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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 30, 2012 10:12 PM. The previous post in this blog was Drive-by shooting, Fremont and 71st, 6:40 p.m. on a Wednesday. The next post in this blog is Time well not spent. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Was mayor's aide busted once or twice for running stop signs on bike?

This article, in the O, certainly makes it seem as though the Portland mayor's chief "transportation policy advisor" was ticketed twice earlier today for running a stop sign on her bike. But as a reader points out, the story's ambiguous: The aide may have been cited only once, at Ladd's Circle in southeast, and not a second time on Northeast Broadway. Once or twice, it's pretty embarrassing. But we apologize if we were wrong about her getting two tickets instead of one.

Comments (34)

Its not real clear from the poor writing and editing at the Oregonian that Catherine Ciarlo ran stop signs in both locations or just the Ladd location. I guess the soon to be thrice a week Oregonian needs the extra four days to correctly report a story.

On the other hand Ciarlo running a stop sign on a bike indicates she is of the "do as I say not as I do mind set" that is common among elected officials, their appointed minions and public employees.

Until the public gets fed up with this behavior by those elected or hired to represent the public interests the circus will continue...

She just needs "to pay closer attention" to stop signs. Puh-leeze.

Hey, you know, of possible traffic infractions - and maybe it's just me - STOPPING at stop signs and red lights is something that I expend no small amount of stress over.

Many cyclists don't think they should ever have to stop and put their foot down. Even when they're cycling in busy city traffic. It's beneath them.

Unfortunately niceoldguys suggestion creates two classes of cyclists. Those that acknowledge they have a death wish and those that are merely not concerned with behaving by the rules of living in a public society.

How is a motorist, truck driver, bus driver, train driver or even another cyclist going to be able discern that a cyclist has procured the proper permit to be a death wish cyclist or merely a I wish to remain oblivious to the consequences of my actions cyclists?

Run'm all down and sort it out later probably isn't going to work.

It really comes down to an assumption of risk if you are serious about riding a bike in this town. If I run a stop sign, and get hit, it is on me. If I get busted by a cop running a stop sign, I pay the ticket. If you screw up and hit me, I will pursue compensation. There really isn't a lot to talk about here.

Usual Kevin,
I couldn't disagree more with your statement:

If I run a stop sign and get hit, it is on me.

You have to remember what's at stake here in one of these horrible bicycle accidents. Yes, primarily, you have the loss of some (usually) young person with the whole world to live for. But that's just the beginning.

You know one component that rarely gets addressed is the damage that's done to the driver of the car. See? Right away most people would think what damage? A car versus a bike? Damage?

It's the same way it irks me when a bank robber points a gun at a teller during a robbery, and the story says the teller was uninjured. Oh really? Something that traumatic could change and even ruin a person's life. I think the teller is definitely injured.

With this, you can have all the strident feelings you want and be 100% correct in every legal sense, and still get ruined by an encounter with a bicyclist running a light. You and the people who count on you to be yourself, are all at risk of losing everything that makes their lives good, because somebody blew a stop sign.

Imagine the sound of the body hitting your hood, maybe splattering onto the windshield. Do you think you're going to forget that? Then you get out and watch some young person as the life twitches out of them? That would change you forever and possibly send you on a profound self-destructive path. It could end up killing you.

An experience like that could change everything for everyone involved. That's why we all have to be safe on the roads. There's a lot at stake out there. The hopeless suck-ups who rationalize their support for Jefferson Smith, even after the driving record, say that they're just glad nobody was hurt, but it's no big deal. No big deal? It's a huge deal when you put other people lives at risk...physically and emotionally.

It's why I don't think Jeffy has the full range of human emotions: Who is okay with repeatedly risking the lives of people on the road? I mean we're not talking about a teenage punk here, we're talking about a 39-year-old punk.

It would be one thing if a cyclist was the only one taking a chance by running the light, but the cyclist is actually risking a driver's well-being and future happiness by putting you into a situation that could traumatize you from that day forward.

That's what's so selfish and wrong about this behavior. And not to interject myself into the story, but I first thought about this when I came inches from hitting a cyclist who had run a light.

Bill--Thank you for explaining to those who can't comprehend what the serious consequences are. Exactly!

Well said Bill.

Much ado about nothing, really. All this moral rectitude would be better directed at motoristsspeefing, not stopping at "traffic control devices", not signaling turns and lane changes, not yielding to pedestrians, encroaching on crosswalks, using cell phones to talk and text while driving. These are much more frequent and much more consequential problems. A bike rolling through a clear intersection is about as significant as a pedestrian not "stopping" before stepping off the curb. The worst thing about the constant ragging on cyclists here is the unjustified hostility it stokes toward people on bicycles.

Well said Bill. Like you, I came within inches of a cyclist who ran a stop sign. He wasn't a "zoo bomber". He was well decked out in day glow gear on an expensive bike. I think he was just "zoned out" in his own world.

Bill, thank you for your comment, well said.

As safety director with a large company that employed truck drivers, I was called early one morning and informed that one of the drivers while traveling on Hwy 395 in Washington State hit and killed a person that had decided to kill himself by stepping in front of his truck on a foggy night.

Whenever there is a fatality involving a commercial vehicle a written report must be filed with the Federal Highway Safety Commission. I wont go into the gory details but it took well over 2 hours for the driver to be able to relate the details, from the smell, seeing the dead guy squashed on the roadway, and finding the guys wallet, that had been knocked out of his pocket on impact lying open with his kids picture exposed.

In the end, after the company paid for months of time off and counseling by a Psychiatrist, Dave came back to work took one trip and on returning dropped the keys to his truck on my desk and quit. He commented "I can't do this any longer, I never want this to happen again."

So please Mr./Ms. it's not all about you, others are also involved in your bicycle habits.

Thank you Bill and phil for excellent examples.
To the bikers who think either, "it will never happen to me" or "it doesn't matter"....it does matter.
Stop! being so supremely selfish and self centered. Your actions, disregard for rules, and carelessness have consequences that extend way beyond your injured or dead body in the middle of the road.

This from bike portland.org "At Flint and Broadway, our city has been struggling with stop sign compliance since at least 2006. At that time, I reported on an "uproar" over enforcement that resulted in statements by the PPB and the Mayor. (I also wrote, "I think it's time for PDOT, the BTA and the Police Bureau to all come to the table and figure out a more constructive way to deal with their shared concerns for traffic safety." So much for that, huh?).

For their part, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance shared with me this morning that they feel that while the goal should be to improve safety for everyone, "We should be targeting the most dangerous activities with enforcement," and that, "Statistics support that the most dangerous behaviors involve speeding, distracted driving and driving while impaired."

More specifically on the Flint/Broadway situation, the BTA wants Police to take a "holistic approach" to enforcement. They'd like to see a focus on enforcing the new right-turn prohibition onto Wheeler and the I-5 off-ramp stop sign just east of Flint." Nice attitude.

Bill and Phil:

You both nailed it.

Usual Kevin:

It ain't on you - it's you all over me car

KATU reports that she was cited at Flint. I read the O article to say that the incident at Ladd's happened in the past.

The O article is poorly written as it is difficult to decipher whether the violations happened on the same day or on separate days. I read it to say that she has been cited twice once in SE and once in N for running stop signs. I do not read it to say that these incidents occurred on the same day.

What matters is that this "transportation advisor" who is a public employee seems to think that the rules - STOP signs - don't apply to her. She has demonstrated this over and over.

The same way the Mayor can lie about just about everything and J Smith can have an outrageous record of contempt for the law -- all of these folks while putting other people at risk. What a load of selfish jerks.

City of Portland should write big fat tickets to all of the folks - cars and bikes who don't abide by the law - then use that money to fund bike infrastructure. And, while we're at it - get those cyclists to register their vehicles.

Once, twice. Three times makes her a lady!

Suggesting it is all "much ado about nothing" is exactly why there is a problem. Respect goes both ways. Bikers can't complain about motorists not respecting rules while claiming their lack of respect for the same rules is no big deal.

We should stop ragging on bicyclists because it makes others rag on them too? I can think of another way to stop the perceived hostility. Obey the laws.

Look I both ride my bike and drive a car. I abide by the law when commuting both ways. There are a lot of jerks on both sides of it. It does seem to me though that on this forum you guys are a bunch of get off of my lawn cranky old bastards.

I can add to Bill and Phil's line of thinking. I've directly experienced a person hitting my hood, going through my windshield, landing partially on top of me with all the blood.

I was driving north on Front Ave. where the streetcar now crosses into RiverPlace. A cold, rainy fall night. A drunken bum (that's what we use to call them) stumbled out of the heavily landscaped treed hillside and veered every which way in his drunken stupor. I braked and tried to guess which way he'd stumble. I failed and probably hit him going about 15 mph. With deep lacerations, broken bones he went to the VA.

To this day about every time I travel this same route I think of this. It stays with you. Even the sounds of it all.

And then you consider all of those reckless idiot parents cycling around in traffic on the roadways with their babies trailing behind them in tiny tin and nylon carts -- while state law requires kids in cars to be encased in gov't approved crash cradles, and not even allowed in the front seat of a car or truck until they're big enuf. Crazy. And terrifying!

No kids in carts on the roads! Please Mr. & Ms. Legislator....

She just needs "to pay closer attention" to stop signs.

Isn't that chick the Director of Transportation, responsible for the maintenance and installation of stop signs - among other things - that are manufactured to strict state and federal standards as required by the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (the MUTCD)?

Is she saying that there are signs currently installed in Portland that do not meet these requirements? Is that because Portland is so busy with other projects it can't perform basic maintenance? Or that stop signs are stop signs, and she's more interested in changing the street name blades (which, is also a MUTCD requirement that they be changed to mixed-case letters and must be a certain character height) and other signs?

Or, was she a distracted road user and simply should not have the privilege to operate a vehicle on her own on public roadways? Was she texting or chatting on her cell phone?

And...was she wearing a helmet?

Bicycle riders in this town are arrogant and self rightous. I have had them pull up next to me while I am stopped at a light (in a single lane mind you) and rather than put their foot down, the guy actually leaned on my car. I polietly asked that he get off of my car, and he looked at me and said "it's not hurting aything". I was then, not so polite in telling him to get off of my car or else. He gave me the finger, and proceeded to run the light, making cross traffic brake hard to keep from hitting him. Not the first incident with ann arrogant cyclist, and probably not the last.

You know one component that rarely gets addressed is the damage that's done to the driver of the car.

Excellent point, Bill. In fact this has come up a lot in incidents involving a train - almost always, the engineer and conductor request time off to deal with the mental anguish of being powerless to stop a collision where people are killed by the train. Sometimes the crew members mark off for a month or more to deal with it.

I remember years ago I had a friend who was an engineer for the Southern Pacific (like I said, years ago). He was involved in a collision with a vehicle in rural Yamhill County. Fortunately no fatalities but he was shoken up, he was off work for some time and even when he came back, he was definitely impacted by the incident. And this was simply a person who didn't see the train, didn't pay attention to the various warning signs...just drove into the train. That was moving 10 miles an hour, had lots of bright lights and a really loud horn. (I could say that the SP locomotives at the time were dark gray and probably not very visible at night, and today all railroad equipment has to have reflective paint and striping on the sides...)

That piece of paper might have LOOKED like a $ 300 traffic citation, Jack. But it was ACTUALLY just an invitation to buy a $ 50 (cash only, no receipts) lecture at Emmanuel Hospital sponsored by the Portland Bicycle Alliance.

This "SHARE THE ROAD" lecture & fund raiser is fundamentally a re-education camp on why cars are BAD, bikes are GOOD.

And PPB policy is SUPPOSED to allow these invitations to be issued at the discretion by EACH traffic officer, clearly these optional "invitations" are blanket issued at orders from PPB higher headquarters.

I was offered this "class" and found it ripe for bias, waste, fraud and abuse. That the Portland Police are issuing blanket orders to attend the Portland Bicycle Alliance "SHARE THE ROAD" class stinks.

Too bad there is no longer any real investigative reporters left at the "O".

How did this thread turn into a driver versus biker street fight? I thought the post was about Jack's apology for misreading the number of tickets received by the CoP employee.

So a cyclist busts a stop sign and I hit them..
You say I can sue them for compensation but what do I want with a busted up hipster
bike ?
It's not like the scofflaws have any real assets. Or insurance...

reader,
I think I've got it: The post was about a city employee being ticketed an unknown number of times for running a stop sign on a bicycle. Then the thread evolved into a contentious discussion about running stop signs on bicycles in general.

Who really knows why the change occurred? I guess you could call it the mystery of blogging.

Reader,
Because it's a lot more interesting than discussing how many ticket the lady received in one day, huh.

Whether driving or biking, another point to be made here in terms of stopping at stop signs or red lights is the importance of making a "practice" of doing so. Seems to me that the reason most responsible drivers come to a complete stop (or at least a prolonged pause - guilty!) even when there appears to be no other traffic (or pedestrians) around is to maintain the HABIT of doing so. I think some of these auto/bike collisions that occur when a biker doesn't stop at a stop sign (yes, I know that the reverse happens as well, but there's no debate that more bikers than cars fail to stop at stop signs or red lights) is precisely because bikers are so loosey-goosey when it comes to this very basic and important traffic rule.

Bill McDonald may NOT think these 50 + - "tickets" are worthy of discussion.

But in this case, the city forgoes the nearly $ 15,000 in ticket revenue (from bicyclists) which is instead diverted to about one third of that amount to "SHARE THE ROAD" BICYCLE ADVOCACY programs.

And I think that IS ON TOPIC.

I'm just glad the 4 traffic cops were available to run this program. Jefferson Smith must be driving out of town today.

Not only was it totally amusing to hear that Sammyboy’s chief transportation policy advisor was cited for failing to stop at a stop sign; but it was equally just as amusing to hear some guy on the TV news complaining it takes too much of his energy to get back up to speed after stopping. Isn’t exercise one of the big ballyhoo rants by the promoters bicycling?

Apparently this female staff person didn't realize that large size American sedans with funny, odd sized black stuff on top of the cabin just means there'a guy in a police uniform in there looking for some more people to help him pay for that equipment. That just shows you women's equality still has a way to go.

It's a guy thing.


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