With the paint barely dry on bike-lane-free 35th Ave NE, person driving strikes and injures someone on a bike

Just hours after a video of dangerous conditions for people biking on the new 35th Ave NE gained a lot of traction on social media, someone driving struck and injured a person biking on the street near the intersection with NE 70th Street.

News about the injury was posted to the Safe 35th Ave NE facebook page this afternoon, and Seattle Bike Blog confirmed the details with Seattle Police.

Around 11:30 p.m. Thursday night, someone driving collided with someone on a bike. The person biking was transported to the hospital by ambulance with a knee injury, according to SPD. The person driving was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

As is typical for traffic incidents, the details of the collision are not yet available pending investigation. As such, it’s not clear whether the scrapped bike lanes would have prevented it.

Sending my best wishes to the person injured.

But news of the collision certainly adds to growing concerns about the safety of the newly redesigned 35th Ave NE. The street was planned, designed and contracted to include bike lanes, but Mayor Jenny Durkan removed them at the last minute due to opposition from some project neighbors.

Comparison of design diagrams for 35th Ave NE. On the left, the original design has two bike lanes, two general purpose lane and a parking lane. On the right, the mayor's design has two general purpose lanes, a center turn lane and a parking lane.

Design concepts for this stretch of 35th Ave NE from SDOT.

Her decision to remove the bike lanes drew strong criticism from people concerned about bike safety and the mayor’s commitment to its bicycle, Vision Zero and climate plans. People also voiced serious concerns about the city’s planned street design, which includes problems like wide travel lanes known to encourage speeding.

The decision to remove the bike lanes was due to politics, not best practices for designing safe streets. It went against the city’s Bicycle Master Plan and against the original design created and approved by SDOT traffic engineers after years of planning and public outreach. I hope nobody else is injured here, but hope alone is not enough to stop traffic injuries.

Here’s the video posted about 12 hours before the collision that called attention to how unsafe the new street design feels to someone on a bike:

UPDATE 5/20: A reader who did not wish to be identified reached out to say that they were waiting at the light at 35th Ave NE and NE 70th Street on a bike Sunday afternoon when someone driving sidewiped them while trying to make a right turn on red. The reader was not injured, but read this story and wanted to share:

Hey Tom – I just wanted to let you know that I was also hit by a car at 35th NE and 70th, while standing at a red light; the car attempted a right on red around me and bumped/hit me with its mirror. I wasn’t hurt, but still not ideal. The driver stopped and was apologetic, so i chose not to pursue it further. For a variety of reasons I don’t want to post this on twitter publicly, but please feel free to mention it in any articles.

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77 Responses to With the paint barely dry on bike-lane-free 35th Ave NE, person driving strikes and injures someone on a bike

  1. Dylan says:

    Ridiculous. So motorists in Wedgwood really hate cyclists so much that they would rather have wider car lanes and a centre turn lane to nowhere than bike lanes? I just don’t get it. They didn’t get to keep their parking anyway. So what’s the deal?

  2. Jessica says:

    A student of mine was nearly clipped today at 70th on her way to the Bike to School breakfast we host at the school on the top of the hill on that neighborhood. I’ve also had high speed passes while traveling south bound and today a car passing two uphill cyclists was way too close to me head on.

  3. Aaron Keating says:

    Perhaps we’ll see more people cycling who are using the “pool noodle bike hack” — at least until actual bike lanes are installed where they need to be: https://qz.com/1620913/the-best-cycling-hack-is-a-pool-noodle/.

  4. Jason B says:

    Pretty sure the video is of 35th SW, not NE.

    • Barb says:

      Look again. It is taken riding southbound on 35th and stoos at 35th and 75th adjacent to the new Grand Central Bakery where they could turn right, go up the kittle steep hill and arrive at Eckstein. I think the clearest identifiable building is the post office on the left of the rider.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      It’s definitely NE, but “I-35” SW has serious problems, too. The safety project has improved things, but more is needed.

  5. JB says:

    As long as Amy and the gang never have to spend a nickel to park their cars, that’s what really matters.

    • Harrison Bikes says:

      This is what I don’t get. I think City rules are to charge for parking when it’s more than 85% full. If every space is full and sacred here….why isn’t SDOT managing it like other places?

  6. Chamois Davis Jr. says:

    Does anyone know where I might find a list of the businesses along the corridor that supported either side of the issue? I know which side one or two of them took but it would be great to have a better sense of who voted for what in order to let my money and patronage speak since my vote/voice didn’t appear to be heard by Durkan.

    • Sam says:

      The letter sent by the businesses to the mayor and the D4/D5 council members is part of the public record and can be found at
      https://sccinsight.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Letter-from-Businesses-re-35th-Ave-1.pdf

      Unfortunately there is a long list of signees

      Adams Insurance
      All That Dance
      Blossoming Buds Preschool
      Café Javasti
      Creative Images
      Debora Dahms, D. O.
      Fiddler’s Inn
      Flaccus Law
      Fox Chiropractic PS
      Galanda Broadman PLLC
      Health Excellence – Dr. Sushil Vasudeva
      Holman Cahill Garrett
      I Heart Bento Teriyaki
      Johnsons Auto Repair
      Chopsticks Cuisine – signed by Jzakong Hu at this address
      Kawaii Nails – unreadable signature at this address
      Kevin R. Cole, Atty
      Larry Adatto DDS
      Lena Hair Business
      Morning Market Grocery
      Northeast Cleaners
      Rainier Overseas Movers Inc
      Rainglow Airbrush Tanning
      Salon Divine
      Satsuma Kids Shop
      Seattle Coin Show
      Sound Strength & Conditioning
      State Farm Wedgwood
      Sunshine Cleaners
      Tom L. Simon CPA
      Tonic Salon
      Trebron Company
      Van Gogh Coffeehouse
      Wedgwood Acupuncture and Botanical Medicine – Dr. Hai Lan
      Wedgwood Acupuncture and Botanical Medicine – Dr. Qiang Cao
      Wedgwood Barber
      Wedgwood Broiler
      Wedgwood Hair Studio
      Wedgwood Move
      Wedgwood Smiles
      Woodlawn Optical Dispensary – unreadable signature at this address

      In addition one of the two owners of the Grateful Bread was very vocal in her opposition

      • Chamois Davis Jr. says:

        Thank you Sam.

      • Harrison Bikes says:

        It’s easy to get a business to sign whatever when “yous talking all ma free parking”…..but reading the letter, they got what they were complaining about – no parking on one side and parking 7′ from curb on the other.

        This charade and outcome has to take the cake for Seattle process stupidity. Guess 35th got to “own the bikes” and is satisfied with that.

      • Michael Rockhold says:

        I am sorry to see a few businesses on this list that I have previously been happy to patronize. That will not happen again.

        Is it true that one of the owners of the Grateful Bread also objected to the bike lane? That would be the most disappointing of all. But it’s not like we don’t have equally-good places to spend our time and our coffee allowance. Does anyone have a link to proof of their vocal objection?

      • Sam says:

        This should work

      • Brent says:

        One business I am happy to not see in this list is Wedgwood Thai. I occasionally patronize Wedgwood Thai II Vegetarian on Broadway, and may spend more time there in gratitude.

        The only other business on this list that impacts me is State Farm Wedgwood, since I have renters’ insurance through State Farm. I may consider switching to someone else, but I’m not sure if that will have any more impact than just explaining the cognitive dissonance of an insurance agency opposing public safety to that State Farm franchise.

        Sadly, other businesses not on the above list may suffer, as some of us make a point of staying away from 35th Ave NE businesses.

  7. Dave says:

    Wow, such a sense of entitlement by cyclists! Why does the city or any of the tax payers owe cyclists anything? Furthermore many cyclists have it backwards when they think “taking the lane” is safer. First of all the cyclist in the video is a jerk for riding down the middle of the road in a 30mph speed zone at 20 mph on their cycle. The cyclist is the one actually responsible for creating an UNSAFE situation by riding down the road ten mph under the speed limit. You want to take the lane fine, but go the damn speed limit or accept the fact that you will passed and that YOU are creating the unsafe situation. Especially during morning rush traffic. I mean, how big of a Richard does one have to be to parade themselves down the middle of the road at ten mph under the speed limit when hard working folks are trying to get to work? Also, many people do not understand how to pass cyclists in a proper manner. On top of that, passing a cyclist makes many people extremely nervous especially when a great deal of cyclists ride erratically and do not use hand signals, run lights stop signs etc.

    I think i can speak for many non-cyclists when i ask, What makes you so special? why do you believe that the city or any of its non-cycling tax payers owe you a damn thing? We don’t. You are responsible for your own behavior. Grow up, quit acting like spoiled brats with silver spoons up your asses and for God’s sake please please please quit wearing those ridiculously horrid spandex outfits. Think of the children!

    • Neil says:

      Not sure how cyclists’ desire to not die should be considered offensive to anyone. Road planners have been bending over backwards for drivers for decades. Guess it’s the old adage that, when a group who has been given top priority for a long time suddenly doesn’t get it, they see it as an attack on them.

    • Kathy says:

      What makes people driving a car so special? They are often burning fossil fuels, driving too fast, passing unsafely, and are taking up way more than the share of the right of way needed to transport their bodies and personal belongings. With their multi-ton vehicles they have a huge impact on the safety of vulnerable street users. Dave would rather have a cyclist be side-swiped by a wandering motorized vehicle that has no guidelines than take the lane and slow the motorized traffic down to a human-friendly speed. Against the design produced by her own road design experts, the Mayor decided to declare herself a traffic engineer. She made the choice to have people on bikes take the lane for their own safety instead of creating separate lanes for cars and bicycles. If I were the injured cyclist, I would be tempted to sue the city for intentionally creating an unsafe road design.

      • fatfreddy says:

        “Dave would rather have a cyclist be side-swiped by a wandering motorized vehicle that has no guidelines than take the lane and slow the motorized traffic down to a human-friendly speed.”

        I read what Dave said and nowhere in his post did he say what you claim he says. I would encourage you to brush up on your reading comprehension before you go projecting words and assumptions upon someone.

    • Rochelle says:

      Pretty sure that cyclist is trying to get to work, too. And that’s a speed limit, the maximum speed you are supposed to travel, not the minimum.

      • JohnF says:

        WA State law regarding going too slow

        Minimum speed law:

        Section 46.61.425 and 46.61.100 states:

        “No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.”

        This is the law for cars. Should it not apply to bicycles? No special treatment right, cyclists? You want to be treated as an equal, behave as one. Obey the law! Taking the lane blatantly “impede(s) the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.”

      • Andres Salomon says:

        Given that the person biking caught up to every single car that passed them, I’d argue that “reasonable movement of traffic” was not impeded. At all.

    • Harrison Bikes says:

      Jenny, is that you?

    • Barb says:

      Dave, what I think I hear from you is that you would appreciate cycles and automobiles travelling in their own respective lanes. I would like this, too for when i am a motorist and when i am a cyclist. Also please know that when i am a cyclist i am often on a tandem w my adult daughter w disabilities. She is not able to ride solo nor will she ever be a driver. You are right, Dave, i do think we are special though we would never wear spandex. I agree with you there, too. I appreciate your expression here. I believe to understand everyone’s needs (the root of expressed wants) and to meet them without compromising or violating the needs of others is the ideal. In the case of the 35th lanes, needs are not being met for either motorists or cyclists or the businesses that line this street. I hope we can all change this. Barb

    • AW says:

      Wasn’t the original plan for this street to have a separate bicycle lane so that cars and bicycles wouldn’t need to use the same lane ? If you were one who fought against having the bicycle lane then your complaint is pretty arrogant.

      Bicycles are vehicles and allowed to use the road just as cars do. If there is a dedicated bicycle lane then I will use that lane. If not then the entire car lane is my bicycle lane. Tough s**t if you are behind me. Call the city and get them to install a bicycle lane. I am going to ride in a manner that keeps ME safe and in the case of the road in the video the only safe place for a bicycle rider is the center of that lane.

      • JohnF says:

        WA State law regarding going too slow

        Minimum speed law:

        Section 46.61.425 and 46.61.100 states:

        “No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.”

        This is the law for cars. Should it not apply to bicycles? No special treatment right, cyclists? You want to be treated as an equal, behave as one. Obey the law! Taking the lane blatantly “impede(s) the normal and reasonable movement of traffic”

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        “motor vehicle” – Bicycles are legal vehicles under the law, but not “motor vehicles.” There are plenty of extra laws pertaining to motor vehicles that don’t apply or make sense for bicycles. Like access to trails. Or maintaining a car’s speed at all times. I guess you can not like it if that’s your choice, but biking on streets is legal.

      • AW says:

        @JohnF, first off, I’ll start caring about traffic laws when drivers start caring about them too (think red lights, speeding, passing in the turn lane).

        But really there is only one traffic law that I follow and really anyone riding a bicycle in traffic should follow. I follow the law: “Do Whatever I Need To Do To Make It Home Alive Today.” If that is taking the lane I am gong to take the $%^&* lane. My life is worth more than you getting to the next red light faster.

    • asdf2 says:

      35th is a street, not a freeway. Freeways have minimum speeds, and use by vehicles incapable of operating at the minimum speed is prohibited. Streets are available to all vehicles, and people are expected to share the road. For instance, a garbage truck taking the lane at 20 mph on a street with a 30 mph speed limit is quite common, especially on uphill sections, where garbage truck engines often have trouble accelarating. Are you saying the garbage truck is creating an unsafe condition by driving on the street? How come it’s ok for a garbage truck to drive a section of street at 20 mph, but it’s not ok for a bike to drive the same street at the same speed?

    • Clark in Vancouver says:

      Dave. I’m not sure if what you wrote was a parody or not. It reads like one but maybe you’re actually serious about this point of view.
      If so, then you need to learn a few things about how things work. Cycling in the middle of the lane is what is recommended and considered to be proper cycling in a car-centric designed street. All you gotta do is treat someone cycling the same as someone driving slower than you’d like and change lanes.

      The days of motorist dominance are over. Get used to it.

    • RossB says:

      Dave, your comment cracks me up. I get it. It is very common for people in public forums (like this one) to complain about cyclists breaking the law. Here we have a clear case of a cyclist obeying the law, and driver after driver breaking the law. And you criticize the biker! Hilarious.

      Just a review here, from the state law about the subject (https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.61.290). “A vehicle shall not be driven in this center lane for the purpose of overtaking or passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction.”. Yet that is exactly what driver after driver did. Meanwhile, the biker is simply traveling at legal speed along the roadway. As the video shows, the drivers didn’t gain any time on the biker — they all met at the traffic light anyway.

      Of course the road would be safer, and the drivers would be able to legally pass the bikers if bike lanes were added. But that didn’t happen.

    • Q says:

      It’s really too bad you all feel the need to waste your time with obvious troll. Obvious troll is obvious.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        Every once in a while, it’s important to practice replying to talking points like these, even they are trolling. Not on every post, sure, but from time to time. In this case, the design of the street is doing most the trolling, and Dave’s comment here seems rather effective at proving the point for why bike lanes were needed. I do moderate comments so every post’s discussion does not go off the rails. But this is sadly an argument I think is worth playing out because this street’s design essentially forces these conflicts. The existence of this argument here is itself evidence of how the street is failing to comfortably and safely accommodate everyone.

    • Alex says:

      Pure gold, thanks so much for writing this Dave, haven’t laughed this hard for a while.

  8. RossB says:

    I’m going to bookmark this video. It is very common for people to criticize bikers for breaking the law. Some do, obviously (at their own risk, I might add, unlike drivers). But I think you would be hard pressed to find such blatant disregard (or perhaps ignorance) of the law. Four drivers, clearly breaking the law, in less than a minute.

    This is also a great example of how bike lanes help drivers. Imagine you are driving the third car, and unlike the rest of the drivers, know the law. You drive patiently behind the driver, going around 20 MPH. Meanwhile, you have some idiot behind you, begging you to pass (so they can pass as well). You have the real possibility of some bozo trying to pass both of you. Now imagine someone headed the other way, using the turn lane for what it is meant for (making a left turn). They see the bike going straight ahead, they see me going straight ahead (with no blinker on), so they signal and move into the turn lane. Just then, the bozo passes both me and the biker, going well over 30 MPH. Now you have a head-on collision with one vehicle going over 30. That’s how people die.

    In contrast, the entire situation is avoided with bike lanes. The bike is on the right, and cars pass in a separate lane. Failure to provide proper bike infrastructure on the only logical bike route in the area has made both driving and biking a lot more dangerous. Nice job, mayor.

  9. James says:

    IMHO the “project neighbors” that caused Durkin changed the plan was King County Metro. Currently the 65/67, which is the bus to light rail, UW, Roosevelt district and Northgate is chronically late because of car traffic. Metro said, basically, with the bike traffic that is anticipated with the bike lane plan the 65/67 will be late to a point to where more service hours ($$$$) will be needed or bus riders will abandon the route and get back in their cars.

    • d reeves says:

      James, I’m curious – do you have inside knowledge?
      How are more service hours a remedy for congestion?
      Also, how does the current design perform better than the design with bike lanes in terms of congestion?

  10. Jude Neldam says:

    As the owner of Grateful Bread (for nearly 25 years), and speaking as someone who has cycled my entire life and as a cyclist who has been hit by a car and seriously injured, I am saddened by the business bashing that is continuing to go on (and on and on) because I disagreed with 35th Avenue as a choice for a bike lane as did the majority of businesses in my neighborhood. For more than two decades Grateful Bread has actively supported the local community by donating thousands of dollars worth of products to our local schools, churches, synagogues and various youth organizations. For decades, Grateful Bread has offered a community gathering place where everyone is welcome. Running a small independent business in a city dominated by wealthy large chains is challenging for all of us every day, but I never thought that I would be needing to defend myself or my business over a subject like cycling on 35th Avenue and I ask that the vitriol please stop.

    • Chamois Davis Jr. says:

      I have to ask what exactly did you get out of this other than the elimination of bicycle lanes and a potential customer base?
      The same number of parking spaces were removed from 35th so you lost the parking spaces and lost what seems like a lot of goodwill from the cycling public.
      You should be furious with Mayor Durkan for this, and if your business survives the reduction in parking (which I hope it does and think it will) then what was the point in pushing the cycling public and associated revenue away?

      • Jude Neldam says:

        I am not opposed to bike lanes and I remain an avid recreational cyclist but I continue to believe that a bike lane on 35th is a bad idea whether or not my business loses parking. Seattle city government is not small business friendly and big money influences our officials just like every other city in America and I have sadly been forced to accept that fact. What I object to most here is that this single issue of the bike lane has come to define decades worth of community involvement and investment on the part of so many small local businesses in the eyes of some in the biking community. Many of us are still receiving threats of boycotts and have been smeared on social media. I don’t get it. My business and others like it are what make neighborhoods like Wedgwood continue to feel like small towns inside this big city and we work hard every day to just keep on going.

      • Michael Rockhold says:

        I know I at least am not threatening Grateful Bread with a boycott. I’m observing that I’m a former customer that likes to use a bicycle to get around my city, and is only going to patronize businesses that I can get to safely. If I have to make a special effort to find a route to your business that doesn’t endanger my life, I’m a whole lot more likely to visit one that’s easier and safer to visit. You may have seen that nice new Cafe Ladro on 65th? The one with the excellent cycle lane that goes right by the front door?

        What you call ‘vitriol’ is the natural disappointment that some of your now former customers feel, knowing that we cannot count on you to advocate for their safety. It’s perfectly reasonable for anyone, whether they are armored by a ton of steel or just walking around protected by nothing more than their clothes, to feel safe in a quiet residential Seattle neighborhood like ours. There’s plenty of room for people to get around here, by car, by bike, on foot. Pretending that any normal city street in Seattle cannot be made safe for more uses than just the particular one that happens to damage the world most is silly, or worse than silly.

        I’m glad you enjoy cycling recreationally! We have that in common. I have also been known to drive a car. Or just walk around sometimes. I’m not sure what bearing any of that has on whether the street your business is on should be a safe one.

    • JB says:

      Grateful Bread is awesome. The real fight is with city hall, but nobody has the cojones for that, so instead we try to exorcise our impotent anger by teeing up on Mom and Pop businesses and the occasional trollish bike hater who stumbles into this blog. I see that Tom deleted my post calling out the visionless mayor so that he could replace it with another oh-so-factually correct policy-wonk response to John F, that yet again manages to entirely miss the larger point. This is a political fight as much as a factual one; yet this blog keeps buying into the foolish zero-sum proposition that these two modes of travel (biking and driving) are fundamentally at odds with each other. Keep accepting that frame and we’ll keep losing. You’re playing right into their hands, Tom.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        I deleted your comment because you called the mayor a name. As for Grateful Bread, I am sad that Save 35th put together that very misleading letter, then went around forcing businesses to pick a side on an issue that is divisive among neighbors. It was effective, I suppose, in that they got their way. But now there is lingering resentment, and that sucks. I hope the business owners who signed know that their letter was full of misleading information. I don’t blame you for trusting them, since it sure seems like they had put a lot of research into it. But as the video above shows, they were wrong. This street would be undeniably safer with bike lanes, and parking would be the same. Bike lanes don’t hurt people in cars. It isn’t a zero sum bikes vs cars thing. It’s a safe streets thing, and removing the bike lanes is not helping anyone.

    • Steven Lorenza says:

      … Then stick to baking loaves and not campaigning to reject basic safety on streets for the most vulnerable users to defend a 1950s Seattle that is lost and gone forever.

      Mostly I think the businesses got used in this process.

    • Tim F says:

      My family moved to Wedgwood as renters. We almost never walked the 10 blocks to 35th Avenue because our first impression was that it was just a crappy strip mall. Instead we drove to places like Ballard and Fremont or beyond. When we looked to buy a house, we realized we were priced out. Both of us had lived in condos previously and we would have seriously considered buying one in our price range as close to neighborhood businesses as possible. Instead we bought a house we could just afford a little farther away. My very old car broke down and I could not replace it along with the mortgage payments and a new baby, so I began commuting first by bus, then on a 20+ year old mountain bike (also in need of repair).

      Meanwhile, my mother lived for a time in an apartment building on 35th Ave. Some times I’d stop by with my daughter and we’d walk across the street for dinner. 35th Ave is terrifying to cross with a person using a walker while a toddler is holding your hand. Waiting for a bus on that sliver of sidewalk between the parking lot and the street with groceries in one hand and a kid in the other is no better. Eventually my mom decided she wanted to own rather than rent, but needing an accessible condo rather than a house, and being outbid on the few area offerings, she moved farther out to the suburbs. Eventually we were biking enough and saved enough and found some sales and picked up a couple of family bikes in anticipation of riding to our neighborhood businesses that were by now familiar to us.

      There’s a lot to be said for going to a local businesses rather than driving to the hottest new place across town, fighting for a reservation and parking. I tried not to ask too many questions about which businesses supported the bike lanes and which didn’t, but it was all right there in big red letters every day. They said bike lanes on side streets. Well then I say put businesses on side streets, so I can ride to a corner store with my daughter without risking a side swipe. Allow condo buildings on side streets so our parents and aging neighbors can downsize nearby. I hear four-plexes are required by federal law to have at least one accessible unit that would have been fantastic for my mom.

      All in all, our personal situation is one of considerable privilege, but the message we got is the price of entry to Wedgwood is a car, or some of our friends tell us that it’s great to be able to walk to the local stores from a house (they’re being rapidly replaced by extravagant “McModerns”) and many valued friends sadly left the area when they wanted to buy a house. Walking is not an option for us (and neither is biking to 35th) so we’ve found ourselves instead going to Lake City, Green Lake, U Village, along Sand Point, Roosevelt, Capitol Hill, SLU, Downtown (via transit and we do also have one car). Sometimes that’s great, since we have more destinations. But a lot of the time it’s a heck of lot more inconvenient to travel five miles with a kid without a car than to go one or two miles. Five miles is about the distance to the nearest restaurant to our South now that we have zero interest in braving that unwelcoming speedway.

  11. Kathy says:

    I think many of the small business owners that fought the bike lane missed the fact that people walking and biking are much more likely to be impulse buyers as they pass a shop because it is so much easier to see what’s in a shop, stop and park their bike and patronize, while a person driving by at 30 mph might not bother or even notice your business due to the problem of where to put the car.. Also it seems there are many recreational cyclists who from their limited viewpoint speak and fight against bike lanes on business arterials. They simply do not understand the power of the growing segment of cyclists who do so for transportation. The fact that you are a recreational cyclist has no bearing on this discussion, so please don’t bring it into your argument as if it matters.

  12. Jude Neldam says:

    There were a variety of different viewpoints expressed on both sides of the bike lane debate. I guess my question is now that it seems like everybody is unhappy (because maybe that’s the way the mayor wanted it), do we keep litigating? I think this same group of people would be in agreement on just a about every other non-bike issue.

    • Michael Rockhold says:

      Obviously, we keep working towards the goal of having safe ways for people to get around in our neighborhood, whether they have an encasing car to protect them or not, because it’s a nice neighborhood, with great businesses to patronize, and not everyone can or wants to use a car to do it. I look forward to riding my bike to Grateful Bread again one day. I’m very particular about my bagels.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. I would love to never have to talk about 35th Ave NE bike lanes ever again. The way this fight divided neighbors was awful. And I think the fighting got so bad because due largely to the mayor’s inability to make a decision, which basically prolonged the fight for at least a year longer than necessary. Both sides felt the need to keep organizing and fighting until she made her choice, which she put off as long as she possibly could. That was very poor leadership.

      Unfortunately, now people are getting hurt, possibly due to the half-baked design of the street (we don’t know for sure, but it’s not a good sign). And those who aren’t injured experience the street light the video above. You are upset that people have changed their opinion of your business due to your opposition to the bike lanes, which I understand. But people who bike on the street are upset that they feel unsafe, which is also very understandable.

      I hope folks who fought the bike lanes are also ready to fight for the city to fix this street if this new design does not work. People’s health and safety can’t be ignored.

    • NE seattle cyclist says:

      Jude, you’re certainly well within your right to express a public opinion that bike lanes are a bad idea on 35th.

      I was hit by a car right in front of your business at 35th and NE 70th this last Sunday, and your opposition to bike lanes helped make that happen.

      No vitriol. But why would I ever want to patronize a business that takes a public stand putting my life in danger?

      • ne seattle cyclist says:

        oops, 35th NE and 70th

      • Jude Neldam says:

        I was hit by a car riding my bike in California and the driver who hit me was responsible.Every day bikers get hit by cars while riding in bike lanes because inattentive drivers turn in front of them or open doors into them. My strategy since my accident has not been to rely on drivers being more careful but to rely on myself taking the road less traveled in order to reduce my risk of a second fractured collarbone. I think that’s a very practical solution.

      • NE Seattle Cyclist says:

        Jude, of course I’m sorry you were hit and injured – that’s terrible.

        That said, it sounds like you’re basically blaming me for being there in the first place.

        On behalf of your business, Greatful Bread, you took a very public stand that directly contributed to me getting hit by a car. You can complain about “business bashing” all you want; but again, why would I ever want to support a business that puts my personal safety at risk?

        You’re bashing me and my safety, personally.

        Just wondering, do you ride for transportation (to get places/go shopping) as well as for recreation?

        What you’re describing is much more practical when you’re biking for recreation than when you’re trying to get places. Of course, given an alternative, I would choose a trail over a city street; but if I’m trying to get to the bus stop or to a business, that’s not always an option.

        anyway, thanks for listening.

      • Jude Neldam says:

        I would have to say anonymous NE Seattle Cyclist that you appear to be trying to blame me for your accident but I did not make the decision about the bike lanes, the mayor did. I do believe there were other options that could have been considered and I cannot speak to why she made the decision she did. I love riding on roads and off roads and I have experienced obnoxious angry drivers who were unhappy with my use of the roadway and tried to bully me. I have ridden in many foreign countries where drivers are much more friendly toward cyclists and happily share the road, but I don’t see that as the norm here. Having watched traffic for years on 35th, I thought it was a bad choice for a bike lane because it is so busy. I still feel that way but you are free to disagree.

      • Andres Salomon says:

        “My strategy since my accident has not been to rely on drivers being more careful but to rely on myself taking the road less traveled”

        The road less traveled doesn’t go to your business. As a result – neither do I any more.

      • Jude Neldam says:

        If that keeps you safer, that’s fine with me. This discussion started with the subject of a bike-car accident on 35th. 35th is a dangerous street and it is my opinion that a bike lane will not make it safer for cyclists because angry drivers in a hurry can’t be trusted – and I have the battle scars to prove it.

    • DOUG. says:

      I used to go to Grateful Bread, but because of your stance on the 35th Ave NE bike lane, I never will again. My grandmother lives at an assisted living facility on NE 65th Street. I bring her groceries, which I would purchase at QFC or Safeway on 35th. Taking another route is not practical, since that is the street these stores are on.

      Your opposition to a bike lane on 35th puts me at risk. I hope I don’t get hurt. I’m all my grandmother has.

      • Jude Neldam says:

        I don’t know how old you are but my all my kids ride (29 years old and older) and I am confident in their ability to make good safe decisions and I am sure your grandmother feels that way about you.

      • DOUG. says:

        I’m 50 and my grandmother has dementia.

      • JB says:

        > I’m 50 and my grandmother has dementia.

        Want a cookie? Stop feeling sorry for yourself and go squash the mayor, who is so clearly the one who deserves it. Not some bike-riding old hippie small-business owner.

      • DOUG. says:

        Durkan is a lost cause. She caved because of pressure from folks like Judy Neldam.

      • JB says:

        She caved because you were not able to make a timely and persuasive argument about the benefits of the bike lanes you want.

    • William says:

      Jude, I am not sure the same group of people would be in agreement with you on most things since your views as expressed in the video strike me as distinctly quirky (don’t build safe cycling infrastructure using proven approaches because its actually unsafe and I know because I had serious bike accident). Goodness knows what you think about other issues.

      There are some excellent business on 35th but as a whole the street lacks the density or type of retail, hospitality and leisure businesses to make it a truly vibrant street. I just do not understand why enabling a high volume of cars (most of which do not stop anywhere) to speed through at unsafe speeds is good for businesses.

      Perhaps you could explain why somebody who is upset with your stance on bike lanes should do anything other than take their business to the Grand Central Bakery, Cafe Ventoux or one of the other alternatives in the neighborhood.

  13. John says:

    Has anyone requested records regarding SDOT’s assessment of the safety of the mayor’s design?

  14. Steven Lorenza says:

    When Mayors are designing roads, our system has failed. The arrogance of our Executive seems only matched by…. Well let’s not go there.

    Seattle’s best hope is that a Democrat wins the presidency in 2020 and durkan gets that federal appointment she so clearly craves.

  15. / says:

    It is interesting that so much conversation revolves around bicycling in Seattle. For six months, the weather is so nasty with rain and wind that bicycle riding would not be inviting or attractive to riders. Bad weather makes bicyclists less visible and increases the risk of car vs. bike encounters with the largest and heaviest being the winner. I do not know who wants to ride a bike in Seattle or vicinity during very inclement weather or hours of darkness, am or pm. Bicyclists that I know just drive their cars unless weather is favorable.

    • Kathy says:

      You can generalize if you like but I think maybe you know the wrong bicyclists (maybe the recreation only cyclists?). Did you never hear the maxim “There is no bad weather, only bad gear”? My Irish friend used to laugh whenever I popped open an umbrella: “You Americans are so afraid of a few raindrops!”. Rain in Seattle is mostly intermittent and rarely a steady downpour. In fact we had many teams across Washington State who took the November “Ride in the Rain” challenge last year. I was a captain of a team from West Seattle that placed seventh in the state out of over 400 teams for distance and number of days riding a bike to work, school, recreation, appointments, shopping, etc. By the way, I am a 68 year old cancer survivor, not a spandex warrior.

    • Kathy says:

      Now snow and ice are a different matter, they can be dangerous for bicyclists, especially on hills. Also dangerous for cars. But we don’t have that very often.

    • Tim F says:

      Rain and dark are all the more reason for protected biking infrastructure. Most everyone in Seattle has a rain coat good enough for a casual 15 minute bike ride (a bike-share ride along the full length of 2nd Ave for example). My coat that stands up to occasional winter downpours for a good 45 minute commute cost less than the special shoes I see on most fair weather riders, and it’s also useful as just a regular coat. Modern rechargeable lights are reasonably priced and the local shops are fender experts.

      However if the only option is riding constantly in the path of car after speeding car driven by someone who may or may not have turned on the headlights or their windshield wipers, that’s what will make you hang up your bike until the summer. I have noticed that along the Roosevelt, Dexter and Westlake bike lanes that way more people seem to have year-round setups with fenders, lights, etc. since the bike lanes went in.

  16. Ben H says:

    I recently had a chance to use the multi-million dollar repaving project via bike. In short, it is far less safe than before, when it was already unsafe.

    Note in the video that it is illegal to use the turn lane as a passing lane. It is even illegal to use it as an ‘onramp.’

    My wife’s salon is on that list — Salon Divine. When I was in there, I saw flyers to beat the bike lanes back.

    Appalling unconcern for safety by the city, but I know they were getting death threats and caved.

    On an unrelated note, obesity is over 33% in the US, and diabetes is skyrocketing.

  17. Pingback: Days after SDOT acknowledged safety concerns on new 35th Ave NE, a collision critically injured someone on a motorcycle | Seattle Bike Blog

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