A Truck-Bike Accident Waiting To Happen

by Tom on October 14, 2011 · 3 comments

in advocacy and activism,Seattle

Recently, a post on the West Seattle Blog described how a cyclist encountered a truck coming towards him in his lane with no intention of stopping, and he was forced to toss his bike and himself over a jersey barrier to avoid being hit. There was some skepticism in the comments, but I knew the exact spot – it’s on my bike commute.

At that particular stretch of road, trucks turning into the port are just a few hundred yards from their destination, when sometimes they get caught in a line of train-stopped traffic that is trying to turn the other way. And they are often overcome by the temptation to cut out of the line, into the oncoming traffic lane, to get to the port entrance, instead of waiting for the train to pass and traffic to move. The problem is, aside from that being illegal, it’s also VERY dangerous – that oncoming traffic lane is hemmed in by Jersey barriers and is the main bike thoroughfare from downtown to West Seattle.

This WILL result in a bad accident if it doesn’t change. So I made a short video that explains the situation visually.

Continuing on the theme of traffic dangers… as you may know, Seattle cyclist Mike Wang was killed this summer while riding in a bike lane on Seattle’s busiest bike commute route on Dexter.  Mike was riding his bike home to his family and was struck by a driver who was turning left onto Thomas, and who fled the scene.  The search is still on for the driver of the vehicle.

On Tuesday, October 18th at the Palace Ballroom, friends, coworkers, community members, and fellow cyclists will come together to remember Mike Wang and the photographic and artistic legacy that he leaves behind.  The evening will feature delicious food from Tom Douglas Restaurants, beverages from local wineries and breweries, and a silent auction of pieces from Mike’s exceptional work as a photographer. Guest speakers include WA State Representative Eric Pettigrew and PATH Vice President, Jackie Sherris.  Radio’s Cathy Sorbo will emcee the evening.  The event will serve as a place to remember, donate, and keep important conversations going by celebrating the work and life of a truly gifted artist.

More information can be found here:  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/204102

I plan to attend and I hope to see you there.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kit Newman October 14, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Thanks for this Tom! I’m the guy who posted the letter in the West Seattle blog you mentioned at the beginning of your piece. The video you made shows EXACTLY what happened to me. I commute to West Seattle from the CD and this was the route I used to take and would be in just that same situation you show on the video.
Vindication at last! You’ve done a great service for all bicycle commuters in this city to warn them of this dangerous area.
Keep up the good work!
Best regards,
Kit Newman

AiliL October 18, 2011 at 9:35 am

Exactly. Thank you for making a video. Many people (drivers?) don’t understand this stretch of roadway and discounted Kit’s experience. Most riders who ride through there understood him though.

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