Second Sexual Assault Near The Greenway Bike Bridge in Just Over a Month

The approximate location of the assault (click for Google map)

WBE wrote last month about the October 15th attempted rape of a woman bike rider in Maurie Jacobs Park by the Greenway Bike Bridge on the River Path.  Last weekend on Saturday, November 21st,  another sexual assault occurred in the same area.  While the first assault occurred at 11:44pm, this assault happened much earlier:  just after the sun went down around 6pm.  According to KEZI, 54-year-old Alan Dean Adams groped a woman near the bridge, who was able to call for help despite Adams’ attempts to silence her.  Bystanders came to her aid and later led police to Adams.  It’s not clear from the KEZI article if the woman was on a bike or walking.

Please be careful on the paths after dark.  The WBE article about the previous assault in this area has a list of measures a person can take to protect themselves.  My wife and WBE Copy Editor, Kendra, rides this exact section of the path every night just after dark, and stories like this really worry me.  One suggestion I have for people riding home after dark is to text someone you care about and/or who is at the location you are riding to before you leave.  At least then someone will know relatively quickly if something has happened during your ride.

Take the jump for experts from the KEZI article.

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Woman Attacked on River Path Near Maurie Jacobs Park

This story showed up tonight at the Register-Guard, KEZI, and KMTR.  I’m going to post the KMTR version because it’s the most thorough.   Please be extra careful out there, especially since it’s getting dark earlier and earlier.


The general area of the attack (click for Google Map)

Via KMTR: Woman attacked on bike path near Maurie Jacobs Park

Eugene Police are putting out information and a suspect description in an assault/attempted rape incident that occurred October 13 around 11:44 p.m. with the hope that someone will have information that can help identify the suspect.

On October 13, a 47-year-old woman was riding her bike home on Maurie Jacobs Park off of Fir and Lombard when an unknown man intercepted her and asked her for a cigarette or a light. While she was looking for one, he pulled her down by the river, and assaulted and attempted to rape her. She was able to successfully fight him off and called 9-1-1.

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Eugene on Path to Receive $460,000 of ‘Urban Trail Funds’

This Wednesday, the Oregon Department of Transportation will confirm which of the 15 projects it will fund in this, the first year, of the Urban Trail Fund (UTF).  Eugene is home to one of three recommended projects by the Oregon Transportation Commission. Eugene’s “Amazon and Willamette River Path Connector” project is expected to construct four important connectors to link the Amazon Path and Willamette River Path with the local street network, transit stops and on-street bike facilities.  Lee Shoemaker, City of Eugene Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, said that three of the connections will be to the popular West Bank River Path at Fir Lane, Rasor Park, and Merry Lane. The fourth project will lead from 30th Ave. to the Amazon Path.  Read on for more about the UTF and more specifics on the Eugene project.

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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.

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Canal/1-5 Bridge/River Path Construction Alert

If you commute or ride between Eugene and Springfield on the River Path and/or Canal Path you’ll need to allow extra time Monday and Tuesday.

From ODOT:

Canoe Canal Path User Alert

The Canoe Canal Path under I-5 will be closed on Monday, September 13 and Tuesday, September 14, as the contractor demolishes the remaining old Canoe Canal Bridge.  During the closure, path users will be detoured to the North Bank Path through the major Willamette River Bridge construction zone.  The route will include traveling on a very rough construction road.  For that section, riders must dismount and walk their bikes through the zone. Flaggers will be posted to assist.

Traffic will return to the Canoe Canal Path at night when construction activity is not taking place. The path re-opens September 15, subject to delays as the clean up of the demolition is completed.  Flaggers will control path traffic during the clean up.

Stay safe, and remember: Flaggers are our Friends.

More updates: http://willametteriverbridge.blogspot.com

Ruth Bascom Memorial Ride Draws a Large, Grateful Crowd

Thank You Ruth Bascom

Wednesday’s Ruth Bascom Memorial Ride was a huge success, drawing around 200 riders according to a Register-Guard estimate.  The crowd was  speckled with flowers and “Thank You Ruth Bascom” signs, and was attended by some of the original “movers and shakers” who helped cycling get started in Eugene.

Before the ride, participants heard testimony from people who had experiences with Ruth or with Ruth’s legacy, including GEARs President and 1998 Alice Award winner Sue Wolling; Mayor Kitty Piercy; Paul Nicholson of Paul’s Bicycle Way of Life, who served with Ruth on City Council and while she was mayor; late 70’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator and 2001 Alice Award Winner Diane Bishop; and member of the 1970’s Eugene Bicycle Committee and co-creator of the 1981 Bicycles in Cities monogram, Peter Eberhardt.  The ride was also attended by Ruth’s husband Dr. John Bascom and her son Paul Bascom.

The crowd gathers before the ride

It was a special treat for me to meet and ride with Bishop and Eberhardt, and I heard a few interesting stories about early Eugene cycling history, including that Portland’s Bike/Ped coordinator was sent down to Eugene in the early days to learn from us!

It’s clear to me from reading the old monographs, hearing the speeches, and from the turnout of Ruth’s memorial that we owe even more to her and her early companions than I could ever impress here.  We ride on the shoulders of giants.

Take the jump for pictures of the ride and click here to read the Register-Guard’s coverage.

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Eugene Bicycle History Online at City of Eugene Website

Note: I began writing this article back in May but kept postponing it due to a constant flow of more time-sensitive stories.  The recent passing of Ruth Bascom has made the publishing of this article important.   It seems that the majority of the bike infrastructure we all enjoy today came about during the 70’s, and Bascom was instrumental in this process.

I’ve been poking around looking at Eugene and Springfield cycling history recently, my interested piqued by a reader sending in this old story from 1978 about a woman being arrested in Springfield for riding her bike in the street.

“Eugene engineers, planners, law enforcement officers, and citizens explain the successful bicycle program of Oregon’s second largest city.  Twelve monographs examine the planning, design, construction, and use of Eugene’s bikeway system.”  -from 1981’s “Bicycles in Cities,” put out by the City of Eugene

Quite accidentally, I discovered that the City of Eugene bicycling website has an online archive of old “Bicycles in Cities – A Eugene Perspective” monographs. From what I can tell, the 12 volume set was originally published in 1981 in individual newsletter form.  They cover a wide range of topics – from the existence of a late 70’s bicycle committee, the previous bicycle master plan, why we have left side and contra-flow bike lanes, the building of the Willamette bridges, the Fern Ridge and River Paths, and many other things.  In fact, is appears that the majority of the infrastructure that we have today came about in the 1970’s.

The monographs are full of great pictures and amazing stories, and at only 4 pages each are a must-read for anyone interested in local history, advocacy, or biking in general.  We can learn from our past – or at the very least enjoy the 70’s era cartoons and vintage bicycles.  Give it a read, and then lets try to make 2010-2020 another 1970-1980.

Continue for an episode guide:

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ODOT releases public safety message regarding 1-5 bridge construction

(Notice the hand-made scarf in safety yellow!)
Construction Zone Flaggers--efficient and friendly. (photo and caption: Katura Reynolds)

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) have created a couple public safety videos to help advise cyclists who are navigating the 1-5 bridge construction on the river path.  If I were to summarize the videos, I would say something like: “Hey, this bridge is neat and we are improving the bike paths, so please obey our flaggers or you could get run over by something heavy.”

As WBE contributor Katura previously reported, the flaggers are nice and courteous, and not looking to slow anyone down unduly. They are there to keep us safe.

Take the jump to see the two videos.

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Whoa Nellie, possible 20 minute delays on the Canal Path Wednesday and Thursday

This following message has been making the rounds, warning Canal Path users of even more congestion on the River Path under 1-5.  If that’s part of your commute plan extra time on Wednesday and Thursday.

Expect longer delays than usual June 23 and 24 on the Canoe Canal Path as it passes under Interstate 5. Contractors for the Oregon Department of Transportation will be using cranes to place bridge beams for the new I-5 Canoe Canal Bridge. Flaggers will direct all path traffic to ensure safety. Delays of up to 20 minutes will occur. Please obey all signage and flaggers for your safety. Path users in the Whilamut Natural Area will experience future path delays as needed to maintain safety within the construction zone.

Adventures with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Count

This year I finally volunteered for the City of Eugene’s annual Bicycle and Pedestrian Count (I had seen the notice in the GEARs emails for years now, but hadn’t been able to get my act together before). The data gathered during these counts helps the city understand the non-motorized traffic patterns at various strategic intersections on streets and bike paths throughout Eugene. With this information, city engineers can prioritize repairs on roads & paths and otherwise make life that much easier for cyclists and pedestrians.

The lunchtime training session showed the process to be a little more complex than I had expected. Volunteers don’t just sit in a lawn chair and count the number of people who go by. First we categorize by bike/not bike (the latter category includes folks on foot as well as anyone using a wheelchair, stroller, or skateboard).  Then we note the direction they are coming from when they approach the intersection, and whether they turn right, turn left, or proceed forward through the juncture. We start a new form every half-hour to keep the data from getting too cluttered.  The intersection I signed up for (which is along my commute so I could count on a weekday morning and still make it to work on time) happened to be a complicated one that involves two forms side-by-side per half-hour. The extra challenge had me that much more excited! Now all I needed was a sunny day to get started.

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