Archive | Safety

Sting!

This hit my inbox today:

2005 Pedestrian Crosswalk Enforcement Action

The Enforcement Action was very successful in raising awareness about the ‘Stop and Stay Stopped’ Oregon Crosswalk Law that requires motorists to stop for pedestrians when they are in the motorist’s lane, the lane right before the motorist’s lane, or the lane immediately after the motorist’s lane.

Police issued a total of 25 citations and 3 warnings to drivers that violated the law during this Enforcement Action. Violation of the law carries a fine of $237.

During the event multiple people that work in the area applauded Police and Transportation for their work in bringing more attention to this crossing.

Moira Green, Lloyd District Traffic Management Association, provided the news media with her own personal near-miss pedestrian crossing experience at this location and expressed her strong concerns for the safety of workers and community residents that use this crossing.

Enforcement Details
Location: 800 Block of NE Multnomah St. (Tuesday, August 23, 2005)

*Total Citations Issued: 25
*Total Warnings Issued: 3

Bike Safety Leadership Workshop on Friday

This Friday, August 26, from 9-noon, there will be a Bike Safety Leadership Workshop at Southeast Uplift. There will be a Workshop in each neighborhood district coalition in the city. These meetings will be an opportunity to create a common understanding about bicycle safety issues and to initiate a bicycle safety group in each neighborhood district coalition. This is a great opportunity to become more involved with bike safety issues and to be more involved with your neighborhood. If you are interested, please plan to attend the Workshop that is taking place in your neighborhood district coalition. If you are unsure which coalition you live in, please see http://www.portlandonline.com/oni/index.cfm?c=35789.

The Workshop will include:

  • a presentation about bicycle safety (including bike crash map
    information),
  • followed by a bicycle ride to locations emblematic of issues
    related to bicycle safety in the district,
  • followed by a re-group for a discussion about some of the more
    challenging questions (e.g., how do we respond as a community after a
    fatality? how do neighborhoods better access Transportation or Police
    services? etc).

The idea is to build a bicycle safety group in each district coalition
that has a common understanding of bike safety issues and to enable a
bicycle liaison in the Police precincts.

The schedule for the Workshops is:

Friday, 8/26, 9-12:00: Southeast Uplife (SEUL) 3534 SE Main Fireside
Room Thursday, 9/1 from 1-5: Central North Neighborhoods (CNN) 4415 NE
87th in the Community Room Friday, 9/9 from 1-5: North Portland
Neighborhood Services (NPNS) (Kenton Firehouse, 8105 N Brandon)
Thursday, 9/15 from 1-5: East Portland Neighborhood (EPNO) East
Precinct Community Room Thursday, 9/22 from 9-12: Northeast Coalition
of Neighbors (NECN) 4815 NE 7th, Community Room

Workshops will be scheduled for Southwest Neighbors, Inc (SWNI) and
Neighbors West, Northwest (NWNW) very soon. I will send an
announcement of those dates as soon as they are confirmed.

If you have any questions about this effort, please give me a phone
call and I’d be glad to provide any information I can.

Greg Raisman
Community and School Traffic Safety Partnership Portland Office of Transportation
(503) 823-1052

Bicycling and Walking in H.R. 3 SAFETEA-LU

Congress has passed H.R. 3, SAFETEA-LU, and submitted it to the President for his signature. The legislation amends Titles 23 and 49 of the United States Code and authorizes the expenditure of $286.5 billion dollars over the next five years (2005-2009).

Bicycling, walking, and transit seem to have done pretty well. DeFazio, Blumenauer, and others also brought in the bacon for Oregon, including PSU’s Transportation Center, a Mega Project that includes fixing bridges, Street Car demonstration project, and other. However other groups, such as STPP, criticize the effort as a highway bill and failing to really increase funding for new transit.

What do people think, what new work does this create? How can we best shape Oregon’s’ transportation system in light of this new five year funding program?

Resources:

The BTA website has more information on how H.R.3 impacts bicycling and walking.

http://www.tea3.org/

Text of the bill

[Editor’s Note: Scott is being modest. He was instrumental in getting Safe Routes to School legislation adopted at the state level this session!]

A Sad Summer is a Call to Action

It’s been a sad summer in the bicycling community.

A friend called me Monday night to report the fifth cyclist death in a Portland-area crash since the start of June. We must stop and mourn the deaths and honor the lives of our neighbors, our friends, and our family members. We also have to respond, and act today to prevent future deaths.

The media are writing and reporting on the issue, with a bleed-and-lead headline blaring from last Friday’s Portland Tribune “Walk, ride at your peril.” That’s irresponsible journalism, as biking and walking remain relatively safe activities. But it’s right for people to be concerned.

Community members are looking to point fingers, wanting to know “Why is this happening, and who should be blamed?” After five deaths, it would ease our minds if there were a single reason. But there is no single reason.

Luckily, there are things we can do. Most of these crashes are not just accidents – they are preventable. Whether or not we take the actions we know will improve safety, instead of wishing the deaths away, depends on our collective will.

First, as drivers and cyclists, we have to act responsibly when we’re on the road. As drivers, we need to yield to bikes, drive defensively and at reasonable speeds, not drink and drive, forgo distractions such as talking on cell phones, and generally be courteous and thoughtful. As cyclists, we need to be visible and ride predictably and defensively. We need to yield to others when appropriate and be aware that drivers may not see us. Sharing our roads doesn’t have to be deadly. People can learn more at www.easytoshare.com.

Second, law enforcement officials need to respond effectively and send a clear message that our roads must be safe for all. Negligent and dangerous drivers who are making our roads unsafe by speeding through neighborhoods and in school zones, running red lights, and driving while drunk, must be cited, especially when their actions result in deaths.

Third, our elected officials must dedicate the required resources to identify the most dangerous roads and bridges and fix them, as well as improving safety during every upgrade. The Oregon Department of Transportation recently spent $38 million revamping the St. Johns Bridge and failed to include safe bike facilities. That should be unacceptable.

Fourth, community partners such as the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), schools, and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) must work to educate drivers and bicyclists about safely sharing the road. The BTA and others will continue to provide bike safety education classes to beginning cyclists, working to create safe habits for a lifetime. The DMV should make sure drivers get the same training.

Fifth, the media should continue to draw attention to the crashes, in a thoughtful and responsible way. While drawing attention to specific problems and incidents, media stories should remind us that bicycling remains a safe way to move about Portland, and has long-term health benefits that far outweigh the odds of being in a crash. Moreover, bicycling is getting safer and safer as more people bicycle, as drivers are getting more used to people on the road. The media should also remind us that driving is a dangerous activity, both for drivers and other road users. Every year in Portland, roughly fifteen times more drivers and passengers die than cyclists, yet those deaths fade into the background.

Each bicyclist’s death is tragic. But those deaths will be even more tragic if we do not act decisively, and take actions that we know can save lives today.