City Council will consider crackdown on ‘street takeovers’ as sliding events continue

On Sunday evening, dozens of people gathered at Southeast Division and 48th to pay respects to Noah Terry, a 22-year-old who was shot at that location on October 24th, 2020. According to local news reports, Terry loved “drifting”, a hobby that entails burning out the tires of a souped-up car as the driver spins around in a circle and onlookers revel in the display. At Sunday’s gathering, a bouquet of silver and black balloons floated overhead while the people below blocked the intersection so drifters could do their thing.

Also known as “sliding” or “sideshows”, the activity has grown steadily in Portland in recent months and years. There’s an entire community that has sprung up around them. Earlier this month a massive crowd took over the wide intersection of Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Columbia Blvd. A Willamette Week reporter was at the event and wrote, “Gas fumes clouded the sky and the smell of burnt rubber filled the air. At least 400 spectators looked on. Lines of cars backed up a quarter to a half-mile down all four streets waited for hours. Some spectators launched fireworks.”

These meet-ups usually happened in relatively empty, far-off industrial locations. But as they’ve started to happen closer-in, Portland city leaders have seen enough and want to put an end to them. This week, Portland City Council will consider a new ordinance that will make it against the law to participate in unpermitted “street takeovers”.

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According to council documents, the ordinance would “provide additional enforcement tools for Portland Police Bureau to reduce the incidents of dangerous street sliding events in the public right of way.” Specifically, the ordinance would create new infractions that come with fines of up to $500 and six months in prison for anyone who drives a car in one of these events or uses an object to block the street. If first offenders are caught, they’d be given the option of a diversion program. The ordinance would also allow police to tow vehicles without notice if their drivers are taking part in a street takeover event.

Back in March I shared concerns about how this dangerous cultural phenomenon might end up in a head-on collision with police. And here we are. Instead of finding non-enforcement alternatives, commissioners are set to consider a solution that could put these young, mostly Black and people of color, face-to-face with the PPB — an agency that has failed to build productive relationships with the community on a host of other fronts and has already nearly stopped responding to many issues and crimes because of what they say is a lack of funding and personnel.

Council documents say the city has gotten “significant community involvement” on the proposed ordinance and received feedback from, “… business stakeholders, district attorney, community organizations… public comment on social media, APANO [Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon], Latino Network, chambers of color, PPB advisory committees and community partners, and Office of Equity and Human Rights”. (We’ve reached out to the leader of APANO for comment but haven’t heard back yet.)

In March 2020, when the police chief of Detroit, Michigan was faced with the same issue, he worked with the community to find a vacant lot where they could drive and slide without as much danger to public safety — and more importantly — without attracting attention of gun-toting police officers.

Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell will present the ordinance at City Council on Wednesday (8/18) at 2:00 pm.

Ordinance
Code language (PDF)
Impact statement (PDF)

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

We built skate parks as a safe place for people to ride skateboards. The same idea should be applied here.

We should be building “drift parks” for people to play with their cars like this.. The space and resources required for “drifting” are very minimal. A large parking lot (of which there are many) is really all you need. Then just cones to mark out courses. Let local “crews” organize events/showcases, open them up a couple nights a week for a public “free drive” night and charge entry, set up some crowd stands and invite food trucks. People obviously want to do this, its foolish to think we can punish this behavior out of society.. When has that ever worked..

At the core, these are people who are looking for an outlet and a community. Modern American car culture glorifies “performance driving” and “radical individualism”. I am not sure why we are surprised to see more and more lawlessness on the roads amidst everything else..

Prohibition and retributive justice are probably not gonna solve this, but maybe giving them a place to engage with the hobbies and communities they want will help create a better paradigm for how/when/where this type of driving is done.

It worked with skateparks, and grass velodromes before that. It can probably have an effect here too.

Just spit-balling here..

cmh89
cmh89
1 year ago
Reply to  Bread

Skate parks work because it provides a better alternative for people who want a better alternative. These folks don’t want a better alternative

Drift parks would attract some small amount of people but the allure for a lot of these people is the chaos and disruption it causes. They aren’t doing this on 48th and Division or MLK and Columbia because there is no better spot to do it. They are doing it there to cause problems. They are like children breaking stuff to get attention.

The other problems with a drift park is 1, these folks are not paying an entry fee, 2, it’s a massive liability for the city, 3, who the hell wants this crap in their neighborhood permanently, and 4, I’d guess the city can’t host events where people are driving their cars in circle drunk or high, which many of these idiots are.

Prohibition and retributive justice are probably not gonna solve this, but maybe giving them a place to engage with the hobbies and communities they want will help create a better paradigm for how/when/where this type of driving is done.

Some behavior just can’t be tolerated. If they wont stop endangering the people around them, they just need to be removed from society like any other violent person.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago

This feels pretty “whatabouty”. Does it need to be either/or?

cmh89
cmh89
1 year ago

wow cmh89 that is really harsh.

It’s just reality. I’m all for rehabiliation and I’m all for investing in people to divert them away from bad behavior, but when you have an adult that makes the choice to endanger or hurt people and refuse to stop making that choice, the only solution is to take away their ability to hurt those around them.

I honestly am much more afraid of all the people driving big trucks and SUVs while staring into their phones than I am about these kids doing donuts in an enclosed space.

I’m afraid of all of those things. Have you ever been trapped behind one of the sideshows? I have. I had to inch out of gridlock and do a u-turn in the street into traffic that was also trying to get out of the way. The space is surrounded by soft, squishy human bodies and it’s only a matter of time until one of these idiots hits someone who chose to be there or just simply got trapped there.

Distracted/disrespectful/dangerous drivers are impossible to avoid and are statistically much more of a threat. Should we remove distracted drivers from society too?

We should remove their ability to drive a car, and if they refuse to stop driving a car, we should remove them from a society.

Do you consider them to be “violent” too?

Yes

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago

Kids? Most of these folks are adults making poor decisions.

Steve C
Steve C
1 year ago

https://sf.streetsblog.org/2020/10/14/reckless-drivers-car-impounded/

I think this is a good example of the desperate enforcement you’re worried will occur. Sideshow drifting footage used to impound a car and cite a driver but police won’t followup on relatively common dangerous driving caught on film by cyclists.

Granpa
Granpa
1 year ago

If drifting were restricted to pop-up “arenas” surrounded by like-thinking spectators I could understand Jonathan’s apparent tacit approval of the practice. However drifting is happening on some of the best cycling roads. Look at the tire marks on Germantown or Logie Trail or Larch Mt. road. Drivers speeding on mountain roads with the tail end of their cars swinging out is not someone else’s problem. It is deadly peril for vulnerable road users

Chopper mark
Chopper mark
1 year ago
Reply to  cmh89

Doing donuts in a car is violent? I believe that is called hyperbole.

Jason
Jason
1 year ago
Reply to  Chopper mark

Causing or intending to cause damage. Marked by the user of harmful or destructive force.

I think you are relying on the connotation of the word, not the literal meaning. The risk of doing that is, connotation is not universal. Whereas definition is.

Karl Dickman
1 year ago
Reply to  cmh89

I routinely see people say the same thing about mountain bikes. Maybe what you say about drifters is true–I certainly have no personal knowledge–but I know that the vitriol against mountain bikers is totally without merit and it makes me wonder how seriously I should take your negative assertions about drifters.

The Dude
The Dude
1 year ago

So, based on this “surface behavior” what conclusions have you come to about “their motives”? Because I would sincerely like to see the positive side of this and recognize that a better understanding of the subjective experience could help if one truly has an open mind. From my perspective, this is anti-social, destructive, and nihilistic behavior that deserves to be penalized legally. What am I missing?

Jason
Jason
1 year ago
Reply to  The Dude

Your rug, presumably. It really tied the room together.

The Dude
The Dude
1 year ago
Reply to  Jason

They’re gonna kill that poor woman, man.

207bikes
207bikes
1 year ago
Reply to  The Dude

Given the amount of discussion on this site dedicated to “vehicular violence” and carbon emissions, it’s a bit confusing to hear people finding excuses for an activity that so wantonly indulges in both.

The Dude
The Dude
1 year ago
Reply to  207bikes

Indeed. The problem is that everyone here (speaking for Jonathan et al now, in addition to The Dude) realizes that the current approach to dealing with behavior that impacts others is broken. The government’s appointed agents, the police and prosecutors, are unable to effectively deal with this social problem in a way that does anything other than make it worse. The focus on compassion and understanding is commendable, but nobody really knows where to take that. So here we are.

ivan
ivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Bread

Agreed. This, with outreach to the communities, is the solution — not bulking up the carceral state.

That said, the way the actual ordinance (Word document) is drafted, I think it’s worth pointing out that it can’t be used against people simply “uses an object to block the street,” as is said in the article (and called out in several comments). The relevant section is paragraph C:

A person commits the offense of Unlawful Staging of a Street Takeover Event if, in a public place or upon a highway, the person knowingly uses a motor vehicle or other obstacle to create a physical barrier to impede an intersection, bridge, public right of way, or other public place or highway to create a location or physical opportunity for an unlawful street takeover event.

Emphasis mine. In paragraph A.4.c, “unlawful street takeover event” is specifically defined as involving motor vehicles “in a curved direction, in a circular direction, or around corners”. So this wouldn’t apply to someone using objects to block the street for a demonstration, or in fact even using vehicles to block the street so long as they weren’t sliding.

But I still think Bread’s suggestion of legalizing specific areas for this makes more sense than citing/fining/imprisoning people, especially since in the best outcome, that is just going to push these events to other parts of the county/Metro area.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  ivan

Cool, so street drag racing is ok?

The city should work with these folks and find place(s) for this activity.

eddiearni
eddiearni
1 year ago
Reply to  Bread

pollution

Laura
Laura
1 year ago
Reply to  Bread

but those activities (skateboards and bicycles) didn’t create massive amounts of noise and pollution, not to mention the safety threat of a flying broken wheel (video from Columbia/MLK 3-4 weeks ago). Seriously, I re-read the article and swiched “rolling coal” for sliding and sideshows. Would we be getting all “let’s find them an alternative place,” and “let’s find a cooperative solution?” if we were talking about rolling coal. Nope…we make modifying the engines illegal, we make the activity illegal, and we threaten to impound the illegally modified vehicles.

Steve C
Steve C
1 year ago
Reply to  Laura
maxD
maxD
1 year ago

without attracting attention of gun-toting police officers

They are literally doing this to attract attention. This article seems to equate street racers with black Americans who are harassed by police just for being in public. The street racer/sliders are hardly some oppressed minority. These people are taking over public space for entirely selfish reasons and creating a lot of danger in the process.

cmh89
cmh89
1 year ago

Conflating the problems of driving while Black with taking action against idiots who make the affirmative decision to endanger themselves and everyone around them is not super cool.

The punishment is so weak that it wont have any effect on behavior though. It should be minimum six months in jail, loss of license for ten years so you can grow up a bit, and seizure of the vehicle.

Of course, if we had a semi-competent transportation bureau, the obvious non-police solution is to eliminate these huge intersections by installing round abouts and other traffic calming measures like speed bumps so they can’t play with their toys and make noise in the public ROW.

cmh89
cmh89
1 year ago

PBOT already has the solution, they’ve just misapplied it. The 80 permanent beg barrels they are installing on ‘greenways’ wont do anything as situated, but they would do wonders in the middle of intersections on roads like Division.

Plop a big one right there that forces every day motorist to slow down and move to the right while also providing a huge concrete structure that will screw up the idiots car if he hits it.

At sub $5000 a pop, they should be deployed in the middle of every intersection in the city. That would actually be useful.

Of course, that would mildly impede motorized traffic so its a no go.

Jason
Jason
1 year ago
Reply to  cmh89

Not to be a suck up, but Jonathan has a point about conflating the driving while brown social issue and stopping the bad actors that pull off these stunts. Even if the PPB just goes in and does their job as traffic enforcers, I think the situation would only escalate. As an observer, I don’t see that authorities have established a way to negotiate a cessation of this activity. Which is why the approach needs to be reinvented.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Jason

I have read several anecdotes of neighbors asking for a cessation of activity (intervention doesn’t get much more community-level than that). In those accounts, those making the request were met with threats of violence.

Jason
Jason
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Which is why the PPB is the default choice for enforcing. But real change comes from understanding and acting out of empathy. Motorists are not introduced to the idea of empathy at any point. So they act entitled.

Jason
Jason
1 year ago
Reply to  Jason

Okay, that’s not entirely true. In the state of Oregon, the written driving exam does have several depictions of hazardous behavior toward children. Along the lines of, “look behind the back of the car before leaving the driveway”. Basically, “don’t run over your children”. Which if you think about it, really says a lot about the culture of driving.

Cormac Burke
Cormac Burke
1 year ago

Curious Jonathan about the non-enforcement alternatives you mention… What are your thoughts on alternatives to enforcement?

Watts
Watts
1 year ago

Not to mention the tendency of “certain types of people” to interact dangerously with the police. It’s definitely a two-way street.

Mark in NoPo
Mark in NoPo
1 year ago

Let’s do both: provide an alternative venue and use towing and fines to end this everywhere else.

Families should be able to sleep. Ambulances should be able to cross the bridge. Shift workers should be able to drive home without getting stuck in traffic. And reckless driving in unsanctioned areas should never be indulged.

maxD
maxD
1 year ago

I do not think is an activity the City should spend money to support. Renting a parking lot, paying insurance? Maybe when our community pools are funded and are parks and paths are safe and available. This behavior is thrill seeking and attention seeking at the expense of the public good. They takeover public spaces and often damage public property. If they want to do this on their own dime on private property, I have zero qualms about that, but I fail to see any reason why this should be publicly subsidized or sanctioned activity.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
1 year ago

I don’t know, my parents taught me, “if you don’t want to attract the police, don’t break the law.” So far that’s served me well 50+ years and have only been pulled over twice for traffic infractions that I owned up to.
If these folks want to be legal, why aren’t THEY coming up with ideas where they could do the sliding safely? Why is it always government has to come to the rescue when we know government takes forever and in this town has to come to a consensus that would take 3 – 5 years?

SERider
SERider
1 year ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

And on the flip side of that, the MTB community has been bending over backwards with the city trying to get them to budge on more MTB trails. How is that going?

cmh89
cmh89
1 year ago
Reply to  SERider

How is that going?

Gateway green?

Matt
Matt
1 year ago
Reply to  cmh89

GG is fun and all, but if you compare it to a place like Sandy Ridge, or what could be built in Forest Park, the amount of vertical footage just does not compare. Sustained downhill MTB trails (aka the most fun way to ride a bike) require a larger area and more elevation.

Cmh89
Cmh89
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt

So the city has been responsive to mountain bikers, they just haven’t built what you want?

The majority of the population doesn’t want mountain bike trails in forest park. It’s just not going happen. I don’t know what the attraction is really when it comes to the difficulty in making it happen. Why not just focus on trails not in a huge city?

SERider
SERider
1 year ago
Reply to  cmh89

Riverview?

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago

It’s not complicated at all.

And sometimes, just sometimes, people get arrested for their actions and no bias is involved.

Chopper mark
Chopper mark
1 year ago
Reply to  maxD

This is very much an activity that has come out of Black America. In other cities it’s on dirt bikes and quads doing wheelies in groups, in a similar manner as Critical Mass bike rides. Drifting’s birthplace is Japan, and street drifting is absolutely global. So yes if it does get cracked down upon, it is going to affect people of color more than anyone else, and given our justice system it will affect people of color more than white people.

Allan Rudwick
1 year ago

“or uses an object to block the street”

I can think of lots of good reasons to do this. Hopefully there won’t be any spill-over enforcement into obstructions

CarolynD
CarolynD
1 year ago

Happening in “relatively empty, far-off industrial locations”? That’s not completely accurate. This type of garbage has happened on 82nd near Prescott. That’s not empty – a lot of working and middle class people live in that area. But of course, since these folks did their dirty and toxic “fun” closer in to more tourist-friendly Portland and away from the low-to-moderate income areas, the city council decides to do something about it. The people whipping their cars around and polluting the ground, air, and sound world are selfish and do not take into account anyone living or working in these areas. This is rotten behavior that does not belong in Portland.

CarolynD
CarolynD
1 year ago

I’m sorry you consider my disagreement with your assessment as “putting words in your mouth,” but on that point I disagree with you. I could go on, but I’ll leave it at that to avoid further potential contentiousness between myself and the author that I think will help nobody in this forum.

Champs
Champs
1 year ago
Reply to  CarolynD

I don’t broadly agree with Jonathan on this article, particularly in his responses, but unless you’re saying that sideshows have been going on at 82nd for several years, then I think his characterization was accurate. I certainly haven’t been aware of them anywhere but deep into the industrial peninsula until recently.

Serenity
Serenity
1 year ago
Reply to  CarolynD

The event I saw was downtown near SW Washington.

Mel
Mel
1 year ago
Reply to  Serenity

There was a solo slider in the Pearl district last fall. 13th and NW Flanders.

Granpa
Granpa
1 year ago

The chemical compound 6PPD-quinone is used in tire manufacturing and it is a deadly toxin to salmon. Where normal driving and tire wear is practiced, adult fish die before spawning. Burning rubber introduces more of this toxin into drainage ways by orders of magnitude.
Check out the rubber tracks on twisting roads. Drifters leave no margin for error or cyclists as the slide through blind corners
Sigh

Serenity
Serenity
1 year ago

I saw one of those, once. It was pretty scary.

Fat Tire
Fat Tire
1 year ago

Residents east of 82nd Ave. have to deal with this type of behavior daily. The scale may be smaller but the danger is real. I live at the base of Rocky Butte and work in Gresham. In the last few years my neighborhood has become a race/drift track. Everyday people speed down my street at triple the posted 20 mph speed limit. Enforcement has disappeared and speeders run rampant. I doubt people in closer-in neighborhoods/westside have to deal with, or are aware of this problem. On my commute I regularly witness reckless driving by people in souped up cars, often with no license plates. Cutting the police budget has been an unmitigated disaster for those in East County. The arterials are dragways and gun violence is a daily occurrence. Non-enforcement alternatives are wishful thinking and incredibly inefficient at curtailing this type of behavior.

Jeffrey Yasskin
Jeffrey Yasskin
1 year ago

Why do they need a new ordinance for this? Surely it’s already illegal, and just a matter of police choosing what laws to enforce? “Uses an object to block the street” seems especially prone to being misused to punish less dangerous behavior.

Pete S.
Pete S.
1 year ago

Exactly.

There is nearly a 100% chance that PPB will use this law to break up protest marches of people who’s politics they disagree with.

PPB could enforce existing law to break up street racing gatherings if they wanted to. They’re choosing not to respond to all sorts of crime in order to hold the city hostage and get council to give them more money. Because they are a trash organization that belongs in the scrap heap of history.

Jim Jeffers
Jim Jeffers
1 year ago

Unfortunately this is now a rampant problem here in Portland. It’s dangerous and scary. I walked out of the Safeway near my home on Hawthorne while this was going on. Even scarier – the walk home through the neighborhood was terrifying while more attendees were literally flying through the neighborhood streets between Hawthorne and Belmont. It’s not acceptable and if this is what it takes so be it. It’s also not acceptable that this is happening on Marine drive. Just because it’s out of the neighborhood does not make it any less illegal. If someone who supports this community wants to get a legitimate space or organize permitted events either at PIR, a private lot, or in a controlled environment – that’d be OK. But until then I just consider this another facet of the increased amount of crime that’s been festering ever since the pandemic. Bad times indeed.

Serenity
Serenity
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jeffers

I hear them flying through the streets of downtown everyday.

Jason
Jason
1 year ago

Joke’s on the drifters, just think of the damage they are doing to their cars on PDX streets. I’d be happy if they drifted off to some place else. This behavior is absolutely a display of entitlement.

Hubba Hubba
Hubba Hubba
1 year ago
Reply to  Jason

I don’t believe it has anything to do with entitlement. I think they are just having fun, but it isn’t safe in a confined place where they could hit property and people. I agree it is a stupid thing to do to your car, but some of them probably like working on their cars. I know off-roaders who have to make repairs every time they go on a trip – it is their hobby – and it’s a good one – they learn a lot keeping their vehicles going. Lots of worse things you can do in your spare time.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  Hubba Hubba

You can just have fun and not impact hundreds if not thousands of people. So yeah…it’s entitled.

Mark in NoPo
Mark in NoPo
1 year ago
Reply to  Hubba Hubba

They’re “just having fun” at everyone else’s expense — and when one of them gets hurt, their own, too.

Serenity
Serenity
1 year ago
Reply to  Hubba Hubba

I don’t believe it has anything to do with entitlement.

You what, now? Excuse me while I die laughing.

Jason
Jason
1 year ago
Reply to  Hubba Hubba

They feel entitled to have that fun at the expense of a very large number of fellow citizens.

David D
David D
1 year ago

Love when disgraced former mayors who get absolutely routed in a later council election still manage to make policy that affects all of our lives.
The fact that Wheeler brought Sam back into city hall is the clearest example of his utter contempt for all of us.
Carceral solutions won’t solve this problem and this ordinance will be used to harm cyclists pedestrians and protesters exerting their rights to public space.

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  David D

How’s that recall campaign going?

resdar
resdar
1 year ago

All of these things are already illegal! Passing ordinances that are redundant to existing laws to make unenforced illegal behavior super-duper-extra illegal misses the root cause of lack of enforcement. As loosely worded as this ordinance is, it will create unintended enforcable outcomes for currently legal or legal-ish activities.

Hubba Hubba
Hubba Hubba
1 year ago

Looks a lot safer than a typical “mostly peaceful” Portland protest. Still, it’s illegal and not without risk to nearby buildings, cars, people, light poles, etc so the popo need to stop it every single time.

Start taking license plates, getting photos of the cars, and putting those on the internet so the aholes don’t sell their abused cars to someone who isn’t aware of the abuse the car was subjected to.

Jason
Jason
1 year ago
Reply to  Hubba Hubba

If you agree that the issue is overtly illegal, bringing protests into scope is a bad faith statement. It doesn’t correspond to the topic.

JohnR
JohnR
1 year ago

Would this ordinance also apply to group rides? I.e., an object (bicycle) used to block traffic as the group rides by? Thursday night ride, world naked ride, other pedalpalooza rides?

Or, does the language limit enforcement to motor vehicles?

David Hampsten
1 year ago

1. Highway means the entire width of a public right-of-way when any portion thereof is intended for motor vehicle movement or motor vehicle access to abutting property.

Highways are intended for the movement of people and goods. Right-of-way also includes sidewalks, shrubbery, some pocket parks, some homeless camps, etc. This ordinance implies that highways (1921-speak for city streets) are now intended for motor vehicles only, to the exclusion of people using modes other than motor vehicles, or camping, or using the street for recreation. Obviously driverless (robot) vehicles are OK.

Why is definition #1 included at all? How is this necessary? Why not remove it altogether?

Jason
Jason
1 year ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

A conveniently forgotten factoid? Definitions like this keep the DOT headed in their current trajectory. It doesn’t bear heavily here, but it’s used elsewhere to justify wider freeways for instance; roads are for cars > cars get stuck on the roads due to congestion > we need more and bigger roads.

Whereas, if the definition was to change to include the humans – the pedestrians and cyclists who are forced to coexist on those roads, then the DOT agenda would be forced to change.

Just a theory though.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Jason

It’s probably worth remembering that cars carry humans as well; so when “cars get stuck on roads” it’s really means “people are stuck on roads.” I’m not necessarily defending any particular agenda, but I do oppose dehumanizing people who drive from time to time.

Jason
Jason
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

You would think that logic would sink in.

The very point I’m making is, the motorists dehumanize themselves. It’s not an attack, simply an observation.

However, when (some not all) people get behind the wheel, the emotionally identify with the vehicle. They act in a way that demonstrates their will to act as a car, not as a human operating a car.

This is clear because they believe the car confers some special privilege, called right of way. If the motorists in this example were operating as humans not cars, then they would realize that pedestrians are their equal. Not something to be “tolerated”.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Jason

This happens when people ride bikes as well. I wouldn’t want to dehumanize riders either.

Jason
Jason
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

True, cyclists sometimes engage in this activity.

However, your comment is ultimately a whataboutism.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Jason

No, it’s a request not to dehumanize people based on a transportation choice.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
1 year ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

“1. Highway means the entire width of a public right-of-way when any portion thereof is intended for motor vehicle movement or motor vehicle access to abutting property.”

“This ordinance implies that highways (1921-speak for city streets) are now intended for motor vehicles only, to the exclusion of people using modes other than motor vehicles…”

I don’t think that definition implies that highways are exclusively for motor vehicles. The definition essentially says that “IF [partial] motor vehicle access was intended, THEN a public way is a ‘highway'”. It doesn’t imply that anything called a ‘highway’ cannot have portions designated for other uses, such as bike lanes, or cannot be used by multiple travel modes, e.g., bicycle and motor vehicle.

The only problem with this designation is that it makes sliding side shows seemingly legal on any public way that was NOT intended for motor vehicle use, e.g., portions of the waterfront that might be wide enough, or on the bricks in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

qqq
qqq
1 year ago

I wish they used the perfectly good “planned” instead of “preplanned”.

Champs
Champs
1 year ago

We definitely need to look at other tools in the toolbox before we start making laws in near-orbit around the First Amendment right to assemble.

That said, this isn’t skateboarding. It is objectively—literally, and figuratively—toxic behavior endangering people and blocking the right of way. We need sanctioned spaces for this like we need safe spaces for dog fighting. Just no.

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  Champs

Unlawful street takeover event means an activity that is:
Unpermitted;
Preplanned or contemporaneously coordinated by two or more persons; and
Involves one or more persons demonstrating, exhibiting, or comparing the maneuverability or power of one or more motor vehicles in a curved direction, in a circular direction, or around corners, including but not limited to by breaking traction in a curved or circular direction or around corners.

Which part of the First Amendment covers motor vehicles?

Champs
Champs
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

Be careful what you wish for when you start restricting the rights of people to assemble in the street. This just isn’t what I consider a new category of offense worth opening that can of worms over.

The Dude
The Dude
1 year ago
Reply to  Champs

This is the second time on this thread I’ve heard about the sacred “right to assembly” enshrined in the First Amendment. Be advised that the right is a political one, the right to assemble is for political purposes, and is definitely not a right to “assemble in the street” to … do whatever that is. This has has nothing to do with petitioning the government for a redress of grievances or anything else rational. As such, it is well outside the scope of our cherished, but often fetishized and misunderstood, right to assembly.

Chopper mark
Chopper mark
1 year ago

Pat’s Acres Racing Complex in Canby does drifting events. Although what is needed for this activity is a flat area enclosed with K-rails for people to do burnouts, donuts, and drifting in. Sign a waiver, pay for time or maybe offer some sort of membership. There would probably need to be some kind of emergency/fire response on duty as well. PIR has a fairly large parking lot, not sure if they are willing to get it coated with rubber skid marks.

It’s going to continue and will likely get bigger. Police crackdowns won’t do anything to stop it. This is just the new face of hot rodding, which had its birth in the US when the first 1932 Ford V-8 got crashed and the engine found its way into a Model T. And don’t think that going to electric cars will stop it, having all the torque available at zero rpm makes for some very easy tire spinning, so hot rodding will just continue to evolve.

David Hampsten
1 year ago

Read the ordinance itself, the code language. With this new ordinance, bicycling and skateboarding on city streets will effectively be illegal:
1. Highway means the entire width of a public right-of-way when any portion thereof is intended for motor vehicle movement or motor vehicle access to abutting property.

Way to go Portland, national leader in driving the nail into the bicycling coffin.

Steve C
Steve C
1 year ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

It’s not clear to me why that wording would make cycling or skateboarding illegal. Can you elaborate?

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve C

He’s confused. He’s only quoting part of the ordinance, and omitting the part that applies it only to people operating motor vehicles.

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
1 year ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

The propositional logic here is “IF mv access, THEN ‘highway'”. This is not logically equivalent to the statement you are implying, “IF ‘highway’, THEN exclusive mv access”. Including the definition may seem redundant, but it doesn’t imply what you are suggesting it does.

JR
JR
1 year ago

This appears to be happening all over the city. I see the characteristic circular tire marks on all manner of streets and parking lots around NE Portland. I can also hear this happening almost every night, usually after 6pm. It’s dangerous, bad for the environment, and harms our collective quality of life (noise, pollution, safety, traffic jams, etc). I’m all for enforcement of current laws to shut this down. If we absolutely need a new law, so be it. The primary penalty I’d like to see is impounding the vehicles (assuming they aren’t stolen, in which case jail).

Laura
Laura
1 year ago

Living near Division/48th, this has been going on for a while, including, IIRC, the night Noah Terry was shot. There are “Noah Terry memorial events” all the time, some week nights and nearly every Sunday for the past few weeks. It seems that folks are pre-functioning here, and then going up to MLK/Columbia for the big show. I feel sorry for the businesses and residents at that intersection, especially knowing how loud and smelly it is 6 blocks away. I know people who have been threatened with violence, simply for trying to walk thru the area, and don’t get me started on the fear instilled in neighborhood pets and veterans. This past Sunday, folks were also racing down Clinton in the area between 45th and Chavez. I walked by the area on Monday morning, and was impressed (sarcasm) by the amount of tire debris that would ultimately get into our storm drains and the river. Skateboarders didn’t create this amount of noise, pollution, and threat to others. In the era of climate change, it needs to stop.

Go big bike guy.
Go big bike guy.
1 year ago

I’m 100% for this new law. I’m 100% sure it won’t do anything.
The problem is Portlanders have decided they value being woke more than having a functioning civil society with enforcement of laws.
This law won’t help until the politicians hear from people who want their 911 calls answered, garbage picked up, not have their bike stolen repeatedly and are tired of the lawlessness allowed in this formerly beautiful city.

SPEAK UP PEOPLE!

The Dude
The Dude
1 year ago

Is “woke” some sort of Millinneal or Boomer jargon for “respecting Constitutional rights”? See, the fascist tropes sneak in so insidiously that it’s almost imperceptible.

Mark in NoPo
Mark in NoPo
1 year ago
Reply to  The Dude

Nowhere does “Go big bike guy” suggest abrogating anyone’s rights under the Constitution, Dude. You’re seeing phantoms — that’s why they’re imperceptible.

— A “Millennial” who rolls his eyes at identity-based insults

FDUP
FDUP
1 year ago

Portland successfully curbed ‘cruising’ back in the day, and I’d have to say cruising was a lot less dangerous of an activity than sliding and drifting in public is.

Don Courtney
Don Courtney
1 year ago

It’s official, this blog has swallowed the blue pill/kook-aid. There is no society that functions without a police mechanism. Particularly one as violent and without traditional family restraints as the United States. Just take a look farther south to Mexico, the Carribean, Central America, and South America, all have higher violent crime than here, none have a weak police force.

Steve C
Steve C
1 year ago
Reply to  Don Courtney

I can follow you, though I might disagree, regarding the need for strong police presence in our society. But those examples, they aren’t doing you any favors. Miss me with your Mexican style murderous and corrupt police force.