Mailbag: People have lots to say about maintaining status quo on the St. Johns Bridge

“I understand you’re upset, but don’t make my long commute worse by backing up traffic… You don’t have the right to impede my way home on a public street. Try standing on the sidewalk with signs regarding your concerns.”
— Email to BikePortland about last night’s protest ride on the St. Johns Bridge.

It happens every time there’s a high profile fatality involving a bicycle in Portland: People who never read BikePortland see me talking on the news or read my quotes in articles and they can’t resist giving me a piece of their mind. They will sometimes leave voicemails on our tipline; but they usually email.

The recent fatal collision on the St. Johns Bridge has spurred a lot of local media coverage and as a result my inbox was full of several such emails. It’s one thing when people spout of hate-filled screeds in The Oregonian/OregonLive comments section (a vile place); but it’s much different when they take the time to share their opinion with the local bike blog.

I want to share a few of these emails with you because I feel it’s important that we have a clear understanding where people are coming from when it comes to transportation culture in Portland. Keep in mind, the views expressed from the people below are relatively reasonable compared to anonymous online comments. Also keep in mind that these are the same people who are very likely to take the time to write their elected leaders when a bike-related infrastructure investment or policy is being debated.

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BikePortland Mailbag: A strap for walk-a-biking

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

A new way to walk.
-Video below-

I get a lot of interesting things sent to me in the mail, so I’ve been thinking about doing a ‘Mailbag’ column for a long time. Here’s the first installment.

A company from Naples, Florida emailed about a new product called “Walk A Bike: The Bicycle Wrist Steering Strap.” Check out the graphic at right and then read the description below:

“This new product positions the walker a safe distance to the rear of the bicycle making it easy to walk or jog long distances with the bicycle at his/her side without tripping on the pedal. When you reach your maximum walking/jogging distance, just bicycle back. Adding bicycling to your walking fitness program provides a more diverse exercising routine.”

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