A recent fatal bike accident on the Interurban Trail in Washington has many asking for improved safety for this multiuse trail between Everett and Lynwood.

Washington’s Interurban Trail Can Be Dangerous For Pedestrians And Cyclists

Earlier this summer, a tragic accident on Washington's Interurban Trail left one cyclist dead. The collision took place when Cathy and Eric Wedlund were walking their dog along the multipurpose trail. Suddenly, two cyclists approached down a hill and around the corner, crashing into the group. One of the bikers, Wendell Hultman, died days after the crash from his injuries.

 

While fatal crashes on the trail are rare, this incident highlights several safety issues with the popular trail. Running from Everett Mall to Lynwood on the old Interurban Trolley route, the paved 15-mile trail is popular with joggers, cyclists, dog-walkers, and families in Snohomish County. However, such a mix of recreationalists causes issues and dangers on the path. While pedestrians complain that bikers often ride at high speeds along the path, cyclists say that the dangers involve poorly behaved dogs, pedestrians with earphones, unsupervised children, and families taking up the width of the trail.

 

A number of safety experts have suggested improvements for the Interurban trail that they believe could reduce the number of Washington bicycle and pedestrian accidents:

 

  • Add signage. While there are a few warning signs along the road, none of the signs warn cyclists of the speed limit (15 miles per hour) and few warn of steep grades or upcoming dangerous turns.

  • Post rules in parking lots. Many trail users simply aren't aware of the dangers or how they prevent accidents. A list of rules for runners, dog walkers, families, and bikers can help educate the public.

  • Enforce the rules! Currently, there are simply no consequences for breaking the rules other than the chances of getting into a serious accident. Obviously, relying on trail users to police themselves has not been successful.

  • Consider long-term solutions. The best solutions to the issue of pedestrian bicycle collisions on the Interurban Trail are expensive: widen the path or create one path for cyclists and another for pedestrians.

 

Have you been injured on the Interurban Trail in Snohomish County, or on another multiuse trail in Washington State? Your bicycle or pedestrian accident may have been prevented if not for the actions of someone else on the path or the poor design of the trail. Speak to a Seattle personal injury attorney today about your case.