July 22, 2013 at 7:29 PM
Bicyclists in Seattle
Ideals collide with danger
I disagree with Danny Westneat’s assertions about going the French route with bike-rental programs for Seattle [“Helmet-free Paris lights the way,” NW Wednesday, July 17.]
Seattle is bike-riding hell, as far as I’m concerned, and helmets barely scratch the surface. Downtown road surfaces are rutted, full of parked cars, and rife with rain-slick manhole covers. Add earbudded pedestrians and distracted drivers to those liabilities, and you have the makings of a fatality.
I speak from experience. I biked for a month through Seattle’s waterfront streets, proud to call myself a member of the green crowd. Three crashes later, I am never getting on a bike around there again. I had errant cars forcing pedestrians to scamper in front of me and large, worn-down manhole covers with no grid marks left, causing the my first and second crashes. The third crash was a combination of everything.
Seattle should be ashamed of its waterfront routes.
Southbound riders near Spring Street and King Street are forced to ride in vehicular traffic, or face oncoming riders, curbs and disappearing lanes if they attempt to ride in the northbound lane.
Seattle needs to get past this whimsical, politically correct bravado it has about saving the Earth with a bike, and realize someone is going to get flattened.
If I want to feel better about the Earth, I’ll just recycle my wine bottles.
Laura Pierce, Kent
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