Bicyclists ride to St. Johns Bridge in honor of man on bike kill - KPTV - FOX 12

Bicyclists ride to St. Johns Bridge in honor of man on bike killed in weekend collision

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A large gathering of bicyclists rode to the St. Johns Bridge on Thursday night to demand safer conditions on the bridge and to honor a man who was killed riding his bike on the bridge over the weekend.

Mitchell York, 55, was hit and killed Saturday morning.

Joel Schrantz, 42, is facing the charge of criminally negligent homicide in the case.

Investigators said Schrantz lost control of his Toyota 4Runner while turning onto the St. Johns Bridge on Saturday morning. His SUV fishtailed and hit York.

York was knocked off his bike and into traffic. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators said Schrantz, who has a history of traffic crimes, was driving with a suspended license. His SUV also had bald rear tires and other maintenance issues, according to police.

Organizers of Thursday's rally posted on Facebook, "Let's show ODOT that we deserve to be protected."

Cyclists have complained about their safety on the St. Johns Bridge for years.

Oregon Department of Transportation officials said they have made improvements, including adding separate sidewalks for cyclists and signs to make drivers more aware of bikes on the bridge.

"It's clear people are doing crazy things in their cars all the time," said Jonathan Maus, a representative of BikePortland.

However, the St. Johns Bridge is a major freight route and ODOT officials said building a bike lane would cause bottlenecking.

Still, Maus said something needs to be done before someone else gets hurt.

"There's really no access for bicycles so people want to raise awareness of that and people sort of want to talk about a solution what can we do about that. The fact that some innocent person was legally using their vehicle got killed is really upsetting and people want to bring some attention to that."

Thursday's ride began at 6:15 p.m. and appeared to include hundreds of people on bikes. They rode to the bridge and stopped in the westbound lanes.

By 7 p.m., the bicyclists had left the bridge.

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