Friday’s tragic road rage incident against two bicyclists on SE Clinton Street has left the community with more questions than answers.
Following the incident, news outlets immediately reported that one of the cyclists kicked the car, but that detail has still not been confirmed.
I spoke with one of the cyclists, Ben Ramsdell from his hospital bed on Saturday. Ramsdell said he tapped on the car’s window and “might have sworn” at the driver, but he reported no further provocation.
Did the second cyclist, Timothy Mastne also interact with the driver before the collision? So far it’s not clear what happened. The details of the exchange that led to Eschweiler’s rampage will be left to a Grand Jury to figure out.
Over the weekend, my post on the incident got over 80 comments. Many issues and concerns have been raised. The community is sounding off on everything from the role of advocates and driver education to the design and efficacy of bike boulevards.
Here is a sampling of the responses:
From “felony flats:
“How about an organized effort to educate drivers… The problem is with people who drive into Urban areas from the suburbs or rural areas (the driver was from Oregon City). They’re just not educated/trained enough on how to maneuver around bikes.”
“To call this an “attempted” assault is a joke… Scott Bricker you are at helm (of the BTA) now, it is time for your organization to step up and make the DA/mayor/police chief/city councilors know that many people are watching this very closely.”
“If there was ever a time for a mass showing of outrage then this is one. Call it “mass justice” or legalpaluzza or whatever but it’s a great opportunity to expose the conflicts and create peace (hopefully) and change.”
“I’m afraid we will probably see more of this happen if we don’t get more designated space on the roads for bikes. Why don\’t our “bike boulevards” (yea right!) get some lines or something to denote they’re for bikes?
One of the reason Europe has a superior biking environment is due to extraordinarily clear & consistent signage.”
“I think the only real long term resolution, short of SEPARATED BIKE LANES is severely limiting auto traffic on “bike blvds”… riding this exact route daily along with Ladd’s Ave (both of which are virtual raceways at some times), makes me think that we need our own space free of cars.”
Given the nature and severity of the collision, we are fortunate no one was killed. Now, we are left with two bruised and broken cyclists that — in addition to trying to get back on their feet (and bikes) — will likely face a major legal battle.
Stay tuned for more developments and coverage of this story.