Bicycle Safety in Seattle

Bicycle Safety in Seattle

Why are there more accidents now?


I once wrote a few weeks ago that bicyclists were a menace to society--the reverse is actually probably more true. A few weeks before that, I wrote that the most offensive bicyclists were the vegan-donut-eating coke-snorting bicyclists. Because they just are. Today, I came across an interesting article discussing how to make the streets safer for all kinds of bicyclists. 

The idea of a “War on Cars” comes from the lack of safe riding spots for Seattleites wanting to ride around town without being fearful for their lives. The portion of the manifesto that centers on bicyclist and pedestrian safety has some fairly staggering statistics regarding the number of fatalities caused by traffic accidents. According to THIS ARTICLE in The Stranger:


 Between 2000 and 2009 in King County, 19 cyclists and 238 pedestrians lost their lives to cars, while injuries sent another 423 cyclists and 1,656 pedestrians to our hospital wards for two days or more after being hit by cars.


To combat the problem and to make the streets safer, bicycle safety advocates are recommending some changes to the streets in Seattle that already have bicycle lanes. They are proposing, for example, to slow down traffic to below twenty miles an hour on streets with bike lanes. Other ideas are creating bicycle-only streets. 


As it stands now, the roads are very crowded with bicycles, cars, and even sometimes pedestrians and parked cars, which leaves very little room for navigation, especially when people are in a hurry. 


The number of collisions is increasing at a rapid pace, but again, it’s hard to say exactly why. There are arguments on both sides; some claim that there are too many bicyclists who fail to follow the letter of the law. Others say that the reverse is true and that the vehicles on the road encroach on the space of the bicyclists. The Stranger believes that