While Eugene police officers were installing signs downtown on Wednesday alerting bicyclists and skateboarders that they were in the new “walk your wheels” zone, a bicyclist on a sidewalk in the zone struck an 8-year-old child, police said.
The child was checked by medics and released to the care of his mother, police said.
Meanwhile, the bike’s operator was discovered to be a fugitive from justice related to a methamphetamine charge in Washington state, police said.
Police on Wednesday were highlighting the zone where bicyclists and skateboarders are banned from riding on sidewalks. As the disc-like warning signs were installed in the sidewalk, the child, holding a door for his mother at The Willamette Street Market on East 11th Avenue and Willamette Street, was struck by a bike at 2 p.m. The cyclist, Tyler Samuel Rhodes, 29, hit the boy from behind, knocking him to the ground, police said. The bicycle’s brakes were not working, authorities said.
Rhodes was arrested on charges of reckless driving and the fugitive warrant. He was cited for possession of methamphetamine, less than an ounce of marijuana and violation of the “walk your wheels” zone.
The signage was approved by the Eugene City Council July 28. The walk zone went into effect Aug. 29. Police are issuing warnings to those in violation, and citations for repeat offenders. Fines can be up to $50.
The signs are being installed in the sidewalks over the next several days, police said. Signs will be installed along Lincoln Street between Eighth and 13th Avenues, the north side of Eighth Avenue between Lincoln and Pearl streets, and on both sides of Willamette Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenue. The east side of Pearl Street between Eighth and 13th Avenues and both sides of Broadway between Pearl and High streets will be marked, along with the north side of 13th Avenue between Pearl and Lincoln streets.