Welcome to the Comment of the Week, where we highlight good comments in order to inspire more of them. You can help us choose our next one by replying with “comment of the week” to any comment you think deserves recognition. Please note: These selections are not endorsements.
In response to our article last week on the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s new authority to set speed limits within the city of Portland, readers commented with another strong round of our informed engineering vs. enforcement vs. speed-setting debate.
But rather than limiting ourselves to an ongoing abstract discussion about how other people are going to react, gosh, you, dear BikePortland reader, can set an example. Just follow the speed limit. Our numbers are greater than you might think. As Jonathan noted in a recent subscriber newsletter, our contents reach hundreds of thousands of people a month. If everyone who reads this committed to driving the speed limit, we could save lives. Heck, maybe we could get slower speeds to become a trend.
An anonymous commenter did a nice job making that point, while also summarizing their position on the speed limit debate in general, in this information-filled Comment of the Week:
Speed Limits help some drivers make informed choices. When I see a 20 is plenty sign, I slow down to 20, even if I’m riding my bicycle. Signs work. They are not 100% complied with but that’s ok. If the person in front of you is driving the speed limit and you’re approaching their rear at 10+ over, you will soon be slowing down to the speed limit too.
Enforcement is also important. People who speed must be cited and fined, your income level may deserve a break, but you get enough points and your privilege to drive gets revoked. The speed limit should be photo enforced, not PPB enforced until they earn back community trust.
Other cities in other states set their own speed limits with approval by their city council. ODOT setting speed limits is sophomoric, we don’t need a state agency telling us how to run our city, let alone our streets. The sooner all orphan highways are out of ODOT’s control, the better. ODOT cares more about efficiency and convenience rather than safety and the lives of people walking and riding bicycles.
Thank you Anonymous for the timely reminder to behave responsibly. Anonymous’s comment, and the full thread can be found under the original post. Happy holidays, and wishing everyone all the best for the New Year!