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Grieving moms make traffic deaths real as Portland proclaims ‘Day of Remembrance’

Posted by on November 13th, 2019 at 1:17 pm

Group photo after proclamation was read at Portland City Council this morning.
Left to right: Commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty and Chloe Eudaly; Oregon/SW Washington Families for Safe Streets volunteers Michelle DuBarry, Darla Sturdy, Kim Stone, and David Sale; Commissioner Nick Fish; Mayor Ted Wheeler.

Mayor Ted Wheeler announced at today’s City Council meeting that Portland will join a global movement by marking November 17th as World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

The proclamation’s current death toll is already out of date.

Created by the United Nations, this day is observed to bring awareness to the toll of traffic violence, which claims 1.35 million lives worldwide each year and is the leading cause of death for people 5 to 29 years of age.

So far this year 44 people have died in traffic crashes in Portland.

This global scourge was made very local — and very real — in council chambers today. The Street Trust organized testimony of three women from the group Oregon/SW Washington Families For Safe Streets: Darla Sturdy, Kim Stone, and Michelle DuBarry. Each one of them had a child who was killed while using a Portland street.

Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly introduced the women and teared up while delivering her opening remarks. “Every traffic death is… [tearing up]… I’m sorry, this is personal for me as I know it is for many of you.” “Just this year we’ve lost 44 lives despite our best efforts with vision zero,” she continued, “and the traffic death toll continues to climb.” Eudaly said it will take more than PBOT’s engineering and educational efforts to stem the tragic tide. “We need all Portlanders to make a commitment to safe driving and we need to exercise caution just as as much as we need to increase enforcement.”

Enforcement came up several times this morning. All commissioners except Jo Ann Hardesty expressed strong support for more of it and Wheeler even hinted that money for more traffic enforcement officers would be proposed in the upcoming budget process.

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(L to R) Darla Sturdy, Kim Stone, and Michelle DuBarry during their testimony.

“Thank you for recognizing this day. But the truth is the proclamation rings a little hollow to the mom of a 1-year-old who was killed on a two block walk to the grocery store.”
— Michelle DuBarry

After Eudaly spoke, Darla Sturdy shared her experience with traffic violence. Her son Aaron Sturdy was 16 years old when he was killed while biking through a MAX light rail crossing. “My son had a saying: Dream big. Don’t ever let little things get in your way,” Study shared. “To me, that means I cannot save him, but I can save others.”

Kim Stone, whose 25 year-old son Joe was walking in a marked crosswalk in 2008 when a careless driver ran into him said, “Every day is remembrance day for us.”

The day’s most powerful testimony came from Michelle DuBarry. An advocate for traffic crash victim insurance reform who helped pass a bill in the Oregon Legislature last session, DuBarry’s 1 year-old son was killed in a crash in north Portland nine years ago. He was in a stroller being pushed by his father in a crosswalk on North Lombard at Interstate after buying groceries at Fred Meyer.

“My son’s stroller was pinned to a telephone pole by the car,” DuBarry shared. “He was rushed to the hospital and endured two surgeries and a night in intensive care, and died the next day.” Then DuBarry’s tone shifted from mom to activist:

“In the news stories, the crash was portrayed as a random accident, a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But as the years have passed and hundreds more people have died on Portland streets, I wonder, are these events really random or are they the result of systemic failures? Are they signs that our city has decided some people are not worth protecting if it means inconveniencing drivers? What if we had smarter crosswalk designs, better lighting, physically separated bike lanes and sidewalks in every neighborhood? What if we lowered speed limits, added red light cameras, and consistently enforced traffic laws? What if we had fewer highways and parking lots in our city center and free, reliable public transit? How many lives could we have saved in the last 10 years, and would my son have been among them?

What does it say about our city that we haven’t taken stronger measures to protect our most vulnerable residents even as we purport to embrace vision zero?

Thank you for recognizing this day. But the truth is the proclamation rings a little hollow to the mom of a 1-year-old who was killed on a two block walk to the grocery store. From where I sit, things have gotten worse: Cars are killing our children, our neighbors, and our planet. I urge you to take meaningful action and prioritize people over cars.”

After that searing testimony, commissioners commented prior to adopting the proclamation.

“Clearly, we need to work faster,” said Commissioner Hardesty.

“We clearly have a lot of work to do,” said Commissioner Nick Fish. Then he added a bit more substance (which was hard to listen to in some parts because he used the word “accident” so much): “The issues you’ve spoken to in your testimony are priorities for me in this upcoming budget. I believe we need to wrestle control from the legislature to set our own speed limits… I believe we need to do a better job enforcing our laws… If this moment of remembrance is to mean anything, it must be in service of us doing something different. I thank you for admonishing us to go beyond symoblism and to act.”

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Commissioner Eudaly said PBOT is “moving as fast we can can with these improvements.” “But,” she added, “we need partners in the police bureau for enforcement, we need ODOT to improve their roadways that are in our city because many of the highest crash corridors are ODOT property that the city has little or no control over. That is profoundly frustrating to me.”

Mayor Wheeler called the testimony “impactful” and acknowledged his role in doing something about the problem. “I agree with you, this is on us,” he said. Here’s more from Wheeler (note his comments about enforcement at the end):

“We’re playing catch-up. The city grew at a rapid pace at a time where funding for infrastructure declined and at a time when more and more people are texting and paying attention to the distraction in their vehicles instead of the road ahead and the people who are at risk from their driving. We’ve also experienced a decline in the number of police offers and commensurate declines in actual traffic enforcement.

… and there has been, generally speaking, a decline in civility and it seems to be reaching behind the wheel of automobiles where people seem more callous and less concerned about what impacts they might have on other people.

… I will take it upon myself to work with the police bureau on traffic enforcement. It has declined due to budget cuts and people don’t feel there’s actually a consequence to them violating a traffic law, and all too often there isn’t. I don’t blame the officers, they do a fantastic job. But we need to do more to support them. I’m glad to hear that the city council seems to be uniformly supportive of that and I look forward to seeing that supported in this year’s budget.”

Then Wheeler read the formal proclamation; but not before looking at Michelle DuBarry and saying, “Your words [about the proclamation ringing hollow] are ringing in my ears, so think of this as a statement of values, but the important thing is we back these values with real action.”

It’s up to us to hold them to it.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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49 Comments
  • Avatar
    Bike Guy November 13, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    How disingenuous of Jo Ann Hardesty, who has called for less enforcement of traffic laws (on grounds of racism) to stand with these women who have lost their children to avoidable vehicular violence.

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    • Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike)
      Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike) November 13, 2019 at 2:31 pm

      Have you listened to the latest War on Cars podcast? https://thewaroncars.org/2019/10/31/the-automotive-police-state/

      It gives a really interesting overview of how traffic enforcement led to a powerful police force. Between police revenue and the erosion of the 4th amendment by being able to stop anyone and search their car.

      I think Jo Ann is right to call this out but needs to have some solutions as well. Disconnecting traffic enforcement from policing sounds like a pretty necessary step.

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        Rudi V November 13, 2019 at 3:04 pm

        Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike)
        It gives a really interesting overview of how traffic enforcement led to a powerful police force. Between police revenue and the erosion of the 4th amendment by being able to stop anyone and search their car.I think Jo Ann is right to call this out but needs to have some solutions as well. Disconnecting traffic enforcement from policing sounds like a pretty necessary step.Recommended 0

        I think you’re largely on the right track here save for one point. I’m not quite buying the erosion of privacy rights argument. The police can’t “stop anyone and search their car” they still need probably cause for both the stop and search. Just because you’ve given them many new avenues to claim probable cause by driving doesn’t mean your rights have been eroded. Nobody’s forcing you behind the wheel.

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          JH November 14, 2019 at 10:39 am

          My friend is black (and not in PDX, but elsewhere). The probable cause for searching his car in the seven traffic stops he’s had over the past year has been:

          * You didn’t turn your blinker on the required distance before a turn
          * Your left tail light looks dimmer than your right.
          * Being on the road after 10 PM is a problem in this part of town
          * You don’t look like you belong here
          * I smelled marijuana x 3

          That’s probable cause.

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            John Lascurettes November 14, 2019 at 11:22 am

            Wow. Seven times in a year — only one of them an allegedly valid moving violation!

            To put that into perspective, I’ve been pulled over in a car twice in the Portland Metro in 16 years (not *in* Portland mind you, both in Wilsonville).

            7:1 vs 2:16. That’s rough.

            Both of mine were legit moving violations (both in the burbs, not Portland proper, mind you). I didn’t get searched in either (nor should I have). I even pissed off one cop (he was yelling at me incredulously because I wouldn’t answer “do you know why I pulled you over?”). Again, I wasn’t searched. That’s white privilege/systemic racism in action. Sorry about your friend.

            I do believe in enforcement of the traffic laws — but I also recognize how that is abused. I have no idea how to fix it outside an entire restructuring and reform of most police departments (tall order!).

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      • Avatar
        Rudi V November 13, 2019 at 3:15 pm

        Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike)
        We need to make it more difficult to drive places so people will make other choices. Recommended 0

        I shake my head at driver’ s behavior EVERY SINGLE DAY, but again I have to take issue. This emphasis on authoritarian coercion is likely to backfire. Drivers need to come to the understanding that their woes as drivers are a result of DRIVING. The remedies you propose are just going to allow them to blame the government.

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        • Avatar
          Chris I November 13, 2019 at 4:27 pm

          How do you propose we remedy the situation? Anything we do will upset them.

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        clay November 18, 2019 at 11:14 am

        While having traffic enforcement be completely separated from policing seems ideal, automated citation tools like red-light cameras and speed radar cameras is probably as close as we’re going to get to equitable enforcement practices for the foreseeable future. But Hardesty opposes these, too, while simultaneously making assertions that there’s a real problem with “distracted walking” (which, ironically, sounds to me like a call for enforcement). Given these opinions, I’m grasping to understand what she does support for road safety.

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          soren November 18, 2019 at 1:52 pm

          Unlike many “bike enthusiasts”, Commissioner Hardesty understands that “vision zero” reforms deemphasize enforcement and focus on permanent infrastructure that makes our streets safe by default.

          “She also believes it’s unfair to target enforcement in areas that have inadequate infrastructure. “If our goal is to change behavior we need to invest in the infrastructure improvements that are causing the streets in east Portland to be unsafe.”

          https://bikeportland.org/2019/07/11/interview-with-commissioner-jo-ann-hardesty-vision-zero-enforcement-distracted-walkers-and-more-302237

          Your claim that while Hardesty made ‘assertions that there’s a real problem with “distracted walking”’, omits her clarifying comments in an interview with Jonathan Maus (see above link):

          “The pedestrian is always right,” she continued. “Let me be really clear: Anybody who is hit or injured or killed by an automobile, they are the victim of that activity. I in no way want to imply that it’s the pedestrian’s fault if they get hit by a car or a bicycle. That was not my intent at all. Please help me clarify that in the biking community.”

          Ironically, many “bike enthusiasts” were upset by Commisioner Hardesty’s positioning of pedestrians at the top of our transportation hierarchy.

          As for “automated citation tools like red-light cameras and speed radar cameras”, these are currently illegal under Oregon law. Please get your facts right.

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            clay November 18, 2019 at 2:19 pm

            I’m not ignoring the commissioner’s follow-up statement; I’m waiting for it to be more than words. I’m wholly in favor of using infrastructure to make our streets safer. It is really the only reliable long-term answer. In the short term, enforcement is a key factor in reducing traffic violence. The equity issues of enforcement absolutely need to be addressed, and that needs to include factoring in that minorities are disproportionately the victims of traffic violence in Portland.

            “these are currently illegal under Oregon law. Please get your facts right.”

            You say this with such certainty that I had to go double check, but I can’t find any evidence to support that statement. There are red light cameras all over the Portland metro area, and just two months ago ODOT published guidelines explaining how municipalities can use red light detection systems to measure speed and issue citations based on those findings. What are you meaning here?

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              soren November 18, 2019 at 7:09 pm

              Police officers are required to review the video evidence and issue a citation based on this evidence. It’s not “automatic” at all.

              https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/84.001
              https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/810.436
              https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/810.439

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            • Avatar
              soren November 18, 2019 at 7:46 pm

              “In the short term, enforcement is a key factor in reducing traffic violence.”

              This opinion gets thrown around without any evidence.

              The evidence in the literature is mixed but there are quite a few large studies that report no correlation between increased enforcement and injury collisions (very few look at serious injury collisions).

              For example, a study of the NHTSA CIOT trials in Massuchusets, which resulted in a massive increase in traffic enforcement, found “no evidence that tickets affect the composition of accidents, that is, the number of injuries relative to total number of accidents (columns 7 and 8).”

              https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/a9e8/09700fc0b0cc2cca6e0fa447227815520567.pdf

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                clay November 18, 2019 at 10:27 pm

                Your assertion is, again, contrary to the overwhelming preponderance of evidence I’ve come across about traffic enforcement efficacy, including the article you cite. From the conclusion: “…tickets in fact lead to fewer motor vehicle accidents. Further, tickets help to reduce nonfatal injuries stemming from motor vehicle accidents. In addition, the heterogeneous impact of tickets suggests that there is scope for intervention, for example, by allocating more resources toward municipalities with higher population densities and increase traffic enforcement at night since tickets have a larger impact during nighttime.”

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                soren November 19, 2019 at 9:43 am

                “fewer motor vehicle accidents.”

                the point of “vision zero” is not to reduce accidents (collisions) but to reduce serious injury and fatalities.

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    • Avatar
      Toby Keith November 13, 2019 at 2:48 pm

      She needs to be voted out.

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      Fred November 14, 2019 at 7:10 am

      Jo Ann is a deeply flawed politician but I have some sympathy for her position. She comes from a community that has experienced abuse and even death at the hands of a white police force. She can’t suddenly put her experience aside. And it’s not just policing that needs to improve. I believe the DuBarry boy was killed by an elderly driver, which speaks to the need for better testing of and higher standards for elderly drivers. We do need more law enforcement but how we get there is gonna be complicated.

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        Dave November 14, 2019 at 8:08 am

        But, in the meantime, how do you stop the killing? Who is going to die because we are afraid of racist behavior by police?

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        Chris I November 14, 2019 at 8:35 am

        We need better testing for all drivers, but the rise of large pickup trucks and SUVs in the Boomer segment has me terrified. I see so many end-of-career or early retirement age people driving pickups with retaining-wall type front ends, and increasingly larger SUVs. This segment of the population is the first generation that grew up with unfettered motor vehicle access, so they will be very reluctant to hand over the keys as they become increasingly dangerous on the road. Our fatality rates are going to continue to increase, I’m afraid…

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        • Avatar
          middle of the road guy November 14, 2019 at 9:28 am

          I’ve never really understood the American fascination with giant vehicles. It’s like most American males have convinced themselves they must be ready for an imminent Russian invasion by having a huge truck that can drive over anything or anyone. “well in the rare event that I have to drive on gravel or over a Commie, I need to make sure I have a tank”. Mind you, most of the self-perceived tough guys getting out of these vehicles get winded going up a single flight of steps.

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          • Avatar
            Babygorilla November 14, 2019 at 11:20 am

            Federal tax policy has generally encouraged large vehicle purchases and there are plenty of folks with small or side business who took advantage and stretch the definition of business use. Hey, I drove my new F150 to and from a Sunriver for a family trip, but I stopped at home depot to buy some stuff I needed for my business, so I’m totally writing the whole trip off as a business expense!

            https://www.section179.org/section_179_vehicle_deductions/

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            John Lascurettes November 14, 2019 at 11:26 am

            Same goes for raw horsepower and 0-60 specs. That everyone I know who dreams of a Tesla talks about “insane mode” and “ludicrous mode” as a selling point is supremely disturbing and sociopathic.

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    • Avatar
      The Dude November 14, 2019 at 8:00 am

      How disingenuous of you to call out Hardesty here for those remarks. It appears you have intentionally chosen to misunderstand and de-contextualize her remarks about the matter. Either you have chosen to completely ignore the constant killing of black people by police in this country, which is often related to traffic stops, or you don’t really care about protecting and valuing the lives of all vulnerable people. Not a good look for you either way.

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        middle of the road guy November 14, 2019 at 9:29 am

        I’m curious…can you provide the frequencies at which black people die at the hands of police from traffic stops compared to white people?

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      soren November 14, 2019 at 8:34 am

      Funny how the martinets for enforcement never provide evidence that expensive* sporadic enforcement is effective in the long-term. In contrast, there is a growing body of evidence that that the “vision zero” infrastructure approach produces long-term reductions in risk of death or serious injury.

      Hmmm…which should we try?

      *Public safety in Portland hoovers up 0.5 billion dollars of the city budget — by far the largest component. And people want to throw more money into this bottomless pit of civil-rights violating failure? Why?

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      • Avatar
        middle of the road guy November 14, 2019 at 9:31 am

        You’re really going to say that in a year where nearly 50 pedestrians have been killed so far?

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        • Avatar
          soren November 14, 2019 at 3:38 pm

          You’re really going to say that…

          Your vague finger pointing is boring. Do you have a point or not? If so, please spit it out.

          The results of evidence-based infrastructure approaches speak for themselves:

          https://bit.ly/2q4SWJL
          (During this period vehicle use has increased substantially.)

          I await your real-world evidence of the effectiveness of expensive sporadic enforcement with baited breath.

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  • Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike)
    Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike) November 13, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    While I wonder how certain people at ODOT sleep at night (and have asked them that question at open houses) there is certainly a lot more PBOT can do. The biggest threat in my opinion is that there are just too many cars on the road.

    We need to make it more difficult to drive places so people will make other choices. We need diverters by default on all neighborhood greenways, we need to remove parking next to intersections, and we need to raise the price of parking. Those are all things PBOT could do without ODOT. PBOT is doing those things, kinda, but there needs to be a bigger framework that planners can point to and say we are going to reduce the number of cars on the road by this amount.

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    • Avatar
      todd boulanger November 13, 2019 at 6:26 pm

      Regarding your question, “…I wonder how certain people at ODOT [& PBoT] sleep at night …” if you are talking about their engineering staff, well it is pretty simple they sleep well…most American traffic engineers did not specifically go to school to improve bicyclists (and pedestrians) lives…unless they are very young their course materials may have only had a few pages on such (like when I went to graduate school)…but more to the fact is that as a society we have – until recently – given engineers the WRONG problem to solve. They are very good at solving problems…like how to keep accommodating more cars…and thus building more roads…but then the politicians could not fund all of their projects AND now the planet is complaining…

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    • Avatar
      mh November 14, 2019 at 10:31 am

      Comment of the week. It’s all very basic, but apparently needs to keep being said, and said again, and said again…

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      Johnny Bye Carter November 14, 2019 at 3:57 pm

      Diverters on greenways!

      Why are we letting drivers travel 20 blocks down a greenway instead of diverting them every 3 blocks? These are simple solutions that really work.

      Bus lanes on every major line and diverters in every neighborhood. Keep drivers on the main streets where we want them, and they can then decide if they want to keep driving in the congestion or take a more active role in their transportation.

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    • Avatar
      Julie H. November 14, 2019 at 4:43 pm

      Yes to diverters on greenways!
      Yes to changing how close people can park to curbs! (I should not have to walk into the street to see if someone is driving at me.)
      Yes to changing curbs to slow drivers when they turn!
      Yes to bus lines on every major street! (And PLEASE, can we have decent bus stop facilities too? You know, benches and shelters? It’s crazy how many Portland bus stops require you to stand on a pile of woodchips or in a driveway.)
      And maybe we can add one of my favourite things from Vancouver: Double Stop Bars so car bumpers stop BEFORE the crosswalk, rather than on it.
      (And, and while we are at it, can the city source a bunch of jersey barriers and protect every bike lane please? Or maybe instead of throwing rocks under bridges to keep people from sleeping in sheltered places we can use those rocks as bike lane protection and impromptu roundabouts?)

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    Michelle November 13, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Thanks, Jonathan for covering this. I am one of the moms who testified and just want to say that I feel very conflicted about the enforcement issue given the likelihood that an increase in enforcement efforts will have a disproportionate impact on communities of color. I certainly am not advocating for more police, but it would be nice to have a red light camera on N. Going St. (to name one example of an intersection in my neighborhood where I regularly dodge speeding cars.) I’m glad Commissioner Hardesty is on the Council as a balance against those who might decide to go all-in on enforcement. It’s such a small piece of the picture, IMO.

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    • Avatar
      Chris I November 13, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      The great thing about automated enforcement, is that it has minimal human involvement. Speed and red light cameras can be placed based on real-world speed/crash data. Only through a complete blanketing of our city with speed cameras will we actually be able to solve this scourge.

      Now we just need local and state leaders with a spine to pass the laws that would enable their use on a wide scale.

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        soren November 14, 2019 at 8:16 am

        “The great thing about automated enforcement, is that it has minimal human involvement.”

        This is completely false. Portland police officers with a history of bias view the video and decide who to punish.

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        • Avatar
          Chris I November 14, 2019 at 8:41 am

          I consider that minimal, because the camera determines whether the ticket process is initiated. It also resolves the much-cited problem of violent or disruptive encounters with armed police. I guess we have to agree to disagree here. I think automated enforcement is very promising, and small issues like biased human review can be resolved with training and policies.

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            middle of the road guy November 14, 2019 at 9:34 am

            So we have only non-white cops review the tickets. Problem solved for Soren!

            They problem with thought process of someone like a Soren is that they believe if parts of a system have been shown to be biased, that ANY outcome of that system are biased. It’s simply not possible.

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      Rebecca November 13, 2019 at 6:38 pm

      I can’t imagine what it took for you to testify about something so painful. Thank you for working to save other families in our community from the same heartbreak.

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    Amy November 13, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks as well, Jonathon for covering this. It is a tragedy that seems preventable. People should be able to walk safely around the city (cycle too). Having lost a family member, who was hit by a car while in a crosswalk, I understand the grief these people feel. It is senseless and solutions are well over-due. Thanks to the council members for seeming to take this issue seriously. I think Portland can become a model for the rest of the nation, as we did with our bike lanes. We must keep moving forward and never forget those who lost their lives. We can do better! We must do better!

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    Rudi V November 13, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    Chris I
    How do you propose we remedy the situation? Anything we do will upset them.

    Automated enforcement. Enforce the laws already on the books. No more 20% above the speed limit is ok. No more rolling through crosswalks is ok. No more driving without insurance is ok. This is not unilaterally imposing new requirements designed to frustrate an unwilling public, these are laws we’ve already agreed to. This authoritarian urge to punish drivers doesn’t work in a democracy, they’re just going to vote against you.

    The other angle is by upping minimum insurance requirements to reflect true liability.

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    Rudi V November 14, 2019 at 9:44 am

    The Dude
    How disingenuous of you to call out Hardesty here for those remarks. It appears you have intentionally chosen to misunderstand and de-contextualize her remarks about the matter. Either you have chosen to completely ignore the constant killing of black people by police in this country, which is often related to traffic stops, or you don’t really care about protecting and valuing the lives of all vulnerable people. Not a good look for you either way.Recommended 2

    Ridiculous dude. There is no “constant killing of black people” in this country. Not by police anyway. There’s a constant killing of black people by police on cable news because it keeps butts in seats and eyeballs glued. You’re a willing victim of propaganda that you desperately want to believe because it reinforces your worldview.

    According to a Washington Post article from Aug 19, there were 4,388 fatal police shootings in the US in the last 5 years, of those, 26% were black. So that’s 1141 total divided by 5 years = 228 per year. According to the post 60% of these people were armed, so that leaves 89 unarmed black people shot by police per year in a nation of 360 million. Compare this with the 45k road deaths each year.

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    Rudi V November 14, 2019 at 10:03 am

    soren
    “The great thing about automated enforcement, is that it has minimal human involvement.”This is completely false. Portland police officers with a history of bias view the video and decide who to punish.Recommended 0

    There’s literally no evidence for that claim. Even if there is historic evidence of “bias” in the PPB, there’s no evidence that the officer viewing the video has ever committed the sin of “bias”.

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      Rudi V November 14, 2019 at 7:20 pm

      John Lascurettes
      That 26% of of deaths at the hands of police were black people is still hugely problematic. Black Americans only make up 12% of the American population (as of 2017). Being killed at twice the representation of their demographic is systemic racism illustrated. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_the_United_States#RaceRecommended 4

      Well it’s fairly easy to calculate the “rate” that you say is double. 89 individuals in a nation of 360 million, 13% of whom are black, 89/47million. So each black person of any age or gender has a 1/0.0000019017 chance of being shot while unarmed by police. Go ask the Rohingya or the Uighurs if that sounds like “systemic racism” to them.

      Also since we’re talking about demographic representation, that same 12-13% of the population commits 52% of the murders in this country. Might not higher rates of violent crime lead to increased interactions with police that may end in negative outcomes?

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      soren November 18, 2019 at 10:44 am

      There’s literally no evidence for that claim. Even if there is historic evidence of “bias” in the PPB…

      This cracked me up.

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    Sheilagh Griffin November 14, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Oops – symoblism… Rudi V, black young men are much more likely to be shot by police than white young men: https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/08/police-officer-shootings-gun-violence-racial-bias-crime-data/595528/

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    Rudi V November 14, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    A meaningless statistic given that the numbers are so small. If I have a 1 in a billion chance of winning the lottery, and you have a 2 in a billion chance, you’re twice as likely to win as I am.

    You should actually read the piece you linked. Its conclusions are hardly incontrovertible.

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    Frank November 14, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    It’s up to us to hold them to it

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    Rudi V November 15, 2019 at 10:59 am

    JH
    My friend is black (and not in PDX, but elsewhere). The probable cause for searching his car in the seven traffic stops he’s had over the past year has been:* You didn’t turn your blinker on the required distance before a turn * Your left tail light looks dimmer than your right. * Being on the road after 10 PM is a problem in this part of town * You don’t look like you belong here * I smelled marijuana x 3That’s probable cause.Recommended 5

    Nice anecdote. We should base all public policy on anecdotes.

    IMHO the biggest determining factor of whether the cops mess with you as a driver is the age of your car. If your car is new enough that they think you have a note on it they don’t mess with you because they know you have insurance as a condition of the loan. When I drove a 20 year old car I got pulled over a lot more for random excuses.

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