Seattle Times: Danger Zones For Commuting Cyclists
This week Seattle Times writer Mike Lindblom shared a few tough facts with readers: although Washington state is still considered a gold-ranked state by the League of American Bicyclists, and while many Seattle residents believe in green commuting alternatives, cycling to work can be dangerous, especially for inexperienced riders.
According to the article, five cyclists in Seattle were killed in 2009 and about 50 bicycle riders are seriously injured while riding in the area each year. While bikers are sometimes in the wrong in these WA traffic accidents, car drivers who don’t know how to share the road can be a deadly issue, while poor city planning and road conditions can also contribute to Seattle bike accidents.
• The narrow and dangerous Ballard Bridge's south end doesn’t give cyclists much room to navigate, and the bike lane ends abruptly at 15th Avenue West. • Potholes and rough road along Jackson Street in the Chinatown International District can be hazardous for bikers and other drivers alike. • The north end of University Bridge contains dangerous cracks that can send bikers flying and merging traffic lanes make navigation dangerous. • The end of Interurban Trail and the beginning of North Linden Street takes bikers from a safe, park-like environment to an urban tangle of cars and bikes. • The central Ballard mile of the Burke-Gilman Trail at Golden Gardens is a confusion of poor road conditions, parked cars, and deliverymen. • The intersections near Burke-Gilman Trail at 25th Avenue Northeast are dangerous if vehicle try to turn late or if cyclists try to zip across a road during flashing crosswalk warnings. • When the Highway 520 trail merges onto the four-lane Northup Way, it can be a rough transition for bikers and a surprise for cars and trucks. The four bridges on Highway 529 are not well equipped for cyclists and many must brave poor conditions with cars traveling upwards of 60 miles per hour.