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Subscriber Post: Driving as a right versus biking as a privilege

Subscriber Post by Carrie on December 5th, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Excerpt from Sellwood Middle School newsletter, 11-30-2016

This post was written by Carrie, a BikePortland subscriber. As a community member who supports our work, Carrie (and 306 other individuals and businesses) can create and submit posts whenever she wants. We publish most submissions in our Subscriber Posts section and will elevate the post here to the Front Page when warranted. This is just one perk of subscription! Learn more and sign up here.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Vision Zero, the enforcement angle, and the difference in the way we treat traffic scofflaws.

I agree with the data that show that speeding and other ‘minor’ infractions are the leading causes of injuries and deaths to road users. And I am not happy that enforcement of existing laws (rules) regarding speed limits, general traffic control devices (stop signs and turn prohibitions and crosswalks at every intersection) and existing infrastructure to keep all users safe is not a high priority.

This is reflected in the Community’s perception of the value of different road users. The attached image is an excerpt from the Nov 30, 2016 newsletter sent to the families at Sellwood Middle School. Since the beginning of the school year there has been a paragraph in the letter asking car drivers to respect the law and not park in the bus zone and to not block the sidewalk at the entrance to the school (where there is significant bike and pedestrian traffic). And yet except for pleas of compliance, there have been no consequences on those putting others in danger. However, breaking of the law by the teen cyclists has lead to the [not enforceable] threat of removing the ‘privilege’ of getting to school.

The school cannot provide logical consequences to either road user — they cannot remove the driving privilege from the dangerous car users and they cannot remove the cycling privilege from the dangerous cyclists. And yet the administration seems to think that they can punish the kids, who have NO other transportation options other than their feet or the bus, or else it never even crossed their minds that there should be equal consequences to both sets of road users. Because it never crossed their minds that both road users are equal.

I want my desire to get to work and my children’s desire to get to school in a safe and timely manner to be given the same priority as all of the rest of the people out there on the road doing the same things. And not devalued because we are not in a personal automobile. I want existing laws enforced, so that we can all get where we want or need to go equitably.

— Carrie

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236 Comments
  • Jonathan Gordon December 5, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    What an excellent point, Carrie. Have you contacted Sellwood Middle School to see whether they might rethink their stance?

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    • Carrie December 5, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Hi Jonathan,

      I did send an email to the administration stating basically what I said in the blog post. The response I received back was “we didn’t intend to disrespect anyone”. No acknowledgement of implicit bias, etc.

      To those discussing enforcement/punishment: remember all of these activities are occurring on public roads around the school. The only activity happening on school grounds are the car drivers blocking the sidewalk/driveway, so that is the only activity that the school has any authority to enforce. Despite what the administration seems to think.

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      • Spiffy December 5, 2016 at 2:30 pm

        I hope you’ll come back after the next newsletter and let us know if they changed the wording…

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        • Carrie December 13, 2016 at 10:58 am

          So I’m back to report in that in the most recent newsletter there was no mention of illegal/dangerous transportation activities by either car drivers or bicycle riders.

          Though they are installing security cameras to monitor the bike parking area as last week the 5th bike was stolen from that area during the school day.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 2:51 pm

        For better or worse, schools often see off-campus behavior, especially when it occurs en-route to/from school, as within their remit. I don’t entirely disagree with their position on this (especially with elementary/middle school students), but I also see your point about properly delineating the school’s authority.

        If kids were running across, say, Powell in a dangerous manner, would you want the school to step in to correct the issue?

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. December 5, 2016 at 3:22 pm

          If kids were running across, say, Powell in a dangerous manner, would you want the school to step in to correct the issue?

          No, I would want ODOT to fix this deadly street so it safety accommodates all users. How can an elementary school make Powell Boulevard safer other than putting pressure on ODOT?

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 3:35 pm

            That would indeed be sweet. But back in the real world, you need to do harm prevention, even if your tools are less than perfect and complete. I’m not really on board with sacrificing kids to make a point to ODOT.

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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. December 5, 2016 at 3:39 pm

              I never said I wanted to “sacrifice kids”. What I want is for the school to get the message out that Powell is dangerous and try to lobby ODOT for change. It is possible to do this without shaming the kids for walking to school.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 4:36 pm

                And would you try to reduce the students’ exposure to danger while you were waiting for ODOT to respond?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 4:37 pm

                BTW, I saw no shaming in the letter fragment I read.

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        • Edward December 6, 2016 at 11:21 am

          Behavior of students after they leave their houses on the way to school is part of the school’s responsibility. It’s a civil doctrine referred to as “in loco parentis”. Think about it this way: if your kid was getting bullied and harassed by other students every day on the way to school, you’d agree the school should take some type of action when they know about it, right?

          Unfortunately, schools don’t always deal with this stuff reasonably, so there can be a lot of over-reach, and a lot of “under-reach” (we only deal with issues on school grounds).

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      • wsbob December 6, 2016 at 12:46 am

        carrie…it was interesting to read your telling of the traffic congestion at Sellwood Middle School arising from adults and students arriving and departing from the school.

        Relatively simple solution to cars blocking the sidewalk and parking in the bike zone: Flaggers. Parent volunteers could do it. The same for students leaving the school on their bikes and who don’t want to stop at the stop signs. Once the kids are off school grounds, and I suppose the streets immediately adjacent to the school, it would seem the schools’ responsibility for their safe use of the street, shifts to the students themselves and their parents. This is a situation where the bike trains and safe routes to schools can be very useful.

        Debating over whose mode of transportation, has greater rights or privilege over the other, in comparing adults and parents to kids, is a bag of worms. I had to look around to find out who Brian and Marilyn are…principal and vice principal, respectively. They’re between the proverbial rock and a hard place. A bunch of impatient parents, some of who don’t take care enough to not block the sidewalk so kids can safely use it. Kids that just want to get the heck out of dodge after school, forget about the stop signs, and not infrequently…motor vehicles coming at them from down the road.

        Looking forward to hearing if and when the principal and vice principal figure out a solution to the congestion problem, before some kid gets banged up or worse, through some related collision.

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      • Edward December 6, 2016 at 11:13 am

        This school has a lot of problems. The administration is obviously overwhelmed and basically incompetent at dealing with transportation issues. My most sympathetic guess is that there’s just no training, no education, nor rewards for any administrator to deal well with the transportation crush of just getting to school. There’s only headaches, so why bother?

        Sellwood Middle School suffers from the worst case drop off scenario, in spite of being in one of the best biking neighborhoods. In the morning before school, the streets are completely clogged with cars, most of whom are parents trying to safely drop off their kids. And it becomes a really bad feed-back loop: Parents feel like they HAVE to take their kids in cars because all the cars make it too dangerous to bike. This school also draws from Eastmoreland on the other side of 99 / McLoughlin, and further up the hill up by Lewis. A lot of parents up there feel their kids just can’t bike to school because the Bybee bridge is too dangerous. And then when they do get to school, there’s a bunch of huge school buses right in front of where the bikes need to go to lock up.

        The school admin doesn’t even recognize the problem, nor the benefits of a solution. The “inlet” to their parking lot to drop off students by car is right in the middle of where the buses line up! Plus, that’s exactly the same “inlet” all the bicyclists use because the bike racks are right there.

        There’s easier solutions. Number One: Encourage everybody to bike or take the bus (seriously). Two: For those who do drive, drop off the kids away from the bus line, either on Umatilla or on SE 16th. Three: Diffuse the bike racks and put them all around the school or in additional alternate locations. There’s very little benefit to having the bike racks where they are, other than they’re already there. They’ve already had five bikes stolen during school hours, so they obviously are not in the best most visible spot.

        Worst thing of all? Is it that the Safe Routes to School folks are not working this school because there’s no “buy in” from the administration? Or is it the car-centric vice principal with the “bike friendly” share the road license plate?

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. December 6, 2016 at 12:36 pm

          I just don’t understand this concept of being driven to school at all. When I was a kid, I walked or took the bus. This was 1990’s suburban Chicago, so not even that long ago. It wasn’t until high school that I was driven occasionally, and that was by fellow classmates, not parents.

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          • Dan A December 6, 2016 at 1:48 pm

            If you ask parents of today’s kids if they walked to school, they will almost all say ‘yes’. 20 years from now when you ask that question again, they will almost all say ‘no’.

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          • SE Rider December 7, 2016 at 1:39 pm

            You also don’t have kids.

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        • wsbob December 6, 2016 at 7:10 pm

          edward…I don’t know the school. You seem to know the school, and some of your ideas and suggestions sound like they are worth at least asking the principal and the vice principal about. If you haven’t already, it might be worth your while to arrange to go and talk to them personally, before writing them off as incompetent or untrained to deal with the school traffic congestion situation.

          Try and hear directly from them, what obstacles they may be coming up against in the event they tell you various steps they’ve taken to deal with the congestion issue. If that doesn’t work, a committed group of parents and community members could demonstrate…picket style with signs, back and forth on the sidewalk where some people picking up their kids, block the sidewalk with their stopped cars.

          In a story like this, written by a frustrated parent or community member, the school administrators can wind up being targets of jokes and snide remarks, rather than receivers of serious suggestions from the community about how to deal with a problem like traffic congestion directly arising from traffic to and from the school.

          The practice of kids being chauffeured to school in their family cars, puzzles me too. Especially in this example, considering it’s happening in what I’ve been under the impression is an older, fairly high population density neighborhood. If the kids attending this school that are being chauffeured to school, are, let’s say…no more than a 10 or 15 minute walk from home to school…I would say the reasons they’re being brought to school in the family car, ought to be learned and looked at very seriously for good alternatives.

          Chances are, the solution to the problem isn’t as easy as some people may wish it was.

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          • Carrie December 7, 2016 at 11:48 am

            wsbob you are making the assumption that neither Edward nor I have spoken with many people in the administration of the school in person. His frustration and mine stem from having those discussions and still ending up in the position we are right now. Please do not assume this is simple griping without any action on our part to change things first.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty December 7, 2016 at 12:12 pm

              I would love to hear more about your conversation with administrators, and how they responded to your concerns.

              In the end, however, I think this comes down to a “boundaries of school responsibility/discipline” problem. The resolution to these sorts of issues is highly dependent on the personalities of everyone involved.

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            • wsbob December 8, 2016 at 1:51 pm

              carrie…my apologies to you if that’s the impression my comment left you with.

              Note that what I wrote was “…If you haven’t already, it might be worth your while to arrange to go and talk to them personally, ….”. I’ve not assumed you went to talk personally with the administrators. Figured you may have, but wasn’t sure.

              The bureaucracy can be tough to budge. Very tough. That you’ve been able to do even as much as you have…thinking about the issues, talking with the administrators, and writing the guest article, has you way ahead of many residents of the Sellwood school district, in working to resolve traffic congestion problems there. Keep at it, look for other options that may be more effective than what you’ve done so far. More parents from the neighborhood, relating to and supporting efforts to the problem you’re drawing attention to, would help a lot. It’s not worth much, but you’ve got my admiration and compliments for what you’ve done.

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  • Spiffy December 5, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    are there really only 2 painted crosswalks at 15th and Umatilla? that’s what it shows in Google Street View… but it can’t be right… that’d make it difficult for kids NW of the school to get there, having to plan their street crossing at least 1 block in advance… they have curb-cuts encouraging you to illegally cross where there’s no painted crosswalk…

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  • Allan December 5, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    That text in the picture says it all. All I can say is WTF, Brian and Marylyn

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  • Spiffy December 5, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    also, it’s a 4-way stop, on a greenway… I say run the stop sign on Umatilla all day long until they remove it…

    or maybe they’re complaining about the SE 15th stop sign…

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  • bikeninja December 5, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Some of this is the privledge of autos vs biks but some of it is the hidden bias that schools have toward disciplining kids. In this situation they view the cars as the realm of the adult parents, while the bikes are the realm of the kids ( inmates) who are fair game for arbitrary punishment, sanctions and rules.

    Disclaimer: I have put 2 kids all the way through the public school system and have literaly thousands of hours in volunteer time from coaching club sports, to marching band to robot team.

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    • bottom bracket December 5, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      They are asking that everyone follows the rules. Not just the kids. They did exactly the right thing.

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    • Dave December 6, 2016 at 11:54 am

      bikeninja, you are brilliant and should be a person with great authority in our educational system!

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    • bottom bracket December 6, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      It is the job of the schools to discipline the kids if they need it while they are at school. The parents should raise the kids so that the school doesn’t need to discipline them, but many times they don’t. Kids have to be disciplined otherwise they will end up as real inmates in the big house.

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  • drew December 5, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    The way I understand it, walking and biking on our public roadways are a right, not a privilege. Driving is a privilege, for which a license is required.

    The expectation that the privilege a doctor is given, with a hard earned license, is that the practice will be competent. No such expectation is assumed to be earned by motorists, for whom the license is so easy to obtain. While a disability or death could result from an ignorant doctor, a carless motorist could send a whole family to their grave.

    For a school to discourage active transport like biking and walking.. it’s hard to understand. All the bike racks I used to see at schools during the 1960s and 70s, which could hold a hundred bikes or more have vanished. Things are very different today. I know of nobody who was abducted, or wore helmets or was badly injured or died in crashes on the road during my elementary school years.

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    • Spiffy December 5, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      the only time I remember hearing about my classmates dying regularly on the way to/from school was when I got into high school and the reports were all about teen drivers crashing their cars…

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    • bottom bracket December 5, 2016 at 8:13 pm

      The school just wants to prevent a tragic accident caused by kids on bikes not stopping at a stop sign. It’s no more complicated than that.

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    • 9watts December 6, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      “walking and biking on our public roadways are a right, not a privilege. Driving is a privilege, for which a license is required. ”

      Bingo. And thank you for pointing this out.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty December 6, 2016 at 10:44 pm

        Driving is a privilege in name only.

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        • 9watts December 8, 2016 at 12:07 pm

          Hard to get back to where we were is we fail to realize the distance we’ve drifted.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty December 8, 2016 at 2:47 pm

            Where were we?

            I don’t know that driving has become more right-like than it has been in generations. Sure, at one time, drivers licenses may have meant something more, but at that time people could “drive” even more dangerous vehicles/beasts through the streets largely unregulated.

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            • 9watts December 16, 2016 at 12:20 pm

              1923.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. December 5, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    When bikes are simply toys that can be taken away at a whim, it’s any wonder why no one wants to bike to school anymore.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      Maybe you should suggest to the school a better way for them to address what they see as dangerous behavior by students cycling to school. I agree this is lame, but more because it shows a lack of creativity in an approach towards school discipline in general.

      How would you solve this problem?

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. December 5, 2016 at 1:21 pm

        A few kids on bikes rolling though a stop sign is not a problem I feel needs addressing. Let the parents talk to their kids if they think there is a legit problem. It’s honestly none of the school’s business.

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        • Brian December 5, 2016 at 1:26 pm

          I disagree. If school officials are observing this behavior it is incumbent upon them to address it, much like they would any other dangerous behavior. Safety falls on the shoulders of the school, even if it is not happening on the school grounds.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 1:28 pm

            That was the line they always fed me before bringing down the hammer. Sadly, I somewhat agree with them now.

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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. December 5, 2016 at 1:33 pm

              That was also the line they fed me when the school bully made up stories about me that got me suspended. Forgive me if I am inherently distrustful of school administrations.

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          • Adam H.
            Adam H. December 5, 2016 at 1:31 pm

            Address what? Rolling though a stop sign on a bike is not a problem.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 1:37 pm

              You really have no way to know that. Without further information, I would start from the presumption that not stopping at stop signs is a problem, especially with younger students who might not have the experience to know what’s actually safe. And especially for future drivers who we all hope will obey the rules of the road when they’re in their car.

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              • Dan A December 5, 2016 at 1:50 pm

                The best way to teach a kid how to ride a bike is to take away their bike.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 2:55 pm

                That should only be a last resort, of course. From the text of the letter, it seems to be only a vague threat for the future, not a first-resort action for petty infractions.

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              • Tim December 5, 2016 at 2:14 pm

                I stop in my car and on my bike because it sets a good example. Sometime I am rewarded by annoying the cyclist or driver behind me who had no intention of stopping.

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          • Spiffy December 5, 2016 at 1:45 pm

            “If school officials are observing this behavior it is incumbent upon them to address it, much like they would any other dangerous behavior.”

            just like they’re (not) addressing the problem with drivers?

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 3:38 pm

              The drivers aren’t their students, and they therefore have very little direct control over them.

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              • Spiffy December 6, 2016 at 8:01 am

                but they can make empty threats to parent drivers just like they are to student cyclists…

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          • B. Carfree December 5, 2016 at 2:13 pm

            The best way to teach good behavior is to model it. Are the school staff modeling good cycling behavior, or are they getting to/from work in some other way?

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          • soren December 5, 2016 at 2:50 pm

            idaho’s experience suggests that rolling stop signs may be modestly safer than coming to a full stop.

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            • Brian December 8, 2016 at 9:35 am

              But did their research include elementary/middle school aged children? How about those with ADD/ADHD with impulsivity and executive functioning issues?

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            • chris December 8, 2016 at 6:48 pm

              It took me less than 30 seconds online to find that the Portland metro area has more than double the entire population of Idaho, what might work in a place that few people live is probably not the best idea in one of the fastest growing cities on the west coast.

              Rolling them in a car, however, greatly reduces the amount of fuel consumed at takeoff and is therefore better for the environment.

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          • bottom bracket December 5, 2016 at 8:14 pm

            Brian has a brain! You nailed it!

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        • meh December 5, 2016 at 1:53 pm

          So how does that fit into vision zero?

          Isn’t it about zero tolerance when it comes to the rules of the road. EVERYONE has to obey the laws for it to work. It’s not just about infrastructure, and separate facilities for separate modes.

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          • Spiffy December 5, 2016 at 2:25 pm

            it doesn’t fit into vision zero because kids aren’t killing people on the corner of their school… this is a non-action item for vision zero…

            now, if kids were getting injured we would want to find a way to mitigate that… I’d suggesting removing their stop sign and making the car stop every time…

            it’s not about zero tolerance punishment and obeying all the laws… it’s about the road having less built-in tolerance for dangerous behavior… it’s about sending a consistent message through enforcement that dangerous actions aren’t tolerated…

            it’s not about ticketing kids on bikes/feet at the corner of their school…

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 3:12 pm

              Vision Zero isn’t about creating an environment where cyclists can ignore the law in full safety. Part of building resilience into the system is structuring things such that even if a driver blows through a stop sign, other users of the road can respond in a way that decreases the likelihood of a crash. Other road users need to at least somewhat follow the rules to realize the greater safety.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. December 5, 2016 at 3:20 pm

                Vision Zero also acknowledges and accommodates human behavior, whether it’s legal or not. Many cyclists do not come to a full and complete stop at stop signs because the laws of physics make it annoying and effortful to do so. We should accommodate this human instinct, rather than hardline enforcing it.

                Cyclists rolling through stop signs often don’t pose a threat to other road users. because it is in their best interest to be paying attention. If a cyclist runs into a person walking, it hurts the cyclist too, so self-preservation human instinct dictates this interaction. The same cannot be said of drivers who do the same. Blanket-applying laws to all users regardless if it makes any sense or not does not work. Are people walking on MUP’s expected to stop at stop signs too?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 3:42 pm

                Drivers have the same instinct, and also rarely pose a threat to other users of the street. Therefore, our streets should reflect the fact that most street users rarely stop for a stop sign.

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              • BradWagon December 5, 2016 at 4:57 pm

                “Drivers…rarely pose a threat to other users of the street”

                Huh?…

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 5:01 pm

                Drivers rolling stop signs are rarely dangerous… if they were there would be a lot more crashes around considering the prevalence of the practice.

                I’m not saying it’s good practice, just that it rarely causes injuries.

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              • soren December 5, 2016 at 5:49 pm

                in the case of people cycling there is no evidence that rolling stop signs is a threat.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 6:13 pm

                Neither of us knows the particulars of what the school has observed. Maybe it’s perfectly safe, maybe it isn’t. Maybe different people are doing different things. That would be an issue for the administrators and parents to sort out on a case-by-case basis.

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              • Dan A December 5, 2016 at 9:00 pm
              • meh December 6, 2016 at 7:13 am

                You always look at it in terms of a threat. But a bike rolling a stop sign into a non-controlled cross street does create a safety problem. If that cyclist gets hit by the car legally doing 30mph is the cyclist not a threat to their own safety? It’s not about who can do the most damage, it’s about reducing the opportunity to do damage.

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              • Spiffy December 6, 2016 at 8:32 am

                “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_lE7XYWVpM”

                good example of how not to enter a crosswalk on a bike…

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              • Dan A December 6, 2016 at 9:10 am

                Spiffy December 6, 2016 at 8:32 am
                “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_lE7XYWVpM”

                good example of how not to enter a crosswalk on a bike…

                Sure. She could have slowed down a bit (appears to be going jogging speed) and checked to make sure the driver was looking and would concede her right of way, but this crosswalk is in the middle of a long MUP, and she had the light. The driver ‘stopped’ in the crosswalk and slow-rolled through it while only looking to his left. This crosswalk has a steady amount of bike traffic throughout the day, as well as kids walking to & from school, and I have avoided being hit here numerous times just by being aware that drivers here don’t stop where they should, or stay stopped. He could just as easily have hit a kid walking in front of him, and someday somebody will do just that.

                They really should put a buffered stop line to keep drivers out of the crosswalk, and make it ‘no turn on red’.

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              • El Biciclero December 6, 2016 at 9:19 am

                “good example of how not to enter a crosswalk on a bike…”

                The exact same thing happened in the exact same place to me, except I had been stopped waiting for the signal, then proceeded at “no greater than a walking pace” into the crosswalk in front of a car that had stopped, only to have the driver gun it into me after I was almost clear of his front bumper. I’m very glad he only hit my pannier and not my left knee/ankle. He was right-turning-on-red without looking to the right.

                Seems it doesn’t matter whether one “does it right”, some drivers will find a way to hit you regardless.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. December 6, 2016 at 9:38 am

                Looks entirely the driver’s fault to me. He admitted he wasn’t looking.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 6, 2016 at 1:14 pm

                The driver was totally at fault, and it’s also true that the cyclist made an error in believing that the driver would see her. One should never step or ride in front of heavy machinery without being sure the operator knows you’re there.

                Trust, but verify.

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              • 9watts December 6, 2016 at 7:54 pm

                meh: “If that cyclist gets hit by the car legally doing 30mph is the cyclist not a threat to their own safety?”

                Oh, the counterfactual, twisting the circumstances to show that it’s the cyclist’s fault.

                And your use of ‘legally’ to describe driving 30mph through a stop sign controlled intersection I think gives the game away. Death comes from automobiles driven with too little attention and/or too fast for conditions. Period.

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              • Kyle Banerjee December 7, 2016 at 9:24 am

                Adam H.
                Looks entirely the driver’s fault to me. He admitted he wasn’t looking.

                I can see why people would take that perspective. Just because the cyclist was crossing in an illegal manner while using Darwin Award contender judgment is no reason to conclude the cyclist had no responsibility for getting tagged.

                Anyone who drives, cycles, or walks in this town should know to be prepared at all times for cyclists like that as this is a common situation.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. December 7, 2016 at 9:30 am

                The cyclist had the light and was crossing legally.

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              • Dan A December 7, 2016 at 10:21 am

                Congrats on your victim blamiest post of the year.

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              • El Biciclero December 7, 2016 at 10:46 am

                “it’s also true that the cyclist made an error in believing that the driver would see her. One should never step or ride in front of heavy machinery without being sure the operator knows you’re there.”

                You mean, “be seen”? There is absolutely no way I can “be sure” what any other vehicle operator sees or, more importantly, recognizes while operating their vehicle. Drivers can look right at me and not “see” me. Rain and reflections can make it impossible to see into a car to get a good look at the driver’s face. If we’re adding mind-reading to the list of useful skills that all responsible bicyclists should practice, I’m out.

                “Just because the cyclist was crossing in an illegal manner while using Darwin Award contender judgment…”

                The only illegal things about this cyclist’s crossing are contrived conditions, designed to decrease motorist responsibility to pay attention. Yes, this cyclist appears to have violated the requirement to “enter a crosswalk at a speed no greater than an ordinary walk” (note this requirement doesn’t even apply to pedestrians, who are legally allowed to run into crosswalks as long as it is otherwise legal to enter the crosswalk). The only other possible infraction was that, 6 seconds after the signal changed (if we can go by the time between when the pedestrian entered the crosswalk at ~:03 and the bicyclist entered at ~:09), it had already started its 28-second countdown (I only know about the 28 seconds because I use the same crosswalk all the time), making it technically only legal to finish crossing, not to enter the crosswalk. We can see that after the bicyclist is hit, the pedestrian is only halfway across, and the bicyclist likely would have passed the ped and finished crossing well before the signal countdown finished. The “no entering a crosswalk after the little white dude disappears” rule is a pedestrian requirement misapplied to bicyclists (and to most able-bodied pedestrians).

                And “Darwin Award contender judgment”? You mean failing to anticipate the illegal behavior of the driver? Am I using “Darwin Award contender” judgment any time I proceed through a green light, since some currently stopped driver might decide to gun it ‘n’ run it (I’ve witnessed that behavior from motorists before, so I know it’s possible)? One could say I use “Darwin Award contender” judgement every time I pass a driveway with someone waiting to pull out, any time I proceed through any intersection or past a driveway while in a bike lane where some driver could decide to right-hook/left-cross me, any time I ride in the rain or at night, any time I go over 30 mph on a downhill—any time I do anything other than drive my car to get places.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 7, 2016 at 11:37 am

                If you can’t be sure, you need to proceed cautiously. While I agree you can never be 100% sure, things like making eye contact get you pretty close.

                Or you can not be careful and get hurt. Even if you are 100% in the right, it’s just not worth it. Failing to anticipate driver error can often be fatal. We all know that cars are dangerous and drivers are fallible; why not act accordingly?

                I’m not talking about how things should be, but how they are, today.

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              • El Biciclero December 7, 2016 at 12:40 pm

                “Or you can not be careful and get hurt. Even if you are 100% in the right, it’s just not worth it. Failing to anticipate driver error can often be fatal. We all know that cars are dangerous and drivers are fallible; why not act accordingly?”

                Or you could be careful and still get hurt. How careful is careful? What level of driver error are we to anticipate? If I’m walking on the sidewalk in front of a store, should I anticipate that a driver will suddenly back into me? Waiting for a bus, should I be ready to dive out of the way of the driver who makes the error of driving up on the sidewalk? This is not an argument to say, “well, if I can get hurt being careful, then I might as well throw caution to the wind!” It is an argument to say that if VRUs can be hurt by cars while not being careful, and can be hurt by cars while being careful, then either we don’t have a strong enough definition of “careful”, or “being careful” isn’t the answer. I hate to get all slippery-slopey, but once we make it incumbent upon bicyclists and pedestrians to keep themselves “safe”, might as well hang it up and just stay home.

                Indeed, it is a near-impossible cultural change that is needed to put the focus of “being careful” back on those who create the danger, not just those who are subject to it, but we could start by focusing discussions on it and not tsk-tsking every bicyclist who gets hit by an errant driver for not being careful enough to avoid it.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 7, 2016 at 1:22 pm

                Yes, you can be careful and still be hurt. But it probably reduces your risk, and isn’t that what safety is all about?

                As to your hypotheticals, you need to strike what you feel is the right balance. When crossing Powell, for example, I won’t leave the sidewalk until I am sure drivers are stopping, even when they have a red light. Ridiculous, right? Why should I need to worry about a driver blowing through a red light? And yet I do.

                A cultural shift is needed, I agree, but it has to be more than that. There are limits to human capacity, which makes driving inherently dangerous, even when drivers are being careful. We’ve all experienced having a driver look right at us and not see us. That’s not recklessness.

                We’ve built cities designed around a certain level of mobility. Changing that will be slow and expensive. The only medium-term solution I see is getting humans out from behind the wheel. Luckily, that looks like it might be feasible.

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              • Dan A December 7, 2016 at 1:35 pm

                “If you can’t be sure, you need to proceed cautiously.”

                Good advice for the driver rolling through a crosswalk while only looking to his left.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 7, 2016 at 1:55 pm

                I know, right? It’s almost like I already agreed the driver was 100% at fault.

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              • Kyle Banerjee December 7, 2016 at 2:27 pm

                Adam H.
                The cyclist had the light and was crossing legally.

                See ORS 814.410 — (a), (c), and (d) are clearly violated. That the cyclist had the light does not change that. This woman not only riding at speed on a sidewalk against the flow of traffic but zipped from a path to the side of a car in front of a car that was clearly turning.

                That is willful negligence, and anyone who rides like that is guaranteed to get hurt if they do it for long. If saying that makes me a victim blamer in the eyes of people here, so be it. My view is that those who defend such dangerous and irresponsible riding get people hurt or worse while giving all cyclists a bad name.

                But I am on a forum where a majority of people who call themselves “road users” have a problem with over 95% of the actual road users, so I know what to expect. You guys do realize that the popular mantra here that we need physically separate facilities is saying bikes don’t actually belong on the roads?

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              • El Biciclero December 7, 2016 at 3:23 pm

                “See ORS 814.410 — (a), (c), and (d) are clearly violated. That the cyclist had the light does not change that.”

                No. Only (d).

                Regarding (c): This is a MUP intended for bicyclists to use at bicycling speeds, nothing about this bicyclist’s operation on the MUP “endangered or was likely to endanger any person or property”. The driver’s behavior, on the other hand—looking one way and driving the other—could be construed as “likely to endanger”.

                Regarding (a): The car was stopped. A stopped vehicle cannot be considered to be “so close as to constitute an immediate hazard” for the purposes of this statute (or 814.040), or no crosswalk user could ever legally cross anything but an empty street.

                Regarding (d): As I stated in another reply, this requirement (that bicyclists enter a crosswalk at a speed “no greater than an ordinary walk”) is contrived and does not even apply to pedestrians, who are free to legally run as fast as they want into a crosswalk. Why only require bicyclists to slow down? So while, yes, she did appear to violate this section of the statute, Imagine the rider without her bike running at the same speed into and across this crosswalk; would we still think she was wrong? If so, then argue that from principle, not from statute. If not, then don’t blame a bicyclist for doing the exact same thing as a runner just because there is a bad law.

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              • Kyle Banerjee December 7, 2016 at 4:36 pm

                I may be in an extreme minority here, but you’ll have trouble finding many who agree with your interpretation of events outside BP. I stand by my words and my assessment. There is nothing confusing or ambiguous about this situation.

                The driver made a small mistake that almost ended in tragedy. The driver acknowledged his mistake and his words/actions indicate that he’ll do better in future. The cyclist engaged in reckless behavior and it’s clear she intends to continue to do so.

                Did you listen to the video? Though not transcribed, she can clearly be heard saying, “This happens to me every day.” For riders that exercise a modicum of common sense, this would never happen. I know it’s never happened to me or any of the people I ride with.

                I would have zero concerns riding near that motorist. There is no way I’d ride near that cyclist.

                I don’t want to see anyone get hurt and cannot believe you guys justify this stuff. You set cycling and safety back while strengthening the anti cycling crowd when you support bad riding.

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              • El Biciclero December 8, 2016 at 11:52 am

                “I may be in an extreme minority here, but you’ll have trouble finding many who agree with your interpretation of events outside BP”

                I’d love a true legal opinion on that. If this bicyclist could really be found in violation of (a) it would spell safety doom for anyone wanting to cross in a crosswalk in front of a stopped car. That interpretation cannot be valid. Similarly, when the only people and property around are the bicyclist herself and a stopped car, what about her riding could be considered “likely to endanger” anything? Just because the driver actually did endanger the bicyclist, it does not somehow imply she endangered anyone by riding into a crosswalk in front of a stopped car.

                “The driver made a small mistake…The cyclist engaged in reckless behavior…”

                Other than legal differences, this is the biggest issue I have with your position here. This is the victim-blaming—well, let’s not even call it that—the car-headed, anti-cyclist bias that has poisoned roadway culture and our legal system. Why is the driver’s behavior: failing to yield, failing to keep a proper lookout, failure to stop before entering a crosswalk, failure to exercise due care—in a multi-ton motor vehicle—a “small mistake”, while the bicyclist’s behavior: entering a crosswalk at a speed greater than an ordinary walk—on a bicycle—is “reckless”?

                “I would have zero concerns riding near that motorist. There is no way I’d ride near that cyclist.”

                Really? Even with his proven propensity to look one way and drive the other? You’d trust him to check his blind spot before making a right turn? To look in the bike lane before pulling out of a driveway or side street? Have enough patience to wait for a safe pass rather than squeeze a bicyclist? Plus it sounds like you’re telling us all that this bicyclist shouldn’t have trusted this driver to look before starting his turn, so why then would you have reason to trust?

                “I don’t want to see anyone get hurt and cannot believe you guys justify this stuff. You set cycling and safety back while strengthening the anti cycling crowd when you support bad riding.”

                Depends on your definition of “justify”. I’m sure some folks are wondering why you are apparently justifying the behavior of the driver in this story. The driving was every bit as “bad” as the riding. There is a subtle difference between taking precautions for one’s own safety—always a balancing act between just staying home and barrelling helmetless through every intersection with no regard for anything—and assigning some kind of “responsibility” to those who pose very little risk to their surroundings.

                Yes, this bicyclist could have been more cautious; maybe she should have just stopped and waited the two minutes for the next signal—but then why do we not expect the driver to just stop and wait for a green light to make the turn? Why do we not even expect the driver to look in front of his vehicle before accelerating? Why do we expect the bicyclist to anticipate that a stopped vehicle (obviously preparing to turn, not “obviously turning”) will suddenly start moving after she is in front of it? Yes it is prudent to do such things, but to excoriate the bicyclist to such an extent, while seemingly excusing the driver (or at least treating his “mistakes” as essentially trivial), is what I object to, not promotion of safe riding habits.

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              • Kyle Banerjee December 8, 2016 at 1:08 pm

                I suggest you show this video to others who don’t belong to a tiny cycling subculture and see how they respond.

                That the cyclist reported in the video that this happens to her every day speaks volumes. Anyone who repeatedly finds themselves in the same dangerous situations is causing them, regardless of how they rationalize them.

                I absolutely wouldn’t ride anywhere near that cyclist and I’d be happy to ride by the motorist. The driver’s movement, skills, and judgment fall within normal parameters and the cyclist’s do not. I do not ride near sketchy road operators whether they’re on bikes or in vehicles. I will ride near people who operate predictably even if I can’t assume they even know I’m there.

                And no, I wouldn’t trust him to check his blind spot for the simple reason that I don’t enter blind spots, pass on the right, or do other maneuvers of the sort unless I have specific reason to believe it is safe to do so. I don’t bet my safety on others doing the right thing. I am unclear on why other people are willing to do this. If 99.9% of drivers do it right and 0.1% do it wrong, it won’t take long for the math to catch up with you.

                I’ll be riding home tonight in snow and traffic coming off Marquam Hill. I’m pretty sure my odds of getting in trouble are less they would be for a bunch of people here on a sunny day on a greenway.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 8, 2016 at 1:44 pm

                I don’t know this intersection, but if the cyclist was on a bike trail, part of the problem may be positioning it like a sidewalk as it intersects roadways.

                Drivers do not anticipate high-speed traffic on sidewalks (part of the reason riding on sidewalks is, generally, dangerous).

                One easy fix for this location would be a no-right-on-red sign.

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              • El Biciclero December 8, 2016 at 2:24 pm

                “I suggest you show this video to others who don’t belong to a tiny cycling subculture and see how they respond.”

                Well, of course drivers (the majority of people “outside a tiny cycling subculture”) are going to empathize with the driver and not take a critical look at both participants’ behavior. This is an argument from popularity, not from rational morality.

                “That the cyclist reported in the video that this happens to her every day speaks volumes.”

                I would bet lots of money, that “every day” was a heat-of-the-moment exaggeration, not a literal truth. I see that kind of behavior from drivers literally every single day, but I manage to avoid being “impacted” by it most of the time.

                “Anyone who repeatedly finds themselves in the same dangerous situations is causing them, regardless of how they rationalize them.”

                See, this is where your bias reveals itself: there is a big difference between causing a situation, and failing to avoid situations that may repeatedly be caused by others. Now certainly, one would be wise to avoid dangerous situations if one wanted to stay “safe”, but failing to recognize, predict, and avoid dangers posed by others is not the same as “causing” a dangerous situation.

                Safe travels; may you always avoid danger.

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              • Kyle Banerjee December 8, 2016 at 2:50 pm

                Finally, there are some points that we agree on.

                I assumed the “every day” was an exaggeration, but it was evident that she’d experienced this many times. In addition the cameraman remarked he’d seen this happen many times. I’ll take it one step further and say I personally have witnessed situations like this many times.

                I also agree that failing to avoid dangers is not the same as causing them but when someone repeatedly and intentionally fails to avoid an obvious danger, the practical effect is to guarantee a certain outcome. This is why some cyclists get into trouble with motorists all the time and while others almost never do.

                I thought about this as I rode into work today. A truck towing a trailer down Interstate drifted way onto the bike lane, and an Aramak driver pulled a bizarre movement on Broadway by suddenly going one lane to the left and then cutting way over and suddenly turning right. I had my eye on both drivers and was ready for these goofball maneuvers. My guess is a number of other cyclists would have just pulled up on the right of these vehicles because they have the right to.

                For me, it was a total nonevent in both cases. For many people here, best case scenario would be a close call. I ride defensively because if only one driver out of 100 is bad (I suspect the actual number is higher), I’ll run into many of them every day. People who depend on others to do the right thing will get disappointed a lot. My momma didn’t raise no fool.

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          • Spiffy December 5, 2016 at 2:28 pm

            “EVERYONE has to obey the laws for it to work.”

            you’d think that would be a valid statement… but it fails when you realize that not all laws are equal and we’re not certain obeying laws in order for things to work but rather to give privilege to certain people…

            everybody thinks the laws they’re breaking are the stupid ones…

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            • El Biciclero December 5, 2016 at 4:09 pm

              I think this notion almost applies more to what the laws are designed to regulate than the laws themselves. If the principle of “everyone has to obey the laws” were really true, then I’d be pulling into weigh stations in my sedan, and there would be no separate speed limits for trucks—all the laws apply to everybody, right? Except they don’t—they apply to the vehicle being operated as much as the operator. We make plenty of exceptions and have special cases for bicycles (must use bike lane, must ride AFRAP, may proceed through “dead red”, may carefully pass on right, no seatbelts, no minimum tire tread depth…). We have to look carefully at why we have certain laws and whether they should apply to all vehicle types or not. Some laws may well be “stupid” when applied to some vehicles.

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      • Pete December 5, 2016 at 1:37 pm

        “How would you solve this problem?”

        http://www.bikelaw.com/2016/01/27/living-with-stop-as-yield-for-cyclists/

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 1:40 pm

          Just so I’m clear, your proposed solution is for the school to not concern itself with this particular behavior, even if they believe what they are seeing is dangerous. Is that right?

          Incidentally, I fully support the Idaho stop.

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          • Chris I December 5, 2016 at 1:55 pm

            They can be concerned about the behavior and they can educate without threatening to take away someone’s legal rights.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 3:45 pm

              I totally agree with this. I would be much more concerned if they actually had banned someone from riding to school without taking less drastic steps first. I actually am highly skeptical that the school could actually implement such a punishment if the student’s parents did not acquiesce.

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              • Dan A December 5, 2016 at 4:09 pm

                If you are caught talking on your cell while driving your child to school, you will be shot on sight.*

                *Not really, we don’t have the power to do that. But we hope that this idle threat will reduce that sort of behavior.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 4:45 pm

                Yup, that’s the same thing all right.

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              • Dan A December 5, 2016 at 6:00 pm

                What’s the difference? It’s just an idle threat anyway.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 6:18 pm

                I don’t know… threatening to shoot a parent for talking on a phone just seems a little different than threatening to restrict a student riding their bike to school for dangerous behavior on that bike. You don’t see a difference?

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              • Dan A December 5, 2016 at 8:55 pm

                If you are caught talking on your cell while driving your child to school, you will be handed over to the aliens for experiments.

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              • Dan A December 5, 2016 at 9:02 pm

                If you are caught talking on your cell while driving your child to school, you will be forced to walk your child to school.

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            • Adam H.
              Adam H. December 5, 2016 at 4:01 pm

              As a product of public school, I learned that I apparently do not have any legal rights when within the confines of school walls. Sad to see that has not changed.

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              • Brian December 6, 2016 at 6:05 am

                That’s never been, and is still, not true. Students do have diminished rights within schools as established by a variety of court cases.

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              • Spiffy December 6, 2016 at 8:55 am

                kids have a TON of rights while at school… they are just oppressed into thinking they don’t… and adults always win…

                with a strong parent you can overrule many of the schools “rules”… severe dress codes are one that come to mind…

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              • bottom bracket December 6, 2016 at 8:12 pm

                Exactly. Teach them to resist authority and do what they want. No problem. The big house does have visitor days, and that’s exactly where many of them end up because they weren’t disciplined and taught how to act in society.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 6, 2016 at 10:42 pm

                Kids need to learn to do what the government tells them to do. They need to know their place.

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          • Pete December 5, 2016 at 2:16 pm

            Chris I beat me to it. My proposed solution for children riding bicycles is the same for adults riding bicycles, and even adults driving cars around them: relevant safety education (with testing).

            I’ll go out on a limb and guess this letter was written with the assumption that these children under the legal driving age are actually aware of the “rules of the road”… without ever having been in road user classes of any kind. I’d also like to ask Brian and Marylyn if they’ve taken steps to ensure all the children in their school have access to bicycle training, and if they have advocated or applied for SRTS funding. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ll hazard a guess that safe cycling is not required curriculum there.

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        • Spiffy December 5, 2016 at 1:51 pm

          “The Idaho Stop reduces the costs to government by eliminating the need to pay for extra sensing equipment to detect bicycles at intersections”

          where did they make that up from? you still need sensing equipment… I don’t want to be stuck at a red light for an hour not being able to cross heavy traffic…

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          • Pete December 5, 2016 at 4:04 pm

            I didn’t catch that part, but agree (with you). Signals are necessary to allow bicyclists time to cross traffic across wider intersections, and especially through left turns.

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  • rh December 5, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Lookout students of Sellwood Middle School! If you jaywalk, you will lose your privilege to walk to school!

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    • 9watts December 6, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      comment of the week!

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    • El Biciclero December 7, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      This is actually an excellent point. Several have commented regarding the idea (fact?) that a school cannot overlook dangerous behavior by its students on or near school grounds or during school activities. So if the dangerous behavior being observed is indeed “jaywalking”, or horseplay near the street, or running into crosswalks without looking, what would the sanctions be? What “privilege” would be threatened then? I’d say the same principles of “enforcement” ought to apply in all such cases.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Part of the issue might be that the school has no real leverage over parents’ driving habits, but they may have regarding students biking to school.

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    • Spiffy December 5, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      they can do a citizen initiated citation just like anybody else if they really want to stop parent’s bad behavior…

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      • bottom bracket December 5, 2016 at 8:16 pm

        If the cars are illegally parked they can have the police give the ticket.

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        • Dan A December 5, 2016 at 8:56 pm

          I wonder if the police would write a ticket to someone parked illegally in a painted parking space.

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  • B. Carfree December 5, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    I wonder how many of the administrators and teachers at this school arrive by any means other than a personal car. Judging by the notice, at least two of them have a complete windshield perspective problem.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      The writers of the letter expressed concern over dangerous behavior by students on bikes. Assuming that what they saw was in fact dangerous, how might they better respond? Threatening students is how schools tend to respond to a whole range of issues (an approach that I certainly experienced when I was in school).

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. December 5, 2016 at 1:18 pm

        I mean, we don’t take away people’s cars when they do dangerous things, so why does that double-standard apply to cyclists? It is not dangerous to roll through a stop sign on a bike as long as traffic is clear. This attitude from the administration just seems like a power struggle to maintain control over students.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 1:23 pm

          If students were blowing through stop signs around the school, the school might very well take similar steps. What they would not do is take away a parent’s bike if the parent rode through a stop sign. They might ask that the parent followed the traffic rules around the school, which is exactly what they did here.

          You are looking at the wrong asymmetry. It’s not bikes vs. cars, it’s students vs. parents.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 1:24 pm

            And yes, schools are always fighting the “how do we control students” battle, sometimes going to ridiculous lengths to do so. But that is a topic for a different forum.

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          • Adam H.
            Adam H. December 5, 2016 at 1:30 pm

            As a product of an overbearing school administration, I can assure you the last thing they should be doing is threatening disproportionate punishment for a minor issue. If kids nowadays are anything like me, it will only make them lash out harder against an unfair administration. If the school legitimately feels they need to nanny the students, then they should try talking to them, rather than threatening them.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 1:33 pm

              Agreed, mostly. This is a “how do you approach discipline” issue that happens to involve bikes, and not really a bike issue at all.

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              • Adam H.
                Adam H. December 5, 2016 at 2:31 pm

                Sure, but this is not in the same vein as taking away a student’s iPhone for texting in class. In this case, the punishment involves taking away their primary mode of transport to school. Imagine if the school threatened to take away students’ shoes for crossing against the light while walking to school. The punishment does not fit the crime here.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 3:50 pm

                Since we don’t really know what “the crime” is (first offence? repeated warnings? technical violation? actual danger to rider and/or other students?), and there has been no punishment (only a vague threat that probably can’t be followed through on), you may be right, or you may be not right.

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      • Brian December 5, 2016 at 1:21 pm

        If it is indeed a school problem, use a small portion of class time to go over expectations and reasons for those expectations. If someone is observed not following the rules, pull them aside and individually remind them.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 1:26 pm

          I would fully expect those steps to be taken (well, at least the individual counseling) before any punishment was meted out. On the other hand, school discipline issues are not always handled well, for reasons that have nothing to do with bikes.

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  • Dan A December 5, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    If only they could revoke the parents’ privilege to drive their kids all the way to school. That would increase safety for all.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. December 5, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      Remember though, bikes are toys for kids and cars are for serious adults who contribute to the economy!

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 1:27 pm

        Just how would a school revoke a parent’s driving privileges?

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        • Carrie December 5, 2016 at 1:43 pm

          I actually want to know how the school would revoke my child’s riding privileges as well.

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            • Joe Adamski December 5, 2016 at 8:34 pm

              and two years later he is $100k richer, thanks to school policy, coupled with a ‘resource officer’ ( polite-speak for the cop they need to get rid of, or at least keep out of sight) who is on a power trip. Maybe $$ is the only way to get attention from institutions.

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              • Spiffy December 6, 2016 at 9:07 am

                but the dad still has to wait until all the cars are done picking up kids before he’s allowed to pick up his…

                the lawsuit settlement didn’t seem to change anything other than now you don’t have to fill out a form…

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              • Dan A December 6, 2016 at 10:04 am

                They should reverse that. Walking/biking to school? You get to leave 15 minutes before people being driven.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 2:58 pm

            If push came to shove, they could probably only say the kids couldn’t bring their bike on school property. Maybe not even that if the kid’s parents were willing to go to the mat over the issue. I suspect that this is a somewhat idle threat used to get people’s attention to highlight what they feel is a dangerous behavior, and a way to signal to parents that they take the matter seriously.

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            • Spiffy December 6, 2016 at 9:09 am

              they may take kids running the stop sign seriously, but the letter shows they don’t take safety seriously, which is what the letter was supposed to do…

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 6, 2016 at 1:17 pm

                Poorly worded school communications happen all the time.

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          • pruss2ny December 5, 2016 at 6:36 pm

            I don’t see why this has to get dressed as “driving as a right vs cycling as a privilege” rage. Reality is schools have a massive grey area in liability for their students even in off-campus situations…an area which gets felt out through lawsuits. Surely this is why schools have tended toward closed campus in high school and why they threaten to take away bike “privileges” at a grade school…they may/may not be able to enforce it, but they can show that they were doing everything within reason to provide for the safety of their students.

            instead of focusing on the pink floyd/the wall aspects of school, and our apparent vile deep seeded hatred of school admins, and consider the role lawsuits have played in creating the nanny state looking back at us.

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          • bottom bracket December 5, 2016 at 8:22 pm

            They’d have to check with a lawyer, but I’m guessing they could put their lock on the kids bike until they could arrange a meeting with the parents to discuss the issue. Same as if a student had a dangerous object of some kind at school – they’d take it away.
            .
            Of course, today, many parents would go off the deep end over that just like many of those commenting here.

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        • Tim December 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm

          It is within a schools authority to ban individuals from school property if there is a concern for the safety of the students or staff. Make a threat to school or students and you will be banned, arrested and charged with trespassing if you enter school property.

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        • Dan A December 5, 2016 at 2:03 pm

          They can’t, obviously.

          Though they could take steps to make driving less comfortable.

          Our school has a two-lane drive-through where you can drop off your child 20 feet from the front door. Why? The 200 kids that walk in from the west side of the building have to walk through mud and a flooded walking path to reach the school, and then have to go around the school so they can enter through the main entrance near the drive-through. The back door on the west side is locked during the 15 minutes of arrival time, in the name of SAFETY(tm). They can’t put a teacher at the back door to let kids in because all of the teachers tasked with morning arrival are acting as parking attendants and doormen in the parking lot.

          I think we could make it safer to walk to school if everyone had to park at least 100 yards away, if there were more options for walkers to enter the building, and if the money saved on the buses they cut was put towards ‘walking chaperones’ to help walk hordes of children to school.

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          • Dan A December 5, 2016 at 2:10 pm

            The school should ask PBOT to paint those curbs out 20 feet from each crosswalk. If this street view is accurate, parking appears to be allowed right up to the crosswalk on almost all of the curbs. That’s ridiculous.

            https://goo.gl/maps/Wynu8xKH5km

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 3:01 pm

              Alternatively, they could have student flaggers waving drivers away from parking.

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          • Dan A December 5, 2016 at 2:11 pm

            #italicsfail

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          • El Biciclero December 5, 2016 at 4:30 pm

            This is similar to the situation at my son’s school. Most days, I take him to school on our cargo bike. I’ve been scolded for walking the bike in front of the school, and been told that “bikes go around back”. The only problem with that is that kindergartners like my son are supposed to use a separate door in the front of the school in the morning, and the only door parents are supposed to use to come into the school for pick-ups is, you guessed it, the front door.

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        • Spiffy December 5, 2016 at 2:06 pm

          write them enough tickets and their license will be suspended…

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        • B. Carfree December 5, 2016 at 2:19 pm

          Not specific to the offending parents, but since a high concentration of motorists around a school is an obvious safety hazard, wouldn’t it be nice if the school was working with the local authorities to close the streets near the school to traffic when school begins/ends?

          A thirty minute closure in the morning and again in the afternoon shouldn’t put anyone out too much. While it does just move the conflicts further out, it also reduces the concentration.

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          • Dan A December 5, 2016 at 4:12 pm

            YES.

            I thought there were some areas in England where they are already doing this, but I can’t seem to find a link.

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  • JF December 5, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    I understand what the person/letter is trying to say and it is virtually same thing you are saying. “I want existing laws enforced…”

    However, I do not like the threat of taking away a child’s “privilege” of riding a bicycle to communicate the intended message. The letter would have been much more affective if the message was a friendly reminder to everyone about the 4-way stop and marked crosswalks at the intersection. Then ask parents to please remind children riding bicycles to stop as well.

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    • Chris I December 5, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      Exactly. They should have said “we have observed drivers and cyclists running the stop signs around the school. Please remember that you are required to come to a complete stop.”

      We all know that drivers are running those stop signs (either rolling through at low speed or not stopping at the line, but two feet past it), but this letter singles out cyclists for some reason.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 6:22 pm

        It actually singles out students… they don’t talk about adult cyclists, over whom they have no control. It also singles out parents who are driving.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      That definitely sounds like a better approach.

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  • Tim December 5, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    I have the misfortune of riding by an elementary school on my way to work. The driving behavior of parents dropping their children at school is the worst I have encountered. When I contact the school they talk about safe routes to school which amounts to restricting the routes of the few children the walk to school. They solved the problem of drivers blocking the sidewalk by banning children from the sidewalk in front of their school.

    Why not put some restrictions on the drivers who are creating the hazard. Instead of having the safety officer tell kids to walk their bikes, they could stand at the entrance to the school and ticket all the texting moms and dads.

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    • Dan A December 5, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      I had a parent complain to me that too many kids use the crosswalk near our school, which slows him down when he’s trying to drive his kid to the front door.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty December 5, 2016 at 3:04 pm

        Oh, how I long for a conversation that starts with a line like that…

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      • Adam H.
        Adam H. December 5, 2016 at 3:13 pm

        Reminds me of this.

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        • Tim December 5, 2016 at 3:37 pm

          Half of all injuries to students on their way to school are from parents driving their children to school.

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          • Dan A December 5, 2016 at 4:14 pm

            Source? I’d like to share this.

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            • bottom bracket December 6, 2016 at 6:39 pm

              See my post down at the bottom. Some sources for you.

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    • dan December 5, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      I have the same experience with people dropping their kids at the school near my house. Thing is, there’s a church with a huge parking lot and good access from SE 39th that’s just 4 blocks from the school. In a sane world, parents who drive to school would drive there, park, and walk their kids to school, rather than putting on a display of impatient and rude driving and parking in the residential streets around the school.

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  • Spiffy December 5, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    on a side note, it’s nice they have the option to walk and bike to school… the last high school I went to was a mile from town up a winding road with a 45 mph speed limit… you either took the bus or a car…

    I had moved there from the city, where they had hundreds of bike racks and very few people took the bus or drove…

    that move from the city to the mountains is when I stopped riding bikes everywhere and began my driving life… that driver mentality would carry me 20 more years before I moved back to Oregon and began my conversion to become a Portlandia native…

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  • Zaphod December 5, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    If my kids went to that school, there wouldn’t be a day in the year that they do not bike. If the administration attempts to curtail that for even a moment, well… my kids would learn about civil disobedience, advocacy and public speaking (as needed) first hand in short order.

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  • Eric Leifsdad December 5, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Stand at that stop sign and whack a car with a hammer whenever one rolls through it with more momentum than a kid on a bike at 10mph. Probably wear out your hammer.

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    • Dan A December 5, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      Just remember that hitting a person is an accident, but hitting a car is assault.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty December 7, 2016 at 8:58 pm

        Deliberately hitting a person is also assault.

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        • Dan A December 8, 2016 at 7:24 am

          Car hit person = accident.

          Person hit car = assault.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty December 8, 2016 at 10:48 am

            Car hit person on purpose = assault
            Person hit car unintentionally = accident

            The variable is intent, not locomotion type.

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            • Dan A December 8, 2016 at 11:24 am

              Sure, for those fantasy scenarios.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 8, 2016 at 1:45 pm

                I agree — the number of drivers committing assault is quite small.

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  • Spiffy December 5, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    converting story from driving:

    the school takes away the student’s privilege to park their bike at school…

    the student still needs to get to school so they continue biking and parking without permission…

    the school impounds their bike so they can’t park it there anymore…

    the student uses his allowance to buy another bike and take it to school…

    the new bike is impounded…

    the cycle continues until the student can only afford the cheapest bike with bald tires and dying brakes…

    student bikes to school but can’t control bike and crashes into bike corral injuring classmates…

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  • rachel b December 5, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks, Carrie. I’m increasingly desperate for Portland to start enforcing traffic laws.There is NOTHING, at present, to encourage Portland drivers to give a crap. We’ve created a legion of scofflaws through passivity and neglect the past several years, just as we grew and grew–a particularly dangerous time to decide to go all laissez-faire.

    Humans. So hard to be good when no one’s holding you to it.

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  • bikeninja December 5, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    In reality, instead of some of the out of date things they teach in school, they should be giving the kids extensive study on bike safety, bike repair and proper street navigation because if these kids want to have a future planet to live on cars will need to be history by the time the kids in the Sellwood Middle School are old enough to drive.

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    • bottom bracket December 5, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      That is EXACTLY what was said when I was in middle school back in the early 70s. Only back then it was the coming ice age that we were supposed to fear.

      🙂

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty December 6, 2016 at 1:56 am

        Nowadays, it’s mostly the contrails that are a problem.

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      • dwk December 6, 2016 at 6:00 am

        Except there are things called facts and science……

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        • bottom bracket December 6, 2016 at 4:02 pm

          Back then, the coming ice age was the facts and the science.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty December 7, 2016 at 10:14 am

            The contrails changed the physics of the upper atmosphere, reversing a galactic cooling period by injecting chemicals that increased stratospheric photosynthesis and global heat retention. This is well understood, but the implications have been suppressed by a global cabal of climate change profiteers.

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  • bottom bracket December 5, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Well intended and well written article, but mistaken.

    There is no evidence that the community values one type of road users over other road users. The school expressed their concern for students not obeying a stop sign. The school does not want to be aware that some students are breaking the traffic rules and then to not take action to prevent it – to do so would be inviting a lawsuit.

    The school did not say they would prevent a student from getting to school – they said if they break the law while riding their bikes they would not allow them to ride the bike to school. I guess the student could lock their bike somewhere just off of school property.

    The school is in the right and made a good call. May have saved a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

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  • bottom bracket December 5, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    What if the students were doing something on their bikes while on school property, that is clearly, by any standard, very dangerous to themselves.
    .
    Would we still yell and scream and jump up and down and say how rotten and unfair it is that the school threatened to not let them ride bikes to school? In other words, just how unreasonable are some of you folks?

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    • Carrie December 6, 2016 at 7:00 am

      The school already prohibits the kids from riding skateboards on campus, because of safety. But they don’t restrict the kids from riding then school – the kids just have to get off and carry them on school grounds and they live in the office all day until it’s time to go home. Very reasonable. (I think bike riding is prohibited on campus, as are off leash dogs :)).

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      • Dan A December 6, 2016 at 8:16 am

        BSD policy forbids kids from carrying their skateboard on the bus, which is kind of crazy (and they are looking at revisiting this policy). Apparently they are worried about them rolling around. No such ban on basketballs, soccer balls, marbles, etc.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty December 6, 2016 at 1:19 pm

          I was always able to carry my ball bearing collection on the bus.

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          • Dan A December 6, 2016 at 1:50 pm

            It’s all ball bearings these days.

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        • bottom bracket December 6, 2016 at 4:04 pm

          In an accident, a skateboard could become a lethal projectile.

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          • Dan A December 6, 2016 at 6:41 pm

            So could a kid. Ban them!

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            • 9watts December 6, 2016 at 8:12 pm

              Not to mention in a crash.

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        • wsbob December 7, 2016 at 10:46 am

          “BSD policy forbids kids from carrying their skateboard on the bus, which is kind of crazy (and they are looking at revisiting this policy). …” dan a

          You got a link to where such a regulation exists in the school district policy? I’d like to read it, and if one does exist, about any one or more event the district felt compelled the need for such a policy. There could be fair reasons for such a policy, but hearing it in the district’s words, if they have such a policy, seems like a good idea.

          School districts, and individual schools, seem to have authority to come up with different kinds of rules and regulations, to meet the kinds of challenges they have to deal with. Some have merit, others are questionable. For example, here in Washington County, from many years ago in grade school: girls were allowed to wear only dresses and skirts to school, rather than slacks and jeans. Reason and common sense prevailed after considerable community discussion, and within a couple years, permission went from slacks and pants allowed on just one day a week, to any and all days a week.

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          • Dan A December 7, 2016 at 11:45 am

            https://www.beaverton.k12.or.us/depts/trans/Documents/FAQ.pdf

            As I think I mentioned, after discussing it with the district they said they would be revisiting this policy, and that our son could bring his board if it is okay with his bus driver. We haven’t tried it out yet, because he is having a hard enough time WALKING with his huge backpack plus a trumpet, much less trying to ride a skateboard.

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            • bottom bracket December 7, 2016 at 10:38 pm

              Some buses have a storage compartment under the bus to haul stuff – might check that out too.

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      • bottom bracket December 6, 2016 at 6:19 pm

        C,
        If the skate boarders were crossing the street unsafely then the school would do the same thing – threaten to not all them on school property at all. But, the boarders didn’t ride unsafely – the cyclists did.

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  • Tom December 5, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    An elementary school I was trying to volunteer for in the past (not in Portland) put a out a flyer for movie night that said in bold red capital letters at the bottom “NO BIKES ALLOWED”. Seemed a bit extreme that we could’n use the bike rack for movie night, so I asked why. They said that some year in the past, a kid rode his bike around campus during the movie. I asked if anyone got hurt, and they said no. I eventually talked them into replacing the scary note with a much smaller one requesting people use the bike rack.

    Around the same time there was a problem with people parking cars in the drop-off area right next to and sometime partially overlapping a crosswalk. I asked about it, and the school said those were individual drivers and they were short on drop-off space, but they would look into it. But it kept happening.

    Seems to me that when someone in a majority screws up, its considered only an isolated incident with an ‘individual’, but when someone in a minority screws up, its considered to be a group incident, and everyone else in the minority gets punished as if its a club. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to be in the ‘you people’ club or not.

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    • Chris I December 6, 2016 at 10:39 am

      This is what oppression feels like.

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  • Mark smith December 6, 2016 at 12:08 am

    Maybe it’s time we take people’s cars away for a real period of time.

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    • bottom bracket December 6, 2016 at 12:24 am

      If you live in Portland realize that Ds control the city and county government. The majority of the people are Ds. If you want to ban cars there is nothing to stop you. Ds also control Salem so I doubt they’ll object. Go ahead. Turn it into a D paradise without cars. Show the world the D shining city on the hill. I’m serious. Do it.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty December 6, 2016 at 1:59 am

        And goddamn Hillary stole the election. Am I right?

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        • bottom bracket December 6, 2016 at 4:14 pm

          My condolences. No, DT won.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYPx5I8JSco

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        • bottom bracket December 6, 2016 at 6:15 pm

          DT won, despite Ds pushing to not require proof of citizenship to register to vote. Now H is working feverishly thru Jill Beer Stein to cause 3 states to not complete and certify their counts before the electors meet in a couple of weeks. Then, DT would not get to 270 and the Congress would decide who wins, and that would be DT. This will accomplish the D goal of making him look illegitimate because he did not get to 270, she won the popular vote, and the Rs put him into the WH. Can you say Banana Republic?

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty December 6, 2016 at 10:39 pm

            DT has presented evidence that H conspired with millions of illegal immigrants to vote for her; please don’t dismiss that fact. The recount is a thinly veiled effort to distract attention from the real threat posed by the likes of Podesta and H and the Comet Ping Pong travesty. Now that DT is backing away from his promises to expose the real story, I can only think that he must be in on the conspiracy. Once a NY liberal, always a NY liberal. Fluoridation levels inside the beltway may be higher than what DT is accustomed to; once he is fully exposed, we may see his true character laid bare.

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          • wsbob December 7, 2016 at 10:33 am

            “…Now H is working feverishly thru Jill Beer Stein to cause 3 states to not complete and certify their counts before the electors meet in a couple of weeks. …” bb

            News reports suggest H and the many millions of people that voted for her across the nation, are going along with Jill Stein’s recall effort, even though acknowledging there’s not a great likelihood that a recount will uncover evidence of the voting machines in the three states mentioned, having been hacked.

            H got the popular vote. Nobody contests that point. The electoral vote majority was captured by trump, a point on which there is some room to question. At any rate, H already has conceded the election, so it’s basically smooth sailing for trump to the white house. Once he’s in office, there are much bigger challenges coming up to sort out, than whether somehow through theoretically possible ballot machine hacking in several states, H may also have won more electoral votes than recorded.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty December 7, 2016 at 12:17 pm

              I contest that. I have reason to believe that most of the Hello, Kitty vote was siphoned off by Russian hackers and given to Hillary Clinton. Without that interference, we might be preparing for our first Sanrio presidency.

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            • bottom bracket December 7, 2016 at 12:59 pm

              “H got the popular vote. Nobody contests that point. The electoral vote majority was captured by trump, a point on which there is some room to question.” wsbob

              Wrong on both counts. I don’t know the procedure used to register voters in all the states. If there are states where you can register without proving citizenship then non-citizens may have voted. In any state that uses computers to vote, those can be programmed to cheat or if connected to the internet they can be hacked. There were reports of some machines (not sure what kind of machines) in Texas that gave a vote for Hillary even after you voted for Trump. H cheated to deny Sanders the nomination – there is no reason to believe she would not do the same to win the general election. Pennsylvania appears to have had some cheating. As of election night T was ahead by 70K; 3 WEEKS later they were still counting absentee ballots and H had picked up 20K to make T’s lead only 50K; that would be impossible with a few absentee ballots. There is no way to know if H got the popular vote – I suspect she did, but we’ll never know. There is no room to question that Trump won the electoral vote; and you don’t want to go there – we do not want to admit that our nation would vote for the likes of H. We dodged a big ol’ bullet.

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            • bottom bracket December 7, 2016 at 1:46 pm

              wsbob,
              Just read the headlines – it gets better and better………
              🙂

              http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/category/vote-fraud#axzz4SBtSQP1Z

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              • Dan A December 7, 2016 at 3:49 pm

                Just, like, wow.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty December 7, 2016 at 4:20 pm

                Hillary is going to try to steal the Electoral College vote — there are credible reports from fake news sites that a significant number of electors are actually illegal immigrants pretending to be Republicans so they could elect their one true leader.

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        • bottom bracket December 6, 2016 at 8:15 pm

          H,K
          Bernie agrees with you 100%. 😉

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      • dwk December 6, 2016 at 6:01 am

        Only if you will leave….

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      • dan December 6, 2016 at 9:52 am

        I would love to see that. At best, shining city on the hill. At worst, no one wants to move here anymore and property values go in the toilet. So, a win either way.

        Sadly, the majority of Ds are also drivers, and this doesn’t have a chance in hell of being passed. Heck, how would all the state legislators drive to their offices in Salem?

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        • Adam H.
          Adam H. December 6, 2016 at 10:19 am

          Maybe we should extend WES to Salem. Seems like there’s a huge untapped market there and would take pressure off I-5.

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          • 9watts December 16, 2016 at 12:31 pm

            Already exists. It is called the Cherriots 1X. I take it all the time from Wilsonville to Downtown Salem.

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      • Chris I December 6, 2016 at 10:41 am

        The most valuable real estate in the US is within the boundaries of liberal large cities. There is no such thing as a “shining city on the hill”. You need to travel a little and open your mind a lot.

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        • bottom bracket December 6, 2016 at 4:10 pm

          Did someone say something about property values? No. But since you brought it up, no, the most valuable property in the US is not in cities – perhaps the most expensive property is, but not the most valuable. You seem angry. Do you need help?

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          • Chris I December 7, 2016 at 6:33 am

            Ah, so it is expensive, but not valuable. Interesting. Which school of economics do you subscribe to? Or did you read that on Breitbart news?

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            • bottom bracket December 7, 2016 at 6:35 pm

              Did not say it was not valuable – said it was not the most valuable. Which reading comprehension school did you attend?

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    • Dan A December 6, 2016 at 10:06 am

      Take cars away and raise the speed limits? Feels like you’re toying with us. Are you missing a sarcasm tag somewhere?

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  • rick December 6, 2016 at 10:26 am

    wow

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  • Matt S. December 6, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    This sounds like another example of how Portland’s road infrastructure can’t handle the population density. Everyone crammed into a tight a space while being in a hurry. Get some volunteers our there to slow everything down and direct.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. December 6, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      Our streets can handle the population increase just fine, as long as not everyone is driving. This is why we need to be investing heavily in high-quality cycling and public transport infrastructure that will actually convince people to switch from driving alone. Currently, our “alternative” transportation projects amount to mostly feel-good symbolic gestures or cheap band-aids. We need more ambitious projects, like what is going on in Vancouver BC.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty December 6, 2016 at 1:23 pm

        Do you see any realistic future where the majority of people will not be in cars? Robot cars may displace human drivers, but they will probably also displace buses and other non point-to-point transportation alternatives.

        Until that future arrives, Matt S. has a valid point.

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        • Dan A December 6, 2016 at 1:55 pm

          The school needs volunteer parking attendants? Is that Matt’s point?

          Seems to me the school would be better off with volunteer walking/biking chaperones.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty December 6, 2016 at 4:00 pm

            No, Matt’s point is that the road infrastructure is not keeping up with population growth. Adam H. said it was fine as long as everyone starts riding. I replied there was no realistic prospect that would happen, and that capacity concerns will continue to be an issue in the future.

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        • 9watts December 16, 2016 at 12:32 pm

          “Do you see any realistic future where the majority of people will not be in cars? ”

          I don’t see a future never mind a realistic one where the majority of people will be in cars.

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    • Chris I December 6, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Does this mean you are volunteering?

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    • bottom bracket December 6, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      For bonus points on today’s quiz, cite the largest sources of population growth in the US today.

      For extra credit, name the only presidential candidate in the 2016 election who proposed curbing that growth – and who therefore qualifies as the most environmentally friendly candidate in the election.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty December 6, 2016 at 10:23 pm

        Sorry for the greatly delayed response… I’ve been away studying the 4-dimensional timecube. Perhaps you can help me correct for the erroneous computation of the four simultaneous days per rotation. There is a $1000 reward for disproving the Harmonic Cube. If you can show me the source of error, I’ll help you identify the true environmental savior you are seeking. If the 96 hour day can disprove the unity of god, it may also be able to help you in your quest.

        http://timecube.2enp.com/

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  • bottom bracket December 6, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Stats would depend on if student drivers were included, but here’s one source:
    http://schoolbusfacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Safety-Benefits.pdf

    Found it here: http://schoolbusfacts.com/

    This is a better source, but again, actual numbers would depend on whether student drivers were included or not:

    https://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/esv/esv19/05-0325-W.pdf

    Those stats are for injuries in an accident I suspect. Don’t know if they took into account such things as on a bus you might get bullied or catch a contagious disease, have to wait in the weather to catch the bus, have your hearing damaged by all the screaming and yelling, 🙂 etc, etc, etc. Buses are OK, but I suspect there are legitimate reasons for some parents to drive their kids.

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  • pruss2ny December 7, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Adam H.
    The cyclist had the light and was crossing legally.
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    think its conceivable that the motorist’s lawyer argues he came to a stop at the intersection to allow pedestrian to cross, looked right/left and surmised it was safe for him to legally turn right on red, began his turn (by rolling into the crosswalk) and while in the midst of his deliberate and slow turn a cyclist, clearly coming faster than a pedestrian, grazed across the front of his bumper….it seems at least conceivable….not saying bicyclist doesn’t generally have ROW, but when anyone comes to an intersection they still have to make sure its safe to cross/deal with any traffic clogging the intersection. As a cager, can i rip thru a just turned green light (which gives me ROW correct?) if there is a (slow) pedestrian still clearing the intersection? of course not

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    • Dan A December 7, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      The thing is, this is one of the BETTER drivers at this intersection. I regularlywitness drivers stopping 5-8 feet PAST the crosswalk before they even look left or right. Based on my sample size, it must happen about a hundred of times a day, no joke. They are so anxious to turn right to get onto the highway that they completely ignore the fact that there is a crosswalk here.

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      • pruss2ny December 7, 2016 at 8:38 pm

        am in the camp that we are better off without right turn on red.

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        • bottom bracket December 7, 2016 at 10:40 pm

          I’d keep it and get rid of left turn on green ball. Needs to be left turn only on green arrow.

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        • Pete December 9, 2016 at 2:33 am

          Agreed; even if for a period of time to retrain a generation of drivers. We’ve gotten rid of a few select slip lanes here in Santa Clara County, and lo and behold drivers are stopping before crosswalks there now (for the most part; it’s been an observable difference). I do believe the mentality that led to the creation of slip lanes here in California showed up shortly after right-turn-on-red-after-stop became law (in my younger driving years… I’ve had a lot of time to watch trends).

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