Portland Police officers drove SUVs into people on the street last night

Posted on June 3rd, 2020 at 10:15 am.

Screenshot of KGW-TV video shows Portland Police officer plowing through the intersection in an SUV.

After Monday’s peaceful protest, even more people took to the streets last night to march against racism and policy brutality.

While the protest was largely peaceful for many hours, there were several instances of more aggressive actions. Reporters documented the Portland Police firing tear gas and flash-bangs into peaceful crowds indiscriminately, causing shock and horror at the conduct of officers and anger at Mayor Ted Wheeler.

One incident in particular illustrated how the tension in these protests often stems from one central question: Who controls the streets?[Read more…]

Scofflaw car drivers are keeping police very busy

Posted on May 19th, 2020 at 1:47 pm.

The driver of this car seen sliding around on the Fremont Bridge was ultimately arrested and charged with 2 counts of reckless driving, 2 counts of reckless endangering and 2 counts of disorderly conduct.
(Photo: YouTube)

Whether it’s the Coronavirus Effect, a general sense of lawlessness, lack of concern about consequences, or all of the above — the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division has been very busy with dangerous drivers recently.

You’ve likely seen the headlines about a spike in speeding. This is happening for the aforementioned reasons and because the pandemic has opened up more space on the roads. Any armchair traffic engineer will tell you that when people have more space to operate a vehicle they will use it to go faster (like 107 mph in a 45 mph zone) and take more chances.

Now we have hard data from the PPB about how this phenomenon is playing out locally. [Read more…]

Police make 46 stops in 5 hours during crosswalk enforcement missions on SE Foster, Hawthorne

Posted on April 30th, 2020 at 1:24 pm.

Police decoy crossing SE Foster Road with a classic, “You better stop,” glare.
(Photo: Portland Police Bureau)

What does it take for people to stop when someone’s trying to cross the road?

How about being on a commercial corridor full of shops? Maybe crosswalks with median islands and flashing lights? Perhaps a pandemic that asks everyone to lighten the load of first responders and hospitals? How about the presence of police officers – one of whom is acting as a decoy?

It seems not even these things work for some people who are so selfish and rude they ignore Oregon law and put innocent lives at risk.[Read more…]

Slow then go: Checking in on Oregon’s new stop sign law

Posted on February 13th, 2020 at 11:04 am.

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…]

Hillsboro PD’s novel distracted driving sting nets 50 citations in three hours

Posted on October 4th, 2019 at 7:48 am.

He’s not asking for spare change, he’s trying to change behavior (note the radio wire).
(Photo: Hillsboro PD)

Every city in America has a big problem when it comes to distracted driving. Most states have laws that outlaw it, but the challenge is enforcement.
[Read more…]

Traffic Division officers star in new PPB ‘Talking Beat’ podcast

Posted on May 8th, 2019 at 1:05 pm.

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.)

Below are a few salient excerpts:
[Read more…]

Comments of the Week: Perspectives on more law enforcement

Posted on April 12th, 2019 at 4:51 pm.

(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

As our community continues to grapple with a spate of deadly and serious injury collisions, much of the discussion in the past few days has focused on enforcement.

It’s an important topic that deserves a productive debate.

Out of around 260 comments in this shortened week (I was out of town Monday-Tuesday), here are three that stood out:

Reader MTW had this to say in response to our story about North Fessenden:[Read more…]

Amid spate of collisions, Portland Police Chief calls for more enforcement

Posted on April 11th, 2019 at 4:55 pm.

With 14 fatal traffic crashes so far this year and six in the past four days, Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw couldn’t stay quiet any longer.
[Read more…]

Ask BikePortland: What should I do if a driver harassed me and police don’t take it seriously?

Posted on April 4th, 2019 at 2:49 pm.

(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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…]

Opinion: Why words matter in police statements about traffic crashes

Posted on February 4th, 2019 at 2:47 pm.

Scottie Graser died after a collision with a truck driver while he was riding on Highway 30 on January 13th.

Most people think it was his fault.

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…]