Study pinpoints most dangerous intersection for Seattle bike riders

Sep 28, 2018, 5:12 AM
bike lane...
(KIRO 7 image)
(KIRO 7 image)

If you are biking around Washington state, there are a few stretches of road you should avoid, especially in Seattle where 85 percent of the most dangerous areas to ride a bike are located.

RELATED: Another bicycle accident on the South Lake Union streetcar tracks

According to a study by 1Point21 and Colburn Law, Seattle dominates a list of most dangerous areas for bike riders in Washington state. The study considers bike crash data from 2013-2017. From that data, a total of 35 zones emerged as having five or more collisions between bikes and cars. Seattle accounts for 26 spots on that list. In general, downtown Seattle is the worst area for cycling.

Bellingham comes in second, taking up three spots on the list. Also on the list are: Lacey, Kent, Olympia, Everett, and Spokane.

Topping that list, making it the most dangerous place to ride a bike in the state, is Fourth Avenue and Pike Street. The study notes:

Accounting for 54 crashes with 43 minor injuries and 2 serious injuries, this zone had a (Bicycle Danger Index) of 193 – the most dangerous zone for bicyclists in Washington. A central location for both tourists and residents alike, this area sees heavy foot, bike, and motor vehicle traffic daily. One-way streets, congested lanes, and inconsistent bicycle infrastructure are contributing factors to its danger for cyclists.

To combat these issues, in September 2017 the city installed protected bike lanes on Pike and Pine Streets from 2nd to 8th Avenue – right in the epicenter of this zone. A barrier of pylons and planters create a dedicated, protected lane solely reserved for bicyclists. Looking forward, it will be interesting to see if these safety measures improve bicycle safety in this area of the city.

Top 10 most dangerous spots for bike riding in Washington

  1. Seattle: 4th Avenue and Pike Street; 54 crashes; 43 minor injuries; 2 serious injuries
  2. Seattle: 12th Avenue and Pike Street; 30 crashes; 21 minor injuries; 8 serious injuries
  3. Seattle: 2nd Avenue and Columbia Street; 31 crashes; 26 minor injuries; 2 serious injuries
  4. Seattle: Roosevelt Way NE and NE 42nd Street; 26 crashes; 23 minor injuries
  5. Seattle: 12th Avenue; 22 crashes; 19 minor injuries
  6. Seattle: Dexter Avenue North and Aloha Street; 17 crashes; 13 minor injuries; 1 serious injury
  7. Seattle: 5th Avenue and South Main Street: 16 crashes; 13 minor injuries; 1 serious injury
  8. Bellingham: East Magnolia Street and Cornwall Avenue; 16 crashes; 13 minor injuries
  9. Seattle: Pine Street and Summit Avenue; 12 crashes; 8 minor injuries; 2 serious injuries
  10. Seattle: East Olive Way and East Denny Way: 10 crashes; 8 minor injuries; 1 serious injury

All 35 high-risk spots and an interactive map displaying all the reported accidents between 2013 and 2017 can be seen here.

Bike riding risk factors

The study also includes common risk factors for bike riders. Riders are more likely to have a collision at an intersection than anywhere else. Fatal collisions, however, were more common at non-intersection locations.

Male bike riders are far more likely to get into an accident. They are about 4.5 times more likely to be struck than female cyclists. Men were more likely to be killed in those accidents, too — 42 fatal collisions for men, and six such incidents with females.

The study notes that more female riders wear helmets (68 percent) than men (54.5 percent). Less than half of bike riders killed in an accident were wearing helmets.

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Study pinpoints most dangerous intersection for Seattle bike riders