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…]
On Friday evening we learned what great lengths the Portland Police Bureau will go to retrieve a bicycle.
It happened around 6:00 pm in northeast Portland when someone reported that a child’s bike had been taken from the front lawn of a house on the 5500 hundred block of NE Simpson Street.
The suspect was seen walking away with the bike and didn’t stop after several neighborhood kids asked him to return it. Here’s how the ensuing chase unfolded, according to the PPB statement:
Arriving officers obtained the subject description and learned from the family members that the subject might have boarded a TriMet bus with the stolen bike.
Officers were able to locate the correct bus. Officers observed a child’s blue bike matching the victim description, mounted on the bus bike rack. Officers flagged down the bus driver, who confirmed that a male subject matching the suspect’s description was inside the bus. [Read more…]
New PPB Traffic Division Captain Stephanie Lourenco.
On June 28th, Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw will promote Lieutenant Stephanie Lourenco to the rank of captain of the Traffic Division. We follow that position closely here on BikePortland because it’s the Traffic Division captain who has the most influence over street safety and transportation-related issues.
Lourenco will replace Michael Crebs, who is taking a position in parking enforcement with the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
The promotion of Lourenco to Captain is notable for several reasons: Stephanie is the first transgender person in the Bureau’s history to hold that rank, the first non cis-gendered person to lead the division since at least 2005, and just the latest in a long-running trend of short-lived captains at the Traffic Division. Since I started keeping track we’ve had Bill Sinnott, Marty Rowley, Vince Jarmer, Larry O’Dea, Eric Hendricks, Bryan Parman, Todd Wyatt, Eric Schober, and Michael Crebs. This frequent turnover makes it much more difficult to establish the the type of relationships with city staff, advocacy groups, and the community-at-large that we need to fix complex problems. [Read more…]
Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw attended an informal reception at The Street Trust last night. (Photos: Jonathan Maus)
Portland’s 48th Police Chief doesn’t ride a bike because she thinks it’s too dangerous. But her path to pedaling began last night.
Danielle Outlaw shared her fear of cycling in traffic and other thoughts with a small group of people at an invite-only reception hosted by The Street Trust at their headquarters on NW Glisan Street in Old Town last night. [Read more…]