By Pendergast Law on March 7, 2018
With beautiful weather most of the year and a population focused on health and fitness, Seattle has become one of the best cities to walk or bike around in. But while the city has taken major strides to ensure that walkers and bikers are kept safe, it’s clear there’s still some work to do. We in Seattle are a long way from the zero pedestrian deaths or injuries the city announced it was striving for in 2015.
Over the past decade, Seattle has seen approximately 4,500 pedestrians hit by vehicles. Some resulted in death for the pedestrian, but the majority resulted in serious injuries to the pedestrian.
So where can pedestrians and cyclists feel safe? And what areas of the city should they be avoiding?
Which Areas See the Most Accidents?
There are two factors that contribute to high pedestrian and cyclist fatalities: the amount of pedestrian traffic, and road design. South of University Bridge, for instance, sees the most accidents between bicycles and vehicles, largely due to poor road design. And Pike Street, the street that pedestrians flock to, sees a large number of vehicle collisions with pedestrians.
What Are the Most Dangerous Intersections for Pedestrians?
But of course, there are more than just two places that are “more dangerous” for pedestrians, as reported by the Seattle Times. These intersections, and the number of pedestrian injuries they’ve seen since 2008, are:
- Fifth Avenue and Spring Street (20 injuries)
- Fifth and Pike Street (18 injuries)
- Third Avenue and Pike (15 injuries)
- Broadway East and East Olive Way (14 injuries)
- 12th Avenue and East Madison Street (14 injuries)
- Boren Avenue and Pike (13 injuries)
- Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 45th Street (12 injuries)
- University Way Northeast and Northeast 50th Street (12 injuries)
- Denny Way and Stewart Street (12 injuries)
- Fifth Avenue South and South Jackson Street (10 injuries, 1 fatality)
While the city wants to keep roads and sidewalks as safe as possible for pedestrians, it’s not always clear whose responsibility that is. The new $139 million ferry terminal in Mukilteo, for example, was promoted as a way to increase the safety of pedestrians. But the plan may actually make the crossing more dangerous.
Currently, pedestrians have to cross two lanes of traffic using a very narrow sidewalk. The new plan would mean pedestrians have to cross four lanes of traffic. While the company has proposed a pedestrian bridge with a price tag of $5 million, Seattle doesn’t want to pay for it. Instead, the city believes that widening the current sidewalk across the bridge would serve the same purpose; but taxpayers would still be on the hook for paying for it. Still, the Mukilteo Ferry Advisory Commission promises the new terminal will be safer in every way when it opens in 2019.
What Are the Most Dangerous Intersections for Bicyclists?
Riding a bike can be just as dangerous as walking — or worse, because of the speeds involved. The following areas have seen the most bicycle injuries since 2008, as reported by the Seattle Times:
- Eastlake Avenue East and Fuhrman Avenue East (14 injuries)
- Second and University Street (12 injuries and 1 fatality)
- Troll Avenue and North 34th Street (12 injuries)
- Northeast 45th Street near First Avenue Northeast (12 injuries)
- Melrose Avenue and Pine Street (12 injuries)
- Boylston Avenue and East Pine (12 injuries)
- Second between Union and Pike (12 injuries)
- 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Pacific Street (12 injuries)
- Dexter Avenue North near Ward Street (10 injuries)
- Second between University and Union (10 injuries)
What’s Next in Pedestrian/Bicyclist Safety?
Seattle isn’t ready yet to meet its goal of zero pedestrian or cyclist deaths, although we’re working on it. Until that time, if you plan to walk or bike in the city, be especially careful in the areas we mentioned above.
However, if you can’t avoid a collision, there may be help available. Depending on the circumstances, you could file a lawsuit against the negligent driver, or even the City of Seattle if poor road design led to the accident. For a free consultation about your rights and legal options, please call our Seattle pedestrian accident attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. Dial 888-539-9211 today.