Portland Police release new bicycle traffic enforcement training video

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

The Portland Police Bureau has just released a new internal training video meant to educate officers about bike-related traffic laws.

This is an internal training video for the Portland Police Bureau. It is narrated by Officer Robert Pickett, who serves as a liaison for bicycling issues, Bicycle Transportation Alliance advocate Michelle Poyourow, and a team of police officers who worked together to come up with the points in the video. The video is meant to educate officers, the two say, remind them of relevant laws, and “to advise officers’ discretion in bicycle enforcement situations.”

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Tickets dismissed in Ainsworth case

“…approaches are sometimes different, and misunderstandings likely because we are all human — regardless of whether we wear a stretchy bicycle jersey or an itchy police uniform.”
— From a public statement issued by the City Attorney’s office as part of a settlement reached in the Ainsworth Incident

Traffic citations given to two men who were ticketed for riding on NE Ainsworth Avenue back in November have been dismissed.

The case went in front of a Multnomah County traffic court judge at 1:30 pm this afternoon and, instead of arguing over who was at fault, all parties in the incident have signed onto an “Open Letter to the Community” (read it below, download here).

Reuben Vyn and Peter Welte were stopped by Officer James Pryce of the Portland Police on November 16th. Pryce said the men were impeding traffic, but Vyn and Welte, along with numerous witness accounts said otherwise. They claim Officer Pryce came within inches of them as he passed by on the narrow street and that he only turned around to cite them after one of the riders — in response to the close call — gestured and yelled at the officer.

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Lawyer in Ainsworth Incident pressures leaders to seek dismissal of citations

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

“This will adequately address the inequity of this situation and show the community that bicyclists will not be punished for riding legally on the streets of Portland.”
— Lawyer Christopher Heaps

The lawyer for two men who were ticketed for riding their bikes on NE Ainsworth last month is imploring city leaders and the police chief to recognize the error made by the officer and have him dismiss the citations.

The request by Christopher Heaps, a lawyer with downtown Portland firm Stoel Rives who is representing the riders, comes in a nine-page letter sent yesterday to Mayor Potter and all four City Commissioners (download PDF, 1.0MB). According to the letter, Reuben Vyn and Peter Welte were “wrongfully issued traffic violation citations by Portland Police Bureau Officer Jimmy Pryce,” and Officer Pryce’s actions were “vindictive and violate Portland Police Bureau Policies”.

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Portland Police PIO responds to coverage of Ainsworth incident

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Sergeant Brian Schmautz, the Public Information Officer for the Portland Police Bureau has left a detailed comment in response to our story on the Ainsworth incident.

On Saturday, several members of the PSU Cycling Club were riding on Ainsworth when they were allegedly passed dangerously by a Portland Police Officer. According to witnesses that saw the incident, one of the riders gestured to the officer in frustration and the officer then pulled him over, a discussion ensued, and several tickets were issued (to two riders).

After reading through 143 a few of the comments on the original story, here is how Sgt. Schmautz replied:

I have read several of the postings in this current thread and would like to join this discussion with a few brief comments. The conclusions you are reaching about the incident described in the story are based on statements made by the individuals who encountered the officer. It is a one-sided version of the incident. I am personally aware of several prior stories on this website where it was eventually determined that the facts of an event differed dramatically from the original description of the event.

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Tickets follow close call on Ainsworth

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PSU Cycling Club president
Reuben Vyn and Officer Pryce.
(Photos: Peter Welte)

Two members of the PSU Cycling Club got a lot more than they bargained for while riding along NE Ainsworth yesterday.

According to witnesses, Club president Reuben Vyn was riding along with six other members of the club on NE Ainsworth near NE 23rd when a Portland police officer in a patrol car came by “within a foot” of his handlebars. (Ainsworth is a narrow, one-lane, residential street with car parking. The street is a designated bike route, but it’s also notoriously uncomfortable to ride on. See photo below)

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