City of Seattle and Cyclists? You Can’t Truss It

Bike friendly Seattle!

On the same day a judge tossed out a streetcar tracks lawsuit, Sound Transit announces a cycle track will accompany the 1st Hill Streetcar on Broadway in Seattle. At least they’re learning!

So what happened was, the SDOT aligned the tracks to the far right of the street where the bikes go. I’ve ridden along them and your front wheel plays chicken with the track. It’s bad civil engineering and inevitably led to crashes. So an attorney gathered up 6 cyclists into a lawsuit and a judge said

The cyclists hadn’t proved the city fell short of any design or engineering standards and the City is immune.

while the city attorney Rebecca Boatright said

We never disputed the tracks were a hazard.

PR tip to Boatright! You’re making your bones here in our town, sure, but probably don’t want to gloat about knowingly putting cyclists in danger.

A known hazard and to the point, riding on Seattle’s mean streets is not like you’re in Amsterdam or Copenhagen or even on a path along Greenlake.

You’re in danger at all times and should ride offensively. On that section of road, when I’m there, I’m riding right down the middle of the lane like the Fixie Guy in the Motherfucking bike video.

Get the F up off me and not going to ride along tracks

Middle of the street is where you’re gonna find me, a shitload of traffic backed up behind me.

You should ride there too on your motherfucking bike.

The City’s relationship with cyclists? Another quote and this time from Chuck D and Public Enemy

You Can’t Truss It

Where was the powerful Cascade Bicycle Club during this bike-friendy-city-transportion-engineering failure? Obsessing about Stone Way before their top lobbyist went to work for the Mayor.

Can we trust them on issues like cyclist’s safety?

Trust your self and no one else. In Seattle, at least.



Westlake is a prime example. Just take the left lane (the one not used up by train tracks, and there you go. I even got a Fat Frank 2.3 inch tire stuck in a track once, didn’t think that would happen. Didn’t wipe out but sure made me reconsider.

.83 is the group that got Stone Way worked out, not Cascade.


Right on Stone Way—the line was about how did this happen? There’s no group more intertwined in Seattle politics than them and a known hazard as built?

I just find other streets to ride on. Why anyone would want to ride up Stone Way is beyond me. Lots of cars, traffic lights, dangerous intersections. Much more pleasant (and faster) to ride up Interlake or Woodlawn. When I worked downtown I usually took Terry which has less traffic and no tracks. Ditto for streets like 8th or 24th in the Ballard area. Yeah, they have bike lanes but they also have tons of traffic. Go one block over and you’re on a mostly deserted residential street with few cars, less glass and no red lights. Just because you can ride on a major arterial doesn’t always mean it’s the best idea or for that matter the most pleasant route.

Cyclists take arterials for the same reason that cars take arterials: They have the right of way. Take the secondary roads and you have to start watching every intersection because whoever gets to a secondary intersection first or with the highest velocity and mass has the right of way. On an arterial, the direction with the green light or the higher travelled route has right of way.

If I’m riding with my kids, I take a neighborhood street. We’re going 3-9 mph and I still have to look out for cross traffic. If they are strapped in or if I’m by myself and in a hurry, I take an arterial. If I’m anywhere close to the speed of traffic or on a multi lane road or if I don’t think I should be passed, I also take the lane.

The next bonus of an arterial is that SDOT fixes them. ‘nuff said.

But back to the topic at hand, I’m delighted to find that a cycle track will be installed on Jackson after all. Sometimes a lawsuit, even a losing one, gets the job done.

Thanks for posting this, Byron. You rock.

Whoops, not Jackson, Broadway, darn it.

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