After Desiree McCloud's Death, Bike Advocates Demand Changes Near Streetcar Tracks

Comments

1
The trolleys seem to me, overall, a poor option for getting around the city and mostly just duplicates bus routes and they, like busses, compete for the same resources as cars - so they are slow. Nevertheless, they add to the public transit options that help cut down on cars in the city. I am a life long cyclist, a former racer and have been commuting solely by bicycle since 1991. I do not even own a car. Tracks are dangerous and not just for the inexperienced cyclist - I've crashed on them too. But there are a lot of dangers on the road and, frankly, the tracks are not a major one. Not compared to the entitled belligerence of the car culture, nor even to everyday commuting hazards. There are many alternative routes that cyclists can take if crossing the tracks are a risk one doesn't want to take. If cyclists can't or won't take them, then it falls upon us cyclists to ride safely in and around the tracks just as we must when we ride in traffic, on damaged roadways, on variable or unstable surfaces, in congested areas, etc.

Bike "advocates" want changes around the tracks. Ok, so *what* changes, exactly? Better markings that they are there? If so, in what way is the current marking insufficient (the tracks are very difficult to miss)? Whatever changes bike advocates want with regards to the tracks, ripping them out is not going to happen.

Ms. McCloud's death was a tragedy. To avoid this kind of accident in the future it is mostly the responsibility of those of us who cycle to ride as safely as possible around tracks.
2
Streetcar tracks are certainly perilous for cyclists. And Ms McCloud's death is tragic.

But private cars are the real danger to bikers. And streetcars remove them from the road.

I'm sorry for her family's loss but taking it out on transit is wrong headed. Most European cities have extensive street car networks sharing the roads with many more cyclists than we have. These cities are much safer for everyone.

The tracks should be crossed at a 90° angle or as close to that as possible.
3
"I really can't see any way we can have streetcar tracks and cyclists in the same place," McCloud's brother, Cody, said in an interview after the meeting.

I'm sorry about your loss but should we let your complete lack of education, experience and imagination drive mass transit policy for Seattle?
4
Seattle needs some sort of elevated streetcar system, maybe that runs on one rail for efficiency?
5
This is not a new problem whatsoever in regards to bikes and streetcar tracks. I think it's absurd that some sort of solution to the opens tracks is not resolved when new tracks are put in. It should be required to install rubber fillers to prevent such things from happening in the first place.
6
Great idea. After getting rid of the street car rails, let's get rid of the trees, poles, other bicyclists, pedestrians, cars and anything that presents a hazard at all. Ban rain too. Rain makes conditions more dangerous. This is fucking ridiculous.
7
If one stays in the bike lane, there is no problem. If you ride outside of a designated bike lane. Then the fault is upon the rider. I have ridden my bike up and down that very intersection and have NEVER had a problem with the Light Rail tracks. Why? I stay in the Bike Lane.

While her death is tragic, there is nothing wrong with the placement of the tracks or bike lane. It's just like driving. If one wanders out of their lane, they're bound to have a accident. Lanes are there for a reason. Stay in them and you're safe. Ride out of the Lane, it's at your own risk.
8
I am a cyclist that is terrified of street car tracks. I would love to stay in a bike lane but on Fairview Ave in SLU there is no bike lane. And fairly regularly, delivery trucks will park in the right lane to make deliveries, forcing cyclists into the left lane with the trolley tracks. I work on Fairview Ave so no, there are no alternate routes for me to take.
9
@8 Maybe walk your bike around the truck?
10
@2 nailed it. This is tragic, sad, awful, etc. If there is a simple, easy fix- then great, lets find that. But if you want people out of cars, then they are either going to have to be in/on transit or we need to build 50 stories of housing on site at all major employment centers.

Almost all small-mid size european cities have streetcars of some sort, almost all have many more cyclists, and the 2 have to co-exist, because they are NOT going to be building a whole infrastructure just for bikes.
11
@8 I usually go onto the sidewalk. Getting off and walking in the other lane is not really an option in SLU traffic.
12
Let's make the tracks safer, yes, but let's not get rid of streetcars! This city needs more transit, not less, and streetcars don't disappear during a budget crisis like buses do. Let's focus on improving bike lanes and signage rather that demonizing mass transit when we desperately need more!
13
The world is a dangerous place. Less obliviousness is key. But yeah, elevated bike lanes. Cheaper than elevated trains, and the rest of us wouldnt have to put up with those smug punks.
14
jesus christ, I hit some tracks once..dropped me like a fucking rock.. 10 stitched in my hand and a new tire for my bike.. big fucking deal.. it's called life, sometimes it's great and sometimes it sucks..quit wasting time trying to make it perfect overtime something happens that may hurt a little..Just move on and try not t make the same mistake yourself..
15
So what was the cause of her death? Was she wearing a helmet and still died of a head injury? Is this something we can't talk about?
16
@15, she did have a helmet on. Just landed wrong somehow.
17
@9 are you kidding me?? That is a ludicrous idea that assumes cyclists are second class citizens. The delivery trucks should be ticketed for being in a bike lane.
18
Look people, not every cyclist is required to be expert level to negotiate the streets of Seattle. The design of the tracks helped in killing this person and the city is most likely liable. Taxpayers (you) will pay for this. There has to be a way to make the tracks safer for 2 wheeled vehicles. That needs to be a focus on safety, other than "oh well, the rail has made my life easier"...

The same area put a scooterist into a coma recently: http://komonews.com/news/local/it-seems-…

The city is still "trying to determine if the tracks were a factor".

19
"We'll never know for sure," she said, adding later, "I feel personally convinced they (unicorns) were at least involved in her crash."
20
@17- no, this is completely rational. We all have to make accommodations for each other for the world to function smoothly. Trucks park in traffic lanes- that is what happens when you build a city without proper alleys and loading areas. They park in car traffic lanes too. My main concern about 'road diet' and other "anti-car" initiatives is that goods still have to move in and out of the city, and that happens via road. Getting a large truck into a neighborhood to deliver the kegs and cases of beer to your favorite bar is already a fucking nightmare.

Yes, you will occasionally have to be inconvenienced, no matter what form of transportation you use. Buses run late, Traffic happens, Bikes have to be walked around obstacles. Sorry, but only a fucking child expects to walk through this world without having to give a little.
.
21
oh oh oh !!! I know the solution. It's a communist one actually. Move all people to the new megacities, stack them up in small apartments, make them grow their own food and take away their mobility by taking their cars. Soviet style! Reference: UN Agenda 21, the Smart Growth Project, and the Wildlands Project.