A man was killed in a collision with a semi truck this morning while biking on East Marginal Way.
Seattle Fire responders reported he was
in his 30s (UPDATE: SPD reports he was 54).
SPD is investigating the incident. We will update when we know more. From SPD (UPDATED at 7:30pm):
An adult male cyclist sustained mortal injuries this morning after a collision with a semi-truck. At approximately 7:10 a.m. officers and fire department personnel responded to 911 calls of a semi-truck/bicyclist collision at South Hanford Street and East Marginal Way South.
Preliminary investigation indicates that a 53-year-old man driving a flatbed semi-truck was attempting a right turn from westbound South Hanford Street to northbound East Marginal Way South. At the same time a 54-year-old male bicyclist was northbound on East Marginal Way South approaching South Hanford Street. For reasons that have yet to be determined, the bicyclist collided with the truck-trailer’s left side wheels in or near the intersection and went down. Fire department medics responded and after administering CPR treatment, pronounced the bicyclist dead at the scene.
There were no citations issued at the scene, which is standard procedure in serious traffic collisions requiring extensive follow up investigation and collision reconstruction.
Traffic Collision Investigation Squad detectives responded to the scene and continue to actively investigate.
Condolences to his friends and family.
UPDATE: E Marginal Way is an industrial road connecting the West Seattle Lower Bridge to Sodo and downtown. It is a heavily-used commuter route for people biking, despite heavy industrial traffic and very poor pavement condition. It is really the only viable option for cycling between downtown and most parts of West Seattle.
This tragic collision comes within the first hours of Bike Month.
While it is still unclear what happened in this incident, West Seattle residents have long sought safety improvements to East Marginal Way. The draft Bicycle Master Plan suggests a significant safety redesign, and the road topped a recent list of needs produced by neighborhood group West Seattle Bike Connections.
UPDATE: Also see West Seattle Blog’s report. While this information is still early, several WSB commenters and witneses who spoke to King 5 said the man was trying to cross from the west sidewalk (where the West Seattle trail dumps people heading north) to the bike lane on the east side of the road. The truck was apparently making a left turn onto E Marginal when they collided.
The Seattle Times’ Mike Lindblom tweeted a link to a 2008 story he wrote about the bad cycling environment on East Marginal, which described a similar problem:
A greater threat is the tango between freight trucks and northbound cyclists entering from the West Seattle Bridge trail. Riders must cross East Marginal Way South to reach the bike lane to downtown.
UPDATE: Mayor McGinn released the following statement:
This morning a collision between a bicycle and a truck took place on East Marginal Way in SODO, resulting in the death of the person on the bicycle. My heart and thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim. These tragedies hit hard on everyone involved: the driver of the truck, the first responders, and those who had to witness the aftermath. It hits me hard too. I want to know that everyone traveling our roadways can do so safely.
I met with Seattle Department of Transportation director Peter Hahn and City Traffic Engineer Dongho Chang this morning. I directed them to report back on what we can do immediately with existing resources to improve safety on this corridor. They have also been looking at the feasibility of a separated cycle track at this location as part of the Bicycle Master Plan update.
This tragedy, like other recent tragedies, reemphasizes the importance of safety on our streets. We want everyone to get home safely.
UPDATE: SDOT Traffic Engineer Dongho Chang briefed the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board Wednesday evening on changes the city is working on to make E Marginal Way safer. The mayor has given SDOT 30 days to get back to him on any possible quick and easy fixes to address many of the dangers on E Marginal Way.
Since E Marginal Way is a key freight roadway for the Port of Seattle, the city will work with freight interests to come up with a solution that meets everyone’s needs.
Chang visited the site Wednesday to assess the situation. He said a two-way cycle track on the west side of the road seemed “logical” as a way to connect the West Seattle Bridge to the Alaskan Way trail. The bottom line: “We are going to look at [safety improvements] closely and in a very accelerated fashion.”
Video report from King 5:
Map of the location: