Bike Accident Triggers Safety Concerns

EUGENE, Ore. — The death of Eugene man has triggered a response from the Eugene cycling community.

Aaron Daywitt, 49, was hit and killed by a train while he was riding his bicycle Thursday night.

Bike advocates say the crossing at 8th and Hilyard that connects the south side of the tracks to the river path is a trouble spot.

Although fellow cyclists aren’t exactly sure what happened during Thursday night’s collision, it has them talking about safety concerns. It is an area highlighted in the Eugene Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan as a spot that needs improvement.

“We put in the possibility of doing an overpass or an underpass over these railroad tracks. Those kind of facilities make it a lot safer, comfortable and useful for people,” said Shane MacRhondes of the Eugene Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

Cyclists say this accident is a tragic reminder to not be complacent in your daily commuting routine and be aware of your surroundings.


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  1. Alpha W. says:

    Shane *MacRhodes*. Copyediting?

  2. Shelly Taylor says:

    This may indeed be a “trouble spot.” This is very truly a sad situation and my heart goes out to the friends and family of the deceased. However, we cannot possibly provide “overpasses and underpasses at ALL trouble spots. It just isn’t feasible.

    I hope however that drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians will learn that whenever they approach a railroad crossing it is their responsibility to “look, listen and slow down. You may have to stop. A train may come at any time!” This quote is taken directly out of the DMV Driver’s Manual page 22. These rules apply whether there are crossing signs or not.

    Clearly this individual paid a high price for an error in judgment. That is very sad. Let us all learn from this experience and prevent future such tragedies. As the last sentence states none of us, including cyclists should not be complacent, especially when dealing with trains.

    1. Robert Harmen says:

      We all must remember “Anytime is train time”.

      I do believe the use of headphones, in your car or on your bike, is a violation of the rules.


  3. jason marks says:

    you can’t spend millions of dollars everytime someone does something foolish.

    Maybe it can be a sad reminder to be careful around rail tracks.

  4. Mr Bean says:

    It is sad that he died. The main thing here is Pay Attention. Give me a break. An overpass or underpass. Go figure, only in eugene.

  5. Charlottle says:

    Have you seen the intersection? If they had even extended the arms of the wooden guards, it would have made a difference. Portland regularly uses sidewalk gates to protect pedestrians. Why not talk to Amtrak and find out how other communities handle these crossings? They are a business, and don’t want accidents even just from a practical standpoint… accidents cause delays and traumatize crews, both of which cost money. I’m sure they will be happy to talk with Eugene about options for improving safety, which would give us a range of pricetags we could consider.

    Instead of everyone here mocking the idea of an over/underpass, how about some interest in looking into other options? Why areyou just shooting down ideas, acting like nothing can be done?

    This is a busy area with lots of foot traffic. It’s bad enough that one man died, and one family will never be the same. It seems like the perfect time to look and see how we can make some changes quickly and cost-effectively, and save other families from having to live through this kind of nightmare.

    Instead of saying ‘It’s too expensive, nothing can be done’ let’s use some creativity and common sense. If it was your own relative, wouldn’t you think it was worth at least looking into this, or would you really just dismiss it with a wave of your pessimistic hand?

  6. James says:

    No reason to spend money making them idiot proof. Looks like a self-correcting problem.

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