SAFETY ALERT: Danger for bicycle riders on 1st Avenue S. Bridge

gap in bridge

Beware of that hazard on the 1st Avenue S. Bridge! That’s the warning from Aaron Goss, proprietor of Aaron’s Bicycle Repair in White Center, who sent the photo along with a CC on this note:

Dear SDOT,

Please fix this IMMEDIATELY!!!!!! (see attached photo)

Someone is going to get killed. This cannot wait another day!

The metal strip that covers the gap has been bent and jammed down in the gap.

Aaron got a reply at day’s end from SDOT – pointing out only that the bridge belongs to WSDOT and saying they would forward the concern.

14 Replies to "SAFETY ALERT: Danger for bicycle riders on 1st Avenue S. Bridge"

  • K'lo July 13, 2016 (8:32 pm)

    Whoa! That’s dangerous!!!! Might want to send a note to WSDOT, just incase SDOT gets busy and forgets….

  • john July 13, 2016 (8:53 pm)

    I sure hope you get a much better response about this than what we got about a tragic death and the many other accidents caused by the completely stupid useless trolleys and their murderous tracks on former bike routs. I’ve seen so many go down in SLU. BTW, all streets are bike routs case you don’t know.

    • chemist July 13, 2016 (11:42 pm)

      I nominate “yellow” as the special color for lanes that are hazardous and bicycles should be prohibited from traversing unless at 90 degree angles. We can re-inforce that behavior by attaching fines equal to that of violating bus lanes/3rd avenue.

    • candrewb July 14, 2016 (5:44 am)

      I’m still mystified as to how we ended up with the trolleys. I work at a large institution on the Capitol Hill line and don’t remember anyone clamoring for them at any time. Compared to the monorail fight, it’s like the City just said “We’re doing this whether you like it or not.” I’m all for public transportation, but the net benefits for this over busses are just not there. Was it a big payoff to someone?

      • sam-c July 14, 2016 (8:25 am)

        that is something I’ve long wondered as well.  Made no sense to me. Are they heavily used?

        • candrewb July 14, 2016 (8:33 am)

          Northbound in the mornings I see some student types on it. Not really any other time of day.

        • Sevenless July 14, 2016 (1:11 pm)

          The SLU streetcar gets a lot of traffic from Fred Hutch and Amazon, at least during commute hours, and I believe the neighboring businesses actually pay for increased rush-hour service on that route due to demand.

          The First Hill streetcar was compensation for Sound Transit canceling a First Hill light rail station due to engineering complications. The I-5 cut and slopes made for the ridiculous routing that it takes, rendering it all-but-useless for most people. If it’s ever extended north as planned, it might become more useful for Capitol Hill commuters. There’s a similar long-term vision to extend the SLU line north to the UW via Eastlake, and also a plan to link the two through downtown, as a sort of revived waterfront streetcar (though via 1st Ave instead of Alaskan Way.)

  • Mike July 13, 2016 (9:03 pm)

    or you can avoid riding in the cracks and next to tracks, easy fix $0.  I need to find that rider saftey pamphlet from the 80s that shows the big red X over a cyclist riding parallel to tracks and gaps.  It’s no different than not riding with your handlebars right next to the hand railing where you can come to an immediate stop and be thrown off your bicycle.  Cars need to stay between the lanes, boats need to avoid shallow waters, pedestrians need to be aware of their surroundings and look before crossing, the world won’t stop revolving and physics always win.

    • WSB July 13, 2016 (10:10 pm)

      This is something broken, and not visible until you come up on it.

  • Alf July 14, 2016 (10:01 am)

    This is a worthwhile advisory but this hazard has existed for at least a year and isn’t even the most egregious failure of bike infrastructure that people commuting out of the south end have to contend with. While DOT is busy with toy bike projects in the north end the people coming into town from the south are running a gauntlet of torn up sidewalks that sporadically dump you into semi truck traffic. Just part of the day to day shorting to those who aren’t rich enough to be north of downtown. 

    • WSB July 14, 2016 (11:22 am)

      Hi, Alf. I am not a (current) rider but Aaron, who sent this in, was quite adamant about it, and I trust that, so sorry if it’s old news to some, but even worse if it’s been reported previously and not fixed … I will chase it up the WSDOT media chain to see what more I can find out as soon as things slow down a little. Anything even more egregious that I can try checking on? – TR

      • Alf July 14, 2016 (11:50 am)

        I’m curious about an ongoing problem on the duwamish river trail just south of the 1st ave bridge, at w marginal way s and highland park way. There is a huge tree root intrusion that renders two thirds of the path unusable, forcing two way bike traffic onto an 18″ space just inches from high speed freight traffic. This trail is the main connection from the interurban and cedar river trails to the alki trail and the elliott bay trail into downtown.  This issue has been reported to DOT by phone, web and ‘find it fix it’ phone app by hundreds of people and the only response has been to spray paint it white. ,-122.3342386,3a,75y,57.36h,78.29t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sRmI90P17ehkJ7K6fIqrgpw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

  • Alkiobserver July 14, 2016 (10:12 am)

    It would be nice if SDOT and WSDOT took motorcycle rider concerns and safety as seriously as they do bicycle riders. 

    • Mike July 19, 2016 (12:26 am)

      you mean like fixing that expansion joint coming West on the upper bridge on the far right lane?  The one that bottomed out my suspension on my old car and made my objects fly out of the cup holder?  It’s been messed up for over 10 years now and they don’t do anything with it.

Sorry, comment time is over.