Bike Accidents

We Need to Apply our Lessons Learned from Second Ave Bike Corridor

SDOT needs to look at other dangerous cyclist spots and continue to show its creativity and flexibility. (Photo from Seattle Weekly/Lindsey  Yamada)

SDOT needs to look at other dangerous cyclist spots and continue to show its creativity and flexibility. (Photo from Seattle Weekly/Lindsey Yamada)

When reading a Seattle Weekly article (“Five things we learned about Second Ave Bike Lines) earlier this week, I was struck by a few of the main points that writer Daniel Person made. I believe that the most important takeaways is that SDOT has shown that it is surprisingly flexible. Indeed, this certainly seems the case given how it has pivoted and adjusted the infamous 2nd Ave corridor after a few minor bicycle vs. car accidents. Namely, it addressed the vulnerable spots for cyclists, where cars wanted to pull into parking garages. Raising the curbs outside the parking garages slows the drivers down before they enter/cross over the bike lanes.

Also, take a look at those planters. So SDOT can be creative and nimble. Why not address the dangerous spots that compromise cyclists at the First Hill Streetcar line? If SDOT can make changes after a few minor bike/car collisions on the Second Ave bike corridor, it should take a long, hard look at that dangerous intersection where our cyclist client Daniel Ahrendt was run over by a bus.

 

Seattle’s 2nd Ave Death Trap – Bike Man Dan finds many risks for the uninitiated

As I’ve blogged about a number of times–even before the death of cyclist/attorney Sher Kung–many, including country’s bike expert/Rutgers professor John Pucher, have considered Seattle’s Second Avenue corridor a death trap for cyclists.

After claiming the life of Ms. Kung, the much anticipated changes materialized about a week sooner than planned. Eager to see how the corridor might have improved, we asked Bike Man Dan (a.k.a. SKW attorney Dan Laurence) decided to ride down that very stretch of rode with our new GoPro (something new to him). He was shocked to see the numerous problems with the new design and shared his thoughts and video footage with those of us at the firm. He braved it both ways on this two-way bike lane.

See for yourself: How much of an improvement from before this summer’s fatal accident is the new “protected” bike lane? Does it truly increased safety for cyclists, pedestrians or drivers? Or, is the inconsistent treatment throughout the entire corridor frustrating if not treacherous to all who dare to travel this way?

Watch the clip above and let us know what you think. Do you see the same risks? Or did you perhaps also catch ones that didn’t jump out at us?

2nd Ave Corridor & downtown Seattle need to do more for bicycle safety

Email Catherine@Stritmatter.com if you know what these curved arrows mean!

Email Catherine@Stritmatter.com if you know what these curved arrows mean!

A little more than three months after the tragic and preventable death of cyclist/new mother/attorney Sher Kung, more is needed for bicyclist safety on the treacherous Second Avenue corridor in downtown Seattle.  Our own Bike Man Dan took to the roads recently on his bike, braving this stretch on 2nd Ave. We will share with you excerpts from that bike ride and let you decide where you might see additional room for improvement.

In the meantime, do you know what the heck these curved arrows in the above photo mean? Send us your insights, wisdom, comments or best guesses to Catherine@stritmatter.com.

Warning to Cyclists: Speeding may get you a ticket

Speeders on bikes get tickets too.

Speeders on bikes get tickets too.

A recent article in the Seattle Times cautions cyclists to observe the speed limit. Those who sped too fast down Fremont Ave. N. near B.F. Day Elementary School got pulled over with a speeding ticket. The area is a school zone with a speed limit of 20 miles per hour. The speed demons on bikes who got caught will have to pay$103 for each citation, granted a bit less than the $189 citations for speeding drivers.

The important message to cyclists is that a speeding bicycle is dangerous too. Take, for example, the cyclist who ran down a pedestrian in San Francisco. The 71 year old pedestrian was killed, when a cyclist sped down a hill in the busy Castro District in San Francisco and struck the man at a crosswalk. The victim was just walking with his wife on a walk signal, as the 37 year old software developer ran into him.  The cyclist pled guilt to the first felony vehicular manslaughter on a bicycle in this country.

As the article points out, a Seattle pedestrian was also a fatal victim after a bicycle struck her on the Cedar River Trail. That cyclist got off, unlike the aforementioned SF cyclist.

In 2011  there were 457 road deaths in Washington state, 64 pedestrians and 11 bicyclists were killed, according to NHTSA. While roughly 1% of the speeding tickets issued in the first nine months of this year were to bicyclists, we may see this number creep up if speeding cyclists don’t take heed.

Kids Break Bike Helmet Laws Too Often

Each year in this country bike accidents involving head injuries lead to at least 150,000 emergency department visits and almost 400 deaths. This is based on a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  According to the CDC, approximately 33 million children ride bicycles for nearly 10 billion hours each year.KidsandBikeSafety-1

Yesterday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida presented an abstract with compelling data: Despite a California bike helmet mandate, only 11 percent of Los Angeles County children treated for bike-related injuries were wearing a helmet. Specifically, children older than age 12, and low-income and minority children were less likely to wear a bike helmet.

“Our study highlights the need to target minority groups, older children, and those with lower socioeconomic status when implementing bicycle safety programs…” said study author Veronica F. Sullins, MD.

Regional studies highlighting racial or ethnic and socioeconomic differences may help identify at-risk populations within specific communities, allowing these communities to more effectively use resources, explained Dr. Sullins.

“Children and adolescents have the highest rate of unintentional injury and therefore should be a high priority target population for injury-prevention programs,” Dr. Sullins said.

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