Breakfast on the Bridge is an annual summer program where the City of Eugene and bicycle organizations gather to hand out bike safety tips and breakfast.
The event primarily takes place on the bike bridges around the Willamette River Trails. The breakfasts occur on several weekends throughout the summer and are in different locations.
The City of Eugene’s Smart Trips program was handing out bicycle pocket route maps, reflectors, and handkerchiefs with a map printed on them. The city’s program not only encourages biking but also walking, carpooling and using public transit. The program’s overall goal is to reduce single passenger car trips and motor traffic.
Breakfast included bagels, coffee (courtesy of the city) and smoothies, from Northwest
Community Credit Union. During the June 25th event the smoothies were made using a bike-powered blender.
Greater Eugene Area Riders or GEARs, is a cycling group that promotes both bicycle recreation and transit. They sponsor a variety of rides and classes and maintain a community bike event calendar. You can use the calendar to see GEARs own programs or events like breakfast on the bridge.
GEARs was also promoting its Safe Routes program. The program is designed to increase the number of children who ride their bikes to school and teach them to ride safely. The program seeks not only to increase the number of riders but also encourage kids to exercise more.
The City of Eugene Police Department was busy registering bikes and performing bike safety tests. The officers did a thorough check of participant’s bicycles that included: checking brakes, reflectors, lights, and drive train.
While Eugene is currently considered one of the most bike friendly cities in the U.S., it does have one of the highest bike theft rates in the nation. In the last three years the police department has recorded 2,500 reported thefts and says there are many that go unreported. Registering your bike is one way to help prevent or recover from bike theft. The police also suggest investing in a good bike lock and being conscious of how visible your bike is.
While reliable bicycle accident statistics are hard to come by (even if a bicyclist is injured in an accident it is rarely reported) with a higher volume of bike and auto traffic comes a higher risk of being injured on a bike. This article, produced by KVAL, shows a scene that is tragically common in the Eugene/Springfield area. Police also recently announced that there are more bicycle accidents during the summer.
For that very reason the city continues to put on events like Breakfast on the Bridge to support community education and public safety. The next breakfast takes place on Friday July 29th, 2011.
By: Christopher M. Scotti
Edited: Stacey M. Hollis