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48-year-old killed while biking in Kent

Street View image of a street with five lanes and sidewalks but no bike lanes.
Approximate location of the collision as of August 2022 via Google Street View.

A 48-year-old man was killed today in a collision with a 24-year-old driving southbound on Central Avenue South, according to the Kent Police Department.

Our condolences to his friends and family.

The collision occurred shortly after 12:30 p.m., and the initial information from the police says the person driving stopped, did not show signs of impairment and is cooperating with the investigation. Police released few additional details, saying only that “witnesses on scene reported seeing the bicycle abruptly turn in front of a vehicle.”

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Take caution not to jump to conclusions based on this early information, however. Full investigations often reveal circumstances much different than initial reports indicate.

The 800 block of Central Avenue South is in the middle of a half-mile stretch of the avenue without a traffic signal or crosswalk. The street has two lanes in each direction plus a center turn lane. It does not have bike lanes. Ryan Packer reported that the traffic death numbers in Kent have increased dramatically in 2023.

Anyone with additional information should “call the Kent PD Tip Line 253-856-5808 or leave a tip at [email protected]. Refer to Kent Case Number 23-15895.”

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6 responses to “48-year-old killed while biking in Kent”

  1. alkistu

    Stroads Kill. All of the information we have to date from traffic accident reporting makes it clear 2 lanes in one direction is the worst urban street design.

    1. Gary Yngve

      Ugh, 40 mph speed limit too. Repressive for anyone not in a motor vehicle.

  2. Josh

    This seems like it should be a test of how police implement the safe passing law. With two lanes each direction, the driver shouldn’t have been in the same lane while overtaking a bicycle. Which lane was the driver in and where was the cyclist before “turning in front” of the driver?

  3. Stu Hennessey

    Police can enforce the 3 foot minimum clearance passing law if they had the will, but they can’t be everywhere.

  4. Breadbaker

    I lived for two years quite near there. As suggested, the conditions for biking in the traffic lanes were pretty much freeway conditions. There are sidewalks pretty much the whole way on both sides and there are much traffic calmer side streets at least on the west side which is where I did my biking when I needed to go from home to places in the vicinity. There’s even a partial trail (it sort of comes and goes) along the Green River where it turns and it gets you under Central Ave. But I generally was biking for recreation (although I had a doctor near there) and cyclists are entitled to bike to get from Point A to Point B and come back alive. I have to say reading this is triggering. Kent streets can be pretty unsafe.

  5. Alkistu

    As you said cyclists (as well as pedestrians and even motorists) are entitled to get from A to B alive As suggested we do have work to do to make cyclists aware of alternative routes with less traffic and slower speeds by design. Neighborhood Greenways are needed but often overlooked by cyclists.

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