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Another serious car and bike collision at dangerous Pike/Boren intersection

The dangerous, sloping and busy intersection of Pike and Boren claimed another collision involving a bike and a motor vehicle just after midnight Saturday morning.

UPDATE 4/19/14 5:15 PM: SPD has provided details of the preliminary report on the incident including the bicyclist exhibiting signs of alcohol impairment when he was evaluated following the crash. Here is the preliminary report:

A male bicyclist was rushed to the hospital after colliding head on with an SUV early this morning.

On April 19th at approximately 12:16 a.m. officers responded to a vehicle/bicycle collision near Boren Avenue and Pike Street. Preliminary investigation indicates that an adult male bicyclist was travelling westbound on Pike Street approaching Boren Avenue. At the same time a green Kia SUV was travelling eastbound on Pike Street approaching Boren Avenue.

For reasons yet to be determined, the bicyclist crossed the center line and proceeded westbound in the eastbound lanes and struck the Kia head on. The bicyclist was thrown from his bicycle, struck the windshield of the Kia and landed on the pavement.

Fire department medics responded and transported the 43-year-old male bicyclist to Harborview Medical Center (HMC) with serious but non-life-threatening head and facial injuries.

Officers evaluated the driver of the Kia for indications of impairment due to alcohol and/or drugs. No signs of impairment were detected. The driver of the Kia was interviewed and released from the scene.

Officers also responded to HMC and evaluated the bicyclist for indications of impairment due to alcohol and/or drugs. The bicyclist exhibited obvious signs of impairment due to alcohol consumption.

There were no citations issued at the scene which is standard procedure in serious traffic incidents requiring extensive follow up investigation and collision reconstruction.

Traffic Collision Investigation Squad detectives responded to the scene and continue to actively investigate.

Original report: We are still gathering information on the incident that Seattle Fire described to us as a “severe impact” collision. We do not have details of the rider’s injuries. UPDATE: SFD says the rider was not wearing a helmet and struck the vehicle’s windshield but was alert and conscious when medic units arrived. He was transported to the hospital in serious condition.

In 2012, 18-year-old cyclist Nap Cantwell died after a collision at the intersection identified by advocates and city planners as a dangerous mix of speed and heavy traffic.Blmoxc8CAAEr_aW

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47 thoughts on “Another serious car and bike collision at dangerous Pike/Boren intersection

  1. Who was at fault in the 2012 accident? I am curious to know more details about what actually happened to cause these events, not just the aftermath.

  2. I understood he was riding fast down the hill and ran into a van who was crossing the intersection. Since I did not see mentioned that the van driver ran a red light, I assumed the cyclist did (and was therefore at fault).

    • Sorry, this was meant to be a response to Manny re: Nap Cantwell. I know nothing about the one that just happened. Bummer.

  3. It’s time to make Pike off limits to bicycles. Not every street is safe or can be made safe for bikers. There are other safer ways to get to downtown. It may mean a block or two out of the way.

    • I think it’s time to make Pike off limits to cars, since we don’t want to spend the money to make every street safe for different modes of transit.
      Every other street surrounding this one is available for cars to get to and from downtown, even if it means a little 5 minute detour.

      • The streets were safe until bikes started using them in ways they weren’t meant to be used. Now there’s bike accidents every week. And the cars are the bad guy? Until bikes use the streets as they were intended these types of accidents will continue. The lack of the rider and the cycling community to take ownership and accountability for these is the real problem.

      • I just want to say there is at least one cyclist who follows the rules of the road–I encountered him yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised when I was driving on Pike Street to encounter a cyclist who was following lights and not weaving between cars. He was also trying to ride as fast as he could! Nice job, good city cyclists.

      • So, every time a pedestrian gets hit by a car, we should not allow pedestrians?

        And every time an accident between two cars happens on streets or freeways.. then what?

        Your logic is intriguing as it makes no sense.

      • Accidents happen when people don’t follow the rules of the road. Pedestrians get hit when they jaywalk, cars hit each other when they run red lights.

        Bikers also get hit when they don’t follow the rules of the road. If they were to follow the rules of the road, you wouldn’t have a biker getting hit on a weekly basis

      • pffft… I was hit by a car while cycling and the *uninsured driver* was clearly at fault. I had a green light and was traveling straight. She wasn’t paying enough attention and turned in front of me. Few of the cyclists that I know who’ve been hit were at all in the wrong. It’s usually the motorist not respecting the fact that they are piloting a deadly 2,000 lb machine.

      • @Downtown

        Nice just world fallacy.

        I’ve almost been hit as a pedestrian multiple times. Every time I was crossing the street in the crosswalk with the light. I’ve even almost been hit by cars pulling in/out of alleyways, and the drivers inevitably looked surprised to see a pedestrian on the sidewalk.

        I’ve also almost been hit a few times at Pike/Boren. That intersection embodies everything that’s wrong with our incompetent department of transportation. A simple road diet would solve many problems there.

      • Downtown, pedestrians also get hit when cars and bikes don’t follow the rules of the road. Think about how often autos cut pedestrians off when the pedestrian has the right of way. You may also check the stats on who was at fault in the pedestrian related accidents.

      • Downtown should study his history…. the advent of the lovely paved roads he enjoys driving on was brought about by cyclists… the “Good Roads Movement” was a group of cyclists that was active from around the 1870s who were the first folks to lobby for road paving. In any case most of the roads in this city were conceived and laid out long before automobiles made it here and became widespread… these roads were designed for horse & cart, trolleys/cable cars, feet and bicycles…

      • This intersection has no left turn lane/light, which is the main danger. Sometimes it takes 3-4 lights for left turning cars to make it through the intersection and therefore drivers are more likely to take chances turning left. If cyclists traveling straight had a clear green light with no left turning vehicles that would help.

      • ^ show me an article on bikes & traffic, I’ll show you a parade of bike-hating trolls looking for attention.

        don’t feed them.

  4. Thanks for the update. I hope the injured cyclist will be okay. Sounds like he may have a constant reminder of the dangers of biking while intoxicated.

    Some of the posters here, you would think this is a CNN forum with all the speculations. “There was an accident, let’s close all streets to all types of traffic…” *rolls eyes.

    • It is totally legal to ride a bike while intoxicated in Washington.

      RCW 46.61.790
      Intoxicated bicyclists.

      (1) A law enforcement officer may offer to transport a bicycle rider who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or any drug and who is walking or moving along or within the right-of-way of a public roadway, unless the bicycle rider is to be taken into protective custody under RCW 70.96A.120. The law enforcement officer offering to transport an intoxicated bicycle rider under this section shall:

      (a) Transport the intoxicated bicycle rider to a safe place; or

      (b) Release the intoxicated bicycle rider to a competent person.

      (2) The law enforcement officer shall not provide the assistance offered if the bicycle rider refuses to accept it. No suit or action may be commenced or prosecuted against the law enforcement officer, law enforcement agency, the state of Washington, or any political subdivision of the state for any act resulting from the refusal of the bicycle rider to accept this assistance.

      (3) The law enforcement officer may impound the bicycle operated by an intoxicated bicycle rider if the officer determines that impoundment is necessary to reduce a threat to public safety, and there are no reasonable alternatives to impoundment. The bicyclist will be given a written notice of when and where the impounded bicycle may be reclaimed. The bicycle may be reclaimed by the bicycle rider when the bicycle rider no longer appears to be intoxicated, or by an individual who can establish ownership of the bicycle. The bicycle must be returned without payment of a fee. If the bicycle is not reclaimed within thirty days, it will be subject to sale or disposal consistent with agency procedures.

      • I won’t disagree – but given the alternative of having drunken people on bikes or drunken people driving, I prefer the latter… and I believe that is why the law has been left that way.

      • If cyclists are going to drink and run head on into and oncoming car in moving traffic – they should be ticketed with a DUI. This law needs to change. We all share the road and therefore should be held by the same laws. period.

      • No… there are very few situations in life where there is only black and white and there are good reasons for certain laws only pertaining to *motor* vehicles. Some would make little sense, such as the vehicle being equipped with seat belts, some like the drunken driving law have been left that way for a reason. Drunken drivers kill around 30 people every day, drunken cyclists mainly endanger themselves – and yes he can be held accountable for the property damage he caused without being charged with a DUI.

      • So, by your mindset, cyclists get a free pass and get to do whatever they hell they want drunk or not because their death numbers are nominal? Cause mayhem, damage, assault people on sidewalks and walk (or pedal in this case) scott free with no law that can touch them? MAYBE just a piddly civil suit for property damages? Amazing world to live in. No wonder ppl despise this way of thinking, peds and motorists alike.

      • My, my a little over reactive are we…. look, the government only regulates things that have a significant impact of the society as a whole. You need a license to drive because a motor vehicle is a dangerous machine. You need a certificate to serve food to the public because you can cause widespread damage if you practice poor food handling. You need a license to fish to regulate the usage of a public resource.

        You don’t need a permit to travel freely, that’s something that’s very protected. You are allowed to drink and smoke and do many things that are self destructive – even rude or annoying to the people around you, so long as they aren’t going to be a serious detriment, mostly kill people, swindle people or deplete a public resource, to the society at large.

        A person riding a bike drunk simply doesn’t constitute the type of societal menace that a drunken driver does. This state also has no drunk and disorderly law – did you know that. You can’t be arrested for simply being drunk in public. You can be arrested if you commit another crime, just as any cyclist could. A drunken pedestrian can cause damage too – I saw some bozo walking down the tops of parked cars one night – shall we call for the licensing and insuring of shoes – should he get a DUI? Of course not. The person who did that can and should still be held accountable, just as the cyclist can and should. Just keep it in perspective. Remember – 30 people are killed by drunk drivers in the US every day, people killed by drunken cyclists – so rare you couldn’t even find stats if you tried.

  5. True, Boren does have a slope as it crosses Pike, but that slope evidently isn’t a factor in this crash. In fact, the action seems limited entirely to Pine, with a bicyclist on that street who may have mistakenly decided he was cycling in England.

  6. License bicycles.

    License cyclists.

    Start prosecuting the cyclists that violate the rules of the road.

    Tax the sales of bicycles and bike related products to pay for this effort and to foot the bill for any bike paths etc.

    • How bout everyone pays 10 cents per pound of registered vehicle per year? Or $1 per square inch of vehicular footprint? Maybe a fee tied directly to greenhouse producing gasses?

    • Licensing is completely unnecessary and unrelated to the ability to give traffic citations…. (you don’t need a license to get a jaywalking citation right) Automobiles are licensed because they require a certain level of skill to operate safely and the unsafe operation of them is a big enough public health hazard that it’s justified that the government regulate their usage… There just isn’t a justifiable reason to license bicycles any more than there is to license tennis shoes.

      p.s. when they start enforcing the rules of the road for cars, they’ll start in on bicycles too…. which means never. If I had a nickel for every car I saw speed, make an illegal right on red, or slide through a stop sign, I’d be a millionaire by now…

      • In my experience, CDbiker, you’d make most of your money from cyclists violating the traffic rules. I play a game when I walk around, awarding myself an imaginary $10 for every traffic violation I see. I “earn” the most money from cyclists breaking the rules. Then pedestrians. Then cars. I’ve never seen cars blithely sail through stop signs and red lights the way cyclists do.

        Not sure about licensing bikes, but I do think the police should start enforcing the rules of the road more stringently, for everyone.

      • Sorry, but it’s so common place, you simply no longer notice when automobile drivers break the law…

        Every time a car fails to stop *behind* the stop line at a stop sign and either rolls through slowly or stops in the crosswalk or intersection they have broken the law by running the stop sign and I see precious few motorists who don’t.

        Every time a driver fails to stop to allow pedestrians at an intersection cross the street they have broken the law.. try to cross at some places – most drivers pretend blindness… and every time a driver proceeds before waiting for said pedestrians to be at least 2 traffic lanes away from them (so on a 2 lane street that means all of the way across!) they’ve broken the law. And this is marked and unmarked crosswalks mind you – so there do not have to be painted white lines.

        Every time a driver turns right at a red light *before* coming to a complete stop or without the intersection being clear (and I can beat them if I hurry doesn’t mean clear…) they’ve broken the law…

        Every time they speed… and does *anyone* except for me (I do occasionally drive) actually do 30mph on 23rd ave?! They’ve broken the law….

        I could go on….

  7. How can a bicyclist who has just been involved with a head-on collision be tested for impairment? Presumably, concussion is one of the possible outcomes of this and symptoms would mimic intoxication? I’m sincerely curious.

    • One “obvious sign of impairment” could be his breath smelling of alcohol.

      And “Evaluating the cyclist for indications of impairment” could consist of:
      Officer: “Have you been drinking?”
      Cyclist: “Yesh”

  8. Although the cyclist’s alcohol intoxication seems to be the main factor in this case, a common denominator for accidents at that intersection seems to be a cyclist who is heading westbound on Pike at a high rate of speed….that is almost inevitable, as the street grade there is quite steep. I’m not sure what can be done to slow down the cyclists there, but there must be something that would help.

    • I call BS… you don’t see cars going down there any slower, but other motorists don’t usually pull out in front of them. The problem isn’t that cyclists are traveling too fast, it’s that motorists aren’t looking for them. Why slow down bikes… slow [the dangerous party] cars and make it a much bigger crime to negligently pull out in front of someone – I didn’t see them should be a hard excuse to use. While this collision obviously was not the motorists fault, more often than not it is…

      When I go downtown on my bike I’m usually traveling around the same speed as everyone else, yet it is relatively often that someone attempts to pull out of a side street or move over into my lane (at the bridge over I-5, where it widens to several lanes) effectively cutting me off. I’m always rather wary and looking for folks who don’t know how to use their eyes and their mirrors and have absolutely no clue how to judge my speed or stopping distance. I also don’t use the bozo bike lane which simply invites people to open their doors on your or right hook you.

      • You misunderstood my comment. I’m just saying that, approaching that particular intersection westbound, it is in the cyclist’s safety interest to slow down. That way, he/she would have more time to assess the situation…even if he/she is blowing through the intersection on a red light.

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