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Friday, January 11, 2013

This Is Why We Need Protected Bicycle Lanes in Downtown Seattle

Posted by on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 10:17 AM

This was the scene I encountered yesterday evening at rush hour. That cyclist sitting on the curb had just been hit by that SUV, he told me, and as you can see, the SUV is straddling the bicycle lane on Second Avenue. I'd stopped walking to ask if the cyclist was all right. He said he was okay, but seemed stunned and had some scratches on his face. He was riding in the bike lane, wearing a blinking red light, he explained, when the vehicle swung across the bike lane and attempted to "nose into the parking spot." As I was walking away, the driver told the cyclist, "That was my bad."

second_ave_cyclist.jpg

This is yet another example of why Seattle needs protected bicycle lanes, lanes that are separated from vehicle traffic by some sort of physical barrier. Sometimes they're called cycle tracks. They're found in cities around the world to prevent exactly this sort of collision from happening. On Second and Fourth Avenues, the primary thoroughfares through downtown Seattle where the lanes are counter-intuitively on the left side of the street (because buses pull over on the right), the traffic is all one direction and it moves fast. I've ridden on both, and, well... accidents like these have nearly happened to me about a dozen times when drivers have swerved into the bike lane.

We need more infrastructure to delineate where cyclists have right of way, obviously, but there's a problem.

Anti-cyclists propagandists, columnists like Joni Balter, and the Seattle Times editorial board have attempted to make cycling a political act. They say cars are being "shoved aside" for the "transfer of asphalt to bicycle lanes" and all cyclists are "militant." They say a "war on cars" and "road diets" that are proven to improve cyclist safety are driving people out of the city. Riding a bike isn't a political act. It's a means of transportation. But because these people—Balter, writers in her cadre, people who call cyclists "militant," local politicians who refuse to denounce that language, and others who we wrote about last year on this issue—are making it a political issue, and they make it more difficult for elected leaders to fund bicycle infrastructure.

The city's Bicycle Master Plan, created in 2007, has barely been funded. At five years into the 10-year plan, we've paid for only $36 million of the $240 million goal. That's less than one-quarter of the funding it needs, while the council finds political unity around spending $930 million for an underperforming freeway tunnel (that contains no accommodations for bikes or transit). Meanwhile, data from the Seattle Department of Transportation and other sources show that, as more people are riding bikes in Seattle, collisions and cyclist fatalities are on the rise. This has to end.

Treating cycling like a political football has to stop. Deferring cycling investments needs to stop. People's safety and their lives are on the line—and they're not activists. They're just people, commuters. Bicycle accidents can't be eliminated entirely by protected bicycle lanes, and I don't mean to say they can, but it would have eliminated this one and countless others just like it.

 

Comments (113) RSS

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DOUG. 1
The 2nd Avenue bike lane is a suicide mission. The city should move it to the other side of the street. Until then, take a regular lane.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on January 11, 2013 at 10:26 AM · Report this
2
I agree. I've ridden that lane while taking my life into my hands. And, more often as a pedestrian, I've watched other cyclists take that route and their own life in their hands.

And, drivers on 2nd are generally clueless. It's a thoroughfare to I90, and they zoom down the hill in oblivion. We have to eradicate (yeah, right) that entitled mentality that the world exists to serve the automobile.
Posted by Timothy http://www.moreperfect.org on January 11, 2013 at 10:28 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 3
Fnarf to claim that blinking lights are invisible in three...
Posted by Matt from Denver on January 11, 2013 at 10:29 AM · Report this
4
I've been biking to work for years, and there's no way in hell I'd use 2nd or 4th, even though it'd cut about two miles off my commute.
Posted by tiktok on January 11, 2013 at 10:29 AM · Report this
5
"Anti-cyclists propagandists..." This article sounds like propaganda to me.

Also, motorists are rarely aware of cyclists along that stretch of Third Ave. If you're bicycling in the blind spot of a vehicle in the left lane, you can pretty much expect that they're going to turn left in front of your bike, veer left to avoid traffic ahead, or enter the bike lane in order to pick someone up from work.

That being said, it's highly unlikely that the City is going to pay for "bike barriers" downtown.
Posted by SeattleMike5 on January 11, 2013 at 10:35 AM · Report this
6
No critique of the injured cyclist intended here, but all riders should have blinking white lights on the front as well as red lights in the back. If the driver cut the cyclist off, that means he or she was looking in their rearview mirror (one can only hope) and didn't see the cyclist. I have nearly collided with other cyclists a dozen times this winter, because they were dressed in black and had no lights on their bikes. Safety is the driver's responsibility, of course, by cyclists need to make themselves as visible as possible.
Posted by Chicago Fan on January 11, 2013 at 10:41 AM · Report this
delirian 7
Segregated lanes seem like a neat idea, but they do have a tendency to make cyclists even more invisible at intersections. If there is a long stretch of road and a high speed limit, then a segregated bike lane makes sense. If it is a low speed limit with lots of cars making turns, then it might not be a great idea. It is better to have the SUV bump the driver at slow speeds pulling into a parking space than to roll over the cyclist during a turn.
Posted by delirian on January 11, 2013 at 10:42 AM · Report this
8
You're goddamn right I'm militant. I wear visible colors, blinking lights and bike defensively. Despite all that, I still nearly get killed by oblivious fucking drivers daily.

"Oh I didn't see you" is not an apology. It's an admission of guilt. NO FUCKING SHIT YOU DIDN'T SEE ME.
Posted by Vitriolforbreakfast on January 11, 2013 at 10:46 AM · Report this
Fnarf 9
@3, well, they are. And they're illegal in Germany, where they take cycling safety seriously. That's not the topic of this post, though, is it?
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 11, 2013 at 10:47 AM · Report this
Simply Me 10
Dedicated and segregated lanes are a no brainer. I have blinking shit all over my bike. Front, back, wheels, and I STILL find myself dodging reckless cars.

Dominic is spot on. I ride a bike, because my husband takes our one car to his job which is further away than mine. I can easily get to work on a bike, but I risk my life each and every time. It doesn't have to be this way.
Posted by Simply Me on January 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM · Report this
Bichael 11
You make some great points, especially concerning the disparity between developments to cycling and driving infrastructure in Seattle. I am hopeful and excited for the separated bike lanes on Broadway, and with increased LINK Rail coverage to certain neighborhoods, I believe motorist traffic will slowly recede. While Seattle boasts a great cycling community and motorists generally understand that they have to accommodate us here, I would argue that the "motorist mentality" (some strange forgetfulness of how fucking fast and dangerous you are to the people on the street) is the most harmful to us, no matter how protected and extensive the bike lanes are. Maybe it will take more people giving up the gas pedal for foot pedals? ;~)
Posted by Bichael on January 11, 2013 at 10:52 AM · Report this
12
I quite like the Danish idea of putting the bike lane between the curb and the area designated for parking cars. It's like a protected lane where we don't have to pay for the barrier.

But what do the danish know about cyclist safety, right?
Posted by Chris Jury http://www.thebismarck.net on January 11, 2013 at 10:54 AM · Report this
meanie 13
Its all these dickless car nuts with their high capacity automobiles being all crazy not caring about everyone else. We should ban single occupancy driving, if it saves one life its worth it.
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on January 11, 2013 at 10:57 AM · Report this
14
@7:
If the driver cut the cyclist off, that means he or she was looking in their rearview mirror (one can only hope) and didn't see the cyclist.


I suspect that was the issue. People aren't used to having to look behind them when (for example) taking a right turn, even when there's a bike lane next to them. This is a similar case; there were no car lanes between the driver and their intended parking spot, so I'm guessing that they just tried to pull straight in.
Posted by doceb on January 11, 2013 at 10:59 AM · Report this
15
I was just wondering, if you have separated bike lanes, are cyclists then still allowed to drive on the street side and/or sidewalk?
Posted by Senor Guy on January 11, 2013 at 11:00 AM · Report this
meanie 16
Obvious sarcasm aside, the problem like so many other social ills is enforcement. For nearly killing someone with a 4000 lb car this drive *might* be looking at a "inattentive driving" or a "failure to yield" ticket. If they receive an infraction at all.

Drivers don't bother looking for bikes for the same reason they talk on the phone, or speed on arterials they don't really care enough about the penalties, and the rewards for screwing off and getting from A-B as fast as possible clearly outweigh the risks.
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on January 11, 2013 at 11:01 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 17
I've often thought that elevating bike lanes downtown would be a good idea. You'd skip traffic lights, and level hills. Have it run down 2nd, and run your on/off ramps toward 3rd.

They wouldn't have to be terribly expensive - I'd prefer a minimal design with one lane each, a basic railing to keep you from falling off, and some lights.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on January 11, 2013 at 11:02 AM · Report this
delirian 18
@12: Bad idea. The cars will hide the cyclist until they are at the intersection. Some studies say that it increases the risk of an intersection collision by up to 11 times. It is a simple question of line of sight. With the bike lane alongside traffic, cars can potentially see the cyclist (most do, some don't). With the bike lane behind parked cars, the cars will not see the cyclist until the intersection.
Posted by delirian on January 11, 2013 at 11:06 AM · Report this
19
For all the bluster from the idiots at the Seattle Times about "Mayor McSchwinn," we actually haven't gotten much bicycle infrastructure built.

Contrast that with Chicago where Rahm Emmanuel becomes mayor and within 18 months there's a world-class cycle track on Dearborn Street in the Loop.

Seattle Process drives me nuts.
Posted by mloar on January 11, 2013 at 11:06 AM · Report this
20
FWIW -- Blinking WHITE lights are in fact illegal in Washington State.

Flashing lights are prohibited except as required in RCW 46.37.190, 46.37.200, 46.37.210, 46.37.215, and 46.37.300, warning lamps authorized by the state patrol, and light-emitting diode flashing taillights on bicycles.

Posted by ZappoMan on January 11, 2013 at 11:11 AM · Report this
21
@18: The Dearborn Street cycle track in Chicago shows one way to solve the problem: left-turn pockets and bicycle signals.

Alternately there's the Dutch solution of having the cycle track jog on to the side street so that turning motorists cross it at a right angle.
Posted by mloar on January 11, 2013 at 11:13 AM · Report this
22
Explain to me why this isn't a driver training and enforcement issue?

There very well may be a reason. But looking a the above scenario (setting aside the widely held view which I share that the 2nd Ave left side of the road bike lane is a horribly executed bit of cycling infrastructure) the SUV driver broke the law by entering a parallel parking spot nose first, broke the law by cutting across an occupied vehicle lane to do so, and broke the law by hitting another vehicle (the bike). If the SUV driver left the scene without at the very least giving his contact and insurance details to the cyclist (and potentially waiting for the police due to the injuries) then he committed felony.

People aren't supposed to break the law while operating their vehicles; they need to be trained not to do so and there needs to be enforcement when they do, right?

Not persuaded by the separated infrastructure argument in part (and c.f. everything we ever see of Scandinavian infrastructure) because I'm not certain you or I want to be so regimented in our transportation cycling. shoehorned in and limited to poodling along behind at 12 mph, bizarre chicanes at road intersection, pedestrians crossing from their parked cars - I'm not sure I want that and I'm not sure the cyclist bloodied on the curb in the photo would want (or have chosen) that either - I'm judging a book by its cover, but we do that...
Posted by JAT on January 11, 2013 at 11:16 AM · Report this
Fnarf 23
I drive, and I bike. It's not a simple matter of "drivers are assholes" or "cyclists are assholes". Motorists have a responsibility to look out for cyclists, whether there's a marked lane or not, but cyclists also have a responsibility to help motorists see them. The fact is, it IS extremely difficult to see cyclists in lots of situations. And your blinky lights aren't helping as much as you think they are.

The thing about being in a car is, especially at night, you are surrounded by glass, which is reflective, and the street is reflective, especially when it's wet, and the shop windows are reflective too. And you are surrounded by lights from a million sources, which are reflected a million times in all those reflective surfaces. Street lights, traffic lights, car headlights, car taillights, shop lights, house lights.

In a sea of noise like that it's very hard to make out a tiny pinprick of blinky blink, and even harder to make out where the hell the blinky actually IS, since it's off half the time. You will notice that cars don't have blinky lights -- and they're quite easy to see. It's much better to use fixed but VERY BRIGHT lights, preferably one on the front with a shaped beam that doesn't blind oncoming vehicles and pedestrians (like the B+M Ikon) and a 2-watt LED red light on the rear.

Or two. And reflectors all around. And at least one bit of bright clothing. I wear a safety-orange mesh vest thingie that makes me look like a complete knob -- which is better than looking like nothing at all.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 11, 2013 at 11:17 AM · Report this
24
One time I saw a guy not wearing a helmet on a bike go through a stop sign... so this is DEFINITELY the cyclists fault.
Posted by cdubone on January 11, 2013 at 11:17 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 25
Obviously cyclists need forward firing SMGs on their bikes.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 11, 2013 at 11:18 AM · Report this
seandr 26
Seattle needs protected bicycle lanes

That would be nice.

the lanes are counter-intuitively on the left side of the street

That certainly isn't helping matters. I've come to instinctively check my right side mirror before making right turns across bike lanes. I couldn't tell you whether that instinct has generalized to the left, but given how rare this scenario is, I have doubts.

@fnarf: Actually, blinking verses steady state lights is a toss up when it comes to safety. The human retina relies on rods for night vision, and rods are sensitive to flicker, so you're more likely to be quickly noticed with a blinking light. On the other hand, it's easier for drivers to track your position with a steady state light. There's probably a good case for having one of each.
Posted by seandr on January 11, 2013 at 11:19 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 27
@19 maybe if we used Pike Place Market to provide fish when people "have problems with biking lanes" like Rahm does ...
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 11, 2013 at 11:20 AM · Report this
TVDinner 28
There are all sorts of intersection treatments for separated bike lanes that minimize the threat and danger from vehicles at intersections. Those treatments are well-known and clearly documented in bike facility engineering guides for Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands and other European countries.

In other words, it would not require any new kinds of engineering to make them happen. Just political will.

In the United States the fatality rate is 5.5 cyclists killed per 100 million kilometers cycled, and the injury rate is 33.5 per ten million kilometers cycled. In The Netherlands it's 1.1 fatalities and 1.6 injuries, respectively.

Not only is cycling a form of transportation, but it's a form of transportation that poor people can use. People who politicize this issue and argue that balancing our transportation infrastructure to accommodate more than single-occupancy vehicles have blood on their hands.

Policy matters. And this cars-at-any-cost mentality is homicide. It must stop.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on January 11, 2013 at 11:21 AM · Report this
chinaski 29
I'm all for some type of barrier, and not just from the bike side.
As someone who bikes regularly I consider myself fairly aware of cyclists. Yet they seem to pop out of the woodwork at unexpected places as soon as I get behind the wheel. Also, the painted lanes are sometimes confusing around intersections the first time or 2 that you encounter them, which is not good for the cyclist. People who are not regularly driving in the city have no clue how to interact with bikes, especially when they see pavement markings they have never seen before. Doesn't matter if it's their fault if your dead. I got hit while in a bike lane and now I ride on the sidewalk when it's safer. Peds don't like that & I don't like it when I'm a ped but it's survival.
Barriers and/ or grade separation would be great.
But this is the town that put trolly tracks in my bike lane.
Posted by chinaski on January 11, 2013 at 11:21 AM · Report this
Bob Anderton 30
Avoid the Second Avenue Bike lane if at all possible. Our office is on it and we can practically look out the window any time to watch people get doored and left hooked.

I think the safest thing to do now is to ride in the middle lane. You can probably keep pace with other traffic since Second Avenue is downhill.
Posted by Bob Anderton http://www.washingtonbikelaw.com on January 11, 2013 at 11:22 AM · Report this
31
Cycle tracks? Bike boulevards? Bike lanes? I'll take education and enforcement any day over all that infrastructure.
Posted by road biker on January 11, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this
Timrrr 32
As much as I'd like to blame Joni Balter for all the sins of the world, I think if one is being honest, you'd have to admit the blame for "making bike riding a political act" rests as squarely on the shoulders of Critical Mass is it does the Times editorial board, now doesn't it?

(critical shitstorm in 3, 2, 1... )
Posted by Timrrr on January 11, 2013 at 11:38 AM · Report this
33
Cyclists should pay the taxes needed to support the infrastructure they are asking for. Drivers do.
Posted by Xxxforman on January 11, 2013 at 11:40 AM · Report this
TVDinner 34
@30: Thank you for all you have done to support injured cyclists over the years, Bob.

I think it's also worth noting that the type of striped bicycle lanes we have in the United States - often the only kind of bike infrastructure Americans can conceive of because it's the only kind we've seen - is considered woefully inadequate in Europe and only used in very specific circumstances (like low speed, fewer than 4000 vehicles per day). There is a whole world of engineering possibilities out there than can put an immediate stop to the car/bike/ped conflicts that characterize these conversations and our daily experience on the streets.

All it takes is political will.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on January 11, 2013 at 11:43 AM · Report this
35
@33 Tired Canard. Property taxes which we all pay (if indirectly though our rent for some) pay for the overwhelming majority of road infrastructure. the fact that you've never seen this fact documented is not credible.
Fuck off.
Posted by JAT on January 11, 2013 at 11:46 AM · Report this
36
#8, I hope someone flattens your self-righteous ass right into the pavement. Fuck you and the bicycle you ride.
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Rotten666 37
@32
How dare you have an original thought in your head, sir!
Posted by Rotten666 on January 11, 2013 at 11:50 AM · Report this
38
@18- Like I said, it is the Danish method, and their ridership is pretty high, and they seem to make it work just fine. I know many people would prefer an American solution (expensive, complicated, minimally effective).
Posted by Chris Jury http://www.thebismarck.net on January 11, 2013 at 11:52 AM · Report this
39
#35, you're a typical lying "progressive" bicyclist. Seattle's Dept. of Transportation gets more from state gas taxes than it spends on street maintenance. You fucking bicyclists are free riders, and then you whine about wanting more stuff. The only thing you people deserve is a door in the face.
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM · Report this
40
@ Fnarf
I have both steady lights and blinkers, one of each, red back and white front. I find that I see blinking lights more readily, and they indicate cyclists, not cars. As for reflective gear, I have some of that, but reflective gear relies on the driver actually having his headlights on--which a surprising number of drivers don't bother to do in over-lit Chicago (the birds sing all night here: they think it's always dawn).
Posted by Chicago Fan on January 11, 2013 at 11:58 AM · Report this
41
Let's face it. Driver's are largely oblivious to bikes and bike lanes. Here in NYC the cabs are positively disdainful of bikers and completely ignore the bike lane lines. When I bike in the city I figure every car is driven by a blind moron. I have no expectation that they will see me or that they will be careful if they do see me.
Posted by Old Inlet on January 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM · Report this
42
Blinking white lights in front are truly obnoxious, which means of course that "progressive" bicyclists will want to adopt them wholesale. As for what happened on 2nd Avenue, bicyclists have no business riding downtown to begin with. Stay out of the way. You're not paying for the streets, so you'll take whatever crumbs we give you, shitheads.
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 12:17 PM · Report this
43
I see no point in writing that the SUV is straddling the bike lane. That is plainly evident and proves nothing. The bike does not appear to be damaged.

How are you going to separate bikes from cars when doing so would cut off available street parking? As we have seen in other articles in this fine publication, the city's new developments are being planned with NO GARAGE PARKING. I find locating parking challenging enough now! If you want to set up a curb to protect bikers and block the existing street parking, you will need to ensure that adequate parking exists for a reasonable cost elsewhere.

I have fortunately never encountered a reckless cyclist in Seattle. I don't live in the city, so my experience may change if I drove in the city every day.
Posted by GabrielDiesel on January 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM · Report this
44
@15 In Washington State, bike lanes are optional -- cyclists may still use the street if there's a bike lane or a segregated path. See RCW 46.61.770

@40 Flashing headlights are illegal on bicycles in Washington, RCW 46.37.280, though I don't think you run much risk of enforcement unless you're running one of those 1000+ lumen strobes. Not sure what challenges illegal lighting might create if someone hits you and attempts to use your noncompliance as evidence of negligence on your part.
Posted by jmp on January 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM · Report this
45
@39 can you explain why you put progressive in quotation marks every fucking time you post here? Do you think that prompts those of us on the left to suddenly question our beliefs and positions on issues because it just makes you look like a jack-ass.

Furthermore in the realm of free riders nothing compares to the private automobile - all that infrastructure, most of it heavily subsidized by federal dollars, the precarious oil supply chain, protected by the Department of Defense, the opportunity cost of all the public space given over to the storage of private cars - they park on both sides of the street I live on absolutely free! Oof what a bunch of freeloaders!

Since you're such a rational economic thinker I'm sure you're concerned about the externalities shifted to the public by private car ownership: rampant obesity, air and water pollution, habitat destruction, climate change? In full disclosure I own a car I have a hard time living with myself; I'm sure you, being such a right-thinking person, must have a hard time too.
Posted by JAT on January 11, 2013 at 12:20 PM · Report this
46
@18, 38:
They also have three separate traffic lights for cyclists, pedestrians, and cars. That helps to prevent accidents at intersections.
Posted by doceb on January 11, 2013 at 12:21 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 47
@6,

If the driver cut the cyclist off, that means he or she was looking in their rearview mirror (one can only hope) and didn't see the cyclist.


Or, more likely, the driver didn't look at all. I almost got into an accident (in my car) this morning with some asshole who cut in front of me without looking. How much have you driven in Seattle?
Posted by keshmeshi on January 11, 2013 at 12:28 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 48
@43) I mentioned the SUV straddling the bike lane so folks understand where the bike lane is in the photo. The SUV obscures the view and I wanted folks to know what they're looking at.
Posted by Dominic Holden on January 11, 2013 at 12:28 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 49
@43,

Many grade-separated bike lanes have the bike lane between the sidewalk and the parking lane. There's no specific reason why bike lanes have to eat up street parking.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM · Report this
50
Hmm, I git hit by a car while biking 1 1/2 blocks further south, in front of the Met Grill. Actually, I got doored. Happily there wasn't traffic behind me, or I might have been run over. (The car was driven by a tourist.) I'mnot big on left side bike lanes. Riding in the rain and dark is bad enough, without praying you don't get smacked by traffic downtown. Why not have separate bike streets? There are plenty of bike riders-after all, we pay taxes too!
Posted by pat L on January 11, 2013 at 12:36 PM · Report this
51
We can do this - without any additional infrastructure. We simply need to do what they do in Amsterdam - put the bike lane between the curb/sidewalk and the parking spaces. Now the parked cars act as the barrier between bikes and moving vehicles.
Posted by Jeremyp on January 11, 2013 at 12:37 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 52
@22,

I'd rather toodle along at 12 mph in a Danish style bike lane than be dead, but I also refuse to take part in American-style vehicular bicycling, and I'm sure I'm not alone. If you built that kind of infrastructure, far more people would see bicycling as a valid commute option.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 11, 2013 at 12:38 PM · Report this
53
Go ahead and die in a fire, Mister G.
Posted by Vitriolforbreakfast on January 11, 2013 at 12:38 PM · Report this
54
can you explain why you put progressive in quotation marks every fucking time you post here?

JAT, I do it just to irritate you. Yep, you. And the other fake "progressives" who dominate Seattle and the State of Washington with their kowtowing to every fat cat developer and list of yuppie priorities. It drives you around the bend to be called "progressive," doesn't it?

Furthermore in the realm of free riders nothing compares to the private automobile - all that infrastructure, most of it heavily subsidized by federal dollars, the precarious oil supply chain, protected by the Department of Defense, the opportunity cost of all the public space given over to the storage of private cars - they park on both sides of the street I live on absolutely free!

I'm all in favor of electrifying the auto fleet as soon as we can. I think it'll happen over the next 50 years or so, once we get the needed breakthroughs on the cost and range of batteries. At that point, it'll become a question of how best to produce the electricity to run the cars.

As for parking on the streets, that's what streets are there for. Your "progressive" whine about "free storage" is just another attempt to raise taxes. Which, of course, is the driving ambition of "progressives" in Seattle, even though rising taxes and stupid regulations drive the working class out of here. Which you're happy to do, because in the end all you really want to see here in Seattle are yuppies and wannabes like yourselves.

Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 12:41 PM · Report this
55
#53, you're much more likely to be flattened into the pavement than I am to die in a fire. Bicyclists are nasty little pests.
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 12:43 PM · Report this
Kinison 56
No we don't need separated bike lanes, because we just don't have the room unless you remove hundreds of parking spots, which do not impress business owners who are already upset with the increased parking fees and times.

Cyclists fought for the right to use the roads, so fucking use them. Separated traffic lanes will barely work because bikes will eventually have to cross at unprotected intersections, which is where most of these accidents occur. Some intersections have blind spots and you cant see oncoming traffic (which has the right of way) when your cruising downhill at 40mph in a 30mph zone. So the closer they get, the more they cant break in time and ultimately just run that red light and hope they dont collide with a car or van. And even still, there's no guarantee that cyclists would use these lanes because anything that slows them down, they'll simply switch to the regular lane in the blink of an eye.

I cant stress enough how often bikes will simply jump out in front of you while parked at the intersection or even zig zag dangerously from lane to lane while traffic is moving, which makes drivers even more nervous around them. You dont see motorcycles, mopeds or vespa scooters doing this, because its against the law and dangerous.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on January 11, 2013 at 12:50 PM · Report this
57
@55, you'll likely die from deep vein thrombosis or some such thing from sitting around all day being obese.
Posted by GermanSausage on January 11, 2013 at 12:50 PM · Report this
58
#50, as soon as you pay the same street use taxes that motorcycles pay, we'll talk about anything for you. That'll be $85 a year, ya whining freeloading "progressive" child.
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 12:50 PM · Report this
59
In your dreams, #57. I walk three miles a day. Your fat, bloated, arrogant, self-righteous, corrupt, lying "progressive" hero, mayor Mike McSchwinn, is the one who die of his fatness, probably while riding in his city-provided, chauffeur-driven car to the latest Cascade Bicycle Club publicity stunt.
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 12:57 PM · Report this
60
On second I run on the right. I just the broad line on the left of the bus lane
You can trust bus drivers more than the cars, IMHHO.
Posted by SamWayneSmith on January 11, 2013 at 1:27 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 61
@43- The bike is not obviously crushed, but from that picture I can't tell if it's fine or if every major component is broken.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings http://www.reddit.com/r/spaceclop on January 11, 2013 at 1:28 PM · Report this
62
As a pedestrian, (I am unable to drive due to epilepsy, and by the way, thanks for those flashing lights, cyclists) I have had more close calls with renegade cyclists on the sidewalk than I ever have with an automobile. For some reason, cyclists feel that they are immune from stop signs, red lights, no left turns, and other traffic law "inconveniences". So if they want their own bloody dedicated lanes on the roads so their entitled selves can ride risk free, I want them off of the sidewalks and held to the same standards as motorists and want them cited for traffic offenses so I, too, can commute risk-free.

Posted by NML314 on January 11, 2013 at 1:32 PM · Report this
63
As a pedestrian, (I am unable to drive due to epilepsy, and by the way, thanks for those flashing lights, cyclists) I have had more close calls with renegade cyclists on the sidewalk than I ever have with an automobile. For some reason, cyclists feel that they are immune from stop signs, red lights, no left turns, and other traffic law "inconveniences". So if they want their own bloody dedicated lanes on the roads so their entitled selves can ride risk free, I want them off of the sidewalks and held to the same standards as motorists and want them cited for traffic offenses so I, too, can commute risk-free.
Posted by NML314 on January 11, 2013 at 1:34 PM · Report this
64
#62/63, forget it. Seattle "progressives" regard you and every other disabled person as a useless eater. Don't expect any consideration from this cuty's "progressives." I've actually been in meetings where bicycle assholes have stood up and said that we don't need cars because everyone from 8 to 85 can just ride a bike if they need to go anywhere.
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 1:47 PM · Report this
Fnarf 65
@40, I agree that reflective gear is not a panacea; it's part of the puzzle, not the whole picture. My vest, for instance, is not only reflective, it's orange. I'm pretty damn visible, actually; I've had people tell me they could see me a mile away (which is good).

My problem with blinkies is that yes, they say "bicycle" but they give no information on where that bicycle is. "Somewhere off to the left" isn't real information, and neither is "somewhere between 10 and 1000 yards away". This is based on my personal experience as a driver on a wet night (i.e., any night) trying to see cyclists. Blinkies if anything create a panic response because they're so locationally indeterminate -- especially those infernal micro ones that are like trying to explore the Grand Canyon with a match.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 11, 2013 at 1:50 PM · Report this
66
On second I run on the right. I bust the broad line on the left of the bus lane
You can trust bus drivers more than the cars, IMHHO
Posted by SamWaynwSmith on January 11, 2013 at 1:57 PM · Report this
67
All of the bike lanes should be eliminated. They do nothing for the bicyclists, and they annoy the drivers who pay 100% of the bills for roads.
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 2:09 PM · Report this
soulbikes 68
I was hit twice yesterday inside 6 hours. Boren Ave & Stewart and later NE 42nd and Brooklyn Ave. Both in issues that had I been a car the other driver would still have hit me cause they were both playing with phones instead of watching what they were doing in the intersection.
Posted by soulbikes on January 11, 2013 at 2:33 PM · Report this
69
When it comes to cyclists paying $ into the system, think of the wear and tear cars and trucks put on the roads compared to what bikes do. And yes, cyclists do pay into the system despite not always buying gas.
As for the guy who enjoys typing "progressive", please consider that doing so causes anyone who cares about the English language to think you are meaning not really progressive or so-called progressive.
Thanks.
Posted by passerby on January 11, 2013 at 2:42 PM · Report this
70
So...the drivers pay for the roads? Not me, the taxpayer homeowner who walks to work (and rides the bus, occasionally my bike, and drives)?

Auto registration in WA doesn't pay for everything and tourist auto registration pays nothing. Bicyclist property owners and taxpayers do.
Posted by Jenmoon on January 11, 2013 at 2:42 PM · Report this
71
Everyone pays for city streets in some percentage via property taxes. If you rent, taxes are included in your rent. If you pay federal taxes, you help pay for freeways, whether you use freeways or not. If you live in the city and do not like density and cannot accept alternative forms of transportation, you should think about moving to a rural area or a city with suburban-like sprawl. Maybe, you'll save yourself some stress and can drive around all day worry free.
Posted by lookitup on January 11, 2013 at 2:43 PM · Report this
72
Ha Ha! @70, you must have been writing that comment at the same time as mine, look at the time difference....
Posted by lookitup on January 11, 2013 at 2:45 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 73
I pay thousands of dollars in property taxes. I have a bike. I have a car.

Usually I walk or take the bus.

But nobody said the streets were only for cars. And ... yet ... that's where almost all of my tax dollars go.

Strange.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 11, 2013 at 3:10 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 74
By the way, gas taxes go for state and federal highways.

City roads are paid for mostly from property taxes, which renters pay indirectly, but still pay.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 11, 2013 at 3:12 PM · Report this
Fnarf 75
@67, I pay for those roads too. I HAVE A CAR. Two, in fact. But I ride my bike on the streets. Most cyclists are also at least part-time motorists, you clueless bucket of piss, you.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 11, 2013 at 3:20 PM · Report this
emor 76
Help me Mister G! I ride my bike to work every day, but I have a car I use occasionally that my wife uses 1 out of every 3 weeks to get to work. Am I scumbag cyclist who deserves violent elimination, or am I an upstanding heroic car driving citizen? Do you go by the the "one drop" rule? Or rather "one bike trip" rule?
Posted by emor on January 11, 2013 at 3:22 PM · Report this
77
#76, if you want any respect or consideration as a bicyclist, you ought to be demanding to pay the same road use fees that you'd pay if you had a not a car and a bicycle, but a car and a motorcycle. But you won't do that, because like the rest of the bicyclists, you want something for nothing.
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 4:22 PM · Report this
78
What Doug said. I avoid that lane, it's a death trap for cyclists- stay in the middle.
Posted by mdf on January 11, 2013 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 79
@77 it would literally cost more to collect such fees than would be collected.

But you're too clueless and tax subsidized by we efficient urban commuters to get how to do math.

Which part of THOUSANDS of DOLLARS in PROPERTY TAXES don't you get?

P.S.: Bill Gates pays zero cause he uses a non-profit to take him places. On your roads in his honking big limo.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 11, 2013 at 4:32 PM · Report this
Bonefish 80
Clearly the most realistic solution here is not to enact effective safety measures, but for cycling to be entirely phased out of existence as a mode of transportation. Anyone who believes otherwise is an extremist arugula-munching Seattle "progressive" dyke "progressive" yuppie "progressive" palin "progressive" "progressive" "progressive" "progressive" "PROGRESSIVE" "PROGRESSIVE"!!!!!!111!
Posted by Bonefish http://5bmisc.blogspot.com/ on January 11, 2013 at 4:37 PM · Report this
81
it would literally cost more to collect such fees than would be collected

We already have a system for collecting road use fees from motor vehicles. Extending it to bicycles would be a matter of some computer programming time. But hey, don't let the truth get in the way. It would be most un-"progressive" of you.
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 4:39 PM · Report this
Fnarf 82
@81, so the neighbor's daughters who tool around in their pink bikes with the wicker baskets, they should pay too? I think they're nine and eight years old. You're an idiot.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on January 11, 2013 at 4:42 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 83
@81 bikes are easy to move. Cars less so.

@81 for Clueless Tax-Subsidize Rural Noob Of The Day.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 11, 2013 at 4:59 PM · Report this
84
#82, I'd be the first to advocate a big break on the fee for anyone under 18. It would be easy to identify the difference through (for example) different colored license plates.
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 5:05 PM · Report this
85
The mechanics are not the issue. They never have been. The "progressives" lie about that, just as they lie about so much else. The issue is that "progressive" bicyclists are selfish, annoying pissants who want something for nothing, and then turn right around and try to raise everyone else's taxes. Well guess what? At least on the tax front, the voters of this state just told you quite loudly and clearly to fuck off. And you lost the state Senate too.
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 5:07 PM · Report this
86
You know what, no! Not separated bicycle lanes but aggressive prosecution for negligent motorists. Ridiculous.
Posted by meperry64 on January 11, 2013 at 5:12 PM · Report this
87
#83, you idiot, it's much easier to move a car than a bicycle. Turn the key and step on the gas. Don't "progressives" understand anything?
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 5:12 PM · Report this
88
No, the issue is not the need for dedicated bike lanes. The issue is the need for more uniform criminal prosecution of negligent motorists. Everything less - including separated bike lanes - is giving up.
Posted by meperry64 on January 11, 2013 at 5:18 PM · Report this
89
Sorry - real need is for the ability to delete dupe posts.
Posted by meperry64 on January 11, 2013 at 5:56 PM · Report this
ScandalMgr 90
Getting back to Dominic's original point,
1) the quantitative metrics of producing and maintaining an infrastructure on a cost per commuter basis are far lower for all means of transport other than cars.

2) The Bicycle Master Plan funding has not come through is a failing on the part of politicians and organized bicycle lobby groups, and they need to be held to task.

3) Bicyclists need
a) education on defensive skills.
b) to join and donate to the lobby organizations; mention this (while stopped at a light or
stop sign: "join the BAW or CBC or ... club to get better bike infrastructure"
c) to be seen (get more lights) and heard (see this upcoming product:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lans…), and
d) to http://getyourshittogether.org/ before
Mister G's evil troll minions drive you over for being a road parasite.

Mister G, you are exhibiting Trollish comments, and shame on you for diverting this thread for your own selfish purposes.
Posted by ScandalMgr on January 11, 2013 at 6:39 PM · Report this
91
@Dominic as the rider in this post Thank you for continuing this conversation that the cycalist community has been having for quite sometime. 2nd Ave is not safe. I rarely ride this route for this vary reason. And I paid for my bad decision. I hope Mayor McGinn, as a fellow cyclist, will keep looking to improve our safety.

If anyone cares, I am ok. I ride very defensively and was able to avoid serious injury. Only bruising, scrapes and bicycle damage. The guy that hit me was very kind and apologetic. Even gave me an awkward ride to my home in west Seattle.

Please be safe. And stop beeping assholes.
Posted by robbasser on January 11, 2013 at 7:14 PM · Report this
92
@91, thanks for the update! I'm so sorry you had that happen, and so glad you're on the mend. That 2nd Ave left hand bike "lane" is damn enticing, and damn dangerous. Grr.
Posted by gloomy gus on January 11, 2013 at 7:28 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 93
@Mister G: (If he hasn't died of an aneurism yet.)

I'd happily pay $85 - the same as a motorcycle - to ride my bike.

BUT - I must be allowed to ride everywhere a motorcycle rides. I-5, highway 99, etc. They need to accommodate bicycles as well as motorcycles since we're both paying the same rate. Seems fair, right?

After all, what percentage does the state pay on highways and interstates vs. the streets I'm actually allowed to ride on? Probably 80% or more. I won't be able to ride my bike through that $5 fucking billion dollar tunnel, but motorcycles will.

Therefore, I expect a 80% discount on that $85. (Or whatever the aforementioned percentage actually is - I bet it's significantly higher.)

That's $17. That seems fair, and I would happily pay it. But fuck you if you expect me to pay the same rate as a motorcycle.
Posted by Free Lunch on January 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM · Report this
94
I ride 2nd home every time I have headed up north from downtown. I wonder if my method and mindset is just different from some cyclists, but I don't consider it as outright dangerous as several of you have described. Sometimes I allow myself to get up some good speed – depends on many factors that unfold second by second. But I always assume that whatever a "driver" (note the correct use of quotation marks) can do wrong, they will do wrong. This involves a lot of wear and tear on my brakes and loss of time, but I assume that that car will swerve in front of me.
I normally have 1 - 3 opportunities to yell at and flip someone off for their neglect of driving laws and goodness to their fellow man. Yes, I actually tell people "fuck you" in person – not just over the internet. It is still possible.
Posted by passerby on January 11, 2013 at 9:04 PM · Report this
95
Mister G is a "troll". I pay more than my fair share of taxes to expect safe riding conditions on the streets of Seattle. Some dedicated paths wouldn't cost that much. I ride and have a car.
Posted by cavecreekgoat on January 11, 2013 at 9:50 PM · Report this
Westlake, son! 96
Great advice, Sally Clark!

The 2nd Ave downhill bike lane is not safe. Take a regular lane.
Posted by Westlake, son! on January 11, 2013 at 10:00 PM · Report this
97
Mister G, you are exhibiting Trollish comments, and shame on you for diverting this thread for your own selfish purposes.

A "troll" is anyone the Seattle "progressive" tribe disagrees with.
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 10:41 PM · Report this
98
I pay more than my fair share of taxes to expect safe riding conditions on the streets of Seattle. Some dedicated paths wouldn't cost that much. I ride and have a car.

You pay road use taxes for your car. This gives you standing to ask for car-related improvements. When you pay road use taxes for your bicycle, you'll have standing to ask for bike-related improvements. Until then, you're a typical Seattle "progressive" freeloader, and fuck you.
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 10:46 PM · Report this
99
I must be allowed to ride everywhere a motorcycle rides. I-5, highway 99, etc.

You want to ride your bike on I-5? Please, go right ahead!
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 10:48 PM · Report this
100
That 2nd Ave left hand bike "lane" is damn enticing, and damn dangerous. Grr.

If it's so dangerous, then why doesn't the Cascade Bicycle Club and their shithead mayor lobby to eliminate it? Maybe because they are both at war with automobiles, and will do anything to cause gridlock?
Posted by Mister G on January 11, 2013 at 10:54 PM · Report this
DOUG. 101
@100: They've tried. The push-back comes from King County Metro and Sound Transit bus drivers, who don't want a bike lane on the right side of the street.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on January 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM · Report this
ScandalMgr 102
Mister G has demonstrated she is a troll with nothing positive to contribute to making bicycling safer, is NOTpart of the bicycling community, and should be ignored by people who want to contribute positive, constructive ideas.

Do Not Feed The Trolls by responding or engaging them, and they will eventually starve or find new feeding grounds.
Posted by ScandalMgr on January 12, 2013 at 11:30 AM · Report this
103
@101, there shouldn't be a bike lane anywhere on 2nd Ave.

@102, typical "progressive" attitude: anyone who's not part of your freeloading interest group is a "troll." Why don't you try paying vehicle taxes, on your bicycle, you whining thief?
Posted by Mister G on January 12, 2013 at 12:10 PM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 104
I drive and I ride, and cities should create safer bike lanes because it behooves municipalities to encourage people to drive less. Fewer cars means less wear and tear on infrastructure, meaning less maintenance and fewer repairs. Traffic is less snarled, so less gas is used, and less pollution too. Bicycling increases physical fitness, and a healthier population. America has an obesity problem that is costing us billions.

Pedestrians get special lanes, designated crosswalks, and traffic signals, etc. and they don't pay gas taxes either.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore http://www.wishbookweb.com/ on January 12, 2013 at 4:49 PM · Report this
105
Fewer cars means less wear and tear on infrastructure, meaning less maintenance and fewer repairs.

That's simply false. Pavement damage is caused by three factors: The weather, construction (i.e., utility work), and vehicles. When it comes to vehicles, ALL pavement damage is caused by heavy trucks and buses. The smug "progressive" cyclists here and elsewhere refuse to recognize that indisputable fact.

http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/newton/ask…

That's right, "progressives," there is no difference between a pedestrian, a bicycle, a motorcycle, a car, an SUV, and a pickup truck when it comes to pavement damage. Dedicated vehicle fees are just another way to raise tax money to maintain and expand the roads, but ONLY big trucks and buses cause pavement damage.

Therefore, if bicyclists want to use the roads, they should be paying the same dedicated use fees assessed on other non-damaging road users. In particular, motorcycles pay $85 a year in King County. This is what bicycles should pay, with a break for children. Until that happens, I consider your please for bicycle infrastructure to be so many "progressive" farts in the wind.
Posted by Mister G on January 12, 2013 at 7:08 PM · Report this
106
By the way, pedestrians don't get "special lanes." Yes, they get crosswalks, but those are generally a byproduct of vehicle traffic control. If you're going to have a stop sign, why not have a crosswalk? You'd be nuts not to. But pedestrians are not authorized road users.
Posted by Mister G on January 12, 2013 at 7:10 PM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 107
105, Wrong.
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cac…

Not to mention getting more cars off the road helps to ease oil consumption, pollution, and increases health. (Maybe you'd get rid of that pot, and lower your blood pressure if you got on a bicycle once in a while. Also, maybe the veins in your red face and neck wouldn't pop out so much when you're sceaming in your fits of road rage.)

106, Pedestrians do get special lanes, they're called sidewalks. Pedestrians also get crosswalks, dedicated, signals, bridges etc. And, if you think it makes sense to have these things for pedestrians who don't pay gas taxes, then why not have similar accommodations for bicyclists?

Posted by Rob in Baltimore http://www.wishbookweb.com/ on January 13, 2013 at 7:38 AM · Report this
108
#107, you might actually want to read your link. Or don't "progressives" read? Maybe "progressives" don't read what contradicts their faith-based opinions? You know, just like Sarah Palin? Anyway, look at page 15 of the slide show: "When we are discussing road wear, to all intents and purposes cars don't matter: road damage is effectively caused by trucks."

Now look at page 14 of the same slide show. It reveals that a city bus causes 850 times the pavement damage as a car does. Semi-trucks, 800 to 1,000 times the damage. Double trailer trucks, almost 3,000 times the damage.

Sidewalks are not part of the road. Crosswalks enable people (and bicycles) to cross the road. Face it, you're a freeloading bicycle jerk who, like all "progressives," is impervious to facts, including the ones you post yourself.
Posted by Mister G on January 13, 2013 at 11:40 AM · Report this
109
Really sucks that such a bag of shit gets so much play on this thread.
Everyone pays taxes. Every contributes. Everyone should care about out the safety of others. End of story.

@Dominic thank you and so many readers again for caring.
Posted by robbasser on January 13, 2013 at 7:49 PM · Report this
110
#109, yes, it's too bad that bags of shit like yourself and other "progressives" keep lying and obfuscating in this thread. You are no better than the worst red state nutbags when it comes to gross ignorance and denial of facts, not to mention your selfish, juvenile insistence that everyone else not only cater to your whims but pay for them too.
Posted by Mister G on January 14, 2013 at 2:16 PM · Report this
111
Under what authority has the city of Seattle gifted the 'car lanes' (paid for by gas tax) to the bicycles???
Posted by hiphop on June 13, 2014 at 4:11 PM · Report this
112
under what authority has the City of Seattle given our car lanes, paid for by automobiles, to the bicycles??
Posted by hiphop on June 13, 2014 at 4:16 PM · Report this
113
Bicycles do not add one penny to the infrastructure of the City of Seattle...........
Posted by hiphop on June 13, 2014 at 4:18 PM · Report this

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