Re: conversation with Bend Police Chief about Bulletin article

Eric Chu

June 30, 2008 at 3:17 PM

Thanks, Tim.

from what I gather there were a few more people that voiced their
concerns to the city council and city manager that made it back to
the police chief, so i can't take all the credit. there's probably a
couple things I wrote or said that didn't go over so well, but I'm
glad the response was positive nonetheless.

I think you are right on with the 'friendly wave'
philosophy....hopefully I'm not sounding completely naive by thinking
we can accomplish a lot by just being friendly on the bike and
interacting with other people on the road on a fundamental level...

1) wave to other cyclists as you pass each other. try it you'll like
2) wave to drivers who actually SEE you and pause for the extra
second to let you by before they turn into a driveway or parking lot,
etc... How often to we actually thank drivers that do the right
thing? not enough, probably. Sometimes they do too much and kind of
screw up the flow at a 4-way stop, but maybe just wave and smile and
skip the exaggerated sigh that we're used to giving. They mean well.
3) and yes wave to the folks in the squad cars, fire trucks because
they generally have tough jobs and we count on them to save our bacon.

4) and this one's a hard as it sounds....maybe try not
to wave the middle finger or pound on someone's hood when we
encounter jerky behaviour from motorists. Just let it go. (I know,
it sucks...but they've got a 3-4 ton weapon at their disposal and
confrontation isn't worth it)

If it's THAT big deal...pick up the cell phone and report it to the
non-emergency line for the police dept. (388-0170) or make the
details of the incident and report it on the online complaint form on
the Bend PD website. If you're the victim of a crash with a motor
vehicle and/or injured, or your safety is still in immediate
jeopardy of course dial 911.

okay, enough of the soapbox from me today....

thanks to everyone who also voiced their opinion to the powers that be.


On Jun 30, 2008, at 8:35 AM, Tim Schauer wrote:

> Great approach, Eric.
> I live in Vancouver, but work several days a month in Bend, and I
> try to ride there before I drive back as often as I can. I have
> found Bend to be a very bike friendly community. Drivers seem
> pretty tolerant and I have often had Bend police wave back to me,
> as I wave (nicely...) while riding.
> I think this is the kind of healthy solution oriented approach that
> could have a real impact to a situation that needs it. When two
> groups become more and more polarized by something like this, it
> can get turn ugly quickly. And then, no one wins. Here is a big
> THANK YOU for stepping up to help turn it in a positive direction.
> -Tim Schauer
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [mailto:obra-
>] On Behalf Of Eric Chu
> Sent: Sunday, June 29, 2008 11:53 PM
> To:;
> Subject: [OBRA Chat] conversation with Bend Police Chief about
> Bulletin article
> fyi all:
> I had a productive conversation over the phone with interim Police
> Chief Sandi Baxter on Friday.
> She was very receptive to comments from myself and others that had
> reached her regarding the Bend Bulletin article on bike safety and
> the comments made by Sgt. Koester. She very much regretted that what
> Sgt. Koester meant, and what he ended up saying didn't quite end up
> being the same thing.
> As a result of this incident, they are making sure that individuals
> who make statements to the media, do so thoughtfully and present a
> complete picture of the issue, whatever it may be, without blaming
> any particular group.
> She is also checking with the public works dept. on the status of
> bike lane striping (in response to the letter to the Source by Scott
> Moyer) to make sure that bike lanes are clearly marked. (Scott, if
> you read this, Chief Baxter would like to contact you personally and
> address your concerns)
> I'm going to suggest to her that a letter of clarification from the
> police dept. to the Bulletin would go a long way with the public and
> clear up any unintended messages.
> I am cautiously optimistic that we can turn the tide of negative
> perceptions about the cycling community, now that we have a dialog
> going, and many of us are working to improve our own image by
> following the rules of the road.
> Thanks to Jim Clinton and Peter Gramlich on the Bend City council,
> and City Manger Eric King for being responsive to this issue. And
> thanks to Chief Baxter for reaching out and contacting me to discuss
> the issue.
> eric
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