Truck strikes and kills woman biking on 2nd Ave

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 2.43.15 PMA woman biking died today after colliding with a large box truck at 2nd Ave and University Street in downtown Seattle.

Exact details of how the collision happened are not yet clear, though police say the driver of the truck was making a left turn when the collision happened. The bike lane is on the lefthand side of the street on 2nd, which is a one-way street southbound.

We send our deepest condolences to her friends and family.

The tragedy comes barely more than a week before completion of a road safety project on 2nd Ave designed to solve the well-known problems with the skinny, paint-only bike lane. One of the biggest problems with the current design is the tendency for left-turning motor vehicles not to yield to people biking in the lane next to them.

The city has been prepping the street to open new protected bike lanes on 2nd Ave as soon as September 8. The new bike lanes will put either a row of plastic reflective posts or a row of parked cars between moving car traffic and people biking.

The lanes will also come with new traffic signals that give left-turning cars and people biking different signal cycles to prevent conflicts like the one that happened this morning. When bikes have a green, turning cars would have a red arrow and vice versa.

We will have more updates on this tragedy soon. Below are details from SPD:

A cyclist was killed Friday morning after she was struck by large truck in downtown Seattle.

The driver of a large box truck was headed south on 2nd Avenue and turned left on to University Street, where he struck and fatally injured the cyclist.

Police contacted the driver—a man in his 40s—at the scene and called for SPD’s Traffic Collision Investigation Squad.

Police have closed 2nd Avenue around University Street while traffic investigators review the incident and interview witnesses. The street will be closed for several hours. We’ll have more information as it becomes available.

Cascade Bicycle Club has been organizing a team of bike ambassadors to help educate people on how to use the new bike lanes properly once they are completed. It all seems depressingly too little, too late now, but it will be important work. You can sign up online if interested.

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82 Responses to Truck strikes and kills woman biking on 2nd Ave

  1. Virchow says:

    Ugh. I puts a pit in my stomach. I hope the improvements you mentioned eliminate this sort of tragedy. This spate of summer deaths also highlights the need for faster implementation of the Master Bike and Ped Plans (along side integration into a single master plan).

    Condolenses to the bereaved and safe travels to all.

  2. rob says:

    my window at work looks down on where this happened. i’m wondering if the prep work they’ve done for the new lane had any influence on this. they’ve put a bunch of markings on the bike lane and elsewhere. if i didn’t already know there is supposed be a bike lane there, i’m not sure i would recognize it as such right now.

  3. T.W. Angus says:

    It is true — the prep work does make the bike lane even more dangerous than before. The lane has spray-paint hatching that makes it seem like it is some kind of buffer (presumably because that is what it will be under the new design). Seems like SDOT should have closed the left side of the street for parking during this phase of the construction.

    • Megera says:

      I noticed this as well: it’s really difficult to see where the current road lines are this week. I started riding in the car-traffic lanes this week because vehicles seemed even less prone to checking blind spots than usual. Bring on the protected lanes, and condolences to the cyclist’s family.

    • Leif Espelund says:

      Only one thing riles up people more than senseless death on the streets, and that’s removing parking – even temporarily.

  4. Brandon Blake says:

    I am Brandon Blake, the cyclist who was hit and nearly killed, July 25th 2013 on Dexter and Harrison when an SUV slammed into me. I am still recovering from that fateful day but I consider myself one of the lucky ones (traumatic brain injury, reconstructed face and all) because I’m still alive. My heart goes out to her family and friends. Totally preventable. My days of cycle commuting are sadly over but I’ll be an ambassador to this cycle track project that Cascade is sponsoring and wish each and every one of you a safe commute each and every day. Positive thoughts to all of you and to the fallen.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Thank you, Brandon.

    • Rob Stephenson says:

      Brandon – I had not heard about your accident, but I ride that route most days unless I take a longer detour. I’m curious how you were hit – though I can imagine. Right now, Dexter is very chaotic because it is still maybe the busiest bike thoroughfare in the city and the constant detours is confusing for everyone. I also ride 2nd every day and could look down from my desk on today’s poor victim. I’ve had a pit in my stomach all day, and can only imagine the grief of those who knew and loved this woman.

    • Brock Howell says:

      Thank you.

    • RKT says:

      Brandon,

      I rode by the scene that day while traffic was still being routed around the site of the collision. The pit in my stomach returned as I read your words and the emotions I felt that day came rushing back. Wishing you the best, and positive thoughts to you.

  5. Diana says:

    My father, Lance David, died last year on E Marginal Way while biking to work. The support we received from the cycling community was immeasurable, and it helped eased the grief to have so many people reach out and wrap their arms around our family.

    I hope the family and friends of this cyclist receive the same support we did. She will not be forgotten. Many people will think of her each day as they get on their bikes. Her family and friends are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you find comfort in her memory and in each other during this painful time. There are so many unseen arms wrapping around you all.

    • Brandon Blake says:

      Lance David is still in our thoughts. Sending you positive vibrations, Diana. Best to you and your family.

    • Jessi says:

      Thank you so much Diana, and you are very right that we will be thinking of her every time we get on our bikes. Just as we think of your father and even Brandon, who we are so lucky to still have with us. Thank you for your words.

      Sometimes it feels like people who bike get blamed for dying, because why don’t we just encase ourselves in two tons of metal instead? Although looking at the death rate for driving collisions doesn’t really support that idea.

    • RKT says:

      Diana,

      I rode to the memorial for your father that was held at the intersection of the collision. I looked up many days as I rode past seeing the ghost bike on the power pole. May you be filled with wonderful memories of your father.

      There are too many intersections that I ride by daily on my commute where I am reminded of tragedy. Hoping at some point that no more will added to my mental list.

    • bill says:

      I ride through intersection where Diana’s father was killed almost every day. It irritates me no end that the city has done absolutely nothing to encourage use of the excellent signalized intersection at Spokane and Marginal for crossing to the northbound side of Marginal. We’re going to spend gobs of money on a fundamentally unneeded cycletrack, someday, on Marginal, but in the meantime the safe crossing at Spokane goes almost unused.

      • Don Brubeck says:

        Thank you Diana for that kind message. We will never forget your father, Lance David, and will continue to press for safer bike routes in his name.

  6. Robert Hurst says:

    Just remember that before that silly left side bike lane was put in, people were saying that all we need is a bike lane on 2nd to make the street safe. Now all you need is a ‘protected’ lane will make the street safe. It’s good to recall some history.

    • Josh says:

      There is a difference with the new sidepath, and it’s not the buffer that will make the difference for safety, it’s the signals.

      Right now, bikes going straight are to the left of trucks turning left. That’s a recipe for disaster if they’re going through the intersection at the same time. Very few drivers make this turn legally — they’re supposed to merge into the bike lane before the intersection, yielding to any bikes in the bike lane, so that there simply can’t be bikes to the left of a left-turning vehicle. Almost nobody really does that, but it’s what the law requires, and it’s one of the engineering assumptions behind standard bike lane designs.

      When the new sidepath goes live, there will be separate signals for bikes and for turning vehicles. When vehicles are allowed to turn left, bikes will have a red light. When bikes have a green or yellow light, vehicles turning left will have a red light. As long as no motorists make illegal turns on red, and no bicyclists run the red bicycle signal, this type of accident will be eliminated.

      Of course, enforcement will be critical in that. Go sit on Broadway and see how many motorists comply with the no-right-on-red signs beside the sidepath. If SPD is as lax on Second as they are on Broadway, these accidents will continue.

      • Brock Howell says:

        Hi Josh, with a little nudge on SDOT, we might be able to get traffic cameras to catch illegal turns and help make sure drivers obey the new traffic signals. Let’s make it happen.

      • Josh says:

        Surely this intersection should qualify for cameras … how many accidents has it had now in the last four years? Ten? But the same people braying about a “war on cars” will man the barricades to defend scofflaw drivers.

      • Orv says:

        Maybe the merge rule needs to be made more clear to motorists. I’d always assumed I was *forbidden* to merge into the bike lane, and required to turn across it instead.

  7. Ben P says:

    Morally twisted, i.e. fucked up. We all knew is was a matter of time. How did that lane get installed like that – on the left with the huge volume of left turners. Anyone who drives or bikes in the area know how the traffic flows over there. Somehow, on the only street where the bike lane should be on the right, it ends up on the left. Then, despite us all knowing it is a death trap, we let it stay for years. Hopefully the new setup will be better.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      That’s the twisted part. Doing it wrong is one thing. The city has to learn somehow, I guess (there were few US bike lane guides then, though there was ample guidance from Europe that was ignored). But leaving it that way for so long, that’s negligent. They failed their residents.

      • Brandon Blake says:

        Bingo Tom.

      • RKT says:

        Well said Tom.

      • Allan says:

        This bike lane is so stupid that the city should be sued for negligent paving. You need years of cycling experience to negotiate a road like 2nd Ave. One alternative and a very good protest too might be that everyone stay safe by riding on the sidewalk. What can you do when the streets are murder.
        Also sending an inexperienced bike rider out on a bike share bike into down town traffic is like giving 9 year old a loaded gun with no training. Both ideas are equally stupid. This city is far from ready for it.

    • Benjamin Leis says:

      Sadly if the lane was on the right hand side we’d have the same issue just with right hand turns instead.

    • ChefJoe says:

      I believe the reason it wound up on the left is because the buses wanted to have their lane/dropoffs on the right and avoid weaving through bicyclists to do so. Having both bus stops and bike lanes on the right hand side is tricky, especially if you have a lot of bus traffic/people waiting at those stops.

  8. Alex Wakeman Rouse says:

    I hope that SDOT changes its plans to preserve the on-street parking planned for the 2nd Ave project. Downtown Seattle has an abundance of parking (very rarely have I seen any of the dozens of underground parking lots full) so I don’t understand why SDOT is planning to keep it. Yes, people fight tooth and nail for their parking, but I at least elect leaders to make tough decisions that are best for everyone. (I’m a native Seattleite so I do know this doesn’t happen very much.) Without a row of parked cars, bicyclists are so much more visible to motorists.

    • SC says:

      Agree whole-heartedly with this comment. My one big crash occurred on 2nd Ave when a pedestrian (ok, a tweaker) stepped into the lane from between some parked cars between Pike and Pine. I didn’t see her at all and we collided. I ended up with a broken collarbone; she fled the scene before the ambulance came.

      That accident has left me hyper-aware of not only pedestrians crossing in the middle of the block, but also of cars that look parked but are wanting to pull into the traffic lane…without looking for bikes.

      Ugh. A very sad situation, my condolences to the cyclist and their family.

    • Brian h. says:

      So write in in support when you hear about proposals that affect parking. Sdot does a lot to manage parking and/or remove it for higher uses. I am sure they get plenty of grief for all of it.

  9. SGG says:

    My deepest sympathy for the surviving family and loved ones of the victim. Also for the truck driver as well.

    When the city designs something to be unsafe, BY DESIGN, then unfortunately it seems like it’s only a matter of time before something bad happens. Something that I find to be very sad about this and other similar incidents in this city is that when those of us with a deep understanding of the location in question speak up at opportunities to do so, we are often told that the data doesn’t bear out our concerns. In this case, as with East Marginal last year, these are both places where the public had been vocal about the location for years, but apparently the “data” didn’t support the claim, therefore nothing gets done. We need to find a better method of planning than waiting for tragedy to strike to provide supporting “data” for leaders who are otherwise unwilling to move forward with safety improvements that would likely prevent tragedies like this from occurring in the first place.

  10. Sean says:

    Can someone tell me why the protect lane doesn’t go all the way down 2nd Ave Ext to Jackson St?

    • Patrick says:

      Seconded. They do god’s work, but the part of 2nd in front of the Union Gospel Mission is always full of open doors and cars half parked in the bike lane.

      And 2nd Ave Ext/Jackson is downright dangerous turning left now that the streetcar tracks are in. 2nd is already intersecting at an angle, once you add the turn it gets dicey unless you’re cutting out to the outside lane. There needs to be some treatment to remove the second turn lane and provide a less oblique crossing of the tracks.

  11. Terri says:

    I have complained about that bike lane for years; I wrote to the former mayor on this. During rush hour, 3rd is busy with buses, and first doesn’t have much of a bike lane 2nd is what is left. Car drivers are not used to looking for cyclists on the left. The placement of that lane is/was a huge problem. I have had close calls and recently had a fellow cyclist yell at me as I slowed down at an intersection with a left turning SUV. Maybe that cyclist now knows why I slowed down. This is sad on so may levels, the loss of life and a preventable accident as well. My deepest sympathy to the friends and family of this person. This is just terrible. I am so sorry.

  12. lily says:

    Group ride tonight?

  13. Gordon Werner says:

    Can we name this new protected bike lane in this land’s memory? Or is that a crass thing to do?

  14. anthony says:

    The only way to make second ave safe is to kick the cars out. The new path will be a joke just like the last one.

    The only way to make it down Second is in the regular lanes. People in their cars are so distracted and their are so many different potential causes on the left that I still fathom the “bright” city planner who thought this was a good idea has NO brains, at all.

    First thing is kick any serious politician ass out of their car and onto a bike for six months, hell, make it permanent. This whole thing is a smoke and mirrors by the City, remember it will be Critical Mass that will eventually force the issue, not some clown getting payed by donations he/she solicits from the public so he/she can take a public job at our expense and do little to nothing.

    • Virchow says:

      Our former Mayor biked from Greenwood to downtown everyday and Councilman O’brien still does. Unfortunately opposition and inertia are probably bigger obstacles than lack of awareness among the city elites. Just stop by the Seattle Times comment section on any transit related issue, though I must say the vehemence has been muted on this latest tragedy (possibly because they opened the comments section late?)

      I think this tragedy calls for a closer look at how SDOT manages bike lanes/infrastructure. It seems that this was a known issue for some time but that the department lacks initiative or protocols to intervene in a timely fashion.

      It concerns me that when a Big Man/Woman in the city bureaucracy wants something done (like to keep the guerilla installed cherry bike lane under I-5 or to install the 2nd ave lane in 3 months), it gets done. But longer term competency remains in deficit (like making no headway on Bike Master Plan after its due date, or not resolving the dangers of 2nd ave sooner).

      This gap between being responsive to directives from on high and daily competence suggests institutional weakness somewhere at SDOT. I think these deaths merit an audit and suggestions for reform.

  15. LWC says:

    Did SDOT remove a green lane here in preparation for the construction?
    Compare photos of the road today to this streetview image: http://goo.gl/uwJXoS

    • Brock Howell says:

      LWC, I think the green paint may have been removed in years past. I don’t recall. Regardless, as part of this project, SDOT will be putting down brighter green paint that is easier to see.

  16. Peri Hartman says:

    This is gut wrenching terrible. I feel so sad for the family and friends who now will suffer.

  17. Don Brubeck says:

    This is a terrible tragedy, with improvement so close. Sadness, and condolences to the family and loved ones of the victim on 2nd Avenue.

    I have already read a letter to the Mayor that demands that all spending on bike infrastructure be stopped because bike riding is so dangerous. But yesterday, in addition to a man 53 year old man riding a bike o the shoulder being struck by a texting pickup truck driver, a driver in an SUV plowed into a hair salon in Columbia City, injuring three people in the salon and a family of three in the restaurant next door, and may have damaged the building beyond repair. Could a cyclist cause that kind of mayhem? Is riding a bike dangerous? Is eating is a restaurant dangerous? Is getting a haircut and style dangerous? NO! Driving motor vehicles is dangerous. Reining in bikes (or eating in restaurants or going to hair salons) will not improve public safety. It is lawless, fast, inattentive and drunk driving that needs reining in, and we need protection from it.

  18. rodger says:

    I work outside at 2nd & University in the early morning and commute to work by bike. Seeing the dear woman after her collision.
    Dual lights seem necessary for all lanes on the left side of the street. Drivers should be used to bicycles on their right. Their field of vision takes a wider view around their car from that vantage.
    I ride 2nd 5 days a week and did not know that cars were supposed to merge into the bike lane-fancy!

    • jay says:

      If you ride 5 days a week, perhaps you don’t drive?
      The Washington Driver Guide says: (emphasis added)

      “Turn from the lane that is closest to the direction you want to go and turn into the lane closest to the one you came from.”
      and
      “Bicycle lanes are marked with solid white lines. You must yield to bicycles in a bicycle lane. Do not drive in a bicycle lane except when making a turn, entering or leaving an alley, private road or driveway, or when you need to cross the bicycle lane to park near the curb. Do not park in a bicycle lane.

      • Peri Hartman says:

        Yep, but I think very few drivers are aware of this rule. Perhaps it would help if SDOT painted a dashed line for the bike lane for the last 50 yards (or whatever appropriate distance). That would be a clue to the motor vehicle driver and the cyclist.

        Every intersection where vehicles can turn has this hazard. It’s just more likely an accident will occur on 2nd because of the downhill and the high volume of traffic.

        A similar fatality happened a few years ago on Eastlake. Exactly the same scenario.

      • Josh says:

        MUTCD says that bike lanes should have dotted lines for the last 50 – 200 feet before intersections with bus stops or significant right-turn traffic. This is to make it clear that through cyclists may merge out of the bike lane, that right-turning motorists are required to merge right into the bike lane before making a right turn, and that a bus making a curb stop must safely merge through the bike lane before arriving at the stop.

        SDOT routinely fails to follow this, plenty of bike lanes are striped solid all the way to the intersection, increasing the risk of right-hook collisions by discouraging people from merging into or out of the bike lane before the intersection.

      • Peri Hartman says:

        Yes, my take is SDOT is partly guilty for causing this accident. It’s very misleading to auto drivers when they think they have to turn across the bike lane.

  19. Bobby says:

    This really hits home. I just cycled this route yesterday from the retail district down to the King street station. Totally hits harder when I realize it easily could have been me.

  20. steve says:

    I bike 2nd avenue every day, and have for the last 4 years. I think the left-lane problem is made 10x more dangerous by the fact that it’s downhill. It’s easy just to start bombing that hill… and next thing you know you’re going 20, 30mph, and we all forget just how hard it is to stop on a bike. Bikes stop in something like 3x the distance of a car at a similar speed. I have had several close calls as a result… and thankfully nothing more.

    This is all just to say, I will never let myself go fast down that hill again. Unfortunately, this is not the way to learn that lesson. It’s a very sad day for our community. Thoughts to all involved… what an unfortunate tragedy.

    • marc e. says:

      I agree 100%. No amount of engineering will ever provide the same amount of safety we can provide ourselves by riding smart and at moderate speeds, especially in heavy traffic. This route is just like lower QA Ave to Denny…an attractive death trap for cyclists. Striped bike lane, lots of parked cars and entering/exiting vehicles….and a grade that encourages speed. Be safe everyone and remember you are your own insurance policy on the streets!

    • JB says:

      Close-to-the-curb bike lanes are worse than useless on any downhill grade or where cyclists could be expected to be over about 10 mph. There is simply no safe way to ride that close to the curb at any significant speed; but these bullshit bike lanes do send a message that cyclists are obligated to squeeze into that space, and motorists are entitled to general travel lanes that are free of cyclists, and that is a dangerous message indeed. This is not just 2nd Avenue, SDOT needs to get rid of all these fucking unsafe downhill bike lanes, Pine Street and Fremont Avenue come readily to mind. Take the extra space and put it on the uphill side, where at 5 mph you can actually avoid doors and turning vehicles. The vocal minority of angry agro drivers are just going to have to get used to the fact that every street in the city is not a 60 mph highway, and for the sake of keeping people ALIVE they are just going to have to tap their brakes and look at a cyclist in front of them going 15 or 20 mph. Poor babies.

      On a related note, I sure would like a bicycle with a rear brake light that automatically turns on like car brake lights do – does anyone know if such a thing exists?

      Rest in peace, Sher Kung.

      • bill says:

        Brake lights: There are two options I know of. The Busch & Muller Toplight Line Brake Plus senses decreasing frequency from the dyno hub and brightens (dyno hubs are AC). The Magnic rear light brightens if it is attached to a rear brake shoe. When the light moves closer to the rim its tiny dyno spins faster.

        I’ve seen both in action and neither is very impressive. The increase in brightness is not enough, particularly in traffic. Plus no one expects a bicycle to have a brake light, so it goes unnoticed.

      • Peri Hartman says:

        Totally agree. The new bike lane eastbound on Roy in Uptown is the same. Hugs the curb. Fortunately the traffic is light so the chance of an accident is much lower than, say, Pine. But I’ve seen numerous motorists pull up to a cross street intersection and stop after they have driven into the bike lane. I don’t think there’s even a stripe showing where they should stop.

        The bike lane is down hill, so if anyone actually rides in it, I hope they are aware of these dangerous intersections.

      • Orv says:

        I think on 2nd people use the bike lane *because* they can move faster than the cars, which are stop-and-go during rush hour. At least, that seemed like the only reason for it to exist when I was using it. But of course once you’re moving faster than traffic, you’re in danger from drivers who really don’t expect fast non-automotive traffic.

      • JB says:

        Yes, good point … I was picturing that both bike and truck were going pretty fast, or else she could have maneuvered to avoid the truck. It would be interesting to know the actual congestion conditions and truck speed at the time of the accident. I do feel that for the relatively minuscule amount of road space they consume, cyclists deserve something of an express ride through downtown congestion, and it would be disappointing to lose that capability. I guess the better solution is much greater separation between bikes and cars, especially in flat/downhill zones where cyclists are traveling fast. If I’m not mistaken, the preferred design solution is to have the bike lane cutting through a corner bulb-out that slows turning vehicles and puts them in a more perpendicular position, with a better view of the bike lane they are about to cross. Saying that we need improved education and enforcement seems like a cop-out of the hard choices and prioritization of money and public space for cycling infrastructure that are desperately needed to prevent more senseless tragedies like this. Drivers should be “educated” by proper street design, not by more near misses and innocent blood.

  21. mike j says:

    Seconding what steve said, I bike over Dexter hill and down 2nd everyday for years. The accidents are generally in the same places, downhill, I did not look at the accident maps, but I am sure the data bears that out. I ride my brakes all the way down, I burn through rims and brake pads and a few minutes, small price to pay. I just assume drivers do not see me. I am not saying stopping distance was a factor in this accident.

  22. Alkibkr says:

    Not saying that it has anything to do with this horrible tragedy, but + 1 on the comments about high speeds going down hills where there are intersections. I have ridden with others who do this and I usually give them a lecture about it when I catch up with them at the bottom of the hill. Be safe, fellow riders, and help each other to ride safely.

    • Erik B says:

      I agree that it probably makes sense, particularly while riding in that crazy lane, to ride slowly but I am not sure it is not your role to “lecture” people on the road.

      • Alkibkr says:

        I consider it my duty. These are my friends and I hope they would also be a true friend and do the same for me if they saw me pull an unsafe maneuver. As to doing it to strangers? It would be doing them a service, too. But not socially acceptable, I agree. It’s about staying alive, what trumps that?

    • Erik says:

      Sorry I misread it amd thought you were saying that to strangers. I guess it all depends on you say it. Keep being safe!

  23. Pingback: Death of Seattle bicyclist brings sadness, raises questions » Biking Bis

  24. Ashok says:

    Bike lanes are a death sentence for novice cyclists. They offer a sense of security that no reality. I hope the separate paths are an improvement, but I have trouble understanding what happens at intersections. How do cars avoid turning left into OTHER CARS? The other car occupies THE WHOLE LANE. I know how unappealing that is, particularly to beginning cyclists who dont’ want conflict with motorists and are intimidated by the killing power of the car. Sill, everyone has a right to the roads, horns be damned.

    I am a little ashamed that I tell people to ride down second. It’s actually my favorite south-bound path through the city, because I travel faster than the cars, the lights change in sequence, and it’s all down hill. I don’t touch the stupid bike lane. However, I should know better than to suggest this madness to anyone else. I am so sorry for this poor lady’s needless death.

    Maybe the new traffic signals will help. They sound like a good idea. Perhaps if cars can’t turn left nor right off second without waiting, they will not be able to turn into cyclists using the bike lane. I’m sure they’ll hate us for taking away their “rights” regardless.

    • Todd Haley says:

      I always use the lane to the left of the bus lane and have never had any problems at all. I wonder how the new bike facility will work. How does one transition to making a right turn off of 2nd? Is there going to be a way to merge out of the bike lane and over to the right, or is it going to be expected that you cross at cross walk when you want to make a right turn. Currently, no one swears or honks or anything when I use the lane next to the bus lane, but I wonder what will happen when the new, more visible facility is installed. Will drivers feel like I should be required to use it?

      • Peri Hartman says:

        I wonder the same. I think it will depend on how fast you want to go. If you are like me and want to go fast, I think it will be safer to be in the MV lane. I suspect the bike lanes will not be very practical over about 15mph.

        That said, there are plenty of people who will be happy with 15mph and currently won’t dare riding through downtown.

  25. Pingback: Mother killed on 2nd Ave was attorney who helped bring down Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell | Seattle Bike Blog

  26. Julian says:

    Add 24th Ave in Ballard to the list of deadly downhill bike lanes in the door zone, as in my understanding it was partly to blame for Kevin Black’s death (http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Settlement-reached-in-Ballard-cyclist-crash-that-1403040.php).

    I work in a clinic on Roosevelt below 45th, next to another door zone downhill on an arterial, with ridiculous amounts of parking, bus, shuttle, and clinic drop-off activity. Another death waiting to happen.

    It isn’t enough to move beyond such stupid infrastructure in the new planning era of greenways and protected lanes. SDOT needs to get rid of the rest of the toxic doorzone downhill bike lanes from the previous era.

    Take the lane going downhill on an arterial, or find a neighboring calmer street.

  27. Angelo Dolce says:

    Is use of the bike lanes legally required, or enforced by aggressive motorists and police even if it is not?

    The most annoying bike lanes I see on the East Coast are the bike lanes to the right of the RTOL lanes onto I-76 in Philadelphia. Motorists turning right on to the Interstate are routed to the left of bicyclists prohibited from making the right turn.

    I’ve ignored the bike lanes and used the regular lanes; when I asked other bicyclists about the right of way here, the reply was: “You have to be really careful, it’s not clear.”

    Police have told me the bike lanes are optional and there is never a legal requirement for bicyclists to use them – do motorists permit this in Seattle?

    • Chief says:

      I’ve rarely if ever had an issue with motorists having a problem with my taking the lane. The only people who I’ve really had any issue with are the cabbies, and even then it’s been a couple of years. I take the lane on many streets downtown, proceed at the pace of traffic and signal intent. I am a huge advocate of taking the full lane, even more so in light of this horrible tragedy.

    • Josh says:

      Legally, bike lanes in Washington are always optional, unlike Oregon or California where bike lanes can be mandatory if they meet certain regulations.

      Some police don’t know this or don’t care. Many motorists are under the impression that bike lanes are mandatory. But few motorists will do anything more than honk.

      I certainly don’t let an ignorant minority of drivers push me into any of Seattle’s substandard bike lanes, and riding in travel lanes is much less stressful than trying to avoid the hazards engineered into these lanes.

  28. Wes says:

    Bikes and cars simply do not mix. There will never be a “safe” bike lane without creating entirely separate infrastructure (for example, like Copenhagen). Please do not drink the Kool-aid that the city can educate all motorists to obey all of the rules, yield to bikes, etc. All bikers should assume that car to their immediate right is going to turn left and the biker should take proper precautions.

  29. Trebor says:

    Horrible news. I’ve biked down 2nd many times and even crashed into a car turning into a parking lot about a block from where the accident occurred. Second is the fastest way to get through the city but also the scariest. My opinion of bike lanes is mixed but on this street I get out into the main lane. I also plead with all cyclists…NEVER pass vehicles on the side where they can turn into you…driveways, streets, whatever. Don’t trust turn signals, don’t trust no turn signals, and above don’t think bike lanes offer you any safety. My condolences to the family. Be safe.

  30. Pingback: Perkins Coie attorney killed in Friday bicycle-truck crash helped overturn Don’t Ask Don’t Tell | Arrington Law Firm Blog

  31. Lenny Larson says:

    The LGBT Community and everyone has lost a great defender of Civil Rights. We are so lucky to be the benefactors of the work she has already done . As a member of the ACLU, we must not let down our guard in defending our civil rights in any venue of bigoted groups or individuals. Ms. Kung will indeed rest in peace for the good she has accomplished. L L

  32. Pingback: Seattle lawyer killed in 2nd Ave bike crash was former Hill resident | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

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