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A memorial to Max Richards, the last* pedestrian killed on a Capitol Hill street

A memorial to Max Richards is a reminder of his wife Marilyn Black’s love for the man who died this week in 2016 after being struck by a driver while crossing Belmont Ave E with his dog.

The flowers are also a marker of a stretch of time that hopefully continues — a pedestrian hasn’t been killed on Capitol Hill streets in two years.

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The number of collisions involving pedestrians in Seattle was on the rise in recent years according to SDOT’s most recent annual traffic report (PDF) from last year. In 2016, Richards was one of six pedestrians hit and killed by drivers in the city.

New research suggests that collisions are also increasingly deadly for those outside of motor vehicles. One cause is believed to be the proliferation of higher-profile SUV-style vehicles.

Richards was hit and killed on the busy, sloping street when he was struck by a driver in a Jeep Cherokee, according to the SPD investigation of the incident. While much of the concern about Belmont Ave E that followed his death was about high speeds on the sloping street, Richards was killed by a driver who had just stopped at a stop sign before swinging onto Belmont.

A community gathering following the 79-year-old’s death included words from Black and representatives from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways who joined family and friends for a memorial walk for Richards across Capitol Hill.

Monday, CHS stopped to see the memorial hanging from the humongous, 100-foot-across London Plane tree in the Belmont Ave and Bellevue Pl triangle park. The memorial remains in place if you feel like taking a walk.


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