Support BikePortland

ODOT staffer raises eyebrows with series of tweets – UPDATED

Posted by on September 30th, 2019 at 3:12 pm

Tiana Tozer at a PBOT event last Thursday.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Comments about transportation safety made on Twitter last week by Portlander Tiana Tozer have raised eyebrows. While her Twitter account is not an official ODOT communications channel (her profile says, “Opinions are my own”), Tozer is ODOT’s Region 1 transportation safety coordinator and she sits on the Portland Bureau of Transportation Vision Zero Task Force.

Here’s what happened:

Tiana Tozer attended a City of Portland event at Ventura Park Thursday morning. Later that day she replied to a tweet of a video we posted from the event. When someone questioned the effectiveness of holding signs and asking drivers to slow down, Tozer replied: “Ho hum another entitled American sitting back watching people die, but he himself has no solution. How easy it is to criticize. God forbid you should be part of the solution. Don’t strain yourself.”

“No matter how much we engineer our streets, some idiot, like you, will still find a way die on them.”
— Tiana Tozer via Twitter

But that was just the start. Tozer went on to post 47 more tweets in the thread. When another person questioned the event, Tozer replied sarcastically, “… so nice of you to criticize yet you have no better ideas. How superior you must feel. Hopefully you will survive the streets of PDX. Or not.”

Tozer’s comments on such a sensitive topic would have sparked a debate whether or not she was a state employee or member of a high-profile PBOT committee. 14 people have died while walking on Portland streets this year. Next month, Portland State University is hosting a lecture on the “Pedestrian safety crisis in America.”

Tozer, who recently gave a presentation on ODOT’s approach to Vision Zero at an Oregon Institute of Transportation Engineers luncheon, posted replies to our tweet that questioned peoples’ intelligences, advocated for walkers to take more responsibility for their own deaths, and repeatedly downplayed the role of safe infrastructure in saving lives.

Below is a sampling of Tozer’s tweets (all of which she has since deleted):

“… it’s not about infrastructure it’s about behavior but God forbid we actually address personal responsibility.”

“Well considering that 40% of the ped deaths in the last five years were pedestrians illegally in the roadway that’s not the solution either…”

“… Well listen up Stoopid, Genius has its limit, stoopidity knows no bounds. No matter how much we engineer our streets, some idiot, like you, will still find a way die on them.”

“… did you read the police reports or you just make the assumptions based on what you want to think, becuase [sic] when 2019 stats come in 50% of ped deaths if not more will be peds illegally in the roadway.”

Advertisement

“I’m sorry did I say “deserve to die” no. Don’t put words in my mouth. They made choices that resulted in their deaths, did they deserve to die no. But if you know that a 3,000 lbs vehicle can kill you and you don’t follow the rules to keep yourself safe, isn’t that sort of like Choosing to walk through a mine field. Jumping off a cliff without checking the water below. Why do Americans abidcate [sic] all personal responsibility for their safety? If you don’t care about your safety, why is it someone else’s responsibility?”

“And also what about the drivers who were obeying all the rules who have to live with that death? How is that fair? Cars drive on roadways if you stand or walk in the middle of a roadway well it’s a poor choice.”

“… but why as a pedestrian would you walk in the middle of the street in the dark in dark clothes?”

“See if a ped chooses to cross in the middle the street it’s not really an error it’s a choice, like speeding is a choice. And most of the drivers don’t even get cited because they weren’t doing anything illegal.”

“… how will infrastructure protect people from intoxicated drivers cause right now that is the number 1 cause of fatal and serious injuries on the roads in Region 1.”

“… feel free to continue to twist my words to not address the real problem–human behavior.”

“When you decide you want to discuss the facts and deal with reality then we can talk, but I’m done with someone who twists facts and my words to support their own agenda. You are part of the problem.”

“Wow what you know could written on the head of a pin with room to spare.”

“I think what bothers me the most is it seems like we should all be playing our part, drivers, peds, cyclists, scooter riders, but for some reason personal responsibility has no place in American society.”

Many people who saw Tozer’s tweets were surprised to find out she is a state employee and member of a high-profile PBOT task force.

“No justification for her abuse of a taxpayer over a policy/strategy disagreement. And her subsequent blocking of other taxpayers for voicing objections is illegal,” wrote @Tonyatwork. “Wow are you really on @OregonDOT’s Transportation Safety Committee overseeing #VisionZero? That makes you a public official who probably shouldn’t be talking to concerned members of the public this way,” wrote @sarahforpdx, the account of Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone.

While Tozer’s tweets were her personal opinion, her views are in line with her employer. ODOT Transportation Safety Division Manager Troy Costales frequently advocates for more personal responsibility when it comes to preventing crashes. He told a legislative committee back in February that, “94% of the time that there is a crash, it’s because there was a human error involved; some choice that was made, that led to a mistake that led to a crash.” In 2010 Costales shared during an interview with BikePortland that, “being visible and following the rules increases your safety more than anything else.”

In another response to Tozer’s tweets, community organizer Andrew Riley had this to say: “If you’re wondering why many of us are deeply skeptical of ODOT’s commitment to actual traffic safety (and any mode of travel that’s not an SOV or freight truck), your comments here are a perfect example.”

Tozer has blocked many people who were on that thread (including @BikePortland) and deleted all the tweets.

When she’s not working as ODOT’s Portland-area transportation safety coordinator, Tozer is an inspirational speaker and consultant. We’ve reached out to Tozer for comment but have yet to hear back.

UPDATE, 10/3: PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly’s office has shared with us that Tozer has been removed from the City of Portland Vision Zero Task Force. The action comes after several people complained about Tozer’s conduct. ODOT is also aware of the issue and is still investigating.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

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

68 Comments
  • Avatar
    mh September 30, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    “Inspirational speaker,” huh. Perhaps she will have inspired us to help her leave a job she fits poorly.

    Recommended Thumb up 40

  • Avatar
    Middle of the Road Guy September 30, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    I think I’m in love.

    Recommended Thumb up 10

    • Avatar
      mran1984 October 1, 2019 at 11:41 am

      More like a stupidity crisis. Too many people anyway. Naito sucks and it’s getting worse everyday. Thanks for making Portland worse PBOT.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Chris I October 1, 2019 at 12:07 pm

      You can honeymoon in east Portland. You’ll enjoy harassing mothers trying to cross extremely dangerous streets with their small children outside of crosswalks because there are no other options.

      Recommended Thumb up 10

  • Avatar
    Ryan September 30, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    So she’s an ODOT safety coordinator who’s also on PBOT’s VZ task force, and has basically resigned herself to the idea that nothing can really be done to prevent cars from killing people, yet feels that people outside of cars should change their behavior in order to stop getting killed.

    No wonder so many VZ projects seem half-assed, they’ve got people on the flippin’ task force itself that don’t think true VZ implementation will work anyways! If she actually feels this way, why is she even on the task force?!

    Recommended Thumb up 62

    • Avatar
      Bjorn September 30, 2019 at 4:46 pm

      Finding out she is on the Vision Zero committee really reminds me of the Off Road Cycling committee from the City of Portland which also had people on it whose only purpose in being their seemed to be to undermine something they didn’t believe in. Not sure what the point of a Vision Zero committee is if you are going to fill it with folks who seem fundamentally opposed to the concept. At that point just don’t have the committee at all and quit wasting everyone’s time.

      Recommended Thumb up 35

    • Avatar
      9watts September 30, 2019 at 4:50 pm

      “If she actually feels this way, why is she even on the task force?!”

      Maybe the same reason Karl Rove was a Republican: to starve the thing she despises and drown it in the bathtub.

      Recommended Thumb up 11

      • Avatar
        Paul Cone September 30, 2019 at 8:46 pm

        I think you mean Grover Norquist.

        Recommended Thumb up 9

        • Avatar
          9watts September 30, 2019 at 10:55 pm

          I think you’re right. Got me Republicans mixed up.

          Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Avatar
      meh October 1, 2019 at 6:17 am

      Isn’t VZ about infrastructure that enforces the rules? As in it stops people from crossing mid street in the dark. To say every incident is the fault of drivers is wrong. Even the definition of vision zero say road users are responsible. Road users include drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and now scooter riders. If everyone doesn’t sign on to the plan it doesn’t work and that includes those who speed, ignore traffic control devices and jaywalk.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • Avatar
        9watts October 1, 2019 at 6:21 am

        Vision Zero is about responsibility, but it is mostly about (avoiding) harm. And as everyone paying attention knows, the harm in the vast majority of the cases arises due to some combination of speed and (in)attention of the person behind the wheel. That is the menace and that is what Vision Zero rightly focuses on containing by a variety of means.

        Recommended Thumb up 4

      • Avatar
        paikiala October 1, 2019 at 8:28 am

        Vision Zero is a repackaging of Safe Systems. Safe Systems is a holistic approach to eliminating serious and fatal crashes (not all crashes).

        The best Safe Systems/Vision Zero programs attack the problem from multiple points (see Haddon matrix). Some of the factors we can influence locally, and some are state issues, while some are Federal.

        Local: better roads, better system users, better enforcement and better adjudication, better emergency response.

        State: better road standards, better laws, better road user testing, directed safety funding based on risk and life cycle costs.

        Federal: better vehicles/standards, better road standards, better laws.

        Recommended Thumb up 10

  • Avatar
    Suburban September 30, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    It was nice of her to volunteer her time last Thursday to a cause she cares about. She’d be a great interview for BP!

    Recommended Thumb up 7

  • Avatar
    Johnny Bye Carter September 30, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    These are the types of things that get you fired. Employers don’t like when you make them look bad.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • Avatar
      Dan September 30, 2019 at 5:13 pm

      I don’t know, this is pretty much just the ODOT party line, right? They might not see this as making them look bad, it’s probably community engagement from their perspective.

      Recommended Thumb up 39

      • Avatar
        jered bogli October 1, 2019 at 9:29 am

        ZING!
        and spot on.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Avatar
    Nick Welch September 30, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    > God forbid we actually address personal responsibility.

    I’m really curious how she would propose to increase transportation safety by addressing personal responsibility. What does that plan look like?

    Recommended Thumb up 38

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty September 30, 2019 at 4:38 pm

      Cheerleaders, mostly.

      Recommended Thumb up 17

    • Avatar
      Dan A September 30, 2019 at 4:46 pm

      If everyone’s personally responsible, what do we need a Transportation Safety Coordinator for?

      Recommended Thumb up 26

    • Avatar
      Bjorn September 30, 2019 at 4:52 pm

      When she was posting the rant I looked through some of her other tweets. She was injured by a drunk driver and I think her solution is just that if everyone would follow the rules, especially when it comes to drinking and driving everything would be fine and no one would be hurt or killed and there would be no need to try to make any infrastructure safer. She seems to view the cause of every incident as someone not doing what they should be doing. This is of course basically the exact opposite of the thinking behind Vision Zero, which starts from the standpoint of there being no ethically acceptable level of traffic violence and therefore requiring that not just road users but also road designers bear responsibility for road safety.

      Recommended Thumb up 51

      • Avatar
        Carlin October 1, 2019 at 11:09 am

        From what I read in your comment and Tianna Tozer’s tweets, I can still see that she believes in Vision Zero. VZ is about getting people to do the right thing, and the frustration expressed by Tianna is that we wouldn’t have to spend money on roadway modifications if people just followed the rules. What she seems to fail to understand is that people are imperfect beings and will always be, so the infrastructure improvements are necessary.

        Let me put it another way. Imagine that a parent is tired of dealing with child gates and cabinet locks, and tweets their frustration. If only their child would stop trying to hurt themselve’s! The parent isn’t advocating against those safety precautions, but rather expressing their frustration at needing them. The child isn’t meeting their expectations and making their life more difficult.

        I think Tianna Tozer is frustrated with irrational road users and possibly tired of babying them.

        Recommended Thumb up 8

  • Avatar
    2012 September 30, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    Watching this unfold in real time was intense.

    Her latest tweet, for those of you who’ve been blocked, reads:
    “Irony–recovering from your 36th surgery after being run over by an intoxicated driver and being taken to task by transportation “advocates” for victim blaming.”
    Followed by a photo of a bandaged right foot.

    So in other words even if you “take personal responsibility” and follow all the rules of the road, you can still get hit and injured/killed. Just like what nearly everyone replying to her comments was trying to say.
    #selfawarewolves

    Recommended Thumb up 38

    • Avatar
      Chris I October 1, 2019 at 12:16 pm

      She’s clearly been through a traumatic experience, and everyone copes in different ways. Given her job, she can’t really accept that infrastructure can be the problem; that people are just inherently dangerous drivers. Her personal cause is now to emphasize that people can change and makes things safer. It’s a brighter future than the one we are actually in: where this will never get better. People will continue getting mowed down for many decades.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Avatar
    briandavispdx September 30, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    Regardless of what one personally may think of traffic safety and Vision Zero (and I personally quibble with several elements of VZ), the concept of Vision Zero itself is specific and well defined:

    “The basic thinking can be summarized in one simple sentence: In every situation a person might fail, the road system should not.”

    (source: https://youtu.be/EkcAZQOzJV0)

    It’s a little hard to square this statement with the idea of holding signs and cheering drivers, which is why I think community members (myself included) were upset that this action was held up under the guise of VZ. The subsequent tirade from someone who appears to be influential at both the city and state level, ostensibly in defense of this hard-to-square measure, furthers the impression that there is a fundamental misunderstanding of Vision Zero at the highest levels. In that light, it’s no surprise that fatalities are sharply up this year.

    If the City is not willing to buy into this concept from bottom to top, then Portland is by definition not a Vision Zero city. We should either stop using the term, or act in a way that is consistent with what VZ *actually* is rather than the false and cynical version to which Tiana (perhaps not alone) subscribes.

    Recommended Thumb up 63

    • Avatar
      Bjorn September 30, 2019 at 4:56 pm

      Agreed, I could sort of care less about the course language, the problem is that I am not even sure she knows what Vision Zero is, and if she does she doesn’t agree with it. That isn’t the kind of person who should be on a Vision Zero task force if the goal is implementing it, it is the kind of person who you put on a Vision Zero task force when you goal is filibustering until the idea goes away and you can get back to widening freeways.

      Recommended Thumb up 29

    • Avatar
      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 1, 2019 at 4:40 pm

      nominating this for comment of the week. thanks briandavispdx

      Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Avatar
      Pete October 6, 2019 at 6:04 pm

      Bingo! There are many techniques that can be used even with just paint that can contribute to safety improvements for peds and cyclists. Buffered bike lanes *with actual hashes*, advance stop lines at crosswalks, and even just consistency in travel lane width and bike lane placement (not too far right, especially to the right of right turn lanes or popular right turns).

      Oh, and then there’s Enforcement…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    9watts September 30, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Car Head.

    Whether she is fired or not, ODOT should fire itself. To think, Sweden’s version of ODOT INVENTED Vision Zero.
    ODOT has no vision, no accountability, and no soul.

    Recommended Thumb up 24

  • Avatar
    Buzz September 30, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Wow, our own little ***inappropriate personal insult deleted by moderator***, right here inside ODOT!

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Avatar
      Buzz September 30, 2019 at 9:01 pm

      let me re-phrase that; mini*Drumpf

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Avatar
    Mark smith September 30, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    Look, this is just an indicator of how most folks at odot thinks. And, this is how a woman thinks there, not a man. I say that because in general, I feel women think through things better than men. But being human, this woman is (like everyone else) limited to her surroundings and influencers and influences. So now we have a true reading of odot. And we can’t just blame some mouth breathing prroud boy wannabee tech bro dude who works at odot.

    And that opinion is, you on a bike or on the sidewalk (if there is one) are basically a character in frogger.

    That’s how she thinks and justnrealize, she is the tamest of the frogger bunch.

    So yeah, until guidance comes from the top, it ain’t gonna change. we are just cattle for the odot meat grinder.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • TonyT
    TonyT September 30, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    “and repeatedly downplayed the role of safe infrastructure in saving lives”

    And that right there is why she has no business speaking about or have anything to do with Vision Zero in Portland. She needs to be removed from that task force.

    Many of these tweets have been archived, btw. Her worst tweets are particularly outrageous because she was responding to people who were of simple criticism. One person making a civil, level-headed comment was called “stoopid” and an “idiot” by her. I’m really surprised Jonathan didn’t quote that one in full. It really is the most damning tweet.

    She needs to be off Portland’s Vision Zero Task Force.

    Recommended Thumb up 26

  • Avatar
    CarHelmets September 30, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    This “transportation safety coordinator” can’t possibly still be on the PBOT Vision Zero Task Force after such a toxic victim-blaming rant like that.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Avatar
    John Lascurettes September 30, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    “And also what about the drivers who were obeying all the rules who have to live with that death? How is that fair?

    It’s not. The person who died still got fucked much worse.

    Recommended Thumb up 20

  • Avatar
    Bjorn September 30, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Having learned a bit more about Ms. Tozer I find it all the more concerning that someone who has felt the sting of having her injuries which were the result of a drunk driver hitting the car she was riding in blamed on her decision not to wear a seat belt feels this way.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Avatar
    Mike Quigley October 1, 2019 at 6:42 am

    Any wonder why nothing gets done about Portland’s traffic nightmare?

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Avatar
      David Hampsten October 2, 2019 at 9:39 am

      I’m sure it has nothing to do with the high cost of improvements and the unwillingness of Oregon residents to tax themselves to pay for it…

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Avatar
    Stephen October 1, 2019 at 7:58 am

    It just seems like she misses the whole point of safety. Obviously all people should be responsible and 100% focused at all times. But it would be laughable to expect that behavior from everyone 100% of the time. We need safe systems in place to mitigate failure.

    “Safety engineering is an engineering discipline which assures that engineered systems provide acceptable levels of safety. … Safety engineering assures that a life-critical system behaves as needed, even when components fail.”

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • Avatar
    Gary B October 1, 2019 at 9:02 am

    Can someone clue me in: what’s a pedestrian illegally in the roadway mean? Is she talking about mid-block crossing? Does she know that’s not illegal in Oregon (failure to yield ROW excepted)? I’m going to assume the actual statistic for a pedestrian “illegally in the roadway” is something very much smaller than 40%.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Avatar
      Carlin October 1, 2019 at 11:14 am

      I regularly witness pedestrians and cyclists crossing the street against the light. That is illegal in Oregon. Pedestrians can get around that law by jaywalking outside of the crosswalk, but that seems more like bending the rules than totally legal behavior.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    bikeninja October 1, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Sheesh! Just what we need, the Ayn Rand of Transportation Policy.

    Recommended Thumb up 10

  • Avatar
    Bjorn October 1, 2019 at 9:49 am

    Recently learned that Portland does have a law requiring use of a crosswalk if there is one within 150 feet. Probably something that it would be good to get removed as it likely only serves to remove liability from a person driving a car when there is a collision.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty October 1, 2019 at 9:52 am

      It may also reduce the number of pedestrians being struck by vehicles, unless you believe that crossing at a crosswalk is no safer than crossing elsewhere.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Avatar
        Bjorn October 1, 2019 at 11:40 am

        If it is a busy time then crossing midblock may be less safe than crossing at an intersection, however if traffic flow is light midblock can be safer as you only need to worry about cars coming from 2 directions and traveling in a straight line rather than looking for cars coming from 4 directions and discerning if the car will continue straight or turn instead. People should be free to select what they feel is the safest point to cross. Jaywalking laws almost uniformly were put in at the behest of motorists who don’t want their motoring interfered with rather than due to actual studies showing that jaywalking laws = safety.

        Recommended Thumb up 11

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty October 1, 2019 at 2:00 pm

          Why would a pedestrian crossing safely interfere with other users of the road?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Pete October 6, 2019 at 6:10 pm

            In the case of a driver turning right on red, it might force them to have to turn their head to the right rather than scanning for oncoming cars through their green – or even worse, actually stop before the crosswalk (if at all).

            Sorry, I was hit by a car while in a crosswalk on a walk light. IMO we should ban the right-turn-on-red-after-optional-stop driver convenience law here in the states for a year and gather some data. It was actually on this blog where I learned there is a federal law potentially withholding funds from states which don’t make provisions for this driver convenience.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Dan A October 6, 2019 at 7:43 pm

              Were you hit in a crosswalk by a driver turning with a red light?

              Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Ryan October 1, 2019 at 12:42 pm

        It’s not even necessarily a jaywalking thing. The fact that most drivers aren’t aware of the “every intersection is a crosswalk” law in Oregon gives them the perception that so many pedestrians are “in the road illegally”. The further east you go it seems, the further apart marked crosswalks are. And if it doesn’t have flashing lights or at least stripes, most drivers don’t consider it a crosswalk. The days I drive into work, I see a lot of people crossing at legal, unmarked crosswalks, and drivers get pissed because they think they have no right to be there. I’ve even had to correct a family member who complained that a lady was “too lazy to walk to the crosswalk” while pushing a stroller and had two other young kids walking with her, even though she was doing nothing wrong.

        A large portion of our society has this view that pedestrians and cyclists constantly ignore laws, and I think a major reason for that is that most drivers are ignorant of the laws that don’t apply directly to driving (or even many that do). This ignorance then infests law enforcement and road policy/design. It allows someone walking home from the bus stop at 10pm in the rain to be chastised for not wearing a reflective vest and carrying a flashlight, while the cars cruising by at 43mph in a 35mph zone in the same conditions are considered normal and safe as long as the drivers aren’t drunk. It’s what makes a driver who just hit a cyclist/pedestrian feel like it must be the victim’s fault because they don’t think they did anything wrong, and makes the police/rest of the driving populace agree with them.

        Recommended Thumb up 16

        • Avatar
          Chris I October 2, 2019 at 8:58 am

          I still remember the time a few years back, standing on the corner of NE Halsey with two small children, waiting patiently for a break in traffic to cross (because we were at an unmarked crosswalk, no one was stopping). A middle-aged man literally stopped his car right in front of us, rolled down his window, and screamed at us to use a crosswalk before speeding off. This is what we are dealing with.

          Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Avatar
    Fred October 1, 2019 at 10:20 am

    Here is a specific example to show why Ms. Tozer’s way of thinking is so harmful.

    On SW Capitol Hwy, south of Barbur, there is an elementary school, a library, and Holly Farm Park on the west side of the street. Many apts and houses are located on the east side of the street. A few years ago a skateboarding structure was built in the park, Despite the popularity of the skate park, library, etc, there is no crosswalk on SW Capitol Hwy: any person and especially any kid crossing SW Capitol is at risk.

    Until a few weeks ago, SW Capitol Hwy was a four-lane “neighborhood highway.” I would see kids trying to cross the street, and it truly was a game of “frogger,” as someone mentioned. Now the street has two travel lanes for motor vehicles, a center turn lane, two bike lanes, and a buffered area. But still no crosswalk to make sure people can safely get to the park, though at least now when one car stops at the “unmarked” crosswalk, it’s more likely that all cars will stop.

    If SW Capitol were an ODOT street, under the purview of people like Ms. Tozer, it never would have been redesigned to even its current less-unsafe state, cuz what the heck – we know it’s a dangerous world out there and every kid takes her chances when crossing four lanes of neighborhood freeway to get to the skate park.

    No one who thinks the way Ms Tozer does, about the inevitably of death/injuries and our collective inability to do anything about our built transportation infrastructure, should have anything to do with setting transportation policy in Oregon.

    Recommended Thumb up 18

  • Avatar
    Jim Lee October 1, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    I have reviewed the complicated three-level structure of the original Vision Zero project. Here is how it broke down:

    Level 1–”Executive Committee,” 13 members, all political “heavy hitters,” the first 4 being Charlie Hales, Steve Novick, Leah Treat, Larry O’Dea, a quaternity that has wholly vanished for various reasons.

    Level 2–”Task Force,” 25 members, composed of middle level bureaucrats, social activists, civic organizations, commercial interests, AAA, AARP. ODOT Region 1 “Policy & Development Manager” Kelly Brooks headed this list; perhaps Tiana Tozer as ODOT Region 1 “Transportation Safety Coordinator” is ODOT’s replacement. Both Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Oregon Trucking Association were members. Strange bedfellows!

    Level 3–”Technical Support,” 32 members, mostly people with actual technical knowledge, whose apparent function was to validate the “policy choices” of the “Task Force” worthies.

    The “Task Force” was and is the core of the operation, the “Executive Committee” serving to provide political cover. So Tozer sits high on the policy pecking order.

    As our City’s traffic deaths for 2019 cruise toward 50, perhaps 60, surely every objective observer will understand that Vision Zero always has been a touchy-feely public relations flim-flam with no substantive experimental or theoretical basis. A self-serving ego-trip for the civically involved.

    One almost must admire Leah Treat’s clever contrivance of this rung on her career ladder at our City’s expense, and her perfectly timed departure just as its inherent and predicted failure became perspicuous.

    I almost admire Tina Tozer too, as the anti Leah Treat. At least she is forthright.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Avatar
      David Hampsten October 2, 2019 at 9:36 am

      My own community’s VZ committee is just as silly and useless. VZ was always about political posturing by local politicians wanting to look like they were doing something about the increasing traffic deaths caused by cheap fuel, faster cars, and minimal government. The fact that the Oregon Democratic Party-controlled state legislature actually raised the interstate speed limit after several high-profile roadway deaths says volumes about Oregon’s attitude towards roadway safety.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    q October 1, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    She may be using a personal account for her tweets, but she’s bringing her same hateful attitude and misguided beliefs to her job.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Avatar
    The Dude October 1, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    Unfortunately, as many others have said, these views of transportation and human behavior simply are not compatible with this kind of job competently. Tiana Tozer should resign or be removed from her position.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Avatar
      q October 1, 2019 at 4:47 pm

      Yes, and it looks to me like she’s not doing her job–as an ODOT Safety Coordinator (!) –well, so she’s lashing out with excuses, blaming victims for being stupid, saying infrastructure won’t make a difference…anything to say there’s nothing more she or ODOT can do for safety.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Avatar
    idlebytes October 2, 2019 at 7:55 am

    “… did you read the police reports or you just make the assumptions based on what you want to think, becuase [sic] when 2019 stats come in 50% of ped deaths if not more will be peds illegally in the roadway.”

    I wonder how she arrived at that number. Of the 14 people killed this year in Portland 7 were in a crosswalk 1 on the sidewalk and 1 on a park boat ramp. The remaining 5 that were in the roadway drivers left the scene for 2 of them. Of the 3 where the driver remained 1 it appears the person was on the side of the road closing a gate. So for 2 fatalities of the 14 this year the pedestrian was illegally in the roadway, the driver remained at the scene and we have only the driver’s word that they were paying attention and couldn’t avoid the collision. She could have also said “when 2019 stats come in 50% of the ped deaths if not more will be from drivers that left the scene” So far it’s 6 out of 14.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Avatar
      Chris I October 2, 2019 at 8:59 am

      I’m sure she thinks that the 5 year-old at the boat ramp was somehow at fault. He should have known better, right?

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Avatar
        q October 2, 2019 at 1:12 pm

        The child who died at the boat ramp in Willamette Park was actually run over by his own father. Witnesses said they saw the boy standing on the boat trailer before he was run over by it. There are some safety failings at that area (a missing stop sign, plantings that obscure vision, no tactile warnings, etc.) that I reported to Parks, but those didn’t seem to be relevant to this death.

        HOWEVER, the next weekend, there was a PBOT work truck parked right next to the crosswalk only 20′ or so from the tiny memorial where the boy was run over. The two employees sat in it for a half hour or more doing who knows what. Their truck blocked visibility between people walking and biking in the crosswalk, and trucks with boats and trailers backing in and out of the ramp. It was a very busy sunny afternoon, so lots of conflicts and commotion. There were hundreds of other places in the park they could have parked, including spaces a few feet away. The view of the water was better where they were, though. Proudly displayed on the back of the truck was its orange ”VISION ZERO” bumper sticker.

        City trucks with VISION ZERO stickers park on the Willamette Greenway Trail often, without any need. I’ve complained and got either no response or bureaucratic, “We always follow all safety rules because safety is our priority” responses. Ironically, some of the worst offenders were trucks involved in creating a “safer” rail crossing. (The park maintenance staff, who really does need to use the trail for maintenance, generally tries hard to be courteous and safe, in contrast.)

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Avatar
    Pau Juckniess October 2, 2019 at 10:41 am

    There is a lot to be said about personal responsibility. As a cyclist in the road of over 50 years and ped in a very unfriendly place in MI. One of the only reasons I’ve avoided crashes and injury has been being personally responsible . Expect for others not to follow the rules!!

    Ms. Tozer as a private citizen has a right to voice her option. In this case she is actually doing people a public service by actually admitting that at this time your not going to design out risk and that you as cyclist or a ped need to be aware.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Avatar
      q October 2, 2019 at 12:24 pm

      She has the right to express her beliefs, and it’s reasonable for people to respond back that someone with those opinions (which go far beyond saying people must take personal responsibility) shouldn’t retain her position at ODOT or on the Vision Zero group.

      And do you really believe there’s anyone who believes risk can be “designed out” or that pedestrians don’t need to be aware? I’ve never met one such person in my life, or seen one comment ever here that shows anyone believes that. So what’s the “public service” in telling people what they already know?

      What she’s doing is blaming our unsafe streets on people having those attitudes, which draws attention away from the real problems. That’s not a public service. It’s self-serving interference with finding actual solutions.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Avatar
    MARK SMITH October 2, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    Once better naito is permanent, it will be much better.

    mran1984
    More like a stupidity crisis. Too many people anyway. Naito sucks and it’s getting worse everyday. Thanks for making Portland worse PBOT.Recommended 0

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    are you serious??? October 3, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    super late comment, Tozer is literally the stuff of nightmares

    but hey, bring on the boulders!!!!

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 3, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    UPDATE, 10/3: PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly’s office has shared with us that Tozer has been removed from the City of Portland Vision Zero Task Force. The action comes after several people complained about Tozer’s conduct. ODOT is also aware of the issue and is still investigating.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • Avatar
    Jason October 11, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    Who loves irony? “…but for some reason personal responsibility has no place in American society” And with that, you’re fired.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Avatar