PATHS ARE FOR TRANSPORTATION, TOO
There were many inaccuracies and tired critiques of e-bikes in the Letters section last week (Oct. 5), and even though I am what one of those letter writers would describe as a “traditional cyclist” who uses the city’s many mixed use paths for transportation on a daily basis, I want to address one particularly egregious example.
Brian Price stated that “a number of e-bikers appear to be using the paths not for recreation but for quickly getting from one part of town to another and treat the mixed use paths as a transportation artery.”
Your tax dollars at work!
If you’re up for a little light reading, the city of Eugene’s transportation system plan, adopted in 2017, lays out several bicycle-oriented objectives, including to “ensure that there are safe, comfortable and direct bikeway connections between residential areas, major destinations, and transit stops….”
I won’t deny that some folks on e-bikes are making that network less safe and comfortable, just like some folks on traditional bikes do, to say nothing of those behind the wheel. However, if you have a problem with people using our robust bikeway network for something as offensive as getting from point A to point B without the use of a car, you may want to take it up with the city.
THE REAL PROBLEM IS CARS
E-bikes are not the problem. The issue is being looked at completely wrong here. In response to the recent conversation about e-bikes, the problem should be spun around and looked at more from an infrastructure standpoint — not to mention that batteries in electric vehicles are creating a much larger problem when compared to the tiny batteries of e-bikes. Getting rid of e-bikes will get more people back in cars and result in even more mines on the east side.
What we need instead is to continue to upgrade bicycle infrastructure and shared use paths. Paths, if not widened, need to be painted to reinforce this directional travel. Eugene should be creating a stronger network of bicycle highway systems for those commuting longer distances. Denmark uses this concept to get rural riders across the country quickly, and through Copenhagen. It’s a route where bicyclists have right of way over cars and have minimal, if any, stops.
The Riverbank Path System and the Fern Ridge Path are frankly some of our best cycle highways. Pitting e-bike commuter riders against recreation riders isn’t the solution here. Let’s expand these networks like spiderwebs across town and let cyclists have a chance. Cars are still the problem.
My wife and I also prefer our analog bicycles for the exercise, simplicity and lightness. However, it makes sense that our family owns a cargo e-bicycle to be able to supplement and ween us off our car dependency.
MONEY ELIMINATES A FOOTBALL TRADITION
I’m very disappointed that Ducks vs. Beavers football will have its final matchup this year. I fully understand that this is all about money via the dissolving of the Pac-12. The Ducks are huge winners, and the Beavers got screwed. As Pink Floyd has reminded me for decades, “Money, it’s a crime. Share it fairly, but don’t take a slice of my pie.”
After 129 years, let’s all salute the Civil War and its decades of traditions. Traditions and rituals that will be sadly missed! I’ll watch the game at Rennie’s Landing, where I can afford to be over-served — and cry.
As Roger Waters made clear, “Money, so they say, is the root of all evil today.”
Editor’s note: The status of the OSU-UO matchup in future years appears to be in flux. We’ve reached out to both universities for official comment on whether the teams will play each other in 2024 and beyond.
PEACEHEALTH’S DIFFICULTIES GO
Amid the outcry over the closing of PeaceHealth’s University District Hospital because of their financial difficulties, it is easy to lose sight of the low-quality care provided. Google gave them just 2 stars on a 5-star scale, based on ratings of 45 patients, meaning more patients disapproved of their care than approved.
As of now, PeaceHealth is planning on closing all services at University District hospital except for the mental health crisis team. I would like to find out what their patients say about why they are dissatisfied with the crisis team’s work, if, in fact, they are. I know from my own experiences with PeaceHealth a questionnaire is sent out to patients after each visit to rate various components of their service. I’d like for PeaceHealth University District to make public patient ratings on the overall crisis program and on individual staff members, if possible.
I would especially like to know more about the use of mental health holds, restraints, forced drugging, excessive force and threats and assaults by staff on patients. These are what patients most frequently complain about.