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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 24, 2011 8:40 AM. The previous post in this blog was End of tunnel not in sight. The next post in this blog is Tribune finally slipping away. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Money to burn

We blogged a while back about some highly peculiar signs that the City of Portland was apparently planning to place on sidewalks. We wondered where they would go, and what their purpose was.

Well, our first question has been answered. An alert reader notes that the signs have been posted along West Burnside Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues:





What the signs are supposed to mean, and why they are needed, remain anyone's guess. To us they're just one more annoying message about how to live, brought to you by pompous twits at City Hall. One can only imagine what this latest foolishness costs, and how many more of these odd messages are going to be posted.

Comments (28)

Well, bicycles aren't allowed on sidewalks downtown, so is this bureaucratese for "no bicycles on the sidewalk"?

It beats me. Or maybe no news boxes? No sidewalk tables? No panhandling?

Whatever the rules are, it's hard to see how these signs add anything.

The signs mean, for example, that the ILWU and the book store clerks can't block the sidewalk. And if they or anybody does the police can cite them. I wonder if the City Attorney has put staff to work (at our expense) planning how she will defend this against the Oregon and US Constitution.

cf. Sit-lie

Has to do with the sidewalk management ordinance, doesn't it?

That's the sidewalk section of the city code that's referred to on the signs, I think. But why are signs needed at all? The ordinance says what it says.

It's a popular panhandling spot so they put the sign there.

That's quite a pictograph, Portland.

It seems to say acceptable uses of the sidewalk include:

- mowing the lawn with a baby stroller;

- being orally pleasured while sitting in a wheelchair;

- checking your Facebook status on your iPhone obliviously;

- using the tip of your cane to give the oblivious person in front of you a "flat tire";

- and, for some reason, walking at a 45-degree angle to everyone else.

There is also a notable absence of bicycles. It seems like they should have shown that people should at least consider walking their bikes if they're using pedestrian space.

Also, Kevin:

"- and, for some reason, walking at a 45-degree angle to everyone else."

Continuing on your theme I think that last silhouette is giving a nod to "pocket pool." I won't try to speculate too much whose clunky specs are outlined in that image.

The answer is that we need more signs, defining what "that" sidewalk is for.

Then all will be clear!

They left out police beating mentally ill to death.

In simpler times, perhaps No Loitering would suffice...

Where are the Spanish language subtitles? Somebody must have messed up, as you can't have an English-only sign in our PC world.

"Loitering" is probably beyond the vocabulary of the kids Mr. Mayor has working underneath him.

Don't forget Klingon.

I don't understand the complaints. I was happy to see an indication that they will enforce sit-lie. Also, on the broken windows idea, it is an indication of community standards, much needed in our town.

It makes me wonder who and how many sit around in the city bureaucracy thinking these kinds of things up. Also, thematically this seems to go with Randy the Firefighter's duct tape on the sidewalk fixation. Wonder if his fingerprints are to be found in here somewhere.

After reading Kevin's comment, I find myself in the market for a wheelchair.

It makes me wonder why a sign is necessary if the laws are already on the books.

Is the anticipated defense, "I didn't know it was against the law" enough of a threat that all laws must be posted now in order to be in effect?

Thankfully, there aren't any misspelled words that would require the signs to be replaced.

Speaking of signs, I rode with my cab-driving friend the other day. He asked how I liked the new street signs in our city neighborhoods. I looked and immediately said "What the Heck!". For his business he said it is especially hell at night time, or anytime.

The signs have capital letters for SW, NW..., then capital letter for the first letter of street name and lower case for rest. So the sign readability is 1/3 less. If you don't have 20/20 vision you are in trouble.

Who thought this up? And why? And how much is all this changeover costing us? Is this part of the Stimulus Package?

There's probably a study somewhere that says hard-to-read street signs slows down drivers and helps keep Portland's streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
If true, expect signage to get so small you have to park your car somewhere and walk several blocks back so you can climb a ladder just to read them.

OMFG well that is an excellent waste of money. Sidewalks are to be used as sidewalks , genius , now post some in the roadway , roads are to be used as roads.
Randy's brother must own a sign company. Another no bid WINKWINK agreement under the table.
I feel like we need to call the city commisars everyday and remind them IT IS OUR CITY not yours , we can use our dang sidewalks any bloody way we want.

I wonder when some East Portland neighborhoods will see these signs ?
Sometime after they actually get some sidewalks I imagine....

Michael Powell should have paid for these signs with the company checkbook...

Oh that's right, he already did when he bankrolled Sam.

I wonder when some East Portland neighborhoods will see these signs ?
Sometime after they actually get some sidewalks I imagine....

Probably after they pave the gravel streets.

Re: "But why are signs needed at all?"

The immediate answer is that Michael Powell's front porch has long been a location for panhandlers and he would prefer that his stoop be free and clear for customers.

But, upon reflection, it should be recalled that the book store has placed bike racks on its front porch and that some socially negligent cyclists might assume they are permitted to ride up to the racks. Being lexically oriented, Mr Powell has imagined that cyclists might also be heedful of the written word. Being wary of litigation in matters involving cyclists, Mr Powell has perhaps employed his influence to obtain the city's help in shifting any possible burden of responsibility to those who use the sidewalk in other than explicitly sanctioned fashion.


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Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
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Road Work

Miles run year to date: 225
At this date last year: 71
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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