Person biking critically injured in collision at 65th and Ravenna Blvd- UPDATED

A 48-year-old man biking in Ravenna was critically injured in a collision with someone driving a King County Metro VanPool vehicle this morning on NE 65th Street near Ravenna Boulevard.

Though few details have been released, Seattle Police say the person biking and a person driving the van collided shortly before 7 a.m.

KIRO TV photos from the scene show a red King County Metro VanPool vehicle with a broken windshield stopped in the eastbound lane a half block east of Ravenna Blvd. The damaged bicycle was pictured near a crosswalk at Ravenna Blvd.

The man injured was transported to the hospital, but we currently have no information about his condition. We are hoping for the best and will update when we learn more. (UPDATE 12:30PM: Seattle Fire says the patient was a male who was transported to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. I have updated the story and headline to reflect this.).

SPD’s traffic collision investigators taped off the area to conduct an investigation. A drug recognition expert was on the scene, as is typical for serious collision investigations. SPD towed the van from the scene.

The collision occurred just a few blocks from the intersection of NE 65th St and 15th Ave NE where Andy Hulslander was killed last summer while biking home from work.

UPDATE 11:30 AM: Below is the statement from SPD on the collision. Still no word yet on the person’s condition:

A 48-year-old bicyclist was seriously injured Tuesday in a collision with a van in the Ravenna neighborhood.

Witnesses called 911 just after 7 am Tuesday and reported a collision between a red Metro Van Pool vehicle and the cyclist. Both were headed eastbound on NE 65th St. at NE Ravenna Blvd.

The cyclist sustained serious injuries and was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment. No one in the van was injured.

Traffic Collision investigators responded to the scene and spoke with witnesses and collected evidence.  A SPD drug recognition expert interviewed the driver of the van and found no signs of impairment.

Detectives continue to investigate the case to determine the circumstances and cause of the collision.

King County Metro’s VanPool program is designed to help groups of five people or more share rides to work together. Vans are driven by members of the group, not by Metro employees. VanPool drivers can also use the vans for personal errands.

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39 Responses to Person biking critically injured in collision at 65th and Ravenna Blvd- UPDATED

  1. Steve says:

    Ugh…that 65th is a terrible stroad.

    Just yesterday I almost got rear ended biking eastbound on 65th. A truck changed lanes at 30+ mph into the right lane to get around left turning traffic at Ravenna and somehow managed to hit the brakes in time. A scene I regularly see.

    I also regularly see children (middle – high school) biking to school eastbound on 65th at this same time of day, how the city has let this road stay so dangerous is unacceptable.

  2. Anne says:

    Thanks for the information, Tom. Gut wrenching.
    This is my kid’s bike route to school. We passed the scene on our way to school this morning. Again, gut wrenching. At least my kid is old enough to see and hear about hard truths…He’s grown up a lot since our first ghost bike sighting back in 2008. https://carfreedays.com/2008/03/19/life-lessons-from-a-preschooler/

    The bigger problem? I see near-misses here EVERY day. Unfortunately, there are no stats for near misses. SDOT and the city will only “study” problem streets and intersections if someone dies. Yet 65th where cyclist died last summer has not been studied nor fixed…..yet.

  3. Todd says:

    Horrible. It’s a reminder that there are still plenty of sections around town to avoid.

  4. Davepar says:

    I drive and ride through this area a few times per week. It is desperately in need of traffic calming and bike infrastructure. The pseudo-two-lane nature of 65th encourages people to pass on the right where bikes are traveling. The freeway overhead makes the road dark. It’s a high traffic area where bikes need some protection from drivers in a hurry to get on/off the freeway.

  5. M.J. says:

    I passed by the scene at ~7:10. Terrible and gut-wrenching as Anne has said. I’m sad and horrified that I saw this man laying in the street. My thoughts are with him.

    This section of roadway is horrible and unsafe from every angle. Like others, I have seen people on foot and bike nearly hit here by 1) drivers turning left and 2) other drivers swerving right to get around them. Just last week, I screamed in my car as a boy of about 8 was almost hit right in front of me as he crossed the Ravenna at 65th, probably walking home from school. I was at the red light, and a car was turning left to get to the highway. This intersection is engineered for conflict. Does SDOT know the danger to kids, grandparents, runners, parents with strollers, people going to the bus stops? I challenge our elected officials and SDOT staff to walk and bike through 65th and Ravenna all day long and see how it feels.

    The new stop signs to the south have been helpful for traffic calming — no more game of “can I beat the driver coming off the highway?” — but more needs to be done. With Light Rail on the way, this area is a future hub of non-motorized traffic. It needs to be fixed.

    • Advocado says:

      Place the blame with stalling politicians and the neighborhood associations that opposed a protected bike lane on 65th. SDOT had a plan to fix the street. Politics prevented them from saving this man.

  6. Josh says:

    A poster over on Reddit notes:

    I live right near this intersection and saw this after it happened on my bus. This is the 5th time ive seen a bike accident in 2 months at that intersection. There really should be some traffic studies of the light priority at this intersection for this problem.

    5 collisions in 2 months? Surely that’s enough to warrant further study, assuming SPD is recording them properly and SDOT bothers tracking real-world data on safety…

  7. RTK says:

    I was out this weekend east of here on 65th with my kids and mentioned to my wife what a mess it is. It has been bad for quite some time but with increased traffic seems worse. It was really jugged up on Saturday and everywhere there was a gap people would immediately zip over to the pseudo lane, pass as many people as they could, and then jam back in. I was at the meeting at the Ravenna – Eckstein community center a few years back and I am still dismayed over that meeting. Fear mongering whipped up by a couple Ravenna businesses won out. Please don’t support your local Ravenna wine merchant. 75th now flows way better than 65th after the re-channeling. I am not sure of the actual travel times, but the stupid driving ratio is way down and it is a much more peaceful place to be. It needs to be re-channeled from Tangletown all the way over the 40th. Enough blood on the hands of local businesses that are afraid of the future.

    • Andres Salomon says:

      At this point, even Ravenna businesses realize that NE 65th needs a road diet. There will be arguments about whether or not a bike lane is acceptable (and where), but a 4-to-3 lane road diet conversion would find plenty of local business support.

      • RTK says:

        Not sure which businesses you have in mind, but the Ravenna-Bryant Community Council previously came out in opposition, and I have seen no hint that they plan to backtrack from that position. The RNA has not made any statement in regards to being in favor of re-channelizing 65th.

        I have no doubt at least one business will provide vocal opposition and try to get people stirred up under the guise of “People for a Concerned Ravenna” or similar cover. That meeting was one for the ages. Not sure if there is a copy of the video out there somewhere in the public domain.

      • Andres Salomon says:

        I have presented a road diet idea to RBCA, and only one board member actively opposed it. The RBCA Mobility Assessment Task Force just did a survey which identified speeding and crossing 65th as the biggest concern that people have. The conversation about a road diet will be very different than the previous conversation about a “cycletrack”.
        http://www.ravennabryant.org/2016/05/speeding-cars-a-common-complaint-among-ravenna-bryant-walkers-bikers-and-drivers/

        I’m on the RNA’s Transportation Committee. I suspect they would support it.

      • Andy says:

        Seconding all this.

        A road diet would be wonderful through here, but a cycletrack would be even less safe than what we have now.

      • Inga Manskopf says:

        A representative from SDOT will participate in the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association’s annual meeting focusing on HALA next week. Though the meeting is largely to focus on land use, any time changes are discussed in public meetings mobility-related concerns are brought up, including bike safety infrastructure. The meeting is Tuesday, May 17, 6:30-8:30PM at Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center.

        With the Roosevelt light rail station to open in 5 years, with the City’s focus on transit-oriented development, and with a significant amount of Ravenna-Bryant neighbors saying that they plan to access the light rail station by bike, NE 65th Street is very much in need of safety improvements. This second serious bike collision within one year is a terrible reminder that improvements are past due.

    • RTK says:

      I still don’t see a single thing from either of these organizations or local businesses advocating for re-channeling 65th.

      Saying you think a sub-committee of one of these organizations would support it is a long way from actively trying to get change on this street. Hint, mention parking might be removed and see what responses you get back.

      • Josh says:

        A 4-to-3 road diet doesn’t require removing any parking, and it eliminates the second-lane threat at crosswalks, the aggressive lane-changing from behind left-turning drivers, and the great majority of serious speeding.

        Doing a 4-to-3 road diet plus adding a cycletrack would have required significantly more right of way than the 4-lane configuration, so that would have required parking removal. But a road diet by itself does not.

      • Andres Salomon says:

        Yep. Also, SDOT can look at parking utilization and determine whether a 4-to-3 road diet should have parking or a bike lane. For example, I did parking counts on NE 65th east of 25th Ave. Parking is very much underutilized there ( https://twitter.com/NEGreenways/status/562799348963352576 ). Removing parking and doing a painted bike lane there is a no-brainer, as long as you’re restriping anyways. It’s also narrow (36ft), so some creative designs will be needed, but it’s still very much doable.

      • RTK says:

        Yeah, you are right a straight 4 for 3 would not. The 4 for 3 that was done on 75th did remove significant parking as it included bike lanes, but not a cycle track.

      • Josh says:

        While I wouldn’t promote Rainier as an example of a safe street, Dongho Chang recently reported that the 4-to-3 diet without bike lanes reduced people driving 40+ mph by 95%, cut collisions 14%, injuries 31%, ped/bike collisions by 40%. (All preliminary, of course, but what a huge change for a street that’s far worse than 65th!)

      • RTK says:

        Rainer south of Seattle went 4 to 3 plus bike lanes long ago, and saw great improvements by the numbers. That is a very wide road so it was easy to fit everything in. The statistics from that change were used to help support the early re-channelizing efforts in Seattle. Nickerson Street was one example of this, where the push back over the re-channelizing efforts was loud.

        In the late 80s and early 90s my daily commute took me along Rainier south of the city limits. I only occasionally ride through there now but the difference is amazing.

      • Josh says:

        Dongho was referring to the 4-to-3 without bike lanes on the Seattle portion of Rainier, changes made less than a year ago, so the numbers are still considered preliminary. But if you’ve driven or biked that part of Rainier since the road diet, the difference is amazing. Still not a route I’d want to ride with young children, but a route I’d feel safe biking on as an experienced adult.

        http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/rainieraves.htm

  8. William says:

    I hope this cyclist is doing okay. NE 65th Street is incredibly dangerous and at times in turns into a mini NASCAR.

    The residents of Seattle District 4 need to encourage Councilmember Rob Johnson to show some leadership and follow through on his statements of last summer about the need to fix NE 65th St
    https://www.cascade.org/blog/2015/07/sdot-make-ne-65th-street-safe-now

    • RTK says:

      I just sent a message to Rob. That is a powerful statement he made in the the referenced posting, I’d like to see him follow through.

    • anne says:

      These are some really good comments. People who walk and ride bikes and take buses (which requires walking and crossing streets) know that our streets aren’t safe. William’s point about 65th and NASCAR is spot on. These are all many-year-old-known-issues. The Ravenna Eckstein meeting that RTK referenced was at least 3 years ago. What’s been DONE since then? A lot of talk, little action.

      We, as citizens, need to do more than just comment on a blog. I’m not interested in sitting in meetings and talking amongst ourselves about these issues either.

      We all know what the issues are. So do our leaders. Still, they need to hear from us. Since district elections gave us a representative, we can get our concerns directly to him. Please call Rob Johnson, if he’s your rep, or better, stop in his office on the Ave and talk to him. An email is fine, but in person sends a stronger message….

      I’m sick of press conferences and mayoral photo ops about #visionzero. That’s a bunch of political BS. Enough talk and photos and promises of a better future. We need action. What is this city DOING about our safety?
      (Signed, Angry mom)

  9. ronp says:

    65th needs a redesign for bike and pedestian safety NOW, it is even scary to drive it given the often two lane driving that occurs.

    The light rail station will be opening in a few years and even more biking will happen then.

  10. H Yates says:

    Here’s a fact I am not seeing in comments. I have a 22y son who cycle commutes in this area. I commute from the ID to U District. And EVERY morning we google if there has been a vehicle crashing into a cyclist (ok, I check every day, he checks too often).

    I’m sad to say I texted him “Not me” before I knew the details of the woman killed on 2nd Ave last year. I also about died when the photos showed a bike like my son’s last year reported in a morning crash (wasn’t my son). When the idiot media reported last May a cyclist late 40 – 50 death with no details of sex, type of bike, I was answering “not me” all morning.

    Why is cycling in Seattle this dangerous?

    Thank you for this blog. The news in Seattle is so fauxed we check here for facts. But I keep wondering why can’t more facts be reported?

    And can anyone explain to me how a life is worth ONLY 6.5y — the sentence given to the drunk driver who murdered the cyclists in that area?

    I

  11. Dana says:

    No mention on the Vanpool drivers? When riding, almost every Vanpool van is being driven fast and recklessly. These people get into a car that is not their own and treat it like a racecar.

    • Andres Salomon says:

      I haven’t seen them act any worse than the majority of racecar drivers (ie, typical drivers) out there. Certainly the guy who drives my wife’s vanpool seems to drive safer than the jerk (in a normal car) I saw yesterday who thought The Ave was a good place to speed.

  12. Tim F says:

    This route is the most direct and flat connection from my neighborhood to Roosevelt, UW, Green Lake, SLU, Downtown, etc. The new bike lanes on Roosevelt and Link should make it even more appealing as a bike route. One of my first rides with my daughter was to Cafe Vaios on 65th for Spoke ‘n Food (we had to walk on the 65th sidewalk even for a block or two). While the Burke-Gilman trail is in the general vicinity if you zoom way out on the map, people on bikes make the same calculations that people in cars do. We regularly take direct, easy to find routes that go to places we want to go (shopping, restaurants, libraries, work, movies, etc.). So the bikes are there and they will stay there in spite of the significant risks. Making a street safer for cycling has been repeatedly shown to make driving to and through a neighborhood safer. Fewer driving lanes are easier to cross for people walking. Welcoming streets become a destination for cyclists. I watched 34th Street and Stone way transform into a vibrant neighborhood in the years after the road diet there. It could have just remained a bypass for Fremont and Wallingford. The other alternative for areas like 65th is to remain a deadly on-ramp while people take their business to walkable, bike-able areas. I personally now run errands in Lake City, Downtown and Northgate rather than along Eastlake, Roosevelt, 65th because I had to switch to transit for most of my commute for safety reasons. People who are dodging cars don’t tend to slow down and explore a neighborhood.

    My coworkers and neighbors ride through here daily. It’s not easy to find a safe route, and to a large extent there are none, even for people with plenty of cycling experience. It’s a fact nobody can ignore anymore and the design of these roads endangers people in cars and on foot as much as those of us who try to bike there.

    • RTK says:

      Good comment on Stone Way. I had not associated the recent growth on the southern end of Stone Way to the re-channelizing. Now that you mention it I will use this as a specific example when talking to people about what can happen to neighborhoods when the roads are calmed.

  13. tracyanna says:

    friends…are there any updates on this man? i can’t stop thinking about him…his family…his friends.

    • Emmy says:

      He’s still in the ICU. He’s a great person. Married with at least 2 kids.

      • DBA says:

        Serious head injury and broken back in 2 places. He needs our prayers and lots of positive thoughts. Cat 2 rider- very experienced rider. Great man with wonderful family.

  14. Doug Bostrom says:

    “Parking trumps all” is insane if one thinks about cost-benefit for just a moment.

    Let’s say that over the course of a day a parking spot is occupied by 12 different vehicles. In trade for that, literally hundreds of people are at minimum inconvenienced, with many all too often exposed to bodily harm. Is the tradeoff worth it? In the case of a turn lane being sacrificed for a parking spot and consequently leading to stalls and desperate driver behavior, is stealing so much time from so many people a good idea? Does it make sense? Obviously not.

  15. Pingback: Actions planned before Tuesday City Council meeting on slashed bike plan | Seattle Bike Blog

  16. Andres Salomon says:

    Sigh, SPD.

    170850,219232,219532,Intersection,,0, ,,0,,05/10/2016 07:00:00 AM +0000,5/10/2016,1,24803,At Intersection (intersection related),,RAVENNA AVE NE AND NE 65TH ST,0,0,,2,3767455,,51,PEDALCYCLIST STRUCK MOTOR VEHICLE FRONT END AT ANGLE,,12460,0,2b,Serious Injury Collision,, ,,Unmatched,,0,,0,”(47.67577608600004, -122.30381317199999)”,0,0,N,

    Ravenna Blvd & NE 65th is west of I-5. Ravenna Ave & NE 65th is east of I-5, a mile away. This is the data SDOT uses to determine which streets to focus safety efforts on, and they can’t be bothered to get the correct locations listed!

    This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed how incorrect SDOT’s data is, btw. A collision that I witnessed at 21th Ave NE & NE 65th ended up in SPD’s data as being at 21st Ave NW & NW 65th.

  17. Andres Salomon says:

    On Thurs, June 16th at 8am, we’re hosting a community walk to protest the city’s lack of action on NE 65th. I’d love to get people who’ve been affected by traffic violence on NE 65th to speak. If someone here has been injured, or have had friends/family injured due to a collision on NE 65th and is interested in speaking at the event, please contact me: andres.salomon@seattlegreenways.org

  18. Pingback: Neighbors march for a safer NE 65th Street | Seattle Bike Blog

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