By the time anyone reads this, the "STP" bicycle run will be over. But I want to say something relevant that needs to be said.
Before retiring and moving to Lewis County, I was living in Portland when Nike decided to have a "fun run" through the Pearl District. By the time my graveyard shift was over (7am), it was clear to the hundreds of employees trying to get home to families & children that the run-route "blocked off" any means to leave the area ... that employees were "trapped" until the event concluded at 10am. I was about to write a letter to the Oregonian newspaper about this when I saw I'd been beaten out by another writer with a more compelling argument against the fun run.
The writer was a first-responder (paramedic). He reminded readers that, in life and death situations, minutes (sometime, seconds) counted. He'd been sent out on a 911 call in the Pearl District during the fun run - to help a woman who complained of chest pains. The traffic was so clogged up with runners that he was delayed by a few minutes in getting to her. She was still alive when they got there. But getting out of the area was just as problematic. And unfortunately, the woman died before they could make it to Good Samaritan Hospital.
STP participants should consider this story. And they should ask themselves if this event is worth anyone's life. My letter is not meant to be anti-bicylist or anti-runner. It's meant to be anti-mass-traffic-clog. Amidst all the hoopla surrounding STP, an undeniable fact remains - that these mass-traffic-clog events are a menace to public safety. Even if they delay first-responders for only a minute, it could mean the difference between life and death.
J. Alec West
(I live along Westside Highway in unincorporated Lewis County)