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Reminder: Road Safety Summit tonight at Bike Works

I will be in Columbia City this evening helping to host a Road Safety Summit forum at Bike Works (at Rainier Ave and S Ferdinand).

The forum will get under way at 6 p.m., wrapping up around 8. We will have a lively discussion, and everyone’s ideas and notes will be sent to the city to inform the Road Safety Summit. After collecting comments, the city will hold a final meeting at City Hall at 6 p.m. December 12 to discuss what they heard and what action items have come out of the process.

If you can’t make it to the Bike Works forum, you have two other chances this week: November 15 at Northgate Community Center and November 21 at Southwest Community Center (both from 6-8 p.m.). You can also submit your thoughts online until November 23.

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The forum is a chance for people who use all modes of transportation in our city to get together and talk about how we can make our streets safer.

Bike Works is just down the street from the Columbia City light rail station:

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News of a scary, fiery car wreck on Lake City Way Sunday will certainly be fresh on our minds this evening. Two people died and several were injured in the collision in North Seattle in which an SUV violently struck a Hyundai from behind at a stop light.

Condolences to the everyone involved and the friends and family of those killed.

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2 responses to “Reminder: Road Safety Summit tonight at Bike Works”

  1. Doug Bostrom

    Hey Tom, any chance of a synopsis of the meeting? I’d like to attend the Northgate meeting if it seems as though something productive may come of it.

  2. Doug Bostrom

    Not to be a completely negative person, but tinkering around the edges of traffic safety when we’ve got a culture of tolerating lethal scofflaws is simply futile.

    Remember the old “broken window” theory of crime control? Don’t let little thing slide, or neighborhoods fail. Here’s where we end up when our notion of safe driving is so elastic as to consider routinely traveling 5-10mph over the speed limit as no big deal:

    ‘On the afternoon of Jan. 30, 2009, Habeeb was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic on 15th Avenue West, near Interbay, when he crashed into three vehicles — Susan Peek, 65, was killed. When confronted by a witness after the crash, Habeeb said, “I was hurrying to get home … was going home to my wife and kids,” according to charging documents.

    Moments before that accident, Habeeb had been traveling nearly 80 miles per hour, swerving and using all three lanes and the center lane to get where he wanted to go, King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Amy Freedheim wrote in charging documents.

    When Habeeb tried to maneuver around a utility truck, his car went up on two wheels and struck Peek’s vehicle. Peek’s friend, who was in the car with her, said that right before the collision Peek said, “Do you see that guy?”

    Habeeb was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the 2009 crash, prosecutors said.

    “His driving was extraordinarily frightening during this incident,” Freedheim wrote in charging documents.’

    SUV driver in Lake City fatal crash killed woman in 2009

    Not sufficiently frightening, even after killing somebody. This reckless driver was allowed to continue operating a motor vehicle. He went on to incinerate two people this past Sunday.

    Why are we so permissive? Why wasn’t this man instantly banned from driving, permanently? It’s not as though anybody can claim ignorance about the risks incurred by driving recklessly.

    Despite all of our hand-wringing, we really don’t take safe driving very seriously, not even enough to allow police to enforce traffic regulations with whining and moaning. It’s really annoying to hear about various forms of zero tolerance for less threatening behaviors when we routinely grant ourselves permission be behave as sociopaths whenever we slip behind the wheel of a vehicle.

    Speeding is a continuum, leading from a little to a lot. What’s the priority for improving traffic safety? Enforcing existing, justifiable regulations, or imagining a better tomorrow?

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