Neighbors will host memorial walk Sunday for man killed walking across Capitol Hill street

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-9-57-48-amMax Richards was killed while walking his dog across busy Belmont Ave E at Bellevue Pl E September 21, and his death has shaken neighbors.

Capitol Hill Seattle reports that 79-year-old Richards and his dog Pink were crossing when a woman in her 40s struck him:

As the 79-year-old and his dog walked across Belmont Ave E near Bellevue Place E, a vehicle struck Richards. He died later that evening from head injuries sustained in the collision. Pink, the dog, was unharmed. An officer who responded to the scene later told Richards’ wife Pink refused to leave the man’s side until he was taken to the hospital.

“It was a beautiful fall morning, I bet he just felt on top of the world,” his wife of 20 years Marilyn Black told CHS.

Our deepest condolences to her and the rest of his loved ones.

Neighbors are taking action following his tragic death. One petition calls on the city to make walking safety improvements to the steep, busy street. Another specifically calls on Mayor Ed Murray and the City Council to add $3 million to the budget specifically to fund for spot improvements at known danger spots like this one.

The efforts are getting traction at City Hall. Councilmember Kshama Sawant said her office is pressing SDOT for solutions:

And Sunday, you can join neighbors and Central Seattle Greenways for a memorial walk in Richards’ honor. Meet at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Belmont Ave E and Bellevue Pl E. The walk will be followed by a meeting to discuss possible solutions.

More details from the event page:

Max Richards was killed crossing at Bellevue and Belmont on Wednesday morning, September 21. Max was walking his dog in a legal crossing. We want to make sure this crossing and every crossing in Capitol Hill is safe for people who walk.

We will gather at the place where Max was killed. We’ll stop and remember Max, then walk to Cal Anderson Park to discuss ideas for how we can make streets better for walking on Capitol Hill. Along the way you can get to know your neighbors and hear about their stories about the difficulty of walking around Capitol Hill.

Bring your dog & honor Max!

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2 Responses to Neighbors will host memorial walk Sunday for man killed walking across Capitol Hill street

  1. bidab says:

    This is so sad and infuriating.

    Most road users are totally ignorant as to what a “crosswalk” is in the state of Washington. A crosswalk is any zone designated for pedestrians to cross the street, and they exist at every intersection, unless signage indicates otherwise. White paint on the asphalt does not constitute a crosswalk (that’s a “marked crosswalk”) — any intersection inherently has crosswalks, whether or not they’re painted, and whether or not the street is an arterial.

    When there’s no traffic light, a pedestrian has the right to use a marked or unmarked crosswalk at any time, and have traffic stop for them, so long as they don’t suddenly jump out in front of traffic.

    From my experience using roads in Seattle, almost no one is aware of this state law. People seem to assume that, if they don’t have a stop sign or traffic light, they don’t have to stop for anybody. Drivers and cyclists alike blow through unmarked crosswalks when pedestrians are using them or waiting to cross.

    The problem is made worse by the way the city stripes arterials, with the center stripe often continuing through the intersection. It implies that arterial traffic has a right to ignore pedestrians.

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