Last April, a speeding bicyclist traveling down SW Broadway Drive hit and seriously injured Lynn Takata just outside her home. Even after back surgery, Takata says she's still in pain and is waiting for another session under the knife.
Now, a year after the accident—at a police meeting on June 27 at Central Precinct—Takata asked Portland's police to crack down on SW Broadway Drive's speeding bicyclists. She wants them to be mindful of what happened to her as they ride down the steep hill, which leads into downtown. Takata estimates the bulk of cyclists are going 35 to 45 mph, with many seeming to be unaware that the road's 25 mph speed limit applies to them as well as cars.
"I'm a supporter of the biking community, but I've noticed there's no enforcement of speed limits for cyclists in the area," Takata told the police. "I feel a mix of education and enforcement could help us all share the road better—but the bicyclists need to hold up their end of the deal."
In response to Takata's request, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) traffic division plans to step up its enforcement of the 25 mph speed limit on SW Broadway—giving out $112 speeding tickets over the coming weeks.
The Portland Office of Transportation is looking into engineering solutions on Broadway that will help curb speeding, and will also mount temporary speed readers on the street over coming weeks, which tell cyclists how fast they're going and flash if they're over the limit.
"Anybody speeding down Broadway, whether in a motorized vehicle or on a bike, could be a considerable danger to themselves or pedestrians, and the law applies to everyone," says PPB spokeswoman Catherine Kent.
At the cops' meeting, Lieutenant Mark Kruger of the PPB traffic division said 500 bikes were cited for traffic offenses last year out of 130,000 citations—but that as Portland's biking population grows, the division's focus on bikes is starting to change.
"Most bicyclists know they're supposed to obey the law," says bike attorney Mark Ginsberg. "What I want to see is equal enforcement—where if a car driver goes by and is speeding, they are given a ticket just the same as a speeding bicyclist would be."