The death of that young cyclist is a tragedy [“Cyclist killed days before city to upgrade notorious bike lane,” Local News, Aug. 29]. Mixing cars, bikes, trucks, buses, trolleys, light rail and pedestrians in the same overcrowded, clogged transportation system is a recipe for disaster. Our city has reacted by making our streets a complicated tangle of road lanes, bike tracks and rail lines. No wonder we were recently ranked as one of the most dangerous places to drive. Everyone is sharing the same, very scarce spaces.
The solution has been cutting down car lanes to make special areas for other transportation, but on the same roadway. Nickerson Street, formerly two lanes, is a heavily used arterial for Magnolia, Queen Anne, Ballard and Fremont, all densely populated areas. Now it has bike striping and one lane. The result is traffic regularly backed up along it’s entire length and frustrated drivers, but not many bikes. This is because there is a trail along the canal a half block away. Dexter Avenue used to be a main arterial as well, but now is completely blocked when there is a bus, due to the same kind of restriping.
Cars and trucks still need to need to get around to keep our huge economy running. Using bikes and buses is simply not an option for transporting goods and other specialized uses.
More training for drivers is also needed. Renewing drivers licenses for Seattle should come with mandatory testing of guidelines for sharing the road.
Shauna Bellamy, Seattle