Dori: Bicycle, walking more dangerous than driving

Jun 14, 2018, 7:00 PM
(File photo)
(File photo)

Pedestrian and bicycle deaths in our state have doubled in the last four years. We’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars on bike lanes because the City of Seattle has the goal to get everyone out of their cars.

I talked to Limebike’s Scott Kubly about this back when he was head of the Seattle Department of Transportation. He scoffed at this and gave his snide little laugh.

RELATED: Councilmember Rob Johnson is in the pocket of the bike-share companies

But I’ve done the math, and here’s the inescapable fact of the matter. Policies embraced by Kubly cause more people to die. Kubly, by the way, made six figures while stealing millions from taxpayers and gave them to his bikeshare  buddies; who rewarded him with a six-figure job when his incompetence at SDOT was fully revealed.

That alone doesn’t mean that getting people on bikes is altogether an unworthy goal. But it is an inescapable fact that the more people you have riding bikes and walking, the more people are going to die. I re-calculated for 2018 the chances of dying by each mode of conveyance.

Bicycles — there are nine million bicycle trips in the U.S. per day, with each bicycle trip averaging three miles. About 818 people die bicycling per year. So if you do the math, there is one bicycle death per 12 million miles.

Pedestrians — I did the same thing, using the amount that people walk per year. There are 5,300 pedestrians who die every year while walking. That works out to one death per four million miles walked.

Cars — this adds up to just one death for every 71 million miles traveled.

So, your chances of dying are six times greater on a bicycle, and 18 times greater as a pedestrian. Smirking Scott Kubly’s policies have led to the deaths of twice as many people on bicycles than four years ago. It’s the same with the Seattle City Council — their policies lead to death.

That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t keep trying to make things easier for bicyclists. But here’s the problem — they’re using all of these deaths as part of something called Vision Zero 2030. They say that they want to get all bicycle and pedestrian deaths down to zero by the year 2030. Well you’re going in the wrong direction, Seattle. But they want to achieve this goal by gridlocking the region. What they’re pushing for is getting the speed limit down to 20 miles an hour on arterials. Not to make it safer for bikes and pedestrians, but because they know they can write more speeding tickets all day that way.

They are willing to sacrifice lives, and it’s really about writing tickets. Those are more facts. So, Scott Kubly and all you other government officials who want to ignore facts, sorry that I’m dropping a bunch of truth on all of you. You are always about money, and if you have to sacrifice human lives to get a policy so you can write more tickets, that’s what you’ll do.

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
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Dori: Bicycle, walking more dangerous than driving