New markings to help cyclists cross tracks

Along the “missing link,” the railroad tracks near the Ballard Bridge have been an issue. Two weeks ago xxjpxx commented on an earlier post, ” just came from the ER with 3 stitches on my chin b/c my front bike slid on the railroad tracks.”

Gurple emailed us to let us know about new markings to help bicyclists cross safely. “There were lines marking the “lane” eastbound before, but these are thicker and more official-looking,” he writes. Julian, another cyclist emailed us the above photo and says, “I think that as paint, it’s better than before, in encouraging cyclists to take the lane and cross the tracks at a proper angle. But it’s still just paint, and as such cyclists still need the confidence to take the lane for safety, and motorists need to share it willingly.”


96
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Eric Becker
Guest

Wait, did they use enough paint to fill in the giant gaps?

Ballardmom
Guest
Ballardmom

My husband took a big spill on those tracks last year. Somehow I don't think painting a crosswalk is the answer.

seattlemedic7
Guest
seattlemedic7

No money to pay the teachers but they do for paint???????

great idea
Member
great idea

No, the crosswalk isn't a real solution.

Unfortunately, the only way for cyclists to really exercise the care needed to cross here, they must first take a spill. I've fallen here, as well as plenty of others. Only takes once for one to know how to navigate these tracks.

Now if you've fallen twice here, you've got problems…

great idea
Member
great idea

did the paint come from Kent then?

ktown69
Guest
ktown69

Are the tracks still in use? If so, we have to deal with it. I learned when I was 12 years old how to cross RR tracks. The only time I had a problem was when I thought, “I wonder what'll happen if I just go fast?”…

seattlemedic7
Guest
seattlemedic7

don't know if the paint came from kent… but they did lay off a few teachers form Ballard High School.. and I did see the kids from music dept. and swim team having a car wash to get money for their respective clubs.. THIS IS NOT RIGHT. Kids need these things to keep them out of trouble and end up another statistic. Bike lanes can wait… education can't

Gurple
Member

I've been wondering if these are, in fact, official markings made by SDOT, or if someone's taking matters into their own hands. The lines look a bit imperfect, and they use symbols I haven't seen before (the arrow marks you can see toward the top of the picture). They just go right over the tracks.

Gurple
Member

I also noticed traffic lights this morning, presumably run on city-funded electricity! THIS IS NOT RIGHT!

great idea
Member
great idea

I think you're right gurple. this looks like the work of a guerilla transportation engineer–possibly ballardmom's husband.

although there was that article a month or two back in the Seattle Times that described what piss-poor work the SDOT did.

ballardMike
Member
ballardMike

touche! =]

Name
Guest
Name

Why did the bicyclist cross the tracks? Nevermind, it's a trick question because evidently some of them aren't smart enough to navigate something this complicated. What's next – a petition to get rid of curbs? Maybe Cascade Bicycle Club can volunteer to act as crossing guards?

SwedishG
Guest
SwedishG

What's to stop a few cyclists from filling the tracks with concrete late at night? I've fallen here, and have seen others take bad falls, in traffic. My only thought is that the city would prefer someone fill the tracks so they could use it as an excuse not to complete the BG trail.

JDballard
Member
JDballard

I have 2 friends in the past 2 months who have wrecked their bikes on those exact tracks.

Both have torn their ACL's and fracture their tibias. Besides the painnow and after their upcoming surgeries, loss of time from work, cost to insurance, out of pocket, time spent in PT, cancelling trips/fall leagues, they are understandably frustrated to learn this is not a new problem and could have been prevented.

I am glad to see the paint but really it's time to finish the BG trail. I think the sand and gravel place or other businesses need to get over themselves.

An organized protest outside their business with invites for the media to come would probably get some attention.

SPG
Guest
SPG

That's assuming that they can get up from that spill and ride again.
It's quite a price to pay so a couple adult kids can have a life size toy choo choo train.

SPG
Guest
SPG

You're right! Perhaps we can cut the city funded EMS and Fire Dept too!

SPG
Guest
SPG

You answered your own question: “The lines look a bit imperfect” Clearly the work of SDOT.

aresident
Guest
aresident

Seattlemedic said
“No money to pay the teachers but they do for paint???????”

So who do we have to blame here but our own community. The Ballard Chamber of Commerce and other Ballard businesses (Salmon Bay Sand and Gravel and Ballard Oil) has sued the city over the bike path through this dangerous area. So now the city has to pay to defend itself in court over this frivolous lawsuit. Now our tax dollars will be spent in court rather than to provide a safe bike corridor (and Teachers Seattlemedic). The Ballard Chamber also included in the suit the Cascade Bike Club. While I am not a member I understand the club spends a good amount of its resources on bike safety education, well, now those resources will be directed to lawyers and not safety. All thanks to the Ballard Chamber and others. The safety concerns are obvious and the injuries well documented through this corridor.

For the above reasons I am supporting the ongoing boycott of all Ballard Chamber of Commerce members until they drop the lawsuit against us taxpayers.

Also, The Ballard Chamber did not even hire a Ballard lawyer to represent themselves – oops.

NWCitizen
Member
NWCitizen

There's a rubber-like material used further east on the B-G-T near Fred Meyer to cover the channels and allow cyclists to cross safely. Why not use that here? Considering the number of injuries, why hasn't SDOT done this already?

JohnF
Guest
JohnF

When it's wet that rubber-like material actually causes that crossing to become quite dangerous. I've seen a couple of cyclists being tended to by EMTs. I would not propose that as a solution to crossing the tracks on the “missing link.”

Gurple
Member

Is it really a “boycott” if you're the only one doing the boycotting?

GregD
Guest
GregD

My god the belly aching in here is amazing. Yes the link needs to be finished but at least they are doing something to try and show cyclists how to properly cross. Of course it won't fix the normal issue with humans being lazy an trying to cross at an acute angle but at least they are trying.

Freddie
Guest
Freddie

When you derail a train and kill someone, what then?

lovetheparkingchange
Guest
lovetheparkingchange

This is so stupid. These lines are actually going to encourage more cyclists to go that way. Now you'll really see some crashes. I will continue to avoid this area until the BCoC pulls it head out and supports the trail! Next time I hear the toy train coming I'll go get some eggs and see how many I can get on the windshield.

lovetheparkingchange
Guest
lovetheparkingchange

They should sue the owner of the tracks….aka Ballard Big Boy Train Co. Inc.