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Editorial: Jeff Reardon’s public disservice ad campaign has got to go

Posted by on August 11th, 2017 at 11:50 am

There are no winners here Rep. Reardon. This is not a game.

A video released Tuesday by Oregon House Representative Jeff Reardon portrayed someone in a Chevy Camaro running over an innocent person using a marked crosswalk. Prior to the graphic impact, the Camaro driver recklessly burns rubber from his tires (a violation of Oregon law), stares down his victim, clenches the wheel tighter, and proceeds to run through a red light. If this scenario happened in real life, there’s a good chance the driver would serve time in prison.

The “Look First. Walk Second” public service ad campaign is irresponsible, insensitive, and dangerous. It flies in the face of current traffic safety advocacy best practices and runs counter to the principles of Vision Zero. For an elected leader who says he cares about improving road safety, Reardon’s continued support of this campaign and his unwillingness to acknowledge very serious concerns raised by the public are shocking and outrageous.

And I’m far from the only one who thinks so.

Kim Stone and Kristi Finney-Dunn both lost sons to traffic violence.

On October 4th, 2013, 25-year-old Joseph Stone was hit and killed by someone driving an SUV as he attempted to walk across SE Division Street in a marked crosswalk. Yesterday his mom Kim Stone left this message on Rep. Reardon’s Facebook page:

“It was painful enough to read the insensitive comments by victim blamers on articles about my son Joe’s death. To have elected officials and professionals perpetuate this practice is unconscionable.”

On August 12th, 2011, 28-year-old Dustin Finney was hit by a drunk driver while he biked in the bike lane on Division near 87th. His mom Kristi Finney-Dunn left this comment on BikePortland about Reardon’s video:

“This video shows extreme insensitivity to the thousands of people walking or rolling who were hit by drivers even in their right of way. Our loved ones are already lambasted unmercifully and the promotion and justification of this attitude in this way by people and governments who should know better makes me livid.”

These are just two of many heartfelt and serious reactions to the campaign.

Both of Oregon’s largest walking advocacy groups — Oregon Walks and The Street Trust — have both strongly denounced it.

But even as the opposition builds (none of the dozens of comments on Reardon’s Facebook post about the campaign are supportive), Reardon and 3/Thirds, the Portland-based ad agency who created the campaign, are unwilling to acknowledge the negative impact of their actions.

In his prepared statement, Reardon said he’s “pleased that this public service ad has captured people’s attention.” He says the portrayal of insensitive and damaging stereotypes of vulnerable road users in the video was justified because he and his “team” walked on a few streets and observed that, “pedestrians make unwise choices and jeopardize their own safety.”

Advertise with BikePortland.

This is a still from Rep. Reardon’s video.

Reardon has a good point: Some road users do dumb things that put themselves at risk. But there are myriad ways to address this issues. The measure of a true leader is having the sympathy, perspective and discretion to choose the right one. Reardon has not chosen wisely.

The creators of this campaign have shown a similar lack of understanding and humility.

In response to an email asking specific questions about the campaign, 3/Thirds Director of Client Services Erika Rockney issued a statement last night. She described her agency’s approach as “bold”. “The characters and ‘crossing’ situation were both greatly exaggerated in an effort to remove the story from the norm of the real world and place it into an outrageously unreal scenario… one in which people obviously would not take such actions.”

Unfortunately Ms. Rockney, the behaviors from the driver you portrayed are not unreal. They happen more often than you think. And they result in death and injury and broken hearts and fear and sadness in epidemic proportions.

Despite all this, Reardon and Rockney seem happy because they’ve “furthered the dialogue.” The reality is they’ve only furthered the pain and suffering of traffic victims and they’ve added to our dysfunctional road culture.

I’m extremely frustrated and disturbed that Rep. Reardon appears to be oblivious not only to the mistaken approach of his campaign, but to the significant amount of negative reactions it has received.

And to think that the Portland Bureau of Transportation — an agency that says Vision Zero is their top priority — was involved in the creation of this campaign (via a $12,000 donation to Reardon and 3/Thirds) and is now trying to hide their involvement only after it became clear that it was wildly inappropriate and offensive to many people (including members of their own Vision Zero Task Force) ——— I’m stunned.

The lack of road safety in our region is a crisis. It demands thoughtful and strong leadership, not careless stereotyping and continued normalization of reckless behaviors.

Please do the right thing Rep. Reardon and PBOT Commissioner Dan Saltzman: Acknowledge the people who have been hurt by this campaign. Acknowledge that you took the wrong approach this time. And please consider taking down the website and video as soon as possible.

UPDATE, 8/15 at 2:30 pm: Reardon will pull down the campaign.

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

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110 Comments
  • rick August 11, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Jeff Reardon should help with the police crosswalk enforcement in his district.

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  • MaxD August 11, 2017 at 11:58 am

    This is so well-written! Thank you for following up with 3/Thirds and for reminding us of PBOT’s role in this.

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  • Chris Anderson August 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    If anyone will cut together a 5 second video loop of something gruesome from the PSA, with footage of Jeff Reardon smiling and laughing, and an stern narrator, I’ll spend $100 on Facebook ads to make sure the bike riders in his district see it.

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  • BB August 11, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Over 40,000 Americans killed by the automobile in 2016, hundreds of thousands more injured and maimed.

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    • Tim August 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      Even advocates can get sucked into the language of the blameless driver.

      We understand what you mean, but none of these deaths were the result of automobiles, they were all killed by automobile “drivers”.

      None of these were driverless vehicles and nearly all of these tragedies involved illegal operation of a motor vehicle.

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      • meh August 11, 2017 at 1:24 pm

        And the majority killed the occupants. Every time I hear the 40K killed they make it sound like 40K nuns and orphans run down in the streets. It’s mostly drunks killing themselves

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        • Chris I August 11, 2017 at 1:37 pm

          DUII accounts for about 1/3 of injuries and deaths. Our collective problem is much larger than just DUII.

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        • Dan A August 11, 2017 at 1:38 pm

          In 2015, roughly 1/3rd of the people who died in automobile crashes in the US were in alcohol-related crashes. Of those people, about 2/3rd were the drunk drivers themselves. So about 2/9th of the fatalities, or 22%, are ‘drunks killing themselves’.

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          • Tim August 11, 2017 at 1:55 pm

            Also, while in roughly 1/2 of fatalities, the at-fault driver is among the deceased, these are not victimless crimes. Even drunk drivers leave families, friends and debts behind.

            A small and poorly documented group of traffic fatalities are suicides. Are these fatalities somehow OK because they were suicide?

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      • Big Knobbies August 13, 2017 at 12:40 am

        Tim,
        One of the fatalities was in a driverless Tesla which encountered cross traffic that it could not avoid:

        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/19/business/tesla-model-s-autopilot-fatal-crash.html

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  • Tim August 11, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    3/thirds proudly lists their clients on their website. Clients like Autodesk, Nike, NW Natural, Tektronix and Adobe. Maybe suggesting to their big clients that they end their association with people of find pedestrian deaths funny will get their attention.

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  • buildwithjoe August 11, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    There are so many insensitive people and groups involved. Not one blew the stop whistle before this train wreck left the station.

    After victims of actual road violence spoke out what happened?

    Answer: The clueless purveyors of violence made their biased intent more clear. Don’t buy their games of only wanting to start a dialog. We see this over and over: Example: Salem Senator Mitch Greenlick and his law to ban kids on cargo bikes or baby seats.

    I’m guessing many people are cooking up non violent and legal ways to pull down this offensive website and video.

    I’ll be acting legally, non violently, and alone if the efforts of formal advocates of cycling and pedestrians are further ignored. Can we trust The Street Trust? Bike Loud has leadership that leans to diplomacy more than direct action. Both are questionably silent as of my post.

    I’m thinking of painting flowers for several victims in chalk outside Reardon’s house and inviting the media to film me do it. I’m much more into action than commenting online. The web has merit that only goes so far.

    What are people planning?

    ?

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  • Stephan August 11, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Most people killed by people driving cars are other people driving cars. Thoughtless pedestrians are not the problem.

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    • Stephan August 11, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      I.e., this is not only an offensive insensitive campaign that essentially shows the execution of an innocent person but it is also an ineffective campaign.

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    • Dan A August 11, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      Pedestrians have roamed the earth pretty safely for 3.7 million years. How are drivers doing?

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  • Matthew in Portsmouth August 11, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Is there any chance that Jonathan’s editorial could get republished in the Oregonian, Willamette Weekly or Portland Tribune? Getting a wider audience would be great.

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    • Dan A August 11, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      I think a wider audience, especially in the Oregoonian, would disagree with this editorial. If you use Facebook, look at the comments on this post:

      https://www.facebook.com/BikePortland.org/posts/1500933699966940

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 11, 2017 at 7:04 pm

        I would welcome their disagreements. Let’s have the debate. I’m very confident in my position.

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        • Dan A August 12, 2017 at 8:56 am

          I’ve got your back 🙂

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        • andrew August 14, 2017 at 8:01 pm

          I absolutely disagree with you. Full disclosure, I was in the video, but that isn’t why I disagree with you.

          First of all, this is comedy. It’s clearly comedy. It’s clearly a parody. Absolutely clearly. Now, you might not find it funny. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s OBVIOUSLY bringing to attention bad drivers using comedy.

          So it’s kind of ridiculous and really hard to defend saying something like “If this scenario happened in real life, there’s a good chance the driver would serve time in prison!” in that context. In fact, it’s incredibly disingenuous because to make you’re point, you’re pretending it isn’t a comedic piece.

          Also, pointing out that someone could be hit by a car because they’re drunk isn’t victim shaming, it’s the truth. It has happened many times. Your point seems to be that we should hold pedestrians completely and utterly blameless and without any responsibility in these tragedies. Which is truly dangerous thinking. From what I understand, the people behind this did a lot of research and both drivers and pedestrians have born responsibility in many of these situations. If you are the family member of a victim, you should want all cases prevented, and the evidence portrayed completely. People die due to failure in judgement all the time. My grandmother died because she went outside at night and fell. Should we refrain from warning elderly people not to walk in spaces in low light? It’s a ridiculous argument.

          Now, if you were simply saying (you aren’t) that comedy and a serious issue shouldn’t be mixed, my response is, go make a dry boring PSA that no one will care about or watch that’s better suited for the DMV than the internet. People are very selfish about their time these days and have short attention spans. If people are thinking about this issue that wouldn’t normally have thought about it before, then the spot succeeded.

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          • 9watts August 14, 2017 at 10:21 pm

            “It’s clearly a parody.”

            Of what exactly?

            Humor is fine (though it can famously be hard to judge your audience’s receptivity to it), but in this case the message is so garbled, tortured, misguided that the problem isn’t the humor but the hopelessly mixed-up conclusion, never mind the transparent need to blame the victim who in the video is actually—unlike sleepy-Camaro-guy—committing no offense (parody notwithstanding).

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          • Big Knobbies August 15, 2017 at 1:38 am

            andrew,

            ***comment deleted — Big Knobbies, I do not appreciate or tolerate when you make incorrect blanket assumptions and borderline insults about “the commenters here.” Please treat others with the same respect you’d like to be treated with. Thanks. — Jonathan***

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          • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 15, 2017 at 8:12 am

            Hi andrew,

            Thanks for the comment. Unlike Rep. Reardon or Erika Rockney of 3 Thirds, you at least have the decency to engage with our concerns.

            Now, to your comments…

            Comedy?

            You do not have the right to hide behind “it’s just a comedy” when the thing you are defending has clearly left deep emotional wounds with many people. At the very least, you should share a real apology to those people.

            And you are right that I’m “pretending it isn’t a comedic piece”, because it’s not. There are people out there who are so full of rage and hate that they fantasize about running over walkers and bikers. These feelings show up all the time — in comment sections, on radio shows, and so on.

            I’m very aware of the fact that many people using roads on foot have been hit – and even killed – while they were legally drunk. But just because that has happened doesn’t give anyone the right to present such a disrespectful and tasteless caricature of them. I think it’s disgusting that Reardon and 3 Thirds will defend a video of someone purposefully killing another human being. I don’t care what person in the crosswalk is doing — It is never OK to depict someone willfully and knowingly running over another human. Full stop. End of analysis. Please stop defending the basic fact that the video shows a person driving illegally and then purposefully killing another person.

            That person didn’t die because of a “failure in judgment”. That person died because another person decided their need to travel in their car was more important than someone else’s life.

            Sorry about your grandmother. But your analogy to an elderly person who happens to fall at night is not the same thing at all. The ground is inanimate. Again, the person in the crosswalk in the video was behaving legally and the person who killed them made no attempt to stop or avoid them.

            I am not saying comedy can’t be mixed with serious issues — but it must be done very carefully. And in many cases, you have to step back and say, “This issue is so serious and sensitive that perhaps comedy isn’t the best approach.”

            I don’t need a lesson about how to make content that people will like and share and be engaged with. I’ve been publishing stories on the Internet everyday for 12 years and have tackled myriad sensitive issues. I would never ever create content that is hurtful to other people just for some clicks (and if/when I did mistakenly go down that road, I took stock and thought hard about the situation, gave a real apology and/or deleted the content immediately upon realizing that it hurt other people).

            I completely disagree with your analysis that, “If people are thinking about this issue that wouldn’t normally have thought about it before, then the spot succeeded.”

            Anyone in a position of influence — whether it’s a content creator or politician — has the huge responsibility of using their discretion about what ideas and content to produce and promote. The judgment of success isn’t to just to have people “thinking about the issue”. That statement means you’d do anything to “get people talking.” That’s the behavior of carnival barkers and the horrible people distributing fake news and harmful conspiracy theories on the Internet. That type of outlook is destroying our culture, our media, and our democracy.

            Please try and judge this campaign on more than clicks. It’s controversial and being talked about by only one side (those who dislike it) because it is completely inappropriate and improper and it should be taken down.

            Thanks again for your comment.

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          • wsbob August 15, 2017 at 11:00 am

            “… First of all, this is comedy. It’s clearly comedy. …” andrew

            Oh…the PSA being discussed, is comedy. I understand…though I haven’t, and probably won’t watch the vid…from discussion about it, that it was supposed to be a hysterically funny, hip send-up of some of the stupid things people driving and people walking do that get them into trouble, collisions and close calls. Harmless fun, right?

            There’s lots of comedy produced today that appeals to the desires of people with sick and sadistic minds. I really believe there are people on the road today, driving, that watching the ‘funny’ scenes I’ve read described in the vid, of someone driving close to or over somebody on foot, would think to themselves: ‘Hey…Good idea!’. And driving up close to vulnerable road users, deliberately to scare them, or even hit them and knock them down, is exactly what some people driving do.

            …should have save the link I suppose…a search would probably bring it up. Just about a month ago, someone sent me a link to a go-pro vid: at least two people riding to the right side of the road, one in back with the go-pro. From behind, and up alongside them, here comes some vehicle, car, SUV, I don’t remember, and veers towards the guy riding in front of the go-pro rider, using the side of the vehicle to knock the rider off his bike. Ruined the bike, I think. All on vid, so they catch the guy. The rider, miraculously, wasn’t seriously injured.

            Was on a designated bike route, I believe. It was just a short story I read, so I don’t know all the details, but the jest of it I think, was that the person driving didn’t intend to kill the rider, but did deliberately intend to knock him down. Something like depicted in the ‘comedic’ Reardon PSA? Kind of sounds like it.

            Comedy can be a great thing when the people presenting it, are aware of the people they’re presenting it to, and whether there may be responses to the material seriously bad enough that they should maybe revise the presentation.

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  • Charles Ross August 11, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    I understand the criticism leveled at this ad but I would defend the notion that pedestrians (and bicyclists) need to make good decisions when crossing a street (or on the road in the case of cyclists) Put aside the notion for a moment of ‘who’s in the right and/or who’s in the wrong’; a notion that is not terribly relevant when you are the person injured/killed.
    The argument: ‘you’re in a 4,000# car. You need to be careful. End of discussion’ really doesn’t work if you are run over, except maybe, to your heirs.

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    • Paul H August 11, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      Perhaps you’d approve of a PSA telling automotive drivers to let them know they’re taking their lives in their own hands by driving at night (when fatality rates are three times per mile driven as they are during daylight) or near establishments that serve alcohol (increasing the likelihood of encountering drivers DWI), or on any road on which speeding is normal.

      Put aside the notion for a moment of ‘who’s in the right and/or who’s in the wrong’; a notion that is not terribly relevant when you are the person injured/killed. The argument that “I’m commuting and have to drive at night. End of discussion.” really doesn’t work except, maybe, to your heirs.

      (Note: the last paragraph is sarcasm, in case it’s not clear.)

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      • Mike Reams August 11, 2017 at 3:51 pm

        If you can show me there is a good chance that such a PSA will be a cost-effective way of saving lives, I’d plunk down some of my own money to fund it.

        I don’t really find anything offensive about the content of the PSA under discussion. Maybe I’m just extra stupid today. What I do find offensive is I don’t think it will save a single life or, change a single person’s behavior and I doubt there is any effort under way to determine whether it actually will. And yet, taxpayer money is funneled into something that will have zero effect. That’s offensive.

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    • Matthew in Portsmouth August 11, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      I don’t disagree that all road users need to make good decisions, however, the major problem with this “PSA” is that it shows motorists breaking the law and colliding with pedestrians obeying the law. So in reality the pedestrians were making good decisions, it was the motorists making bad decisions, and the filmmakers appear to make the collision the responsibility of the pedestrian who was struck. That’s not good PSA filmmaking.

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      • Mike Reams August 11, 2017 at 5:07 pm

        I don’t think it’s a good decision to enter a crosswalk without checking to make sure traffic has stopped. It may be legal but, that still doesn’t make it a good decision. I say this as someone who has walked literally thousands of miles in SE Portland.

        This doesn’t mean the drivers are making good decisions and it doesn’t excuse their behavior.

        I think telling people roads are dangerous places (rightly or wrongly) so, be aware of what you’re doing is a good message regardless of your mode of transportation.

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        • 9watts August 11, 2017 at 5:45 pm

          What is the crossing light for?
          Blind pedestrian?
          Hand Monderman’s – by most accounts successful – approach to traffic calming that permitted him to walk backwards and with eyes closed into traffic?

          It seems some readers of bikeportland could benefit from considering his vision when conceptualizing this problem.

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        • 9watts August 12, 2017 at 1:28 am

          “I think telling people roads are dangerous places (rightly or wrongly) so, be aware of what you’re doing is a good message regardless of your mode of transportation.”

          Except in so doing you are dangerously close to naturalizing the all-too-often illegal behaviors of those in cars who are the ones doing the endangering.

          As everyone (Vision Zero, crash statistics, most governments) basically knows, the problem of dead or maimed pedestrians doesn’t arise until you add in autos driven at speed and with variable attention by drivers. This is why Vision Zero, which you can accuse of many things, but not of failing to work toward the goal even Reardon claims to be pursuing, never wags a finger at pedestrians, or remonstrates them for their behavior. I think those who take issue with the ire in the comments here should let that sink in.

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        • Big Knobbies August 13, 2017 at 12:57 am

          Mike Reams,
          Agree 100% with your take on this video. There is NOTHING wrong with it.

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  • buildwithjoe August 11, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Rep Reardon’s big plan: Use the Raw footage to teach film editing lessons at Community College. It’s content for a public classroom.

    Every second of footage should be deleted and a full apology written by the staff at the Clackamas Community College. There is no way to edit that footage to be anything other than victim blaming.

    Imagine if your film production class had every student use footage that encouraged more female personal responsibility to prevent rape? Imagine a high school teacher in denial of rape culture. Imagine if your college writing class was to re-assemble the Google sexism manifesto. Our President has unleashed a country teaming with victim blaming and xenophobia. Reardon is perhaps worse than trump as he claims to be a democrat and is a high school teacher. There is no way to summarize or imagine how much Reardon keeps going in the wrong direction as this unfolds.

    Reardon’s project, in partnership with the college, has one goal: Same victims into thinking that personal responsibility is the best way to save pedestrian lives. Reardon has a savior complex. Like most lawmakers, he fails to reach out to the people he’s out to save.

    Fallon Smart looked first, a car came to a halt, and Fallon ( like most victims ) walked second. A huge majority of victims in road violence could not have changed the outcome with more of their personal responsibility.

    I dare Representative Reardon or his staff to watch video of Fallon’s mom speak about personal responsibility. I dare them to keep up defending this as they have over the last few days. I dare them to use their names and post here.

    https://youtu.be/w53V34HA34k?t=5m9s

    Video link above. Embed code below

    This is not just about shaming road victims, this is a growing pattern of shaming a spectrum of victims and the source is our lawmakers and education system.

    Signed, Joe Rowe

    =====================

    PS: Share your public comments with Reardon on Facebook or email him
    rep.jeffreardon@oregonlegislature.gov
    https://www.facebook.com/reardonfororegon/posts/1788092421220167
    quote Reardon on the page above…
    …….”The PSA also had another function,
    ……..which was to involve Clackamas Community
    ………College students who are studying to enter the
    …….. film industry as we are seeing more opportunity
    ………. for those positions in Oregon. This was a
    ………….hands-on learning opportunity that
    …………involved students at nearly every stage
    ………..of pre-and post-production, filming, and
    …………editing. Clackamas Community College
    ………….has the raw footage of the shoot,
    …………..which will allow future students
    …………….to learn valuable skills to enter
    ……………the industry with practical experience.”

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  • Justin M August 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    I wonder what Bob Gunderson would have to say about this?

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  • Mike Reams August 11, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    I’m trying to figure out why the readers here are so offended by the advertisement and I think it’s a big nothing-burger. I may even be trying to empathize.

    I recently saw this psa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O51f1BZKPoo

    What are your opinions about that ad? Would your opinions be different if the final “accident” were someone stepping out into traffic while they texted? If so, why? What if it showed someone at the Grand Canyon about to stumble over the cliff?

    I’m not asking all of this to be snarky, I genuinely want to know why many of the readers here view the ad in the article above differently. And I post this as someone with lots of experience with close calls with cars while biking and walking.

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    • 9watts August 11, 2017 at 6:01 pm

      A thousand reasons to be offended, most already well articulated in comments here.

      My top three:

      legal/illegal – the ped’s only offense is stopping in a crosswalk as opposed to walking, which is hardly illegal – after all, he has the light; the driver’s multiple egregious offenses have already been exhaustively discussed here;

      moral/immoral – setting this up to be the fault of the pedestrian just doesn’t compute, either statistically or factually or pedagogically. What we’re seeing in Reardon’s PDSA is so absurdly lopsided that the intended message fails to register;

      why finger pedestrians in the first place? Their behavior, although annoying and perhaps dangerous to themselves is (as your linked PSA shows) only life-threatening when it is combined with a speeding auto. So let’s focus on the source of the danger, rather than a second-order factor, shall we?

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      • Kyle Banerjee August 12, 2017 at 7:06 pm

        So you think it’s offensive to suggest people should be prepared for motorists who are operating illegally or irresponsibly?

        All the PSAs in the world will not end impaired driving, criminals trying to evade cops, idiоts racing, and people making mistakes like literally not noticing the red light. No amount of moralizing will fix those things either.

        This has nothing to do with fault or who has it coming, but it does have everything to do with outcomes. You can walk on virtually any road safely if you’re paying attention. No road is safe if you’re not.

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        • Eric Leifsdad August 12, 2017 at 9:41 pm

          A car-free road isn’t dangerous.

          If you want to suggest that people be prepared for law-breaking motorists endangering their lives, why not recommend they cross with a gun at the ready? If it’s the pedestrian’s responsibility, that seems reasonable. We’ll also need people to wear helmets at the dinner table in their homes because you never know when somebody is going to barge in swinging a club around.

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          • Tim August 14, 2017 at 10:08 am

            The gun would be an interesting test. While gun possession is constitutionally protected and car possession is not, I suspect the gun would get you in trouble with the law.

            Other interesting tests-

            Try crossing the street with a camera pointed at the drivers. It appears people know they are doing wrong and are more likely to stop if they perceive there will be a record of their transgression.

            Cross the street with a shopping cart. Drivers are far more concerned that their car could be scratched than endangering pedestrians.

            Probably the most disturbing are the studies that show drivers are less likely to stop for racial minorities.

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        • 9watts August 13, 2017 at 11:19 am

          “So you think it’s offensive to suggest people should be prepared for motorists who are operating illegally or irresponsibly?”

          You are very good at missing my point.

          The distinction over which you and I keep stumbling is between
          (a) the fact that people in traffic do not always pay close enough attention, pose dangers to others or themselves, and
          (b) what sort of policies we might pursue to remedy or contain these threats.

          In your comments here you are very focused on (a) but unwilling to engage us on (b), except to point out that if everyone paid as much attention as you do the problem would evaporate.
          I think the reason the PSA caused so much ire here is that many of us are interested in steps we could take to actually improve the odds, discourage the kind of dangerous behavior on the part of automobilists that you treat as exogenous. Your stance here does not allow for any discussion of the *dynamic* aspect of this situation, as if you can’t conceive of ways to contain the menace that automobility presents.

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          • Mike Reams August 14, 2017 at 7:34 am

            I see your point about the illegal driving and, I agree that the ideal solution is to address that problem. However, I view this as a reminder to pedestrians that there are irresponsible drivers right now and the best way to protect yourself in the transport world we live in today is to be aware of your surroundings.

            Regarding point b. As I said, I agree that we need to address irresponsible driving but, that is an enormous undertaking that will take years to come to fruition (if ever, the politics and fallibility of humanity…). Paying attention, is something you can achieve as an individual today that may save your life.

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            • Dan A August 14, 2017 at 7:55 am

              Right, we’ll never be able to fix illegal driving, so let’s fix illegal walking. Now I get it.

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              • Mike Reams August 15, 2017 at 12:15 pm

                Try working on your reading comprehension. ” I agree that we need to address irresponsible driving…”

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              • 9watts August 15, 2017 at 1:08 pm

                Actually the problem isn’t with Dan A’s reading comprehension, but with your equivocation. You conceded that the part of your post you quoted wasn’t attainable; but that exhorting pedestrians to shoulder the burden instead was. Because… pragmatism.

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            • El Biciclero August 15, 2017 at 1:02 pm

              “Paying attention, is something you can achieve as an individual today that may save your life.”

              Paying attention and the ability to do so is not the problem, per se—as you say, it’s something [anyone] can do today. But why is getting drivers to pay attention a huge undertaking that is virtually unachievable, yet getting pedestrians to pay attention is worth hammering on repeatedly because it is somehow a more attainable goal? Because motivation. Drivers pay pee-lenty of attention to other motor vehicles, because they don’t want to damage their cars, or even get injured. It’s a lot easier to get people to “care” when you tell them “pay attention or die!”, than it is when you tell them “hey, you should pay attention, or else some day you might feel as bad as your conscience allows after killing someone by accident”. Because there are virtually no penalties for dangerous driving, many drivers take it upon themselves to do vigilante enforcement of the implicit “stay out of my way” rule—something this PSA reinforces beautifully. We pedestrians (and bicyclists, too) can be sure that if we dare to mess with the wrong driver, law be damned, the “punishment” will be swift and painful, if not deadly. And The Law will pretty much shrug and let such drivers off the hook, sometimes exonerating them right in the police report.

              Yes, we can’t—and shouldn’t—“leave a curb or other place of safety and enter the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard”, but if a driver has a red light or just plenty of time to stop at a crosswalk, that driver should be expected to stop—by crossing pedestrians, by law enforcement, and by society at large. We should be shaming drivers who drive dangerously, setting the expectation of driving with respect for your fellow humans, but instead of running PSAs of that nature, we allow car commercials with Vin Diesel smoking the tires of an overpowered compensation-mobile and essentially telling society to suck it; go ahead and try to shame us for dangerous driving—we’re not listening.

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              • 9watts August 15, 2017 at 1:11 pm

                comments like this ^ are why drawing attention to this PDSA is worthwhile, has a silver lining.
                Missteps like Reardon’s movie present the opportunity for us all to reflect on the misconceptions that underlie it and which the movie exemplifies.

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              • El Biciclero August 15, 2017 at 9:30 pm
              • 9watts August 15, 2017 at 10:46 pm

                You’re right. It is worse.
                Many, many people secretly—or not so secretly—are enthralled by this fantasy, this promise, and are suckered into buying a fast car. And then when reality intervenes, and others dare to also share that same road, and they discover they can’t drive like that….

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              • El Biciclero August 16, 2017 at 10:27 am

                Yeah, but it’s even worse than that:

                – “Brotherhood of muscle” = exclusive club of people superior to the rest of us, who somehow have a license to drive as depicted in the commercials
                – “We eat sheep” = figurative, predatory murder; subtle, yet literal invitation to show everyone who’s boss
                – “Unhinged” = Normalizes unhinged-ness, turning it into an admirable quality
                – “Free” = a lie
                – “…then get out my way” = self-explanatory
                – “We can’t hear you anyway” = middle finger to anyone concerned about the depicted driving “style”

                There are a disturbing number of car commercials showing speeding, sliding turns, etc. (even in “family” cars) as selling points of particular vehicles. There was one a while back showing an electric vehicle pulling some of those maneuvers to prove that it was just as bad-ass as a gas-powered car. There was the one about the dad who managed to go out and get ice cream cones for the family because his climate-controlled Mercedes allowed him to speed through curves so he could make it home before it started to melt. There was one a about whatever car it was that made running errands more “fun”—showing Regular Guy burning tires and drifting through drive-up windows grabbing coffee on the fly—‘cuz that’s how everybody does it these days. Oh, wait—it’s all OK because I just noticed there is some semi-camouflaged text at the bottom of the screen that says Professional driver on closed course; do not attempt.

                I recall it was similar (deadly = cool) content that caused enough concern to have cigarette advertising banned from TV.

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    • Clarence Eckerson August 11, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      Because that ad is real footage, it isn’t written and contrived (badly). And it is making a point. And the slightly whimsically corny music montage of pedestrians is meant to suck you and lower your defenses so you aren’t ready for the final shot. I’ll admit that I wasn’t loving the ad at first, but when the finale comes it negates anything it was showing with the pedestrians. I’d give it a B in the PSA world. But an A for shocking and unexpected.

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    • Big Knobbies August 13, 2017 at 1:08 am

      Mike,
      That was an awesome video! Like you, I cannot see a problem with the video. I think the over the top reaction shown in the article and by many commenters here is evidence of some kind of defect in how these people were raised, or in how the schools system mistreated them (by not exposing them to anything close to reality), etc. I seriously think this phenomenon should be investigated. I guess some are probably doing it but this article should serve as good study material. It’s dangerous for our citizens to be this disconnected from reality. I’m wondering if it goes back to the practices we hear about like: “everyone gets a trophy”, “choose your own grades”, “classes with no grades”, etc. Things that just cannot create functional adults.

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      • Dan A August 14, 2017 at 7:54 am

        “..evidence of some kind of defect in how these people were raised, or in how the schools system mistreated them (by not exposing them to anything close to reality), etc. I seriously think this phenomenon should be investigated. I guess some are probably doing it but this article should serve as good study material. It’s dangerous for our citizens to be this disconnected from reality. I’m wondering if it goes back to the practices we hear about like: “everyone gets a trophy”, “choose your own grades”, “classes with no grades”, etc. Things that just cannot create functional adults.”

        Why do you choose to apply these traits to humans on foot, but not to humans in cars?

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        • Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 10:54 am

          Based on this article and the comments of those who pedal and walk. I admit that drivers need to be more careful, but those who pedal and walk seem unable to admit that they also need to be more careful.

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      • El Biciclero August 15, 2017 at 1:42 pm

        Exactly. There’s a hierarchy to be followed here. I don’t know why people can’t see it. Rich > poor, white > non, men > women, adults > children, and of course, drivers > pedestrians! Don’t believe me? Test it out and die! Why some people continually strive for “fairness”, or worse, “equality”, or “equal treatment under the law” is beyond me—that’s just not reality! As soon as everyone just recognizes their place in society and minds their P’s and Q’s, everything will go a lot more smoothly.

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  • Clarence Eckerson August 11, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    There’s dozens of reasons to be offended by this pile of ______. But even if you are not offended morally/socially/legally there are so many places where things happen that aren’t logical that I am offended as a solo filmmaker by it. How no one anywhere in this group held up their hand and suggested any changes anything is beyond crazy. Or I guess saying “tongue in cheek” means that your production can be a mess and everything is excusable?

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  • Deeebo August 11, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Would it have been any different for you if the car drivers shown were 100% focused on the task at hand, taking full responsibility for their actions? I drove a delivery truck in downtown PDX for 2 years and the frequency of people tacitly trying to kill themselves by walking out in front of me was such that I just presumed this was going to happen every time. Me taking that mindset made it safer for everyone. For a while on the side of the max and buses they posted PSAs about paying attention while walking, taking out your headphones, etc. At its core this is the same thing. All of the people shown in the video are caricatures. The thing I find interesting is how because this is BP everyone is all “yep that’s how cagers are” but at the same time “how could they so grossly misrepresent those peds”. Hold people accountable. If you are driving while playing candy crush and something happens: pay the price. If you walk across the street playing candy crush and something happens: pay the price. As for it being too violent/ offensive I guess I’m missing something as that is all implied not shown. Is it offensive because it alludes to the fact that pedestrians are sometimes hit by vehicles? Seems like that would be an important thing to mention.
    Is it dumb? Yes. Is it the best use of time and resources? Probably not, but I’m having a hard time relating to the minor hysteria surrounding this one.

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    • 9watts August 12, 2017 at 1:19 am

      I think where some commenters part ways is that the fact that some pedestrians don’t act responsibly can be interpreted and acted on in a variety of different ways. One can conclude that:
      they are suicidal, as you and Reardon’s gang seem to see it, and therefore should be remonstrated, shamed, made fun of, held responsible for whatever they’ve got coming, etc., or

      their behavior is a second order problem, as many commenters here on bikeportland seem to, something to keep track of but not to over-interpret when it comes to finger-wagging PSAs, or

      the problem is infrastructure , as Hans Monderman did, shifting things around such that he could walk backwards and with eyes closed into traffic, and expect to emerge unscathed every time.

      Your stance: something happens; pay the price is a glib and rather particularistic view of how traffic endangers bipeds, and is by no means the only way to view this issue. Others have fortunately taken a different view, and their efforts have led down what I would consider more productive paths.

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    • Chris Anderson August 12, 2017 at 8:48 am

      I watch traffic like a hawk when I’m in it, as a pedestrian or riding. But I try very hard not to give drivers any sense that I’m doing that. In fact the opposite. I want drivers to feel like it’s terrifying to be on the roads because these ped/bikers are so unpredictable. When you turn that knob to 11 it helps drivers realize how inappropriate their auto usage is. When I’m crossing the road I’ll pretend extra hard to be lost in my phone, randomly decide that I wanted to cross back the other direction, etc. If they are scared of me and my next move, that means they are paying attention, so I’m safer and they are less comfortable. I do think my antics have helped in a small way to train aggro drivers away from Going St for their morning commutes.

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      • Charles Ross August 12, 2017 at 6:51 pm

        Well hey Chris, you are in charge of you; reap the benefits, pay the cost.

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        • Dan A August 12, 2017 at 8:54 pm

          Boy, I sure wish I was entirely resposible for my own safety. That would be nice.

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    • Dan A August 12, 2017 at 9:08 am

      You should have stopped at “Me taking that mindset made it safer for everyone.”

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    • Kyle Banerjee August 12, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      If only the energy people are willing to invest in symbolism could be dedicated to something that actually improves safety.

      How much of the limited energy people have really worth dedicating to a low budget PSA that didn’t do the best job of communicating the idea that you should look both ways before crossing the street?

      But then again, I’m also not a fan of the idea so popular here that total separation should even be an objective — the clear message to drivers and nondrivers alike is that neither cyclists nor peds belong on roads.

      I’m all for infrastructure, but I’m also for actually using roads. And all road users need to be prepared for what’s actually out there and not just how they’d like it.

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      • Dan A August 12, 2017 at 9:01 pm

        THIRTY comments by you on the subject, summed up by your final assessment that people are wasting energy discussing this topic. Imagine if you put your energy to better use.

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        • Kyle Banerjee August 12, 2017 at 9:18 pm

          I don’t deny I’m totally wasting my time. Though counting contributions by other commenters is a step even I’m not ready to take 😉

          But watching stuff like this clip is also a total waste of time and it totally reminds me of BP at the same time — double goodness! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFBOQzSk14c

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        • Kyle Banerjee August 13, 2017 at 9:25 am

          I actually am putting my energy to better use. I’ve been watching someone in a hospital bed for a few days. When he’s sleeping, I don’t have much to do other than keep an eye on the sensors so I sometimes dork out on the interwebz.

          BTW, I walk more than 4 miles to get here from where I’m staying, most along 4 lane highway where traffic speeds are about 65 or two lane road with no shoulder and blind curves and hills. There are no kinds of crossing signals until the last mile or so where the infrastructure starts.

          It’s not dangerous unless you pretend that having a “vulnerable” status means you should ignore common sense and walk like you have a force field around you.

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          • 9watts August 13, 2017 at 9:29 am

            “It’s not dangerous unless you pretend”

            This is of questionable value, Kyle.

            You keep arguing points that no one here is making. People who are perspicacious and confident like you get run over and killed on highways such as you are describing every day. To assert as you are fond of here in these comments that it is only about the person walking or cycling is patently ridiculous. You know or should know that many people right here in Oregon have been killed biking or walking who were doing none of the (careless, fearful, inexperienced) things you are so fond of enumerating.

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            • Kyle Banerjee August 13, 2017 at 11:54 am

              You can certainly do everything you reasonably can and get killed. It is not only about the person walking or riding, but the person walking or riding has a bigger impact on outcomes than any other factor.

              An unusual percentage of peds and cyclists in Portland use poor judgment — worse than anyplace else I’ve lived. I see people do dumb things every day, but not everywhere. If you ride in the SW hills, you’ll see many cyclists (as well as a surprising number of peds), blind curves, cars moving right along, and a pronounced lack of infrastructure. But everyone seems to use good judgment. In general, judgment gets better as you move away from the core.

              That so many people find it offensive to suggest that peds/cyclists use the control they have to improve their safety reflects a reactive approach as well as commitment to symbolism over substance at the expense of safety. Though people are consistent — we’ve seen similar howls in response to visibility campaigns. This kind of thing isn’t controversial for most people, nor should it be — even when the execution was poor as it was in the case at hand.

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              • 9watts August 13, 2017 at 12:04 pm

                The plural of anecdote is not data, my friend.

                “the person walking or riding has a bigger impact on outcomes than any other factor.”

                Can you offer any support for this statement?
                I’ve looked into the analyses of crashes that correspond to the subject of this PDSA (automobile/driver + pedestrian in crosswalk), and in New York City (can’t find the study but think it was 70%) and Switzerland 86% of the time the driver is found to be culpable.

                9watts
                Here’s an article from 2011 in a Swiss paper about the incidence of cars running over people in crosswalks.
                http://www.bernerzeitung.ch/region/seeland-jura/Die-Verantwortung-liegt-immer-beim-Autofahrer/story/17334952
                «In 86 Prozent der Fälle ist der Autofahrer alleine schuld, in 3 Prozent ist es der Fussgänger, und in den restlichen 11 Prozent haben beide Schuld.» Menna lässt auch das Argument nicht gelten, dass das Hauptproblem derjenige Fussgänger sei, der plötzlich die Fahrbahn betrete, sodass der Autofahrer gar keine Chance zum Abbremsen habe. «Nur bei 7 Prozent der Unfälle auf Zebrastreifen wurde festgestellt, dass der Fussgänger die Strasse unvorsichtig gequert hatte.»
                “In 86% of cases the driver is solely at fault. In 3% of cases it is the pedestrian, and in the remaining 11% both share fault. [The spokesman from citizen office for crash-avoidance] disagreed with the argument that the main problem was with pedestrians who suddenly step into the street, so that the driver of a car has no chance to brake in time. “In only 7 percent of crashes in crosswalks was it determined that the pedestrian had carelessly crossed the street.”
                and another quote (from a driving instructor):
                “«Bei Tempo 30 könnte man zwei von drei Unfällen verhindern.»”
                “With a speed limit of 30 [km/h] two-thirds of these accidents could have been avoided.”
                Recommended 7

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              • Kyle Banerjee August 13, 2017 at 2:59 pm

                9watts
                The plural of anecdote is not data, my friend.
                “the person walking or riding has a bigger impact on outcomes than any other factor.”
                Can you offer any support for this statement?
                I’ve looked into the analyses of crashes that correspond to the subject of this PDSA (automobile/driver + pedestrian in crosswalk), and in New York City (can’t find the study but think it was 70%) and Switzerland 86% of the time the driver is found to be culpable.

                Call me сrazy, but I don’t care whose fault it is when it comes to crashes that will maim or kill me.

                I have bailed from the road twice in my life to avoid a rear end collision. I’m 100% certain the injuries would have been severe if I weren’t killed. I’m also certain the driver would have been found at fault.

                I have also avoided rear end collisions in the car. About 10 years ago on I-5, traffic suddenly went from 70mph to 0. I knew I could stop in time but wasn’t so sure about the car behind, so I left the road. Turns out that he did stop in time, but the car behind him couldn’t. Result was a 5 car pileup that I would have been in the middle of but escaped entirely.

                Anyone who thinks they shouldn’t be ready for the mistakes of others is going to get “unlucky” a lot. Some people get hooked a lot. Strangely, I’ve never had problems with that. Maybe if they took the routes I do, their luck would change…

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              • 9watts August 13, 2017 at 3:29 pm

                never mind…

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              • Kyle Banerjee August 13, 2017 at 6:09 pm

                Dude, guys like you are why Brandolini’s Law exists.

                You can pretend that people don’t have a great amount of control over outcomes and that the worldwide supply of oil will simultaneously fail everywhere, but these are things that only people on the fringes get confused by.

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          • Big Knobbies August 13, 2017 at 6:06 pm

            Exactly right Kyle. The problem by many commenters on this website is an unwillingness to take even minor, common sense measures to make themselves safer as they ride or walk amongst traffic.

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            • Dan A August 14, 2017 at 8:00 am

              Wow, you missed the point by a wide mark.

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            • El Biciclero August 14, 2017 at 10:41 am

              “The problem by many commenters on this website is an unwillingness to take even minor, common sense measures to make themselves safer as they ride or walk amongst traffic.”

              The issue for many commenters on this website is an unwillingness to accept shoddy investigations, disparaging comments aimed at those run over by dangerous drivers, assumptions of guilt for victims and on-the-spot exoneration of drivers, glib dismissal of dangerous driving as “normal”, assumed “moral equivalence” of driving vs. active transportation, assumptions that nothing can be done about dangerous driving (except shaming the vulnerable into staying out of the way), lax enforcement of dangerous (where “dangerous” means putting other people’s lives at risk) driving violations, light or no penalties for killing someone with a car, and the generally lopsided cultural view of driving—as dangerously as you care to it—as normal, and non-driving as “asking for it”.

              There, FIFY.

              The general tone of those here advocating for “personal responsibility” sounds a lot like a good ol’ Salem witch trial: if something bad happens to you, you must not have been careful enough, and if you weren’t careful enough, then you deserved it.

              It is NOT—let me say that again, N O T—a matter of people not wanting to take “responsibility” for themselves, it is a problem of no amount of responsibility ever being enough. It’s the old “bare minimum” problem—the “bare minimum” isn’t enough, so we add to it, and that becomes the new “bare minimum”, which isn’t enough, so we add to it, creating a new “bare minimum”… The never-ending nature of the “bare minimum” cycle points to the fact that the problem may lie elsewhere.

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              • Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 10:55 am

                Few cyclists in Portland take the bare minimum care to be seen, etc. Ditto peds crossing without looking, etc.

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              • El Biciclero August 14, 2017 at 11:40 am

                Ok. Now you’re just being willfully obtuse. Please define “bare minimum”. I’ll describe how I got hit once, and you can tell me whether I did the “bare minimum”. I was riding on a MUP during morning daylight hours on an overcast and lightly sprinkly day. I was wearing a bright orange shirt, bright chartreuse helmet, and a flashing 600-lumen headlight. After pushing the pedestrian signal request button and waiting for at least 30 seconds for the signal to change in my favor, it did so. A car was approaching the crosswalk from my left and I waited for it to stop before proceeding at a speed no greater than an ordinary walk into the crosswalk, with the walk signal. As I was about to clear the front bumper of the stopped car, the driver accelerated into my, knocking me off my bike.

                Please explain which aspects of “bare minimum” I failed to fulfill in order to deserve getting knocked off my bike that day.

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              • Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 5:14 pm

                EB,
                Sounds like you did a good job. Perhaps it would have been better if you had made eye contact with the driver before going.
                At least you tried to do the right thing. Hopefully you weren’t hurt and maybe got some $$ out of the driver.

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              • El Biciclero August 16, 2017 at 11:11 am

                “Perhaps it would have been better if you had made eye contact with the driver before going.”

                Well, you proved my point. There’s always something isn’t there? Something more a vulnerable road user could have done to avoid their own injury at the hands of an inattentive driver.

                Would it have been even better if I had yelled to get his attention, as the light rain and viewing angle made it impossible to see into his vehicle? Perhaps it would have been even better if I had waved my arms over my head while yelling like a crazy person. Shouldn’t I have had some reflective material on my bright-orange shirt to be sure I was “seen”? I forgot to mention that my headlight was merely mounted on my handlebars, so I guess that was a failure on my part to use an additional helmet-mounted light that I could have pointed directly into the vehicle. I also could have waited another 90 seconds for the next signal and hoped that nobody would be coming during rush hour on a weekday. Rats. What a schlub I am! Total amateur. I should really up my game if I want to be allowed on the roads with drivers who are allowed on the roads regardless of their inability to do something as basic as look in the direction they are driving.

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    • Chris I August 13, 2017 at 7:19 am

      Given that you spent so much time driving downtown, you might be interested to know that a small fraction of pedestrian fatalities actually occur downtown. The vast majority occur in outer-East Portland. Any guess as to why? I’ll give you a hint: average vehicle speed.

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      • wsbob August 15, 2017 at 11:27 am

        “…a small fraction of pedestrian fatalities actually occur downtown. The vast majority occur in outer-East Portland. Any guess as to why? I’ll give you a hint: average vehicle speed.” chris I

        I’d say it’s a fair guess that average vehicle speed is only one of a range of other reasons for fewer fatalities Downtown as compared to outer areas of Portland. Portland’s small size city blocks are another reason, and the signal timing as well. Downtown Portland is a fairly safe pedestrian environment for jaywalking (not that people should make a habit of jaywalking.), because with the intersections so close together, and the timing of the lights, vehicles can’t get going very fast or far before they’ve got to stop again.

        NE Broadway, outside of Downtown, on the other side of the river, is a different story. Wider, intersections further apart…much more dangerous to cross without the benefit of the crosswalk signal. Caution to people using the road as vulnerable road users, is well placed. By my observation, watching a lot of people crossing streets, the attention they display towards their surroundings, the potential hazards, and the precautions they take…many people walking, and biking, as vulnerable road users very susceptible to injury or death in a collision with someone driving…are woefully unequipped, nonchalant, inattentive, about basic, advisable procedure for safely crossing a street.

        The rejection of the so called ‘comedic’ format of this particular PSA is ok, but the self righteous indignation is misplaced in response to some people emphasizing the importance of people on foot/pedestrians/vulnerable road users taking better responsibility for their own safety in using the road.

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    • Spiffy August 13, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      how many of those people did you hit? I’m guessing none, because they weren’t trying to kill themselves…

      I’m not saying you do this, but the majority of “they jumped right in front of me” stories are people that weren’t paying attention to a ped crossing legally way in front of them… I often “jump right in front of people” because after a dozen cars illegally pass me while I’m waiting to cross the street I have to assert myself or I’ll never get to cross… I’m not one bit sorry you had to slam really hard on your brakes and barely avoided hitting me… pay attention to everything, and downtown that means a max speed of 15-20 mph due to all the distractions…

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      • Kyle Banerjee August 13, 2017 at 10:01 pm

        Spiffy
        I often “jump right in front of people” because after a dozen cars illegally pass me while I’m waiting to cross the street I have to assert myself or I’ll never get to cross… I’m not one bit sorry you had to slam really hard on your brakes and barely avoided hitting me…

        So to be clear, you risk your life to make a point to total strangers who may be chemically altered, texting, or otherwise unable to respond properly?

        I’m very assertive however I get around and don’t wait for huge gaps. But if anyone barely misses me, it will because of the action I took to avoid someone who did the wrong thing rather than because I was counting on them hitting their brakes or making any kind of corrective action.

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        • Spiffy August 14, 2017 at 7:53 am

          “So to be clear, you risk your life to make a point to total strangers who may be chemically altered, texting, or otherwise unable to respond properly?”

          no, I do not risk my life… I only try to look like I do… I want the drivers to know they could have killed me…

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  • Tony Rebensdorf August 11, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    “He says the portrayal of insensitive and damaging stereotypes of vulnerable road users in the video was justified because he and his “team” walked on a few streets and observed that, “pedestrians make unwise choices and jeopardize their own safety.””
    The fact that they had to go out of their way to walk on a street tells me everything I need to know. People like this don’t deserve the privilege of using a car.

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  • Dan A August 12, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Here’s a better take on it:

    https://www.citylab.com/solutions/2015/10/fighting-the-notion-of-pedestrian-error-in-dallas-street-deaths/410191/

    “One city council member says it’s time to stop blaming the victims and start addressing the real problem: car-friendly design.”

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  • Big Knobbies August 13, 2017 at 12:32 am

    I watched the video. About 3 minutes of video and 3 minutes of credits. What would you be doing that you would happen to see this video? I would not think it would be on TV.

    The over reaction to it by JM is really over the top. It’s obviously meant to show stupid things drivers do while driving and stupid things pedestrians do on the street. As stated, it is intended to be exaggerated so people can see HOW stupid these things are. It is true that drivers do all the distracting things shown, and it is also true that peds and cyclists do the stupid things they are portrayed doing.

    JM does make a false statement: “Unfortunately Ms. Rockney, the behaviors from the driver you portrayed are not unreal.” If referring to a person peeling out, and intentionally running over a pedestrian, no, that is not real. It has probably never happened unless the person was intentionally committing murder – I’ve never heard of it in Portland. It’s not rare in Europe now, and an incident did occur in Virginia yesterday, but in general, it does not happen here.

    I do listen to the traffic report on the radio when getting ready to go to work so I know where to avoid and I have heard many times about a pedestrian with ear phones on, oblivious to the world, walking in front of a MAX train and being killed – shutting down MAX for hours. THAT is real. The ped actors in the video portrayed the mindset that causes people to get killed by MAX trains, buses, etc. The mindsets portrayed – not looking before crossing, wearing black or difficult to see colors, ARE typical of many cyclists in Portland; and the comments on this website attest to the mindset of many that says doing those things is AOK.

    There is nothing wrong with the video other than it’s a tad corny, and has 3 minutes of credits.

    The over the top reaction to the video really, really, really should be examined by a team of mental health professionals to determine HOW adult Americans came to the point that they cannot watch a fairly boring safety video without coming unglued. Seriously.

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    • Spiffy August 14, 2017 at 7:56 am

      “It has probably never happened”

      except those 2 times you cited that you could remember… and all those times you didn’t know about… but other than all those times, probably never…

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    • Spiffy August 14, 2017 at 7:57 am

      “a pedestrian with ear phones on, oblivious to the world”

      do you think deaf people are oblivious to the world and deserve to be hit by trains? ot maybe only people that are deaf by choice?

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      • Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 10:57 am

        if they fail to look before crossing tracks or streets they may be hit. no one deserves to be hit, but their failure to be safe may be the cause of their being hit.

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    • Spiffy August 14, 2017 at 7:59 am

      “The mindsets portrayed – not looking before crossing, wearing black or difficult to see colors, ARE typical of many cyclists in Portland; and the comments on this website attest to the mindset of many that says doing those things is AOK.”

      but these things are all OK… the only thing that would make you think they weren’t OK is the threat of negligent drivers…

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    • Spiffy August 14, 2017 at 8:03 am

      “The over the top reaction to the video really, really, really should be examined by a team of mental health professionals to determine HOW adult Americans came to the point that they cannot watch a fairly boring safety video without coming unglued. Seriously.”

      this speaks to how desensitized we’ve become when we can see law-abiding pedestrians run down by murderers and consider it boring and safe…

      I think we disagree on which group needs a mental health professional…

      seriously…

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      • Big Knobbies August 14, 2017 at 11:01 am

        the video did not portray real life. it was exaggerated satire to make a point. that point flew right over the heads of all who have been indoctrinated to believe they are victims. in this case those who believe they are victims are cyclists and peds. this is what the left does – it divides American into groups of victims based on race, gender preferences, ancestors, how you commute, etc. the only group the left does not allow to be considered victims are whites, maybe only white males. Michael Savage was right – liberalism is a mental disorder.

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        • El Biciclero August 14, 2017 at 12:06 pm

          Whereas the right says, “Hey, don’t be a victim. Just know your place, and there won’t be any problems.”

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    • bikeninja August 14, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Dude, you have become a caricature of yourself. Are you sure your not a secret poster for the PBA or the or the American Petroleum Council or other such organization?

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  • Big Knobbies August 13, 2017 at 12:55 am

    How many of you have heard the PSA on the radio where 2 female drivers go out for drinks? One drives herself; the other takes a cab. Each takes turns telling their story of driving home after drinking. It eventually gets to something ROUGHLY like this:

    Cab driven woman: “A squirrel runs out in front of the cab. The cab driver brakes and barely stops in time to miss the squirrel.”

    Self driving woman: “A squirrel runs out in front of my car. I hit the brakes and swerve to avoid hitting it, and I hit another vehicle and the driver dies.”

    Cab driven woman: “I’m so glad I took a cab home.”

    Self driving woman: “I wish I’d taken a cab home.”

    Should drivers go off the deep end because of this advertisement? I just don’t see a big problem with the video in JMs article.

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    • Dan A August 14, 2017 at 8:04 am

      Cars and shoes are not the same thing.

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    • Alex Reedin August 14, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Say aggressive driving by people driving 18-wheelers was a problem killing lots of people, and that the PSA were targeted towards people driving regular cars, advising them to stay out of the way of people driving 18-wheelers. And, say that there were a similar shot, with a person driving an 18-wheeler staring down and then running over at high speed, illegally, and in cold blood a person driving a regular car (say someone driving perfectly normally and legally in the same lane as them). Don’t you think most reasonable people would think that (A) this is in horrible taste and offensive to families and friends of people who have been killed in traffic and (B) the government PSA was crossing the line into espousing a view of the 18-wheeler drivers’ behavior as kind of an unchangeable force of nature, and that government resources should instead be spent on stopping the 18-wheeler drivers from doing their dastardly deeds and locking the bad ones up?

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      • Alex Reedin August 14, 2017 at 11:53 am

        Let’s edit (B) down to something I think is more universally accepted: (B) that government resources should be spent on stopping the 18-wheeler drivers from doing their dastardly deeds and locking the bad ones up instead of on PSAs telling people who drive regular cars to be careful of the 18-wheeler drivers (which they already know in this alternate world)?

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  • Spiffy August 13, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    just found out that 3/Thirds is working with the company that my significant other (who works in advertising and marketing) is employed by… I showed her this ad and Erika Rockney’s response to the backlash and she’s disgusted and will have several questions for them when they meet next time… she’s worried that this kind of message could end up in their own ads produced by 3/Thirds…

    so yes, when you stand behind such a abhorrent message you can lose money…

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    • Kyle Banerjee August 14, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Or make money.

      If the point of the PSA is to get the message noticed, the over the top reaction will definitely help with that. People may be outraged here, but I don’t know that’s how most people will respond to the message or reaction.

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      • Alex Reedin August 14, 2017 at 12:47 pm

        Probably most adults under 75 – people who mostly drive to get around and haven’t personally experienced the pain of serious crashes – will be fine with it. But I’d guess most people who get around mostly on foot would feel patronized, scared, and disempowered by the ad (more so than they do already), and most people who had a family member or close friend killed or seriously injured in traffic (especially on foot) would feel pretty upset and angry about it. Government is supposed to (A) do the best they can to be effective, including requiring consultation of subject matter experts as needed (for example, talking to people knowledgeable about proven techniques to positively affect attitudes and behaviors around traffic safety to be consulted before marketing paid for by public dollars is released to the public), and (B) do their best to do right by all citizens, not just the majority.

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  • OrigJF August 14, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    If the ad clearly portrayed actions of distracted pedestrians which are unsafe, then fine. However, a person, under the influence or not, in a clearly marked intersection with the walk signal should not need to be portrayed as the pedestrian at fault. A blind person uses the chirp. A deaf person relies on the visual cue. A physically disabled or elderly person rely on the walk time to allow safe passage. Children are taught to cross at the crosswalk signal. This add seems to make fun the people walk signals are to protect the most.

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  • Ruthie August 15, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Don’t forget that Dan Saltzman of PBOT authorized $12,000 of our money for this trash ad.

    Saltzman is running again in 2018. Here’s a little choice bit from this article about his bid:

    “Saltzman, the son of a real estate developer, is independently wealthy. He reported about $1.6 million in outside income in one annual disclosure statement, more than 10 times his salary as a city commissioner.”
    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2016/12/dan_saltzman_wants_a_sixth_ter.html

    Let’s get these out-of-touch family dynasty west-siders out of there!

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    • Big Knobbies August 15, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      Ruthie,

      Exactly right! Next time vote for a Republican! MPGA!

      🙂

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