Not good. I happened upon this accident scene a few days ago. Apparently, a right turning truck hit a young bicyclist, killing him instantly. He had been in Seattle for only a few weeks and was the same age as my daughter, who rides a bike on a distant college campus. The sight truly unsettled me and made my bike trip through the heart of downtown more nerve racking than usual.
I want to use this tragedy to send a message to our amiable yet bumbling local politicians who have pledged to do their share to fight global warming. Your diversion of tax dollars into biodiesel has been a complete waste of funds and your bike plan is woefully inadequate to protect the burgeoning numbers of Seattle cyclists. Seattle’s Burke-Gilman trail began life as a recreational park. It has become a dangerous, heavily traveled bike commute arterial. Just the other day a pedestrian leaped out from behind a bush a few feet in front of me. I missed him, but it is only a matter of time. As the number of bikers climb, so will deaths, unless steps are taken that will prevent them. Plastering signs all over the place may be inexpensive, but it is also largely ineffective.
Bicycles, and the rapidly rising numbers of electric assisted bikes, hold far more promise for reduced emissions than any other idea on the table, bar none. The loudmouths trapped in their steel 200 horsepower wheelchairs screaming that funds should be diverted from bike to car infrastructure need to be ignored. If you were smart you would turn Seattle into a model, world-class example of how to accommodate bikes, instead forcing your well-meaning citizens to play a bicycle version of Russian roulette every day.