Speedy cyclists spark concern in Mt. Tabor

Mt. Tabor Circuit Race

Cyclists during a race at Mt. Tabor.
File photo: 5/26/05
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The issue of cyclists going too fast on the popular loop road in Mt. Tabor Park has at least one neighbor concerned about safety. I first heard about this issue on the Portland Mercury Blog last week and have watched as the message has spread.

The Mercury reports that the concern originated from Montavilla Neighborhood resident David Hartsook. Hartsook told his story on a recent KGW television news broadcast, has sent an email to his neighborhood’s Yahoo Group (which someone has just posted in the Portland Bike Forums), and he has emailed me.

I’m not sure whether or not this is just one person with a lot of concern, or if it is a larger issue.

Hartsook has sent an email to Parks Commissioner Dan Saltzman’s office. According to the email, Hartsook originally complained about cyclists going too fast in Mt. Tabor last summer. In the email he wrote to Saltzman aide Matthew Grumm, Hartsook said,

“It’s only a matter of time before I or someone else gets hit by one of these cyclists. Everyone is at their mercy when they take over the park.”

Mt. Tabor is home to a well-known summer race series and it’s low-traffic climbs and central location make it a popular training spot for local roadies.

Mt. Tabor Circuit Race

Blur of racers at Mt. Tabor.
File photo: 5/26/05
View archives

No word yet if Hartsook’s email to the Commissioner has been answered, but I’ll keep you posted.

If you live in this neighborhood, perhaps you can shed more light on the situation?

For more photo of cyclists in Mt. Tabor Park, view my archives.

============
UPDATES:
–12:52pm, According to a BikePortland reader who just watched a segment about this on Northwest Cable News, there is a proposal for a possible a 10mph speed limit for bicycles in Mt. Tabor Park to reduce bike/ped close calls.
–1:27pm, After hearing a more detailed recap of the TV news segment, it seems like the speed limit proposal is just an idea of Mr. Hartsook’s.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Gary Medley
Gary Medley
16 years ago

I can see it now, photo radar on Mt. Tabor. I trust the same speed limit will be applied to skateboarders?

I’ve ridden at Tabor for years. I’ve never seen cyclists “take over the park.” Dogs maybe, but not cyclists.

Sigh. One over-reactive neighbor a movement doesn’t make.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
16 years ago

Here’s the comment from another Montavilla resident, as posted in the forums.

“I live in the neighborhood and spend a lot of time on Mt Tabor both on foot and on bike. I’ve never seen anything like this person describes. Maybe they wandered into the middle of one of the Wednesday night races by accident?”

Cecil
Cecil
16 years ago

10 mph, huh? I go faster than that UP Mt. Tabor. Dang.

Anyway, here’s my two cents. Mt. Tabor is one of my regular training sites. I usually spend an hour or two doing hill intervals there 3-4 times a week and so have plenty of opportunity to encounter and interact with pedestrians and other riders. I have NEVER had a close call with a pedestrian and never had a pedestrian indicate resentment of my presence. I HAVE had close calls with unleashed dogs roaming freely through the park, and really wish people would obey the leash laws for everyone’s sake. But I digress.

Anyway, I have to admit that one reason I have not had any close calls is that I have always been on the lookout for peds and other bikers. The greatest concentration of walkers is usually at the loop around the top – often with small children – and bikers should be cognizant of, and respect, their presence. Another area where close calls could occur is by the play area just below the summit – this is a part of the road that is steep with some technical hairpins, and so the potential of a close call is increased, but again not if the cyclists are paying attention to their surroundings, which is generally a good idea on a fast descent anyway. I have seen other bikers have close calls on that stretch

I saw the KGW report and got the distinct impression that it was one neighbor who had a bad experience and took it public. But that’s always the way it is – people who have a good experience with any interaction rarely publicizie it – it’s the bad encounters that get all the reportage. Just like retail: a happy customer might tell one friend, an unhappy customer will tell 10 . . .

Tomas Quinones
16 years ago

I think this is a small group of overly sensitive people making a lot of noise over a non-existent problem.

I’ve been using Mt. Tabor Park as my personal training ground for a year for biking and running and I’ve yet to hear of a single bicycle-pedestrian collision.

Have there ever been any?

Aren’t cyclists at more danger of hitting a pedestrian than the pedestrian being hit? Even a slight brush with a ped could cause a bicycle’s handlebars to twist quick enough to throw the rider and cause serious harm.

I would think there is a larger concern of unleashed dogs running around the unleashed pen. Too often have I had to come to a screeching halt because someone’s Labrador has decided to become my new best friend and jump in my way to see if I want to play.

Regulating bicycle speed seems like putting a bandage over limb without wound.

Shall I raise a ruckus over people wearing iPods while walking the streets but don’t hear my warnings that I’m passing them?

I’ve had to YELL at people walking the trails at Mt. Tabor because they couldn’t hear me, even then they didn’t acknowledge my presence and I’ve had to run around them causing them to become startled and pissed off at me even though I too am on foot!

I think a greater concern should be the vehicles driving up and down the park roads and not giving walkers, runners or cycles plenty of clearance.

If there had been repeated collisions between cyclists and pedestrians, I might be able to see the argument, but this particular non-issue really gets under my skin.

-TQ

dabby
16 years ago

I must say that sadly, the president of either a neighbor hood assoc., or the friends of Mt. Tabor Park, would not have a difficult time in getting oked, then enforcing a speed limit.

The power yielded by the friends of, and the neighborhood assocs. is increasing.

For example, the fabulous people of the Friends of Alberta Park, who back our games of Bike Polo to the hilt (they have actually told us that they consider that corner of the park to be ours…) have told me that they will be taking over the running of the park from the Park’s Dept.
The decisions they make, and the things they want in their park, get done, and happen…..

Polo problems? (Of which there have been many). Solved, with the help of friends of Alberta Park….

My point is that while appearing to be a loose cannon on a vendetta, Mr. Hartsook may just be in a position to make this speed limit, or at least enforcement actions against cycling and skateboarding, happen…..

We should not take this with a grain of salt………

dabby
16 years ago

By the way,
i have also had dog’s chase me, one actually trying to BITE me repeatedly, on the top of Mt. tabor, while the owner watched and laughed……

felix
16 years ago

Zoobomb should go up one Wednesday night and show him what real “out of control” cyclists are!

Attornatus_Oregonensis
Attornatus_Oregonensis
16 years ago

There is a lesson in this for all of us: Each time a car comes so close to you when it passes you that you can “literally reach out and touch them,”
as Mr. Hartsook bemoans, call the City, your neighborhood association (or the assn of whatever neighborhood you’re in), and *especially* the media. Then maybe people will start to get some perspective on which problems are real and which aren’t.

Elljay
Elljay
16 years ago

I run with my leashed dog or bike the paved roads in Mt.Tabor Park at least once a day. (Cecil, I’ve probably seen you doing hill sprints…) I’ve never experienced what Mr. Hartsook claims, other than at Weds. night races or the once-a-year Sunday race.

I’ve had issues w/unleashed dogs outside of the off-leash area (OLA). On the flip-side, the users of the OLA have had increasing conflicts with bikes in the OLA. There are signs at the OLA gates that say “walk your bike.” There were people in Veloshop kit practicing cyclocross moves at the west end of the OLA trails last fall. I had to jump out of the way as one flew around a blind corner. We’ve had mtn bikers storming down the steep hill and steps in the center of the OLA in the dark.

That’s my biggest issue w/bikes in Mt. Tabor…please don’t ride in the doggie park…or I may fling my poop bag at you!

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
16 years ago

The comments left so far are why I was hesitant to cover this story….but after I kept seeing it pop up around town I felt I had to mention it.

I asked Mr. Hartsook if he would like to chat on the phone so I could learn more about his issues. So far he has not shown interest.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
Attornatus_Oregonensis
16 years ago

No, seriously. The next time you see someone driving a car who is “SPEEDING,” demand that KOIN send out a mobile satellite truck so someone can interview you on the 6 o’clock news. Then write a sternly-worded letter to the Mayor in which you complain about the scourge of SPEEDING Drivers who prey on the weak and infirm such as yourself. Then rally the idle paranoids in your neighborhood assn to create enough rules so that nobody can have any fun.

Sorry Jonathan, couldn’t resist. It is definitely better to know about this stuff, however ridiculous, than not to.

Cecil
Cecil
16 years ago

Elljay – beat-up Celeste Bianchi Veloce with RAMROD tag, blue-and-white helmet – look for me but please don’t throw poop at me 🙂

Clark
16 years ago

I am the promoter of the River City Bicycles Mt Tabor Series. This is the fifth year I’ve been the race promoter.

I, too, want to run a safe race for everyone–participants, spectators and the general public who may be using the park at the same time.

I wanted to add to the discussion that as part of my Parks and Recreation permit I am required to get approval from the neighborhood association as well as water bureau security. This year I have to get approval from the SE Portland police precinct.

I invite David Hartsook to contact me directly; my contact info is on the series website.

RE: #4 — Have there ever been any [crashes]?
The answer is yes. A dog got loose and got into the pack somewhere around the bottom of the hill. IIRC this was about 6 years ago. I think it was Ryan Weaver hit the deck pretty hard. I believe the dog survived, too.

Richard Wilson
16 years ago

Ditto to what Cecil says about exercising caution at the top and near the playground. I think it’s yet another case of a few wreckless & inconsiderate cyclists ruining a good thing for the rest of us.

I regularly take my 2 year old to play at the playground, so have had a lot of time to observe that stretch of road in the park as a bystander (I have also done a lot of training and recreational rides, there too…). All in all, I have observed two _very_ close calls and many other lesser close calls that were uncomfortable to watch as there was easily potential for collision. It was never the pedestrian’s fault as far as I could see – it was always a matter of the cyclist coming down the hill too fast to be in full control (i.e. able to stop and/or steer comfortably clear of peds) near marked ped crossings. Every close call I’ve observed were solo cyclists – never seen a group or peleton, large or small, have any problems.

I think the problem is not one of speed limit so much as with whether cyclists are exercising good judgement with respect to their speed, sight distance and surroundings. As a regular visitor to the park I’ve observed a very small, but consistent, percentage of cyclists who definitely ride faster than is prudent in areas of the park where small children and peds are obviously going to be present (again, both areas that Cecil points out).

Tomas – when it comes to you having a collision with my child near a playground in the park I don’t honestly care if you get hurt worse, that’s not the issue. I don’t want there to be a collision, or even a near miss, for that matter, _at all_ when we’re looking both ways and crossing in a crosswalk near a playground. It’s a multi-use park for gods sake, not a remote mountain road in the Pyrenees! Pedestrians have the right of way and as cyclists we need to give them room. Period. Unfortunately, that even goes for the rather irritating, oblivious and often erratic walkers completely deafened by their iPods…

I would really hate to see a 10mph speed limit imposed bikes in the park, but what other choice are our careless/selfish brethren giving neighbors and other park users?

Elljay
Elljay
16 years ago

Cecil – grey 1980’s Novara Veloce, morphed to a fixie (w/brakes)

I’ve only had to fling twice. Once at a car that nearly ran us over while crossing Division, and once at a mtn biker in the doggie park. Hit him square in the back.

Brad
Brad
16 years ago

How about this idea:

Cyclists band together and request that Commissioner Saltzman and the parks department designate Mt. Tabor as a “bikes only” park? We can pitch that riders understand the concerns of people like Mr. Hartsook and to avoid the inevitable confrontation, the prudent thing is to kick pedestrians and dogs out of the park. We cyclists will be more than happy to claim Mt. Tabor as our own and promise not to turn Laurelhurst, Pier, Washington, or any other City of Portland park into a crazed speeding bicycle death zone.

We get one park, walkers and dogs get the rest. Seems fair to me.

josh m
josh m
16 years ago

For someone that was startled over almost getting hit by fast out of controll cyclists, it’s nice that he had time to count them…

I think it’s an overexageration.

It’s just another problem in the transportation food chain.
Drivers bitching about cyclists, cyclists bitching about pedestrians(trust me, I do my fair share)and pedestrains bitching about cyclists… reverse repeat, wash rinse, blah.

If he’s a neighbor in the area, he should be aware of what happens on Wednesday nights.

People don’t have many areas to train on routes closed to cars.

I’ve only ridden tabor twice, and that was at last year’s west side invite. I wrecked coming down the first time because a car cut the hairpin too tight and I had to go around and into some bushes. good times.

Jim O'Horo
Jim O'Horo
16 years ago

Elljay,

If you were the Ancient Mariner throwing dog poop, would you be a salt with a deadly weapon? Sorry – couldn’t resist that one.

Sick jokes aside, two wrongs don’t make a right, and unless the perp (jerk) does something that directly threatens you, requiring self defense, you’ve done wrong too. In that case you could find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit and possible charges. The person behaving this way probably deserves exactly what he gets, but from your side it’s better to grit your teeth, get ID, description or whatever, report to authorities and let them handle it.

Jim O’Horo

Michael
Michael
16 years ago

I have lived near and used Mt Tabor for 30 years. There are occasional too fast cyclists and skateboards. They are not a big problem. That said, it is reasonable that there be some reasonable speed limit. It is a shared use park and the safely of everyone is more important than the fun for a few speedy types. A hot cyclist going down the hill could easily attain 30 mph, maybe more. (I suppose because that ain’t me.) That is clearly too fast when mixing with pedestrians of all ages and dogs on the loose.

About the dogs, the loose ones are a real nuisance on Mt Tabor for many reasons. Most owners are considerate and use leases, but a sizable minority aren’t and don’t.

Michael
Michael
16 years ago

Re my dog comment above, the problem dogs are the ones loose outside the off leash area.

MBG
MBG
16 years ago

Ha! I was riding in Tabor last night while this news segment was being filmed. I may have even made it into a shot, going at a responsibly languid pace down past the playground. Anyhow, I’m relatively new to Portland and new to riding at Tabor, but in my few times cycling in the park, I’ve noticed more carelessness and irresponsibility on the part of pedestrians than cyclists. People walk on all sides of the roads, regardless of which direction they’re walking in, they cross the roads laterally without warning and without looking over their shoulders (or even in front of them sometimes), they come darting out of the woods without stopping to look, they crank up the volume on their ipods too loud, etc. Any cyclist that I’ve ridden with in Tabor (myself included) pays extra attention to what’s going on around them so as to avoid hitting a pedestrian, while the majority of pedestrians I see around the park don’t pay attention to much of anything.

That said, of course pedestrians should be given right of way in a park like Tabor, but along with that right should come certain responsibilities. When all of us are cycling in the streets, we’re expected to follow certain rules, like signaling turns, riding on the right-hand side of the road, looking over our shoulders before we change lanes, etc. Perhaps those types of rules should be enforced at Tabor for both cyclists AND pedestrians on the park roads. A speed limit won’t solve anything as long as pedestrians aren’t held accountable for their own actions as well.

Todd B
Todd B
16 years ago

How about a better solution? One that builds on its success!

How about increasing the number of car free days/ nights on Mt Tabor during this half of the year?

As one can see this public space is too busy, as many users have to crowd on it during 1 day of the week. So make an additional day bike (and skateboard, skate only) or ped only, etc. Or do it by time of day (by the hour).

Another option would be to stripe in a healthy sized walking lane up the hill (with a ped stencil) so that bike riders (boarders) can work to stay out side this zone while going down hill. (It may be more difficult to keep the walkers and dogs out of this space though.)

SKiDmark
SKiDmark
16 years ago

One complaint from the (likely) millions of people who use that park, and it becomes an issue? This is bike-friendly Portland, right? My mom told me to look both ways before I cross the street, I guess you have to be a cyclist to include bikes in what you look for when you look both ways.

N.I.K.
N.I.K.
16 years ago

Pedestrian accountability, huh? Nobody joke about how walking licenses might be a good idea, the media will be all over it before you can say “satire”.

Dabby
Dabby
16 years ago

Ok,
Really now, throwing dog poop is littering, and constitutes a fine that should be far greater than any bicycle speeding offense could ever warrant.

If you flung poo at me, I would find something to pick it up, and make sure it landed back on you.

No Joke. I would make sure you were smeared with it…

Dog owners are one of the biggest offenders of Mt. Tabor park.

To Brad,
Closing this park to anything other than bikes is ludicrous…..
There is a reason it is closed to auto traffic on Wed. nights, and it is for the Skateboarders, who deserve the use of the smooth, safe downhills…

It is not closed to auto’s for the benefit of the bikes, we are just lucky to be able to reap the benefits of the much deserved skateboarders….

By the way, Wed. is the most dangerous, and last day I would even want to ride my bike on Mt. Tabor………

Martha
Martha
16 years ago

It does seem rather ridiculous that one person is causing such a big issue here. I train on Mt.Tabor on Sundays, and I’m yet to see anyone have any close calls. (I admit that it was not long ago I started my Sunday routine though) I have never in my life seen a park with as many people in it as Mt Tabor, and I think most people are quite aware of those around them.

I think a far more reasonable way to ease interactions between the various users of the park would be to post occasional reminders to bikes and skaters to be watch for peds, for peds to watch for bikes and skaters, and to dog owners to be considerate of everyone.

Aaron
Aaron
16 years ago

I know a few fast cyclists and I have heard a couple of stories of VERY close calls on Mt. Tabor. We shouldn’t act as if we are perfect and others aren’t. We complain when car drivers scoff complaints, but then we do the same thing. It is important to be watchful when descending.
Quick story-I was heading downhill on the I-205 path last summer, when I saw a 2yr old girl sitting on the side of the path. My instinct said she might wonder into my path. So I slowed down, and sure enough there she went toddling across the path. But I was keeping an eye out and had already slowed down.
We need to be aware that we’re all human and even though we’re less dangerous than a car, we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard due to social predjudices.

Chris
Chris
16 years ago

I live just 4 blocks from Mt Tabor Park I’m a Bike Racer, and I use Mt Tabor for Training, primarily on Wednesdays when it’s closed to vehicle traffic.

First of all I’d like to thank Mr H for bringing this to My attention as an issue for him. When ever there is a problem it helps to understand everyone’s perspective. From now on I will be more careful to:
– leave more room for pedestraians
– slow down when approaching pedestrains

As cyclists we need to be a part of the solution and not the problem. On the “open road” I have always taken the approach to set a good example by not rolling through stop signs and “orange” lights. Let’s all set a good example at Tabor, so the Mr H’s of Portland don’t have an arguement FOR a speed limit.

Spencer
16 years ago

The story should be called “Walkers who are oblivious to everyone and everything around them”. i rode tabor today, and i had two irritating events. i was riding up while doing an interval by the playground and a man stepped out in the road without looking both ways. i had to yell and swerve to avoid him. the other event was an obnoxious dog owner blocking the gap by the gate when me and another cyclist were waiting to ride through. the whole story is ridiculous. but while we;’re at it, lets ban those 20 ft extension leashes too.

Andy
Andy
16 years ago

I’d like to speak to Dabby’s point about the strength of Neighborhood Associations.

1. Who do you think got the fountain turned back on at the Lower Reservior: The Mount Tabor Neighborhood Asociation (MTNA)

2. Who got the dog park put over on the on the South side, away from Everyone else? The MTNA

3. Who stopped the City’s project to cover the Reservoirs, for clean water safety (after the City already bought the covers)? A person who sits on the MTNA

4. Who got the reservoirs put on the National Historic Register ? A person who sits on the MTNA

Shall I go on…..

Cyclists…let’s keep the peace

A

Donald
Donald
16 years ago

Dabby,

I don’t know why this bugs me, but it does: Do you really believe that the Wednesday closure is for the benefit of skateboarders? Or were you planting your tongue in your cheek?

A quick search didn’t turn up anything to support your stance and, in fact, the neighborhood association’s literature states “Currently, the park is closed to motor vehicles all day on Wednesdays so that cyclists and walkers can enjoy the park without vehicular traffic.”

A glance at the master plan of proposed changes doesn’t mention much about skateboards, either. It does have some interesting ideas about seperating bike/ped traffic in some places, though. Worth a read if you’re inclined.

The fact of the matter is that this park is being over-loved and no one group should feel they “deserve” any special consideration in regards to its use.

Back in the mid 80s, I lived in that ugly little 4-plex near the terminus of Belmont (next to the dry cleaner/across from the real estate place). I used to be able to hike into the park and scare up quite a few ringneck pheasants. I haven’t seen any in the park since the off-leash areas opened up.

As the park continues to draw more and more people for more and more uses, things will change. Some things will change for the better and some for the worse and it will be an issue of perspective as to who thinks which is which.

Suffice it to say that if more Mt. Tabor neighbors feel threatened by bicycles, even if it is due to the miscreant minority, all riders will be asked to curb our enthusiasm to some extent or another.

This is true in our parks as it is true on our avenues. Gnash our teeth if we will, but as more bikes hit the street, the greater our impact. As cyclists become more visible in our community we will be asked to accept more measures intended to blend us in with the other modes of transportation and recreation with which we share resources.

I just really feel that the sooner we realize that the lamentations of the Mr. Hartsooks of the world are a sign of our growing numbers and our increasing impact, the sooner we can quit cajoling get on with honest dialog.

Dabby
Dabby
16 years ago

Donald,
I have not done a “major search” of the web for that info..
I do not have to.

I remember the time when the road was closed on wed, due to the fact that the downhillers used it, on their skateboards…

If I remember right, they were the ones who lobbied for it and got it done….

For their safety, and the safety of others……..

In my mind, it is the safety of the downhill skateboarders that should be held over all here, even over bikes.

We should move aside, and give them the space to bomb down the hill, unfettered…

While the bike options, on road anyway, are few in the park, we can still ride sections on a bike, and leave sections for the downhillers to ride free of obstruction, while having pedestrians on the dirt trails, and side trails, etc…

The dog problem is huge, and unfettered…

While I love dog’s, the standard dog owner appears to believe they own the space within the aforementioned 20 + foot extension leash, and the full circle around it, which becomes huge…..instantly…….

As to the rest of your comment, regarding the heavy impact of a combination of too much love for the park, and a heavy increase in ridership, I agree fully……..

I have said it once, and I will say it again, cycling in Portland has already out grown it’s means…….

We are not, and never have been, ready for such an increase in ridership…..

An due to a few, it appears we may even lose some of the car free spaces that we have been loving too much…..

Brad
Brad
16 years ago

Dabby – I am kidding about the bikes only park idea for Mt. Tabor. I know that it is politically impossible but it is just as ridiculous as Mr. Hartsook’s 10 MPH speed limit. (Can’t you just picture Barnum and Balzer patrolling Tabor’s descents and ticketing the scofflaw riders that get cozy with gravity?)

I do support another poster’s idea regarding more car free days in the park for everyone’s benefit. More signage in the park wouldn’t be a bad call either. Then all would be alerted to the possibility of faster bike / board traffic.

Dabby
Dabby
16 years ago

Sweet!

Jeff
Jeff
16 years ago

Maybe a little paint and a few signs, like the Hawthorne Bridge, would help solve any problems when people are doing their activity. This would help everyone feel a little safer.

Michelle
Michelle
16 years ago

Paint and signs do go a long way, and still allow everyone considerable freedom. I would support that.

Randy
Randy
16 years ago

I too support more car free days! I just makes sense. People want to experience a little bit of nature not more car fumes.
I’m a bike addict. I was walking in Mt. Tabor park this evening and a road racer, in training, without a helmet came bombing through curves by the playground. There were people with children on the road and the speed at that time was note needed by this racer. I’m all for speed at the appropriate place and time.

Donald
Donald
16 years ago

There are aspects of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) that affect closures of Mt. Tabor to auto traffic. I know it comes up every time somebody revisits auto access to the summit loop.

Those of us with strong legs and lungs aren’t the only ones who wish to enjoy the park.

Curt Dewees
Curt Dewees
16 years ago

TQ said “… this particular non-issue really gets under my skin.”

-TQ

To which Dabby replied “… the president of either a neighborhood assoc. or the Friends of Mt. Tabor Park would not have a difficult time in getting [a 10 mph speed limit] OKed and then enforcing [it].

“The power yielded by the … neighborhood associations is increasing.”

I strongly agree with Dabby on this point.

In our media-saturated society, perception IS reality. If the media gets ahold of this and starts portraying Wednesday-night Mt. Tabor cyclists as a wild-eyed gang of out-of-control speed freaks, then we really will have an “issue” to deal with, and we’ll be starting from a very poor field position, from a public-relations point of view.

I think we should take this “non-issue” very seriously and make a concerted effort to reach out to the Mt. Tabor and Montavilla neighborhood associations and the appropriate media to tell our side of the story. We need to emphasize how we value road safety and the value of sharing the road with other road users.

IMHO, bicyclists have a lot in common with pedestrians in terms of safety issues. We should work diligently to maintain positive relationships with pedestrians and keep them close to us as a natural ally, and not get into “user conflicts” with pedestrians (like the recent flap on the Sellwood Bridge, in which a cyclist and a runner actually got into a slapping/shoving confrontation).