Opinion: Safe streets are a basic service our city fails to provide

Headlines this week from Willamette Week and KATU.

A truism I come back to often as I navigate frequent debates online and off is that multiple things — often conflicting things — can be true at the same time. In today’s world where public discussions are too often binary, having simultaneous multiple truths can be difficult for folks to accept.

Case in point: the Portland Bureau of Transportation is amazing. It has a proud legacy of national leadership, excellent programs, and is full of dedicated staff who want to do the rights things — even when it requires pushing back against bureaucratic inertia. At the same time, PBOT is failing miserably on its main job: to provide the basic service of safe streets for all Portlanders.

We all know the traffic death toll has scaled new heights in recent years. But from a street-level perspective, two stories in the local media this week stand as examples of PBOT’s failure, and they both involve unsafe conditions on the same street, less than two miles apart. In both cases, PBOT is well-aware of dangers drivers pose, yet they’ve failed to adequately address it. The result has been stress, repeated trauma, property damage, and even loss of life.

Remember the s-curves on Southeast Woodstock and 60th I reported on a year ago? Folks who live there reached out to me after drivers repeatedly failed to negotiate the curve. They shared several examples of drivers and their cars flying through front yards, slamming into porches, and careening into fences. The problem had been going on for years, and neighbors felt like PBOT wasn’t doing enough.

Less than six months after a video and a story was posted on BikePortland, PBOT finally took action. They installed plastic wands, curbs, and new signage — all to straighten out the curves in hopes it would calm drivers down and prevent crashes.

It isn’t working. As local advocates have been saying for years: plastic is no match for steel.

Less than four months after one of the families I spoke to installed a new fence, someone slammed into it. A reader sent me the photo above on February 12th. “I heard the crash,” Josh C. shared. “Then I realized my wife and kid had just left and would have been sitting in that very spot.” According to Josh, he learned from a neighbor that the driver was so drunk he just got out of the car and laid down in the grass.

“I don’t know why there are not at least a few bumps leading up to the curve. There is zero incentive for drivers to slow down,” Josh, who is not a traffic engineer, said. “Make it so they fail sooner and faster before they can build speed. That’s all I can think of.”

In a story about the most recent crash, KATU reported that the homeowner has evidence of three drivers crashing into their property in the last 14 months — with one of them going right into their living room. They say they have “panic responses” whenever they hear a loud noise. Another nearby resident says he spent $10,000 to stop cars from plunging into his yard.

All folks want is speed bumps or some sort of stronger barrier to keep themselves safe. All PBOT has said is there’s an unfunded plan where changes might be considered sometime in the future.

Two miles east, a 71-year-old man was hit and killed while walking across SE Woodstock and 97th. In a story published by Willamette Week on Wednesday, they detailed how a lack of action by PBOT might have contributed to the man’s death:

“The intersection is so treacherous that city officials six years ago deemed it worthy of major changes. In 2018, the Portland Bureau of Transportation announced it would spend $4 million to make a stretch of Foster Road and Woodstock Boulevard safer. The funding soon grew to $6.6 million and plans included a crosswalk, a traffic median, and a stoplight at the intersection of 97th and Woodstock.

City officials said they would complete the safety improvements at the intersection by 2020. In 2020, they promised to finish the work by 2022. To date, none of the improvements have been made—not even the stripes of white paint needed to create a crosswalk.”

PBOT didn’t explain in much detail to Willamette Week why the changes haven’t happened. They did mention “budget pressures,” a need to “value engineer” the project, and gave “sometime next year” as a timeframe for completion.


It’s unacceptable so many Portlanders are held hostage to unsafe drivers and deadly, trauma-inducing streets with years of documented hazards. I understand PBOT cannot address all the city’s needs and that the scope of the problem (drunk, dangerous, careless, selfish, distracted, irresponsible drivers) has ballooned faster than government can handle.

What I don’t understand is why PBOT hasn’t met the moment with changes to their approach that are commensurate with the problem. Drivers have thrown out the book when it comes to norms of civil conduct and our infrastructure and traffic management policies are woefully outdated and inadequate. Referring Portlanders to unfunded plans and plastic half-measures are not the right response. We need triage. We need leadership at PBOT and City Hall to get in front of the public; make statements, take actions, be bold, be different, be accountable.

Safe streets are a basic service and it’s PBOT’s job to provide them. No matter how much we love the bureau’s people, legacy and programs; we must demand they do more, better, faster.

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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Damien
Damien
2 months ago

Hear, hear.

Karl Dickman
Karl Dickman
2 months ago

I haven’t biked in years, I only drive and ride the bus now. I’ve had multiple drivers cross the double yellow line on Woodstock to pass me in the stretch between 67th and 72nd. I’m not a pokey driver, I simply drive the speed limit. 30 mph in that stretch. Too high for a residential neighborhood, but what can I do? The most harrowing was the pickup truck that passed me through the S-curve at 69th. It’s a blind corner where there really isn’t an easy way to see if another driver is coming. Thank goodness it wasn’t a head-on collision but it easily could have been. I’m guessing they were doing 40 to 45 mph on the wrong side of the road around a blind corner.
I’ve reported every single incident to 823-SAFE. Usually they tell me I should have called 911 instead. I have a family friend who is a police officer has said the same thing: when you see driving that egregious, call 911. But we’re having record hold times right now. Is the right thing to do really to tie up the 911 lines when someone might need an ambulance for a heart attack to report a driving incident that won’t be investigated in any way?

Me
Me
2 months ago
Reply to  Karl Dickman

Same. I’ve repeatedly had drivers pass me on Woodstock on the stretch between 52nd & 72nd. I’m not a pokey driver either — just going the 30 mph speed limit. Something needs to be done to slow cars in this stretch.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  Karl Dickman

From talking with police and policy people here in NC, the 911 calls are logged by federal officials in all jurisdictions. The resulting number and percentages for types of calls – for example crashes versus drug overdoses versus gun murders – acts as an indicator of how much of extra federal funding an area will get from a national pool (similar to transportation funding) and what kind of crimes will get prioritized for extra funding. If Portlanders are (relatively) more often calling in drug overdoses and less often for traffic violations, then the feds will assume that traffic violations are less bad in Portland and thus the city doesn’t need as much federal funding for traffic enforcement, and more for say drug overdoses.

joey Campbell
joey Campbell
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

I don’t think this is true at all . Transportation funds are distributed by formula that doesn’t include “number of 911 calls”.

qqq
qqq
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

So getting back to Karl’s point, should Karl have called 911 and said, “I wasn’t going to report the driver that sped past me five minutes ago, but I realized it’s worth tying up the 911 line that might be needed by someone requiring an ambulance for a heart attack because I don’t want to detrimentally impact our region’s access to federal traffic safety funding in the next fiscal biennium.”?

360Skeptic
360Skeptic
2 months ago
Reply to  qqq

Not a great question. A better one: Shouldn’t a county as large and populous and well-funded as Multnomah maintain enough 911 capacity to _both_ help the person that already needs an ambulance _and_ to prevent someone from needing an ambulance due to grave injury from a whacked-out and dangerous driver?

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  Karl Dickman

I hate the advice “You should have called 911” for several reasons:

Common sense says an idiot driver shouldn’t have priority over someone who needs an ambulance.When I have called 911 to report dangerous drivers, the operators have often told me to call the non-emergency number. So which is it?The implication is that I as a reporter have done something wrong, which I haven’t. The city should have an easy way to triage calls so they go to the right place and don’t keep the caller on hold for five, ten, or 15 minutes.Anyone who has tried to report just about anything to the city knows that the reporting system is deeply, deeply broken. I don’t bother anymore – I figure that when someone is killed, the police will show up.

Alexandar Hull-Richter
Alexandar Hull-Richter
2 months ago
Reply to  Karl Dickman

I think that sent of thing is why people are now saying to get a dash cam so you can capture their license plate for your report.

It sucks as a situation, also because dash cams are expensive.

Karl Dickman
Karl Dickman
2 months ago

I would also add that while I appreciate the effort, bicyclists riding through the S-curve are no less at risk from reckless drivers than the houses next to it, but the project is installed inside the bike lanes even though it would have been trivial to put the wands between the bike lanes and the auto lanes. There’s plenty of space to restripe the bike lanes if they need to move them a few inches closer to the curb to make room for the plastic delineators.

PS
PS
2 months ago

A truism I come back to often as I navigate frequent debates online and off is that multiple things — often conflicting things — can be true at the same. In today’s world where public discussions are too often binary, having simultaneous multiple truths can be difficult for folks to accept.

There were 75 vehicle related deaths in Portland last year, which the linked article notes is a highpoint since 1986. What was the population of Portland in 1986? Looks like it was about 390,000 and it is about 648,000 in 2023. So, in 1986, there were 19.23 vehicle deaths per 100,000 people and in 2023 that is 11.57, a 40% reduction.

Of course this isn’t to pat PBOT on the back, this is likely the result of vehicles, not infrastructure. In 1986 very few cars had airbags, abs, collision warning monitors, three point seatbelts, and it was normal as a kid to ride in the “way back”, etc. Now all of that is standard equipment on many vehicles and then some, which has meant that on a per capita basis you’re 40% less likely to die in/around a vehicle in Portland now, than you were 40 years ago.

This is also interesting:

https://www.portland.gov/transportation/vision-zero/deadly-traffic-crash-demographics#:~:text=Age%20and%20sex%20(2018%20%2D%202022,are%20at%20the%20highest%20risk.

X
X
2 months ago
Reply to  PS

The safety measures you name operate mainly inside the motor vehicle. Lots of the people who were killed in the past year were outside a vehicle which struck them so the deaths per 100,000 population may not compare. I haven’t seen information for 1986.

We aren’t going to make new vehicles less safe for occupants. It would be illegal. That leaves stricter licensing requirements, or possibly some way of making the driving task more difficult without making it inherently more dangerous. Sensor gates that register a vehicle’s location off center in a lane could trigger a licensing recall?

We have to get past the idea that a car’s registered owner has no responsibility for how it is driven. This is a huge gap in the social contract. If nothing else works we could require presentation of a current valid license to fuel or charge a vehicle.

MelK
MelK
2 months ago
Reply to  PS

It’s called Vision Zero, not Vision 40% per 100,000 People Reduction.

Shane
Shane
2 months ago
Reply to  MelK

Sure, but you know that literal zero is a fantasy right? I mean, are we really going to throw that number around whenever progress is mentioned? They’re not even defending PBOT, just providing more context for the provided numbers.

prioritarian
prioritarian
2 months ago
Reply to  Shane

but you know that literal zero is a fantasy right?

So many things that are good and moral are “fantasy” in this benighted nation.

Will
Will
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

Don’t even have to go that far. Hoboken, NJ was able to achieve it as well.

https://www.npr.org/2022/08/25/1119110757/traffic-deaths-car-accident-hoboken-new-jersey-vision-zero

Alexandar Hull-Richter
Alexandar Hull-Richter
2 months ago
Reply to  Shane

Actually, it isn’t a fantasy. At least one city in NJ has made it happen already!

PS
PS
2 months ago
Reply to  MelK

I know, Portland is the perfect place for perfect being the enemy of good

MelK
MelK
2 months ago
Reply to  PS

I have a feeling the families of the 75 people killed on our streets last year wouldn’t call that “good” regardless of how much of a per-capita reduction it may be. The point of Vision *Zero* is that we don’t stop working until we reach that number. And even then, there will likely be work to maintain that number. Sounds exhausting, but that’s what caring about human life looks like. Traffic deaths are preventable, and I offer no apologies for holding my city to a high standard.

PS
PS
2 months ago
Reply to  MelK

We already have stopped working toward that number. PPB doesn’t have enough resources for enforcement of minor traffic infractions. PBOT can’t afford to repair the infrastructure they already have. Of course like all the concepts with a catchy name, if we just “do the work” we can prove how much “we care about human life”. There is a zero percent chance Portland has zero traffic deaths in two consecutive years in the next 30 years.

blumdrew
2 months ago
Reply to  PS

Deaths on roads being judged in per-capita terms is a bit fraught I think, but the city of Portland is larger in area than it was in 1986 due to annexations in what is now East Portland. That population should be included in your 1986 numbers if you want to actually compare like numbers.

The more useful data points are more immediately in the past anyways though. We “only” had 35 deaths in 2018 when the city was functionally the same size, deaths on the road more than doubling in just 5 years is a serious issue and something that the city needs to reckon with immediately.

Karl Dickman
Karl Dickman
2 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

If you include population that in the area that was annexed 1986-2024, you need to include the deaths that occurred in that area as well. Unless there’s good reason to believe that the areas annexed after 1986 were significantly safer than areas annexed before 1986–and I really can’t think of any–it’s quite unlikely to change the rate of deaths per 100,000 people.
All that being said, I agree entirely that 2018 is a far better baseline for what’s possible than 1986.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  Karl Dickman

The city effectively stopped annexations in 1992 (it slowed to a trickle since). It should be easy enough comparing 1992 to 2022.

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  Karl Dickman

Aren’t “vehicle miles driven” the usual benchmark for safety statistics? I’ll bet the larger number of residents is driving many more miles. Even so, a city committed to Vision Zero wouldn’t accept the number of deaths we are seeing on the roads currently.

If the city wanted to, it could slow down traffic on these dangerous streets tomorrow. Our leaders clearly don’t want to.

PS
PS
2 months ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Why would it be fraught to look at per capita deaths?

In the amnexation point, if we exclude the 45% of fatalities from east portland last year, and assume the population of what remains hasn’t changed since 1986 (which we know isn’t true, but works in your favor) the per 100,000 number is 10.5. Tale out marine drive and that drops it even lower.

I agree that the 2018 count is what we should expect, but you’re describing a city that literally doesn’t exist anymore and, if memory serves, was destroyed by the last time we tried reckoning with something. So, I’m a little skeptical about us reckoning our way out of this.

All I am saying is the hyperbole is excessive.

Alexandar Hull-Richter
Alexandar Hull-Richter
2 months ago
Reply to  PS

I recall reading that there were 77 traffic deaths in 2022, so down to 75 is an improvement, however small.

Serenity
Serenity
2 months ago

Thank you Jonathan.

Matt
Matt
2 months ago

We can’t progress in Portland because we are held hostage by ultra-progressives putting everything through a “how does this impact people of color” filter.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt

That’s right.
Because those people with that skin color deserve no safety features to protect themselves or their kids.
And those with that skin color do deserve safety in their community to protect themselves and their kids.

See, we must form a committee.
/s.

Karl Dickman
Karl Dickman
2 months ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

thinking of inventing a new type of person to get mad at on here. maybe people who carry too many keys around.. i dont know yet

jakeco969
jakeco969
2 months ago
Reply to  Karl Dickman

When I taught EO classes in the Oregon National Guard I used “those deviant left handed people” after apologizing to anyone who happened to be left handed as a stand in for ethnic/racial slurs

Granpa
Granpa
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt

People in leafy, “twee” neighborhoods where the dominant demographic is white would be happy if speed and red light cameras were installed in their neighborhoods. What an irony if complaints about discrimination against people of color resulted in white neighborhoods benefiting from safety improvements

360Skeptic
360Skeptic
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

No, I think you’re mistaking a symptom for a cause. Seems more like the problem goes all the way back to Vera Katz.

Despite occupying an arcane “weak mayor” office overseeing extreme silos, she knew how to get things done. She defined the “city that works” era that put Portland on the national map in so many ways. She likely passed knowledge on to her protege, but he immediately wasted it in scandal.

Ever since, we’ve had a leadership vacuum — a parade of Peter-principle, cargo-cult posers who mistake signaling and signifying (which you allude to) for real action. In our era, that’s not unique to Portland, but the effects are likely worse here because of governance structure.

The city coasted on for a while despite the posers, but the pandemic, fentanyl and p2p meth were too much. The upcoming revamping of city government could help — but it’s probably going to be a long haul.

surly ogre
surly ogre
2 months ago

It appears that City of Portland and PBOT only understand lawsuits.
I’ve heard many excessive force by police lawsuit cases settle at city council hearings.
I’m not sure how many, if any, lawsuits for bad design and wrongful death, injury, property damage have been successfully prosecuted against the City/PBOT. Anyone else here know/have ideas?
S-Curves in Portland should not exist without significant infrastructure to reduce approach speed.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  surly ogre

S-Curves in Portland should not exist…

I totally agree, and while we are about it, we ought to get a UN resolution banning spherical geometry; further, all cities with blocks having 90 degrees at all four corners should only be allowed on cylindrical planets and those that are 100% flat.

EV enthusiast
EV enthusiast
2 months ago

Safe streets are a basic service that this city and nation has always failed to provide. Perhaps the problem is not one of “basic service” but rather of cultural narcissism and cruelty. And, perhaps, the path to change lies not in online polemics and sub-cultural dissociation but rather in political organizing and direct action. *crickets*

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago

JM, this piece is a rant. We’ve seen you do much better work and we applaud you for it, but this one falls rather short of your usual standards.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago

Nice rant JM, reminds me of the rants we would hear when I was on neighborhood association boards (Sullivans Gulch 2002-6, Hazelwood 2008-15). Like most rants, utterly pointless – you are just blowing off steam – by now you should know precisely why PBOT keeps delaying badly-needed funded projects, and if you don’t, shame on you for not paying attention at PBOT Bureau Advisory Committee meetings you attended. The Cully NE 57th cycletrack was delayed for 15 years, and by the time it was completed, the funding had lost a third of its value just from inflation. The SW Gibbs Street pedestrian bridge was delayed 48 years before it was built. And of course there are numerous projects that never got started.

Why are projects delayed? Well, for starters there’s never enough money in the first place, but previously scheduled projects got delayed, so the new project funding is used to start those older projects, much like a pyramid scheme – this sort of funding is generally referred to as “deficit financing” and is widely attributed to a French administrator called Haussmann in the mid-1800s and perfected by Robert Moses in the mid-1900s, now part of federal USDOT policy – and it’s a neverending regressive cycle of borrowing money through municipal bonds and paying it back over 30 years of collected funding. Secondly, every elected official (and quite a few bureaucrats and community activists) has ideas on how any “spare change” ought to be spent on some new transportation project – a gondola system to Pill Hill, a bike bridge to be named after a living congressman, sidewalks for East Portland – and by delaying certain projects, the diverted bond funding can then be used for these new pet projects.

And who makes these decisions? Well, that’s complicated, but ultimately it’s up to the City Council, but they get their advice from their advisors, from PBOT bureaucrats, by lobbyists, and ultimately the idiots that elected them in the first place, the residents of Portland who chose to vote for them (and the voters who didn’t vote for their opponents, which includes those who failed to cast ballots.)

qqq
qqq
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Like most rants, utterly pointless – you are just blowing off steam 

What a dismal response.

This piece isn’t pointless, and nobody here needs to be lectured about how things work.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  qqq

OK, I’m game, what part of what JM wrote is actually constructive feedback? Where exactly in this piece did he provide useful step-by-step things that PBOT can do to fix these issues?

Fred
Fred
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

It’s not his job to provide step-by-step instructions.

We all know what would improve safety: lowering speeds.

PBOT could use concrete blocks to narrow dangerous streets, but they just don’t want to.

qqq
qqq
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t provide constructive feedback or step-by-step instructions in his “I Have a Dream” speech. Neither did Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address, or any of a million other people who’ve stated their opinions in a thoughtful way.

I’m not saying this column is comparable to those, but it’s ridiculous to think that doing either is necessary for an opinion piece to be good. Besides, he’s done literally hundreds or thousands of columns where he HAS done those exact things.

He’s writing a short opinion about the City failing to provide safe streets, not testifying proposed language changes to Portland City Code section 33.555.C.2.xyz.

X
X
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

A problem with PBOT: There’s no action on known, reported objective hazards until somebody is dead. Any of us can give multiple examples of these bandaid projects. Somehow we are building stuff that is dangerously flawed, or else we are pushing a dangerous amount of traffic through streets that can’t safely carry it.

I’ve advocated replacing signal lights with traffic circles knowing full well that it can’t be reconciled with existing budgets. It would take a multi billion dollar bond issue to carry that out in less than a lifetime.

NE César Chávez has a traffic circle, of sorts, at Glisan. It could be remade to function properly with entry chicanes and bus signals as needed. From there the next step would be Burnside, then Stark, then Belmont. We already know that this street is a cramped and unsafe racetrack.

Alternatively, any big intersection on 82nd or 122nd would be a good place to start. If enough examples are in place and people see that they work maybe we can find the political capital to make a change.

Josh C
Josh C
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

> Like most rants, utterly pointless

Nice way to dismiss the suffering and pain expressed by your community.

That’s also utterly pointless, degrading and arrogant.

I used to spend hours of my day, day after day ranting about the drivers merging on the hawthorn bridge. I used to spend that time taking photos and posting “rants” to PBOT day after day of what could be only described as a “pointless design”. Now I don’t take personal credit for the light that is now in that very section, but regardless its different now than it was before. I’d like to think that my rants at least highlighted the dangers everyday people had to put up with day after day.

I’m told by PBOT that they don’t have enough money, yet I just paid $420 to renew my tags for my electric car, $120 of that was just the privilege of living in Multnomah county. So forgive me for not accommodating incompetent departments claiming they can’t do their job while I am also paying exorbitant fees.

Their mismanagement of the gas tax is their problem. Maybe they should lose their jobs for not doing them well, you know like literally anyone else.

Don Courtney
Don Courtney
2 months ago

Does no one here think the doubling of traffic deaths might be related to the fact that only 50 pc of cars in Portland have valid tags. That there is no effective requirement of having a drivers license either since the focus shifted to automated traffic enforcement?

Aaron
2 months ago

PBOT must really want activists to start installing guerilla infrastructure in the cover of night, because this sort of lack of regard for citizen safety is how you motivate otherwise ordinary citizens to start taking it into their own hands.

Lois Leveen
Lois Leveen
2 months ago

Our elected leaders are more interested in demonizing and criminalizing poverty and addiction than in addressing the middle- and upper-middle-class drivers who are actually threatening the health and well-being of Portlanders. Every single day, I am endangered by drivers running stop signs, running stop lights, speeding, distracted by phones or other screens (including the ones built into their vehicles because vehicles are now designed in ways that make its easier to drive recklessly), turning right while looking only to the left for the break in traffic, parking illegally, etc. Every day by 9 am, it’s already happened at least once. You cannot get to Vision Zero with Zero Vision, and when it comes to making our city safer, that is what our elected officials have — Zero Vision, even when the news is full of evidence they ought to see and act on.

360Skeptic
360Skeptic
1 month ago
Reply to  Lois Leveen

What you’re doing come close to _lionizing_ poor addicts, which is just another bogus flavor of bigotry.

I lived in this very neighborhood for 18 years, until summer ’22. Based on my experiences, I’m encouraging you to acknowledge that the drivers endangering you are members of _many_ classes, not just middle and upper. Some hints:

Those unkempt, amped-up, middle-age white dudes running a stop sign with an old pickup while towing a derelict RV with a rope? Those are tweakers (meth users). They’re running the stop sign because the RV’s power brakes and power steering don’t work when the engine isn’t running (which it isn’t) — so it handles like an ocean liner. If the rope breaks, that poor-addict-owned thing is basically a rolling wrecking ball headed your way.

Those dark-haired dudes shooting at each other as they drive down Harold? Those are likely rival gang members. They were around for decades (as evidenced by grafitti tags), but distribution of fent and p2p meth has become lucrative — so now they’re competing pretty openly for control of the territory. They’re not aiming at you, but guess what: Their errant lower-class bullets still are deadly to you.

These are just a couple of the more extreme vignettes, played out to a lesser degree many times each day. They include all the behaviors you mentioned. Those behaviors are class-blind, not class markers.

EV enthusiast
EV enthusiast
1 month ago
Reply to  360Skeptic

What you’re doing come close to _lionizing_ poor addicts, which is just another bogus flavor of bigotry.

The fragility and faux-grievance politics of the middle/upper class is comical (and dangerous).

I greatly prefer the average poor person or addict to the average middle/upper-class person. Disliking the sense of entitlement, and moral narcissism of well-off people is not “bigotry”, it’s a sociopolitical and moral preference.

360Skeptic
360Skeptic
1 month ago
Reply to  EV enthusiast

Good for you, I guess — but that’s a complete non sequitur.

“Drivers running stop signs, running stop lights, speeding, distracted by phones or other screens … turning right while looking only to the left for the break in traffic, parking illegally, etc.” — _that’s_ what most clearly is dangerous. All of it is potentially deadly to you and your family, and it’s perpetrated by all classes.

But if it floats your boat, then I guess just go ahead and keep on “prefer[ring]” some of it. But don’t imply that my lived experience was somehow not my lived experience, lest you co-opt the worst qualities of those you condemn.

Alexandar Hull-Richter
Alexandar Hull-Richter
2 months ago

I have a weird idea that may be helpful, or not.

Woodstock has signals at 52nd, 72nd, 82nd and 92nd, iirc. Those lights could all be set to stay red continuously (for Woodstock) until traffic is waiting for them. Traffic on Woodstock would have to get used to never getting a green because greens wouldn’t be offered until after someone stops.

While it’s true that wouldn’t help at 69th (the actual s-curve intersection described as 60th above), it would remove an incentive for drivers to go faster because there would be no green light for them to ‘catch.’

Beyond that, it would take physical improvements to the street to slow it down, like switching the parking and bike lanes (those bike lanes are horribly uncomfortable to ride anyway because of how close the traffic is).

Me
Me
2 months ago

As a local to this neighborhood, I don’t think that’s what’s going on here. The intersections with lights are too far apart that trying to get the green is not the incentive to go faster. It’s the long wide straight stretches that allow for and encourage speed.