Person seriously injured in collision on Alaskan Way

A WSDOT visualization of the temporary Alaskan Way reroute, looking north at Columbia

A WSDOT visualization of the temporary Alaskan Way reroute, looking north at Columbia

A man was seriously injured Tuesday night while biking on Alaskan Way.

Details are sparse, but it sounds like the man was biking northbound on the biking and walking path near Columbia Street when he collided with a southbound SUV.

There is a traffic signal at the intersection, but police do not note who had the right of way at the time of the collision, which happened just south of Columbia.

It is also not clear if ongoing construction related to the Alaskan Way Viaduct removal project was a factor. Traffic is currently routed onto a temporary street below the viaduct.

We wish him a full and speedy recovery.

Details from Seattle Police:

A bicyclist sustained serious injuries following a collision with a SUV. On April 1, 2014, at approximately 10:30 p.m., a white 2003 GMC Envoy was traveling southbound on Alaskan WY just south of Columbia St. At the same time, a bicyclist was traveling northbound on the east side bike/pedestrian path on Alaskan WY approaching Columbia St parallel to the roadway when for unknown reasons the cyclist left the pathway and collided with the vehicle in the southbound lane of the roadway.

Seattle Fire responded and treated the adult male cyclist; he was transported to Harborview Medical Center via Medics with what was thought to be head trauma.

As is routine, a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) unit responded and evaluated the driver of the vehicle; it was determined that the driver was not impaired. The driver was released at the scene, pending further investigation.

Traffic Collision Investigators responded and processed the scene. The investigation continues.

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12 Responses to Person seriously injured in collision on Alaskan Way

  1. Peri Hartman says:

    This is most unfortunate. Wake up, SDOT!

    That bike way is insanely dangerous unless you are going waking speed. The SDOT needs to address this immediately before another accident occurs.

  2. Scott Johnston says:

    Hard to tell what happened in this accident. Whatever caused him to leave the trail and go into oncoming traffic is the cause, not sure that can be blamed on SDOT

    I take it slow and easy on the four blocks of that path. It’s a crazy mix of construction, people and other cyclists going both ways, and cars turning across it from both directions.

  3. Bob Anderton says:

    I ride along here most every day. As I recall, when I rode home on Tuesday (well before the crash) there was already at least one person sleeping in the cycle track. This is not uncommon, nor is it to see motor vehicles parked in it. Either could have explained the bicyclist swerving out of the cycle track. Assuming, of course that the bicyclist actually swerved out of the cycle track.

    How many times do we hear that the bicyclist “came out of nowhere”? Often the bicyclist is taken away by ambulance and/or is never asked by police what happened. Frequently the bicyclists has a head injury and can not say. So who tells police what happened? The motorist. Is it surprising to hear that the bicyclist swerved into the road? This is yet another reminder that we need to update our laws to presume that motorists who collide with pedestrians or bicyclists are at fault.

    I hope the bicyclist recovers from his injuries. Everyone please be careful in this area!

    • Shirley says:

      This bike route was not well thought out. If you start out on Jackson, which I have done many times, you have to avoid the obstacle course that is in the “dedicated” space. Cars, people, needles, sharp junk and the lovely people who like to make u-turns in their SUVs. On low traffic days I have just taken the road. At some point biking north you have to make some wonky maneuvering to get back in the bikelane that is mysteriously and suddenly on the left. Pressing those stupid pedestrian buttons does nothing and they make you hidden from cars because the pillars are so huge. I hope this guy is okay. If you bike here or are trying to make your way to Elliot Bay trail please be careful.

  4. Patty Lyman says:

    There is very little signage around the ferry terminal for bikers to figure out how to leave the terminal or get into the terminal. I expect there will be more accidents.

  5. Kirk says:

    I highly reccomend taking the lane for the whole route under the viaduct. Anything else is too dangerous. The lanes are far too narrow to ride the edge; take the whole lane.

    • Ted says:

      Agreed. It’s safer in the road. In the middle of the road.

    • Jeff says:

      I also recommend taking the lane. I ride here almost everyday on my route to work. Riding in that “bike lane” is like being in an invisibility trap. So long as I’m in the road I can see what’s coming and more importantly people driving cars can see me. Sometimes it can be a bit stressful, but it’s much better than getting right-hooked.

  6. Gary Anderson says:

    I always take the road under the viaduct and avoid the pedestrian/bike-path. The sightlines for drivers crossing the path are very bad with all the viaduct columns, poor lighting, and shadows.

  7. 47hasbegun says:

    I also suggest taking the road instead. This is one bit of “bike path” that is really more suitable for pedestrians than cyclists.

  8. WSHC says:

    Another vote for taking the road underneath the viaduct.

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