Drivers wreak havoc across Portland over holiday weekend

A small sampling of the madness. (Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

Often lost in debates about transportation in Portland is just how terribly selfish, irresponsible and reckless so many car drivers are. While daily debates get bogged down in things like who should pay for road projects or who’s at fault in crashes, the reality is that the most common dangerous behaviors we see in public come from car drivers.

Case(s) in point, the Portland Police Bureau just released a roundup of some of the incidents they responded to over the long weekend (since Thursday evening) and I was shocked — but absolutely not surprised — by how many of them included car-related violence. As you read them below, consider the danger these drivers put innocent people in. Also consider the vast time and resources they suck from city employees who must deal with the misdeeds of these motorized miscreants (emphases mine):

— On Thursday, May 25, 2023, at 4:47p.m, North Precinct officers responded to a call involving a 3 vehicle crash on the St. John’s Bridge. The suspect vehicle, a blue 2006 Kia Rio 4-door sedan, impacted the back of a white 2019 Nissan Kicks SUV, which pushed that vehicle into a gray 2019 Toyota Tacoma pickup. The suspect driver drove off, but his vehicle caught fire due to the damage caused by the crash. He drove over 4 miles with his car burning but was forced to stop at Northwest 29th Avenue and Northwest Yeon Avenue. The first arriving officer saw the suspect trying to walk away. He lost sight of him around a corner, but a search with the help of witnesses led them to locate and arrest the suspect near a business in the 3300 block of Northwest Yeon Avenue. A Traffic Division officer evaluated the suspect for DUII. Andrew Jay Johnson, 22, of Vancouver, Washington, was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (alcohol), Reckless Driving, and 2 counts of Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver (property damage).

— At 7:30p.m., FIT officers tried to stop a vehicle in the area of Southeast 86th Court and Southeast Ellis Street. The vehicle began driving erratically after seeing police vehicles. The vehicle eluded and occupants ran from the vehicle. One passenger running away dropped a loaded handgun, which was seized as evidence. No immediate arrests were made, but the investigation is ongoing. (23-138155)

— At 9:05p.m., FIT officers saw a vehicle on Southeast 122nd Avenue and East Burnside Street that had eluded police recently. The vehicle exited the lot and began driving quickly through residential neighborhoods. Officers attempted to stop it, but again, the driver eluded police. The driver parked at a dead end in the area of Southeast 117th Avenue and Southeast Yamhill Street and ran on foot. She was surrounded and arrested. Two loaded firearms were recovered from the vehicle. River M Agrelius, 24, was booked into MCDC on charges of Attempt to Elude Police by Vehicle (C Felony), Attempt to Elude Police on foot (A misdemeanor), Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Possession of a Loaded Firearm in Public (city code).

— On Friday, May 26, 2023, at 10:46p.m., an East Precinct officer saw a blue 2005 Toyota Corolla sedan going eastbound on Southeast Stark Street at Southeast 122nd Avenue. The officer developed probable cause to stop the vehicle, but the driver of the Toyota preemptively began eluding the officer. When the officer activated his emergency police lights, the driver refused to stop. Due to policy restrictions, the officer did not pursue and turned off his emergency lights. Officers in the Air Support Unit and on the ground observed the driver of the Toyota driving in an extraordinarily reckless fashion for approximately the next 29 minutes, despite no officers chasing him. The driver was speeding nearly triple the speed limit, ran numerous red lights and stops signs, drove in oncoming travel lanes, forced other vehicles to swerve to avoid crashes, including a near-miss of two motorcyclists that likely would have been fatal. Officers used spike strips to deflate the Toyota’s tires so the rubber was torn off and the vehicle was running on rims. The driver traveled through Portland, Gresham, unincorporated Multnomah County, and various areas of Clackamas County, ultimately turning into a hay field in 11700 block of Southeast 282nd Avenue in Boring, Oregon. The driver then jumped out and tried to hide in the tall grass. Officers and Deputies tracked him and arrested him. Shawn A. Camp, 38, was arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of Attempt to Elude Police by Vehicle (C Felony), Attempt to Elude Police on foot (A misdemeanor), Reckless Driving, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and a felony parole warrant issued by the State of Oregon. PPB is grateful for the invaluable assistance of the Gresham Police Department, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s office, and Oregon State Police. 

— At 2:54a.m., Central Precinct officers responded to a report of a wrong way driver on Interstate-5 freeway. The driver was reported to be driving northbound in the southbound lanes. A moment later officers learned that the driver caused a crash with another vehicle at the Southwest Capitol Highway southbound on ramp. Andres C. Qunitero, 21, of Canby, Oregon, was issued a criminal citation for ORS 813.010 Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants-Alcohol and Reckless Driving. The other driver was not seriously hurt.

— At 12:11a.m., East Precinct officers responded to a report that a suspect had menaced employees with a firearm at a fast-food restaurant drive through in the 9100 block of Southeast Powell Boulevard. Officers arrived and challenged the suspect in a 2015 white Audi Q5 SUV with no license plates. The driver reversed out of the parking lot and eluded officers. The employees did not want to pursue charges against the suspect and the vehicle was allowed to flee due to dissipating probable cause.  At 3:25a.m. Central Precinct officers responded to a report of the white Audi with no plates stopped at Northeast 12th Avenue and Northeast Flanders Street blocking the intersection. The driver was slumped over, unconscious. Officers could see from the outside that there was a gun in the car. Due to the additional potential danger of the firearm, officers tried to call to him from a distance. He was not very responsive but finally woke up and tried to drive away. Officers were able to deflate a tire with spike strips, but he continued driving away in a reckless manner. With only reasonable suspicion of DUI, the vehicle was allowed to flee because the benefit of capture did not outweigh the risks. 

— Moments later, Central Precinct officers spotted the Audi as it pulled into a parking garage in the 1100 block of Northeast Lloyd Boulevard. The driver stopped in a parking spot and seemed to have slumped again. Again, knowing the suspect was armed, tactical and safety plans were made, resources were gathered, and exits were covered with spikes to again attempt custody. The vehicle was loud hailed, and the driver again fled the area at a high rate of speed; not before hitting one of the spike strips. The vehicle was located again, driving at high speed near Northeast Grand Avenue and Northeast Broadway Street. But again, due to policy and public safety concerns, the vehicle was not pursued, and was lost in the blocks. At about 6:43a.m., North Precinct officers responded to the 2100 block of Northeast Wasco Street of a driver moaning and rolling around inside of his vehicle. The front driver tire was completely gone, and the rim was destroyed. Again, the suspect refused to comply with officers, and drove off, hitting pre-deployed spike strips and deflated his remaining three tires. He eluded eastbound Wasco Street without anyone pursuing. The driver then crossed barricaded sidewalks and recklessly drove into a parking lot at Northeast 28th Avenue.

— It was approximately 7:30a.m. and there were many people walking dogs, jogging, and enjoying the morning. The suspect then drove northbound on Northeast 32nd Avenue with no tires left on his vehicle. The suspect then drove over the barricaded sidewalk at Northeast 32nd Avenue and Northeast Schuyler Street, then through a yard where four children were on the front porch. The driver was struggling to gain traction as he was attempting to drive away through the neighborhood, which put the community at more of a risk of death or serious physical injury due to the time of day. When officers challenged him, he got behind the wheel and tried to elude again, officers used their vehicles to box in the suspect vehicle. Officers challenged him from a safe distance in an effort to lessen the risk of injury and use of force. The suspect then jumped out and ran off on foot. Officers caught up with and arrested him at Northeast 32nd Avenue and Northeast Hancock Street. Officers were unable to identify him at the scene, so he was booked under the name Colton Hobbs (which was a false name he provided) on charges of Attempt to Elude Police by Vehicle (3 counts), Attempt to Elude Police on foot, Reckless Driving (3 counts), Reckless Endangering Another Person, and Failure to Carry and Present Driver’s License. At jail, his fingerprints were scanned and he was identified as Dylan Jordan Savage, 29. Savage has outstanding felony warrants out of Tennessee.

— At 11:55p.m., North Precinct officers were dispatched to a report of a crash near North Marine Drive and North Bybee Lakes Road. When they arrived they found a vehicle crashed into a tree. Both male occupants were transported to the hospital with serious injuries, one of which is life threatening. Due to the level of injury, the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division’s Major Crash Team responded to the scene to investigate. Initial investigation revealed that the crash was speed racing related

— At 2:40 a.m., East Precinct officers were dispatched to the 200 Block of Southeast 160th Avenue on the reports of a shooting. Officers arrived to find a 16-year-old male with a gunshot wound to his leg. They retrieved their Individual First Aid Kits (IFAKs) and applied a tourniquet to the victim’s leg, and he was later treated at a local hospital. The shooting originated from a vehicle that had immediately left the scene. Nobody is in custody. ECST is actively investigating.

— Just after 10:26 p.m. on Monday, May 29th, officers from North Precinct responded to a crash at the intersection of Northeast Columbia Boulevard and Northeast Cully Boulevard involving a motorcycle and a car. The motorcyclist was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. The driver of the car stayed at the scene and cooperated with the investigation. Due to the level of injury involved, the Major Crash Team was activated for the third time of the holiday weekend. Based on their preliminary investigation, they determined speed and alcohol influenced the motorcyclist’s driving ability.

I don’t think you have to be “anti-car” to acknowledge that our city would be a much nicer place to live if we created a system where fewer people drove cars and that we should do much more to encourage them to do so humanely.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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mc
mc
1 year ago

Although the number & severity of these incidents over the long holiday weekend might highlight the problem of “miscreant motorists”, this incidents happen daily.

A few weeks ago, I jumped out in front of speeding car w. my dog on SE 30th ave, north of Reed College. This was his 2nd high speed run down the street.

A few months before that some kids stole a car, raced down SE 30th, with a tow truck driver in high speed pursuit. The kids crashed into a car in the parking lot with people in it. The tow truck crashed into 1 parked cars.

People speed on this neighborhood street daily endangering the lives of all the people who live in this neighborhood.

Streets like this should have speed limit signs with speed trap camera enforcement.

I was happy to see motorcycle cops on SE Powell this weekend.

SE 34th
SE 34th
1 year ago
Reply to  mc

Just today I was riding home from an early morning dentist appointment, heading south on SE 16th towards SE Hawthorne. I stopped at Hawthorne to trip the light & watched a car with no plates speed by in front of me at what looked like 60 mph going east. 60 mph! On Hawthorne at 8:15 in the am! Unfortunately speed cameras would not have helped, because no plates.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
1 year ago

The police reports from the weekend highlight another unfortunate reality all Portland cyclists should keep in mind. If someone is driving like an idiot, chances are they’re also armed.

David Hampsten
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

Also stoned/drunk/high, using a stolen car, and has lots of previous convictions.

Dave Fronk
Dave Fronk
1 year ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

And knows damned well that they won’t be prosecuted by our DA

Randi J
Randi J
1 year ago

This is why it’s imperative we get our police force to full staffing ASAP. “Police alternatives” don’t work for these situations.

Fred Wheeler
Fred Wheeler
1 year ago
Reply to  Randi J

Yeah that’ll help. F*** the police. They purposely don’t enforce most of this stuff in the first place so they can say the city is a mess and ask for more money.

ShadowsFolly
ShadowsFolly
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred Wheeler

How quickly people forget the inconvenient truth that the Major ordered them to not enforce traffic laws and the DA not wanting to prosecute just doesn’t jive with narrative you’re trying to spin.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  ShadowsFolly

There is a lot of irony in this post.

How quickly people forget the inconvenient truth that the Major ordered them to not enforce traffic laws

I’ll give you $1000 if you can find a statement from the mayor ordering the police to ‘not enforce traffic laws’

and the DA not wanting to prosecute

DA Schmidt is prosecuting more cases than his predecessor with less staff while dealing with a Public Defender crisis that leaves him unable to prosecute lawyer-less defendants.

https://www.mcda.us/index.php/data-dashboards

just doesn’t jive with narrative you’re trying to spin.

Oh lordy, please turn off Lars for a couple of weeks.

Yolanda S
Yolanda S
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Well the post is overly broad but it is not completely off base. Post- Floyd Wheeler seemed to lose his analytical mind and came up with new policies without considering the unintended consequences. Removing School Resource Officers (SRO’s) from PPS WITHOUT having an alternative in place is another of a shortsighted move by Wheeler (and Guerrero).

https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/portland-mayor-police-chief-news-conference-policing-changes/283-7c4e2427-d844-440e-acad-ed0e46e68a8d#:~:text=PORTLAND%2C%20Ore.,recording%20a%20driver%27s%20informed%20consent.

And Schmidt prosecutes a lot LESS than neighboring county DA’s. He needs to quit using lack of public defenders as an excuse for his lack of prosecution.

https://www.kgw.com/article/news/investigations/multnomah-county-misdemeanor-theft-shoplifting-prosecutions/283-f787c79b-a70c-4cb6-b48a-fb22cafbc15d#:~:text=So%20far%20in%202022%2C%20prosecutors,provided%20by%20all%20three%20offices.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  Yolanda S

Look, the commentator I responded to was lying or incorrect, full stop. You can try and move the goal posts wherever you want to with what-about-ism, but that doesn’t mean the comment I replied to ‘wasn’t completely off base’

SRO’s are another right-wing value that has been shown to drastically increase negative outcomes for students, especially Black students, and provide little to no value. Our own dear Chief ‘Chokehold’ Chuck Lovell was an SRO when he brutally assaulted a 14-year old girl for hurting his feelings. I’m sure that traumatized her quite a bit.

https://www.nea.org/advocating-for-change/new-from-nea/making-schools-safe-and-just

As for the ‘prosecutes a lot less’ thing, I encourage you to take a longer think on this subject. Could it be that Multnomah County prosecutes less thefts because they have other crimes that are more important to use their resources on? What crimes do you want DA Schmidt to not prosecute to get those retail theft prosecution numbers up? Sexual assault? Battery?

DA Schmidt is in the real world doing a really important job and has to consider real world factors like finite resources and actual impact of descision. He can’t focus on trying to compare homework with DA’s who work in a completely different context.

Pierre Lathau
Pierre Lathau
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

The principals at my kid’s schools (one is Black) said the loss of the SRO program in PPS was a huge loss for the safety of students, teachers and staff. One of them said they often acted more like counselors than cops. Neither of these two educators are “right wing”, FAR from it in fact. You might consider doing some local research before parroting the “SRO’s are right wing” refrain. In Portland they were an asset. School safety should not be a partisan issue.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  Pierre Lathau

. One of them said they often acted more like counselors than cops

I bet they did. I’m sure thats the exact way the students would describe that relationship. When I was in high school, I remember that no one had more of a handle of how students felt than the principle who rarely interacted with them

You might consider doing some local research before parroting the “SRO’s are right wing” refrain. In Portland they were an asset. School safety should not be a partisan issue.

I agree! We should use evidence-based practices in schools instead of SRO’s, which have been shown statistically to increase negative outcomes from students.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

“SROs provide little to no value.”

Why is PPS trying to bring them back? (As other cities such as Denver have.)

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Why is PPS trying to bring them back?

PPS is one of the worst run school districts in the country and you want me to look at them as a barometer for what’s a good idea?

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

I would consider PPS much more an authority on their security needs than you are. Sorry.

FDUP
FDUP
1 year ago
Reply to  Yolanda S

PBA is pulling Wheeler’s strings, he is just a puppet.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  FDUP

PBA is also keeping children in the basement of a local pizza joint.

ShadowsFolly
ShadowsFolly
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Lars who?
It’s a good thing that I listened to NPR and read the Oregonian which reported on both items in the past.
One wonders what news sources you pay attention to if at all.
Looks like you owe Yolanda S $1,000.

idlebytes
idlebytes
1 year ago
Reply to  ShadowsFolly

“Major ordered them to not enforce traffic laws” does not equal the headline of that article “Portland police officers will no longer stop drivers for low-level traffic violations.” None of what is in this article was a low level traffic violation or as the sub-headline refers to them “infractions like equipment failures or expired plates.”

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  ShadowsFolly

It’s a good thing that I listened to NPR and read the Oregonian which reported on both items in the past.

That’s great! You should have no problem finding a source for the totally real and not made up ‘the mayor ordered the police to not enforce traffic laws’

One wonders what news sources you pay attention to if at all.

My actual wonder is how you can be presented with evidence that you’re incorrect and that your narrative is wrong and then you just double down on your false narrative.

jakeco969
jakeco969
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

I’m pretty sure low-level traffic violations are exactly the same as traffic laws.
The article Yolanda S referenced states……..

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland police officers will no longer be directed to stop drivers for low-level traffic violations. They’ll also be directed to tailor their search protocols to prioritize getting and recording a driver’s informed consent.
Police Chief Chuck Lovell and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced the new directives at a virtual press conference Tuesday. 

The article directly states that traffic laws were not to be enforced. True, it doesn’t say that all traffic laws are to be ignored, but come on, its right there in print that the mayor directed police to not enforce traffic laws.
Honestly, what more are you looking for?

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  jakeco969

The article directly states that traffic laws were not to be enforced. True, it doesn’t say that all traffic laws are to be ignored, but come on, its right there in print that the mayor directed police to not enforce traffic laws. Honestly, what more are you looking for?

A little integrity would be excellent! The article states

“Portland police officers will no longer be directed to stop drivers for low-level traffic violations.”

That means that Portland Police can still enforce all of our traffic laws, they just are no longer going to prioritize low-level traffic law violations.

So, just so we’re clear, the mayor never ordered the police to not enforce all traffic laws, he didn’t order the police to not enforce some traffic laws. They changed the direction to officers on what type of violations they want officers to make stops for.

I read the article and I didn’t see anyone being killed or endangered by expired tags, so I’m curious why ShadowsFolly brought it up in the first place unless the goal was to try and imply that PPB had been ordered to not enforce ALL traffic laws.

Pierre Lathau
Pierre Lathau
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

I’ll give you $1000 if you can find a statement from the mayor ordering the police to ‘not enforce traffic laws’

You’re splitting hairs here. Just write the check to Yolanda for $1000 and be done with it.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  Pierre Lathau

You’re splitting hairs here.

I’m really not. This isn’t even semantics. There is a difference between the mayor forbidding something and the mayor removing a direction to do something and telling cops to use their discretion.

Anyone who has ever had children should be able to tell the difference between those two things.

ShadowsFolly
ShadowsFolly
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Appears you aren’t going to do the right thing and honor the bet you lost.
Yeah, I get it, $1K is a lot. How about this, go to your local animal shelter and donate $100 and post the receipt online. Do that and I’ll consider the dept you owe from your bet paid. (I can’t speak for Yolanda though)

OGB
OGB
1 year ago
Reply to  ShadowsFolly

I understood perfectly that they didn’t lose the bet. The claim you made hasn’t been proven at all, I don’t know how that wouldn’t be obvious.

Myth Dispulsion
Myth Dispulsion
1 year ago
Reply to  ShadowsFolly

It’s in vogue elsewhere, too. Ya know what’s next? “Progressive” police chiefs to join the like-minded politicized prosecutors.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred Wheeler

“They purposely don’t enforce most of this stuff in the first place so they can say the city is a mess”

And the city is full of rubes who actually believe the problem is that the police have far fewer officers than others cities our size.

Steve Cheseborough (Contributor)
Chezz
1 year ago
Reply to  Randi J

Uh, the Portland police are under federal watch for committing gratuitous violence, especially against disabled people and minorities. Adding to their numbers would cause more problems than it would solve. Let’s not do that.
For traffic enforcement, there are plenty of effective, inexpensive, non-cop methods. It just takes the political will to make them commonplace.

Yolanda S
Yolanda S
1 year ago
Reply to  Chezz

What “police alternatives” do you propose for stopping someone armed to the teeth with guns and silencers? A social worker or PSR employee with granola bars, free cigarettes and water bottles? Look at this recent news article. Who is going to protect us from people like this if not professional law enforcement? This concept of “non-cop” methods to deal with issues such as this is just simply not realistic. We need a fully staffed police force so they can respond in a timely fashion to the needs of our community.

Portland man asleep in running car; Guns, silencers found
https://www.koin.com/news/crime/portland-man-asleep-in-running-car-guns-silencers-found/

IMG_2187.jpeg
Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  Yolanda S

Chezz can be the first employee of our new unarmed vehicle enforcement team that will stop people like the guy with all the guns shown above. I’m sure he would have come up with a great way to stop the guy in the Audi as well.

Daniel Reimer
1 year ago
Reply to  Randi J

Most people aren’t suggesting that police alternatives respond to shootings.

Todd/Boulanger
1 year ago

I think w’all need to rethink the design of the IBR Interstate Bridge [and other highway bridges]…it might be nice to be able to do a bridge lift to stop north / south bound dangerous drivers from leaving the state.

Like in this case: “used spike strips to deflate the Toyota’s tires so the rubber was torn off and the vehicle was running on rims. The driver traveled through Portland, Gresham, unincorporated Multnomah County, and various areas of Clackamas County, ultimately turning into a hay field in 11700 block of Southeast 282nd Avenue in Boring, Oregon”

SD
SD
1 year ago

It’s amazing how much dangerous driving, car inflicted damage and debris I notice when I walk or bike around that I wouldn’t notice if I was rolling like a zombie-in-a-box.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago

I see drivers go straight through red lights like they’re not even there on an almost daily basis, and in broad daylight. The only sustainable response to this problem has to be redesigning our cities to limit car use, building dense, walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods, and increasing the quality and frequency of mass transit.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

Replace traffic signal intersections with roundabouts. You can’t have too many.

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

We don’t have the space for that in most of Portland. You could definitely do it east of 82nd, though.

Randi J
Randi J
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

…and we of course need traffic officer and traffic camera enforcement. No enforcement gives us what we have now in Portland—street lawlessness and record traffic violence.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

The fact that two of these drivers could continue to drive recklessly with *no tires on* is also a sign of how absurdly overpowered modern cars are. We urgently need new limits on vehicle size and weight to protect all road users.

jakeco969
jakeco969
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

Absolute agree with you on this. Instead of going for an all electric and much heavier vehicle future I personally think something the size of a smart car would be ideal for a large percentage if the population.

https://www.npr.org/2023/01/11/1148483758/ntsb-heavy-electric-vehicles-safety-risks

Ted Gresh
Ted Gresh
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

People run red lights means we need to redesign our city?? That is a pretty big leap. There is no way to redesign a city without tearing down what is there and rebuilding…is that really what you are proposing?

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  Ted Gresh

It’s not just the red light running. It’s also the dangerous speeding, the inattentive driving, the road raging using cars as weapons. It’s the waste of public space, the environmental degradation, the social atomization, and the economic drain caused by car dependency. “Tearing down what is there and rebuilding” is how cities have grown for thousands of years. Only the zoning rules of the last half century locked North America into dependence on the automobile for daily living.

https://smartgrowth.org/smart-growth-principles/

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

“Only the zoning rules of the last half century locked North America into dependence on the automobile for daily living.”

Well, that and the fact that Americans seem to like using their cars far more than any of the alternatives.

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago

That story about the Audi drive is absolutely nuts, and I think shows that the PPB is showing extreme restraint. I’m starting to wonder if the level of restraint is resulting in unnecessary danger to the general public. In this case, no one was injured or killed, but it absolutely could have. At what point is deadly force justified when a suspect is using a deadly weapon (a large SUV) with no concern for the people around them?

idlebytes
idlebytes
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

I would not consider PPB or any police competent enough to use deadly force against a person in a fast moving vehicle without putting the public in greater danger. I mean this isn’t Lethal Weapon. The only time they could do it somewhat safely is when the driver was unconscious which is murder. They’re not posing a threat at the time.

Patrick Halley
Patrick Halley
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

Totally agree! In the Audi account and others, its frustrating to see how often the police seem to be pulling back / trying to passively de-escalate situations. How many additional lives were endangered while the police were hoping the situation would resolve itself?

Ted Gresh
Ted Gresh
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

Well since you asked the question, how about you try and answer it? If you were the police office involved in that incident, at one point would YOU feel justified taking a person’s life because they are not showing “concern for people around them?”

PS
PS
1 year ago
Reply to  Ted Gresh

Simple, as soon as the driver goes to flee the second time, it’s game over. Assuming we are trying to protect the public and not criminals.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris I

Based on the limited information available, PPB did the right thing here. Engaging in a high-speed chase only encourages the suspect to drive even more recklessly to get away. Police car chases have killed more than 5,000 bystanders and passengers since 1979.

https://www.usatoday.com/pages/interactives/high-speed-chases/

Ted Gresh
Ted Gresh
1 year ago

Since the vast majority of adults in Portland own and/or operate motor vehicles, the headline “Drivers wreck havoc…” could easily say “People wreck havoc…”. Also you could change “Often lost in debates about transportation in Portland is just how terribly selfish, irresponsible and reckless so many car drivers are.” to “Often lost in debates about transportation in Portland is just how terribly selfish, irresponsible and reckless so many PEOPLE are.”

To try and correlate selfish, irresponsible and reckless behavior with driving a car is irresponsible. People behave poorly and commit crimes that have tragic results every day. That some crimes involve a car makes them no more or less tragic. The narrative that the people who work at PBOT or PPB can do anything to keep such tragic events from happening, I believe, is false.

qqq
qqq
1 year ago
Reply to  Ted Gresh

But saying ”drivers” is accurate and more specific.

The “people wreaking havoc” were drivers, or if you prefer, people who were driving at the time. Of people wreak havoc when they’re not driving, but that’s not what the article is about.

Same with your, “Often lost in debates about transportation in Portland is just how terribly selfish, irresponsible and reckless so many PEOPLE are.” Of course that’s true. But the article was about drivers, so “drivers” was used. I’m guessing that’s because drivers–not others–who are selfish, irresponsible or reckless are a bigger problem in transportation than selfish, irresponsible or reckless bike riders, pedestrians or bus riders.

Dave Fronk
Dave Fronk
1 year ago
Reply to  Ted Gresh

The “us vs. them” narrative is bogus, but I guess it generates clicks / comments / ad impressions.

Apart from a very small, very loud minority of “car free” zealots, most cyclists also own cars and drive. Even the author of this piece, Mr. Maus, owns one. What havoc has Jonathan wreaked lately?

Dave Fronk
Dave Fronk
1 year ago

Wait, I thought the mere act of driving an automobile makes one a “selfish asshole”. Or at least that’s what the rhetoric around here seems to claim.

Are you suggesting that cars are perfectly safe when operated appropriately?

qqq
qqq
1 year ago
Reply to  Dave Fronk

Maybe Jonathan should have written something like “so many drivers” to indicate he’s not saying ALL drivers behave badly.

Oh, wait–that’s exactly what he did write.

And instead of saying bad drivers are only a danger to people biking or walking he should have said something to indicate they’re a danger to everyone, including other drivers–maybe something like, “consider the danger these drivers put innocent PEOPLE in”.

Oops, that’s also exactly what he did write.

Dave Fronk
Dave Fronk
1 year ago
Reply to  qqq

Jonathan is a perfect driver. Only he should be allowed to drive.

pierre_delecto
pierre_delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  Ted Gresh

People behave poorly and commit crimes that have tragic results every day.

A glimpse of the thought process of ‘Muhrricans who drive and shoot guns:

1. It’s tragic that people using cars and guns kill and maim so many people.
2. Tragedy happens everyday. This is normal.
3. It’s just human nature and nothing can be done.
4. Every other wealthy nation has far lower rates of car and gun homicide but this is ‘Muhrrica and we are just different (because of our freedumbs).
5. Thoughts and prayers to the victims.

Myth Dispulsion
Myth Dispulsion
1 year ago

Since it’s involved with these events, and related outrages by some commenters, it’s worth noting that with speeding, some hope will be coming in a few years with Intelligent Speed Assistance, which is being required now in Europe and tested in the USA now, meaning incorporated speed limiters that provide feedback to drivers (largely intended for the inattentive) and limit vehicle speeds. By the time it gets fielded here it may well be “harder” with the limit application and how easy or not it is to override the limits, probably made more difficult by then.

For the worst on residential streets, designed to serve the residents, not heavy or fast through traffic or fast traffic at all, in addition to traffic calming and some use of barriers and diverters to limit through access routes, it may be necessary to end through routes for motor vehicles while permitting them for bikes and other low-speed and “neighborhood” vehicles. Through routes and circulation, as with a grid that urbanists want for everyone, are what’s really useful for motorists everywhere, even among multiple parking lots along arterials and the like as alternate routes, but if motorists make it like other things in our process of decline that we can’t have because of too much abuse or misuse, you know what to do even if you love the alternate routes and you use them only sparingly, and drive carefully. Some might even want the Greenways better protected in this way already.

Greatdane
Greatdane
1 year ago

I did a number of good, long rides this holiday weekend – the weather was perfect! The driving around me…less so. There are certainly plenty of drivers who are very respectful and safe around bicyclists. Unfortunately, the number of drivers who aren’t has increased to a level that is almost enough to make me question my decision to bike as much as I do (or even at all, I’d like to stick around for my family). I honestly don’t know who bothers me more at this point… the drivers who simply don’t see bicyclists at all, the ones who see and don’t care, or the ones who actively try to intimidate and scare. They were all out in droves this weekend. Until there are actually any consequences, I don’t see the situation improving. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m guessing the 17-mph cushion story I’m headed to next isn’t going to do much to help this feeling.

David Raboin
David Raboin
1 year ago

In the past 10 days, my daughter’s chemistry teacher was hit by a car while biking, one of my son’s fourth grade classmates was hit by a car while crossing the road at a round-about, and my wife’s best friend was t-boned by a car thief while driving a few blocks from our house (the criminal got away on foot and is still at large). Car violence is out of control in this city.