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Police stop 66 people in two hours during inner SE Hawthorne enforcement mission

Posted by on January 27th, 2017 at 9:45 am

Of course people drive dangerously here. The road design encourages it.

How rampant is illegal and dangerous driving in Portland?

In just two hours last night the Portland Police Bureau wrote 43 citations (for 61 separate violations) and handed out 23 written warnings*. The ‘Vision Zero traffic safety mission’ was carried out between 6:00 and 8:00 pm on Southeast Hawthorne Blvd between 12th and Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

In a press statement, the police said, “This area was selected due to numerous community complaints and it is a high traffic area for all road users.”

This section of Hawthorne area is also full of shops, eateries and popular destinations. Despite a motor-vehicle oriented road design that hasn’t changed in decades, inner Hawthorne is one of the most iconic commercial districts in Portland. Just a few blocks east of where this enforcement action took place is the location where 15-year-old Fallon Smart was hit and killed last August while trying to cross at SE 43rd.


After Smart died we heard from many local residents and business owners that they’ve wanted more crosswalks and slower speeds on the street for many years.

And it’s not just this location. Police across the region do these enforcement missions and the result is always the same: a mind-boggling display of disregard for the law and safety of others by people behind the wheel of motor vehicles. On the same night we rode to remember Mitch York on the St. Johns Bridge police nabbed 43 people; an enforcement action on 82nd Avenue in 2015 netted 61 citations in four hours; and the list goes on and on and on.

Until we stop normalizing dangerous behaviors, introduce more safety regulations on car owners and redesign our streets to encourage safer behavior, this game of cat-and-mouse between the police and road users will continue.

We’ve requested the breakdown of specific traffic violations from the PPB and will update this post when we receive it. Our hunch is that the vast majority of them were given to people using motor vehicles because very few people ride on Hawthorne. Even though it’s a popular main street, Hawthorne has no dedicated bicycle access and the bike route diverts away from it to sidestreets at SE 12th.

This police mission is part of a long-running partnership between the Bureau of Transportation and the PPB.

(Note: We’re curious about the racial breakdown of the people being pulled over. Profiling is a major point of concern of the City’s Vision Zero Task Force and it’s why they decided to minimize enforcement in their Action Plan. The PPB tracks the race of traffic violators and we’ve requested a breakdown. We will share any information we obtain.)

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

159 Comments
  • RH January 27, 2017 at 9:47 am

    I wished people drove like there was 6 inches of snow on the ground year round. That was very traffic calming.

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    • rick January 27, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Except in certain parking lots with people driving to make donuts. Lots of that in the Tigard Cinema near the Tri-Met park-and-ride by SW 72nd Ave.

      It was very quiet and peaceful during the first few days on the streets of that snow storm.

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      • Chris I January 27, 2017 at 12:37 pm

        And grassy fields in several parks that I saw…

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        • Oliver, the other one. January 27, 2017 at 1:36 pm

          I’d like the throttle people for tearing up the parks. I also see nothing wrong with doing donuts in empty snow covered parking lots.

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    • rachel b January 27, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      I wanted to put up signs on our street (SE 26th) after the snow melted, saying:

      “You know the 25mph you were forced to drive in the snow and ice? That’s the actual speed limit here.”

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  • rick January 27, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Enforcement is key.

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  • Tim January 27, 2017 at 10:09 am

    “We’re curious about the racial breakdown of the people being pulled over. Profiling is a major point of concern of the City’s Vision Zero Task Force and it’s why they decided to minimize enforcement in their Action Plan.”

    I’ curious about the racial breakdown of the victims. Where is their social justice?

    Invoking concerns over race, profiling and social justice to minimize traffic enforcement is just an excuse to maintain the status where drivers are not expected to follow the rules and show concern for their neighbors.

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    • meh January 27, 2017 at 10:15 am

      Yes what is the correct proportion by race that should be pulled over? Is it based on the breakdown of the general population, or should it be more statistically correct (instead of politically correct) and use the population base of those who break the law while driving?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) January 27, 2017 at 10:40 am

      Tim said:

      Invoking concerns over race, profiling and social justice to minimize traffic enforcement is just an excuse to maintain the status where drivers are not expected to follow the rules and show concern for their neighbors.

      Either that… Or it’s a valid concern from people of color who have experienced racism while innocently moving around our city and/or it’s a valid concern from people who have read research that shows a large disparity in the racial make-up of traffic stops by police agencies nationwide. Fear of being profiled by police is a very real thing to a lot of people.

      I’m with you that traffic safety is very serious concern. That’s my big issue! But I’m white. Imagine if you were black and you were afraid of police and imagine how easy it is for police to exerise bias given how much power they have over us. It’s a serious concern and I think it deserves a broad debate to find the right balance between racial justice and traffic safety. Both concerns are valid… it not zero-sum. That being said, I think the right of people to expect fair treatment from police — free of any bias due to skin color — is a higher priority than the right of people to get protection by the police from dangerous road users.

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      • dan January 27, 2017 at 10:59 am

        Well, what if everyone who violated a traffic law got a ticket? That seems like it would be in line with Vision Zero, and removes the fear of racial profiling / bias.

        That applies to enforcement actions too: ticket everyone who breaks the law, and there’s no opportunity for profiling.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty January 27, 2017 at 11:20 am

          Discretion in law enforcement is important for a just society. And yes, I do see the irony of making that statement in the context of this discussion.

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        • Spiffy February 1, 2017 at 2:52 pm

          the problem is that racism causes people to see minorities committing more violations, thus we think they are committing more…

          it’s like when a cop is harassing a jay-walker while 12 drivers perform dangerous illegal actions right in from of them… they don’t see the drivers committing offenses because they’re blind to their own privilege, they’re busy keeping an eye on those they think will break the law: the others…

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty February 1, 2017 at 2:57 pm

            What privilege does your police officer enjoy that blinds him or her to people committing moving violations in vehicles?

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      • Tim January 27, 2017 at 11:13 am

        “right balance between racial justice and traffic safety.”

        Traffic safety and enforcement is racial justice. Racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, the young, and low income people are disproportional being killed and injured by drivers.

        “imagine if you were black and you were afraid of police”

        Now imagine you are African American and and your child has just been run down in the street, but the police don’t enforce traffic laws in your neighborhood because of concerns over racial profiling.

        To promote traffic safety, we should use these opportunities to show the racial injustice of accepting traffic violence. We can all learn to show the same indignation over a driver killing an elderly African American man as a young white girl.

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      • Dave January 27, 2017 at 11:34 am

        It’s all well and good to care about racial equity in traffic stops–if there is also a way to adjust racial equity as road violence victims. Last time I checked, people of every skin color are equally vulnerable.

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      • Noel Mickelberry January 27, 2017 at 1:08 pm

        Thank you for this Jonathan, and thank you for your interest in diving deeper into the police data. Traffic violence disproportionately impacts communities of color, and police violence does as well. Communities of color are bearing the brunt of both issues, which is why it is such an important and central issue to be discussing when it comes to solutions.

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      • Steve Scarich January 27, 2017 at 6:47 pm

        Seriously, getting hit by a car is less important than being bothered because of your skin color? You have obviously never been hit by a car (I have). Your priorities are out of whack.

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      • TonyT
        TonyT January 29, 2017 at 11:20 am

        Minimizing traffic enforcement to avoid racial profiling is an absolute cop out, no pun intended. If the media is going to even partially entertain this justification, they better also be asking, “What other enforcement is being minimized to avoid racial profiling?” My guess is that very conveniently, traffic enforcement is probably it.

        Is there sweeping and intensive anti-profiling training happening within PPB? If there is, this training should be happening with an intensity and urgency that reflects the carnage on the streets that is permitted to continue while we’re waiting.

        Knowing that I have tried unsuccessfully to get enforcement in my neighborhood for years, this is all better understood by the much simpler explanation that enforcement is simply not a priority. As far as I’m concerned, these are merely politically expedient justifications, wrapped in a facade of social concern.

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    • J_R January 28, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      I’ll tell you the profile of those cited for traffic violation in this enforcement action: LAW BREAKERS.

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  • Tom Hardy January 27, 2017 at 10:21 am

    I still cannot figure out why the PPB thinks that enforcement for motor vehicle laws are not economically viable. where is the fine money going? the fines are supposed to be high enough to pay the policeman’s cost to be on the street, the supervising Sargent’s expences, the Prosecuter’s expences and the judge/courtroom costs. Now if they all would show up in court it could happen. As it is if the offender does not show up, nothing is done unless the offender kills someone then maybe.

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    • paikiala January 27, 2017 at 1:57 pm

      The courts and state take about 60% of the final amount. Portland doesn’t have it’s own court.

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    • Steve Scarich January 29, 2017 at 9:38 am

      How large a fine is levied is up to the judge. I used to work for the State Parks Dept., and cited drivers for parking violations. The judge that actually handled the citation was a justice of the peace at a small, rural city. He would dismiss every single citation, because he thought ‘that citizens should not be punished when just out having fun at the State Park’. It would be interesting if someone researched the actual result of moving violations in Portland.

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  • dan January 27, 2017 at 10:33 am

    I would love to see a program in Portland where citizen dashcam / helmet cam video is reviewed by the police and fines are mailed to registered owners of vehicles when illegal activities are confirmed. That seems like it would definitely make money – just need someone to sit there and review video.

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    • B. Carfree January 27, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      We kind of have that, unless it has been removed and I didn’t notice. You can submit video or other evidence of a motorist violating many sections of the vehicle code and have the local police help with the identification and send the citation out. The hitches are that you have to be able to identify the driver, not just the vehicle, and you have to show up to be the prosecutor.

      Lots of leg work and time investment, but it might be the best way for citizens to clean up the behavior on our streets. It’s not as sexy as a big demonstration, but if done by enough people it could be much more effective.

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      • Middle of the Road Guy January 30, 2017 at 8:46 am

        Any reason why this should not apply to all road users?

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty January 30, 2017 at 10:21 am

          I’ll bet it does.

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      • Dan A January 30, 2017 at 9:57 am

        So it wouldn’t work with tinted windows.

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  • wsbob January 27, 2017 at 10:33 am

    “Of course people drive dangerously here. The road design encourages it.” bikeportland

    I don’t think the road design of Hawthorne through the Hawthorne District, encourages dangerous driving. Though the road design does perhaps enable excessive speeding on the part of people inclined to disregard safety of other road users, and speed limits set for the street.

    Reasons for excessive speeding on a street like Hawthorne, are more complicated, than can accurately sum them up by simply saying: ‘the road design encourages dangerous driving’. To say that isn’t helpful, when the effect of doing so, has other factors enabling excessive speeding be overlooked.

    From having taken the driver’s test, people should know what the speed limit for the street is…business district…should be 25: …assume people forget….where are, and how many are the signs along the street informing people of the speed limit?

    And as rick advises, enforcement is important. Limit is 25…have the cops or speed limit vans, cameras, etc on the street monitoring speeds traveled…anyone traveling over 30 (5mph latitude.)…they get a citation, no if’s and’s or but’s.

    Hawthorne is a main thoroughfare, and I suppose many people still do use it for a through travel route. At certain hours of the day, it’s likely that it receives a huge amount of peak traffic. That’s the reason for the multiple lanes, which, during lower peak traffic hours of the day, may to some people, not seem necessary, or even ‘seem to encourage dangerous driving’.

    I’ll say I’m not sure, but I think that to take, for example, as an alternative road design, half the main lanes out…two of the four…likely will be setting up conditions for some serious stop and go traffic during peak traffic hours: lots more time for the street to be filled, bumper to bumper with motor vehicles sitting there idling, pumping more exhaust fumes into the air for everyone walking and biking to breathe.

    Start with the small stuff:

    …more speed limit signs…rather than just those to the sides of the street at the curb, maybe also some attached to the overhead traffic signal arms extending out over the middle of the street.

    …more enforcement of various types…and stricter…no more of this rumored ‘no citation unless 10mph over the speed limit’ practice.

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    • eawrist January 27, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      4 to 3 diets continue to be studied, and perhaps will be studied, ad infinitum. Would a reduction in lanes result in better safety? Short answer:

      “In almost all instances, there was a reduction in the number of crashes.”

      http://nacto.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/safety_and_operation_analysis_lyles.pdf

      Or we can look at our own PBOT for evidence:
      https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/505257

      Pretty clear convergence of evidence. The road design does encourage dangerous driving.

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      • wsbob January 28, 2017 at 8:43 pm

        “…The road design does encourage dangerous driving.” eawrist

        Hawthorne’s road design doesn’t encourage dangerous driving. Possibly, it enables those people choosing to drive dangerously. That’s an important difference.

        On this webpage: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/505257

        …the two pictures of NE Glisan and 78th, show a before and after four to three road configuration, or so called ‘road diet’; four main lanes down to two main lanes with a center turn lane. Important aspect to notice about the collision on Hawthorne, east of 39th, some months back, of a motor vehicle with a pedestrian midway in crossing the street: The person driving, reportedly chose to drive at an excessively high rate of speed, attempting to use the center turn lane for a passing lane. This aspect of that collision suggests that such road configurations, may not effectively keep people inclined to drive at excessive speeds, from doing so.

        The pre-project/post project study results of the SE Division Street, SE 60th to 80th, shown on this webpage: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/490143

        …reflect a more positive outcome of that streets road reconfiguration, in terns of speed reduction and collision fatality reduction. On this section of the street, it actually brought the mph speed traveled down to just 4-5mph over posted speed limit. Interesting to note also, is the page’s figures for “speeders”, and “top-end speeders”; they represent a small percentage of all people driving.

        Annual crashes down from 30 to 15, half of them involving injury or fatality 15.6 to 8.5 …is one of the more positive outcomes.

        Do people that are familiar with Hawthorne’s road design, have the SE Division Street, SE 60th to 80th project in mind, as a good fit for Hawthorne…keeping in mind the differences between the two streets? Division gets 18,000 motor vehicles using it daily. What are the figures for Hawthorne?

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      • wsbob January 30, 2017 at 12:51 pm

        I looked at the documents you provided a link to…and responded to your comment…for some reason unexplained, it’s not been released from moderation.

        Something I noticed in the study conclusions for both of the projects, was that it was a small percentage of all people driving, that were exceeding the speed limit. The study showed that whatever role the design of the road did or didn’t have on how people individually felt like driving…most people apparently drove at mph speeds close to the posted speed limit.

        The road configuration projects added bike lanes. Those are fine, though I don’t recall whether they were buffered bike lanes…and some people seem to be frustrated riding in bike lanes that aren’t distanced from the door zone…in which case, the benefits of bike lanes adjacent to curb parking and main lanes, may not be seen as a sure thing.

        For myself personally, and in general for biking, I think bike lanes are good things to add to streets that don’t have them, with or without buffers. I think to resort to the use of bike lanes and the reduction the number of lanes a given road has, as a means of slowing down the relatively small percentage of people driving excessively fast….before trying easier, more expedient, and less expensive ways, first, is not a good idea.

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    • paikiala January 27, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      If signs solved traffic problems you wouldn’t need traffic engineers.

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      • wsbob January 27, 2017 at 5:51 pm

        Lower posted speed limits on the signs are just one part of the safer street equation. Enforcement of the posted speed limits, is another part, and increasingly as we go into the future, the technology to help with that enforcement gets better.

        Constricting traffic volume passage capability of streets by reducing the number of lanes provided on streets…as a means of bringing down motor vehicle speeds, is an indirect and backward way to accomplish this objective. If nothing else works, perhaps resort to this option, but first try better selection, clarification of and enforcement of speed limits.

        Earlier this week in the comment section of an older bikeportland story on an issue in Ashland, Ore, a few of us discussed the effects of a road diet applied to a major thoroughfare in that city. The city did a great job of planning for and installing the road reconfiguration, with a serious follow up study of the effects of the reconfiguration two to three years after installation. One of the things the work wasn’t able to accomplish well, was in reducing the average speed traveled, by much. By only 2mph of the 85th percentile, was it. Thanks to Pete, another reader, for finding and posting this link to the discussion I referred to:

        http://www.bendoregon.gov/home/showdocument?id=16879

        Not to say that what Ashland did with its North Main St, isn’t worth it, but simply to remind that it appears this was a very time intensive project. Didn’t dig around though, to find out how much time, and how much it cost. Maybe someone else might be interested in doing that.

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        • q January 27, 2017 at 6:46 pm

          “Constricting traffic volume passage capability of streets by reducing the number of lanes provided on streets…as a means of bringing down motor vehicle speeds, is an indirect and backward way to accomplish this objective.”?

          I’d say the opposite.

          Plus, reducing the number of lanes is just one of several design strategies for reducing speeds.

          Plus, lane reduction has other advantages besides slowing traffic down.

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    • q January 27, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      You say the design doesn’t encourage dangerous driving, then say “it does perhaps enable excessive speeding” (whatever “excessive speeding” is) but of course speeding is perhaps the most dangerous thing drivers do.

      You also say it “isn’t helpful” to blame the “excessive speeding” on the street’s design, while overlooking other factors. But nobody claimed there were no other factors contributing to speeding or other dangerous driving. In fact, Jonathan wrote, ”
      Until we stop normalizing dangerous behaviors, introduce more safety regulations on car owners and redesign our streets to encourage safer behavior…” He just didn’t put all that in the photo caption.

      Also, the fact that Hawthorne is a typical-looking street doesn’t mean its design isn’t a main factor in people driving dangerously there. Many people are so used to streets like that, and so unfamiliar with the alternative possibilities for design that perform well elsewhere, that they don’t realize how much the current, standard design is contributing to dangerous driving.

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      • wsbob January 28, 2017 at 1:21 am

        There’s a big difference between enabling, and encouraging. Most people just want to get where they’re going. Multiple lanes help them do so without excessive stop and go
        traffic during peak road use hours. In fact, during peak use hours, mph speed can drop way down below posted speed limits.

        After those hours, is when some people take advantage of an open road or street, to exceed the speed limit. Neither the city or Hawthorne’s street design is encouraging them to exceed the speed limit. The opportunity is there, so they disregard personal responsibility and seek to drive faster than they likely are well aware is appropriate for the street.

        They drive excessively fast whether there’s a single lane in each direction, or multiple lanes. Unless, as in a single lane in each direction configuration, there’s slower vehicles ahead of them, keeping them from driving faster. Which works until there aren’t slower vehicles ahead of them.

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  • Kyle Banerjee January 27, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Agreed that this area is not great to ride in and could be improved.

    It would be interesting to know the breakdown of the citations. Also, how they actually conducted the enforcement and how egregious the violations were.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty January 27, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Drivers and cyclists alike illustrate the basic truth that following traffic laws is inconvenient. Most of the time we can bend the rules pretty far and everything works out fine. Therefore, most people get in the habit of committing minor infractions, so it is hardly surprising that when, on the very rare occasion that police actually enforce the law, there are so many tickets written. This also happens when there is a “bike sting”, so this is not really a case of “that class of road users are worse than this class”. We’re all bad. And we all think that we’re not one of the bad ones.

    It’s a fight against human nature; that’s why constant enforcement is necessary if we deem it important that most people follow most of the rules most of the time.

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    • Pete January 27, 2017 at 11:12 am

      “that’s why constant enforcement is necessary”

      Seems to also make a case enabling automated enforcement.

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      • paikiala January 27, 2017 at 2:00 pm

        It would be interesting to see figures comparing ‘constant enforcement’ to ‘safest road design’, aka, ‘self enforcing streets’.
        In the UK they call speed bumps sleeping policemen.

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        • Pete January 27, 2017 at 10:24 pm

          I think we’re talking about opposite, but complementary concepts. In the ‘active’ enforcement I was thinking of, our legal structure would first have to change to hold the car owner – not driver – accountable. Privacy arguments would also have to lessen to allow tracking technologies from license plate readers to wireless broadcasting. Otherwise, flashing speed limit signs seem pretty effective. In a comment here a while back someone posted a system (UK, perhaps?) where speeders would trigger a stop light (with red light camera) that otherwise stayed mostly green.

          Some of the ‘passive’ design elements that I’ve seen work (yes, anecdotally) are mid-block bumpouts and crosswalks, undulations (we have ditches in our neighborhoods, originally to help prevent flooding but they do slow drivers), narrow lanes, speed limits painted onto the roadway at strategic locations, and even fluorescent plastic “State Law Requires Drivers Yield to Pedestrians” bollards in the middle of the road. What doesn’t work is that some roads in my neighborhood don’t have any striping, presumably because they were designed as neighborhood collectors in the 1950’s but are now used to bypass traffic and stoplights on adjacent arteries. Because the on-street parking typically imposes on the width of these low-volume roads, drivers blast down the middle of them well over 25 MPH, and only have to slow when they encounter the occasional car coming the other direction.

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      • Middle of the Road Guy January 30, 2017 at 8:47 am

        might as well equip everyone with a GPS tracker and fine them for everything.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty January 30, 2017 at 10:20 am

          That’s Trump’s plan.

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        • Pete January 30, 2017 at 12:18 pm

          Most modern cars are already tracked, as are cell phones. The technology to let the driver know they are exceeding speed limits already exists. But with idiots behind the wheel doing stupid things, perhaps instead of fining the driver we simply kill the engine.

          100+ MPH in a 35 MPH construction zone; just thankful he didn’t take innocent lives:
          http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/06/santa-clara-fatal-crash-on-san-tomas-expressway

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          • wsbob January 30, 2017 at 1:08 pm

            “…But with idiots behind the wheel doing stupid things, perhaps instead of fining the driver we simply kill the engine. …” pete

            That’s a very interesting idea. Say a person is out driving through areas with clearly marked posted speed limits…school zone….business district….thoroughfares:

            Enforcement might be managed if those areas can be equipped with technology to communicate with the car and the person driving as to the mph speed traveled. If the person driving allows their vehicle to exceed the speed limit, some latitude given, of course…after so many driving errors, the motor vehicle might be programmed to go into shutdown mode.

            Minutes of time before shutdown could be allotted to allow the vehicle to be pulled off the side of the road. Vehicle could be programmed for automatic mph cruise control, emergency flasher activation. Length of time the vehicle was shut down, could depend on the driving character of the person driving. Kind of ‘big brother’ like, but with so many more people on the road, the old style options are working so good anymore.

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            • Pete January 30, 2017 at 6:53 pm

              Actually the old style option was to have a governor on the engine, preventing the car from doing 100 MPH in the first place.

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    • B. Carfree January 27, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      I think most motorists are conflicted but are attempting to do what is right. They know most of the rules of the road, particularly the type that these enforcement actions target, but as they look around almost all other drivers are traveling well over the speed limit and violating the pedestrians’ right of way. Which rules do they follow, the speed limit sign or the flow of traffic? The pedestrian right of way or the perceived need to keep traffic flowing (perceived in part by the tailgater behind them)?

      The laws and the conventions are in conflict. The conventions are created by both a lack of enforcement of the laws and the small but critical mass of dedicated scofflaws. As people try to follow what they perceive as the rules, the social pressure created by the scofflaws overpowers their desire to follow the law.

      So, imo, human nature is to do what is necessary to get along. Enforcement can easily take advantage of this nature if we commit to doing it. Portland has not made that commitment and looks unlikely to do so, as a result I will be surprised if PDX comes anywhere near its cycling modal share goals.

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      • wsbob January 28, 2017 at 1:46 am

        “…but as they look around almost all other drivers are traveling well over the speed limit and violating the pedestrians’ right of way. Which rules do they follow, the speed limit sign or the flow of traffic? …” b carfree

        I think some people feel intimidated by the bad behavior of other road users, to the point of aping the same bad behavior themselves,and after awhile, feeling it’s ok to do it…even though they may rather not. This phenomena may be the ‘normalization’ that’s referred to. I’m going to say, because it’s how I’ve come to feel about it, that the 85 percentile seems to be one of the unfortunate and arbitrary consequences of this phenomena that has had cities in the state saddled with poorly designated, excessively high posted speed limits on their streets.

        Nobody has to drive faster than the posted, or officially designated speed limit…simply because other road users are pressuring them to do so. Anyone driving the speed limit, is good as far as the law is concerned…even in places where that speed limit may seem high for the situation.

        It’s time for people to wake up and realize how, on their streets, excessively high motor vehicle speeds enabled by too high a posted speed limit, have seriously degraded the safety, livability and functionality of their streets.

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      • rachel b January 28, 2017 at 12:26 pm

        Good thoughts. I think it’s all happened so fast, the change in driving culture here, I know PPD is still trying to play catch-up…plus they’ve been understaffed and overwhelmed with several pressing demands related to the sudden influx of peoplepeoplepeople.

        I can testify to the fact people did NOT used to drive like such entitled, reckless jerks around here, so I’d argue it’s the people, not the roads (as much). Road design did not seem to encourage Portland residents of the recent past to speed like bloody hell and prioritize themselves and their commutes. It’s a big change that occurred only in the past decade or so.

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        • BB January 30, 2017 at 8:56 am

          The same thing has happened in Seattle in the last 10-15 years. Seems to correlate with an influx of people moving here from places with more intense car culture.

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          • rachel b January 30, 2017 at 3:58 pm

            Well put, BB–and make that WAY more intense car culture. And, I’d add, seemingly a need to speed.

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  • joel January 27, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Jonathan-

    upper hawthorne is not- “a few blocks east” from 12th and Hawthorne.

    it is 30 blocks away.

    The “iconic inner hawthorne is between 39th and 35th.

    still no enforcement in upper hawthorne- which is a different world than lower hawthorne. This is the same street but traffic is not the same on 44th as it is on 2nd and hawthorne.

    while i agree with the article, and love the update… 30 blocks is a lot.

    Totally separate note- why would vision zero not prioritize enforcement? i dont understand completely.

    thank you so much-joel ccr

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    • One January 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      The traffic enforcement went from 12th to Cesar Chavez (39th). A few blocks east of there (4 blocks to be specific) is where she was killed. I think most people would consider “4” a “Few”. Sheesh. Take it easy.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) January 27, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      Hi Joel,

      The enforcement happened all the way to 39th. Fallon died at 43rd. That’s a few blocks east.

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      • joel January 28, 2017 at 10:17 am

        my bad- apologies. i read this article three times and kept interpreting chavez as mlk for some reason. still not used to 39th changing to chavez. my mistake.

        then thats great. awesome. sorry for being upset.

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  • SE January 27, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
    Tim said:

    Invoking concerns over race, profiling and social justice to minimize traffic enforcement is just an excuse to maintain the status where drivers are not expected to follow the rules and show concern for their neighbors.

    Either that… Or it’s a valid concern from people of color who have experienced racism while innocently moving around our city and/or it’s a valid concern from people who have read research that shows a large disparity in the racial make-up of traffic stops by police agencies nationwide. Fear of being profiled by police is a very real thing to a lot of people.
    I’m with you that traffic safety is very serious concern. That’s my big issue! But I’m white. Imagine if you were black and you were afraid of police and imagine how easy it is for police to exerise bias given how much power they have over us. It’s a serious concern and I think it deserves a broad debate to find the right balance between racial justice and traffic safety. Both concerns are valid… it not zero-sum. That being said, I think the right of people to expect fair treatment from police — free of any bias due to skin color — is a higher priority than the right of people to get protection by the police from dangerous road users.
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    so if the percentage of minorities in the population that have already been cited for that enforcement session, then you have to let some go … to keep the ratios correct ?

    ie:of those already cited, 30% were from XYZ minority , but they are only 10% of the population, so we have to ignore some of the XYZ infraction for a while ?

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    • peejay February 1, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      That assumes that the police are already enforcing the law fairly, which we know to be untrue. It’s the exact same argument as companies saying they don’t want to hire unqualified women just “to balance the numbers”, when the question to ask is how did the numbers get so unbalanced in the first place. In light of existing bias against people of color, measuring the racial makeup of people being stopped is anything but foolish.

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  • Maurice January 27, 2017 at 11:26 am

    When will you cyclists start paying your fair share for the establishment of bike lanes? You all keep insisting that you contribute through gas taxes and all that, but that’s for the use of your motor vehicle. There needs to be a tax on bike sales, helmets, tires, and spandex to pay for bike lanes.

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) January 27, 2017 at 11:43 am

      I see your fake name has changed. Read this.

      https://bikeportland.org/2015/01/09/guest-column-portland-pay-streets-130772

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty January 27, 2017 at 11:46 am

      I pay my fair share for the establishment of bike lanes, probably more. Do you?

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    • RH January 27, 2017 at 11:46 am

      Income taxes and property taxes go into the general fund….which help pay for the roads since the gas tax doesn’t nearly come close to covering the cost.

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    • Stephen Keller January 27, 2017 at 11:53 am

      When government stops subsidizing the costs of driving by 60%, we can start an equity discussion. Unfortunately, I don’t imagine that seveal more dollars per gallon in statewide gas taxes will be very popular.

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    • Kyle Banerjee January 27, 2017 at 11:55 am

      How about cars pay for all the parking they take up? A lot of people use public streets as their personal garages and storage areas. They could also charge for parking at stores. Space is super expensive in Portland, so anyone who uses it for “free” is being subsidized by someone else.

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      • Kyle Banerjee January 27, 2017 at 11:57 am

        On this same note, if cars weren’t parked at the side of the road going zero mph, you’d have two more lanes on many streets.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty January 27, 2017 at 11:59 am

          Are you suggesting that if we restricted parking on Clinton (for example), we’d have a 4 lane street? Possibly theoretically true, but, in most cases, completely impractical or unsafe.

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          • Kyle Banerjee January 27, 2017 at 12:27 pm

            Not all roads, but many roads.

            Most of these super narrow Portland streets would seem outright wide if they weren’t lined with cars on both sides. If drivers want to whine about how slow everything is, they could think about how much easier movement might be if cars weren’t left all over the public streets not moving and unattended.

            If they want to whine about how the cyclists are slowing them down, they could maybe actually turn at lights rather than totally blocking traffic waiting for a gap to turn left.

            They might consider that if they took only quadruple the space the vast majority of us take on the roads to get to work or the store, they’d be able to cleanly pass anytime anywhere.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty January 27, 2017 at 12:28 pm

              “Maurice” doesn’t want to whine, he wants to provoke.

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              • pengo January 27, 2017 at 12:54 pm

                To provoke, and to speak of the pompatus of love.

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                • rachel b January 28, 2017 at 12:28 pm

                  HAH!!!! Comment of the year. 🙂

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                • Steve January 29, 2017 at 12:55 am

                  Agreed!!! I wonder if “call me Maurice” gets it?

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              • Kyle Banerjee January 27, 2017 at 12:57 pm

                Shouldn’t he be rolling coal on one of us or something? Some cyclists find that provocative.

                Nothing says “badass” like putting a few ounces of pressure on a pedal.

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                • Hello, Kitty
                  Hello, Kitty January 27, 2017 at 12:59 pm

                  Maybe he is… and typing his messages using the phone on his lap.

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                • Ted Timmons (Contributor) January 27, 2017 at 1:03 pm

                  I think you mean “trolling coal”.

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        • Stephen Keller January 27, 2017 at 12:44 pm

          An alternate way to think about it is you’d have considerably more space for housing. Basically, we have room for more people or room for more cars, but not both. As long as cars and driving are so deeply subsidized, advocating for more room for cars is basically advocating for higher real property costs. Removing the subsidies won’t make property less expensive, of course, but it might help to clarify the choices we have made and continue to make.

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          • peejay February 1, 2017 at 1:49 pm

            Tell that to Amanda Fritz. She hasn’t done the math on that yet.

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    • pengo January 27, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      Econ professor in the house.

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    • Chris I January 27, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      Cyclists insist that they pay gas taxes? What are you smoking?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty January 27, 2017 at 12:43 pm

        I am a cyclist. I pay gas taxes. I am not smoking anything at the moment.

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      • Dan A January 27, 2017 at 1:23 pm

        “gas taxes”! Ha ha ha!

        Sorry, cracks me up every time I hear it.

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      • paikiala January 27, 2017 at 2:03 pm

        Gas taxes are paid by every truck that delivers every good purchased. So, anyone that buys anything at a store pays the fuel taxes included in the price of the item.

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        • Dan A January 27, 2017 at 2:49 pm

          Ahahaha!! Stop! Too funny!

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    • dan January 27, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      LOL! Waiting for you to get that spandex tax on the ballot so I can show my support!

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    • q January 27, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      Maurice doesn’t seem like the type who’d be able to understand that drivers benefit from bike lanes. Whatever number of bikes are in a bike lane are that many bikes that drivers don’t have to share their lanes with.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu January 27, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    On Burnside, Glisan, and similar streets with center turn lanes, PBOT is installing median islands. These don’t take away travel lanes but narrow the perceived road width, shortens pedestrian crossings, and provides pedestrian with safe places to stand.

    Hawthorne could use an analogous treatment, which would be curb bumpouts at intersections combined with median islands where there is room.

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  • B. Carfree January 27, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Any sane organization charged with creating compliance that did an enforcement action and found that the majority of participants were not complying would recognize the need for much more routine enforcement. PPB (and PBoT) don’t see it that way. They keep doing these tiny enforcement shows and then issuing press releases wringing their hands over the unsafe behavior on our roads, but there is never any movement towards raising enforcement to levels that will change the outcome of their next targeted enforcement show.

    Remind me again of that old definition of insanity.

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    • paikiala January 27, 2017 at 2:04 pm

      PBOT doesn’t enforce traffic laws, nor does it control the budget to do so.

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      • wsbob January 27, 2017 at 5:13 pm

        PBOT does have some control over decisions on speed limit signage, doesn’t it? How many for a given street, where along the street to put them, and so on, towards clearly conveying the message to road users that use of a particular street, obliges a mph speed no greater than that posted.

        The dept might have more control over speed limit signage if it was less bound to the 85 percent formula for determining posted speed limits for streets…and if there comes to be, by a bill being worked on in legislation, an amendment to the law for setting speed limits, the effect of which would be to give more autonomy to cities and towns in determining what speed limits are appropriate for certain of its streets.

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        • paikiala January 30, 2017 at 1:45 pm

          see previous comment about if signs worked and the need for traffic engineers.

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          • wsbob January 31, 2017 at 10:46 am

            Previous comment? Whose? Which?

            Road use information signs do work…that’s why they’re part of street infrastructure. Are they independently able to manage the mph speeds traveled by all road users on a given street?

            Of course not…for the 10-15 percent of people driving motor vehicles, who choose to exceed the posted speed limits, additional measures reinforcing the regulation conveyed by the signs, must also be used..such things as officers on traffic patrol, photo radar vans, speed limit cameras. In an earlier comment, I suggested additional types of signage too…such as speed limit information displayed on the overhead wires and pole arms that traffic lights are mounted on.

            These are easier, probably less expensive, and more expedient measures to take then to reconfigure a street…which can take months and years just to study for the reconfiguration. Then there’s the actual construction phase, which also takes months, at least to complete.

            A single main lane in each direction, instead of two…and bike lanes…on Hawthorne, might be nice. Are people reading here, still thinking of a center turn lane? Would such a configuration, by itself, be able to achieve the level of safety from the small percentage of people driving dangerously, out of the total number of people driving? I don’t think so.

            First and foremost priority, the most effective means of obtaining a higher level of safety for a given street, to me seems like bringing down excessively high posted speed limits, and excessively high mph speeds traveled by people driving…one or both, whichever applies for each situation. Then…bike lanes, if that can be done…with number of main lanes reduced, if it’s a viable reconfiguration for the traffic volume the street must handle.

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          • Dan A January 31, 2017 at 5:41 pm

            If this blind corner on Baseline had a posted speed of 25mph instead of 40mph, it might have saved Kwang Park’s life.

            https://goo.gl/maps/7RgaYywUwPx

            Or, at a minimum, the driver could have been cited for speeding, since apparently the basic speed law didn’t come into effect.

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            • wsbob February 2, 2017 at 12:59 pm

              I wrote about this particular street situation in other comments to previous bikeportland stories published.

              Neither the neighbors or the city posses the autonomy over management by speed limit signage for people driving on this road, that would allow prompt posted speed limit reduction. Approval for proposed posted speed limit reductions is through ODOT; the procedure is lengthy, and the amount of reduction generally thought to likely be approved, is modest….so the proposal is for 35, down from the present 40.

              Word is…the person driving that collided with the person setting out across the street…was not speeding…estimated speed, 35…in other words, under the speed limit. Also, that the person on foot was looking down at the street, had headphones on, and for whatever reason, declined to use the flashing yellow beacon aided pedestrian crossing for the park trail, no more than about 20′-30′ to the east of the collision.

              Still…people on foot crossing the street in an unsafe manner, is something people driving and biking have need of being aware of and being prepared to safely deal with. Maybe 60′ further west of where the person on foot set out to cross Baseline, is the intersection with 166th, where people often have need of crossing on their way back and forth between the neighborhood to the north. There should be a crosswalk there too…but there isn’t…and it’s difficult to visualize the city or the state dept, approving one.

              What all this has in common with traffic situations like the one on Hawthorne in Portland, is that even when neighborhood residents and their city, know well enough, first hand, that a street of theirs is in dire need of immediate safety improvement measures taken, such as lower posted speed limits….they are prohibited by their state regulatory agency, from implementing even this most basic, expedient and low cost measure.

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              • Dan A February 2, 2017 at 5:32 pm

                I wonder if they are even trying. There was nothing in any of the stories I saw that indicated that the speed limit there had anything to do with it, or that any consideration was being given to lowering the speed limit.

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                • wsbob February 3, 2017 at 12:03 pm

                  “I wonder if they are even trying. ….” dan a

                  I’m not sure to what you’re referring. If in regards to Baseline Rd, the speed limit, of course, has something to do with the collision having occurred…in some people’s opinion…mine for one…and in the opinion of at least a couple other people who wrote letters of concern to the Beaverton Transportation Committee, got the question about the posted speed limit on the agenda, got it discussed and approved for a proposal to be submitted to ODOT consideration to reduce the speed limit.

                  I haven’t yet read the collision report…don’t know which direction the motor vehicle was traveling. It shouldn’t take extraordinary research though, to realize that 40mph is way to high a speed limit for a half mile section of residential neighborhood two lane road that includes a crossing point for a major regional park, The Westside Trail.

                  And I think that possibly the problem that has come to plague this half mile section of Baseline Rd out in Beaverton, is a common problem that also effects some streets in Portland, such as Hawthorne Blvd, in which the posted speed limit is way out of proportion to the functionality and livability that neighborhood residents and visitors to the neighborhood, need from that street.

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                • Dan A February 3, 2017 at 7:09 pm

                  I’m referring to whether or not the county (or the city…I’m not sure of the jurisdiction) is trying to do anything about the speed limit there. It sounds like they are, which is good, and thanks for the update. IMO, it should be 25mph from the intersection until a bit on the other side of the mid-block crossing, and in a civilized city it would be. But since it’s in Washington County, I doubt they will ever go that low.

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    • Allan Rudwick January 27, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      The problem that we need to solve if we want more enforcement: Enforcement needs to be cheap — dirt cheap. Reasons are:
      a) to do a lot of something, program needs to be self-funding
      b) tickets need to be meaningful, but not high enough to put a hardship on people. If tickets are too high, those writing them will be hesitant to do so. There is evidence of this from VA, my home state where they tried to fund roads by issuing $1000 tickets — very few were written because cops knew that these were going to really break people’s finances.

      possible ways to accomplish:
      i) remove the ability to contest tickets or somehow get it out of the courts– they take too much of the $$ from the ticket
      ii) use day-fines to charge people who have more money more per ticket so that everyone feels the pain of the fine.
      iii) create a low-cost “traffic enforcement” service that doesn’t get full benefits / costs of being police officers.

      I’d love to hear more ideas.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty January 27, 2017 at 4:27 pm

        I agree with your third point, but not the first two.

        Everyone has the right, and should have the right, to their day in court; cost should not be a consideration. Punishing people differently for the same crime is unjust.

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        • Allan Rudwick January 27, 2017 at 4:41 pm

          I totally agree with your point as it is written. However in practice this leads to a program that is financially problematic. This may be due to the “I should contest every ticket I get mindset” of many of us (myself included). Perhaps there is a way to incentivize people to admit guilt and pay to lower the costs of the system without stepping on people’s rights. For example — If you don’t contest, lower fine, if you do contest and win, no fine, if you contest and lose, 3x fine. Something that keeps people that know they’re guilty from just trying to get lucky or get off on a technicality.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty January 27, 2017 at 4:47 pm

            Making a punishment more severe for exercising one’s fundamental rights is problematic. The decision about whether to issue a ticket should be removed from cost considerations; tickets should not be used to generate revenue (as others have suggested elsewhere), nor should people be dissuaded from having their case reviewed by a judge. (The practice of overcharging and plea-bargaining defendants in more serious cases is a similar situation, and, while expedient, leads to injustice).

            That fair administration of justice is at times inconvenient or expensive is unfortunate, but is far better than the alternatives.

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            • Allan Rudwick January 27, 2017 at 4:49 pm

              The result of this is a near-complete lack of enforcement. Is this the goal? How do you suggest funding it if this is not the goal.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty January 27, 2017 at 4:58 pm

                Of course it’s not the goal. I disagree with many aspects of how we, as a people, prioritize our use of resources.

                I would choose to better fund the police, and better fund our justice system. If we truly value public safety, our funding for the enforcement and administration of our rules should reflect that. It is not an acceptable substitute to undermine one of our key checks on the power of the police.

                This might sound overly high-minded, but consider the consequences of further eroding your fundamental legal rights while living under an administration that defends domestic surveillance, indefinite detention, and even torture, and seems to have no regard for the human rights of… anyone.

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              • lop January 27, 2017 at 5:03 pm

                Should we cut other police functions that aren’t sufficiently profitable?

                Automated enforcement where appropriate and technically feasible together with broad based tax increases to fund enforcement better left to live officers. The former can be done in the short term, the latter might be better expected in quantity in the medium term. The department is understaffed and the traffic division is not the only one suffering as a result. In addition, as has been displayed during recent protests, reform of the police bureau is necessary. It’s likely that without that done first, public buy in on a massive increase in enforcement would be unattainable. Such concerns shouldn’t apply to speed/red light cameras.

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        • paikiala January 27, 2017 at 5:35 pm

          Unequal fines can be equitable and just. A $250 fine for someone earning $40k a year is not the same impact as on someone earning $100k per year.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty January 27, 2017 at 5:45 pm

            Logically, longer prison terms for low earners would also be just… you know, to equalize the loss of earnings while in prison.

            Unless there is a relationship between earnings and traffic infractions, relating the two seems arbitrary and unjust. Equality under the law and all.

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            • paikiala January 30, 2017 at 1:47 pm

              Time and income are not the same thing.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty January 30, 2017 at 1:57 pm

                An accountant, an engineer, or an actuary would say they were.

                My suggestion is, of course, somewhat facetious, but tying the punishment for traffic infractions to an unrelated variable is arbitrary and violates the principle of equality under the law. Is this done anywhere else in the US?

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                • Alex Reedin January 30, 2017 at 3:52 pm

                  Not as far as I know, but it’s the norm in most of Scandinavia.

                  http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/03/finland-home-of-the-103000-speeding-ticket/387484/

                  Personally, I think charging a poor person with a $20,000 annual income the same dollar-amount fine as someone with a $200,000 or $2,000,000 annual income is a violation of equality under the law. It’s like if moving 500 pounds of gravel through manual labor were the punishment, and it was applied equally to folks in wheelchairs, tottering older folks, and currently able-bodied folks – they couldn’t be free until they moved all the gravel. Grandma would take a month or more to move what I could move in a day. Would that be desirable equality under the law? How is that any different from charging someone a fine equal to their monthly income and my daily income?

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                • Hello, Kitty
                  Hello, Kitty January 30, 2017 at 4:13 pm

                  We do exactly the same thing with prison every day. Different people have different experiences in prison, ranging from the pretty bad to the totally horrific. We make no attempt to adjust sentences based on those differences (except in rare circumstances).

                  If there were some sort of relationship between driving infractions and income, I’d be more open to the idea. But there isn’t.

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                • Alex Reedin January 30, 2017 at 4:25 pm

                  You claim that we don’t try to make equal prison terms be as equal as reasonably possible in impact on the person in custody… but there are certainly policies towards that end though ultimate equality is impossible. For example – having separate men’s and women’s prisons (if housed together, I’d wager that most women’s experiences would be very very bad). Having prisons located throughout the state so people can serve their time closer to family if possible. I believe LA County has a queer-identified area based on bad outcomes for queer folks when housed with the population at large. I think such policies are good. I think doing other, analogous, things for traffic fines would also be good.

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                • paikiala January 30, 2017 at 4:25 pm

                  Alex,
                  I believe your examples are of equality. treating people the same no mater what. Equity is treating people according to their need/ability so that the outcomes/opportunities are the same.

                  http://interactioninstitute.org/illustrating-equality-vs-equity/

                  metaphor discussion:
                  http://culturalorganizing.org/the-problem-with-that-equity-vs-equality-graphic/

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                • Alex Reedin January 30, 2017 at 4:35 pm

                  Good point. Why I am in favor of income-based traffic fines is based on equity, not equality.

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                • Hello, Kitty
                  Hello, Kitty January 30, 2017 at 4:39 pm

                  @Alex – The examples you cite are more ways of protecting prisoners from those who would harm them (something that does not happen enough, sadly), but that is different than, say, giving a queer person a lesser prison term because their time would be more difficult.

                  @paikiala – While equality under the law is an important legal principle, I have never heard of the principle of “equity under the law”. Maybe this is a newer thing, but “equal outcomes” are very hard to achieve.

                  And really, it is not at all clear that adjusting punishments in the way you both suggest would pass constitutional muster.

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          • q January 27, 2017 at 9:46 pm

            I know tying fines to income has been done and it has its attractions, but I don’t know how fair it really can be. It would be easy if people were equal in everything except for their income on line X of their tax return, but they’re not. Take one guy who is 30 and makes $60k/yr. but with zero net worth, and another making $30k/yr. who is 65 with a net worth of $10 million. Unless there’s a very complicated formula, I’d guess the first guy will pay more.

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            • Alex Reedin January 30, 2017 at 3:54 pm

              Nothing is perfect, but annual income is much closer to a measure of a person’s means than just not trying at all.

              To address your example – if the wealthy person were investing their wealth at all intelligently, they would have a reasonably high income from the proceeds of their investments.

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        • resopmok January 29, 2017 at 5:04 pm

          There’s a strong argument that the inequality of income is unjust; proportional “punishment” would then create justice where it was previously lacking.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty January 29, 2017 at 9:32 pm

            You are wrong. For your proposal to be just, you’d need to show that, for the individual in question, they’re was an injustice to right, and that a more server punishment was the proper remedy. Just showing that there is an overall disparity in income distribution tells you nothing about an individual case.

            Justice is individual, not collective.

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            • paikiala January 30, 2017 at 1:48 pm

              So should judgments be.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty January 30, 2017 at 1:58 pm

                If I understand your comment, then yes, judgments should be individual, not collective.

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                • paikiala January 30, 2017 at 4:15 pm

                  Then what better way to tailor a judgment than to scale the fine based on ability to pay?

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                • Hello, Kitty
                  Hello, Kitty January 30, 2017 at 4:17 pm

                  Nature/severity of infraction?

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      • Asher Atkinson January 27, 2017 at 7:19 pm

        Another way to accomplish compliance is to accelerate the growth of insurance
        programs where premiums are based on actual driving metrics. Avoiding the slow bled of higher rates may well offer a better incentive than the high penalty/low probability model of most current enforcement practices. Technology, whether employed by insurance companies, the manufactures of self-driving cars, or municipalities installing speed cameras, is going to help a lot more with compliance than humans pointing radar guns and writing tickets to violators they chase down.

        But until then I’m happy to see actions like this one.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty January 27, 2017 at 7:53 pm

          I wouldn’t consider degrading my privacy by letting my insurer monitor every detail of my driving unless the savings were pretty significant. Even if you were to reduce the portion of my insurance rates attributable to my behavior to 0, I don’t think I would save nearly enough. A good portion of my rates are based on exposure to other drivers, as well as the baseline liability posed by even excellent drivers.

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          • Pete January 27, 2017 at 10:34 pm

            “I wouldn’t consider degrading my privacy”

            And yet you let large technology companies track your location and buying habits for free… 😉

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty January 28, 2017 at 9:42 am

              Sadly true. We’ve made a Faustian bargain with the tech companies, and it’s still not clear how it will work out.

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      • Pete January 27, 2017 at 10:31 pm

        iv) Stop complaining that you don’t have enough police officers on shift, because we know that’s really because they were all working overtime at the 49ers game last night.

        Oh wait, that’s my city, not yours.

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  • Oliver, the other one. January 27, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    I often complain about people speeding on Denver avenue. This morning a commuter in a dark colored egg shaped crossover ran the 4 way stoplight Kilpatrick at 30 mph without even slowing down, and then accelerated up the hill toward Lombard.

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    • Kyle Banerjee January 27, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      Heck, I always thought of the area north of Lombard where the speeding is not as bad as some of the other sections.

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    • Jim January 28, 2017 at 11:05 pm

      Cars run the stop sign outside my house at full speed every single day. I contact pbot and they give me the brush off and do nothing. Maybe they are waiting for somebody to die or for a lawsuit or something.

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      • paikiala January 30, 2017 at 1:49 pm

        You called the wrong bureau for enforcement.

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  • Randy January 27, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    A majority of the bike lanes I saw week while on my bike were not operable because they were full of left-over snow gravel. Who will be first to make a make to show inoperable bike lanes. Vision zero is gravel zero without bike lane sweeping machines…

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  • Pat Franz January 27, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Along the lines of automating things, why not require the registered owner to pay some % of the fine (say 50%) if there was positive ID on the vehicle but not the driver? Let the driver sanction the (probably authorized, possibly themselves) driver. Setting the bar at positive driver ID is setting it too high for infractions that only involve fines. This would also help with obscured windows.

    I also see no reason why not to put all known instances of illegal vehicle behavior on a restricted website for insurance companies to check on how their drivers are doing. Right now, bad behavior only comes to their attention when there’s been a big problem. My guess is there is a trail of infractions prior to most big problems.

    I know, it might drive even more bad drivers to go without insurance, but why don’t we have insurance companies report coverage starts/stops? That could easily be fully automated. The plate readers would go crazy for a while, but compliance would go way up.

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  • Scott Kocher January 27, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Automated enforcement is the only viable option. It works extremely well. If we were debating the details like a rebuttable presumption when you can’t ID the driver, or should fines scale with income, we would have already won.

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    • paikiala January 30, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      automated enforcement still involves a person reviewing the photos.

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  • Scott Kocher January 27, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Traffic division doesn’t have a racial profiling problem, in contrast to traffic stops by precinct officers, per City rep. Traffic division isn’t the solution though because it will never be bigger. Which is why we need automated enforcement.

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  • Doug January 28, 2017 at 4:12 am

    All this car hate just for the obvious conclusion. Don’t ride a bicycle in Portland Oregon. It’s not safe.

    You nuts just refuse to accept the fact. I ride my bicycle to relax and get some exercise so I ride around the fewest cars possible. Between Kelso and Castle Rock is nice, up by Toutle and Silver Lake there are even fewer cars or people and great roads.

    I suggest you guys jump in your car and get as far away from Portland as you can then ride your bicycle. It is much safer and you’ll enjoy your ride. For those of you insisting on riding in Portland Oregon? I recommend good insurance, HEALTH AND LIFE, and get your affairs in order. I think you are suicidal. That’s been what I felt riding in Portland too, near death (besides effing lost)

    You city people are hard to figure. I don’t ride the Oregon Coast anymore because the traffic is so fast and dangerous. Highway 101 isn’t fun to ride. I don’t think the traffic changed as much as I did. My nerves just don’t handle it like when I was in my 30’s. But I’m not going to prostrate myself over it. I don’t enjoy it anymore therefore… If you folks are so afraid of automobiles, quit riding. But the car hate is just unrealistic dreaming in a world of drivers and it nauseates me as a cyclist. All your solutions to a problem nobody normal gives a hoot about.

    Too bad the cycling blog doesn’t just stick to the joy of cycling instead of all this boring infrastructure garbage. If you need better infrastructure you probably just shouldn’t ride there by personal choice because of your own safety. But it’s a free country, hate anything you wish. It’s just so unappealing and half ass.

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    • Asher Atkinson January 28, 2017 at 11:02 am

      >Don’t ride a bicycle in Portland Oregon. It’s not safe. You nuts just refuse to accept the fact.

      I thing you meant ‘alternative fact’ using the modern lexicon. Like the Trump/Sanders coalition on many economic positions, I often hear seemingly polar opposites agree on things so demonstratively wrong.

      Let’s be very clear, cycling in Portland is safe. We can quibble on ways to improve the situation, but I challenge those who ‘feel’ unsafe to identify any worrying long term trend related to the types of mobility discussed on this blog. It is critical to understand this fact. If not, there is a temptation to abandon things that are actually working. Or change behaviors toward practices that ‘feel’ safer, but actually aren’t.

      While I, too, enjoy the pleasure you find riding in rural areas, I do so knowing it’s actually a lot less safe than my daily urban commute. I’ve mingled with millions of road users in urban settings and nary an issue. On rural roads with a minuscule fraction of cars, I’ve had encounters that could very easily have left me dead. And what do these encounters have in common with the actual topic of this thread? Compliance with speed and passing laws. If you give up on enforcing road laws and tolerating neglect, you invite real danger in the places you like to ride. Please don’t paint yourself in a corner.

      Final point, the blog is called Bike Portland, not Joy of Cycling. But either works for me, as I recognize much of this infrastructure garbage, and more generally, the behavioral and attitude shifts helped in part by this blog, have made cycling in and around Portland a joy.

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      • Mossby Pomegranate January 29, 2017 at 8:58 am

        Let’s be very clear…only riding in certain parts of Portland is cycling safe.

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    • q January 28, 2017 at 11:54 am

      You don’t like biking in Portland so you go elsewhere where you find it more enjoyable, and you chastise people who continue to ride here and complain instead of leaving like you do.

      At the same time, you think the articles and discussions here are “boring infrastructure garbage” but instead of going somewhere else, you stay here and complain.

      Seems weird.

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    • rachel b January 28, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      Hi Doug–You’re not the one who changed (re: 101)–it’s gotten way worse over recent years. Definitely more traffic, and more distracted, speeding drivers!

      Re: the rest….It’s not safe to walk alone at night as a woman either, but the good answer’s not “women: don’t walk at night without an escort…FOREVER.” I mean, of course we don’t want to put ourselves in the way of danger, and so we bow (unhappily) to the conditions that be. But then we work toward improving those conditions. Part of that work involves showing up, speaking out, talking about stuff and addressing it.

      I’m sympathetic to the advice to “get as far away from Portland as you can”— personally, I feel less safe riding anywhere around here and I really don’t like this city—which I once loved—anymore. Was looking at photos last night of my sister and husband and I riding the old Springwater, before it was paved. Made me smile and long for the those days of easy, comparatively trouble-free riding.

      But I’m really grateful for BikePortland, Jonathan and other folks here for addressing issues, and, yes—complaining and hating on the things (reckless, distracted drivers) that deserve the hate…and looking to improve matters. Kvetching, to me, is key to change. 🙂

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    • Jim January 28, 2017 at 11:17 pm

      I do somewhat understand your point of view, but I don’t agree. It doesn’t feel dangerous to me to cycle in Portland, just unpleasant and violent. I don’t like this city any more, but it isn’t simple to up sticks and leave. I understand that your solution seems to work for you, but if everyone drove to ride their bike then the situation would still be terrible. Car hate may be unrealistic but it is a pretty understandable place to end up, in this crazy society of ours. Because I care about all of us and not just myself, I cycle and I don’t drive. To use your language, I’d rather be suicidal than homicidal.

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    • John Liu
      John Liu January 28, 2017 at 11:46 pm

      If you don’t like riding in cities, then don’t, and leave those of us who do to get on with it.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty January 29, 2017 at 12:12 pm

        You might like my new blog.. bitchingaboutbikesportland.org

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  • Kittens January 28, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    They do these token projects (which are awesome, thank you) but barely touch the issue 99% of the time.

    The simple fact of the matter is that no one fears enforcement because it barely exists. People have been clamoring for more enforcement for years to no avail which leads one to feel a general sense of lawlessness in this vast public square. This is a space we all share and the way others interact with us there deeply affect our sense of community and justice.

    If PPD had a levy designed in such a way as to only be for increased enforcement I would vote for it in a heartbeat. They seemingly deploy endless manpower and money when it comes to stomping protestors but cant be bothered to patrol the streets.

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  • Tom January 28, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    I rarely have a close call, but on the night of the big protest I had two while riding home from work. People driving were all the sudden being super reckless, speeding, hard accelerating, and taking corners at high speed. I can only think that this was due to the drivers knowing that every single police officer in the area was concentrated over just a few city blocks, so they thought that rules no longer applied. A world without enforcement, or reduced enforcement seems pretty bleak. Fixed position automatic enforcement would not have helped, unless the density of safety cameras was almost every intersection, which I doubt will ever happen. We need to maintain some level of manual enforcement that occurs in random location, and find solutions to the equity question that do not involve ramping down enforcement as Portland’s Vision Zero calls for. Maybe more data transparency from PPD or more community based policing, I don’t know, but there should be a better way.

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  • Esteban Du Plantier January 28, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    None of this will bring that girl back.

    All they can do is try to be tougher about it. Hope they are.

    They need to get those bikes off of Hawthorne too. They make it even more messy. Hawthorne is not a designated bike road.

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    • q January 28, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      Actually, it’s not a designated motor vehicle road.

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    • TonyT
      TonyT January 29, 2017 at 11:23 am

      No, they don’t make it more messy. Data shows that the presence of people biking on streets in fact makes it safer for all people, walking, riding, and driving.

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    • mark smith January 30, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Please, expound on why it makes it “messy”. Is a safer road “messy”? Is more ped traffic for businesses “messy”? Do you listen to Lars Larson?

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    • paikiala January 30, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      EDP,
      what city’s TSP are you reviewing? Hawthorne’s mode classifications are:
      District Collector
      Major Transit
      City Bikeway
      City Walkway
      Truck Access
      Major Emergency Response

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  • Mossby Pomegranate January 29, 2017 at 9:03 am

    How phony. Everyone here so worried about a person of color getting pulled over, yet had it been a person of color who got hit in a poor neighborhood, this whole discussion would never even be taking place.

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  • mark smith January 30, 2017 at 9:15 am

    It’s interesting the police knew exactly where to radar for enforcement. The fact is, none of Hawthorne should be two lanes with no bike lane. Hawthorne is a flagship road. It should be one lane, each direction with a protected bike lane both directions.

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    • paikiala January 30, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      Interesting in what way?
      Any location along most any busy street in Portland (most days of the week) would have (has) garnered similar results.

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      • rachel b January 30, 2017 at 4:01 pm

        Too (sadly) true.

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  • Spiffy January 31, 2017 at 7:16 am

    and yet delivery trucks still park illegally every week on a schedule, making them easy targets for enforcement… even a block from where Fallon Smart was killed…

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty January 31, 2017 at 8:59 am

      I support the delivery trucks parking in the center of the street. It adds an element of chaos and slows traffic.

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      • Spiffy February 1, 2017 at 2:55 pm

        yes, it can slow traffic a bit…

        but it creates a huge blind spot where you can’t see pedestrians and enforces the privilege of driving as a right… it also continues to invite huge vehicles into a city where they don’t fit…

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      • Dan A February 1, 2017 at 4:16 pm

        Assuming drivers slow down based on the possibility of something popping out from behind the truck (basic speed law). I do this, but many drivers do not. They just cruise along at the posted speed (or higher) and figure that if someone steps in front of them it’s their fault.

        I see this all the time at the mid-block crosswalk near 7th & Multnomah — drivers are caught surprised when pedestrians step into the road, despite the signs, yellow lights, and striping across the middle of the road. I once had a driver screech to a stop even though I had entered the crosswalk when he was at the other end of the block. I gave him a confused look, like “how did you just now notice me?” and he yelled at me.

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  • q February 1, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Hello, Kitty
    I support the delivery trucks parking in the center of the street. It adds an element of chaos and slows traffic.
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    That’s why I’ll occasionally drive my Honda SUV erratically down the street. It adds the chaos of an Element and slows traffic.

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  • Mark smith February 2, 2017 at 8:50 am