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Police stopped 34 people during a ‘crosswalk enforcement mission’: Here’s what they got cited for

Posted by on January 25th, 2019 at 1:29 pm

East Glisan at 134th Place.

The City of Portland recently conducted one of their regularly scheduled “crosswalk enforcement missions” (a.k.a. traffic stings) on Northeast Glisan at 134th Place. Portland Police Bureau officers made about one stop every three minutes during the 90-minute mission and handed out a mix of citations and warnings for everything from careless driving to failure to wear a seatbelt.

These missions aren’t new. We’ve reported on them since 2008 (when a PBOT staffer acting as a decoy was nearly run down). As per usual, PBOT announces the location beforehand (in this case, a daunting section of Glisan that’s slated for safety updates this coming spring) and then issues a follow-up statement about how many stops where made. This time however, they shared a specific list of infractions. The list gives us a tiny window into the rampant abuse of traffic laws that happens all over our city every hour of every day.

On Wednesday, Traffic Division officers made 34 stops, issued 28 citations and gave six warnings (15 of the people stopped opted to take the driver safety education class in lieu of fines). Here’s the breakdown of violations:

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Failure to Stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian: 12 citations and 5 warnings

Failure to Carry proof of insurance: 3 citations

Passing a vehicle stopped for a crosswalk: 1citation

Driving With a Suspended License : 5 citations

Failure to wear a seatbelt: 1 warning

Driving uninsured: 2 citations

Cell phone use: 2 citations

Switched plates: 1 citation

Failure to Register Vehicle: 1 citation

Careless Driving: 1 citation

Keep in mind that the intersection of 134th Place has a marked and signed crossing that includes a median island. Imagine how many people they would have caught if this was held at a completely unmarked crosswalk.

Thankfully PBOT has changes planned for this stretch of Glisan that should improve driver behavior and make it safer to use and cross. Learn more about the upcoming project here.

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

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J_R
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J_R

Part of the sentence for the offending motorist should be 1 1/2 hour stint as the “decoy pedestrian” in a subsequent enforcement action. THAT would change behavior.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

So, when you’re caught driving without a license or insurance, what happens? Here’s your ticket, bye bye?

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

The roads around the golf course out this way are pretty nuts. People regularly go 50+mph, and rapid lane changes are common.

Also interested to see that roughly 1/6th of the people stopped were either driving uninsured, unlicensed, or both. Terrifying.

SilkySlim
Guest
SilkySlim

Geeez, epic fail of Portland’s trial period for cars.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

This is a window in to the extent of the problem with the growth in dangerous motorists. The motoring public has morphed from a generally law abiding group with a few bad apples thrown in to more of a lawless pirate army . From the percentage of citations given to drivers who haven’t even reached the low bar of driving while properly licensed or insured it is not exaggerating to say that the streets have come to resemble the video game “Grand Theft Auto”. Time to pare back the number of streets these scofflaws are allowed to terrorize on and build up the ones for the non-motorized crowd.

Allan Rudwick
Subscriber

I’m curious how much this sort of thing costs to do. Presumably a lot despite the income from tickets that get paid on the other end. Otherwise it seems like we would be doing a lot more of this

Jim Chasse
Guest
Jim Chasse

Keep in mind that the intersection of 134th Place has a marked and signed crossing that includes a median island. Imagine how many people they would have caught if this was held at a completely unmarked crosswalk.

I happened to have the chance to witness a few minutes of the enforcement operation. Note that the marked crosswalk is not signalized and there is no pedestrian lighting at this location, nor are there any plans to upgrade the crosswalk. I stayed for about 10 minutes, but couldn’t stomach watching someone cross again, and again, even with law enforcement officers present. It will remain a dangerous crossing until more upgrades are done.
IMO some traffic enforcement need to be done at night in the dark. When drivers give the excuse that “I didn’t see them”, after a fatal incident, this crossing is a perfect example of why that would be a good excuse.
I also noted that the center median sign had been previously damaged by an impact and the plastic wands with reflective tape had been struck and were in poor condition.
It seems to me that saving lives at crosswalks is as important as issuing citations. If PBOT is going to build safe crossings, this is a great example of what not to build.

Jon
Guest
Jon

Based on the word “citation” I’m guess it was all catch and release. It sure seems like anyone driving with a suspended licence should have been arrested and put in jail. 5 out of 34 stops were people driving with a suspended licence! Clearly it is far too easy to get and keep a car.

Doug Hecker
Guest
Doug Hecker

It’s what happens when we continually vote for city council members who could give 2 cents about policing. This shouldn’t be a surprise. I know, we’d all like to believe the pipe dream of infrastructure but what does it mean if no one is rarely held accountable? The city has one team of traffic enforcement cops and you essentially have to beg for them to show up, which comes in the form of a sting, much like this.

q
Guest
q

I’d love to see more of these done at unmarked crossings.

I’d also love to see a list created of crossings that are considered legal but that are so sketchy that police would not be willing to do a sting, because drivers could come up with reasonable excuses (the 6′ tall bush blocked my view of the pedestrian, the crossing wasn’t marked and wasn’t at a corner, etc.).

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

The high number of bad drivers who also have no license or insurance combined with Oregon’s rampant hit and run problem convinced me to increase the insurance that I carry. I increased my motor vehicle insurance limits to 500000 dollars per “accident” and then obtained a 1 million dollar umbrella policy on top of that. It was not as expensive as I expected it to be and as much as it makes me very angry to have to pay for this largely because others refuse to follow the law I think it is worth doing for the piece of mind. Really the minimum insurance levels in oregon have not even come close to keeping up with inflation and should be raised significantly IMHO.

soren
Guest
soren

Keep in mind that the intersection of 134th Place has a marked and signed crossing that includes a median island. Imagine how many people they would have caught if this was held at a completely unmarked crosswalk.

Also keep in mind that motorists are warned about these actions with signs installed by PBOT well in advance of the crosswalk.

Matt Meskill
Subscriber
Matt Meskill

Talk about “dangerous by design!” That stretch of road looks like a drag strip. Time for some serious redesign on so many of these east Portland roads and others I’m sure.

Doug Klotz
Subscriber

Jonathan: Thanks for reporting on this. Glad to see that some violators were cited.
For a previous enforcement action, I asked the Pedestrian Coordinator for a similar breakdown of the results. The response I got was that I’d have to file a public records request to get that information. Did you have to do that?
(Also, did you learn what time of day this one took place?)

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

Things are looking up. Not a single DUII.

Mark smith
Guest
Mark smith

It’s really quite simple. If you don’t have proper insurance, or your license isn’t in order, the car is towed. The police will pay for a taxi up to 20 miles.

People will get their act together quick enough, or they won’t. And…then it’s fewer cars on the street that should not be.

Johnny Bye Carter
Subscriber
Johnny Bye Carter

Driving With a Suspended License : 5 citations
Driving uninsured: 2 citations
Switched plates: 1 citation
Failure to Register Vehicle: 1 citation

By my math the people that got these 9 out of the 34 (citations and warning) shouldn’t have been driving. That’s 26% of the people they caught breaking the law.

I know these numbers are nothing new but it seems as if they’re staying steady instead of declining.

Keeping people from driving is something that technology should be taking care of very soon.

OldRider
Guest
OldRider

Matt Meskill
Talk about “dangerous by design!” That stretch of road looks like a drag strip. Time for some serious redesign on so many of these east Portland roads and others I’m sure.Recommended 3

>>Talk about “dangerous by design!”

I USED to ride Glisan from 122 to 139. Then they put in the dumb “bioswales”. They force a bike out into traffic and too close to fast cars.

no more, it’s back to Burnside for me.

JeffP
Guest
JeffP

Tim
You don’t get to drive it away. Either someone comes and picks it up or they tow it. Pretty similar to a DUII.Recommended 5

This approach may have changed but it was not a few years ago a family member was rear-ended by a non-insured/expired license driver – against the insistence of the offending driver the authorities were called. The driver left the scene, in his car, as the driver. The sheriff deputy said he had no grounds to keep that from happening and the guy said he needed to get to his job. YMMV. I believe in Oregon, a high priority to a persons employment in given when penalties and/or enforcement is handed out.
[Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy; Raleigh Hills; Washington County SO.

Matt S.
Guest
Matt S.

Police call East Portland, the wild wild east. These stops are a reason why. People don’t play by the rules.

JamesonP
Guest
JamesonP

This section of Glisan IS slated for upgrades – much needed and long overdue. But pushback from motorists and people who do not live directly off of Glisan is endangering parts of this project. This was largely due to negative press in the Mid-County Memo, which is now defunct. Please contact Timur Ender at PBOT to let him know you support the E Glisan safety improvements. Lives depend on it!
Timur.Ender@portlandoregon.gov