Remembering Lance David: West Seattleites’ memorial ride

May 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm | In Safety, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
6:42 PM: At a time when most people riding their bicycles on the low bridge are headed westbound for home, dozens were eastbound this evening, riding in memory of Lance David. He’s the 54-year-old Federal Way man killed last Wednesday morning when his bike collided with a semi-truck on East Marginal Way, along the route so many West Seattle riders take toward the port and downtown. The deadly crash has brought both mourning and calls for action, and SDOT is evaluating the area to see what safety measures can be taken relatively quickly. Local bicycling/safety advocates from West Seattle Bike Connections and West Seattle Greenways organized tonight’s ride to both honor a fellow rider and emphasize the urgent need for safety improvements.

(More of Christopher’s photos added 7:36 pm)
ADDED: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli reports that the participants included Mayor McGinn and Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

Seattle Police bicycle officers also accompanied the riders:

City Bicycle Advisory Board member Jodi Connolly of West Seattle participated too, and spoke at the site where the crash happened:

The board regularly meets on first Wednesdays, which meant its May meeting was hours after the deadly crash, discussed several times that night, as we reported afterward.

12 Comments

  1. Well, we are all in this together as a bicycling community. We need to BE a community. Yes we are old guys on bikes or tattooed or fix gear riders, BMX riders, racing team outfits, cargo bike riders, expensive bikes, old bikes but we must behave and act like a community. Competitive street behavior and arrogance will not overcome our challenges of recognition for street improvements and for our own safety. Weather we make drivers respect us or hate us is more in our control than anything else. We should start by respecting each other. We paid our respects today for Lance David an experienced rider.

    Comment by alkistu — 7:28 pm May 7, 2013 #

  2. We are ALL in this together. Cyclists, motorists, pedestrians, etc. We ALL need to be safe out there.

    It’s not “us vs. them”. Instead of painting roads the city should be fixing them.

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 7:42 pm May 7, 2013 #

  3. My son and I rode this tonight. It was a very nice way to commemorate a life lost. Great showing of respect from the biking community, city, and port, as the majority of us did not know him personally. RIP(Ride In Peace)

    Comment by Draagro — 8:01 pm May 7, 2013 #

  4. R.I.P. (Ride In Peace), Lance!

    Unfortunately for him, he realized one of my greater fears along my commute – I’ve lost track over how many times one of those semis blow the stoplight making the right hand turn onto E. Marginal. They need to be educated as to how destructive their vehicles are – I am sure some of them have never even pondered that fact.

    I’m all for whatever will create a peaceful co-existence between all users…and hopefully BEFORE another tragedy like this occurs.

    Stay safe, all!!!

    Comment by Andy V — 8:23 pm May 7, 2013 #

  5. So did he drive to WS from Federal Way, park his bike and ride in everyday?

    Comment by A. — 8:29 pm May 7, 2013 #

  6. Great words Stu. Thank you.
    -
    And thank you for wearing a bright colored safety vest. As a transit driver who works the downtown corridor and other heavily cycled sections of the city I cannot stress enough how helpful and appreciated it is to have cyclists wearing bright clothing and bright lights. Do not assume we can see you, because in many instances we cannot due to blind spots, wet pavement, glare, and plenty of other attention grabbing issues both outside and inside the bus.

    Comment by Safety First - Everyone — 8:31 pm May 7, 2013 #

  7. I was at the memorial and will think about Lance David every time I ride that intersection. I wish it didn’t take something like this to instigate change. All of us commuters have known about (and been endangered by) that intersection. My heart breaks that this happened.
    .
    But we’re NOT “all in it together.” Cyclists and peds are vulnerable, and we’ve been subjected to some pretty dangerous behavior. I’ll say it: while most truckers are aware and careful out there, just this morning I would have been creamed by a trucker pulling out of the port if I hadn’t stopped (although I had the right of way) because he did not look right before pulling out. And there are other incidents that I won’t go into here. I can only hope that part of Lance David’s legacy (in addition to the fact that he was by all accounts a wonderful human being) will be improved safety for vulnerable users in this small corner of our roads.
    .
    Finally, thanks to all who attended, and SPD for being there.

    Comment by ae — 8:49 pm May 7, 2013 #

  8. Not just West Seattleites. At least 20 or 30 riders brought their bikes over from the other side of Elliott Bay on the Water Taxi.

    Comment by Kathy — 9:20 pm May 7, 2013 #

  9. Seattle is just a congested city with bottlenecks, blindspots, topograhy challenged. Having dedicated bike paths crisscrossing the city is probably not going to happen any time soon, so everyone is going to have to work together.

    Comment by G — 10:29 pm May 7, 2013 #

  10. Hey Stu, I thought that was you leading the pack as I was crossing the WS Bridge heading home in the opposite direction. Thanks for doing that and your efforts to improve bicycle culture and safety in Seattle.

    I agree with a few themes mentioned above – we do share the road, and need to be courteous as much as possible. But in the end – you lose in a collision with a car or truck, so safety/caution always needs to trump right of way.

    With regards to G’s comment – true, we may not have separated/dedicated bike infrastructure through out the city in the immediate future, but that doesn’t mean we can’t support and lead for some signficant changes now. A few key routes could do wonders. I’ve often thought if one of the N-S roads downtown such as 4th Ave, was put on a road diet (taken from 4 lanes of one-way vehicle traffic, to one lane, a bus lane, a separated median, then a two way bike lane) and also along a key E-W road like Pine or Spring, you’d have pretty good access to most of downtown from those “Bike Highways.” In the meantime, just fixing the intermittent stretches (such as the way the bike lane disappears at various spots along 4th Ave going through downtown) would be a huge safety improvement – and less disruptive to motorized traffic as bikes merge into and out of their lanes by necessity.

    Comment by B-check — 11:36 pm May 7, 2013 #

  11. West Seattle Bike Connections will be communicating vigorously for the long awaited infrastructure for bicyclists along one of the busiest bicycle corridors in the city. In the meantime use what we have safely. Keep in mind Utah ave. for low traffic and low speed north/south route to the stadiums. A little farther east the SODO trail between 4th and 5th is a seldom used separated bicycle path. My longtime goal has been to have bicycle community that is more aware, observant and friendly toward each other on the streets. There is really no barrier to this including glass windows and metal cages.

    Comment by alkistu — 8:33 am May 8, 2013 #

  12. Thanks to all above for their thoughtful, measured and compassionate comments and to Tracy and the WSB folks for moderating the comments here.
    I wanted to mention as a regular bike commuter along that route that the transition from EB Spokane to NB E Marginal Way has recently been greatly improved. Instead of heading north on the west sidewalk and then “going for it” to cross to the NB bike lane at some “opportune” moment, please consider using the new controlled intersection/crosswalk at Spokane & E Marginal. There’s good visibility and a fairly quick, user controlled walk light that puts you safely into our lane. Of course you still have to be careful in the “green section” that crosses a lane of traffic but imo it’s far safer than the alternatives. At least give it a try.
    See y’all on the road!

    Comment by Stephen Marcus — 1:14 pm May 8, 2013 #

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