”, but it ain’t plagiarism by any reasonable definition.

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      • paikiala September 23, 2016 at 2:03 pm

        Eric,
        Everyone in the first month.
        Citations begin Saturday.

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      • 9watts September 23, 2016 at 2:05 pm

        Hilarious!

        Why so unbelievably generous?

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. September 23, 2016 at 2:06 pm

        Every speed camera program I have seen in other cities has this rule too. I suspect it may be a federal DOT rule.

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      • 9watts September 23, 2016 at 6:24 pm

        Yes, but that is not an answer or an explanation of why.

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      • resopmok September 24, 2016 at 9:18 am

        Though I can’t know for sure, I would imagine it has to do with a series of legal cases that precede the decision.

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      • paikiala September 27, 2016 at 10:53 am

        9,
        Most every change in law is accompanied by advance warning of when it goes into effect. In this case, the timing is variable from location to location, since it is the method of enforcement that has legally changed. Seem logical to give those affected a 30 day warning – and such warnings are common with PBOT when other things change in the right of way.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty September 27, 2016 at 10:55 am

        My guess on how you feel about warnings depends on whether you see the goal of enforcement as prevention or punishment.

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      • Eric Leifsdad September 27, 2016 at 11:58 am

        “I need prevention to keep myself from breaking the law. Other people clearly need punishment because I see them doing it all the time.”

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  • PNP September 23, 2016 at 10:40 am

    This is great news. I’ve always thought it was odd that the law requires a sign giving drivers advance warning of speed enforcement or monitoring.

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    • Adam September 23, 2016 at 11:33 am

      I’ve often thought about just hiding a giant remote flash in a tree or mounted on a pole or something.

      No camera, just a giant, blinding flash! Activated remotely via a pocket keyfob.

      Then just stand innocently at a bus stop, and randomly set it off.

      Compliance in motorists would skyrocket!!!

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      • Spiffy September 23, 2016 at 12:45 pm

        that sounds illegal but I’ve seen plenty of roadside coffee stands with a strobe light aimed at the road so it’s probably legit… or they’re all breaking the law, which is quite likely as well…

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    • Scott Kocher September 23, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      I thought the same. Part of what’s amazing about the data is how effective the signs are at preventing speeding. On one hand, that’s even better than having speeding, and tickets, and crashes. On the other hand, it shows that cameras without signs could, in short order and without the sky falling, cause people to drive safely everywhere. That is a right we have as people, parents etc. and not one we should have to wait for.

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  • colton September 23, 2016 at 10:40 am

    is “51 mph or more over the speed limit” really what they meant? I mean that’s 51+35=86 MPH.

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    • rick September 23, 2016 at 11:26 am

      I think a ticket will be given for driving or riding a motorcycle at a speed above 50 mph. 51 and up.

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    • wsbob September 23, 2016 at 11:33 am

      “is “51 mph or more over the speed limit” really what they meant? I mean that’s 51+35=86 MPH.” colton

      Doesn’t seem right to me either…thanks for making note of that. Has PBOT been asked to clarify?

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    • Allison Sliter September 23, 2016 at 11:40 am

      I think it was just poorly worded, the same idea is repeated in the next bullet point to talk about the change and it said “51 mph or faster”

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  • Brian September 23, 2016 at 10:56 am

    There is nobody at the wheel!

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    • Tom Hardy September 23, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      probably an “Autodriver”/

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  • Allan Rudwick September 23, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I don’t think these will hurt but the benefits are clearly overstated in this article. Roads are long, these things have an impact for maybe 1/4 mile in each direction.

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    • rick September 23, 2016 at 11:32 am

      True. Trail # 1 also keeps people walking and running on the side streets and trails on the north side of this highway. There are few walk and bike-friendly businesses along this highway from 65th Ave to Hillsdale town center.

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    • George Dorn September 25, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      Well, this is the first camera. If it works for the area it covers (and it appears to), the next logical step is to install more cameras, which solves the “roads are long” problem.

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      • David Post September 26, 2016 at 2:15 pm

        In Taiwan they have these every few miles on the highway, along with red light cameras at a few intersections. They also have a compulsory law that states if you get a ticket but you were not the one driving you either have to report who was driving or pay the ticket yourself.

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  • Caitlin D September 23, 2016 at 11:11 am

    This sounds like a great improvement. More speed cameras, please!

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  • Kate September 23, 2016 at 11:11 am

    These are an important tool to have in our toolbox, so good on Treat and PBOT for pursing the change in law to enable these on Portland’s streets!

    Jonathan- do you know if these are going to be fixed cameras or whether they might move around on different parts of the corridor? That might address Allan’s concerns about people only slowing where they are expecting them.

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    • wsbob September 23, 2016 at 11:55 am

      The city could make use of camera vans too. It’s great how they’re able to be moved around so people thinking of driving excessively fast, don’t know exactly where the camera van will be.

      It’s wonderful that Portland is taking initiative to manage speeds motor vehicles travel at on some of its roads that are particularly notorious for excessive speed.

      One thing I think some people will wonder about, is why they have to face a penalty for driving over the speed limit during hours of the day when traffic is minimal…say hours between late night after 10 or 12, and before 6am.

      They’ll rationalize that high speeds under those conditions pose little harm. Is it reasonable and fair to expect people to stay within the speed limit during hours when there’s very few people using the road…and why? Higher speed limits during off hours, could cut trip times for people driving then. Might be a cost savings for commercial traffic. On the other hand, higher speed limits allowed off hours, could turn roads into speedways…loud for nearby neighborhoods, and dangerous for anyone, not in a ‘speed at all costs’ mindset, that does happen to be on the road during those hours.

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      • paikiala September 23, 2016 at 2:05 pm

        PPB already has two, but they are limited to 2 hours in any one spot and are required to be staffed…

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      • Tom Hardy September 23, 2016 at 3:36 pm

        This keeps the EMT’s and ambulance drivers busy scraping up the drunks and gangbangers blasting around between the hours around bar closing.

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      • Bay Area Rider September 23, 2016 at 4:26 pm

        At least in California the traffic survey which the speed limit is based on is taken during off peak times. The traffic survey is based on the free flowing speed of cars, no large trucks or vehicles towing anything, that have a min of 5 seconds between cars. When the surveys are done per the CalTrans manual then the speed of100 cars is taken and the speed limit based on the 15th fastest car rounded to the closest 5 MPH. Yeah a stupid way to determine speed limits since this just causes the speeds to creep up till they reach the max speed for that type of road. The speed limit in California is suppose to be the max allowable speed under ideal conditions and in theory drivers are suppose to go slower under less than ideal conditions. Less than ideal conditions include such things as limited sight lines due to weather and darkness, the amount of other traffic on the road, which includes pedestrians and bicycle riders as well as other motor vehicles, hidden driveways, condition of the road surface and condition of the car.

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      • wsbob September 27, 2016 at 11:57 am

        “…The speed limit in California is suppose to be the max allowable speed under ideal conditions…” bay area rider

        My personal feeling, is that criteria for setting speed limits is, for many areas, very ‘old school’ philosophy that doesn’t not satisfactorily take into consideration, the effect on livability of cities and neighborhoods, roads regulated this way, produce.

        That for years, highway depts and traffic engineers have been obliged to design road and streets for the maximum possible motor vehicle mph speeds, seems to be largely why so many neighborhoods are plagued with high numbers of motor vehicles traveling at speeds enormously out of proportion to that needed for basic neighborhood livability and street functionality by means other than motor vehicle.

        For so very long in so many cities here in the U.S., it seems to have been the obligation of neighborhoods to try blithely accept, despite definite compromise to neighborhood livability, ever increasing numbers of motor vehicles traveling at maximum allowed speeds.

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  • raphael September 23, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Barbur please

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  • Todd Hudson September 23, 2016 at 11:19 am

    It would be nice to have one on East Burnside. Beyond 60th, even driver becomes Mario Andretti. Thankfully I no longer live on this street.

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    • paikiala September 23, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      High crash corridors eligible for fixed photo radar:
      http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/59277

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      • rachel b September 23, 2016 at 4:00 pm

        I saw a Texas Transportation Institute study on Dynamic Speed Display Signs that proved they were effective in school zones. Another study (Morgan State Univ.) said the signs work esp. well in conjunction w/ the cameras.

        Any chance streets other than high crash corridors–i.e., streets w/ schools–could petition for the DSDS/ticketing camera combo in the future?

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  • rick September 23, 2016 at 11:23 am

    It has been much nicer riding along BH Highway since the cameras were installed. Very thankful for justice. These safety cameras are needed on numerous SW Portland roads.

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  • Carrie September 23, 2016 at 11:23 am

    This is an example of why I think enforcement really and truly does work. I am truly listening to all the discussion and concerns about equity, but I also think that just enforcing the rules we already have (stop at stop signs, follow the speed limit, don’t pass over a double yellow line) will make daily transportation life much nicer.

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    • rick September 23, 2016 at 11:34 am

      I think the air is more clean when riding my bike along this section lately. It has made a huge difference since late August.

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    • Spiffy September 23, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      it would make transportation life a complete disaster for the majority of people because with the current capacity of our roads it’s nearly impossible to drive somewhere directly without breaking a law…

      if all traffic laws were strictly enforced for motor vehicle users then we’d have hordes of them clamoring for public transit…

      but we don’t have the resources to have a traffic cop on every corner…

      I’m all for putting up cameras on every corner and mailing tickets to people…

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      • Tom Hardy September 23, 2016 at 3:39 pm

        With zero tolerance for anything over 10% over the limit.

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    • Eric Leifsdad September 23, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      Don’t forget: turn into the nearest lane, use your turn signals, actually replace your burnt-out signal lamp, don’t pass at an intersection, no tailgating. This is just one car from yesterday’s school run (which was also speeding and ran a stop sign as usual.)

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    • El Biciclero September 23, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      Yes, enforcement does work—if it is guaranteed. The main problem with enforcement, however is that human enforcers have to be in the right place at the right time to catch violators. Unfortunately for some, the “right place” might be that neighborhood, where a disproportionate number of poor or minority offenders would be caught, while violators in other parts of the city are getting away with illegal behavior. Another issue is “officer discretion” about whom to cite for offenses. These factors mean that enforcement is usually a) somewhat unfair, and/or b) random and relatively unlikely.

      To me, cameras can offer the best of both worlds. The “right” place should be based on concentration of violations, not on neighborhood demographics, and cameras have no discretion (although there is probably some human who decides to mail or not to mail a citation). So for such locations, at least, enforcement is “fair” and “guaranteed”, the best combination for changing behavior.

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    • Kristi Finney Dunn September 23, 2016 at 11:35 pm

      I was quite disappointed about the decision to not recommend more enforcement. Part of that was justified by the PPB notifying us at that last meeting that they would need to decrease the traffic division officers by five almost immediately. It’s more important to go after shoplifters and pretty criminals than killers on the road.

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  • rick September 23, 2016 at 11:24 am

    BH Highway needs to be 35 mph in this section. It is 35 in Raleigh Hills and east Beaverton. In fact, it is 30 mph by the Pizzacato at SW 107th Ave.

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    • Spiffy September 23, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      20 is plenty, on every city street…

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  • JeffS September 23, 2016 at 11:26 am

    I would be curious to know what the threshold for a ticket is going to be.

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    • rick September 23, 2016 at 11:34 am

      I think 51 mph.

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      • Eric Leifsdad September 23, 2016 at 1:13 pm

        Yes, I’m disappointed that the report says “violations” when they actually mean non-class-D violations i.e. less than 27% over the posted speed.

        How about 31 in a 20 — 55% over the posted speed and 4x the chance of fatality to an unarmored person struck at that speed? Is that really the same as failure to signal? Please. Vision Only Mostly Dead.

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  • Adam September 23, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Is it just me, or was the red car in front of the white car going pretty much just as fast?

    The two vehicles behind were going slower, but that was probably only because they witnessed the flash of the speed camera and thought “oh s**t!!!!” to themselves.

    I LOVE speed cameras. If we could have them on every block of every street, I would be in heaven.

    That said, they seem to be a poor substitute for better roadway design. If you have a roadway that allows a car to drive 70+ mph, you really need to design it better. More stop signs, more traffic lights, and other traffic calming features.

    That road is hideous. Try getting out to Blind Date at The Dairy on it. It is fast, wide, and has no safe crossings. There is one crossing at Shattuck, and nothing either side for like a mile. What people who take Trimet on this road are expected to do to cross to their bus stops lord only knows.

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    • rick September 23, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Portland is designing the Red Electric Trail to get to the Velodrome and SW Oleson Road.

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      • bradwagon September 23, 2016 at 1:50 pm

        I was initially excited about this as a route to get downtown from Beaverton but having thought about it more I imagine it will end up similar to the Fanno Creek Trail. Meaning it will be a nice leisurely route for dog walkers and families but still an inefficient way to actually travel by bike as a means of transportation.

        Have said and will continue to say that BHH needs a road diet to allow for a wide separated bike track that allows for direct and efficient cycling between Beaverton and SW / Downtown. Eliminate the center turn lane and make a two way path on one side or eliminate a lane from each direction and have a ped and one way cycle path on each side… either way.

        I am so tired of the 5 mile direct and flat route (compared to rest of west hills) from Scholls Ferry to Ross Island Bridge via BHH and Barbur being a ride at your own risk route. What could be a 20 minute ride with my family is a route planning and side street winding nightmare if attempted with a bike trailer and my wife (she isn’t too keen on the bike trailer being used outside of neighborhood streets and paths). I think many people would find 10 mile bike trips very manageable if it didn’t require using a maze of disconnected paths and side streets that took you an hour or more.

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      • rick September 23, 2016 at 3:53 pm

        The Red Electric Trail won’t be littered with tree roots buckling asphalt. Many parts of it will be on greenway roads with 15 or 20 mph roads and some will have sidewalks.

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      • bradwagon September 26, 2016 at 10:17 am

        I hope so regarding path quality but again, I would prefer to not have to wind my way through neighborhood streets and transition across sidewalks up onto a paths. This is just once again a subtle way to route peds and bikes through inconvenient, less valuable space. Why can bikes not be given as convenient and valuable routes as cars?

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  • Adam September 23, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Also, how is it ‘traffic shaming’ as PBOT puts it, when the car driver’s face is blocked out, and the car driver’s plates are blocked out?

    That’s not my definition of traffic shaming.

    Show their licence plate, I say!

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    • Allison Sliter September 23, 2016 at 11:41 am

      I bet that driver’s mom recognizing her kid’s car. And the driver too.

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      • Spiffy September 23, 2016 at 12:42 pm

        my first thought was older white male…

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    • paikiala September 23, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      It’s not a citation in the first month, just a warning.
      citations are likely public records, ask for data after next week.

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  • RH September 23, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Why don’t we also put ‘speed camera area’ signs all over the city (like other countries do)….even if a speed camera isn’t there? That would maybe help keep drivers on their toes…especially if the city did have a mobile speed camera van, etc..

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    • rick September 23, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      politics

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      • RH September 23, 2016 at 1:14 pm

        That’s what’s frustrating. Let’s say 50 signs @ $500 each installed is only $25,000. That’s a tiny amount for guaranteed safety and livability improvement. [sigh].

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    • Chris I September 23, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      If the cameras were rolled out all over the city, realistically, you would only need about 25% of them to be real cameras. The rest could be dummy boxes that look the same and flash when someone exceeds the limit.

      This program is fantastic. Enforcement only works if it is 100%. Once drivers understand that they can’t get away with illegal activities, they will stop.

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    • paikiala September 23, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      RH,
      Ever entered the city?
      ‘Welcome to Portland’
      ‘Traffic Laws Photo Enforced’

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  • GlowBoy September 23, 2016 at 11:47 am

    How is this Portland’s first speed camera? PPB has been using speed cameras in vans (aka photo radar) since at least the 90s, and I know I’ve seen speed signs like this a number of places. Or are those all in places like Beaverton, and this is the first permanent installation of a speed camera in the city of Portland?

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    • rick September 23, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      I’ve seen ones around Washington County, but I don’t think they take a photo and give tickets.

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      • Tom Hardy September 23, 2016 at 3:49 pm

        They do Rick. The vans are also manned. I usually stop and say HI if I am on the bike. Sometimes it even wakes the policeman up inside.

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      • Chad September 25, 2016 at 8:01 pm

        In Beaverton they are manned and do give tickets. In Hillsboro the speed signs are advisory and often turn into a “competition” as drivers speed up to go for a high score when traffic is light.

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    • Spiffy September 23, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      yes, the key term here is “fixed” and not mobile… we’ve had vans, but nothing mounted to a fixed object…

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    • soren September 23, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Because except for this small demonstration project unmanned fixed speed cameras are illegal in OR. Livable Streets Action and BikeLoudPDX asked the legislative transportation committee to legalize fixed speed cameras in Salem yesterday.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. September 23, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Looks like the camera is working. Please install tons more!

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  • Charles Kim September 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Its great the camera ticket system is working for that stretch. However, the camera system is quite obvious and will be effective for that one area. I can see people speeding up as soon as they pass the camera. It seems multiple cameras are needed to prevent speeding much like how speed bumps in neighborhood streets prevent speeding. Its a good start though.

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    • nuovorecord September 23, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      I think some drivers will speed up, to be sure. But others will not and slow down speeds for other drivers behind them. Not a perfect solution, but until autonomous cars are the only vehicles allowed on the roads, this is a good next step.

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  • Kristin September 23, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Any news on where the cameras will be on Marine Drive? I rode the on-road section between 13th and 33rd on my old commute and the speeding trucks are terrifying, especially with the indifferent maintenance of the bike lane.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty September 23, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    paikiala: Do you know if the cameras collect any data on drivers who are not photographed for enforcement action?

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    • paikiala September 27, 2016 at 10:46 am

      Not for PBOT.
      Not sure how the vendor would turn a profit expending resources that way either, or the risk v. reward equation.

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  • danny September 23, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Four little words: Barbur Blvd. next PLEASE!!!

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    • rick September 23, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      Do the auto shops and strip clubs support it on Barbur?

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  • Pat Franz September 23, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    How about warning letters for anyone more than 10% over, and require them to confirm their insurance? And corresponding notifications to their insurance companies? And go on their record, and the record for the car?

    These “small transgressions” can either be occasional or chronic. I don’t see being able to do much about the truly occasional lapses, but the chronic abusers are ticking time bombs. As a society, we need an effective way of letting them know their behavior is not OK, won’t actually be tolerated, and has consequences.

    As it is now, a chronic traffic law abuser really only comes to the attention of anyone in government when they cause a serious crash. And all the times they drove dangerously before that are completely invisible. The very big problem of people that regularly cause accidents and are allowed to keep driving (whether or not they have a license) still needs to be solved too, but there are a lot more less crash prone but still chronically dangerous drivers out there. We need to have some way of changing their behavior short of trying to sanction them after they have killed someone.

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    • JeffS September 24, 2016 at 8:22 pm

      How about you just give everyone a ticket every time. The chronic vs occasional thing works itself out.

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  • was carless September 26, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Wait, if this was the first speed camera, how did my wife get a ticket from this very camera on this highway last year?

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  • GutterBunnyBikes September 26, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Must be a fluke, because as everyone here knows enforcement never works.

    (sarcasim btw)

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  • Andy K October 3, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Can you follow up with PBOT on how the first week of real citations went?

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