Putting the "zero" in Vision Zero


This is pretty pitiful. The people responsible for traffic safety in Portland held a press conference today to wallow in their failure, and tell you it's all your fault. As if their standing in front of cameras and saying "Slow down and don't drive drunk" were actually doing something.

The new head of the City Hall car-hater bureau was in charge of the proceedings, informing us all how "[t]oday, my first news conference as your director is a solemn occasion.... As your transportation director, I want you to know that I am firmly committed to Vision Zero. I will provide the leadership and collaboration we need to make our streets safer for everyone.” Sure.

The only thing that would make a difference at this point is strict and visible enforcement of traffic laws for a sustained period of time – measured in years, not days. But that would require a new police chief, a new district attorney, and probably some new judges, none of which seem to be in the offing.

Oh, and did you know that the Portland cops' traffic division is back up to two-thirds strength?

“A couple years ago because of staffing issues, the traffic division was cut. And for two years, I was the only traffic member full time. And so, recently, we’ve got our staffing enough to where we brought back about two-thirds of our traffic division,” [Sergeant Ty] Engstrom said.

According to Engstrom, the traffic division has coverage seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. when there is a majority of DUI and street racing incidents. He noted that some officers have worked overtime to process DUI drivers and hold them accountable.

Given the epidemic of death-wish motoring in Portland at the moment, you're going to need three times as many cops as are out there now, in effect doubling what was there before the officers quiet-quit, to reverse the deadly change in culture that's been allowed to happen. 

And when they give out tickets, it would be nice if the prosecutors and judges imposed heavy penalties until the craziness subsides. One of the goals of the criminal justice system is to make an example out of the offender. If you want to stop the traffic fatalities, it's time to dust that principle off and use it.

Of course, no government meeting would be complete without an interlude about race and our precious "houseless" population. The jesters from the county were there to emphasize that angle.

“When we look at this from a public health perspective, it’s alarming for three reasons. First… it’s a leading cause of death. Second, the trend is going up,” Multnomah County Public Health Manager Brendon Haggerty said. “The third reason this is especially alarming for public health is that we see racial disparities.”

He added, “in Multnomah County, the death rate from traffic crashes among the Black population is about twice the rate of the non-Hispanic, white population.”...

Additionally, the department found in that two-year period, people experiencing houselessness are more likely to be killed in a traffic crash.

I'm not entirely clear on what the relevance of those stats may be, but every cop in that traffic division knows that a tally is being kept of the races of the people they pull over. Nowadays, they may need to let someone go, or pull someone over for next to nothing, in order to keep their ratio right. It's not good policing, but it's the price we pay for the local force's history of blatant racism. When the cops can't be trusted, the reaction usually ends up harming innocent people.

And OMG, look who joined the party: It's none other than Sarah Yada Yada Iannarone!

Apparently she's drawing a paycheck as the head of a nonprofit that makes noise about "safe, accessble, equitable, zero carbon streets." Having her in the mix certainly affects one's confidence level, doesn't it?

Glaringly missing from today's bobblehead festival was the State of Oregon. Apparently there's some sort of deal in place under which the state troopers don't work traffic in Portland, ever. Whatever that deal is, it needs to be terminated, like yesterday. Portland can't be relied on to do Salem's job. We pay most of the taxes in this state, and we need help. Yoo hoo, Lew Frederick! Yoo hoo, Governor Kohoutek!

Comments

  1. Spendy hair color makeover and new glasses? I feel better already…NOT!

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    Replies
    1. I always thought the bureaucrats hired their friends. But, this looks like she was recruited.

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  2. I just got a survey in my email from PBOT asking about how they should address their "projected $30million budget shortfall." The survey questions were HEAVILY skewed toward raising revenue. So, pull 'em down and bend over...you're about to get reamed again. The gas tax that was ballyhooed to fix Portland streets has evaporated into the ether (meaning into someone's pocket).

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  3. The reason the OSP won't work in Portland is because all of the goofy rules about treating sidewalk-camping vagrants and drug addicts with kid gloves. Given the story in WWeek about the contents of juvenile term paper that it took the "Police Accountability Commission" two years to write, it's pretty clear that Portland is interested in ANY law enforcement...let alone EFFECTIVE law enforcement.

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  4. The shift stops at 3am, thirty minutes after the bars close. The city could save a bunch on overtime if they shifted the window from 5pm to 3am to 7pm to 5am. I suppose that would hurt cop morale though.

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  5. Sarah, you look really cute and we made sure to write down what you said, but now it’s time for the adults to talk.

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    1. They are adults in name only. Real adults, you know the people who are above the age of 18 and who are generally responsible, tend to make decisions that will lead to the best outcome possible.

      They are typically not looking at everything through a “equity lens”.........whatever that is. It must distort things by the looks of it.

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  6. I keep looking at that group photo, and the only person I could even possibly trust with anything important would be the police sergeant. Mapps's common sense is dissipating by the day, and the rest are simply hopeless.

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    1. Scary isn’t? But here we are.

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    2. The concept of common sense disappeared when the ideology of “equity” became the way to get the majority votes.

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  7. "A new life awaits you in the Off-world colonies! A chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!" -- Blade Runner

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  8. I thought the State Police were all down in Southern Oregon using everyone's tax dollars to patrol for the people who refused to raise their pittance property taxes to cover local law enforcement.

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  9. Iannarone is taking this Vision Zero stuff so seriously that she dyed her hair to look like a traffic cone. That's dedication!

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    1. Sarah I’m-a-nut-a-roni isn’t the LEAST BIT interested in “safe, accessible, equitable, zero carbon streets”…she’s only interested in herself and her stature as a power broker in Portland politics. She’s angling to be one of the 12 Apostles of the 25%…or the big (soggy) enchilada that will be the Mayor of Portland in 2025.

      Sarah is an opportunist…pure and simple. She thinks that holding municipal office will assuage her liberal white guilt…and makes her the West-side (white) disciple of St Joann, patron saint “mostly peaceful protests” (abd).

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    2. Yep...and she'll turn on Joann, Cameron, Candace and the rest of the crew of low-IQ malcontents in a heartbeat as soon as they threaten her "public stature."

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  10. It's one big freak show every freak'n day. BTW since they brought it up, this is not a local issue> Nationwide deaths by vehicle accidents for black people has gone way up since the whole de-fund the police. And that coincidently (?) the rate of being pulled over for suspicious behavior has gone way down amongst black drivers.

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  11. I would personally add that the atypical road markings and changing the street patterns may have possibly added to increased pedestrian deaths. Adding green markings to streets and putting a pedestrian islands in the middle of a roadway takes the drivers' attention off of the surroundings and focuses it on the changing street patterns. Not every driver in Portland is from Portland. Some of the street markings would be confusing to any one.

    Also, the street maintenance is terrible - they re-stripe in the spring, if at all. Well, in the winter when it's dark and raining is when the striping should be fresh and visible. There are some streets where you have to guess where the lines are.

    PBOT is yet another failed government institution. Overall it is incompetent.

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    Replies
    1. PBOT frequently comes up with new wrinkles on changing traffic patterns. I wish a some of them would come from common sense thinking.

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    2. Yes they do.

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    3. I guess I just travel in areas where their dumb ideas find a home

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  12. Sarah Iannarone appears to have Zero Vision fashion sense that's for sure.

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  13. The cocktail recipe for the Greater Idaho Movement:

    Combine 2 parts of systemic urban dysfunctionality with 3 parts state policy overreach, stir for years, then add 1 part of constant protests. Serve in a glass rimmed with strident, performative Portland battshittery.

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  14. Isn't "Zero Carbon" newspeak for "abolish all cars." their answer to traffic deaths?

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  15. You can tell really stupid people by the "solutions" they propose. Drivers must Slow down and knockoff the fentanyl and booze. Instead of Pedestrians must look both ways BEFORE and DURING stepping into the street to avoid being killed by a stoned speeder.
    Which would be the most effective way to reduce pedestrian deaths?

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  16. On the up side, at least they are all Democrats. That's what matters.

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  17. I'm a Democrat but only in Oregon do I vote on occasion for the Republican. Though both parties have been taken over by loons.

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    Replies
    1. Isn't it interesting how some of Portland's inept "leaders" exit the stage, but then mysteriously return to further haunt the already scary City? I'm thinking of Sarah, JoAnn, Sam.....there will be more. Just sayin'.

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    2. They're essentially unemployable except on the local government payroll. Don't forget Chloe!

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    3. It would help if they made crosswalks into zebra crossings- brightly blinking lights to help you see the people crosding.But Portland's too cheap.

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