The Beaverton Police Department’s Public Information Officer Sgt. Paul Wandell says a statement about bike safety printed in a city newsletter has been “blown out of proportion.”
The advice — that bicyclists should, “walk your bike across busy intersections and streets” — was printed as a bike safety tip and it has touched a nerve among many Beaverton residents after a story on BikePortland brought it to their attention.
Sgt. Wandell said he wants to try and tone down the response and he insists that the advice was only meant for young children.
(Photo: City of Beaverton)
“We’re not recommending all bicyclists hop off their bikes at intersections…our viewpoint of bicyclists and the rules of the road are the same as any other jurisdiction. The statement in the newsletter only applies to kids…like, let’s say a dad is mowing the lawn while a six year-old is riding around the neighborhood. When he comes to an intersection we want him to get off.”
Sgt. Wandell says his staff didn’t have adequate time to proof the information before it was sent out and that a clarification is already in the works for the next newsletter. He acknowledged that the way it was written in the newsletter was confusing and that he’ll seek to make it more clear in the future.
Sgt. Wandell also added that he wasn’t sure where Mayor Rob Drake’s staff got the information for the newsletter.
I found it on the Beaverton PD website in the exact same way it appeared in the newsletter. It’s on a page titled, “Ride to Stay Alive” (which includes other advice like “Avoid riding at night”).
Take a look for yourself and see if you think it’s obvious that the advice about walking your bike at intersections is only meant for small children.
— The Beaverton PD and the NW Bicycle Safety Council will host a Bicycle Safety Fair on May 17th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the PAL club (12500 SW Allen Blvd.) For more information please contact Bruce Bufﬁngton at (503) 466-2501 or nwbsc [at] comcast [dot] net.