PBOT splits with Portland Police Bureau on crosswalk law enforcement program

Posted on July 22nd, 2020 at 12:12 pm.

Former Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and a PBOT staffer stand with former PPB Traffic Division Captain David Hendrie at a crosswalk enforcement mission in 2013.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has ended a 15-year partnership with the Portland Police Bureau that centered around the enforcement of Oregon’s crosswalk law.

Since 2005 PBOT has conducted “pedestrian crosswalk education and enforcement actions” with the PPB. But in recent years conversations around the enforcement of traffic laws and concerns about racial profiling by police officers have intensified.

At a meeting of the City of Portland Pedestrian Advisory Committee last night, PBOT Traffic Safety Section Manager Dana Dickman said City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly asked the bureau to stop working with police.

“There had been concerns about secondary violations,” Dickman told the committee. “People were being pulled over for failure-to-yield, but during the stop they are cited for lack of insurance or a suspended license. And then the citations rack up… There was a concern we are potentially bringing people into a much more serious situation, impacting them financially, and bringing them into a legal situation in a way we didn’t intend… Our commissioner and community members felt that was potentially punitive.”[Read more…]

Safe Routes org drops ‘enforcement’ from organizing framework

Posted on June 9th, 2020 at 1:03 pm.

A Portland police officer rides by Vernon School in the Alberta neighborhood during a 2014 enforcement action.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

[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…]

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…]

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…]

PPB Traffic Division Sgt. on Ladd Circle: ‘We don’t want to do more enforcement’

Posted on January 31st, 2019 at 1:28 pm.

GIF made from Sgt. Engstrom’s video.

I want to clear a few things up about the recent kerfluffle around Ladd Circle.

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 exact same problem 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…]

With video of lawbreakers, PPB will increase focus on infamous Ladd Circle stop sign

Posted on January 29th, 2019 at 3:42 pm.

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…]

Police stopped 34 people during a ‘crosswalk enforcement mission’: Here’s what they got cited for

Posted on January 25th, 2019 at 1:29 pm.

East Glisan at 134th Place.

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…]