Tour de Lab September 1st

Prepare for new school-related traffic on North Flint

Posted by on August 23rd, 2018 at 1:06 pm

Flint Ave outside of the newly opened Harriet Tubman Middle School.

The first day of classes for Portland Public Schools is this Monday, August 27th. That means streets throughout the city will be much more crowded. One street in particular — North Flint between Russell and Broadway — will get a major uptick in traffic.

As the new site of Harriet Tubman Middle School, PPS is hoping to spread the word to the nearly 700 daily bicycle users who rely the popular section of Flint to connect between north and northeast Portland neighborhoods and the central city.

PPS has published a flyer warning about expected traffic impacts. Here’s what you need to know:

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The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has also issued a statement about the start of school to remind road users to be extra cautious.

As many of you know, school drop-off and pick-up zones are some of the most stressful and dangerous places to ride. Parents and guardians will risk nearly anything to get their cars as close as possible to the front door of a school. If everyone just chills out and slows down, conditions would be much safer.

— 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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

72 Comments
  • Avatar
    Esther August 23, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Our childrens’ daycare, which we bike to, is just down the street, on the corner of Flint and Broadway, so the street has additional parent/child traffic. I have seen some wild fast cars turning north onto Flint from Broadway. Wish PBOT would consider some additional traffic calming there…

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      Buzz August 23, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      There are two new speed tables on that part of Flint, installed a couple of months ago now.

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        paikiala August 24, 2018 at 8:24 am

        Speed bumps, actually. Two more are pending north of Tillamook when the BES work is complete, as part of the Tillamook Greenway.

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        Esther August 24, 2018 at 12:31 pm

        I know. I bike over them when I take my kids to school. It doesn’t stop the dangerous traffic at the intersection of Broadway and too-fast turns both onto and off of Flint. The whole intersection is a speed race as cars try to evade having to wait for bikes (on Broadway) on their right, the cars coming off the i5 offramp, cars coming down Broadway, etc.

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    Andrea Capp August 23, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    That special time of year when parents teach their children it’s acceptable to be irresponsible, selfish, and dangerous because “mornings are stressful and we’re late.”
    I’ve been dreading since summer break began.

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      John Lascurettes August 23, 2018 at 2:47 pm

      I loathe end of summer vacation almost as much as my teen does because of this.

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    bikeninja August 23, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Note to the PPB, Put a traffic officer in a hidden location along this school zone and ticket the Flint Street Speed Racers in to the stone age, the children and cyclists will thank you.

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      soren August 23, 2018 at 7:43 pm

      using a poh-lees officer instead of camera is a complete waste of resources.

      if our society actually gave the tiniest @#$% about the safety of children walking/rolling to school, speed cameras would be ubiquitous in school zones.

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        B. Carfree August 23, 2018 at 8:26 pm

        I would also like to see automated traffic law enforcement, but not under the terms dictated by the Oregon State Legislature. Giving motorists a free pass for the first ten mph over the speed limit is terrible, imo. It makes automated enforcement next to useless as a means of taming dangerous driving.

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          paikiala August 24, 2018 at 8:25 am

          Any data to back that up?

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            Dan A August 24, 2018 at 9:58 am

            Is it not common sense that people shouldn’t be driving 29mph in a 20mph school zone? We need data to prove it?

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              paikiala August 24, 2018 at 2:58 pm

              ” It makes automated enforcement next to useless as a means of taming dangerous driving.” Any evidence of this?

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                Dan A August 24, 2018 at 5:02 pm

                No. Do you have any evidence that cameras that allow a 10mph buffer do anything to discourage people from driving 9mph over?

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                9watts August 26, 2018 at 9:01 am

                “Do you have any evidence that cameras that allow a 10mph buffer do anything to discourage people from driving 9mph over?”

                Crickets.

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            Johnny Bye Carter August 24, 2018 at 10:00 am

            It’s obvious that drivers are not worried about a ticket.

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              paikiala August 24, 2018 at 2:58 pm

              How is it obvious?

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                Dan A August 24, 2018 at 5:03 pm

                Drive on any freeway in town.

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                9watts August 26, 2018 at 9:02 am

                Or just any road.

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                Dan A August 26, 2018 at 9:04 am

                As a driver, I’ve found the freeways to be particularly frightening lately. It’s the wild west, with no sheriffs.

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          soren August 24, 2018 at 1:49 pm

          To the best of my knowledge, there is no such limit for tickets from dedicated speed cameras. Sadly, automated speed cameras are still essentially illegal in the state of oregon.

          Perhaps you are thinking of the 11 mph limit for use of red light cameras for speed tickets:

          https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/810.434

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            paikiala August 24, 2018 at 3:03 pm

            Fixed photo radar is an automated speed camera (BH Hwy, outer Division, 122nd). In Oregon they are limited to high crash corridors. Mobile photo radar is an automated speed camera. They are permitted on any street with the use of a manned vehicle.

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              soren August 25, 2018 at 10:00 pm

              1) requiring that a camera be manned is not automation.
              2) fully automated cameras are still essentially illegal in OR because they are only allowed in a small number of locations as a “test”.

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        Middle of the Road Guy August 24, 2018 at 8:45 am

        Cameras are a sign of a police state.

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          Dan A August 24, 2018 at 8:54 am

          Do you have a better solution to cut down on rampant and regular speeding? I’m open to effective alternatives.

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          Johnny Bye Carter August 24, 2018 at 9:06 am

          I think you’ve been watching too many movies.

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            Middle of the Road Guy August 24, 2018 at 10:54 am

            I was referring to an earlier comment by Soren about police states.

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              soren August 24, 2018 at 1:39 pm

              i made no such comment here as anyone can see by using their browser search tool.

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                Middle of the Road Guy August 27, 2018 at 10:50 am

                Aug 17:

                “Expensive, intermittent, and largely ineffectual enforcement is like pissing into the wind. As our society continues to become ever more unequal, theft is bound to increase. Unless we are willing to live in a police state, punishing people as a means of social change is nothing more than an exercise in sadism.”

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty August 25, 2018 at 2:28 pm

            Right. Government surveillance is just something Hollywood made up.

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          Chris I August 24, 2018 at 9:31 am

          Speed cameras can be present in non-police states. Are the citizens of the UK living in a police state?

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            Middle of the Road Guy August 24, 2018 at 10:54 am

            Actually, I would argue UK is pretty close to a police state. That country in pretty much entirely covered by closed circuit TV.

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              bendite August 24, 2018 at 1:25 pm

              Not a very middle of the road statement.

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              Chris I August 24, 2018 at 1:42 pm

              Having visited several times, and knowing many people that live there, I don’t think it fits the definition. They have complete freedom of movement, freedom of speech, etc.

              “Police state is a term denoting a government that exercises power arbitrarily through the power of the police force. Originally, the term designated a state regulated by a civil administration, but since the beginning of the 20th century it has “taken on an emotional and derogatory meaning” by describing an undesirable state of living characterized by the overbearing presence of the civil authorities.[1] The inhabitants of a police state may experience restrictions on their mobility, or on their freedom to express or communicate political or other views, which are subject to police monitoring or enforcement. Political control may be exerted by means of a secret police force that operates outside the boundaries normally imposed by a constitutional state.[2] Robert von Mohl, who first introduced the rule of law to German jurisprudence, contrasted the Rechtsstaat (“legal” or “constitutional” state) with the anti-aristocratic Polizeistaat (“police state”).[3] “

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              q August 24, 2018 at 1:47 pm

              You said, “Cameras are a sign of a police state” and someone asks if you ‘d consider the UK a police state since it uses cameras, and you reply yes, because it uses cameras?

              Actually, I was all set to criticize your line of thought, but now that I just wrote that I don’t know how I can.

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                9watts August 26, 2018 at 9:06 am

                It is quite frustrating how certain commenters here love to jeer, lob verbal Molotov cocktails, but then not only refuse to engage their detractors, but also are unwilling to offer up any alternative solutions to the problem that—in this case—speed cameras are meant to address.

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                q August 26, 2018 at 1:20 pm

                I agree. And just to be clear, if someone said, “Big teeth are a sign that an animal is vicious”, and someone asked, “So are rabbits vicious?” and they responded, “Yes, because they have big teeth”, I wouldn’ t know how to criticize that line of thinking, either, but obviously it’s wrong. I’d guess any kind of diagram of the logic of it would involve drawing some sort of of line that circles back on itself.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty August 25, 2018 at 2:31 pm

            Even if the UK is not a police state under the traditional definition, by building all the infrastructure and conditioning society to accept mass surveillance, it makes it easier for Britain to become one.

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              9watts August 26, 2018 at 9:12 am

              Really?

              This too is a familiar rhetorical move here (perhaps the uncle of whataboutism?) -bury the conversation about the dangers of speeding by pouncing on the alleged surveillance dangers of certain flavors of enforcement, all the while offering no constructive solutions to the initial problem we were discussing.

              I am sensitive to the dangers of a surveillance state, but object to the glib bait and switch here. Can’t we have a thoughtful interrogation of the initial subject (speeding, cameras) as well as a measured debate about the limits and risks of one common-enough-in-other-places tactic for enforcing speed limits?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty August 26, 2018 at 2:46 pm

                I think the question of whether we want to install more surveillance cameras is highly relevant to the question of whether to install more speed cameras.

                As I have said in the past, I would totally support the installation of more cameras with the proviso that data unrelated to specific enforcement actions not be stored. I think that’s a reasonable line to draw.

                We’ve seen over and over how new police or prosecutorial powers are used far beyond what they were intended for. Recent example: using RICO laws to go after nuisance complaints related to marijuana businesses.

                The best time to have a conversation about limits is before a technology becomes widespread and the police are already using it in unexpected ways.

                PS The Rodney King episode was captured by news cameras which are a different thing altogether.

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                9watts August 26, 2018 at 3:08 pm

                “PS The Rodney King episode was captured by news cameras which are a different thing altogether.”
                No it was not. It was George Holliday’s camcorder footage which he sold to the local channel KTLA for $500 that documented what went down that night.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty August 26, 2018 at 3:10 pm

                Either way, not the same thing.

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                9watts August 26, 2018 at 3:15 pm

                Of course not; that was my point. Cameras in our world can and are used to document bad behavior by everyone. Your (and others’) surveillance state concerns should acknowledge this rather than treating the very mention of photo radar as evidence of state overreach.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty August 26, 2018 at 9:29 pm

                I will say unequivocally that I value maintaining civil liberties above enforcing traffic law. Unequivocally.

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                9watts August 26, 2018 at 10:04 pm

                I respect that. But surely things don’t begin to get interesting until your civil liberties run over and maim my niece; something we tell ourselves could have been avoided or prevented or rendered much less serious in a world where enforcement was a priority. Your absolutes are easy enough to assert until we have a problem (a lack of meaningful enforcement leading to flagrant behavior (in this case speeding)) when the two apparently conflict.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty August 26, 2018 at 10:12 pm

                I support greater enforcement. I’ve said that dozens of times.

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          Que August 24, 2018 at 11:30 am

          Cameras are a sign of a police state much in the way that someone breaking the law is a sign of a total breakdown of organized society.

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            pruss2ny August 24, 2018 at 1:10 pm

            “Cameras are a sign of a police state much in the way that someone breaking the law is a sign of a total breakdown of organized society.”

            …well, a total breakdown of a police state…someone breaking the law is a sign of a flourishing free society.

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          Tom August 24, 2018 at 3:49 pm

          So are police.

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    SD August 23, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Would love to see parking/ traffic violation enforcement at the beginning of the school year at all of the schools- private and PPS- to set the standard. Impulsive drivers and children don’t mix well.
    If parents get away with bad behavior, they will keep doing it all school year, believing that it is ok because no one stops them.

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      John Lascurettes August 23, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      Good point. And most of them seem to fail to grasp the irony of driving their kids to school under the claim that it’s “unsafe” for them to walk or bike because of dangerous drivers, when the most predictably unpredictable and aggressive drivers I experience on a regular basis are parents trying to drop their brood off on time.

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        Middle of the Road Guy August 24, 2018 at 8:46 am

        it’s “For the Children”.

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        Dan A August 24, 2018 at 9:56 am

        OMG, we’re 2 minutes late for 3rd grade! Now you’ll never be able to get a job!

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          q August 24, 2018 at 1:48 pm

          “If you’re late for 3rd grade, don’t bother showing up for 4th grade!”

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            Dan A August 24, 2018 at 5:04 pm

            ha ha

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      paikiala August 24, 2018 at 8:26 am

      PBOT and PPB do this already.

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        Johnny Bye Carter August 24, 2018 at 10:03 am

        All I’ve ever seen is speed limit enforcement. It’s already tough to speed during pick-up or drop-off with all the congestion. What I usually see unenforced is people parking illegally.

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        SD August 24, 2018 at 12:01 pm

        I also have only seen enforcement of the school zone speed limit, but no enforcement directed toward drop off/ pick up illegal parking or cross walk enforcement.

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    John Lascurettes August 23, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    I expect the same sort of uptick for the overpass on NE 12th over I-84 because of Benson HS the week after next. I also expect to see what I usually see: zero enforcement of the 20mph speed limit from NE Irving to Davis as cars accelerate from 20 to 30+ MPH from the overpass. I know, because that’s right were my cyclometer app chimes into my ear that I’m currently riding 19-22 MPH as cars go ripping past me.

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    John Lascurettes August 23, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Wait, so if I’m reading the Tubman flyer correctly, the parent’s drop-off zone for their kids is now in front of the school (on Flint)?

    In the past, parents were explicitly told to do it elsewhere and only buses dropped off in front (not that there weren’t plenty of parents ignoring that — because their kid is more special than yours). That might indeed make things much more “clustery” there than in years past.

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      John Lascurettes August 23, 2018 at 4:05 pm

      One alternate route to avoid most of the cluster is taking Vancover to Tillamook to Flint instead of Vancouver-Russell-Flint (but that introduces another stop sign and takes out one of the more fun sequence of turns when catching the green light at Vancouver-Russell). Oh well.

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      Dan A August 23, 2018 at 8:21 pm

      Schools are doing it wrong. There should be a lane right through the center of school so that kids can be dropped off at the front doors of their classrooms.

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        q August 23, 2018 at 10:03 pm

        I think they already have a plan for the southwest corridor.

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    John August 23, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    What time do classes start at Portland Public Schools? Do the high schools have different times than those stated for Harriett Tubman?

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    B. Carfree August 23, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    The streets within two blocks of schools should not allow drop-off/pick-up except for buses and handicapped. This behavior just makes the streets around schools so dangerous that it encourages more motorized drop-off, which creates more danger and so on.

    Better yet, we really should close the streets adjacent to schools during drop-off/pick-up times. Heaven forfend we actually take the safety of our children more seriously than we take convenience for car-bound people.

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    Johnny Bye Carter August 24, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Looking at the flyer it’s obvious they don’t think any children get to school via bicycle. I hope that’s not true.

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      bendite August 24, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      It’s too dangerous with all the people driving their kids to school.

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    9watts August 26, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Middle of the Road Guy
    Actually, I would argue UK is pretty close to a police state. That country in pretty much entirely covered by closed circuit TV.Recommended 5

    Closed circuit TV is a thing.
    Police states are a thing.
    But your comment does not help us understand the relationship between the two, and I would argue unhelpfully muddles the differences.

    I am going to imagine that one of the chief reasons people might object to a police state is the unfairness, the bias, the arbitrariness with which violence is meted out to certain (groups of) people by enforcement arms of the state. Among the overdeveloped capitalist countries, the US has long (always?) ranked pretty high on this metric. We don’t seem to require a lot of cameras to experience plenty of the characteristics of a police state, and some of the cameras going back at least to the one that captured Rodney King’s beatings by the LAPD have been crucial in pushing back against our police state tendencies.
    The U.K., by contrast, which may as you allege have a much higher saturation of CC TV cameras than we do in the US, ranks considerably better than we do when it comes to police bias. It would seem pretty important to know or understand who is looking at the footage and what they are intend to do with it before making such broad brush claims.
    Care to comment?

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty August 26, 2018 at 2:55 pm

      The reason people are opposed to more government cameras is not because we are a police state but because by building the infrastructure for a police state it makes it more likely we will become one.

      Who knows — we might someday get a president who disdains the rule of law, and is willing to trample all norms of governance in order to enact his agenda or protect himself. Who knows what he might do if he had access to detailed information about his political opponents’ personal lives. It’s happened before, luckily not in our country, but plenty of reasonable people warn it could happen here. Does it not make sense to proceed with caution?

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        9watts August 26, 2018 at 3:03 pm

        Of course we should proceed with caution. But your (and others’) comments on the issue here tend to get so flustered over the camera issue that you skip right over the enforcement concerns that gave rise to the discussion. I’m just asking that you allow that both issues deserve attention.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty August 26, 2018 at 3:13 pm

          I offered a reasonable way to move forward. Make it illegal to store the unneeded footage.

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty August 26, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    I support greater enforcement. I’ve said that dozens of times.

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    Todd Boulanger August 28, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Jonathan – I concur with your warning. In my many years of investigating school zone traffic safety complaints…its usually caused by parents as drivers dropping off/ picking up their children. Traffic safety is a “one-way street” when it comes to these parents.

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