Register-Guard focuses on helmets, again, when car driver hits a 14-year-old on a bike

A 14-year-old was hit by a turning car while riding on Hunsaker Road on Tuesday, and Register-Guard story implicitly blamed the victim:

The boy was not wearing a helmet when his bicycle was struck about 5:50 p.m. as he was pedaling along Hunsaker Drive near River Road in west Eugene, police Sgt. Kevin McCormick said at the scene.

The boy appeared to suffer only scrapes and bruises, but was taken by ambulance to PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, McCormick said.

The boy apparently was riding his bike west on Hunsaker Lane when he was struck by a silver Volks­wagen Passat that was turning onto River Road from Hun­saker Lane.

It was not immediately known whether the woman driving the Passat would be cited in connection with the accident, McCormick said.

Shame on author Josephine Woolington for continuing in the media’s tradition of victim blaming whenever a person in a car fails to control their vehicle and runs someone over.  Helmets can’t stop a bad driver from running you over! It is irrelevant that the boy was not wearing a helmet!

Notably, this intersection is one of the top ten most dangerous in Eugene.

Source:

 

Separate accidents hurt bicyclist, pedestrian | Local News | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon.

Longtime No-See Wrapup: The Fern Ridge Path Tries to Escape into the River, GEARs Cycling Classes for Stop-Sign Runners, Eugene`s TE Grant Hopes Dashed – Willamalane Still Running, and the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide

Hey folks! I haven’t posted in awhile, but luckily Shane has kept the site alive.  I have a few weeks before grad school forces me back into hiding, so I’m going to try to cover as much as possible before then.  A lot has been going on!

Photo Stolen Blatantly from EugeneBicyclist.com (click to embiggen)

Firstly, remember how the Fern Ridge Bike Path is falling into the River?  I first posted about it almost exactly a year ago (when I had time to run this site) with an article that explained how incredibly dangerous the area is and why City fixed only the less dangerous part of the Fern Ridge Path the following (last) summer.  Eugene Transportation Planner Dave Roth said that fixing the section between Chambers and Garfield was a much more expensive project because it would require a re-routing of the path: “The path is too close to the stream, so what happens is the stream kind of erodes that side, and every year it’s sinking.  That path is sinking and falling off the edge.”

The good news is that Eugene used a rapid readiness grant last year to do all the background research and planning to fix that area, so it’s now a “shovel ready” project that is just waiting for the money.  This is good, since the path is now literally falling into the river, and the cracks threaten to swallow not only tires but entire joggers.  But wait, there’s more!

Continue reading “Longtime No-See Wrapup: The Fern Ridge Path Tries to Escape into the River, GEARs Cycling Classes for Stop-Sign Runners, Eugene`s TE Grant Hopes Dashed – Willamalane Still Running, and the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide”

University of Oregon Receives Silver Bicycle Friendly University Award

At this week’s National Bike Summit, being held in Washington, DC, awards were announced for the newest “Bicycle Friendly America” category, Universities (joining Communities, States and Businesses). The University of Oregon was one of 32 applicants for the recognition and was one of 9 communities awarded the Silver level award by the League of American Bicyclists.  A total of 20 schools were given the award with two receiving Gold (University of California’s Davis & Santa Barbara) and one Platinum (Stanford University).

Highlighting Stanford University the League said they stood out as Platinum for their breadth of programs, including: a great cycling network, education programs like the Bike Safety Dorm Challenge, and bicycling incentive programs that resulted in an extraordinary number of people biking for transportation and recreation. Currently, 41 percent of people at Stanford commute by bike, compared to 17 percent of people at UO. Continue reading “University of Oregon Receives Silver Bicycle Friendly University Award”

Local Builders at North American Handmade Bike Show

Winter Bicycles at NAHBS2011. Via BikePortland

I know of at least three local builders who are in Austin this weekend at the North American Handmade Bike Show (NAHBS) showing off their wares: Winter Bicycles, Bronto Bikes, and Co-Motion Cycles. We have plans to do a series on local builders here on WeBikeEugene and have been talking to Eric with Winter about kicking us off with some discussion of the various trade shows he’s headed to this Spring and Summer, as well as talking to us about the business of building bikes.

To kick things off, I thought I’d highlight some of the coverage that Winter Bicycles is getting at the 2011 NAHBS.  One of the best places to get the overall picture of the show (which is wrapping up today) and to virtually be there is to follow Jonathan Maus’ coverage on BikePortland or via Twitter. For now here’s a bit about  Winter Bicycles at the show:

Continue reading “Local Builders at North American Handmade Bike Show”

Cars vs Bikes? Not Here…

I’d like to repost a recent Register-Guard letter to the editor that made me smile.  It’s all to easy to focus on conflict and differences, but Karen Lally’s letter illustrates well that we are all in this together.

Small kindness has big effect

I was biking hard to work recently when I noticed a driver had stopped ahead in the lane of traffic for no apparent reason. I wondered why, until I pulled abreast of the car and the man said, “You lost a glove in the intersection back there.”

I thought about how disappointed I’d have been to find it missing later in the day. A glove is a far too critical and expensive piece of winter riding gear to leave behind for inconvenience. Very grateful, I thanked him, dismounted and turned to recover it.

No need. The next car to approach me had an arm extended out the passenger side window, and it was waving a glove. Instead of handing it off as one would a baton in a relay, the car pulled over and the lady said, “This is your lucky day.”

She spoke the truth. I could hardly believe that not one but at least three people cared enough to help me.

Never underestimate the value of a small kindness. It’s the thing that moves us forward as humans, speaks to compassion and understanding and restores hope on a dark, rainy day.

Karen Lally

Eugene

January InMotion and BikeLane Coalition Update #24

As usual, the City of Eugene InMotion Newsletter is full of information this month, including links to a very important public comment process.  I quote: (emphasis mine)

Public Comment sought for Proposed Eugene Off-Street Path Projects

The federally-funded Transportation Enhancement program has historically funded many off-street path projects in Eugene.  In the current round of funding, the Oregon Department of Transportation is considering two projects in Eugene out of about 85 applications in total. The public comment period for the Transportation Enhancement (TE) project selection process is now open and will continue through Jan. 28, 2011.  The TE program is very competitive, so it is important to weigh in on these projects if you have any comments. Comments will be accepted through an internet survey that is accessible via the ODOT Local Government Section website or directly at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TE_Public_Comments_Survey_2010.  The ODOT Local Government Section web site also has links to the list of projects under consideration, and to copies of the TE applications.

The above mentioned projects are different from the ones recently covered on WBE. Needless to say, positive public input will really help Eugene receive the funding.  Read the embedded InMotion for more information.

After the jump I have also embedded the BikeLane Coalition Update, partially headlined: “Bike parking in Eugene Brings Debate; Media Ties “Bike Bridge” to Theft; Bike Tip: Lubricants.”

Both preview last week’s presentation by Mia Burke, which will betray to the reader the slightly dated aspect of this re-post.  Sorry, last week was a busy week for us! (WBE is run by clowns, remember?)

Continue reading “January InMotion and BikeLane Coalition Update #24”

Eugene’s 2010 Leaf Program – What Cyclists Should Know

Bailey Hill Road, Fall 2009

Fall is perhaps the most dangerous time of year for cyclists in Eugene.  The days get shorter and the rain returns – requiring car drivers to pay more attention to the road and our safety.  It’s not unusual for a bike commuter to ride both to and from work in the dark, and the window for daylight recreational cycling shrinks to less then 12 hours.

And then there’s the leaves… and acorns, and sticks, and rocks, and whatever else happens to drop or get blown in to the bike lane this time of year. The leaves stack up, hiding potholes and other debris, or stay thin and wet, making an ice-like surface.  Sometimes they pack deceptively tight and kick your wheels out to the side like you’ve hit a curb – making even minimally blocked lanes dangerous.  Bike lanes often become unridable, especially at night, forcing riders to “take the lane” or risk a crash.

Luckily for us, the City of Eugene is on our side.  2010 is the second year of the City’s new leaf program.  The new program (originally reported on by the Register-Guard in 2009) is a marked change from the program previous to 2009, which actually encouraged people to pile leaves in the bike lanes.  The fliers distributed by the City even had a graphic of leaves neatly stacked in the middle of a bike lane, somehow still leaving room for a cyclist and water drainage.

Take the jump to find out what changed, and how you can report blocked bike lanes and paths.

Continue reading “Eugene’s 2010 Leaf Program – What Cyclists Should Know”

Cyclists Take to Other Human Powered Vehicles for River Cleanup

Originally posted on EugeneGEARs.org

Last weekend was the 2nd annual “Great Willamette Clean-Up” and a couple of local cyclists took to some water based human powered crafts to help out in the effort. The River Path is the most important recreation and transportation system in our community, and keeping the river healthy and clean is an important part of it. Here’s a bit of a report back from their work on the “Urban Willamette”:

Continue reading “Cyclists Take to Other Human Powered Vehicles for River Cleanup”

Editorial: Who Pays for the Roads? Funding Bicycle Infrastructure is a No-Brainer

Note: The following editorial was written for the Sept 29th issue of BANG! This version is slightly longer and annotated.  Elly Blue of Grist and BikePortland published a similar article recently, and I’ve added some of her perspective to mine.  You can read her incredible article here.

A Silly Question

One of the biggest debates that we see in the transportation world is whether we should spend money on car infrastructure or bike and pedestrian infrastructure. It’s a common debate, but it’s also silly.  It’s silly because those two ideas aren’t mutually exclusive – good bike infrastructure benefits cars and vice-versa. It’s also silly because the debate compares apples to oranges, or more aptly: huge friggin’ GMO hydroponic tomatoes to tiny cherry tomatoes.  Car infrastructure is expensive, and bike infrastructure is cheap.  Ridiculously cheap.  Funding bike infrastructure is the best value per dollar for improving all types of transportation in Eugene.  It provides for safe and attractive bike and pedestrian facilities which remove cars from the road and relieve congestion.

If you don’t drive a car, even for some trips, you are subsidizing those who do — by a lot. … To balance the road budget, we need 12 people commuting by bicycle for each person who commutes by car.

Elly Blue @ Grist

Consider this: Portland’s entire 300 miles of bike infrastructure – including bike lanes, paths, and bike boulevards, costs the same as one mile of urban highway.  That’s 60 million dollars, if you want real dollar amounts.  60 million dollars for one mile!  For the cost of just two miles of urban freeway, Eugene could catch and pass Portland and become the most bike friendly city in the country. This is why any debate around whether or not to fund bike infrastructure is so ridiculous.  Cyclists want only pennies compared to what car infrastructure gets.

Continue reading “Editorial: Who Pays for the Roads? Funding Bicycle Infrastructure is a No-Brainer”

Bike on Bike ‘Path Rage’ Puts Woman in the Hospital, Suspect Still at Large

Where exactly on the South Bank Path the incident occured we do not know.

This isn’t the article that I had planned to write tonight, but it looks like the Delta Bridge opening party is going to have to wait another few days.  It’s interesting that this post so quickly follows the one below it.

A KEZI Crimestoppers article/video was posted today about an event that happened “a few weeks ago.”  I’m not sure why it took so long for the article to show up, considering that the perpetrator is still “at large.”  The short version is that a man got mad when Ava Grenzsund passed him on the South Bank Path and  body-checked her off her bike.  She broke her left arm and severely bruised her right arm.  The suspect was stopped by a crowd and returned briefly for a few minutes, but gave a false name and rode away.  Police are still looking for him.

Take the jump for excerpts from the KEZI story and a link to their unfortunately sound-tracked video.

Continue reading “Bike on Bike ‘Path Rage’ Puts Woman in the Hospital, Suspect Still at Large”