I would like to comment about the recent focus on the annual Olympia Toy Run.
I think the biker side of the equation is trying a little too hard to paint itself as some helpless victim. The city of Olympia has legitimate concerns for safety and traffic because the size of the event has blossomed enormously in the last few years.
I don’t understand that when situations like this develop, why the first thing people seem to do is take sides and start defending their turf by attacking their opponents. Why not, instead, get together with all the stakeholders (bikers, city, first responders) and brainstorm solutions?
For the cost to Olympia Police — $1,400 — collect at least a dime from every rider. The 17,000 riders this year would generate $1,700.
Next, rather than having the parade in one continuous column, send the bikers off in pulses of a set number at one time — 1,000? — then wait a few minutes for the next pulse to let all the cross streets clear out. This would give dozens of riders the opportunity to be in front instead of just two.
Finally, teach all the riders that if emergency lights turn on at an intersection, they should all stop, clear the intersection and move aside and wait for the emergency lights to go off before proceeding.
I also think it would be enlightening for all of the participants in the ride to collect their receipts from any local businesses they patronize and provide them to our City Council.