Seattle’s Second Avenue Bike Traffic Triples

About a week after the tragic death of Sher Kung, a cyclist who was hit by a left-turning truck on 2nd Avenue, the new protected bike lane with new traffic signals were installed on that infamous corridor in downtown Seattle.

The day the new bike lane was unveiled, I had a chance to drive down it. The exact intersection where Sher was struck confused almost every driver, including me. While the rest of the lanes had a green light, the left turn lane had a red arrow which flashed quietly in the low left corner of the new traffic signal. Distracted by the heaps of flowers and photos that memorialized that fatal spot, I was prepared to make a left turn despite the red arrow. A City worker alerted me to the fact that there was a new signal, as he pointed to the red arrow. Confusing, to say the least. Not to mention–there were dozens upon dozens of small aluminum pinwheels every several feet leading up to that stretch on the road, which added to the drivers’ distraction.

2nd_Ave_counts1Regardless, the bike traffic has tripled on Second Avenue. Looks like cyclists feel more confident that they can commute safely there. But, according to the Seattle Times blog, a young woman was almost hit during morning rush hour on Sept. 16th, when “she failed to notice the red bike icon, and rode downhill near a left-turning car at Spring Street. She shrugged as if to confess her mistake, and continued south.  A couple minutes later, a driver stopped for the red arrow, then illegally made the left turn.”

The Seattle DOT shot an instructional video along Second Avenue last week and disbursed about $250 in privately-funded gift certificates to drivers and cyclists who obeyed the new traffic signals. The real reward: A safer bike route and fewer bike accidents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Us

This blog is maintained by attorneys at Stritmatter Kessler Whelan (SKW), focused on important legal issues, news, and developments... MORE
Favorite Quotation

If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
— Proverbs 24:10

Intense love does not measure, it just gives.
— Mother Teresa

The test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.
— Pearl S. Buck

You may trod on me in the very dirt. But still, like dirt, I'll rise.
— Maya Angelou

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity.
— George Bernard Shaw

Without justice, courage is weak.
— Benjamin Franklin

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fairness is an across-the-board requirement for all our interactions with each other ...Fairness treats everybody the same.
— Barbara Jordan

I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.
— Thomas Jefferson

Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any equal hope in the world?
— Abraham Lincoln

I don’t know what kind of a future life I believe in, but I believe that all that we go through here must have some value.
— Eleanor Roosevelt

The basic proposition of the worth and dignity of man is the strongest, the most creative force now present in the world.
— Franklin D. Roosevelt

Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it is obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit.
— James Madison

There is no truth existing which I fear, or would wish unknown to the whole world.
— Thomas Jefferson