Archive | November, 2008

Eye Contact

Here’s a cautionary tale from Sharon White, a member of the PDOT “Community and School Traffic Safety Partnership” who often plays the role of ‘decoy’ in crosswalk stings. Everyone have a safe and happy Thanksgiving…

It is rare that I get scared during a Crosswalk Enforcement Action because I an generally very cautious and very alert. However, the last portion of this Crosswalk Enforcement Action did frighten me.

As usual, I proceeded into the crossing area as a pedestrian showing intent to cross and provided adequate time for the approaching eastbound vehicle to stop. I worked to make eye contact with the driver and when I finally got a clear view of the driver’s face could tell that he was looking at the storefront of the adjacent building and did not appear to be aware of me in the crossing. At about the same time, the driver’s vehicle veered a little to the north and then a little to the south pointing right at me. Since I had no indication that the driver was going to slow down or stop, I jumped out of the crossing and back onto the sidewalk.

The police officer working on the Crosswalk Enforcement Action with us, put on his siren and headed onto Division to stop the driver and initiate a conversation about Oregon crosswalk laws. Instead of slowing down, the driver increased his speed, took the first right turn and then an immediate left into a dead end driveway where the police officer caught up with him.

As it ended up, there was a warrant out for his arrest for hit and run of a pedestrian!!!!!!!! In addition to receiving 4 tickets, he was sent to jail.

Thanks Portland Police Traffic Division for a job well done! Feel free to share this story with your families this holiday season.

Achterman Headlines AORTA Luncheon

Oregon Transportation Commission Chair Achterman to Address
Rail and Transit Advocates on December 6th

Gail Achterman, Chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission, will speak at the Association of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates (AORTA) Annual Meeting on December 6th at the Governor Hotel in Portland. Ms. Achterman will share her commission’s vision for Oregon’s short-term and long-term transportation future, especially improved roles for rail and public transportation in fighting climate change, achieving energy independence and improving Oregon’s economy. “AORTA’s mission is to improve rail and public transportation options for all Oregonians. Ms. Achterman’s talk and the question and answer period that follows should help improve dialog between rail and transit proponents and transportation decision-makers,” said AORTA President Donald Leap.

“Sustainable transportation advocates in Oregon, like AORTA, have some reason for cautious optimism,” continued Leap. “The Governor’s transportation budget, recently released as the Jobs and Transportation Act of 2009, has additional funding for passenger and freight rail transportation over past budgets. We hope this indicates the beginning of a change in direction for Oregon, where, except for light rail, ‘transportation’ has primarily meant roads. We also are encouraged by promising interest in more investment in rail and public transportation at the federal level.”

Ms. Achterman has a strong environmental record, having, among other activities, served as Governor Goldschmidt’s Assistant for Natural Resources and is currently the Director of OSU’s Institute for Natural Resources. “Having taken over the Commission Chair position, we believe Gail can help infuse an ethos of sustainability at an agency that has often pursued unsustainable highway projects as solutions to transportation problems,” said Fred Nussbaum, AORTA’s Strategic Planner. “Under the Governor’s plan, ODOT must use a ‘least cost’ planning model that will require it to determine if non-highway solutions can solve a problem at less cost. This will require a major culture shift and we look forward to a discussion with Gail on how we can help facilitate that.”

“The public is warmly encouraged to attend what will certainly be an informative presentation and lively discussion,” said Vice President Jim Long, meeting organizer.

The meeting is from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM. Reservations are required. Lunch menu choices are chicken, meatloaf or vegetable ravioli.

Please contact Fred Nussbaum at 503-292-5549 or for further information and to register.

TriMet Announces Service Increases for Bus and MAX

From TriMet’s press release:

Starting Sunday, Nov. 30, TriMet will add service on 13 of its 93 bus lines and MAX Blue Line to help relieve crowding. In addition, four bus lines will have minor service adjustments to improve schedule reliability.

I’ll beat Erik to the punch here and note that I wish that TriMet had included as much detail about bus service increases (how many buses and at what times for each route) as it has for the MAX service increase, rather than leaving it to readers to research the before/after on various published schedules.