If you didn't know the Portland Police Bureau's traffic division was running an undercover operation today to enforce pedestrian crosswalk laws downtown, two city bureaus were happy to tell you about it.
The helpful tip was also reposted by the Portland Water Bureau on its Facebook page as follows: If you're paying your bill downtown today, be advised: the Portland Police Bureau has one or more pedestrian decoys positioned at marked and unmarked crosswalks. Drivers that fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians that jaywalk may be issued a warning or citation.
Transportation bureau spokesman Dan Anderson says the bureau has no problem informing the public about undercover crosswalk efforts like these.
"The goal is not to catch people off guard or give them a ticket," Anderson says. "The purpose is to raise awareness about pedestrian traffic law."
We've got a call in to the Portland Police Bureau for comment and will update this post if and when the message is returned.
"PBOT and I spoke ahead of time and they agreed to put out our message to the city," Traffic Division Capt. Todd Wyatt said Thursday morning. "That was our idea and it's something we're trying to do more of, let people know when we're running missions, to educate folks."
"Recently we have been talking about releasing information ahead of time for our missions," Wyatt said. "There are lots of ways that we can get people to commute more safely. Education is one way. I think that you can expect to see releases like this in the future."
Officers served seven citations to motorists and two to cyclists, as well as gave out six warnings. These figures are normal for the lunch-hour time, Wyatt said, adding that a citation for this sort of offense averages $142.