Traffic cops save lives. We don't have any.

It continues to be dangerous out on Portland streets. Whether you're on foot, in a car, or whatever, the chances of a person being killed in a fatal accident have never been worse.

The city's official explanation for this public safety failure is here. Not mentioned anywhere in the propaganda is the fact that there is essentially no enforcement of traffic laws in the city any more. When was the last time you saw a traffic cop on duty in Portland? Many years ago.

With no police with ticket books out there, you can lower the speed limits all you want, but no one will obey them. And yesterday we learned:

One in five alleged impaired driving cases referred to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office by Portland police last year fell apart because of a failure by officers to “perform any of the routine investigation expected” in such cases, according to an internal memo prepared by the DA’s office.

The transportation bureaucrats at City Hall like to brag, "We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility." If only that were true. What they do is manifest car hatred at every turn. It isn't making anyone safer. It's just another thing pushing normal people out of town.


  1. Vision Zero, which is more oriented towards making streets difficult to drive on than making them safer, hasn't helped and may have made things worse.

  2. Not long ago the motorcycle cops in Beaverton seem to have a competition in handing out tickets. Probably kept the locals on their toes for a while

  3. Let's be clear here: There's no political will to challenge the mindset in place at PBOT that "engineering saves lives." This fantasy world where all we have to do is just pour concrete where passing lanes used to be – and have zero traffic enforcement – is literally killing people. And nobody has any real solutions.

    That data alone is a perfect example of this. How many of those fatalities are "self-manifested?" Motorcyclists, for example, who were doing 80 on a residential street and lost control into a power pole? (I know of at least 1…) You can't engineer for that. But PBOT will hoist them up and say "Look! It's proof our roads aren't safe and we need to do more!" without first holding a mirror to driver behavior and saying "Maybe, just maybe, it's the decisions made by 60 people and not a problem with the remaining 600,000 of us that's the problem?"


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