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Is pedestrian, cyclist rage a growing problem in Seattle?

Is pedestrian and cyclist rage a growing problem in Seattle? Dori Monson has been a victim, and after a recent incident made news, he thought it was time to talk to Seattle Police. (AP Photo/file)

After a recent incident involving two women in Northgate who say their car was attacked by an angry pedestrian, KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson is wondering if this is a growing problem.

“This is a trend that I’ve noticed,” said Monson. “I’ve been a victim of this. There are a lot of people in Seattle, pedestrians and bicyclists, who act like car drivers are the enemy.”

The women tell Q13 they were driving through an intersection near the Northgate Mall when they made eye contact with a pair of pedestrians and proceeded through the intersection. As they went through, they heard a loud bang on the back of their car. After checking it out, they found a big dent.

Monson said he too has been a victim of a road rage conflict that didn’t involve another vehicle. He and his wife were going to the garden show at the Washington State Convention center when they had a run-in with a cyclist.

“I was making a free right-hand turn, tons of traffic. This guy apparently thought I was blocking the lane and instead of waiting like the rest of the cars, he grabbed the rear windshield wiper on my wife’s SUV and bent it back as he rode by.”

Monson wanted to know if this is a growing problem, so he reached out to the Seattle Police Department for answers.

“I’m noticing this a lot, these pedestrians and bicyclists in Seattle who act so self-righteous and are attacking car drivers. Is this becoming a prevalent problem?” Monson asked.

Detective Drew Fowler with Seattle Police said he can’t speak to a specific growth trend, but it is something that happens in a city this size. “There’s going to be a lot of interactions between drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.”

Fowler said a good deal of these more negative interactions, like those that involve yelling or demonstrative gesturing, probably go unreported. In terms of those that result in property damage, he thinks those are pretty rare.

While he acknowledged there are a lot of frustrating situations that come up for people negotiating with others on the road, he said people should also realize they’re accountable for their actions. No matter who started the conflict, how you react is on you.

In the Northgate case, the women admit they saw the pedestrians approaching the crosswalk, but drove through anyway.

“The gals were willing to admit that, they understood that,” said Fowler, “that still does not relieve the pedestrian of any responsibility for their actions.”

Police are still looking for the pedestrians in the Northgate case. Monson never reported the perpetrator in his cyclist rage incident.

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