Alaskan Way Gauntlet and Lance David

king 5 interview

King 5 interview cyclists at the intersection

Stopped at the intersection where Lance David died this week. A King 5 camera crew was taping the ghost bike and interviewing cyclists. Shared my thoughts, as did others, and the story ran last night with friends remembering him as a cyclist. While there, the reporter was talking to the family on the phone as semis carried containers from the port to the rail yard. I said the area was a gauntlet, including the six-corner intersection at Spokane and Marginal where my wife was hit last month. The planners and advocates will take this as a call to action and I hope make it a cycling corridor, as well as a trucking one.

crashed

Another crash

Returning home, I assisted a cyclist who crashed rounding the corner southbound from Alaskan to Spokane. His tire skipped a seam and he went down on a sidewalk that used to be a path. It’s now a spillway that sends cyclists into the gauntlet. Like Lance, that cyclist was experienced and rides Alaskan Way frequently.

Lance’s widow posted a statement on the West Seattle blog noting the cause of the accident is not known. We may never know, but what’s more important is that Seattle’s streets become more rideable. Despite cycling friendly ratings by marketers and fundraisers that don’t live or ride here, we’re not a bike town. That label doesn’t apply until the infrastructure better supports us. It’s a little-known fact that Seattle city attorneys have argued that no duty of care is owed to cyclists.

We’re on our own here and demand more.

Urban Bike Symposium: Call for Participation

Urban Bike Symposium

Reimagining Bicycle-Friendly Cities

I’m hosting a panel about Bike Culture at the Urban Bike Symposium in June, here in Seattle, on the UW Campus. There’s academics, advocates, bloggers, and cyclists. Also, a call for builders and makers to participate. On the agenda are social events and a showcase for bikes and gear for free. Contact the organizers and we’ll see you there.

A Bicycling King of the Netherlands


King Willem-Alexander is a biking King and at 1:25 his mom drops everyone on official state visits. Oh how we would love to use some Hollywood technology and embed ourselves in this film, like we grew up and rode in the glorious Netherlands. As close as we’ve got to a ride like the King was with Amsterdamized.

The Ride Goes On

boys in a box

Boys in a box bike

Seeing a father with his kids in a box bike punctuated a sad day in Seattle. A reminder that life goes on and this morning cyclists rode again on Seattle’s streets. It’s tense out there, as @mszitka observed

and a reminder of where this blog started. I’ll ride later today on Alaskan Way and past this Ghost Bike.

ghost bike

Another Ghost Bike in Seattle

Photo: West Seattle Blog

Think that box bike maybe this one, with another kid in it.

Bike to Work Month Starts with a Death

construction

A gauntlet of semis, trucks, construction, trains, and game day traffic

Alaskan Way is ridden by thousands of cyclists, heavily trafficked by semis, intersects the tunnel project, and is as hazardous a road as any. I’ve referred to it as a gauntlet. Cite it too as a reason Seattle isn’t the bike town advocates say it is, as they pat each other on the back, citing best of lists or giving themselves an B grade. The disconnect between city hall, lobbyist offices, and the streets where cyclists ride in Seattle too often results in tragedy.

This one happened on the first day of Bike to Work month. There are no further details and it occurred a few hours ago during the commute. We’re saddened here, feeling it for the families, and those involved. Alaskan Way is ridden by thousands ride daily.

To the cyclists in our town and others who choose to ride instead of drive, safety is a constant concern. For updates on the story, see this post from the West Seattle Blog. Also Cascade’s blog and a map of pedestrian and bicycle accidents.

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