Only In Seattle: Seattle Admits Bicyclists Can Be Dangerous

Wait, what?!?


MYNorthwestCity of Seattle finally concedes that bicyclist can be dangerous.

It took them long enough, and while they’re not outwardly saying it, the City of Seattle is finally conceding that too many of the local bicyclists who choose to commute to work via bicycles are doing so irresponsibly.

The City installed a series of “speed humps” along the 2nd Avenue because riders weren’t keeping in mind that they share the space with cars, buses or people on the sidewalks. There were quite a few near collisions (and actual collisions) prompting the city to finally intervene.

This is a big step for the city which, for the longest time, pretended that bicyclists weren’t part of the problem; that it was solely bad drivers. Now, don’t get me wrong: drivers can be nuts in this city. But there are awfully inconsiderate bicyclists that will almost always lose if they cause an accident with a car; and they seem to ride with an entitled attitude as if they own the road because of some superiority complex.

Along with this news, the Seattle Times confirms what a lot of already knew — not many people use the protected bike lane in downtown. There are just 915 riders who use the 2nd Avenue bike lanes per weekday; the negative impact it’s had on the commute for drivers and bus riders is not worth the problems they’ve caused. The numbers are so low, even urbanist-activist Councilmember Mike O’Brien seems disappointed.

“I would like to see the numbers higher. That does surprise me,” O’Brien told the Times. He personally uses his bike for a commute, so he’ll help funnels tens of millions more into bike infrastructure only a little over 3 percent of commuters use.

Of course, there’s some spin when it comes to the low numbers. Despite bike commuting declining after spending and declaring tens of millions of dollars on bike infrastructure, the argument is still “if you build it, they will come” for some reason.

“We will see greater usage once we see expansions up to Denny, and down at the ID (Chinatown International District),” said Kelli Refer, Seattle advocacy director for Cascade Bicycle Club, to the Times. “To get to Second Avenue [right now] you have to be a fairly confident rider, to even reach the protected lanes.”

People aren’t biking because there aren’t enough options. It’s because most people don’t want to ride up or down a hill in the rain to get to and from work. In fact, I’m sure parents definitely would prefer to bike in tandem with their 9-year-olds to drop them off at school. If only they had more bike lanes!


Tis spring- everyone loves a good bicycle story, yes? The Spandex Brigade has already started along the rural roads in my neighborhood and they will be out in force tomorrow on an unseasonably warm day that is supposed to be in the 80’s. Yay.

5 Comments on Only In Seattle: Seattle Admits Bicyclists Can Be Dangerous

  1. Over in Portlandia they have killed a number of bicyclists every year from their insistence on putting bike lanes along the side of major arterial streets and roads, pretending like there is some kind of fricking magic zone in that narrow little corridor.

    But when you have some meathead on a bike going downhill doing fifty, and a garbage truck doing the 25 MPH speed limit makes a legal right hand turn, it results in a very messy but quick death for that speeding bug of a biker.

    The failed proposed replacement for the Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia river failed because of all the expensive bells and whistles that the local libs could not resist pinning on the project. One of those expensive pins was over $300 million worth of pedestrian and bicycle access that would really only give the homeless better access to the freeway with shopping carts. That alone cost more than both of the original bridges….

    Seattle is getting ready to jump into the public bicycle business in a big way too, along with Portlandia, who is desperate to out-do SanFran…

    So it goes…I bought 400 pounds of dried corn today to add to the emergency stores for when things finally really do go right to shit. I feel we’re on the razor’s edge of it right now….

  2. Where to even begin with the cultural appropriation. We have the wheel, frame, crank, chain, then to compound issues there are roads and cars. If not directly affiliated with a group that originated these specific items there is no reason to use them. Since the Bicycle was invented before modern day roads, it can only traverse 19th century brick roads that have not been repaved.

  3. So now I live in Knoxville, and the back roads in Tennessee make for some breathtakingly beautiful drives. Bike rides as well, I totally get it, but the topography does not allow for a group of 10-20 riders to come around a downhill curve going 50mph with some of them in the oncoming traffic’s lane without consequences. There are an impressive amount of roadside memorials around here.

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