(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
on SE Foster.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) held one of their regularly scheduled “crosswalk enforcement actions” yesterday. This excellent program, run by the PBOT traffic safety team and dedicated staffer Sharon White (who often puts herself at risk on our most dangerous roads as a decoy during the missions), has resulted in nearly 1,000 citations since it began five years ago.
The set-up is your typical sting situation, except that it’s not exactly a sting. The reason we call these “enforcement actions” is because both the PPB and PBOT give plenty of prior warning that the missions are happening. They notify the public about them via the local media and they even set up signs at the locations announcing that an enforcement is ahead. The goal, says the City, is not to fill the City’s coffers busting scofflaws, but rather to increase awareness among road users of traffic safety and the laws that govern it.
This just in from PBOT:
Crosswalk enforcement is tomorrow on SE Foster Road with Police
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Police Bureau advised the general public that a crosswalk enforcement action was scheduled for Wednesday to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and traffic law.
The enforcement action will be from 12:30 to 2 p.m. tomorrow at the marked, mid-block crossing of SE Foster Road between SE 68th and SE 69th avenues near 6880 SE Foster Road.
This mid-block crossing has a pedestrian median, pavement markings and signage alerting people driving and pedestrians of the crossing.
A crosswalk enforcement action includes a pedestrian decoy positioned at marked or unmarked crosswalks. Drivers that fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians that jaywalk may be issued a warning or citation by the Portland Police Bureau.
Crosswalk enforcement actions are an effective way to communicate pedestrian right of way laws to both drivers and pedestrians. The transportation and police bureaus do enforcement actions in response to community requests and to educate the general public on the rules at marked and unmarked crossings. They are conducted approximately once a month.
Visit www.PortlandOnline.com/StreetSmart to learn more about the StreetSmart – Go Safe effort.
Amid a pervasive cultural narrative that bicycle operators behave badly in traffic; KGW news has a report about a recent sting targeted toward aggressive driving on Interstate 5 that netted 216 traffic stops and 163 citations in just two days.
The sting was carried out by the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and it was especially interesting for people who ride bicycles, because it targeted not just random aggressive driving, but how people drove around a semi-truck.
Here’s more from KGW:
The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has been doing “crosswalk enforcement actions” for several years. The events, which place a human decoy in a crosswalk with a phalanx of cops waiting to pull people over nearby, have helped raise awareness for crosswalk laws and traffic safety in general. In the past six years, the actions have netted nearly 1,000 citations.
One of the most dangerous streets in the city is SE Foster Road. It’s a high-speed arterial that has claimed many victims over the years, including a fatal hit-and-run just last week. Portland Mayor Sam Adams himself launched a safety campaign on SE Foster in 2010, calling it a de facto “freeway.”
Today I noticed that PBOT had a crosswalk enforcement action scheduled for tonight on SE Powell at 54th — a location less than a mile from SE Foster. In an email from PBOT traffic safety staff about the actions, I read this:
“The crosswalk enforcement action scheduled for Thursday, February 2nd… has been postponed until a later date to be respectful to the residents of Foster Powell and Mt. Scott Arleta that will be having a candlelight vigil for Jason Lee Grant on Thursday at 5:30 PM on SE Foster near SE 71st Avenue. Mr. Grant was crossing SE Foster near SE 71st on Saturday evening when he was struck and killed by a hit and run driver.”
These arterial streets are so frustrating and so sad. Despite efforts to hang banners over them, install blinking lights at crosswalks, do enforcements actions, and hold vigils to remember their victims — these streets continue to win in the end.
Surely there’s got to be more we can do to tame these streets? What we’re doing now is great; but sometimes it seems like it’s just not enough.
For more information about tonight’s candlelight vigil, contact Christian Smith via email at christianbsmith [at] me [dot] com.
Check out more details in the press release below from PBOT:
Crosswalk enforcement with Police is Wed. at W Burnside, NW 20th
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Police Bureau and Portland Bureau of Transportation announced a crosswalk enforcement event for Wednesday, October 26, to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and traffic law.
The enforcement will take place from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at a crossing of W Burnside Street NW 20th Place.
A crosswalk enforcement action includes a pedestrian decoy positioned at marked or unmarked crosswalks. Those in cars and on bicycle who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians who jaywalk may be issued a warning or citation by the Portland Police Bureau.
Crosswalk enforcement actions are an effective way to communicate pedestrian right of way laws to all who use our streets. The transportation and police bureaus do enforcement actions in response to community requests and to educate the general public on the rules at marked and unmarked crossings. They are conducted approximately once a month.
The City of Portland’s latest crosswalk enforcement action resulted in 22 citations on Tuesday during rush hour on N. Williams Avenue. The event lasted from 5:30 to 7:30 pm and is part of an ongoing effort by the Police Bureau and Bureau of Transportation to raise awareness of Oregon traffic laws among Portland vehicle operators.
The police focused on the intersection of Williams and NE Morris near Dawson Park. Even though extensive warnings were made to the public both in advance and during the event, the police still managed to nab 22 law-breakers. Of the 22 citations written, 8 of them went to bicycle operators, 1 went to someone walking (for unsafely crossing the street to catch a bus), and 13 were given to people driving cars.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation and the Police Bureau will be watching you during the evening rush on N Williams Avenue on Tuesday night (8/23).
As I reported back in July, PBOT and the PPB will be doing a “crosswalk enforcement action” at the intersection of Williams and Morris. The idea is to educate the public about Oregon’s crosswalk laws.
The cops will be out in force with a special focus to make sure people operating cars and bikes stop — and stay stopped — when someone tries to cross the street. (They’ll also be watching for jaywalkers, they say.)
cops and crosswalks?
(Photos © J. Maus)
One of the tools we can use to make our streets safer is to get tougher on enforcement. So, what happens when police officers focus on particular violations at specific locations?
Recently, we came across a report detailing five years of crosswalk enforcement actions carried out by the Traffic Division of the Portland Police Bureau. The results (below) show that in most locations, there is either simply ignorance or blatant disregard for basic traffic laws that protect our most vulnerable road users.
What would happen if police officers in a suburban city went out and did a crosswalk law enforcement action (a.k.a. sting) at a busy intersection? Well, the Beaverton Police Department found out last Wednesday. Beaverton PD officers spent five hours, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, on two “crosswalk details.”
The result? 55 citations and nine warnings. Check the full press release from the Beaverton PD below (emphasis mine).
On November 3, 2010, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the Beaverton Police Department’s Traffic Team conducted two crosswalk details. The details were conducted at the intersections of S.W. 12th Street and S.W. Hall Boulevard (map) and S.W. 4th Street and S.W. Watson Avenue (map). Officers were looking for vehicles that did not stop and remain stopped for pedestrians while they were using the crosswalk, according to ORS 811.028.
Dan Anderson, public information officer
Bureau of Transportation to conduct crosswalk enforcement with Police on Wed. in SE
A crosswalk enforcement action includes one or more pedestrian decoys strategically positioned at locations that have marked or unmarked crosswalks and a fair amount of pedestrian activity. Drivers that fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk may be issued a warning or given a citation by police. Pedestrians that jaywalk may receive warnings or citations.
Members of the community have expressed their concerns about pedestrian safety at this location. Crosswalk enforcement actions are an opportunity to educate the community about Oregon crosswalk laws and enforce the law. Pedestrians are at risk in traffic – approximately one-third of traffic-related fatalities in Portland are pedestrians and bicyclists. Half of all vehicle-pedestrian crashes occur at an intersection or crosswalk. Crosswalk enforcement actions have proven to be an effective way to communicate pedestrian right of way laws.
Portland Bureau of Transportation staff and Portland Police Traffic Division
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Crosswalk enforcement actions are conducted monthly.
Unmarked crossing on SE 17th at Marion
A woman was handcuffed and placed under arrest this morning after she was stopped for running the stop sign at NE Flint and Broadway when she asked the police officer if she was required to show identification. She was subsequently issued a citation and released.
Jessica Jarratt, 37, the executive director of an arts funding nonprofit, was commuting from her Northeast Portland home to her office in the Pearl this morning around 9:00am. In a phone interview this afternoon, she described being stopped by a police officer at Flint and Broadway, along with several other people on bikes, after she had turned right onto Broadway from Flint without coming to a complete stop.