Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 17th, 2018 at 1:41 pm
Brendon Constans read our story about the free helmet giveaway and safety education event held in downtown Portland last week and felt his perspective as a transit vehicle operator would help the discussion.
Here’s what Brendon had to say (via Facebook):
“I have been a public transit operator for 7 years (TriMet bus operator, MAX operator, now Streetcar operator) and see the behavior of all road users on a regular basis throughout my shifts.
Here’s what I know from my experience:
Portland rarely, if ever, enforces the rules against car drivers either.
I see gross negligence by motorists all day, everyday.
Yesterday, I had at least five cars make illegal right turns in front of the streetcar from the left lane. I saw a box truck run a solidly red light, without even slowing down, and almost mow down a pedestrian in a crosswalk that had their walk signal. I saw 8 cars over four separate instances waiting at red left turn arrows decide they didn’t want to wait anymore, and just went through their red lights; If someone had been in the crosswalk where they were turning, they could have hit and potentially killed them. I saw countless cars driving well above the 20 MPH Central City speed limit. At almost every single signalized intersection, I saw cars gunning it to make it through the yellow light or going through after it had already turned red. I saw DOZENS of cars turn right on red lights that were clearly marked ‘NO TURN ON RED’. I saw countless cars turning and changing lanes and cutting me off without using their turning signals. I saw almost every car that came to a stop sign roll right through it or barely stop, often ignoring another car who’s turn it was to go or a pedestrian that had already entered the crosswalk.
And that’s just a small sampling from ONE Portland Streetcar operator over ONE 10 hour shift.
Then there was the Uber that ran a red light night before last forcing a MAX train to slam on it’s breaks and crash into them, which could have killed the Uber passengers heading to the airport (luckily they survived). And the commercial truck that made a sudden left turn from the middle lane without signalling directly in the path of a Streetcar, causing it to derail and significantly damaging it.
So until police and/or more cameras start actually enforcing the laws on the multi-ton machines that regularly break the laws and kill 40,000 people a year, people need to calm the frack down about the occasional annoying scooter rider. They are not the problem. Our car culture and lack of safe/protected space to walk/ride/scoot is the problem.”
Thanks for sharing that with us Brendon.
If you see a great comment on our stories (whether it’s on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or elsewhere) please let us know about it.
Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.
BikePortland needs your support.