Should we call them slow signs? Bicycle riders no longer have to stop if they have the right-of-way. (Photo and terrible Photoshopping by J. Maus/BikePortland)
I don’t want to jinx it, but we’re 44 days into being an “Idaho Stop” state and the sky hasn’t fallen. I haven’t heard of any crashes caused by confusion over Oregon’s new law, and there have been (remarkably) zero biased news stories or crazy op-eds about it.[Read more…]
Traffic Division Sgt. Ty Engstrom is featured in the new podcast. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
Everyone’s podcasting these days… including your local police officers.
The Portland Police Bureau launched a new podcast today. The ‘Talking Beat’ aims to provide, “Thoughtful conversations that… will inform and provide you with a small glimpse of the work performed by Portland police officers as well as issues affecting public safety in our city.” Among the first three episodes unveiled today included a discussion about transportation issues.
Traffic Division Sgt. Ty Engstrom and Ofc. Chris Johnson joined the host for a wide-ranging chat that included topics like distracted driving, visibility of walkers (or lack thereof), why people are allowed to speed without being cited, and more. (You might recall that Sgt. Engstrom was recently featured in our story about stop sign enforcement at Ladd Circle.)
6 fatal crashes in 5 days! 27 people have died on our streets this year. I am directing officers to increase enforcement, but this is everyone's responsibility. Drivers slow down, don't drive impaired/distracted. Bikes and peds use caution—don’t assume drivers see you.
The latest installment of our Ask BikePortland column comes from a woman named Sabrina S. I’ve changed her name at her request.
Here’s what she asked via email earlier this week:
“Hi – I was hoping someone at BikePortland could give advice on getting help from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) when confronted by dangerous drivers.
I was riding on Southeast Division Street with a friend. We were looking for a restaurant (which we couldn’t find) before heading over to the Clinton greenway. As we were on Division, a car came up behind us then went around us (plenty of room, not a problem). But then the driver started screamed profanities at us to get off the road. We continued on (legally riding on the street, well to the side) when the driver stopped, screamed, “You wanna fight, punk?” and then more profanities as we ignored him to continue on to our destination. [Read more…]
The truth is, we don’t yet know exactly what happened. So why do most people blame Graser? Because the Oregon State Police said so.
The official crash statement released by the OSP a mere six hours after the collision read, “Preliminary investigation reveals… Graser… entered the eastbound right lane and a collision occurred.” [Read more…]
Turns out the Portland Police Bureau is anything but eager to do more enforcement. That’s what Traffic Division Sgt. Ty Engstrom shared with me in a phone conversation today.
First, let’s recap: On Tuesday, the PPB issued a statement and shared a video about the lack of stop sign compliance by people who ride and drive through Ladd Circle. The statement included a video of people blowing dangerously through the stop signs (as you can see above, one person rides through just as another person steps into the crosswalk). The behaviors were taking place at intersections where we’ve covered the exactsameproblem several times since 2007. The statement also said, in response to multiple complaints from nearby residents, that the PPB plans to do enforcement missions. A mention of last year’s fatality statistics and the city’s Vision Zero efforts further tied Ladd Circle to the PPB’s ongoing safety concerns.
Unfortunately, the statement didn’t fully capture the agency’s thoughts and intentions on this sensitive issue. [Read more…]
Stop sign entering Ladd Circle. (Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)
UPDATE, 1/31: Please read this update where I give Traffic Division Sgt. Ty Engstrom the opportunity to clarify and expand on his concerns about this issue.
Here we go again.
The Portland Police Bureau just released a statement saying they’ll step up education and enforcement efforts around Ladd Circle because road users are not coming to a stop and watching for others before rolling through.
Here’s the statement:
After receiving multiple community complaints about motorists and cyclists failing to heed stop signs and endangering pedestrians in the Ladd’s Addition neighborhood, the Portland Police Bureau’s Traffic Division responded to assess the situation. Sergeant Ty Engstrom of the Traffic Division observed the area and also the practice of most motorists and cyclists failing to come to a complete stop as required by law at the intersections.
The Ladd’s Addition intersections are roundabouts with one-way traffic and many of the motorists and cyclists, in addition to failing to stop, are also not looking to their right to check for pedestrians who have the right of way. This puts vulnerable pedestrians at risk. This residential neighborhood has a high amount of pedestrian traffic as adults, children, and pets travel on foot. [Read more…]
The City of Portland recently conducted one of their regularly scheduled “crosswalk enforcement missions” (a.k.a. traffic stings) on Northeast Glisan at 134th Place. Portland Police Bureau officers made about one stop every three minutes during the 90-minute mission and handed out a mix of citations and warnings for everything from careless driving to failure to wear a seatbelt. [Read more…]