SPD: Interbay collision critically injures man biking Monday evening

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Approximate location of the collision. Image via Google Street View.

A man in his 50s was critically injured Monday evening when he and a man driving a Chevy Blazer collided in Interbay.

We send him and his loved ones our best wishes.

Seattle Police are investigating, and have not yet said how the collision on Elliott Ave W near the W Galer Street Flyover bridge occurred.

A post to the department’s Blotter says the man biking was headed southbound and the man driving was headed northbound. Standard evaluation found the man driving was not impaired.

While it is not clear where the injured man was trying to go, the Galer overpass is one of very few opportunities to cross the railroad tracks that separate Elliott and 15th Ave W from Magnolia and the Elliott Bay Trail. A photo posted by KIRO’s Peter Frerichs suggests the collision happened in the middle of the street near a southbound left turn lane for people accessing the Galer bridge. There are also RapidRide bus stops on both sides of the street.

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The street is very wide (seven lanes at the point of the collision) with fast traffic, but development in recent years is turning Interbay into more of a neighborhood with a wide variety of uses in addition to industry.

More details from the SPD Blotter:

Detectives from the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad (TCIS) are conducting an investigation following a collision between a Chevy Blazer and a bicyclist last night in the 1400 block of Elliott Avenue West.

At 5:30 pm Monday evening, a cyclist travelling southbound in the 1400 block of Elliott Avenue collided with a northbound Chevy Blazer, driven by an adult male.

The cyclist sustained life-threatening injuries in the crash and was transported to Harborview Medical Center by Seattle Fire medics.

TCIS detectives responded to the scene to investigate.  A DUI/Drug Recognition Expert officer evaluated the driver of the Blazer for any signs of impairment and determined the driver was not impaired.

This remains an active and on-going investigation.

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10 Responses to SPD: Interbay collision critically injures man biking Monday evening

  1. Katie S. says:

    I was inside the party supply store there when the collision occurred. I didn’t see it happen but did see the cyclist lying in the center of the road as EMS arrived. It did not look good. Will be thinking of him and wishing him a speedy and complete recovery.

  2. Phil says:

    I live close by. I would encourage people to use the Elliot Bay Trail on the waterfront rather than Elliot Ave. This major thoroughfare is not safe for cyclists.

    • Kirk says:

      I ride this route daily southbound in the morning in the BAT lane. I find it as safe as anywhere. I do tend to take the Elliott Bay Trail northbound in the evening.

  3. Alkibkr says:

    If I remember right, there is a switchback trail climb at this location, just NW of the flyover, next to the auto repair shop (Precision Motorworks). It ends up on the flyover sidewalk. I am not sure what route this poor person was trying to take, but the trail climb is a much safer alternative for southbound riders on 15th Ave trying to cross the tracks to the Elliott Bay Trail, than trying to left turn onto the general travel lanes of the flyover .

  4. Law Abider says:

    I remember seeing this as I came down the Galer St switchbacks, headed north, probably around 5:45. Couldn’t make out what the accident was, but it was definitely in the turn lane. Hope for a full recovery.

    “The street is very wide (seven lanes at the point of the collision) with fast traffic, but development in recent years is turning Interbay into more of a neighborhood with a wide variety of uses in addition to industry.”

    This quote goes to show how worthless the recent 30 MPH council decision was, without pledging enforcement. Interbay has been 30 MPH for two years now and there’s no sign of it becoming any safer.

    Also, Interbay as a neighborhood makes me laugh. Eastlake is already barely a neighborhood and is more a strip of businesses and residences along an arterial; Eastlake at least has a block or three on each side of the arterial. Interbay is literally just whatever happens to be on each side of the 7 lane arterial. It’s physically limited by the BNSF tracks and Queen Anne less than a block on either side.

    It’s going to take some radical new concept to turn it into a livable neighborhood. Light rail won’t quite do it. It’s currently walkable by the bare minimum of the definition (there’s sidewalks). It’s technically a bike route, by virtue of sharing the BAT lanes, but as Phil put it, you’d have to be crazy to want to bike it, rather than taking a short detour to a MUCH safer bike route. I’ve bike it a couple times outside of rush hour; I’m just not selfish nor crazy enough to want to bike the BAT lanes during rush hour.

    • Kirk says:

      I find the BAT lane o Elliott and 15th to be faster and more safe than the route through Interbay to the Elliott Bay Trail. How would using this lane be selfish? It’s clearly marked for bicycle use.

      • Law Abider says:

        When you cause buses full with 60 to 80 people to have to slow down, try to merge with gridlocked traffic and then get back over, that’s kinda selfish and dangerous to both the bus and the biker. It’s no different end result than when someone parks their car in the BAT lane during no parking times, although that example is illegal.

        Continue to use it if you feel it’s safer and faster, you’re just causing unneeded delay for hundreds of people. I think signing the BAT as ‘bicycles OK’ was a terrible mistake on SDOT’s part.

      • Terry says:

        I agree that this is the safest route south. I have a bus behind me maybe only 1 out of 10 commutes and typically pull over to let it pass me. More often than not, I am passing the buses. The exception is the express bus in the morning.

      • Kirk says:

        Terry is correct. I very rarely have a bus behind me, and when I do they easily merge into traffic and safely pass. It is much more common for me to be passing the local busses that make stops. Again, a safe merge into traffic and back in front of the bus.

        This myth that riding in the BAT lane delays “hundreds of people” is common amongst people that don’t ride bicycles there.

  5. Law Abider says:

    You are correct, I don’t ride the BAT lanes during rush hour. I tried it once, it was not a pleasant ride. If I find myself needing to go that route, I’ve typically made my way west towards the Elliot Bay Trail.

    I will say, that when I do take the bus, it’s an express down 15th, and we typically have to slow and veer around 2 to 3 bikes during the warm months. Add a few more packed express buses (I assume the local buses quickly fall behind) and you’re well into the hundreds of people delayed. If it’s a myth, then it’s “Myth Confirmed”. The perception of bus riders is definitely in the negative towards those few cyclists who choose to use the BATs.

    I don’t care a whole lot, since I don’t take the bus very often, but as a cyclist, it comes off as selfish.

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