A Seattle Police officer driving a police cruiser turned in front of and struck a person biking near the East Precinct Tuesday evening.
The 31-year-old man was checked out by Seattle Fire Department medics, but was not transported to the hospital, according to SPD. Hopefully this means his injuries were not serious.
The incident was caught on camera and posted to Twitter by @MarcusKulik (it happens at the 0.09 mark in the upper left corner):
CW: vehicle/bicycle collision
Wow so SPD just cut off a cyclist along their wall and caused the cyclist to collide with the SPD cruiser. @SeattlePD you never learn to check your mirrors? Morons. tear down your wall, both of you are a hazard to the community.#seattleprotests pic.twitter.com/WYgnxuoyUc
— Subpixel Alchemist (@MarcusKulik) April 21, 2021
In the video, the officer appears to pass the victim near the Pine Street intersection, and both of them continue southbound on 12th Avenue. Then the officer makes a right turn mid-block directly in front of the man on the bike, who does not have enough time to stop and collides with the cruiser. It is the responsibility of the person turning to check for people biking and yield.
To make matters worse, there is technically a bike lane on 12th Ave, but the city constructed a wall out of concrete blocks that infringes on the usable bike lane space in addition to closing the sidewalk and decreasing visibility of the precinct garage entrance. Central Seattle Greenways has been trying to get the city to remove the wall, writing in November:
it was shocking to see SDOT fabricate this concrete and steel wall around the East Precinct, blocking sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes, seemingly overnight, with not a single word of outreach or advance notice.
SPD told Capitol Hill Seattle in early April that the department would remove the wall, but has not yet done so.
I have questions out to SPD to see if the officer was cited and to learn more details. I will update if I get more information.
But in the meantime, tear down this wall, Mayor Durkan. And send these concrete blocks to Stay Healthy Streets and bike lanes that need them for safety.