Bicyclist, pickup collide at intersection

A bicyclist and pickup truck collided this evening at 46th St. and 14th Ave, just to the south of the Ballard Blocks complex.

The cyclist refused medical treatment, but he suffered scrapes on his arms and legs. The driver of the pickup told us he was driving east on 46th St. when the bicycle hit him, just behind the driver door. The cyclist’s front tire was bent, and he was too shaken up to talk to us.

A security guard at Ballard Blocks told us that this intersection and the one immediately to the north, Ballard Ave. and 14th Ave., are the scene of frequent accidents. Both intersections have two-way stop signs. “It’s only a matter of time before someone’s killed,” he said. “This may have just been a prelude.”


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Boardbrown
Member
Boardbrown

I think that intersection has definately gotten more dangerous since the completion of Ballard Blocks. Street parking is always full now, and drivers on 14th have to stick their noses way out into 46th to check for oncomming traffic. That may or may not have been what happened here. Time will tell. But the problem will get worse once all those tenant spaces are full. Perhaps a traffic light is in order.

Boardbrown
Member
Boardbrown

But I'm glad the cyclist is OK. Too bad he was too shaken up to talk. I'd be interested to hear his version of the accident.

GregD
Guest
GregD

It is actually a pretty smart thing to not make a statement when you are at fault.

Please everyone watch stop at stop signs, no matter if you are in a car or on a bike. I'm glad this didn't end as badly as it could have. I would also agree that there needs to be lights installed at intersections like this.

Also it got me thinking, can anyone recommend some place that you can buy bike liability insurance? With the new thin skinned cars I would have some just in case.

GregD
Guest
GregD

Never mind, it appears that most home owner and renters insurance cover this so I am good to go.

Jo
Member
Jo

I now avoid these two intersections. I say within 6 months these will be 4 way stops or lights. It is needed now but what has to happen for the city to make this decision now??? Can we start this process as concerned citizens or must we wait for more accidents????

raisedbed
Guest
raisedbed

Or at least a 4-way stop…

ballardog
Member
ballardog

That intersection is extremely dangerous and the city needs to fix it ASAP. The security guard is right, it is only a matter of time before someone is killed. You should avoid it. Traffic coming off at athe bridge intersects with Trader Joe's shoppers, Mars Hill church and Ballard Blocks. A temporary four way stop might bottle things up a bit but it would be safer.

gclouie
Guest
gclouie

The pickup driver was driving east on 46th and the cyclist hit him just behind the driver's side door? How slowly was the pickup moving? How did the bike end up 100 ft. from the presumed point of impact? Is that the cyclist in the yellow shirt with the bloody shin?

Something tells me there's more to the story.

But yeah, both of those intersections are trouble now, and need at least 4-way stops. Plus I can never find parking at Cash-and-Carry anymore.

Andy
Guest
Andy

The driver had the ROW, the cyclist had a stop sign, and it appears the cyclist ran the stop sign and failed to yield to the truck. (I can't imagine you'd t-bone a car and get that sort of damage if you're starting from a dead stop.)

So how exactly does this demonstrate the dangerousness of the intersection? To me it illustrates nothing but the danger of not stopping when you're supposed to.

I agree a four-way stop or even a light should go into this location before long, but simply from a traffic flow perspective, not because of safety. In my opinion (as a cyclist who goes through here several times a week) there's tons of visibility at this intersection, as well as at Ballard Way. It usually takes a while for traffic to let up enough for you to get through, but there's no problem seeing oncoming traffic. Patience is all that's needed to get through this intersection safely.

Besides, if cyclists really feel they need a light or a four-way stop to get across, they can ride one block east to 11th where there's a light.

Michael Snyder
Guest
Michael Snyder

The visibility and speeds at both of the intersections to the east of Ballard Blocks are horrible. As a cyclist, I have slow enough acceleration that it is very hard to find a large enough gap in traffic to make it through, and motorists aren't looking for me either. The fault could easily be with either party.

If I enter the intersection, but the car accelerates, with the width of those intersections, I might not be able to stop in time and a side-door impact is possible. The running a stop sign theory is also quite plausable. We need an eyewitness to know for sure.

Several months ago a very nice woman presented photo and diagrams of the problem here to the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board and SDOT. We really need at least a 4-way stop at both intersections. Even for car vs car visibility, it is a fatality waiting to happen.

lovelyr3ta
Guest
lovelyr3ta

This intersection absolutely MUST be made into a four way stop. The traffic from 46th Ave comes off of the Ballard bridge and sometimes it can take several minutes for a break in traffic long enough for a car going down 14th Ave to cross both lanes, resulting in long lines and, unfortunately, collisions. Drivers on 14th stick their noses WAY out, and drivers on 46th sometimes THINK there is a stop sign or they slow way down, confused. I actually got into a collision this past summer in this intersection and now I always go through it like an old granny, because I can't trust that everyone else knows how to navigate it. The only reason I take it is because it's a faster, less irritating way to sneak over to Ballard Ave than taking Market and turning left on Shilshole.

GregD
Guest
GregD

I think it's a stretch to say that he was stopped, thought it was safe to cross, and yet some how a truck accelerated so fast that he couldn't make it across one traffic lane and hit a truck behind the drivers door.

The truck would have to be pretty damn fast to accelerate like that.

Those intersections need something as you did point out it is very hard to get across them anyway but it's pretty clear that the bike was in the wrong this time.

AlanBarton
Guest
AlanBarton

Everyday I get into my gas guzzling SUV and roll downtown to my office having to dodge the 'bicyclists' on Shilshole who can't ride a straight line to save their lives. While my gas taxes pay for the roads, they 'own' them. These are the same folks who want to 'complete the link'. These are the same folks who should just take the bus, because cars or no cars they are going to crash and blame it on some one.

If you can't make it across the intersections around the TJ's on your bike without hitting a car, you need to get off your bike and walk across the intersection. I often park across the other side of traffic and have no problem walking across both lanes of traffic with my groceries. If you can't do that with a bike you really shouldn't be riding in traffic in first place.

jrjr
Guest
jrjr

It's not the road we own, per se, as much as access to the public right of way. If there were no cars on the roads, just bikes and pedestrians, I think it's fair to say that the roads could be built much smaller, simpler and cheaper than they are now. Building roads to accommodate the weight, speed and volume of automobile traffic we have is expensive, and makes it harder to build roads safe to share. So, yeah, we use gas taxes to fund the roads, but unless Seattle starts blocking off huge swaths of the city to motorized vehicles, and starts building new bike-only streets, I don't want to hear about how this this is somehow unfair to motorists.

Corbeau
Member
Corbeau

“While my gas taxes pay for the roads, they 'own' them. “

Gas taxes don't fully pay for the roads. If that were the case gas taxes would be much, MUCH higher. Also keep in mind that almost all cyclists also own cars which means they're also paying their taxes. Seriously, this tired old argument has been debunked more than the myth about Obama not being a citizen.

Michael Snyder
Guest
Michael Snyder

“While my gas taxes pay for the roads, they 'own' them.”

'Your' gas taxes don't even cover the maintainance on the roads. That's why we passed the Bridging the Gap PROPERTY tax levy. We also have a large portion of transportation funding that comes from federal INCOME tax, and in Seattle some transportation funding also comes from SALES tax and an employer HEAD tax.

We all need to drop the entitlement attitude. We all pay for the roads and it doesn't matter which type of vehicle we use, we all could stand to go back to driver's ed again.

Give cyclists time. With the bicycle master plan, we have a lot of new people trying to bicycle, and on shilshole if they are riding near the edge of the road then you'd have a tough time holding a straight line too…the edge of the road isn't worthy of having pavement, it is absolute crap filled with gravel, potholes, uneven pavement, and it amazes me that more people don't crash when they try to ride on it.

Corbeau
Member
Corbeau

“This intersection absolutely MUST be made into a four way stop. “ I always find this interesting. Why is that when an accident happens people always call for more stop signs/lights? Why don't people call for tougher licensing and motorist/cyclist education instead? The problem isn't lack of signage/lights – it's lack of intelligence on the part of motorists and cyclists. I remember reading a report on traffic safety a couple of years ago which pointed out that American roads have more signs per mile, more traffic lights, more stop signs and that American cops issue more traffic citations. Despite all these safety efforts we still have more accidents than other major countries. Clearly adding more signs and stoplights isn't the answer. If anything there is an argument in some circles that all those extra signs provide too many distractions from staying focused on what's in front of the driver. Just look at all the intersections in Europe which have roundabouts instead of traffic lights – multiple lanes of traffic at major intersections with nobody coming to a stop. Can you imagine something like that happening here in “me first” America? Despite not having lights telling them how to drive the… Read more »

great idea
Member
great idea

Sure roundabouts are more effective at moving traffic efficiently. Do you think there's room for one here?

This intersection is an absolute clusterf**k. To say that ill-educated drivers are to blame is just plain wrong.

Brian
Guest
Brian

I agree that signage and/or signal upgrades are needed. Just within the last couple months, biking eastbound on the same street on occasional recreational rides, I've seen two vehicles run stop signs going southbound.

Silver
Member

There is more to the story. A well-founded rumor says that the cyclist full on blew the stop sign. Regardless of any much-needed traffic revisions, Mr. Cyclist needs to ride legally.

Rumor also says that Mr. Cyclist's only comment was unprintable in a family blog, and began with the word “I'm.”

watergirl
Guest
watergirl

Exactly why the missing link needs to be completed … so the bikes can get OFF the narrow road and not be sharing it with cars and worse, trucks.

As to the comment about bikes not being able to navigate around the cars parked around Ballard Blocks, I have to say I have trouble navigating that in MY CAR. Maybe it's because it's still new and everyone's (literally, it seems) feeling their way around the parking/driving set-up in that area, but I've had several car-vs-car near misses just trying to drive past Trader Joe's. A little more awareness, courtesy and patience on everyone's part would be a good thing.

JoeBallard
Guest
JoeBallard

More signs and stop lights won't work if people don't heed them. Like other posters have said, if both cars and bikes followed the current rules/laws of the road, a vast majority of these accidents would be avoided.

Edog
Member
Edog

People in this country don't get roundabouts. If you just sit and watch any one of the traffic calming circles in Ballard for about a day, you'll see all sorts of wierdness. People simply go around them anywhichway in an effort to get to their intersection the fastest, not with the flow of traffic. Not to menion they don't accomodate peds well.

Edog
Member
Edog

People around the Ballard Blocks somehow become very clueless, I've seen it in drivers, peds, bikers.

I think the problem stems from the fact that is sits in the regular street pattern, but requires the slow moveing attentiveness that is required in a mall parking lot. The two don't mix well.

GregD
Guest
GregD

Even worse almost all of what we have in Seattle are really “traffic circles” and the rules of the road that apply to them are the same as for an open intersection, not the rules for roundabouts.