A man and woman sharing a bike collided with a Sound Transit bus at 5th and Main at 10:40 p.m. Saturday night.
The woman was seriously injured, but conscious at the scene. The man died.
Our condolences to his friends and family.
KIRO TV reports that the man was 41 and the woman is 37. Photos from the scene show a mangled mountain bike in the intersection. The bus is facing southbound on 5th Ave S just south of S Main Street.
Few details have yet been released about how the collision happened. Here’s what we know so far from SPD:
Detectives are investigating after a man died and a woman was seriously injured in the International District in a crash involving a Metro bus.
Officers were called to 5 Ave. South and South Main St. at 10:40 PM Saturday, when two people riding on one bike crashed into the side of a Metro coach. Officers found an adult male unconscious with life threatening injuries and an adult woman conscious with serious injuries. Seattle Fire Department medics transported both to Harborview Medical Center where the man later died.
A Seattle Police drug recognition expert tested the driver of the coach and found no signs of impairment.
Traffic collision detectives are investigating the incident.
— Mike Griffith (@GriffKIRO7) May 15, 2016
This tragedy sets a somber tone for already-planned actions this week to protest the city’s delayed downtown bike lane network, which had included 5th Ave S until SDOT suddenly cut nearly all of downtown from the city’s to-do list.
We don’t know enough about this collision to determine whether bike lanes would have prevented it. And we may never know. But we do know that protected bike lanes and complete streets reduce serious collisions, and this intersection has few significant safe streets improvements. In fact, it still has some potentially hazardous dormant trolley tracks embedded in the pavement, though it is unclear if these tracks played any role in this collision.
Cascade Bicycle Club has a downtown “Hidden Gems” scavenger hunt scheduled for Monday evening, intended to be a fun way for people to explore downtown by bike and encourage the city to build a network of protected bike lanes.
Then Tuesday, Cascade and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways already planned a noon protest at City Hall calling on the Mayor and City Council to follow through with promises and stop delaying the downtown bike network. The City Council Sustainability and Transportation Committee is scheduled to hear about the delayed bike plan during their 2 p.m. Tuesday meeting (more on that soon, stay tuned).
UPDATE: The annual Ride of Silence is Wednesday. Meet 6 p.m. at Gas Works Park (leave at 7) for a quiet ride in memory of people who have died while biking.
Before the downtown bike plan was put on hold, SDOT staff held an open house that included the following, devastating map. Note that a person walking was seriously injured at the same intersection in recent years. Now we need to add more red and yellow asterisks.
But this map won’t change over the next three years unless we take action as a city to change it. Traffic deaths and serious injuries are preventable. That’s the central thesis of Seattle’s Vision Zero policy. Inaction is a choice to make a this map all over again in 2019.