Tour de Lab September 1st

PBOT removes Hawthorne memorial, responds to Clinton crosswalk controversy

Posted by on October 6th, 2016 at 9:29 am

The center turn lane on Hawthorne at 43rd is now available for driving on after PBOT removed a makeshift memorial last night.
(Photo: Paul Jeffery)

Last night under the cover of darkness City of Portland transportation bureau crews cleared out the cones, signs, candles, photos and flowers that had created a traffic calming memorial to Fallon Smart on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard.

The makeshift memorial in the center turn lane at the intersection of 43rd Avenue had grown from a few flowers on August 19th to a memorial so large that it closed Hawthorne’s center turn lane. In fact, closing the lane was a secondary and symbolic goal of the memorial — since it was that center lane that allowed Abdulrahman Noorah* to speed recklessly past another driver (who had stopped) just before he hit and killed the 15-year-old Smart.

Fallon Smart Memorial Ride-23.jpg

The memorial as it looked on August 26th.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“Citing liability concerns might sound like one of those legalistic things bureaucracies do to try and shift attention away from their own inaction. That’s not the case here.”
— John Brady, PBOT Communications Director

City crews removed the memorial despite pleas from local businesses and safe street activists who claimed that the memorial — and the unsanctioned crosswalk that complemented it — was having a significant safety impact due to people slowing down as they drove through.

PBOT took about a week longer than they expected to remove the memorial, a delay that had some Sunnyside Neighborhood Association members thinking that perhaps there was a chance it would stay (PBOT said they honored the family’s request for privacy and didn’t want anyone to know when it would be removed). PBOT says they’ve been in communication with Fallon Smart’s family and they waited until the family was able to remove some of the items before clearing the site.

Katherine White, an employee at an adjacent business, met with the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association Land Use and Transportation Committee this week to try and persuade PBOT to keep the memorial up. In a September 28th email to Mayor Charlie Hales, PBOT Commissioner Steve Novick, and the three other city commissioners, White wrote, “Since the unofficial crosswalk and memorial were put in, drivers are slowing down and paying attention to pedestrians and cyclists. The memorial is raising awareness about traffic safety and I think people are considering the cost of their impatience behind the wheel. This is good for everyone, not just the people in this community.”

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“The memorial in the center lane is beautiful,” White continued, “it is being well cared for, and it is working – it is calming traffic. It is giving some meaning to this tragedy by creating safety that can save other lives.” White implored PBOT to maintain the memorial until the city is able to invest in permanent safety measures.

“How do we work with city government when the only actions they take are obstructive? This is my first round with the bureaucracy and I am disillusioned and angry – but not giving up.”
— Katherine White, program director at One With Heart

PBOT Communications Director John Brady told us this morning that PBOT has completed a proposal for permanent safety changes to the intersection and is trying to schedule a time to present it to the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association. “Whatever we do end up installing there permanently,” Brady shared with us, “it would be up to standard.”

By “up to standard,” Brady means it would be designed to the city’s engineering guidelines as opposed to the unsanctioned memorial that was created by local residents. PBOT also made it clear that they wanted to “restore the center turn lane,” and with their actions last night they have done that. The guerrilla crosswalk at 43rd has been left alone, which leads us to believe it’s likely to be made permanent.

Adding to the community confusion and frustration around this situation on Hawthorne is how the City has responded to a separate unsanctioned crosswalk at Southeast Clinton at 19th. A crosswalk installed there by activist group PDX Transformation at the request of parents of an adjacent preschool has been removed twice now. An employee of the preschool said the crosswalk is badly needed. Brady said the agency “understands and appreciates the concern for safety that these actions represent,” and that, “as a Vision Zero bureau, it is a concern we share.”

“Why do we keep taking these crosswalks out? Isn’t that a waste of money and time?,” Brady wrote to us via email last night. “These are understandable questions.”

Brady says the answer is simple: crosswalks installed by people in the community aren’t built to the proper engineering standards and as such expose the city to legal risk. “If we were to let one of these non-standard crosswalks stay permanently and a crash occurred at the location, the City would be potentially liable.”

Here’s more from Brady:

“Citing liability concerns might sound like one of those legalistic things bureaucracies do to try and shift attention away from their own inaction. That’s not the case here. In the past, PBOT has faced liability claims tied to the specific state of our infrastructure and whether it met the required standards. As a public agency that is committed to the prudent use of public funds, we have a duty to do what we can to avoid exposing the City to such liability claims. That is one of the reasons we have removed the crosswalks at SE Clinton and 19th.”

When Katherine White and the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association said they would volunteer to count traffic on Hawthorne, the city said that’s not feasible. PBOT Constituent Services Coordinator Cevero Gonzalez stated in an email to White yesterday that, “PBOT can only use data collected by authorized city employees, gathered using standard data collection protocols, and as a result cannot consider volunteer pedestrian or vehicle traffic counts submitted by interested but unaffiliated parties.” White took that as an insult and she was also upset because Gonzalez told her the memorial was removed on September 29th — making it clear he wasn’t up to speed on the issue. “While they [PBOT] may not know what is going on in this neighborhood, I do. It is my community,” she wrote.

White is “angry” at how PBOT has handled the situation on Hawthorne. “It seems like the best way, maybe the only way, to get PBOT to use our tax dollars to take action is to ask them not to do something,” she wrote in an email to us this morning. “How do we work with city government when the only actions they take are obstructive? This is my first round with the bureaucracy and I am disillusioned and angry – but not giving up. Whether or not the process moves forward with the community and city government cooperating and showing mutual respect is now in their hands. And they are not off to a good start.”

An anonymous “agent” with PDX Transformation, the group that takes credit for the crosswalks at 43rd and 19th, is also not satisfied with PBOT’s responses so far. “We appreciate the City needs to focus its resources on areas that present greater danger,” the agent wrote to us this morning. “That’s why we bought the materials and installed them (safely, with flaggers and cones) at no cost to the city.”

“We don’t understand how the tiny chance of a lawsuit at this location exceeds the chance of legal action over the many, many locations where PBOT has either failed to install, or failed to upkeep, paint or other infrastructure that is required for safety,” the statement from PDX Transformation continues. “The bureau could have been spending its budget on those locations instead, substantially reducing its exposure to civil suits. This is especially true where the City is knowingly operating in violation of the law, such as failing to mark with signs and paint all the locations that street parking is in violation of state law, all of which create visual impediment to safe use of intersections throughout the city…. That the City has not paid out huge sums yet for these violations is due to luck, more than anything.”

While clearly antagonistic and in disagreement with the guidelines and criteria PBOT uses to make crosswalk placement decisions, PDX Transformation also has a cooperative tone. They’re offering traffic calming services at no charge to the City of Portland. They want to re-install the crosswalk at 19th and other locations: “We offer to fund and install another crosswalk built to City standards in another part of town, such as East Portland.”

For now PBOT seems unlikely to sway from their adherence to a more traditional approach. In an email last night Brady reiterated what we reported on yesterday, saying an engineering analysis at Clinton and 19th performed in October 2015 found that the road doesn’t meet the city’s criteria for installing a marked crosswalk. Specically he said, there aren’t enough people crossing at that location and the average speed people drive cars is lower than what would warrant a marked crosswalk. “Of course if the traffic patterns were to change,” he wrote in a follow-up email this morning, “we would take another look based on our guidelines.”

Beyond this analysis Brady opened a new line of reasoning for PBOT’s actions on Clinton: “It is important for the community to understand,” he wrote, “that there are other, more dangerous intersections, including intersections near schools, where we need to focus our resources.”

*Abdulrahman Noorah, the man who hit and killed Fallon Smart, posted bail three weeks ago and is currently under house arrest with GPS monitoring by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s office. His next appearance in court is scheduled for October 24th.

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

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76 Comments
  • Avatar
    alankessler October 6, 2016 at 9:42 am

    The mayor told us that we need to continue to be loud if anything is going to change. I am so glad we have the superheroes of PDX Transformation working for us. I can’t help with their installations, but I’m proud to help buy them cones. Please join me: https://www.gofundme.com/pdx-transformation

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. October 6, 2016 at 10:06 am

      He clearly didn’t mean that kind of loud. He meant the kind of loud he can easily ignore.

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        Spiffy October 6, 2016 at 10:52 am

        he’s clearly deaf if the death of his citizens isn’t something loud enough for him to hear…

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. October 6, 2016 at 11:16 am

          As I’ve said in the past, Mayor Hales’ claim that “activists need to be louder” was simply a ploy to direct attention away from his own failures. I can all but guarantee he isn’t serious about listening to our concerns. His past behavior over the last four years should be evidence enough that he’s not interested.

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            Kelly Francois October 9, 2016 at 12:08 pm

            From what I saw at the City Council meeting Wednesday – he lied if he says he wants people to be loud. He arrested people who were loud and shut down city hall for 2 days. He wants to do what he wants to do and he wants the common people to get out of his way.

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    rick October 6, 2016 at 9:58 am

    What else to expect from a city with a bureaucratic process and policy when dealing with things like this and mountain bike trails and the new community-initiated trails policy?

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty October 6, 2016 at 10:45 am

      I propose installing a community-built single track pump course down the center lane of Hawthorne. Two birds one stone and all that.

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        Brian October 6, 2016 at 10:46 am

        Three stones as it could also be a safe route to school.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty October 6, 2016 at 12:50 pm

          Two birds and three stones. I like the way you think!

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    BikeSlobPDX October 6, 2016 at 10:06 am

    “there aren’t enough people crossing at that location and the average speed people drive cars is lower than what would warrant a marked crosswalk”

    If they’re serious about “Vision Zero”, something in their methodology needs to change, since the status quo is non-zero. How about “don’t rely on averages”? The statistical outliers are the hazard. The average of Abdulrahman Noorah and my own cautious-granny in-town speeds probably registers as “safe”.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. October 6, 2016 at 10:10 am

      Every intersection is a crosswalk, so mark all of them.

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        BikeSlobPDX October 6, 2016 at 10:29 am

        Better yet, raise them. Why do they put speed bumps in the middle of the block?

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. October 6, 2016 at 10:43 am

          Yes, we absolutely need more raised crosswalks. There is plenty of evidence to their effectiveness. We even have some around the Portland area!

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            paikiala October 7, 2016 at 9:37 am

            where?

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              Eric Leifsdad October 7, 2016 at 11:41 am

              If we tell you, will you promise the city won’t take them out?

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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. October 7, 2016 at 11:51 am

              The parking lot of PCC SE has some.

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                paikiala October 7, 2016 at 2:18 pm

                where is your evidence?

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. October 7, 2016 at 2:23 pm

                Uhh, the fact that they exist? Go there and see it for yourself. https://goo.gl/maps/c3cPuxWMR7y

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. October 7, 2016 at 2:26 pm

                There’s also one in Tigard.

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        Adam October 6, 2016 at 11:14 am

        For real. Every interesection needs a crosswalk. Why are striped crosswalks the anomaly, and not the rule?

        That would be like only having stop signs at one out of every 200 intersections, because you assume people will just “figure it out”.

        And PBOT always bangs on and on about how they can or can’t do things because they want to maintain consistent standards. Well, how is having only one out of every 200 intersections striped with a crosswalk maintaining consistency?

        It’s one set of standards for motor vehicles, another set entirely for pedestrians.

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          Spiffy October 6, 2016 at 12:03 pm

          “That would be like only having stop signs at one out of every 200 intersections, because you assume people will just “figure it out”.”

          actually, that’s how it is right now… calm residential streets have no stop signs and you just yield to the street to your right… since it’s a common law there’s no need to state it at every intersection… they only put stop signs on the ones that are having problems with too many vehicles…

          the same rule they’re applying to crosswalks… it’s a general rule that every corner is a crosswalk so just yield when you see somebody crossing at the corner… they only put in striped crosswalks when there’s a problem…

          I understand their reasoning, but it’s counter-productive in some instances… when people are consistently breaking the law where traffic controls are absent they should install some… the problem is that every driver is breaking the law and they would have to put up thousands of signs (stop, do not pass, do not block intersection, etc) and paint miles of lines…

          unfortunately the infrastructure has reached a breaking point due to the road design and lack of enforcement…

          because they let it get so bad the only way the city is going to control the problem is with the help of its citizens, and luckily there are plenty that want to help… but the city isn’t prepared to properly respond to the outcries of its citizens… they only know what the current procedure is…

          I see hope in their recent replies… they say that these citizen-created traffic controls need to be code compliant… they aren’t saying they shouldn’t be there, but rather that they need to be proper…

          activists are listening… they want to be sure their funds are spent on things that will stick and they will be more than happy to follow the engineering guidelines for crosswalks knowing that the city can’t justify removing a compliant piece of infrastructure…

          the hard part will be convincing the city that it’s needed even when it’s up to code…

          we could build a center median on Hawthorne that was up to code… but will the city think the center turn lane (and illegal delivery truck parking) is more important? that’s where the city needs to let the activism win and admit that although it’s not their ideal setup that it still meets the goals of improving safety over everything else (car throughput)…

          we’ll all be better off when the activists follow design codes and the city concedes to safety…

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            Eric Leifsdad October 6, 2016 at 12:46 pm

            Well said. Please join bikeloud and your neighborhood association in asking the city for policy and support for citizens to get quick and simple solutions on the ground ASAP. We can build a small and semi-permanent Better Block every weekend if we have PBOT working with us to solve the problems instead of just drawing plans and waiting to get money for concrete.

            The Vision Zero Action Plan draft goes in front of city council on Oct 12th and it needs something to make up for what it lacks in enforcement. It needs volunteer neighborhood teams and PBOT installing water-filled barriers, rubber curbs, plastic posts and similar cost-effective prototyping materials. Make a left turn pocket and a loading zone one weekend, a crossing refuge the next. Meanwhile, plans for capital projects will adapt into something tested and streamlined so we don’t have months of public process trying to plan how a cross-section works at an intersection with visibility issues. We need to design our streets in 3D, and a mock-up is at least 75% as effective as the real thing for the several years between now and pouring some concrete.

            Submit testimony from yourself and ask your neighborhood association to do likewise. Enforcing speed limits with new street designs is possible, but isn’t going to be easy and we need to change the conditions on the ground right now. We have plans, we need action.

            https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/40390

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            B. Carfree October 6, 2016 at 4:06 pm

            Requiring code compliance for citizen-built improvements is likely only a starting point. Once the citizens do that, then the city staff will say the long-term maintenance costs are prohibitive. (The Eugene interim traffic engineer is currently using that one.)

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            Tom Hardy October 7, 2016 at 8:19 am

            Hawthorne needs signs to indicate truck parking for loading and unloading in the center lane only.
            This way the drivers get to play tag with the cars:=).

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      wsbob October 6, 2016 at 11:13 am

      “…In an email last night Brady reiterated what we reported on yesterday, saying an engineering analysis at Clinton and 19th performed in October 2015 found that the road doesn’t meet the city’s criteria for installing a marked crosswalk. Specically he said, there aren’t enough people crossing at that location and the average speed people drive cars is lower than what would warrant a marked crosswalk. …” bikeportland, re; PBOT Communications Director John Brady

      I’m curious what numbers of people crossing 19th and Clinton before, during, and after school hours for the school at this intersection, PBOT found in its study of the intersection.

      “…When Katherine White and the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association said they would volunteer to count traffic on Hawthorne, the city said that’s not feasible. PBOT Constituent Services Coordinator Cevero Gonzalez stated in an email to White yesterday that, “PBOT can only use data collected by authorized city employees, gathered using standard data collection protocols, and as a result cannot consider volunteer pedestrian or vehicle traffic counts submitted by interested but unaffiliated parties.” …” bikeportland

      This part especially: “…data collected by authorized city employees, gathered using standard data collection protocols, …” PBOT gonzalez

      I’d be surprised if the raw data collection protocol is much more complicated than standing post at a given intersection during certain times of day, and recording the activity there; for 19th and Clinton…the number of adults and parents on foot, crossing the street just before school starts, during school hours, and when everyone leaves to go home. I’ve seen the following scene before…though maybe it wasn’t a PBOT employee: Someone with a hand counter, sits in a folding chair at the intersection, and counts people crossing the street. How difficult, time consuming and expensive would it be for PBOT to instruct a small team of willing citizen volunteers, in gathering the raw data, using the bureau’s standard data collection protocols?

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        Adam October 6, 2016 at 1:16 pm

        So how come they use 100% volunteers to do bike counts then? Using that argument, the bike count data is useless.

        Explain.

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        Todd Boulanger October 6, 2016 at 2:30 pm

        From my experience…Setting up a digital video camera (time lapse) for a set time period is much easier than sitting out there on lawn chairs…especially now that the weather is back.

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          wsbob October 9, 2016 at 11:48 am

          “…Setting up a digital video camera (time lapse) for a set time period is much easier than sitting out there on lawn chairs…’ boulanger

          There may not even be a need for further determination of numbers of people crossing this intersection on foot. This story reports that PBOT’s communication director has said that the bureau has done an engineering analysis at Clinton and 19th, in October 2015. So apparently…the bureau already has some numbers and other info. If the bureau hasn’t done so already, sharing with the public, the data from that analysis, seems a logical step to take.

          In part to help relieve the often enormously excessive use of motor vehicles for travel, the city should be encouraging people to walk and bike around their neighborhoods. If say, a majority of the preschool students attending this school, live within four or five blocks from the school, it seems the logical thing for the city to be doing things to help those students and their parents, walk or bike rather than drive…even if this happens to be a small private school with a relatively small number of students compared to that of bigger public schools.

          It can be very easy for people to find reasons not to walk or bike…even when they like those activities. Poor, and even dangerous infrastructure for walking and biking, is probably one of the strongest reasons to drive instead.

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        Tom Hardy October 7, 2016 at 8:21 am

        Of course the city employees doing the traffic measuring only work from 9AM until 1:30 PM except their lunch break between 10 and 12:30.

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      Greg Spencer October 7, 2016 at 9:53 am

      The lack of a crosswalk itself could well be what’s keeping the usage numbers below threshold. In any case, any intersection by a pre-school should have a crosswalk.

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        wsbob October 7, 2016 at 11:56 am

        “The lack of a crosswalk itself could well be what’s keeping the usage numbers below threshold. In any case, any intersection by a pre-school
        should have a crosswalk.” greg spencer

        To me, it seems possible that lack of a crosswalk could be discouraging some parents from walking their kids to school. That’s something that may be worth some effort to confirm: have the school conduct a simple survey of parents..it’s only a 70 student school.

        Logically, it would seem that no responsible parent would let a preschool kid cross the street by themselves. Given the height and size of preschool kids, and their maturity, there’s I think, arguably a greater risk of a mishap, even when the kids are assisted with an adult or crossing guards, than there would be with older kids…say third or fourth graders. Lack of any crossing aids, such as painted crosswalks, signs indicating a school zone, crosswalk signals…I think compounds the problem.

        I’ve been slow on the uptake from the PBOT graphic, as to what the threshold for number of people crossing the street is. Yesterday afternoon, I clicked on the link to the city page…the small print text is clearer on that page than it is on the copy provided in the other bikeportland story….I believe the text is saying the threshold is ‘ 20 persons for any given hour’.

        According to the bureau spokesperson regarding the bureau’s study of this Clinton intersection, the number of people PBOT saw crossing the street, was less than 20. If the bureau hasn’t already done so, maybe now would be a good time to offer more details about their study findings: exactly how many people crossed, or attempted to cross the street…during what hours of the day…how many of them crossed for the purpose of traveling directly to the school or from it….etc.

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    joe October 6, 2016 at 10:08 am

    I hate mob rule in general but I hate it most when the mob is made of people I like and respect.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty October 6, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Try my mob. We rule awesomely.

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    dan October 6, 2016 at 10:09 am

    John Brady says ““If we were to let one of these non-standard crosswalks stay permanently and a crash occurred at the location, the City would be potentially liable.” I would love to hear his opinion on whether the city has exposure to liability if they remove an unofficial crosswalk and a crash subsequently occurred at the location.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. October 6, 2016 at 10:28 am

      Is the city also liable if a crash occurs due to poor sight lines at intersections? Because they are purposefully not enforcing the law regarding parking at corners.

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        alex October 6, 2016 at 12:05 pm

        Not to mention the new diverter at 15th and SE Ankeny.. Awful sightlines on approach and drivers don’t bother to stop because they want to beat cyclist going thru..

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          paikiala October 7, 2016 at 9:38 am

          drivers can’t go through at 15th and Ankeny.

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            Mark October 8, 2016 at 5:43 pm

            What he’s referring to is behavior I’ve witness countless times at this intersection – southbound motorists can’t be bothered to make a full stop and yield to cross traffic. Instead, they roll through, making the left turn and nearly colliding head on with west bound bike traffic that is attempting to pass through the diverter.

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              alex October 11, 2016 at 1:45 pm

              this.

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        Mark October 6, 2016 at 10:14 pm

        You can bet that I’ll name them in a suit if I’m ever hit at an intersection with cars parked all the way up to the sidewalks. I asked Leah Treat point blank why they don’t enforce this law, and she said enforcement was “complaint driven.” Zero Vision.

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    Chris I October 6, 2016 at 10:12 am

    He posted bail? Someone has deep-pocketed connections… glad to see that they are monitoring him, though. Seems like a major flight risk.

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      Spiffy October 6, 2016 at 10:55 am

      I thought the Royal Consulate General of Saudi Arabia was going to post his bail…

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    Jim Lee October 6, 2016 at 10:21 am

    The confrontation between VIsion Zero and PDX Transformation merits study.

    VZ has 70 people sitting around tables, talking. (Perhaps only 69 now, if our ex chief of police, who while drunk shot a comrade in the back and lied about it to local law enforcement, is no longer welcome. He was on the VZ Executive Committee, and even after the incident was prominent at the “Listening Session,” as reported for BP by Micheal Anderson last spring.) Lots of meetings. Press conferences. Reports without number.

    I look forward to attending their appearance at Council net week.

    For comparison, how many activists does PDX Transformation have? Do any have criminal records? Problems with alcohol? Traffic (crosswalk) violations? Parking tickets?

    Looking forward to their next action.

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      Bald One October 6, 2016 at 11:25 am

      I noticed this morning that some activist citizens had made good use of the “street closed” temporary street signs (folding barricade type) that have been stacked on many street corners in North Portland in anticipation of “official” deployment for the Portland Marathon on Sunday. This early deployment made my ride that much enjoyable, today. I hope more folks use them to create temporary diverters for the Friday commute, tomorrow.

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    Teddy October 6, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Yup, they removed it around 2120 and the street sweeper was unable to remove “Vision Zero” and the crosswalk. Theu swept in right quick and quickly took care of business. No one was raising a fuss that I know of. I took some photos, but there is no way to contact Bike Portland via E-mail when you see these things happen.

    I did check out the memorial around 1830 and walked amongst the flowers for a bit during the lovely sunset, but had no idea the memorial had seen its last sunshine.

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      Ted Timmons (Contributor) October 6, 2016 at 10:27 am

      Look at the bottom of this article- and all articles by Jonathan. His email address is there.

      Twitter is also a good place for a realtime community.

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      Spiffy October 6, 2016 at 10:47 am

      the contact page has a 24 hour tip line you can call/text…

      http://bikeportland.org/contact

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty October 6, 2016 at 10:57 am

      I’m not sure what to make of this post, but I am in awe with your apparent journeys through time. Kudos to you.

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        paikiala October 7, 2016 at 9:40 am

        2120 is 9:20 PM to most people.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty October 7, 2016 at 12:01 pm

          2120 is 104 years in the future, when, apparently, PBOT will be attempting to eradicate VisionZero with an army of robot street sweepers.

          The battle reported by our time traveling hero occurred at precisely 21:20.

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          Chris I October 7, 2016 at 12:33 pm

          Maybe in communist Europe. And what, you want us to use the Metric system now? 100cm in a meter? Water boils at 100*C and freezes at 0*C. That’s crazy talk!

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    Catie October 6, 2016 at 10:31 am

    People are dying in “up to standard” crosswalks. Does the city have any liability concerns for those? Seeing how every intersection is already a legal crosswalk I dont understand how it becomes less safe with the addition of paint. Can the city point to any study to back up this claim? The real fear is that pedestrians will cross the road more assertively, and cars will…not stop? They are supposed to stop marked crosswalk or not. Having a crosswalk here only shines a light on the problem…that both the city and residents do not believe cars will stop for pedestrians at this intersection.

    On a second note…It is relatively easy for anyone to look up the specific dimensions of a compliant crosswalk, and no design creates 100% compliance. I was nearly run over yesterday in a officially marked crosswalk.

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      rachel b October 6, 2016 at 11:34 am

      Good post, Catie–hear, hear!

      Though, I would feel better somehow if I were run over in an official crosswalk. Wouldn’t we all? I think that kind of running over comes w/ some kind of City seal..

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    Spiffy October 6, 2016 at 10:51 am

    most of us have seen those intersection murals around town… those are not standard road treatments yet they are allowed…

    why can the city not allow non-standard citizen-painted crosswalks as well?

    the answer: they can, they just don’t want to…

    even the city paints non-standard crosswalks (their “rain” crosswalk in old-town)…

    so it seems like all we need to do is file for a permit and we’ll be allowed to paint whatever we want on the street, crosswalk or mural…

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      Tom October 6, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      I think that art crosswalks likely do meet the spec, at least the ones that apply to liability concerns. It seems reasonable to apply for a permit to install a place making project that also doubles as a crosswalk. This would be similar to existing place making projects, which do not require speed and usage studies. The problem with the existing attempts may be that they looked too close to an official crosswalk. In a city of artists, it seems strange that activists would just paint white lines anyway.

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        Mark October 7, 2016 at 8:55 am

        This was a city of artists. Many can’t afford to live here anymore.

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  • Tony T
    Tony T October 6, 2016 at 10:58 am

    If only PBOT were as protective of people as they are of their sacrosanct standards.

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    Adam October 6, 2016 at 11:11 am

    They had to do it at night? What, are they scared or something?

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      Spiffy October 6, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      they don’t want to disrupt automobile traffic…

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    BLINKY October 6, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Not being snarky, I honestly don’t know, but regarding the guerrilla crosswalk efforts on 19th does the PBOT guideline have any accounting for small children nearby or is it just, if (trafficVolumeForIntersection > arbitrary threshold ) { send in the painters; } else { move along nothing to see here }

    I’ve experienced a few of PDX Transformation’s tweaks on my commute and they’re really awesome, kudos all around… I should chip in to their fund.

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      Spiffy October 6, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      “that there are other, more dangerous intersections, including intersections near schools, where we need to focus our resources.”

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        El Biciclero October 8, 2016 at 8:57 pm

        Heh. No kidding—where was this “guerilla” crosswalk again?

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    Peter Hass October 6, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    I have a hard time understanding PBOT’s line of thinking. What’s next…a police sting operation to cite parents and children for jaywalking across Clinton to get to and from the preschool?

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    Paul Atkinson October 6, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    “…aren’t built to the proper engineering standards…”

    Fine. Does someone have access to those standards so that any further volunteer improvements can be made to comply?

    Would PBOT be willing to commit to leaving such improvements in place?

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    Matt- Bike Milwaukie October 6, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Perhaps the folks at PDX Transformation should apply for one of these grants?
    http://awesomeportland.org/

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    Yehuda October 6, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    None of this is really funny, but I swear sometimes we’re living in comic strip. See also http://www.yehudamoon.com

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    Caitlin D October 6, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Thank you for following up on these stories, Jonathan! BikePortland is such a great resource.

    A lot of people in our community clearly want to do something to help make our streets safer (me included!); I hope PBOT can come up with a way for interested citizens to help while still meeting standards. We could accomplish a lot working together!

    Also, I was glad to see the little footnote about Noorah still being in the country; I’d been wondering about that.

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    Mick O October 10, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    “If we were to let one of these non-standard crosswalks stay permanently and a crash occurred at the location, the City would be potentially liable.”

    How could a crash possibly occur, PBOT Communications Director John Brady? You just said there’s not enough traffic there! What, pray tell, will be crashing?

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    JeffS October 12, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Did you discuss both of these at the same time?

    Was there no irony in ripping up the non-standard Clinton walk, but leaving the non-standard Hawthorne walks?

    I think the message, again, is clear. Use paint, not tape.

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