Seattle cyclists, advocates concerned over bike crashes involving cars

Bike crash, hit-and-run concerns front of mind in Seattle

The city has said it aims to have zero traffic deaths by 2030, but advocates say it has a long way to go before it reaches that goal.

Fourteen people died in traffic incidents so far this year in Seattle, and 21% of those incidents involved people on bikes.

Less than a week ago, a 63-year-old man died on his bike in a hit-and-run crash near the Spokane Street Bridge in Seattle. Also this week, a teenage bicyclist was killed in Parkland when a car hit him at a cross-walk.

Bicyclists say they have to be aware of cars every time they are on the road.

“At the last second, they turned to make the right turn and stopped in the middle of the bike lane. I swerved. If I hadn’t swerved, I would have gone through their window. [I] smashed into the back of the car, hit, spun, hit the pavement, broke my back,” said Sean Delaire, detailing an incident he was involved in.

Delaire says last month, he was involved in a crash with a car while riding his bike. The crash sent him to the hospital and he is still recovering.

However, he says the worst part is he still is waiting for answers.

“Saw me on the ground and asked if I was ok and I said, ‘no I’m not.’ And they took off before the paramedics got there,” said Delaire.

SDOT officials say out of the 14 traffic deaths that happened in 2022, three of them were bicyclists.

“That’s a huge impact. That’s the ultimate loss,” said Vicky Clarke, the policy director for the Cascade Bicycle Club, a group that advocates for the equity and safety of bicyclists.

She says a lot still needs to happen in Seattle before the city reaches its goal of zero traffic deaths by 2030.

“It’s aggressively acting, frankly. It’s investing in protected infrastructure that separates vulnerable road users, people walking, people biking from fast-moving vehicles,” she said.

In 2021, SDOT installed 2,500 new signs reducing speed limits to 25 miles per hour through most Seattle city streets.