On Sunday morning May 24th 2008, I decided to go for a leisurely bike ride. With me were two young children who rode their bikes following close behind.
The route I chose would take me south on Mt. Washington past the Skyline sports park. As we approached the area near the softball fields, which were located to my right, I noticed a very common sight. However, on this morning what I witnessed was more disturbing than usual. We were forced to move from the bike lane into traffic because there were vehicles parked illegally in the bike lane ahead. Luckily, we were able to stop and navigate this detour without serious incident. We then continued on our way southbound. Some time later, we were returning home in the opposite direction. We also encountered more illegally parked vehicles directly in our path. Once again, we were forced to detour into the traffic lane to avoid these cars. I would estimate that between both southbound and northbound bike lanes, there were approximately 20 vehicles in violation of clearly posted No Parking signs.
My complaint is two-fold. First of all, you don't have to like or dislike what I choose to do for recreation. However, it is not acceptable for someone else's behavior to create an unsafe environment for me to enjoy my form of recreation. I highly doubt that parking a large number of vehicles on the softball fields would be allowed. Especially if I were to totally disregard the posted signs stating that it was illegal.
Secondly, my phone calls to the Bend Police Department to make them aware of the problem were essentially a waste of time. This resulted in an officer arriving at the scene who placed a flier on the windshields of the illegally parked cars and then left. I asked the officer if this action was all that he intended to do. He said, "What do you want me to do? Would you like me stand out here all day and give citations to all of these vehicles? What good would that do?" It didn't take long to realize that the Bend Police have apparently been neutered.
If citations were written, it just might stop the illegal behavior, which, by the way, has been occurring un-checked for many years. I personally have made numerous phone complaints over the last couple of years addressing the problem and yet it continues to be allowed repeatedly.
I confronted an adult female passenger who was in a mini-van full of children. As it drove away from where it had been illegally parked, I questioned their obvious lack of consideration. She yelled back at me to "F**k off." I thought, 'What a wonderful role model she is.'
If parking is going to be allowed on the shoulders of Mt. Washington Dr. to provide access to the Sports Fields, then adequate space needs to be created so that illegal and un-safe parking does not continue. If nothing is going to be done to remedy this problem, the Bend Police should enforce the clearly posted No Parking signs that already exist. Maybe they are waiting for a serious injury to occur before they decide to do their job.
Scott Moyer, Bend