Uneasy riders

Here's a shocking story: The Portland police traffic division says that motorcycle deaths in the city are increasing at a disturbing rate.

"In 2020, there were eight motorcyclists that died in the city of Portland. In 2021, there were nine that died. And in 2022, there were 11," said Sgt. Ty Engstrom with the traffic division at the Portland Police Bureau. "We may not have as many fatalities as the pedestrians, but still those are high numbers and those are people that, you know, that their lives are forever changed -- their families' lives."

The most shocking aspect of the story, of course, is that the Portland police have a traffic division. Really? When was the last time you saw a traffic cop in Portland?

What you do see, though, every time you hit the roads here, are ever-growing numbers of people driving like maniacs. Speeding. Weaving. Following too close. Cutting others off. Being unpredictable. Cruising around in vehicles with no license plates, or plates deliberately obscured. Sure, it's rough on motorcyclists. But heck, it's rough on pedestrians and good drivers in four-wheel vehicles, too.

The city "transportation" bureaucrats assert, withiut irony, that they're on a "Vision Zero" mission, to eliminate traffic fatalities. Unfortunately, the real zero is in traffic enforcement. Hence the mortal dangers on the streets and highways.


  1. Didn't they dissolve the Vision Zero thing a few years ago because the numbers kept going the wrong way?

  2. Who knows? The dopey lawn signs keep being printed, and handed out to the city's many virtue signalers who proudly display them.

    1. In this whole one-sided "vision zero" narrative, a critical fact of life is not being addressed: the naive pedestrian who feels they automatically have the right of way, who's blissfully distracted by their smartphone, making no eye contact, and confidently striding into moving traffic fully expecting motorists to stand their cars on their nose to avoid hitting them. I was brought up to always look both ways before crossing a street, marked crosswalk or not. The vision zero advocates would do well to address this side of the narrative as well, for the general welfare of the "entitled" pedestrians.

    2. And while walking at night wearing all black!

    3. And in the rain, making it much harder to see them. I am probably one of the few drivers who scans for pedestrians a full half-block away. I always give right of way to pedestrians, and even though I stop with brake lights on, other drivers coming the opposite way usually keep on going.


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