PBOT to face reality of record traffic death toll at City Council today

3 out of 4 traffic deaths in Portland happen on “High Crash Network” streets like 122nd Ave. (Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

“PBOT can design safe streets, but we cannot reach our safety goals by focusing on street design alone.”

– Millicent Williams, PBOT

It’s no longer possible for the City of Portland to dismiss the startling toll of traffic deaths as an aberration. At City Council today, leaders of the transportation bureau will face the incontrovertible facts as they ask Mayor Ted Wheeler and the other four commissioners to accept a Deadly Crash Report that includes 69 confirmed fatalities — the most recorded in at least three decades.

2023 was the fourth year in a what the Portland Bureau of Transportation referred to in a statement released today as an, “increase in egregious travel behaviors among people using the streets.” Those behaviors, PBOT will share in a presentation today, are partly to blame for a consistent spike in the annual death toll that has been over 50 Portlanders per year since 2020. Prior to that year, the last time we suffered more than 50 road deaths was 1996.

When Portland proudly passed its Vision Zero goal in 2015, there were 37 traffic fatalities. That means despite our city’s focused effort on this problem and millions invested in infrastructure, education, and programs, we’ve nearly doubled the amount of deaths with just two years left before our target date of eliminating them.

At City Council today, PBOT will focus on two core themes: how the behavior or road users is largely to blame for the uptick in deaths; and that they need more “cross bureau collaboration” to address it.

“PBOT can design safe streets, but we cannot reach our safety goals by focusing on street design alone,” PBOT Director Millicent Williams said in a statement. “Ending traffic deaths depends significantly on traffic enforcement and the efforts by government and community partners. This includes important work to provide social services, mental health treatment, drug and alcohol addiction services, housing services, investments in state highways and facilities. It also depends on every single person in our community making a commitment to traveling safely.”

PBOT’s statement included a list of “simple actions everyone can take now to help PBOT eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries in Portland,” that included things like driving slower, watching for other road users, leaving the car at home and taking a different mode, installing yard signs, and not driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

No one at council today can act like we don’t know what’s going on or how to solve it. The trends are clear: 74% of deaths happen on high-speed, car-centric arterial streets; 40 of the 69 traffic deaths involved speeding, and nearly one in five people killed in our streets last year were homeless.

PBOT will have a lot of research and evidence on their side when they lean into the “Safe System” approach, which has “shared responsibility between those who design, manage, operate, and use the system,” as its main tenet.

But buzzwords and admonitions for safer behavior are likely to fall on deaf ears of advocates and skeptical electeds. “Visions are not enough, we need swift action and concrete investments to save lives,” said a statement released this morning from The Street Trust Executive Director Sarah Iannarone.

Iannarone said her organization is “saddened and concerned but not surprised” at the record death toll. “For years, advocates have been sounding the alarm on the worsening epidemic of traffic violence in our community and proposing solutions which have been ignored by the City Council, so of course the problem continues to worsen.”

To combat the “crisis conditions”, The Street Trust is calling on the City of Portland to implement a citywide 20 mph speed limit. They are also urging PBOT to more strongly enforce its policy of daylighting intersections (pulling parked cars away from corners to increase visibility), do more automated enforcement with cameras, and work with state legislators to reduce the blood-alcohol content (BAC) limit from from .08 to .05.

So far, beyond calling for more meetings with other bureaus, PBOT hasn’t acknowledged any shortcomings in their existing approach — nor have they shared details about what they plan to do differently to save lives going forward.

Stay tuned for coverage of the council meeting. You can watch it on YouTube here.

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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mperham
1 month ago

“PBOT can design safe streets, but we cannot reach our safety goals by focusing on street design alone,” PBOT Director Millicent Williams said in a statement. “Ending traffic deaths depends significantly on traffic enforcement and the efforts by government and community partners. This includes important work to provide social services, mental health treatment, drug and alcohol addiction services, housing services, investments in state highways and facilities. It also depends on every single person in our community making a commitment to traveling safely.”

When PBOT leadership is requiring that we fix all of society if we want to fix our streets, they are also renouncing any responsibility for those streets.

SD
SD
1 month ago
Reply to  mperham

W: Wow, a lot of people died on Portland roads last year. This does not look good.

M: Can we blame this on “the homeless situation?”

W: I already did… let’s have a press conference!

Angus Peters
Angus Peters
1 month ago
Reply to  SD

SD,
Did you see this?

“Half of all Portland pedestrians killed in crashes in 2023 were homeless”
In my opinion we have a tragic lack of compassion in Portland.

https://www.koin.com/news/oregon/half-of-all-portland-pedestrians-killed-in-crashes-in-2023-were-homeless-data/

SD
SD
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

Do you realize how blatantly disingenuous this “lack of compassion” double-speak sounds?

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
1 month ago

Why isn’t street trust pushing for more physical police enforcement? Automated cameras are not enough. Many drivers don’t have license plates or the plates are obscured anyways. Drivers need to see cops on the streets constantly, to feel that behind every corner could be a cop ready to bust you. Put the fear of consequences back into dangerous drivers. Infrastructure investments should only supplement strong traffic enforcement.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

One morning, on the way to my bus stop, I paid attention to the cars parked in my neighborhood (street and driveway) and counted that 50% have expired tags even though the vehicles are being used.
It was quite telling what zero enforcement causes people who likely would always pay their tags now do . . . ignore the laws.
They are probably the ones that saw that they could run the stop signs and speed through the neighborhoods when Wheeler told people in the early days of COVID that the police were no longer going to stop people for traffic infractions. Amazingly he still hasn’t publicly reversed that policy.
So we are still left, at least from what I’ve personally seen, can’t say for others, red lights ignored and high speeds on streets. Even the streets with speed bumps.
Portland has such potential, but lawlessness is definitely holding it back in so many ways.

dw
dw
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

They’re anti-police.

duck
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

Fear only goes so far in reducing crime. Its also super expensive to pay overtime for all of the fear you’re instilling. Properly implemented cameras operate 24/7 and can be deployed at strategic locations. Plus, generally cameras dont discriminate on the basis of race/ethnicity, class, gender, car color, etc.

Marty Ponnech
Marty Ponnech
1 month ago
Reply to  duck

duck,
I hear that often about traffic cameras in Portland—that they can avoid racial bias. However it seems Pro Publica did not find that happened in Chicago—- in fact the opposite occurred .

https://www.propublica.org/article/chicagos-race-neutral-traffic-cameras-ticket-black-and-latino-drivers-the-most#:~:text=A%20ProPublica%20analysis%20found%20that,cities%20may%20adopt%20them%20too.

cct
cct
1 month ago
Reply to  Marty Ponnech

That article is correct in that stroads and other infrastructure factors encourage speeding. However:

“If it feels like a highway, you’re going to go 50,” Barajas said.

If only there were some sort of device in your car to indicate you were going too fast, simply by looking at it. I hope someone invents it someday,

Meanwhile, those people who complain how hard it was to pay 5 or 6 red-light-running tickets can fuck right off, whatever their race.

J_R
J_R
1 month ago
Reply to  Marty Ponnech

Give me a break! The example driver in the Propublica article had been cited using cameras for running red lights three times and speeding 8 times in a year. Do you really think it’s because of the color of his skin?

Shane
Shane
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

I totally agree. ***Editor: deleted one sentence, name-calling *** She’s good at sounding like she knows what she’s talking about because she knows some data, but she applies it ways that support her biases, which do not lend themselves to holistic solutions. I know this from working with her in the past, and I’d really love to stop seeing her quoted anywhere.

I mean, 20 mph everywhere? Am I crazy, or did we already do this and it had no impact. What an extreme and ineffective “solution” that would be…putting up more signs while continuing near zero enforcement.

We need police and enforcement. Period. I can understand what it’s like to be a law abiding citizen who has to shout addicts off their lawn everyday, who gets robbed and vandalized repeatedly, who sees criminals continuously commiting egregious crimes with impunity. At some point, you’re like “screw it, I’m speeding too.”

It’s not right, but it’s economics. If nobody else is experiencing a cost, why would you volunteer for it? We need to enforce our laws for people to obey them.

BrickLearns
BrickLearns
1 month ago
Reply to  Shane

I mean, 20 mph everywhere? Am I crazy, or did we already do this and it had no impact.

Certainly not. Sandy is 30 MPH people drive 35-40 given the chance, the street in front of my house is 25 MPH people use it as a shortcut to avoid the nearby 20 MPH street.

You can’t fix speed with signs.

Enforcement with tickets is just going to piss everyone off.

It’s a fundamental design problem with how our streets have been engineered. Lanes need to be reduced/narrowed, chicanes added, diverters added. Until that happens nothing will change.

John V
John V
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

And we know cameras are not enough. How do we know? Because we’ve talked about it instead of doing it!

How can we know it isn’t enough (or a huge improvement) if we don’t do it? We have a handful of cameras here and there. I see a lot of speeding and dangerous driving and almost every single one of those cases is a person in a car with a license plate. If only the people with no plates were speeding, we’d have much safer streets.

The cops that are out there should exclusively be dealing with people lacking plates entirely.

And the expired tags should be handled with regular old parking enforcement. Just someone going around ticketing every parked vehicle with expired tags. Done and dusted.

Who knows if more cops are needed beyond that, but until we’ve done those very easy low hanging fruit, it’s premature to say “cameras are not enough”.

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  John V

The cops that are out there should exclusively be dealing with people lacking plates entirely.

By focusing on specific infractions at specific places, cameras capture only the narrowest slice of illegal and dangerous driving. That’s not an argument against cameras, but an acknowledgement that they can be, at best, only a small part of the overall solution.

PBOT cannot carry the rest of the burden. Hell, they can’t even keep the streets repaired. After what we’ve experienced over the past few years, it’s hard to take calls for police-free solutions seriously.

Who knows if more cops are needed beyond that?

I do.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
28 days ago
Reply to  John V

Because they are static enforcement. Drivers quickly learn where cameras are and adjust their behavior for only those spots. Also, hardcore meth fent drivers don’t care about cameras because license plates are not an issue

Serenity
Serenity
28 days ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

Why isn’t street trust pushing for more physical police enforcement? 

How much do you trust PPB to enforce fairly?

Robert Rothery
Robert Rothery
1 month ago

Lack of “cross bureau collaboration” is what brought us to city government reform … I predict a chaotic couple of years while we shake out the kinks of an entirely new system, but having a city manager should help get the police and PBOT and other concerned agencies cooperating with one another. Without getting all political, I’m not inclined to vote for any of the current city councilors for mayor, since they contributed to the current mess.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Rothery

It’s going to be a long long time I predict.
The only way meaningful change is going to happen is if ALL the top level bureaucrats in the various bureaus are fired (they are tainted by political gamesmanship) and new people hired that don’t have the taint of political games on them. It will be hard, but necessary to get Portland onto the path of recovery and not stuck in the years of endless committees and do nothing non-profits.

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

You will never meet a top level bureaucrat who is not “tainted by political gamesmanship”, never mind populate an entire city government with them.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Rothery

I predict the “new form of government “ will be used as an excuse for poor performance by our leaders for a long time just as Covid and “police staffing” has been a catch all excuse over the past 4 years

Chasing Backon
Chasing Backon
1 month ago

I love PBOT’s idea of installing yard signs. That’s sure to make a huge difference.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago
Reply to  Chasing Backon

I’ll put that Vision Zero sign right next to my “20 is plenty” sign, which has really made the drivers slow down (not).

Art Lewellan
Art Lewellan
1 month ago
Reply to  Fred

In my urban area, motorists exceed all posted speed limits by at least 5 mph and speed up when they see a green light ahead. The rule of thumb “safe speed” through busy intersections is 5mph slower than the posted speed limit. At several intersections near my place I’m considering a traffic calming device: Adjust the stoplight signal from normal to “flashing red” at all times. This forces motorists to slow down and prepare to stop instead of speeding up. It would also put more space between lines of cars which in many places rush off a green light like a NASCAR pack at the starting gun, each motorist reaching and exceeding the posted speed limit with all following motorists tailgating with utter disregard for safety. Maybe this idea won’t work on all stoplight intersections, but the three I’ve given careful consideration I believe it would work.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
1 month ago
Reply to  Chasing Backon

Just like all those Zero Visions of years gone by. I still see a few of those in my travels around Portland. Those signs were such a good investment.

cct
cct
1 month ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

Nono, yer just doing it wrong! You are supposed to pile all the signs in the middle of the street to make people slow down.

Michael
Michael
1 month ago

The city council meeting during which the report will be discussed and accepted, for reference.

Jonathan, while I admire your optimism, I guess I’m too cynical think anything other than that the council will quickly discuss without saying anything, unanimously accept the report, and move on to the next agenda item. What makes this report any different than any other day of any other year in which the council has failed to adequately implement its own adopted Vision Zero goal?

https://www.youtube.com/live/rCDq6Pg8hRw?si=jp5pqg09C52K1giR

Fred
Fred
1 month ago

Attending Bike Happy Hour will have as much of an impact on safety in Portland as this Council discussion, so therefore a good choice.

Michael
Michael
1 month ago

Well, I truly hope your optimism wins the day! I’ll be watching on YouTube, so we’ll find out soon enough!

cct
cct
1 month ago

Considering some people currently in charge of PBOT’s “cross bureau” efforts are telling people in SW and SW to walk in the road and like it, I remain doubtful.

“Discussion” is NOT “action.”

cct
cct
1 month ago
Reply to  cct

oops = ‘SW and SE’

Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
1 month ago
Reply to  cct

“Discussion” is NOT “action.”

Why do you hate The Street Trust, Oregon Walks, and BikeLoud PDX?

cct
cct
1 month ago

Who said I did? I was referring to City; apologies that was not clear.

Angus Peters
Angus Peters
1 month ago

Hate is a strong word but I am of the opinion that the 3 organizations you named (The Street Trust, Oregon Walks, and BikeLoud PDX) are complicit in the traffic death crisis we have had in Portland. How you ask? By their continued advocacy against and/or de-emphasis of police traffic enforcement, vehicle registration and license plate enforcement. Granted enforcement actions are not the be all and end all in traffic violence prevention but it’s a key component of transportation safety. We abandoned it in Portland and are now paying the price.

Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

Everyone who drives is a potential killer and feeble and rare enforcement by the POPO is not even a rounding error in the context of the rampant speeding and reckless driving in this pandemic era.

We have abandoned Portland to narcissistic drivers and we should make them pay the price by making it far, far more difficult to drive a bloody car.

Serenity
Serenity
28 days ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

Hate is a strong word but I am of the opinion that the 3 organizations you named (The Street Trust, Oregon Walks, and BikeLoud PDX) are complicit in the traffic death crisis we have had in Portland. 

Really…

Fred
Fred
1 month ago

It also depends on every single person in our community making a commitment to traveling safely.

So said Millicent Williams.

Anyone who spends any time on the roads and streets outside of a car knows that 60-70% of drivers have zero regard for anyone on the roads besides themselves.

They speed, use their cellphones while driving, and engage in all manner of other dangerous behaviors that undermine “a commitment to traveling safely.”

And why shouldn’t they? They are insulated within their comfy cocoons, with no care for anyone else. None of their dangerous behaviors are punished, so they continue them.

Until we get actual consequences for dangerous driving, nothing will change. The failure of Vision Zero in Portland is largely a failure of enforcement, in my view.

Angus Peters
Angus Peters
1 month ago
Reply to  Fred

But in Portland enforcement of traffic laws, license plate display, current vehicle registration display and RV parking regulations has been determined to be racist, sexist, ageist and anti-homeless. Until we get back to some common sense on this enforcement issue Vision Zero doesn’t have a chance to succeed.

SD
SD
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

The police can start doing their job anytime they want to. No one is holding them back. Not even the “bike lobby.”

It’s incredible that people believe that the Portland cops, who constantly get away with a ton of shady stuff, are beholden to a handful of bike advocates. lol

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
1 month ago
Reply to  SD

Comment of the week!

Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

The police stopped enforcing traffic law in an illegal attempt to punish people in Portland for rightly protesting police racism. Your trust in these extortionists is truly bizarre.

Jeff S
Jeff S
1 month ago
Reply to  Fred

I agree. And Vision Zero, when it was rolled out back in 2015, explicitly de-emphasized enforcement as a tool to reach its’ goals, due to (justifiable) fears of police bias. I’m a white man who’s not concerned about being targeted by the police, so it’s easy & risk-free for me to say, but some serious traffic enforcement would go a long way towards curbing some of the egregious driving behaviors you describe, and contribute so directly to the rising death toll.

Chris I
Chris I
1 month ago
Reply to  Fred

This is the equivalent of “Thoughts and Prayers” for road safety from the PBOT head.

She is grossly unqualified for this position.

David Lewis
1 month ago

This problem is a distillation of many of our social problems on a national level. The people who decided generations ago that everyone should drive decided the consequences for us too.

The answer is easy! Build more trains!

dw
dw
1 month ago

Dude, I just wanna see the people playing on their phones get busted. How many deaths could be avoided if these assholes could just… put the phone down?

SD
SD
1 month ago

Blaming traffic deaths on three groups of people that are unlikely to change their behavior on their own, without larger systemic changes, is deflection. Police people, homeless people and driver people are waiting for the world to change, so that they can change.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago

Something something [snarky], meaningless drivel, (sarcasm), something something, nothing meaningful. Some pointless remark about East Portland, racism, and/or Oreo Cookies, then something Portland City Council compared to somewhere in Europe far more progressive, then bicycle/walking/transit stuff and things. Greensboro NC somewhere in there, no sure where, maybe on a later edit?

PS
PS
1 month ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

You forgot the opening with “As a…[laundry list of intersected victim identities], otherwise that would be a comment of the week.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago
Reply to  PS

I also forgot “cynicism about government”, {enforcement}, corruption, and (Oregonians’ total lack of funding and willingness to raise needed taxes.)

Angus Peters
Angus Peters
1 month ago

To combat the “crisis conditions”, The Street Trust is calling on the City of Portland to implement a citywide 20 mph speed limit.

So let me get this straight. The Street Trust wants 20 mph speed limit everywhere but also opposes police traffic enforcement. Right now people routinely frequently significantly exceed 20 mph on my 20 mph street. How in the world would we get anyone to go 20 mph on major thoroughfares? This just seems like more “rainbows and unicorns” thinking from a group not grounded in reality.

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

So let me get this straight…

The Street Trust is not a serious organization.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Watts

How so?

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

They make ridiculous policy “demands” like closing all of Portland’s major streets. I’ll start taking them seriously when they start showing results rather than just being a platform for their director.

maxD
maxD
1 month ago
Reply to  Watts

considering they are so ineffective and isolationist, but still consume a lot of resources, do you think Street Trust is net negative for transportation advocacy?

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago
Reply to  maxD

The Street Trust and organizations like them are great at making well-off conservative Oregon Democrats feel good at contributing to a good cause while doing nothing that upsets anyone to not do anything effective for society at large.

Angus Peters
Angus Peters
27 days ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Huh? Moderate Democrats like me want nothing to do with the Street Trust and their absurd demands (closing all major streets to cars, 20 mph speed limits but no police traffic enforcement). It’s all virtue signaling and accomplishes nothing.

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  maxD

do you think Street Trust is net negative for transportation advocacy?

I’m not sure about the resources, but I think they make us look absurd. I almost feel embarrassed to tell people I ride a bike these days.

Serenity
Serenity
27 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Watts: As the clear-eyed realist you fancy yourself to be, I’m sure you have some idea how this game is played. Ridiculous politicians make ridiculous demands, and the other side makes equally ridiculous demands in order to prove a point. Are the equally ridiculous demands meant to be taken seriously? No. No, they are not. At least, that’s how it was explained to me.

Watts
Watts
26 days ago
Reply to  Serenity

As the clear-eyed realist… 

Thank you for remembering! I generally don’t take ridiculous demands or people who repeatedly make them seriously, so… maybe we agree?

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

The days of most citizens of Portland doing mostly the right things are long gone. Where once a 20 mph speed limit might have been adhered to by most citizens I’d be surprised if 1/2 would now in the City that our politicians have created with the lame policies and programs.

mark
mark
1 month ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

Half?! Don’t kid yourself. I would expect compliance to be about 5% or less.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
1 month ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

Unfortunately I think 1/2 is too generous for us at this point

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay Cee

I’ve met many very nice ex-Portlanders here in NC, very law-abiding, bike as much as they can, utterly clueless about Boston butt and pig-pickin’.

eawriste
eawriste
1 month ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

“Where once a 20 mph speed limit might have been adhered to by most citizens.”

What year was this?

SE 34th
SE 34th
1 month ago

Just yesterday I was driving east on Hawthorne Boulevard at 7:15 AM at 25 mph (5 mph over the limit) and at about SE 30th an impatient driver, who’d been riding my bumper for a few blocks, pulled out into the oncoming lane and passed me doing at least 45 mph before accelerating eastwards away from me towards Cesar Chavez.

Hawthorne has had a lot of infrastructure investment recently, but it didn’t stop this person from driving very dangerously and ignoring the law. We can’t get there on infrastructure alone.

BrickLearns
BrickLearns
1 month ago
Reply to  SE 34th

Chicanes and a concrete center median would’ve prevented that from happening, that’s the kind of infrastructure I want to see, especially in areas like Hawthorne with so many people walking around.

Lois Leveen
Lois Leveen
1 month ago

Rene Gonzalez thinks we can eliminate homeslessness by outlaw people sleeping in tents. Let’s apply that concept here, because we can definite eliminate vehicular violence if we outlaw people driving cars, pickups, SUVs, and minivans.

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  Lois Leveen

Fortunately, his plan (at least as you characterized it) would be illegal, as would yours.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
1 month ago
Reply to  Watts

I don’t recall anything in the US Constitution that specifically calls out “people driving cars, pickups, SUVs, and minivans”, only that we need to allow the flow of commerce. There are plenty of parks and downtown pedestrian districts nationwide that prohibit motor vehicles, why not a whole city? Portland could even have bike-share, golfcart-share, and horse-share stalls at the entries, with specifically designated freight routes and times with maybe drone-based emergency services (red & yellow firefighting drones), and huge park-and-ride parking garages like Venice Italy has.

Serenity
Serenity
27 days ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Nobody said unconstitutional, they said illegal.

Angus Peters
Angus Peters
1 month ago
Reply to  Lois Leveen

To me that’s hyperbolic nonsense. Gonzalez is proposing reasonable consequences for those that steadfastly refuse offers of assistance and feel they are entitled to camp anywhere, anytime. All carrots and no sticks is not working for us.

On your pivot to Portland’s epidemic of traffic violence I have a suggestion. Instead of proposing unrealistic solutions of 100% 20 MPH streets without enforcement (the Street Trust “solution”) and your idea of “outlawing” people from driving vehicles let’s do something other functioning municipalities do—-enforce our laws.

Serenity
Serenity
27 days ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

 Gonzalez is proposing reasonable consequences for those that steadfastly refuse offers of assistance and feel they are entitled to camp anywhere, anytime. 

“Reasonable.” Uh huh. Sure.

maxD
maxD
1 month ago
Reply to  Lois Leveen

Have you met Keith Wilson yet? I would encourage to attend a house party if you can to hear his stump speech and get into the details of his proposal. He has a direct approach that at first blush looks like Gonzalez’s, but after talking with him I realized it far more rooted in compassion and deeper understanding of what homeless people need. https://www.keithwilsonformayor.com/priorities-v1

Noel B-D
Noel B-D
1 month ago

Here’s a cross agency strategy: ensure every city vehicle and TriMet bus drives at the posted speed limits! As rolling road blocks, they would help slow traffic around them. I’m always amazed that city vehicles disregard posted speed limits just like private vehicles.

Angus Peters
Angus Peters
1 month ago
Reply to  Noel B-D

In my personal experience, I generally find city vehicles and Trimet buses do adhere to our traffic laws including speed limits. So maybe we need to add a lot more city vehicles to our streets to slow traffic as we can’t seem to enforce our laws? (Just kidding!)

Noel B-D
Noel B-D
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

The ones I’ve noticed are usually 5-10 miles over, just like regular traffic. But what if they were exactly the speed limit? For example, N Willamette is posted 25 mph. No one drives at that speed.

Serenity
Serenity
28 days ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

Usually. In reality, we’ve all probably seen atr least a few\ buses barrel past like bats out of hell.

Dusty
Dusty
1 month ago

Realistically, there’s no amount of police capable of controlling the driving behavior of Portland metro’s 2+ million residents. Modern traffic infrastructure is the solution to awful driving.

BrickLearns
BrickLearns
1 month ago
Reply to  Dusty

And even if they could, who wants to live in a police state where the road design tells you to drive fast. It’s just an absurd situation to think that punishing people is going to fix a problem that’s created by the infrastructure itself. We need better street design that enforces and encourages safe driving speeds, instead of what we have now that prioritizes vehicle throughput instead of safety.

Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
Will the last bike commuter turn off their lights
1 month ago
Reply to  BrickLearns

We need better street design that enforces and encourages safe driving speeds..

This goal is a radical left-wing political goal. Centrist and accomodationist groups (e.g. The Street Trust and BikeLoud PDX) simple aren’t interested in engaging in the radical politics needed to bring about this kind of political change.

The current focus on bike love, bike ambassadors, and bike buddies are examples of “moderate” accommodation of the violent and extremist car-driving majority. BikeLoud PDX apparently believes that if we “love” drivers enough and pick up their trash they will start liking us and support world-class bike infrastructure. The BTA tried this in the 2000s and 2010s and it was a complete failure. Perhaps instead of doing the same-old-thing and expecting different results cycling enthusiasts can recall that it was radical left-wing organizing that got the goods in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Paris.

Watts
Watts
1 month ago

it was radical left-wing organizing

Backed by very strong popular support. If there were a way to get a large enough number of people onboard, maybe it could work here.

But as long this is the extent of it, nothing will change.

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dw
dw
1 month ago
Reply to  Watts

I don’t always agree with you or like what you have to say but this comment is great because it is 1) true and 2) absolutely hilarious.

Angus Peters
Angus Peters
29 days ago

This is far from the truth. The vast majority of those who took to the streets in 1970’s Holland in the Stop de Kindermoord (“stop the child murder”) demonstrations were not radical leftists. This was a broad based populist protest that woke up the staid officialdom. Local activists here like the Street Trust are much too extreme and irrational in their approach to garner widespread support. Demanding closure of all major streets to motor vehicles, supporting the elimination of police traffic enforcement and pushing an all city 20 mph speed limit just shows the misstep made by hiring an “ideology first”
leader such a Sarah Inarone. Unfortunately due to the extremism exhibited TST has a become a non-entity in eliminating traffic violence in Portland

Serenity
Serenity
28 days ago

And how would you from who is that goal enough support for all that “radical left wing” organizing? Are you volunteering?

Danny
Danny
1 month ago

Yards signs and slogans do not make people pay their taxes; adverse consequences for not ponying up forces people to do so. Of course we need to have a better tax structure, just like we need street infrastructure to discourage excessive speed and reckless driving. But neither will happen overnight, so we need better enforcement now. Right now.