Update: Bicycle-car collision south of The Junction

(Photo courtesy Mary from Service Dog Academy, substituted at 2:12 pm for our previous photo)
After a relatively brief closure, California has just reopened south of The Junction after a car hit a bicyclist by Rite-Aid. The bicycle rider was taken to the hospital. Police were talking with the man driving the car (which isn’t shown in our photos); no details at this point about circumstances of the crash, nor the bicyclist’s condition – they were transported by medic unit, which tends to indicate the injuries were not minor.

27 Replies to "Update: Bicycle-car collision south of The Junction"

  • CE October 1, 2010 (1:43 pm)

    I hope everyone is OK!

  • Mookie October 1, 2010 (2:17 pm)

    Overheard Medic unit speaking with trauma doc at Harborview over the scanner: He reported treating a 70-yr-old helmeted bicyclist who’d been hit by car from behind & knocked from bike. Patient had no loss of consciousness, had some abrasions, no other visible significant trauma. They were en route to Harborview Medical Center.

    • WSB October 1, 2010 (2:18 pm)

      Thanks, Mook! Patrick was at the scene but as you know, the scanner yields the best initial info on conditions; I was in court and not scanner-equipped at the time. P did say the driver appeared to be an older man, but we don’t have an exact age. – TR

  • Teri October 1, 2010 (2:59 pm)

    I hope the cyclist is okay.

    Those of us in cars need to be highly aware of the damage we can do to others with our cars—-we are inside of a weapon; the impact of a car can kill. Whether I have to or not, I will yield to a pedestrian or cyclist–why? Because whether I am in the right or in the wrong, the pedestrians and cyclists are more vulnerable to injury. Is being ‘right’ more important than the consequences of hitting someone?

    Just the other day, when getting onto the West Seattle bridge from Avalon, I saw a car move over to the left in front of me and almost hit a cyclist that was legally positioned in front of me. The car almost hit the cyclist and honked at the cyclist…then proceeded to tailgate the cyclist all the way to the next light. What the heck? The cyclist was not at fault and the driver made the situation even more dangerous!

    I don’t ride a bike, however, I give them room to breathe and remind myself that life is more precious that being ‘right’.

  • HelperMonkey October 1, 2010 (4:27 pm)

    In defense of those of us who give a wide berth to bikers when possible, it is also not out of the realm of possibility that this biker swerved into the lane of the vehicle. If it’s the older gentleman we usually see biking on California Ave – he’s not the best at staying in his part of the lane. I wish him a speedy recovery, and hope that the driver that hit him is mentally alright as well.

  • J W October 1, 2010 (4:28 pm)

    This accident happened in front of the salon I work at. The gentleman that was injured thankfully did not seem to have any life threatening injuries.There was a broken or dislocated finger and some minor cuts and bleeding. He was alert and talking. He had been riding on the sidewalk looking into the barber shop then he darted out into the street where he hit the car.
    I am thankful that it was not any worse than it was. My thoughts are with both the cyclist as well as the driver he ran into.

  • Mookie October 1, 2010 (4:50 pm)

    I’m grateful the cyclist was wearing a helmet. I’ve seen several bicyclists around West Seattle on main streets and they’re not wearing helmets! Guess what – that groovy knit skateboarder hat you’re wearing will essentially be a ziploc bag for what’s in your cranium should you have an accident…

  • cj October 1, 2010 (4:55 pm)

    Ive had people almost run me down while I was using the crosswalk right there. One guy even screamed at me from his truck as if I had no right to be on his road. Cali is definitely an issue as its very much a people , pet and crossing street but its also used as a though street with people in a hurry.

  • I. Ponder October 1, 2010 (5:15 pm)

    I’m grateful when drivers are paying attention, not texting, not talking on phone, stopping at crosswalks, and not threatening pedestrians and cyclists with their cars.

    I sense hatred of cyclists as the latest fad.

    Helper Monkey writes: “It is not out of the realm of possibility that the cyclist swerved?”

    Were you there? What else is not out of the realm of possibility?

    What is “his part of the lane” according to you?

  • Jill Loblaw October 1, 2010 (5:24 pm)

    Before this discussion turns ugly with one side blaming the other, let’s ALL remember that both bicyclists and motorists should exercise great caution for others on the road, particularly as daylight becomes more limited this time of year.

  • J W October 1, 2010 (6:38 pm)

    Ponder, Did you not read my comment. It happened in front of my work. The cyclist was on the sidewalk looking into the barber shop then he just darted out into the street with out looking. My co worker saw it. Why don’t you stop blaming and accept that it was an accident with no malice towards anyone.

  • twocents October 1, 2010 (7:00 pm)

    I don’t care whose fault this was, but wanted to say that as someone who uses both methods of transportation, our roads just aren’t equipped to really serve both bikes and cars together.

    The “sharrows” are horrible, in my opinion. Their presence seems to make bicyclists forget that they should still follow standard safety precautions (stay to the right, wear a helmet, don’t cut off cars, allow cars to pass you because they’re doing (or should be doing) a legal speed limit and you aren’t/can’t). Sharrows just seem to irritate motorists and make them less concerned instead of more aware of a cyclist’s presence.

    I could be way off point here since it sounds like this doesn’t really apply to what happened, but as a cyclist and a motorist, that’s my mini rant on the subject.

  • W.S. mavrick October 2, 2010 (8:24 am)

    damn bikes cutting off cars. they need license plates if they want to be part of the road

  • Jill Loblaw October 2, 2010 (8:28 am)

    Just a side note to all this:

    I was waiting in my car for the light to turn green (at the intersection of Alaska and California streets) this morning and witnessed a bicyclist complete with racing attire run the red light while another bicyclist patiently waited his turn in the car lane for the light to turn green and then proceed. Kudos to the bicyclist who knows the rules of the road and obeyed them.

  • W.S. mavrick October 2, 2010 (8:41 am)

    the ones that don’t obey the laws should be punished just like motorist already are

  • austin October 2, 2010 (9:05 am)

    Drivers are out of control, as shown by the entitlement attitudes of people like “W.S. mavrick”. Driving should be a privilege, not the right that so many expect. It’s too easy to get a license, too cheap (thanks to federal funding) to own, use and maintain an automobile, and way more comfortable than operating a power tool should be. Remove the illusion, stop treating cars as a necessary evil and let drivers pay the true cost of driving.

  • redblack October 2, 2010 (9:20 am)

    austin: i agree. but mostly people are just plain bad at it. they’re distracted, they don’t know the laws, and they’re aggressive.
    then again, there are plenty of people who have no business trying to ride bikes on the streets, either.
    i find that i’ve become more patient after some of the crazy antics i’ve seen on the road of late, and driving defensively has become a full-time job – instead of merely pleasure cruising back and forth to work, it’s become a game of, “okay, what’s that crazy person going to do? oh. i thought so.” and i just let them do it. they can crash into someone else.
    this ain’t NASCAR, people. it’s for keeps.

  • TowTruckerSteve October 2, 2010 (12:32 pm)

    M.S. MAVERICK>>>I’m with you, I skipped everyone elses to comment. In my, and more likely the greater majority of the motorist population, opinion bicyclists have no business on the pavement. I don’t ride a bike, why should I pay an un godly amount of money in car tabs every year for road maintenence just to have to wait for some bicycle to get off the road or out of the way who HASN’T padi road tax?!?! The state, county and various cities have spent butt loads on bike lanes, bike paths, bike “boxes” and yet when you drive down the road you see the bike riding the white strip of paint on the far left of his bike lane. Thus I either have to slow down, effecting my fuel efficiency or cross the yellow line to avoid putting him out of my misery. And half these people don’t follow the rules. The run red lights, go against traffic, use the sidewalk when it suits them.
    No I don’t wish ill will on anyone or want these people run over, but they need to either pay up, pay attention and be accountable for their actions or GET THE *(%# OFF THE ROAD!!!!

  • W.S. mavrick October 2, 2010 (3:38 pm)

    perfectly said towtruckersteve. if they had to pay for tabs on there bikes with license plates it would help some road maintinence too

  • EyeLiveInWestSeattle October 2, 2010 (8:16 pm)

    In Italy, bicycles are taxed to pay for their share of the road. I am starting to think it’s time for that here in the U.S. I shouldn’t be paying for those markings and fat lanes for bikes because I use a car. That is stupid.

  • Velo_nut October 2, 2010 (8:52 pm)

    TowTruckerSteve –

    Educate yourself before you post your hate speak. Your car tabs don’t go to local roads.

    Here is a hint… if you are so passionate about cyclists, do what we do. Organize yourself and your ilk and make something happen. obviously we fight harder than you do as we got our lanes and you lost yours.

    Deal with it.

  • austin October 3, 2010 (7:52 am)

    Judging by the comments on this article there are a lot of drivers who take pride in ignorance. The idea of educating themselves is the furthest thing from their minds.

  • Chris October 3, 2010 (9:38 am)

    IF the car tabs for my two cars went to local roads, I’d also argue that my three bikes should be taxed somehow too. But car tabs don’t fund local roads, so how would registering bikes improve anything?

    I do agree that bikes operating on roads should be held accountable for traffic violations – including helmets!

    As a bicyclist, I’m always amazed at drivers’ rants about how we “break the law”. What, you don’t speed? You don’t roll through stop signs? While I was riding down 1st on Thursday, I watched a car blatantly run a red light, watched another make an illegal right turn, and a third try to make a wrong turn onto a one-way street. Maybe as a driver we need to stop throwing the rocks in the glass house, eh?

  • Chris October 3, 2010 (9:41 am)

    Do you think this DRIVER was a little angel about obeying traffic laws? Hmmm…

  • redblack October 3, 2010 (10:47 am)

    i don’t ride a bicycle on the streets here, largely for the same reason i would never get on a motorcycle: greater vulnerability.
    i understand that cyclists get the short shrift – a lot – but, cyclists, you know full well what kind of danger you’re putting yourselves into when you share the road with cars. i’m not saying you don’t have the right to, and i’m fine with bike lanes and sharrows.
    and while i understand and often share the anger at their lack of regard, you shouldn’t be surprised that drivers aren’t always paying attention; especially with our cargo-cult living-rooms-on-wheels, complete with DVD players, ipods/iphones, and blue-teeth.
    here’s a compromise: mandatory driving tests every 4 years. same for cyclists, to go along with mandatory insurance and bike registration. as pointed out by this thread, cyclists can be lousy operators, too, and can also cause damage.
    and we all know that the city/state can use the money.

  • oldbikeguy October 3, 2010 (11:00 am)

    I’m with twocents on this-sharrows are a new concept around here, and I have a bad feeling about some of them on arterials. It gives inattentive and inexperienced bicyclists the illusion that they are safe. The streets are not safe for bicyclists. When I moved here I could bicycle to Port Townsend and and back-those days are gone. I’m not arguing against cars-it just is what it is. Instead of licensing bicycles, I think it would be better to require a velcro attached reflective material for bicyclists and light, but more importantly, fine tuning the sharrow system away from arterials. 42nd Ave is a great bicyclist street-low traffic, few stop signs, goes almost all the way from the Junction to Morgan Junction. Its safer.

  • Chris October 3, 2010 (7:13 pm)

    I actually like the sharrows – mostly because it reminds drivers that bicyclists are out there. A little paint on the road has never made me feel safer, I promise you! Side streets like 42nd are actually scarier to ride, in my opinion, than California – the streets are narrower, parked cars block the view of cars trying to pull out into the road, and parked cars block the view of cyclists trying to watch for traffic pulling out.
    I think requiring bike registration would be difficult and costly to enforce – I’d rather the SPD try to find out whose been breaking into cars on my street! Instead, I’d like to see more traffic-law enforcement of bicycles (including me), especially the city helmet law. I would be open to a special sales tax added to new bike sales – [b]providing it goes only towards building bike paths in Seattle[/b]. Getting that promised seems less likely than me becoming the next Pope!

Sorry, comment time is over.