A man driving a pickup truck in Everett struck and killed a man biking Thursday evening around 6:30 p.m.
The identity of the man killed has not yet been released. Our deepest condolences to his friends and family.
Few details have been released about how the collision at 126th Street SE and 19th Ave SE (AKA the Bothell Everett Highway SR 527) occurred.
The Everett man driving the pickup fled the scene, but witnesses led police to his location near Silver Lake. He was captured and transported to the hospital. Everett Police said in a statement Thursday evening that they expected to book him in Snohomish County Jail for investigation of Vehicular Homicide.
It is not yet known if drugs or alcohol were factors. 19th Ave SE is a wide five-lane street with skinny painted bike lanes. It is a major north-south bike route.
More details from Everett Police:
Everett’s Traffic Safety detectives are investigating a fatal hit and run collision involving a bicyclist.
At approximately 6:30pm on November 19, 2015, officers responded to a reported collision between a car and a bicycle in the 12600 block of 19th Ave SE. Arriving officers found an adult male had been struck by a vehicle which then fled. Due to his injuries, the male died at the scene.
Witnesses provided information that led officers to arrest an adult male believed to be the driver of involved vehicle at 112th St and Silver Lake Rd. He was taken to Providence Medical Center Everett and is expected to be booked into the Snohomish County Jail for vehicular homicide. The male is from Everett but will not be identified until after he is booked. His pickup truck was impounded pending further investigation and it is not known if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the incident.
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office took custody of the deceased to determine cause and manner of death and established identity.
19th Ave SE was closed for the investigation until 9:55pm but is now open to all traffic.
As the investigation is ongoing, no updates are expected at this time.
I’m afraid this comment will be taken as heresy amongst the Seattle area bike community. Hopefully people will take it as a constructive criticism of Seattle’s approach to improving bicycling.
I wish bike planners in the Seattle Area would step back and look at what they are doing. Placing “skinny” bike lanes next to a major thoroughfare (such as Hwy. 527) is asking for trouble. I’m not commenting on the “rightness” of political correctness of bikes vs. motorized vehicles. I’m all for bikes. I’ve ridden as an adult on the Seattle Area roadways for 35 years.
Over those years, I’ve witnessed many attempts to facilitate bikes. For years I commuted from Pioneer Square north to Richmond Beach in Shoreline. I used the Dayton Avenue bike path for part of the trip. It was great. Bikes on a residential street with less traffic and slower speeds. Only when I had to jog over to Greenwood Ave. did I fear for my life. Greenwood had higher speeds and drivers with a nonchalance for cyclists, to say the least.
Today, I ride 44th Ave. SW in West Seattle several times a week. It parallels California Ave SW, but 44th is way safer and more enjoyable to ride. 44th is not a designated bike path, but it is a defacto bike path as cyclists in the neighborhood have discovered its virtues.
So many bike paths are going in these days along major roads. It makes a great political statement, but it results in the kind of tragedy that is the subject of this blog post. Police officers will tell you that at any given time – day or night, the stream of vehicle traffic on a major road will include many drivers that are behind the wheel under the influence. It only needs to be a few percent (I think it is really a double-digit percentage that are DUI, if the truth be known), and a simple bike rides means riding within a few feet of several if not a dozen drivers that are under the influence. This is simply the reality.
Please, let’s go back and re-evaluate where we place our bike paths. This is not the 1950’s and we are not building an interstate highway system. We don’t need a heavy-handed approach to our bike path system. Many cities use less travelled streets and roadways as bicycle boulevards, with the idea that bikes and residential uses can coexist much easier than bikes and major vehicular traffic ways. I’m all for that!
I don’t think you’ll find much disagreement about the problems of painting skinny bike lanes on wide busy streets. We have to do better, which is why there is such a focus on protected bike lanes.
In this case, we don’t know how the collision occurred, so we can’t know if the skinny bike lane was a factor. But in response to your suggestion about side streets, you should look at the map of the location: https://www.google.com/maps/place/47%C2%B053'01.2%22N+122%C2%B012'24.3%22Wemail@example.com,-122.2698203,11417m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0!5m1!1e3
This street is the only street that goes through. That’s often the case in Seattle, but it’s definitely the case all over the suburbs. The curly cul-de-sac suburban street design connected by major throughways means those busy streets are often the only options available if you’re trying to bike anywhere. We need to make them safer. A painted bike lane is something, but it’s so often not enough as you note.
If you look at a map and have your mind in a MapQuest frame of reference, it does seem like there is no way to put in a bike path except on the major highway. Actually, it is not as bad as it seems once you look closer. And following the major highway has many hurdles to overcome. Even separated bike paths would cross numerous commercial driveways.
Our region’s transportation planners would be willing to take years in planning, spend millions, and purchase right of way from hundreds of property owners along major roads so they could put in an Eisenhauer-esque, separated bike path when they could simply use the residential street network, cul-de-sacs and all along with a couple of minor property purchases to connect neighborhoods with small bike connectors. That is short bike paths connecting one neighborhood to another. It is amazing how fast you can get around by bicycle on the less travelled streets when you are not so worried about traffic.
The net result of the second approach is much more pleasant for the cyclist. As a homeowner on a bike boulevard in Tucson, I can tell you this smaller scale approach is positively received by the residential neighborhoods too. When we are in Tucson, we can cycle all over the city on the less travelled roads with few conflicts with major traffic.
Yeah, all of this, and some other things.
I used to have a commute that involved a stretch on 527, south of 164th. The route involving 527 and 164th, including crossing the dreadful 164th/I-5 interchange to get to Ash Way P&R, was what I arrived at after facing repeated rude and dangerous behavior on lower-traffic streets. The worst of these were being run off the road by a horse trailer on North Road near Lynnwood HS in moderate traffic (I went into a ditch just before seeing the trailer’s wheel run over the fog line; there was no shoulder and I was lucky to stay upright), and being passed at high speed (I won’t try to guess the speed; the driver was certainly gunning the throttle) on the right (in the shoulder, which is not consistently paved) by an SUV on 9th Ave SE, somewhere between 208th and 228th, without another vehicle in sight. The “quiet” residential streets are certainly no panacea in Snohomish County.
A lot of the dangerous behavior I encountered on the quieter streets at least indicated the drivers saw me; I’m sure plenty of drivers on 527 didn’t but just happened to stay within the lines (their ability to drive erratically there is limited by heavy traffic). Then again, the horse trailer driver certainly saw me, just didn’t understand how to drive with a trailer, and I could have been injured if there had been debris in the ditch. The shoulder-passer certainly saw me, and I could have been seriously injured if the driver had misjudged the varying conditions of the shoulder and lost control of the vehicle.
There’s been some work on completing the North Creek Trail lately, but it’s not nearly done, and it’s really indirect in places. And even if it’s finished the east-west connections will be seriously lacking. One of the few opportunities for an east-west route with a reasonable grade from Canyon Park to Lynnwood is the WA-524 corridor! I know, I’ve picked my way through there a lot of different ways… and I’m absolutely convinced that one of these decades we’re going to have to make it work along 524.
With due respect to your comments Augsberg, in many cases, I agree with Tom.
I lived in West Seattle for over 10 years and commuted from there to work in Seattle. I now live close to Seattle, but further away, but still ride to work.
1) Yes, it would be GREAT if all streets were on a nice, neat grid, flat (like Tuscon – and yes, I lived there for several years and rode my bike – it’s FLAT with mostly wide streets and a good network for traveling both N/S and E/W), and with easy E/W travel access. Unfortunately, this area is not like this.
2) 44th is great – if that’s where you want to go. I rode 44th sometimes but like many streets, and a good example of why these streets often don’t work for a bike Network, it’s good if you go from Admiral to/from the Alaska Junction area. But south of that it stops/start/there’s a major hill or three, and to re-join it you must ride busy California Ave/Erskine for a ways or to get to anywhere. California Ave is the flattest, straightest, easiest ride to/from Fauntleroy and the Admiral area. And it’s also one of the busier ones with motor vehicle traffic.
3) Riding at a commuting pace using only side-street, if not “protected” by stop signs or lights makes slower riding – if I ride side routes, even on a Greenway it’s usually at a slower speed and I’m extremely aware of uncontrolled intersections pretty much every block. Commuting I want the fastest way there – and often, it can be safer since intersections are more circumscribed and ‘usually’ drivers are paying more attention to what’s going on.
4) I agree that we need more options for bike commuting – but we also desperately need enforcement of traffic rules for drivers (it’s horrifying how often I see drivers do things like drive the wrong way on one-way streets, run red lights with impunity…circumscribed intersections = paying attention to ‘signals’ in the area… and block intersections because they don’t want to wait for the next green light) and SDOT to keep the bike infrastructure well maintained and intact – once a bike lane/bike signage is ground away or blown away or run over and SDOT does nothing to repair it then it’s gone, poof, and the auto-drivers take over.
My condolences to the family.
We bike commuters are damn vulnerable.
Billions of tax dollars have been spent in the Seattle region on dangerous unhealthy car lanes.
We now need to spend a lot of money on road diets, protected bike lanes and sidewalks in order to have healthier and safer (and more pleasing) neighborhoods and commercial areas.
Much progress has been made. More needed.