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Forced to steal, a Cedar Hills teen turns in her mom and gets a new bike

Forced to steal, a Cedar Hills teen turns in her mom and gets a new bike

This duo was arrested on multiple charges.(Photos: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

This duo was arrested on multiple charges.
(Photos: Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

We’ve covered many bike theft stories over the years; but we’ve never heard of anything quite like what we learned from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office this morning.

A 13-year-old girl in Cedar Hills (seven miles west of Portland) called the police to report a bicycle that she suspected was stolen. The amazing thing is that the bike was given to her by her mother and she told the responding officer it was probably stolen. She was right. She also disclosed that her mom had forced her to steal all sorts of things from apartment complexes and donation drop-off locations.

Deputies investigated and found out that the girl’s mom — 33-year-old Beaverton resident Lara Kent and her partner, 37-year-Jack Harman Jr. from Portland — had a U-haul van and a storage unit stuffed with stolen goods. They tracked down the van and the storage unit and ultimately arrested the duo.

Among the 70 stolen items recovered were jewelry, checks, mail, license plates, new clothing, 10 bicycles and one electric scooter that belonged to Portlander Cheryl Evans.









Cheryl Evans and a Washington County Sheriff's deputy with the 13-year-old girl and her new bike.

Cheryl Evans and a Washington County Sheriff’s deputy with the 13-year-old girl and her new bike.

When Evans showed up to recover her scooter, she heard how the young girl was caught up with criminals and was put into this terrible situation. “After hearing of the circumstances,” reads a statement from the Sheriff’s office, “Ms. Evans told deputies she wanted to purchase the girl a bicycle since she no longer had one. Ms. Evans cited she came from a difficult childhood and understands doing the right thing can sometimes be difficult, especially when family is involved.”

Yesterday the investigating deputies, Ms. Evans, and the girl went to the store and picked out a brand new bike. Thanks to her own generosity and some donations from friends, Evans bought her and younger brother a bike. And of course two strong u-locks.

We loved the last line of the Sheriff’s office statement: “We would like to thank Ms. Evans and the 13-year-old girl for demonstrating the Washington County Sheriff’s Office core values: do your best, do the right thing, and treat others the way you want to be treated.”

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Even in suburban Oregon, drive-alone trips are a shrinking share of new commutes

Even in suburban Oregon, drive-alone trips are a shrinking share of new commutes

Beaverton to Tualatin ride-2

Bike commuter Jim Parsons in Washington County.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland metro area seems to have already discovered how to slow the growth of traffic congestion, the city’s bicycle planning coordinator said Friday. But it’s not investing in it very quickly.

Between 2000 and 2014, the three Oregon counties in the metro area added 122,000 new commuters. And inside the Metro urban growth boundary, less than half of that net growth came from people driving alone in cars.

The “primary reason” rush-hour traffic hasn’t gotten worse twice as fast over the last 15 years, Portland Bicycle Planning Coordinator Roger Geller concluded in an exploration of Census data presented at Portland State University Friday, is “Portland’s significant growth in bicycling and working at home.”

Inspired in part by other Geller comments, we’ve written about this phenomenon before. But we haven’t written about just how much difference the decline in driving rates has made not only in Portland but in suburban areas.

Looking at the region as a whole, these blue bars in Geller’s presentation show the number of new commuters (including telecommuters and other work-at-home folks) by mode from 2000 to 2014:

regional commuters actual

And the orange bars here show what this would have looked like if metro-area transportation behavior hadn’t changed since 2000:

regional commuters hypothetical

Fortunately for the area, those patterns did change. In Multnomah County, the biggest factor was biking, with work-at-home a close second. (Again, the orange bars show what would have happened without a change in people’s transportation behavior and the blue bars show what actually happened, so it’s useful to look at the difference between the two bars.) The rate of mass transit use, unfortunately, declined a bit despite the Yellow, Red and Green MAX lines all opening during this period.

multco commuting trend

In Washington County (that’s Hillsboro, Beaverton, Tigard and points west), transit, biking and work-at-home were approximately equal factors in defraying the growth of driving:

washco commuting trend

And in Clackamas County (that’s Milwaukie, Clackamas, Lake Oswego and points south), the big change was work-at-home, with an assist from bicycling and to a somewhat lesser extent the other modes:

clackaco commuting trend





Geller is, of course, proud of the role bicycling has played in keeping the region moving despite so many new residents and jobs. But he’s also frustrated by the amount of driving that’s still happening.

“Clearly, not enough people are choosing to use transit,” Geller, who noted that he is “not a transit expert,” said in his presentation. “Driving is very easy in this city, and once you own a car it doesn’t cost very much.”

As the Portland region continues to grow, the stakes are high. This is the scariest slide in Geller’s presentation: a projection of new commute trips created in the next 19 years if the region remains at 2014 driving rates.

Screenshot 2016-05-17 at 12.19.39 PM

Geller has pointed out that unless Portland can reduce driving, this number of additional car trips would require “23 Powell Boulevards” to lace through the City of Portland alone.

Another thing Geller seems understandably frustrated by: the fact that even though biking has been such a huge factor in reducing drive-alone trips over the last 15 years, the region is investing almost nothing in it. He shared this chart, pointing out that even though the region’s biking-walking infrastructure plan is far cheaper than its driving and transit plans (and even though it’s been delivering such high returns on investment so far) the bike infrastructure plan isn’t on track to be funded until the year 2209.

2209

This Thursday, Metro’s regional JPACT committee will make a key vote over how to divvy up $17.4 million created by the new federal transportation bill among biking/walking infrastructure, transit infrastructure or road widening. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is currently fighting to try to persuade to at the very least not spend this money on road widening.

Here’s Geller’s full slideshow from last Friday, which you can also download as a PDF.

And here’s the video of his presentation, with questions at the end:

Correction 1:30 pm: An earlier version of this post overstated the amount of non-car driving in suburban areas.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

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West-side group wants advice about bike parking locations in the burbs

West-side group wants advice about bike parking locations in the burbs

The (Epic) Sushi Ride

The suburbanite’s familiar search.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

BikePortland’s bike parking coverage is sponsored by Huntco Site Furnishings.

Suburban parking lots often fail horribly at bike parking — not because it’s expensive but simply because developers weren’t thinking about it.

But as hundreds of Portland retailers can testify, decent bike parking is a big part of making a business district bike-friendly. It’s a key part of making it feel natural and normal to go out for an errand, a beer, a meeting, a movie or a daycare dropoff on a bicycle.

With low-car lifestyles getting more common in Washington County over the last few years, some people in the area are looking to upgrade the bike parking. That’s why the Westside Transportation Alliance is working on a project right now to select the best locations for new bike racks.

The effort in the Aloha-Reedville area, just west of the Beaverton city limits, came out of a 2014 report by Washington County that named retrofitting bicycle parking as one of the changes needed to make the area more bike-friendly.





It also comes on the heels of a very nice guide to installing suburban bike parking, created by the WTA.

Now, the WTA has created an online map where they’re soliciting suggestions on where bike parking should go. To add your own suggestions, you can click the “edit” icon in the upper left, then tap the purple pin, then tap a desired location.

aloha bike parking

It’s not the slickest website ever — I was unable to add comments to a demo pin I submitted — but it’s a chance to have some real influence if you know the area. WTA is eager for suggestions on where bike parking should go.

WTA Business Relations Manager Ross Peizer writes that he’d love to get it in front of anyone “who might live or pass through/visit Aloha-Reedville and have ever said ‘such and such place could use a bike rack.’”

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

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First look: Nike’s new bike path through the woods connects light rail to World HQ

First look: Nike’s new bike path through the woods connects light rail to World HQ

Nike Woods Adam pics-7

View from the new path looking south at Beaverton Creek MAX light rail station.
(All photos by Adam Herstein)

Nike has just opened a new bike path through a forested parcel adjacent to their world headquarters.

The path, which we first reported on back in November, is formally known as the Nike Woods Connector Trail. BikePortland reader Adam Herstein rode the path yesterday and provided us with his thoughts and photos:

The path has lighting throughout to improve visibility and safety during the dark winter months. The path connects directly to the MAX platform on the south end and to Jenkins Road on the north. Unfortunately, there is no cycle-specific signaling to cross Jenkins into Nike; people cycling are expected to use the pedestrian signal.





Overall, the ride is nice. The path is all paved asphalt. There’s a few feet of gravel at the north end before reaching the paved portion. There is also a grouping of bike parking staples adjacent to the MAX. Overall a vast improvement for people who take MAX to Nike and bike the last mile. The new multi-use path offers a much safer ride than on the substandard bike lanes along Washington County arterials surrounding the Nike campus

Nike Woods Adam pics-1

Looking north from the Beaverton Creek MAX light rail platform.
Nike Woods Adam pics-2

Looking south from the path toward the MAX platform.
Nike Woods Adam pics-3

Looking south towards MAX platform.
nike woods lead

A closer look at the bike parking that’s been built near the MAX station.
Nike Woods Adam pics-9

The junction of the Hollister Trail running path and the new bike path.
Nike Woods Adam pics-4

Looking north at entrance to the woods.
Nike Woods Adam pics-5

Nike Woods Adam pics-6

Nike Woods Adam pics-10

Where the path spills out onto SW Jenkins road. An entrance to the Nike World HQ is in the background.

The path is about one-third of a mile long and it bisects a wooded parcel that’s ringed with a dirt running trail open only to Nike employees. While this parcel was previously closed to the general public, a source within TriMet has confirmed for us that the new path is open to everyone. At least for now. There’s a new path being built near the Beaverton Creek MAX light rail station on the south end of the parcel. Once Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec finish that path, it’s likely that Nike will close this new Woods Connector Trail to the public.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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TriMet to add 200 covered bike parking spots to MAX system

TriMet to add 200 covered bike parking spots to MAX system

trimet bike parking

Concept art for a new bike-and-ride facility at the Goose Hollow MAX station, due to open by the end of 2016.
(Images: TriMet)

Portland’s regional transit agency expects to add new locked “Bike and Ride” facilities this year to its Goose Hollow, Beaverton Creek and Orenco Station MAX stops, greatly increasing the west side’s capacity for bike-to-transit commuting.

It’s especially welcome news for MAX commuters through the crowded Robertson Tunnel between Portland and Washington County. Job and residential growth in Central Portland and urban Washington County have been leading to more and more people looking to reach those stations by bike.

At at least one of the facilities, there’s even room being set aside specifically for cargo bikes.

The Goose Hollow facility, pictured above, will include “about 50-60 bike parking spaces total, including both secure, enclosed facilities and covered bike parking spaces,” with construction starting later this year and finishing by the end of 2016.

Here’s a shot of the nearly complete Orenco Bike and Ride, which will offer “50 secure, enclosed bike parking spaces, a repair stand with tools, air pump, cargo bike parking area and outlets for e-bikes.”

trimet orenco

“The facility is opening soon and we’ll announce a date shortly,” TriMet said Friday.


The Beaverton Creek MAX station just south of Nike’s headquarters, meanwhile, is getting the biggest upgrade of the three.

“Initial concepts call for about 100 bike parking spaces, including both secure, enclosed facilities and covered bike parking spaces,” TriMet said. Spokeswoman Mary Fetsch said the current plan is for about half of those to be secure and half to be outdoors but covered.

That project, too, is supposed to start and finish in 2016.

At three cents per daytime hour parked and 1 cent per nighttime hour, the cost of using TriMet’s Bike and Rides comes out to about $6 per month for someone who parks a bike for 10 hours every weekday, or about $6 per month for someone who parks a bike for everything except 10 hours every weekday. (For people who are really into it, that’d be $12 a month to securely store two bikes at different bike & rides and use both of them for different legs of a daily commute.)

Storing a car for up to one day at a TriMet park & ride remains free.

The project at Orenco is assisted by a grant from Metro, with matching funds from TriMet. The projects at Goose Hollow and Beaverton Creek are assisted by an Oregon Department of Transportation Connect Oregon grant, with matching funds from both Washington County and TriMet.

If you’d like to influence the facilities or design of the Goose Hollow or Beaverton Creek areas, contact TriMet Active Transportation Planner Jeff Owen: owenj@trimet.org.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

BikePortland can’t survive without paid subscribers. Please sign up today.


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Salmonberry Trail to the coast hits milestone, begins fundraising effort

Salmonberry Trail to the coast hits milestone, begins fundraising effort

The Salmonberry Trail would connect Banks
to Tillamook on the Oregon Coast.
(Map by Oregon State Parks & Rec)

The proposed Salmonberry Trail, a path that would connect Washington County to the Pacific coast through the forest along a defunct rail line, has an official name and is about to get a full-time executive director.

Previously referred to as the “Salmonberry Corridor,” the trail also has an 11-member decision-making body with formal power to start raising the unknown millions that’d be required for the 86-mile proposal.

The Salmonberry Coalition will celebrate those milestones at its annual meeting next month. The public event is 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Oct. 9, at Stub Stewart State Park.

“We’ve been having steering committee meetings about once a month,” state trails coordinator Rocky Houston said in an interview Tuesday about the coalition’s progress.

The biggest upcoming milestone for the path is likely to be the hiring of its first full-time staffer. Houston said the hiring process is underway for a two-year job to lay the groundwork for a major and ongoing search for grants, donations and other deals that could make the project possible.

salmon-rail-with-trail-after

Rail-with-trail (above) and rail-to-trail (below) renderings from the Salmonberry Corridor Draft Concept plan released last year. It’s not certain that all segments would be paved, especially at first.

The Salmonberry Trail would run through Washington and Tillamook counties along the route of a mostly unused rail line that has repeatedly been washed out by floods. It’d connect with the existing Banks-Vernonia Trail and the planned Council Creek Regional Trail between Hillsboro and Banks to create a continuous trail network from the Portland metro area to the Oregon coast.

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Houston said the executive director will be a state parks employee and that the position will come with a budget of about “$200,000 over two years for salaries and benefits and all those things.” It’ll continue through at least the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years.

salmon-rail-to-trail-after

The money comes from the state Department of Forestry, from the Washington County Visitors Association, from Tillamook County, from the state Parks Department and from the nonprofit Cycle Oregon, which has been an instigating advocate for the project along with state Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose.

The forestry and parks departments, along with Tillamook County and the Port of Tillamook Bay, are the four voting members on the Salmonberry Trail Authority.

That group’s official creation last week was reported Monday by the Tillamook County Pioneer.

The Authority also has seven nonvoting members: representatives for Washington County, the Washington County Visitors Association, the Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust, Cycle Oregon, the regional solutions representative from the state governor’s office, the office of the state representative for District 32 (currently Deborah Boone, D-Cannon Beach) and the office of the state senator for District 16 (currently Johnson).


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Man on bike seriously injured in SW Barnes Road collision (updated)

Man on bike seriously injured in SW Barnes Road collision (updated)

Screenshot 2015-05-22 at 4.13.49 PM

Southwest Barnes Road at Miller Road.
(Image: Google Street View)

A man reportedly received life-threatening head injuries while biking on Southwest Barnes Road Friday afternoon, just west of the Washington/Multnomah County line on the street that is known, in Multnomah County, as Burnside.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release late Friday that David Garcia, age 43, of Cedar Mill, was pedaling westbound on Barnes, possibly in or near the right turn lane, when an SUV turned left in front of him onto Southwest Miller Road.

“The vehicle believed that he was turning,” sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Bob Ray Ray said in an interview with KGW.

There are no bike lanes on Barnes. Eastbound cars turning left at this intersection seem to have an arrow signal, so it’s not clear from Ray’s initial description what would have led to the left-turn conflict.

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KGW reported that a “multi-vehicle crash” happened “around 1:45 p.m. at the intersection of Barnes Road and Southwest Miller Road.” Here’s a tweet from the station’s news photographer:

class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">

A bicyclist & a car collide @ SW Miller & Barnes Rds. The cyclist is at the hospital. The driver on scene. @KGWNews pic.twitter.com/3sWU2EAHwO

— Steven Redlin (@StevenRedlin) May 22, 2015

In his video interview with KGW, Ray said “he was riding what we classify as a street-type bike, so they’re pretty fast bicyclists and this is a pretty steep hill. So witnesses told us that he did have considerable speed going.”

Update 5/23: Here’s the official release from the sheriff’s office:

Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a crash where a vehicle and a bicyclist collided. The bicyclist suffered life-threatening injuries.

On May 22, 2015, at 1:45 p.m., Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to SW Miller Road at SW Barnes Road in the community of Cedar Mill concerning a traffic crash between a bicyclist and a sport utility vehicle.

Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and found David Garcia, 43, from Cedar Mill, unconscious in the roadway. He incurred life-threatening injuries. Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue treated Mr. Garcia prior to transporting him to Emanuel Hospital.

Sheriff’s Deputies learned that a 1988 Ford Bronco had been driven by David Warren, 64, from Hillsboro, eastbound on SW Barnes Road. Deputies found that David Garcia was riding his bicycle westbound on SW Barnes Road. Witnesses told investigators that he was riding his bicycle at a high speed and continued straight while in the right turn lane at SW Miller Road. Mr. Warren turned his Bronco left onto SW Miller Road into the path of Mr. Garcia.

David Warren remained at the crash scene and cooperated with investigators, he was not injured.

The Washington County Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team responded to assist with diagrams and processing evidence. The intersection was closed for approximately three hours.

Investigators will complete their analysis of this crash in the coming weeks. No citations have been issued.

We’ll be continuing to follow this story as we learn more.

UPDATE 3:10 pm, 5/27: Police have cited the driver. Here’s the official statement:

Investigators determined that David Warren, the driver of the Bronco, committed violations that were contributing factors in the May 22, 2015 crash with David Garcia. Yesterday, Mr. Warren was issued citations for Dangerous Left Turn and Careless Driving. His court date is scheduled for June 17, 2015


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Hillsboro police Tasered and tackled man who biked through stoplight, records show

Hillsboro police Tasered and tackled man who biked through stoplight, records show

13th tv highway

This is the Tualatin Valley Highway intersection where Jermaine Robinson biked, from right to left, immediately before a police stop that rapidly escalated into a Tasering and takedown.
(Image: Google Street View)

The City of Hillsboro and two of its police officers may head to trial this fall over a largely unreported 2012 incident in which the officers Tasered a 39-year-old Hillsboro man and kneed him into the ground after he allegedly rolled through a “don’t walk” light on his bike and then refused to give his name.

The interaction escalated over the course of three minutes from an evening traffic stop to a Taser-assisted takedown of a man who by all accounts had never attempted to physically harm the officers, though he did pull away from them when they tried to restrain and tackle him without warning.

pic J and V (1)

Jermaine Robinson, left, in a photo provided by his
lawyer, Edie Rogoway. Also pictured is his wife Vivian.
Rogoway said the couple received matching bicycles
as wedding gifts from her sister’s family.

Two police officers involved in the incident, Ofc. William Blood and Ofc. Brian Wilber, said the man with the bike, Jermaine Robinson, at one point seemed to be preparing to pedal away against Blood’s order.

Robinson’s lawyer said both he and a witness have denied that he ever moved to leave. Robinson also says Blood, the detaining officer, refused to tell him what violations he was accused of.

Blood said that he told Robinson about the violations the moment he emerged from his car, overhead lights flashing behind him, to approach the man on the Tualatin Valley Highway sidewalk.

Robinson was half a mile from his house.

Blood also said that after deciding to take Robinson into custody for refusing to identify himself, Blood didn’t start by telling Robinson to cooperate, because he didn’t want to “tip him off and give him an unfair advantage in preparing for a physical confrontation.”

Instead, Blood said he began the arrest process by locking a handcuff around Robinson’s wrist while the man wasn’t looking. According to Blood’s report, Robinson responded by jerking his wrist away and preventing the two officers’ attempts to wrestle his hand behind his back. Robinson “barely budged,” according to two police officers, as they then attempted to knock him to the ground.

robinson in dirt

A Hillsboro Police photo from the aftermath.

As Robinson remained in place, apparently still straddling his bicycle, a second officer drew a Taser and fired at him, sending Robinson to the ground. As Robinson struggled to rise, the police report said, the second officer fired the Taser again and the first officer tried to subdue him by kneeing him in the back.

Robinson was charged with resisting arrest and other charges and taken to jail.

During the takedown, Robinson’s lawsuit says, he received “serious physical injuries including a herniated disc in his lumbar spinal region, which will require surgery followed by intensive rehabilitation.”

At Robinson’s eventual criminal trial, in May 2013, a jury found him guilty only of a pair of traffic infractions: biking without lighting and crossing the street against a traffic light.

The incident and criminal trial don’t seem to have drawn media coverage at the time. But the event reentered the public eye last June when Robinson filed a federal civil suit against the city and the two officers who’d stunned him with a Taser gun.

The federal civil suit finishes its discovery phase today. Unless a judge throws the lawsuit out in the coming weeks, it’s likely to go to trial this fall.

Robinson, the man who was biking, is black. The involved officers are white. Robinson’s lawyer in the civil case, Edie Rogoway, discussed the case this week on her client’s behalf. The lawyer for the officers and city, Gerald Warren, didn’t respond to two calls over the last month.

This article is based mostly on Robinson’s June 2014 civil complaint and on two other public records, previously unreported: the initial incident reports from the police officers involved and the officers’ July 2014 response to the civil complaint.

Bike Gallery warehouse sale!

The incident began at 10:17 p.m. on Friday June 15, 2012, when Robinson was pedaling eastward on the north sidewalk of Tualatin Valley Highway, about half a mile from his house.

Rogoway said in an interview Monday that her client had been out to exercise, something he often did with his wife Vivian.

“He had a regular course that he did almost every night,” Rogoway said. “It happened to be that one night where she was tired and didn’t want to go.”

street view looking east

The eastbound view on the north side of Tualatin Valley Highway at 13th, where Robinson and Blood met.

According to the incident report by Ofc. Blood of the Hillsboro Police Department, Robinson was biking without a front headlight, which is illegal in Oregon. Blood was westbound in his patrol car at the time, stopped at a westbound red light and facing Robinson.

Also in the patrol car with Blood was Kristi Allen, a civilian whose husband, according to Rogoway, had been a childhood friend of Blood’s. Allen’s husband had ridden along with Blood on a recent shift, Rogoway said, and she was following suit.

According to Blood, Robinson stopped with his bike on the sidewalk at the northwest corner of Tualatin Valley Highway and SE 13th Avenue, looked around (including at Blood’s car), then proceeded across the crosswalk even though he should have had a “don’t walk” signal phase. (Robinson later maintained that he didn’t see any “don’t walk” signal, Rogoway said.)

At that, Blood flipped on his car’s overhead lights, pulled over and got out of his car. Robinson, he said, rode up to him and stopped.

“I explained to the male why I was stopping him, initially citing his not having a headlight and not obeying the traffic signal.”
— Ofc. William Blood, in a police report about the first moments of his meeting with Robinson

Here’s Blood’s version, in his police report, of what happened next:

As I walked up to the male, I saw he had a disgusted/angered look on his face. The male stared at me initially with squinted eyes and furrowed eyebrows. I told the male “Hi” and asked how it was going. The male did not reply to me other than giving an unintelligible grunt. I explained to the male why I was stopping him, initially citing his not having a headlight and not obeying the traffic signal.

In his subsequent legal complaint, Robinson said this last part, informing him of the violations, never happened, or at least that he had not heard it at the time.

Blood’s account continues:

The male was slightly shorter than me (I am 6’1″ tall) and appeared to weigh about 200 pounds. As the male was wearing shorts and a tank top, I could see he appeared to be in very good physical condition. The male had a noticeable muscular build.

I asked the male if he had identification, and he said no. I asked the male for his name. The male stared at me and in a matter of fact tone said, “You don’t need my name.” Given the male’s apparent agitated mental state, his instant defiance, and lack of cooperation, I asked for a second unit respond to my location. I told the male I did need his name because I was stopping him for multiple traffic violations which could result in a citation. In a mixed tone of anger and disbelief, the male said, “A citation?!?!”

I told the male yes. I told the male again I needed his name. The male continued to be defiant and said I did not need his name. I told the male, “I am ordering you to give me your name.” Again, in a mixed tone of anger and disbelief, the male loudly said, “You’re ordering me?!?!?” I told the male he could give me his name or be placed under arrest. The male said, “For what?!?” I told the male he was interfering with my duties by refusing to give his name.

It’s not clear, from Robinson’s subsequent and less detailed legal filings, whether in the moment of being approached by a police officer who got out of his car to approach him, Robinson might have failed to register the officer’s initial explanation of why he was being detained, or whether Blood might have failed to explain it.

Whatever the case, Blood’s account of this exchange is consistent with Robinson’s later account that “Blood refused to respond to Plaintiff’s inquiry as to why he was being questioned and detained.”

Here’s the next part of Blood’s account:

I asked the male yet again for his name. The male said, “I’m leaving.” The male stood up on his bike and started to pedal.

This is one of the key facts under dispute. Blood’s civilian passenger, Allen, was sitting in the car watching the incident, and during Robinson’s criminal trial offered a different account of the story.

“She said that she had a clear view of the entire incident,” Rogoway said in an interview Monday. “When asked if Mr. Robinson attempted to ride away, she very firmly said no, he had his feet very firmly planted on the ground and his hands planted on his handlebars.”

Allen couldn’t be reached by phone this week. A call to a Washington County resident with her name wasn’t returned.

“I grabbed hold of the male’s left wrist and told him to stop. The male immediately tensed his arm, creating a very rigid muscle tone and angrily said, ‘Don’t touch me!’”
— Ofc. William Blood, on his first physical contact with Robinson

Here’s more from Blood’s account, from right after Blood says Robinson seemed to be preparing to bike away:

I grabbed hold of the male’s left wrist and told him to stop. The male immediately tensed his arm, creating a very rigid muscle tone and angrily said, “Don’t touch me!” The male had stopped his efforts to pedal away, so I broke physical contact with him. I told the male he was not free to go.

At this point, I got on the radio and asked my cover to “step it up.” When I broadcast this, it was my intent to communicate to cover officers I needed an expedited response. Given the male’s aggression and defiance, i did not feel safe to conduct an extended radio transmission about his hostile behavior.

At this point, the second Hillsboro officer, Brian Wilber, arrived. Here’s a passage from his report (throughout which he refers to Robinson as “Johnson,” apparently in error):

Upon my arrival I observed the suspect Jermaine Johnson sitting on a bicycle on the east side of the intersection. Officer Blood was holding Johnson’s left arm. As I exited my vehicle I heard Officer Blood tell Johnson he wasn’t free to go. Johnson placed his right foot on the peddle and his right hand on the handle bars. Johnson attempted to ride off. Officer Blood was able to stop him and Johnson stood back up with both feet planted on the ground.

Back to Blood’s account:

With Ofc. Wilber now on scene and the male stopping his attempts to leave, I asked him yet again for his name. The male told me he was not giving it to me. I told Ofc. Wilber, “hands on” to indicate I was going to take the male into custody. I did not directly tell the male to put his hands behind his back because I did not want to give him the chance to bring his arms around to his front and/or prepare for a fight. I felt that given the male’s hostile, angry and defiant demeanor, giving him the simple command of “put your hands behind your back” would tip him off and give him an unfair advantage in preparing for a physical confrontation. I believed this due to the male trying to ride off and becoming instantly angry/rigid when I put my hands on him to stop him.

“I felt that given the male’s hostile, angry and defiant demeanor, giving him the simple command of ‘put your hands behind your back’ would tip him off and give him an unfair advantage in preparing for a physical confrontation.”
— Ofc. William Blood, on his decision to abruptly handcuff Robinson rather than inform him that he was under arrest

The male was focused on Ofc. Wilber. The male’s left hand was down to his side and his right hand was on his bicycle handle. I removed my handcuffs, took a hold of the male’s left hand and simultaneously put the handcuff on his left wrist. The male immediately tensed up and became stiff/rigid. The male aggressively tried to pull his left wrist away from me, physically moving me in the process. Ofc. Wilber attempted to move the male’s right hand behind his back. I told the male to bring his right hand behind his back and to stop resisting.

Robinson did not do so, Blood reports.

I feared a physical confrontation with the man was imminent. Ofc. Wilber and I, two people, were unable to manipulate or control the lone male. We could not even move him. I did not want a physical confrontation to spill onto the highway where he or we could be struck by a vehicle. I saw the male was still straddling his bike. I felt the safest option at this point was to try to take the male to my left (away from the highway) and down to the ground. Even with the male stiff and rigid, I felt with the element of surprise and him being on his bike and possibly off balance, I could get him to the ground.

I still had a hold of the male’s left wrist, as I had a handcuff attached to it. I jerked the hand down and to the side in an effort to bring the male off his bike and down to the ground. This only irritated the male, who stiffened up further and barely budged. I was shocked this did not even knock the male off balance.

Ofc. Wilber told me to disengage so he could deploy a Taser. I stopped my effort to take the subject to the ground but still held on to his left wrist. I did not want to give up control of the male’s left wrist and allow him to essentially have a weapon by using the handcuffs attached to his hand. Although one end was attached to the male’s end, the other hand would have been dangling free and could have been used as a striking device to injure myself or Ofc. Wilber.

Ofc. Wilber drew his Taser, turned it on and pointed it at the male. I heard Ofc. Wilber tell the male to put his hands behind his back or he would be tased. The male failed to comply with the command to put his hands behind his back. I saw Ofc. Wilber was about to deploy the Taser. I let go of the male’s left hand just as Ofc. Wilber deployed the Taser, striking the male. The male fell over to his left, going down to the ground.

After the male fell, I went down to the ground with him, the Taser still cycling. I regained control of the suspect’s left wrist/arm. Ofc. Wilber came to the ground, too. After the Taser had stopped cycling, the male instantly combative again, trying to bring his arms in, rolling on the ground, and trying to sit/stand up. It was obvious to me Ofc. Wilber and I were not going to be able to take the male into custody by ourselves.

At this point Blood radioed a “code three,” a request for multiple officers to respond with lights and siren.

As we were on the ground, the male’s right hand made a straight, distinctive dive motion towards his waistband. Fearing the male was going for a weapon, I reached down to his hand and knocked it away. Around this time, Ofc. Wilber deployed the Taser a second time. I heard Ofc. Wilber scream in pain, leading me to believe he received part of the Taser application due to the large amount of Taser wires strewn on the ground. I did not know immediately how much of an effect Ofc. Wilber suffered. The male was continuing to resist by pulling away. I told the male to stop resisting. The male was on his left side, his back to me. Using my right knee, I delivered a single knee strike to the middle of the male’s back in an effort to stun him and get his right arm to relax. This knee strike proved futile.

police photo with bike

Another Hillsboro Police photo from after the incident.

That was essentially the end of the struggle, however, as several more patrol cars began pulling up. The encounter to this point had taken about three minutes.

Here’s Robinson’s summary of what had just happened:

Defendant Blood refused to respond to Plaintiff’s inquiry as to why he was being questioned and detained, and when Plaintiff asked if he was free to leave, Defendants Blood and Wilbur violently grabbed Plaintiff and threw him off his bicycle. Plaintiff was then Tasered twice by Defendant Wilbur, thrown to the ground, and hit with a knee strike in the back by Defendant Blood, causing Plaintiff to sustain serious injuries.

Robinson’s lawsuit charges that Blood “intentionally engaged in profiling of Plaintiff, based on his race” and “treated Plaintiff differently from similarly situated Caucasians.”

In their answer to Robinson’s lawsuit, the lawyer for the two police officers and for the city denied this entire paragraph without further elaboration.

“The amount of force used was at all times justified and an appropriate response to plaintiff’s resistive behavior,” the defendants’ answer went on. “The defendants at all times had probable cause to believe plaintiff had committed violations and/or crimes for which his detention and arrest were consistent with Oregon and United States law.”

A nationwide search on Wednesday of criminal records for Robinson, by the site Intelius.com, turned up two incidents: one case of failing to display a driver’s license and the 2012 resisting arrest charge, of which he was later acquitted.

Rogoway, Robinson’s lawyer, said the prior incident had happened in 2006, when Robinson had been pulled over while driving a car owned by his brother-in-law that had expired license tags.

Robinson’s lawsuit charges that Blood’s and Wilbur’s actions were “malicious, deliberate, intentional, and embarked upon with the knowledge of, or in conscious disregard of, the harm that would be inflicted.” It also charges that Blood “intentionally engaged in profiling of Plaintiff, based on his race” and “treated Plaintiff differently from similarly situated Caucasians.”

As for the City of Hillsboro, the lawsuit charges among other things that “Hillsboro Police Officers have made other similar false arrests, and The City has expressly encouraged or acquiesced in this unlawful behavior; has ratified said conduct through the internal affairs process; and/or tacitly encouraged or acquiesced it by failing to train, supervise, or discipline its officers, thus evincing deliberate indifference to Plaintiff’s constitutional rights.”

The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensation for damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs.

In a brief interview last month, Hillsboro spokesman Patrick Preston repeated the statement he issued to The Oregonian for a brief article last June:

We are aware of the litigation. The allegations do not describe the manner that we, as a city, serve our community. We welcome diversity here and we have established a culture of respect and customer service.

___

Publisher’s note: In 2008, Portland Police Bureau officers tackled and Tasered a man who refused to stop for a plainclothes police officer while biking without a front light. The man, Phil Sano, was charged with resisting arrest but was ultimately found not guilty. See all our coverage of that incident here.

Correction 4:40 pm: A previous version of this post inaccurately described the Sano incident immediately above.

The post Hillsboro police Tasered and tackled man who biked through stoplight, records show appeared first on BikePortland.org.

Multnomah County car registration is down 8% since 2007, and isn’t rebounding

Multnomah County car registration is down 8% since 2007, and isn’t rebounding

Sunday Parkways Northeast 2011-31-40

Why look back?
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The Great Recession has left plenty of marks on the Portland area. Here’s one of the happier ones: so far, at least, a lot of the cars aren’t coming back.

The number of registered passenger vehicles in Multnomah County peaked in 2007, a review of 16 years of state records shows. After the economy began shrinking in early 2008, passenger vehicles per resident started a rapid slide, landing 9 percent lower by 2012. Finally, in 2013 and 2014, the local economy began a relatively rapid rebound out of one of the sharpest local downturns in the country.

But in those two years, the number of vehicles the average Multnomah County resident registers has edged back up just 1 percent.

The story is similar in Washington County, where car registrations per capita fell 5 percent from 2007-2012 with a 1 percent rebound over the two years that followed.

cars per person

Data: Oregon Department of Transportation and Portland State University. Chart: BikePortland. For readability, axes do not start at zero.

Nationally, and also in Clackamas County, the ratio of cars to people fell by about 3 percent from 2007 to 2012. In Clackamas, too, the car ratio is up 1 percent from 2012 to 2014.

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The latest vehicle registration totals for 2014 were circulated by Washington County last month.

Interestingly, Multnomah County’s persistently low ratio of cars to residents (for the area, that is) barely seems to have been affected by its influx of jobs and higher-paid residents. As of 2013, the median income of a Portland resident has raced past Washington County’s:

income by county of residence

Data: ACS. Chart: Christian Kaylor, Oregon Employment Department.

Because the population of all three counties keeps growing — Washington and Multnomah counties by an average of about 7,500 people each year, Clackamas by about 3,500 on average — the number of cars in each county has grown in the last few years, too. But even with all that growth, Multnomah County still has fewer registered cars than it did in 2007.

“When Baby Boomers retire, they reduce their vehicle travel by half, and then each year they reduce their travel a little bit more.”
— Todd Litman, Victoria Transport Policy Institute

I asked Todd Litman, the transportation researcher who operates the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, why this might be happening.

“Many of the factors are structural,” he said. “The aging population is the biggest one. When Baby Boomers retire, they reduce their vehicle travel by half, and then each year they reduce their travel a little bit more.”

Litman thinks that trend has combined with the cumulative effect of better walking, biking and transit information to increase the number of households that share a single car for multiple adults.

“Somebody who 10 years ago would have driven to work is now not only seeing better bicycle facilities and hearing about the importance of healthy lifestyles and getting lectures from their physician about the benefits, but they’re also seeing their neighbors make that shift and it’s a little more socially acceptable,” he said. “And higher fuel prices or parking fees or whatever.”

“When the car breaks down,” he concluded, “they’re not going to replace it.”

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Washington County will install bike fix-it stations at five locations

Washington County will install bike fix-it stations at five locations

bike repair station

A Bike Fixation stand in action.
(Photo: Bike Fixtation)

The county to Portland’s west is upgrading the bike-friendliness of five of its public buildings with an amenity that’s becoming almost common in the area: self-service bike repair stations.

It’s a benefit to employees and, presumably, anyone else who might get to these Washington County locations on a bike.

County sustainability coordinator Robin Straughan wrote in an email to workers this week that the stations “will be installed this winter/spring.”

“The Bike Fixtation work stands include securely attached tools for repairs, a pump and stand for working on your bike,” she wrote.

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The locations:

· Service Center East near the existing bike racks
· Walnut Street Center east of the front door (under the awning)
· Public Services Building north of the auditorium near the existing bike racks
· Justice Services Building loading dock
· Hagg Lake

It’s a project of the county’s facilities and parks services. The stations’ local distributor is Huntco.

The post Washington County will install bike fix-it stations at five locations appeared first on BikePortland.org.