The following letter was printed by the local weekly in response to last week's 'rogue of the week' editiorial, also reprinted below. IMO, this letter writer is way off the mark. Maybe I'm a 'bicyclist with an agenda', but last time I checked, they're all public roads, and we have a right to use them, and expect to be safe doing so, the same as all other road users expect.
SHARE THE LANE, SHARE THE BLAME
Dang, I hate to write this letter and reference your colleague Angela Valdez, but maybe it will serve a purpose.
You vilified Charles Myrick as Rogue of the Week [Aug. 3, 2005] for causing Angela to run into the side of his car with a sudden right turn off Northeast 15th Avenue at Prescott Street.
OK, here goes. As a Portland bicyclist who enjoys the "bike-ability" of our great town, I must ask, why the hell do my fellow cyclists insist on riding on the main streets when there are so many wonderful and vastly safer alternate routes which get you there just as fast?
The reason? BWA: Bicyclists With Agendas. Period. They have to force the issue of sharing a busy street.
What in heaven's name was Angela doing riding her bike down Northeast 15th Avenue, in the street, per your article, when she could have been blissfully making the same time a block east on Northeast 16th?
Look, what's done is done, but this is what I want to say to my fellow cyclists: Stay the hell off the main streets and embrace the alternatives. That means stay the hell off Hawthorne, stay the hell off Division, etc., etc., etc. Get over yourselves and get on the alternative routes the city has spent gazillions on to make safe for us.
I pray for Angela's speedy recovery and hope Mr. Myrick discovers his side mirror and the notion to glance over his right shoulder. Self-absorbed motorists? How about BWAs?
Southeast 32nd Avenue
Rogue of the Week: SELF-ABSORBED MOTORISTS
With 10 pedestrians and cyclists killed by cars in Portland this year, we here at the Rogue Desk meant to step in earlier to comment on self-absorbed motorists. It is with some shame, then, that we admit it was not until one of our own was hit that we finally took notice.
Last Wednesday morning, WW reporter Angela Valdez was riding her bike south on Northeast 15th Avenue when 51-year-old Charles E. Myrick, going the same direction, passed her in his car. Myrick then took a right on Northeast Prescott, cutting Valdez off. She slammed into the side of his car and fell onto her back. An ambulance took her to the hospital, where doctors found she had a fractured spine and sacrum.
Valdez faces a long painful rehab but will survive. At the scene, Myrick denied responsibility, saying it was Valdez's fault for riding into his car. Portland Police Officer Todd Hussey, who responded to the accident, says another witness came forward and echoed Valdez's account-that it was Myrick's fault.
But as with most collisions, there will be no prosecution. "It doesn't rise to the level of a crime," says Hussey.
It's easy to single out Myrick-besides being an ex-con, he has had several tickets for speeding, as well as for failure to obey a traffic-control device, meaning a stop sign or stop light.
But he's far from the only motorist who has been involved in near-fatalities, near-misses and the like with Portland's pedestrians and pedalers. The latest fatality was a cyclist struck Monday night by a hit-and-run driver near Delta Park.
The Rogue Desk wishes it didn't take such a personal scare to get off the dime, but hopes this better-late-than-never message can help remind our driving readers not to space out behind the wheel.