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Two people driving strike kids on bikes in Georgetown

Bike Master Plan (Blue = Protected bike lane, Green = Neighborhood greenway, Orange = Painted bike lane)
Bike Master Plan (Blue = Protected bike lane, Green = Neighborhood greenway, Orange = Painted bike lane, Red = Trail)

Two different people driving struck two boys who were biking near Georgetown Playfield Monday afternoon, according to police.

An eight-year-old was struck while crossing Airport Way at Corson Ave and the Lucile Street overpass around 3:30 p.m. His 12-year-old friend saw the collision and rode over to help, but a different person driving through the intersection hit him.

The eight-year-old was not seriously injured, but the 12-year-old was transported to the hospital with a possible broken leg.

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The intersection is a key connection between Beacon Hill and Georgetown, and the Lucile Street overpass has a walking and biking path leading to a recently-completed neighborhood greenway on 12th Ave S.

But once in Georgetown, the walking and biking environment becomes much less developed. Sidewalks are often in bad shape or missing and there are few quality bike lanes. Access around the playfield is particularly bad.

The Bike Master Plan calls for protected bike lanes on Airport Way and bike lanes on Corson, an unnecessarily scary street that feels more like a highway on-ramp than a neighborhood street.

Best wishes to these kids. I hope they heal up fast and get back on their bikes. I also hope the experience wasn’t too scary for them. Kids shouldn’t need to be afraid of their own streets.

More details from SDOT:

Two young boys on bicycles were injured Monday afternoon in two separate collisions at the same Georgetown intersection.

Officers received multiple reports around 3:30 p.m. that two children had been struck by two different cars at Corson Ave. South and Airport Way South.

The first child—an eight-year-old boy—was struck as he rode across Airport Way S. The boy suffered minor scrapes, but was not seriously injured.

The second boy, a 12-year-old, witnessed the collision and began riding across Airport Way S. to aid his young friend. As the 12-year-old crossed the street, he, too, was struck by a second car.  The 12-year-old was thrown from his bicycle in the collision, leaving him with a possible leg fracture.

The Seattle Fire Department treated the 8-year-old at the scene and transported the 12-year-old to Harborview Medical Center for further evaluation.

Officers are interviewing both drivers about the two collisions, and are asking anyone who may have witnessed the collision to call 911 or 625-5011. So far, police do not believe drugs or alcohol were a factor in either collision.

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12 responses to “Two people driving strike kids on bikes in Georgetown”

  1. Cheif

    I’m sorry, but it doesn’t matter if drugs or alcohol were a factor in situations like these. If someone drives their car into a kid (or anyone for that matter) they were doing something wrong and should be punished for it.

  2. pqbuffington

    damn it!

  3. Van

    Hope they recover soon! Too bad the drivers will face little to no penalty, whether they injured or killed a cyclist, and whether that cyclist is a child or not. The kids must’ve been wearing their helmets because the media isn’t making a stink about how irresponsible they or expressing outrage at the parents. Its hard to encourage children to be independent when we create a world that is fundamentally unsafe to seek early expressions of independence. Don’t underestimate the trauma here, it may be a while before either kid feels safe in the saddle, but then, they’ll be adults by the time the Bike Master Plan makes where they grow/grew up a safe place to cycle.
    Maybe we should organize a group ride specifically for riders who’ve been struck, cycle the place where they’ve been hit, get them comfortable on the streets again. It’d take some experienced riders who are willing to go slow, and possibly repeatedly doing the ride.

  4. Lara

    I work a block from there and am a daily bike commuter, coming from Ballard. I can attest to the dangers of riding around Georgetown–few QUALITY bike lanes? How about few bike lanes full stop! I’m hoping the improvements coming from the bicycle master plan help get more riders out and about, which will be the best way to make things safer for all.

    Hoping for a speedy recovery for both boys and that they get back up on those bikes soon.

    1. Shawn S.

      The train tracks by the fields there are absolute hell to cross. Not to mention getting out to Georgetown from downtown: scary ride!
      Hope the kids have a speedy recovery.

  5. Andres Salomon

    Two kids hit by two different drivers at the same intersection. Looks, we can shake our fists at the drivers, claim that we need tougher penalties. We can demand better bike infrastructure. These things are needed, it’s true. But two different drivers? This intersection was _designed_ for injuries. Blame should be placed squarely on the traffic engineers that designed it, the politicians that force traffic engineers (through laws, through budgets, and through policy) to focus on moving cars at the expense of humane streets, and all of us for allowing our misallocation of priority and funds to go on for so long.

    We’re always going to have gaps in our biking and walking network. We don’t have to put up with these gaps being dangerous (and often deadly)! Lower speed limits would be a great start. Truly complete streets. Aggressive road diets. Etc. We can do this, we just need to make it a priority.

    1. nullbull

      I’m sorry, I have to disagree. I’m tired of the “it was the street’s fault” explanation from drivers. If there was NOT a presumption on the part of drivers that they can speed, chat, text, ignore signs, etc. then I would agree. But the problem isn’t the stop sign’s placement, it’s that drivers don’t even look for it. Or they ignore it because “but I don’t wanna stop.”

      I watched this happen when a no-left-turn sign was added at the end of my block. I drive, walk, and bike past that sign all the time, and people simply IGNORE IT all the time. In fact, when it was new I watched them stop, squint disbelievingly at the sign, look at the sign, look at the street, then turn left because that’s what they wanted to do.

      By the way, that sign and an associated crosswalk were put there after people were struck and injured or killed by cars multiple times.

      This is not an isolated phenomenon. The no-left sign that is inconvenient for people so they ignore it is a case-in-point. I see it always everywhere, and the response “it’s because they sign is dumb/poorly designed/ill-conceived / poorly executed/placed/whatever” is so much BS. That’s not the problem. People break the law when they don’t like it. And drivers are the worst. We created this culture, but the cure isn’t to blame the infrastructure.

      So yeah, I say enforcement. Because it’s long overdue.

      1. nullbull

        I was not referring to you as a driver – clearly you care about humane streets. I just re-read and that implication is wrong.

      2. Andres Salomon

        “People break the law when they don’t like it. And drivers are the worst. ”

        Your first statement is true. Your second requires some evidence. *Everyone* breaks the rules – the difference is that drivers are behind a 2 ton death machine when they do so.

        It’s human nature. As I said, we can shake our fists at people, or we could actually fix the problem by taking into account human behavior. People are ignoring a no-left-turn sign? Put in a diverter or a pedestrian island so that people cannot physically turn left without doing serious damage to their car.

        Similarly, if we *force* drivers to slow down when they’re driving in Georgetown, that has a number of benefits. People have more reaction time to slow down when something suddenly pops into the road. People are forced to pay attention and not text due to large objects near them lane that they don’t want to hit. It makes public transit and biking more appealing, as suddenly you can get somewhere just as quickly as driving. And so on…

        FWIW, I don’t own a car, and I hate driving. I just don’t think that enforcement is all that effective in the face of human nature.

  6. bill

    Seems a bit early to chase the drivers with torches and pitchforks. Kids bike even less safely than adults. The second boy probably acted impulsively after his friend was hit. Let’s cool it until the police investigation determines what likely happened.

    1. nullbull

      … and the second driver probably sped around the accident without looking after they realized there was going to be something in their way.

  7. Josh

    Unless I’m misremembering, this intersection has signal-controlled crosswalks on all four legs. Were the drivers running red lights? Were the kids crossing against the light? More details when they emerge, please!

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