No one's going to call her Crosswalk Cathy if they have a brain. She obviously had no idea who they were let alone that they were black when she called. And of course she didn't try to track them down, it's Mississippi ave. There's at least 10 places they could have been and no way to identify them as the owners.

Be reasonable ffs.


So let me get this straight. Woman calls city officials to report a vehicle parked illegally, and because the drivers later turned out to be black, she's racist?

There are reasons it is illegal to block a crosswalk. Forcing people to walk around your car puts them at greater risk of getting hit. Parking too close to a corner blocks visibility. Some people need to use crosswalks: parents with strollers, people in wheelers, etc.

The driver was in the wrong.


I truly believe that racism exists. But this wasn't a case of it. Dude, you parked in a crosswalk. You can't do that. Doesn't matter what color your skin is.


so parking illegally in a crosswalk is OK if you are black? Thanks for the info.


That car doesn't appear to be an inch or 2 across the crosswalk, it appears to be an inch or two out into the street completely blocking the sidewalk/crosswalk. It would be one thing if she watched them park and then called 911 but what she did was call parking enforcement which is not the police to report a car blocking the crosswalk. Parking enforcement outside the central city is largely complaint based so if no one calls nothing gets fixed. That could just as easily have been a car that would be parked there for days so I for one applaud her for taking the time to try and improve the situation for people walking. Also no harm no foul because it takes hours for parking enforcement to respond so if someone really is just there for a couple minutes they won't be getting a ticket.


She's White. He's an Entitled Driver.


The Merc's pathetic attempt to generate controversy has resulted in 9 whole comments!! Quick, send a note to your advertisers before you go to once a month publication!


Parking like this makes crossing the street extremely unsafe for pedestrians, particularly elderly folks, people with kids (and particularly strollers), as well as extra danger for cars looking to turn from the side street who can't see the oncoming traffic. I don't see anything wrong with reporting it, regardless of who the driver is.

GLV nailed it, this is poorly composed click bait and does a disservice to the overall issue by equating this incident with actually bad/racist incidents.


This is a sad story that you've tried to gin up racism and hang it around this ladies neck. She's obviously a cyclist and most likely sick of the self-entitled drivers she has to protect herself from on an almost minute-by-minute basis. This has nothing to do with race, it has everything to do with getting called out when you've illegally parked your car, period! Good for her!


This isn't about race and it's not about "changing community" It's about Portland's epidemic of shitty, entitled motorists putting everyone around them at risk. Fuck these assholes.


hey sorry about blocking your safe passage across this car-infested motorway, kids, but i just need to pop in here for five or ten minutes (they might be busy!) ... if you need to cross the street, just cross over here and then over there and you should be just fine.

I know, I know, it'll take you a teeny little bit longer to walk a little bit farther, you lazy dog!, but, you don't want me to miss my order, do you?! It could get cold! Have a nice day!

and Peace out!


Fake news. You are what is wrong with journalism, Alex. The car was obviously blocking the entire crosswalk and causing people to walk around it into the street AND there was no way to have known who owned it at the time she called.


What a relief that this was someone calling the city and not 911. It's too bad that detail wasn't caught before this article was written. If only there were some sort of training for journalists that included ethical training and things like checking sources, verifying stories. It sounds like a lot of work to do before pressing publish on a blog, though. Probably not that important.


I applaud the woman. You should absolutely report vehicles to Parking Enforcement that are parked illegally in front of crosswalks and curb cuts.

Looks like The Mercury jumped the gun on this one. Pick and choose your battles better.


Alex Zielinksi, please. Take this article down. What began as sloppy tabloid journalism has morphed into an absurd, disingenuous attempt to publicly humiliate an innocent woman who had the temerity to (gasp!) report an illegally parked car to the city. That’s called being a good citizen. Yet the barely-concealed subtext of this article is that this woman is a horrible racist (based on what? It’s not there in the article) – an unsubstantiated charge that could seriously affect her life and possibly her physical safety.

I’m all for publically shaming the racists who engage in this kind of behavior. But you have to - ya know - verify that they actually engaged in said behavior before you cut straight to the pillorying.

I know it’s hard to fill the page with “news.” I know it’s hard to find an angle. I know you thought you found one (or invented one) for this story. But knowing what you know now (and what you should have found out before rushing to judgement) you should either take the article down or edit it to issue a public apology to this poor lady.


An article about pedestrian and cyclists traffic fatalities in Portland published in April of this year by the Mercury:

Pedestrians and cyclists should not be vilified for taking steps to avoid dying in a traffic collision, and it seems pretty clear that the woman in question didn't know the race of the car owners.


To all of you complete and utter paranoid mutants, having your car parked like that for a brief period is NOT A BIG DEAL! I’m reading all this “it puts the pedestrian at a higher risk” blah blah blah, like dude, it’s Mississippi Ave! The amount of pedestrians crossing the street both illegally and legally makes it so that ALL cars basically drive at a below glacial pace 😂 you risk of being maliciously mauled down on Mississippi is about .000000000000001% since A.) there’s about five other people crossing all which way at that very moment AND the car’s driving are going all of, what, 4mph? Get a grip and ffs please stop acting like you are literally made of glass, you will survive walking 2 feet around the car and make it to the other side of the street, I promise 😂 I swear, you people are nuts.
Also, let us ALL be very clear and aware of the fact that 8/10 shithead drivers in this city will park in a spot that takes up part if not all of another spot, thereby completely screwing everyone else. It’s really not the end of the world that they parked like that, they weren’t dining in, they were getting take out, chill y’all


She was 100% correct in her actions and is getting threats Alex. Your "career" of transcribing facebook posts and calling yourself a "journalist" must make your family very proud.




22 comments (A record?? Call corporate!!) and no one supports the ridiculous race-baiting claims made by the Merc. In the interest of ethics this article should be retracted, but I am loving the comments.

Seriously Alex, buzzfeed is not going to pick this up; this is not that viral article you’ve been dreaming about. Show some dignity and do the right thing.


It's pretty clear that, if solid, ethical, and accurate journalism were the goal, as opposed to clicks/revenue, the Mercury screwed up big time hiring Alex Zielinski. If this kind of "journalism" is the price of keeping the lights on at the 'Merc offices, I'm not sure it's worth it...


Merc made their stance clear long ago. "White people are racist". Heck, Portland itself seems to have taken that as their new motto. Visions of a white guy yelling at another white guy about him being white and daring to drive on downtown P-town streets. The privilege!

These young healthy individuals having the audacity to say, "Why would people spend the time just trying to make our lives harder instead of talking it out like neighbors?". Buy a clue, Einstein. YOU made lives harder by parking in a crosswalk instead of walking 50 extra feet.
But "Victim"...


Seriously. Why is this article still up?


Way to go Mercury. You've managed to ruin the next 3 months of a young woman's life for the chance to get some race-bait clicks. Not to mention making yourselves, and Portland, by relation, look like complete idiots on the national stage. You even made it over to I'm asking that you remove this article and publish a retraction immediately. But you won't because your publication has been trashy, untruthful, and irresponsible for years.


Believe women....unless someone else has more victim points. In that case, initiate a campaign of harassment against her for a totally justified action. I don't want to hear what a feminist you are, Alex.


The comments made my day. For once, reasonable safety-oriented people aren't in the minority. People who are inconsiderate with their cars should expect backlash, regardless of their victim points.

Please wait...

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