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.”
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 K[email protected]. Refer to Kent Case Number 23-15895.”
For a budget cycle with tough revenue projections, the City Council still added some excellent street safety projects and mostly protected safety efforts from cuts. The Council passed the 2024-25 budget Tuesday after weeks of hearings and debates.
Highlights include $1.4 million to “transform the Mt. Baker station area into a safer and comfortable place for people to walk, bike, and make transit connections; and for the Mt. Baker Town Center to take root and flourish,” according to the budget document (PDF). The Council also earmarked funds from the sale of surplus SDOT property to the Thomas Street redesign between South Lake Union and Seattle Center and to a traffic calming project on S Henderson Street in Rainier Beach. Both of these projects are major needs with big potential to improve mobility and keep people safe.
Unfortunately, the Council did approve a $1.4 million cut to the School Safety and Pedestrian Improvement Fund with SDOT noting their intent to complete planned projects using Vision Zero and ADA accessibility improvement funds. These pools need to grow, not shrink as every penny invested here makes our city safer for everybody. Oddly, though, the Council saved the $1.5 million for the sorely lacking NE 45th Street overpass fence funds, a project that we have argued needs to go back to step one because it falls desperately short of what is actually needed and might even make the real safety improvements more difficult and expensive in the future. Perhaps there is still time to steer this project toward a better outcome, but I’m surprised the Council saved this project while cutting the same amount from the Vision Zero and ADA budgets.
Hanoch Yeung rode Cranksgiving for his first time and documented the whole thing. As the organizer, I have never actually ridden Cranksgiving myself. So I loved getting a glimpse of what it’s like. Check it out. And be sure to subscribe to Best Side Cycling on YouTube.
I am still riding high on the happy and caring vibes from Seattle’s 14th Annual Cranksgiving. 168 people biked all over our beautiful city Saturday to buy items the U District, Rainier Valley and Byrd Barr Place Food Banks requested. Pannier by backpack by trailer load, the riders all pitched in to deliver an all-time record 3,699 pounds of food and other necessities.
Thank you so much to everyone who joined us, and thanks to all the volunteers who helped make this the smoothest the event has ever run.
This was the second year that Seattle Bike Blog has partnered with Cascade Bicycle Club’s Pedaling Relief Project (“PRP”) and the effort’s dedicated leader Maxwell Burton to organize Cranksgiving, and it’s a perfect pairing. PRP is the logical extension of Cranksgiving as people use their bikes to help food banks on a regular and reliable schedule. PRP volunteers do not buy the donations like they do during Cranksgiving, but they help handle logistics around deliveries and food rescue. Since it began in 2020, Seattle PRP riders have transported more than 1.2 million pounds of food all by bike. It is a genuine phenomenon. I highly recommend joining a PRP effort. It’s fun, you meet great people, and you help out your neighbors all the same time.
This year, a lot of first-time Cranksgiving riders came from PRP groups. Likewise, I hope that Cranksgiving can also be an entry point for new PRP volunteers.
Riders this year met at Byrd Barr Place’s amazing rehabilitated fire house at 18th and Cherry and were sent on three different ride options. The most popular choice was to head south to Bike Works, which graciously hosted the drop-off point for Rainier Valley Food Bank for the third year in a row. I overheard several riders at the start say they thought this would be the easier route. I don’t think they were saying that by the end. Most other riders headed north to U District Food Bank. When riders arrived at their food bank drop-off spots, they received a second list of grocery sellers and requested items to buy on their way back to the finish line at Byrd Barr Place.
For the first year, we had a Mini Cranksgiving, which was a shorter loop around central Seattle. This was a great addition for people for all kinds of reasons (arrived late, had to leave early, had kids who need breaks, etc). And for the first time ever, we even had a runner. Loren killed it, hauling as much as many riders. Do we need a running category next year?!?
If you see a yellow silhouette attached to a pole or sign around town, it’s there because a person was killed in a traffic collision near that spot in the nearly nine years since Seattle first approved it’s Vision Zero goal in 2015. The sheer number of these yellow memorials, numbering over 200, provides a grim status report on the city’s progress toward its goal of zero traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030.
The signs have been installed thanks to a significant volunteer-powered effort led by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and are part of the annual World Day of Remembrance memorializing victims of traffic violence and calling for change.
In addition to the signs, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has two community walks planned in two of the city’s worst hot spots for traffic deaths: SoDo and Aurora. Details:
11 a.m. Friday, November 17 SODO – SODO Link Station Station
11 a.m. Saturday, November 18 Aurora Avenue – Aurora Ave and N 84th Street
This year, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is specifically targeting the most dangerous kinds of streets in the city. “80% of pedestrian fatalities occur on streets with more than one travel lane in each direction — our wide, busy streets where people feel comfortable driving fast,” said Gordon Padelford, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Executive Director, in a press release. “Meanwhile, 80% of people biking are killed on streets without bike lanes.”
Cranksgiving is Saturday, and all the details are coming together nicely. For the second year, Cascade Bicycle Club’s Pedaling Relief Project has been doing a lot of work to not only make the event more fun and dynamic for riders, but also more helpful for our food bank partners. I am just so happy with how this partnership is going, and I can’t wait for you all join us Saturday (more details in our previous post).
I had a great time at Cascade’s office last Thursday getting help from people from various wings of the organization pitching in to help make spoke cards or create signage for Cranksgiving. It remains a very low-budget event, and all the handmade signs and details just add to that feel.
Meet up in the center of the park at 7ish. Leave at 730. Every Thursday from now until forever rain or shine. Bikes, beers, illegal firepits, nachos, bottlerockets, timetraveling, lollygagging, mechanicals, good times.ShareMastodonTwitterFacebookRedditEmail
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