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A year before the tragedy, Austin Miller wrote “Please Do Not Run Me Over”

Posted by on February 25th, 2008 at 3:46 pm

In the article, Austin Miller wrote,
“How would we solve this biking
problem? Well for starters, why
don’t all major roads have
bike paths?”.

A year before a tragic fate befell Austin Miller, the 15 year-old Beaverton student wrote an opinion article on bike safety for his school newspaper titled, “Please Do Not Run Me Over.”

Writing under the pseudonym “Charlie Elsewhere”, the article (full text below) was published in The Savant, the school newspaper at the Art and Communication Magnet Academy in Beaverton, where Miller was a sophomore.

Reading through it, I had mixed emotions. As a father, I found it chilling and immensely sad. As a bike advocate, I found it frustrating. I also had no idea that Austin was so well-versed in bike advocacy.

He was aware that his daily commute put in harm’s way, but he was mature about it beyond his years.

Below is the article, published with permission from Austin’s family.

    Please Do Not Run Me Over

    by Charlie Elsewhere, Columnist

    It is well known that these days, the roads and parking lots of our public places are growing with numbers of bikers. With wild peddling racers zipping down the road and through intersections, it is apparent that drivers would need to have an increasing awareness for how they turn the wheel.

    Long ago, I lived in a place called Vortex Sorrows. In this town, leagues of bikers ruled the streets-hardly a car was there to be found. When the ever growing and popular motorcar came to town, there was an outrage. “Too fast!” said Vortex residents. “And loud and polluting!” it seemed for the drivers of the town there would be no sympathy. And yet, more and more people found an easy escape to the time consuming, expensive and difficult task of biking, which was to buy cars which pollute their environment, loose the aspect of exercise all together and spend over four times as much on gas. I remained constant. I did not succumb to the new, hip trend of car buying. I eyed no sedan dealership, no gas station-only bike galleries and shops. It never occurred to me that I might get more pleasure out of having less money and more weight for the simple exerting exercise of peddling five miles to school and back.

    Within a time span of about two weeks, what was once a league of bikers which would join me on my morning route became nothing but me, that strange kid Logan who no one liked to talk to, and a road packed full of red brake lights. Every day, I would hop aboard my bicycle, clip on the helmet and take off toward home, and on my way I would often see red, frustrated faces of the motorcar drivers as they slammed on their brakes and honked their horns. Me? I was smooth sailing, begin the juices flowing and the chemical reactions reacting to push a cloud of good feelings into my mind and body.

    And yet soon, even Logan took to the big yellow school bus, and I was left alone. I later petitioned to bring back the art of cycling to Vortex Sorrows-in full. I put up posters, ran for town jr. mayor, and petitioned for new laws restricting the amount of driving that could be engaged in during weekdays. Just when the future of Vortex’s residence began to seem brighter, a revolution happened against me and I was run from the town.

    A lot of drivers seem to get frustrated by myself, and other bike loving pedalists. Usually I wouldn’t think so, but attempted hit and runs and getting chased through Mrs. Higden’s Hydrangea garden by an SUV crazed Blackberry loving business man was a slight indication that there may be ridged feelings over the way we ride. Now, to set the record straight, I give no excuses for bikers-or drivers-who brake laws and endanger their and other people’s lives. Anyone who shares the road with me and the rest of us needs to be aware that they are not the only ones, and their lives depend on everybody working together. Unfortunately, in this day and age, I see more drivers whining and complaining about biking behavior than actually trying to do something about it. If I spent all my waking hours crying over every time a driver cut me off, nearly hit me, did hit me, or any other offense, would anything be done about it? No. Talking about how much you hate bikers is not going to solve the fact that they are here-they are here to bike, to bike safely, and they are not going anywhere.

    How would we solve this biking problem? Well for starters, why don’t all major roads have bike paths? With an increasing number of adults who choose the healthier way to get there and back again, they too travel on the same roads as any driver would on his or her way to work. Instead of complaining about having to share a road with a biker, why not ban together to get bike paths made standard, so that they can stay out of your way. There are so many things that can be done, and are so obvious it just makes one want to scream. And yet there are some things that have no solution.

    Bikers will always be here; as long as it costs less than driving, helps us stay fit and pumps those feel-good chemicals throughout our body, we will remain on the early morning pavement, and that will not change. There is no excuse for a driver who does not pay attention and mind not only other cars but bikes. You cannot control other people’s actions, but you can control your own. Why anyone would rather sit inside a massive metal death trap for their commute is beyond me, but there are those with family, disabilities and other impairing things keeping them from biking. There will never again be a society 100% dedicated to driving or biking. It is like all other integration that had to happen in history-it takes time, patience, and a great deal of compromise.

    There will always be hard feelings about this subject-we can only hope that no one will get hurt or loose a loved one due to a lack of responsibility and respect for the road. These are dangerous times, and especially for bikers, our fate lies not only in our hands, but in the hands of the drivers of which we share the road. I am glad for every day I reach the X point unscathed, but besides doing everything I can for myself, I cannot control you, I can only mutter these few words in a hope that it might do good: please do not run me over.

According to the Savant’s Co-Editor-in-Chief Megan O’Doherty, this article will be re-published in their next issue. O’Doherty and her staff will dedicate the issue to bike safety and will also include articles on how to get involved with bike advocacy, tips for motorists, a diagram of turn signals for cyclists, and a spread of Miller’s artwork and poetry. The issue will be distributed at the school next week.

More Austin Miller coverage here.

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Comments
  • girlkeven February 25, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Wow, I didn\’t know he was a student at ACMA. I graduated from there in 03. This one hits a little closer to home now…so sad. :(

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  • MJ February 25, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    My god, how chilling, salient and prophetic all in one essay written by a clearly enlightened young human being. This makes Austin\’s loss all the more difficult to accept.

    My thanks to you Jonathan for publishing it and to Austin\’s family to allowing it to be published.

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  • Ashley February 25, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    I don\’t think I have words to express the complicated emotions involved in reading this article.

    All I have are tears.

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  • mabsf February 25, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Any news about the investigation? Your first and second article were very quiet about it…

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) February 25, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    \”Any news about the investigation?\”
    I\’m working on a story about this. So far, the police report has not been released and details are hard to come by for a variety of reasons…including conflicting witness statements and a lack of cameras on-board the TriMet bus. Stay tuned for more details…

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  • Jenny February 25, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    What an amazingly wise article to be written by a high school sophomore. This is such a horrible tragedy.

    Upon riding by the memorial site, I noticed that the ghost bike is gone. I noticed it last Friday. Does anyone know what ever became of the bike?

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  • Ian Clemons February 25, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    I especially liked his passage about making bike lanes standard issue so the bikers would have a set place to pedal. How forward thinking and progressive from this young man. His ability to transcend the cars vs bikes debate, see the value of both, and propose compromise is simply amazing. Our leaders should take note. Thanks for posting this. Time go go hug my little bikers…

    -Ian

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) February 25, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Re: Austin\’s ghost bike

    It was removed by request of his parents. It was always meant to be temporary.

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  • Metal Cowboy February 25, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    Wise beyond his years. What a tangible loss, and I never met him but as I go into schools all over the region working with kids through writing workshops and bike safety, encouragement I see his face in other young eyes.

    Keep us posted on the investigation.

    Did you get an explanation from his parents as to why they don\’t want the ghost bike there for more than a few days. Do they want to add something permanent? Is it too hard for them to see it every day? The journalist in me wants to know more…

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  • Hollie February 25, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Tragically, heart-breakingly poignant.

    Thank you for posting this.

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  • Peter W February 25, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Yeah, bike facilities on all roads in WashCo are sorely needed. Unfortunately, it\’ll be over a hundred years until that happens.

    This is such a tragedy. It is so sad and maddening that Washington County probably won\’t change at all, even despite this and many other recent crashes out there.

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  • carrington February 25, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    i knew him freshmen year when he went to rex putnam highschool

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  • Ena February 25, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Oh my god, I\’m so upset and can\’t believe how poignant this is. Austin was obviously a special young man who came here to teach us all. He talks of patients, community, and simply requests that we all take one extra second to look for a cyclist/ped while driving. Then, to have him be denied the simple act of consideration and respect for his life, makes my crying uncontrollable.

    I feel so terrible for the driver of the bus. I\’m sure it was an accident for which she will be haunted for the rest of her life. It is just inconceivable to me to have a hand in any death. I grieve for her as well.

    I\’m sure Austin\’s family is so proud to have him as their son. I hope they find comfort in knowing that his life has brought much hope and wisdom into the lives around him.

    I send my prayers to all involved in this tragedy and hope we can all learn from it. As well, I pray for safety to all of us who are on the road each and/or send loved ones out. Austin is a young man who stood up and fought to do what he loved.
    I hope we can all live as bravely as he.

    Thanks so much, Jonathan for giving this young man a voice and spreading his message. It\’s an honor to know you and your family.

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  • El Seven February 25, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    \”The journalist in me wants to know more…\”

    Perhaps the human in you should leave it alone. With all due respect, their choice of how and for how long they grieve is none of your business.

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  • wsbob February 25, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    So very sad. It might mean something to people that wouldn\’t have otherwise thought so, to realize upon reading his piece, that this kid wasn\’t a lame-brain hostile motorist hating scofflaw. Sad because Farmington Road is a potentially great ride, and the prioritized urgency of motor vehicle capacity on that road has largely destroyed it for anyone not in a motor vehicle. (Ride out aways past 185th and you\’ll get into some particularly gorgeous rolling countryside).

    Washington County and Beaverton residents would be wise to consider this tragedy a wakeup call to making ever more serious efforts to preserve and restore the safety of their roads for the use of people besides those obligated to travel in motor vehicles.

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  • jumper553 February 25, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Wow! That\’s just amazing to read. As others have mentioned, I too hope that we can learn from this and use this situation to further the cause for safer biking and driving for that matter, because the two go hand-in-hand.

    As someone who puts around 10,000 miles a year on his bike, I would be interested in something else, whether it be an event, or something to maintain a higher level of awareness of continued conditions and Austin\’s life. Or is that something which the parents would welcome? If not, I could understand.

    Any thoughts?

    Interestingly, today as I was stopped at the exact same intersection I waited to make a right turn, however a car behind me (and I was right next to the curb) was irritated at me and honked at me. Not sure why because I was all the way over to the right… Anyway nothing has changed in either Beaverton or Wash. Co. and I, for one, am tired of sending letters and making calls for naught.

    Good luck everyone & ride far and safe.

    Jumper553

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  • KTesh February 25, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    I read this article at his memorial.

    When I saw it\’s title, I burst into tears.

    Austin was so very wise beyond his years. We are all diminished by his loss.

    Rest In Peace, Austin
    God Bless the Miller family.

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  • John Russell February 25, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    I\’m saddened simply knowing I will never be able to talk to such a bright person.

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  • Joe February 25, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    RIP man, this touches me having a son thats
    his age, His life still moves foward i say.

    Peace,
    Joe

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  • Metal Cowboy February 26, 2008 at 12:11 am

    El Seven

    I\’m not interested in bothering the famiily while they grieve or at any other time. I was simply asking Jonathan and the forum if the family gave any specific reason for removing the ghost bike after this short period of time. It removal of the ghost bike caught me off and I just wondered if J could clarify if any specific motivations were behind it I happen to think that ghost bikes are power symbols to the public about what has taken place, reminders and cues to drivers. I like to think that a ghost bike could act and may already have acted, as a safety reminder. That said, the desires of the family trump this and I\’m not asking j to go back and prod or disturb anyone. You\’re correct that it\’s none of my business how or how long a family grieves. That was not my intent in asking the question. I wanted to know if the ghost bike, which the family did not put there to begin with, had been removed because they felt maybe it politized their son\’s death or some other reason I just haven\’t thought of. I ask these questions and mentioned my background as a daily reporter for years because I\’ve never thought of a ghost bike as offending anyone or being particularly political, but beyond being a memorial it does make a statement and have a life of its own. This tragic death is up for discussion as a way to mourn the loss of a young life and learn from it. It\’s my understanding that the parents shared their son\’s article and allowed it to be printed on this site and they were interviewed for a front page story in The Oregonian so it\’s not one of those no comment situations. I think it\’s brave of them to share their son\’s background and story b/c it may help them heal and help others think about what happened and how conditions can be improved for the future. The ghost bike is part of the story.

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  • a.O February 26, 2008 at 12:35 am

    When are we going to do something about this? Austin deserves better.

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  • racer x February 26, 2008 at 6:23 am

    At last night\’s Vancouver Council discussion of helmets…Austin\’s death and the other recent Portland deaths were brought up to highlight the need for other holistic solutions other than just helmet legislation -as all three riders had helmets on.

    But this and other points for a modified ordinance (fully funded helmet safety outreach program and postponed until a pre-study could be accomplished) fell on deaf ears for half of the councilors (Pollard, Jollata, Harris) who had long ago made their minds up on this.

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  • Joe February 26, 2008 at 6:45 am

    I am with you racer x, They need to look
    at the real problem, bad driving or careless driving costs lifes. why do cyclists always get the blame on stuff?

    I could tell you stories that would blow
    your mind whats happened to me while riding.

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  • Austin's Dad February 26, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Neither Austin\’s Mother or myself spoke to anyone about the removal of Austin\’s ghost bike. We supported and continue to support the idea of the placement of this bike in Austin\’s memory and to serve as a reminder of bike safety for motorists and bikers alike, which Austin also supported.
    Thank you, bloggers, for your heart-felt comments.

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  • Donald February 26, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Whew.

    Dad of two pre-biking boys here.

    Thanks to Austin\’s dad for posting. I don\’t know that I could do that.

    Lots to think about…

    _DA

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) February 26, 2008 at 10:24 am

    \”Neither Austin\’s Mother or myself spoke to anyone about the removal of Austin\’s ghost bike\”

    Mr. Miller,

    I sincerely apologize if I\’ve mischaracterized your feelings about the ghost bike.

    Here is the statement from Hal Ballard (Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition) that I based my comment on:
    \”\”we took it down last Wednesday out of respect for the family\’s wishes. The memorial service for him was held that evening and I\’d promised Mrs. Miller that sorrowful reminder would be gone.\”

    Please let me know if I can be of any help with this or other issues.

    Regards to you and your family,

    –Jonathan Maus

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  • Clarence February 26, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Wow, that is really one amazing article. It is very tough to read that on so many levels. My heart goes out to the family.

    If I can only offer one small bit of future inspiration. Streetfilms just posted this video on Mary Beth Kelly whose husband was killed by a tow truck while riding his bike in NYC in 2006. Her life was irreversibly changed, but she has been able to channel her sadness and anger in to such an inspirational message.

    http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/cyclist-of-the-month-mary-beth-kelly/

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  • Metal Cowboy February 26, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Wow. Thank you to Austin\’s Dad for clarifying the ghost bike and for letting Austin\’s life and memory serve to help the cycling community. Austin\’s writing reveals an exceptional soul and you, the parents, should be credited with raising him well. I know that my personal efforts in cycling safety, education and activism will be colored by his words and example.

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  • A Family Member - Austin February 26, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks to the bloggers for all of your comments. As one of Austin\’s family members, I can say how touching it is to hear from bikers and others all across Portland. It\’s amazing how Austin\’s life and his writings are touching so many people, people that knew him and people that didn\’t know him. This brings a form of comfort to me and to many members of my family, I\’m sure of it.

    My brother, Mike, is Austin\’s dad. I am so proud to have him as my brother, yet immensely heartbroken that he must endure this walk of life. He is brave in displaying his emotions so willingly and I hope he knows that his openness alone is teaching us all to communicate more freely. Austin continues to live through his writings and also through Mike and his other family members and friends, of which he had so many.

    I recently read something Austin wrote that sounded alot like this: What good is a word if it isn\’t spoken.

    Thanks to all for sharing your words.

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  • Wife of a bike rider February 26, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    This really hit close to home for my family. About a year ago my husband was also hit at the same intersection as Austin. He was lucky…just a sprained ankle. The driver flat out said he was not watching. Bike riders take there life in there hands and article seriously addressed these choices. I sincerely feel for his family.

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  • a friend of austin February 26, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Austin was an amazing person, I and many others will keep him in our hearts forever. I miss him so much, but I also know that where he is right now, is a place where Austin can do what he loved to do, without any worries.
    I Love you Austin

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  • [...] year before the tragedy, Austin Miller wrote “Please Do Not Run Me Over” 26 02 2008 A year before the tragedy, Austin Miller wrote “Please Do Not Run Me Over”: A year before a tragic fate befell Austin Miller, the 15 year-old Beaverton student wrote an [...]

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  • Uncle John February 26, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Austin was a great kid! Last Chrismas he asked me about \”character development\” for a story he was writing. I should have asked him. He clearly had it.
    He will be dearly missed.

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  • n8m February 27, 2008 at 12:31 am

    \”Why don\’t all major roads have bike paths?\” Even as a SE resident I wonder this everytime I have to ride on, or cross over, Hawthorne or 39th. What a remarkable young man. Austin was a visionary. I hope his voice never fades from the dialouge of building a truly multimodal/bikable Portland..

    \” Instead of complaining about having to share a road with a biker, why not ban together to get bike paths made standard, so that they can stay out of your way. There are so many things that can be done, and are so obvious it just makes one want to scream.\”

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  • Marc Rose February 29, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Austin truly did have a lot of talent — his essay is well-written, clever, and satirical…
    Meanwhile, not to upset anyone, but there is a claim somewhere on the net that he may have zipped through a red light in the course of a right turn. Such a thing could have put him in the bike lane unexpectedly relative to the bus driver. Does anyone really know yet what happened? I know that, in my hurry on a bike, I\’ve made some right turns that put me in places that I didn\’t want to be.

    My condolences to his family.

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  • wsbob February 29, 2008 at 9:53 am

    \”…but there is a claim somewhere on the net that he may have zipped through a red light in the course of a right turn.\” Marc Rose

    Of course, we haven\’t heard the results of an official report, but personally, I\’m inclined to hightly doubt that this kid zipped through a red light at this intersection if a bus had started to enter it. If you have ever been to this intersection, you\’d probably recognize recognize why, especially if you\’ve read any personal information about the cyclist Austin Miller, that have been released.

    It seems like it would be a wise and respectful thing for everyone to avoid lending any credence to reckless speculation.

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  • [...] a year before his death, Austin wrote in his school newspaper a column titled, “Please Do Not Run Me Over“.  The article is just straight up and talks about why we need to do everything we can to [...]

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  • Rebecca- Austin's Friend March 5, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    \”i knew him freshmen year when he went to rex putnam highschool\”
    He\’s gone to ACMA since Freshman year. I met him the third week of school, we were new kids together.
    I wish that someone would edit his misspellings and errors, because this makes Austin seem like he isn\’t- wasn\’t – a very bright kid.
    Reading his works, especially this one, I can hear his voice reading it to me aloud in my head. I can hear the passion he felt behind his writings, and that\’s one of the important things he left behind. I know that\’s exactly why he wrote this, it was obviously a call to action! If you who are reading it now won\’t do anything about it, who will? Because if someone had listened to him the first time, our community wouldn\’t have this problem.

    I miss you, Austin.

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  • Andrea March 5, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    I\’ve thought a lot about Austin and his family since I first heard a news interview about Austin\’s father\’s dream a year earlier that he needed to changed Austin\’s route to a safer route (the route he was on the day he died). It makes me realize how brave parents have to be to allow their children live and experience a full life. Reading this essay, I feel like they did an incredible job raising a thoughtful,compassionate, and alive young person. It reminded me of going to shop for a new bike with my parents, my jaw still wired from being hit by a car. They did not hesitate, they knew biking was too important to me and too critical to my living a joyful life. 10 years later, I still love to bike. I know it is impossible to not have regrets, but there are just some things that are out of hands and the alternative, living in fear and buying into the status quo, isn\’t worth it. My thoughts are with you.

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  • Mark March 7, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    Regarding the ghost bike…my sister was best friends with Austin. Last week, we were visiting his house and talking to his mom, and she said that she didn\’t know why the ghost bike memorial had been taken down; she didn\’t recall ever requesting it removed, and neither did Austin\’s dad. So, I guess it\’s a mystery.

    But that\’s neither here nor there. I was on Savant staff with Austin for a year, and I had the privilege of watching his work mature and develop while remaining classically Austin. I\’m not going to say the kid was a born journalist, but he sure was a born writer and he had one of the most creative, zany imaginations I\’ve ever come across.

    Even though it\’s probably pointless to bother, I hope that Washington County and the Cities of Beaverton, Hillsboro, Aloha, Portland, Milwaukie, Gladstone, Gresham, Vancouver, and others will put more resources into solving the problem of bike safety. It\’s unacceptable that conditions are so dangerous for bikers in what is billed as a bike-friendly metro area.

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  • Donald March 8, 2008 at 9:04 am

    @40

    Thanks Mark.

    It\’s not pointless. And it is unacceptable.

    Keep the faith and engage as you see fit.

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  • Emily - Austin's best friend March 8, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    He loved riding his bike. He felt so free and independent flying through the air, and was reluctant to get his driver\’s permit. He was planning on doing so this summer, but he had no intention of giving up biking once he knew how to drive.

    I worried about him, and he would call me or text me when he got home from school so that I would know that he was safe. He said that it was scary, sometimes, and that you have to assume that the cars are all going to do the wrong thing. He followed the rules of the road strictly, and got annoyed when people made disparaging comments about bike riders ignoring traffic laws. He indignantly proclaimed that he was just as legal as any of the cars on the road, and that he respected them– why was it so hard for them to respect him? I said that I didn\’t know, but that I hoped he would be careful. He assured me that nothing would happen to him.

    I wish that that were the case… Nonetheless, I do not believe for a minute that Austin would run a red light. He was very bright, and I am sure that he was aware that ignoring a street light would not be beneficial to his safety. He was turning right from Murray onto Farmington, and Murray has no bike lanes. I\’m not sure what happened or how, but I have confidence that Austin was not breaking any laws on the afternoon of February 11th.

    Something definitely needs to be done about the roads. Consistently marked bike lanes on at least all major roads in the Portland metro area, for a start. Bike boxes are scattered on some intersections, and I think that these need to be more prevalent. On the precise issue of what cause Austin\’s fatal accident, Trimet buses should not pull into the bike lanes to let their passengers off. They should simply slow to a halt in the right hand lane, and cars should either wait behind the bus or change to the left-hand lane if it\’s available and safe for them to do so. It is simply too hazardous and not beneficial enough to have massive vehicles swerving into a lane where a small, hard to see, and unprotected bike is passing.

    In the wake of this terrible tragedy, we need to improve our bike system. Austin would have wanted some good to come out of this. I miss him terribly, but I want to do everything that I can to prevent other accidents and lives from being lost.

    A note about the memorial site– his family is looking into getting a permanent sign erected at the corner. I don\’t have information about the status of the search at this time.

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  • mandy March 8, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    I feel really bad for Austin. His sister\’s my best friend. I never met the guy, but she talked about him like he was god.
    Her and her mom are having a really tough time. Sometimes her and I walk around the halls because she gets so upset in the middle of class. She can talk about him really well though, I\’m pretty proud of her. People (even me) have no idea what she\’s going through. I feel helpless, but day by day she gets less and less sad!

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  • Privilaged to have worked with him! April 30, 2008 at 4:29 am

    Whenever I was working with Austin the mood in the place was always filled with sunshine. Even if I or some one else was in a bad mood, it was way to impossible to be down when you had such a possitive amazing person around you. I loved hearing his stories about his family, and how much he loves them. He got so excited about hanging out with his friends and was just so passionate about so many things that a lot of people take for granted. I only knew him from work, but he has left a memory in my heart that I intend to never forget. Austin will be missed but will never be forgotten. He has brightened so many lives and will with years to come by the wondeful memories that will always be in your hearts. He IS an amazing person and my thoughts are with the family. There are no words to express how amazing of a person he was and is unless you were lucky to of have met him or none the less heard about him and know that there truly are people out there that care because they want to make a difference in the wolrd. He made a differnce and will continue to do so.

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  • Angelica July 31, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Austin

    I still think about him today, yesterday and tomorrow. I think about his cheerful voice and laughter, his understanding manner and wise advice, his well said opinions, and the hole in my heart grieves for him. He has left us to be at a better place writing and reading on that comfertable chair next to a burning fire with a table holding his favorite cup of tea. Because that was his dream of peace, not lots of money and a pool and a hot girl. He was innocent in so many ways. I know that we didn\’t see eye to eye all the time but we always got along, so well that i told him things that i\’ve never told anyone and now never will, because he was the only person i could ever confine anything to, with only week of knowing him.

    We\’d be in painting class, and i don\’t mean to ruin anything but he was no michaelangelo. And i always felt special when he asked for my opinion because i was better or what ever, not true i sucked too. But there was a piece that he created that i was truely proud of, it was our final project and he let us all know that he was proud of it too. He loved painting and talking and laughing and playing would you rather, he was joy.

    ….and thats how i will always remember him, in my heart, soul and mind.

    Thank you Autin for all the inspiration even after death.

    I Love You Austin!

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