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No serious injuries reported after officer in police SUV collides with bicyclist outside East Precinct’s wall

Police and the Seattle Fire Department say the rider seen on video in a collision with an officer turning their vehicle into the 12th Ave entrance along the East Precinct’s barrier wall suffered minor injuries and did not require hospitalization Tuesday night.

In the video, the driver of the Seattle Police SUV can be seen turning across the path of the oncoming cyclist before hitting the rider just past the 12th Ave side of the large cement wall and fence.

The incident happened just before 7 PM outside the East Precinct and was captured on video by a camera view of the facility shared by @MarcusKulik on Twitter around the same time an anti-police protest was forming nearby in Cal Anderson following the Derek Chauvin murder verdict.

A Seattle Police spokesperson said Wednesday that the department is still planning removal of the wall which has been criticized for creating unsafe street conditions as well as cutting the facility off from its home neighborhood even as police have claimed it necessary to protect the building from vandalism and arson attacks.

Earlier this month, SPD said the wall’s removal including taking down a planned temporary fence to replace the current cement barrier will depend on “whether the building again becomes a target for arson and property damage.”


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Cd resident
Cd resident
26 days ago

In other breaking news, a bird flew by a window

FNH
FNH
26 days ago

You can see the police vehicle’s right turn signal flashing before the idiot cyclist tries to pass on the right side in the lane. It is 100% the cyclist’s fault.

richard
richard
26 days ago
Reply to  FNH

You’re in the right lane. As you approach a car in the left lane, the driver suddenly puts on their blinker and ~1 second later (based on the first thing that looks like it *MIGHT* be a blinker in this vid), they turn right, from their left lane, across your right lane, causing your vehicle to collide with the driver.
You really going to say that’s your fault? Yeah, I didn’t think so. The ONLY difference here is that it’s a bike instead of a car. The law in this case is actually very clear; when you turn right across a bike lane, you are absolutely required to yield to the traffic in that lane, and you are absolutely responsible if you don’t.

It’s extremely sad to hear several different commenters exposing their ignorance of critical traffic safety laws like this, but I guess that’s consistent with the level of driving competence I see on the street…

Now, as a cyclist, I strongly recommend that anyone in a bike lane seeing a car braking as you approach, anticipate that they’re probably about to break the law and negligently endanger you, and make the choice to account for their likely incompetence by not passing. It’s in your best interest.
But there’s a major difference between failing to comply with the law and endangering someone else’s life due to negligence (as this cop did), and failing to account for someone else’s illegal and negligent behavior even when you probably could have (as this cyclist did). It’s important for us to recognize this difference in order to avoid victim blaming.

FNH
FNH
25 days ago
Reply to  richard

Except that there is no bike lane that block, thus your diatribe misses the fundamental point entirely.

Fairly Obvious
Fairly Obvious
25 days ago
Reply to  FNH

It’s cute that you think a turn signal absolves a driver of yielding established and codified right-of-way. Dori Monson, is that you?

This cyclist has a slam dunk case against the SPD officer for blatant failure to yield right-of-way and potentially against SPD for illegal encroachment into the bike lane.

FNH
FNH
25 days ago
Reply to  Fairly Obvious

There is no bike lane on that block and the cyclist was foolishly lane-splitting on the right – not legal in Washington. My spouse who is both a serious cyclist and attorney reviewed the footage and said the cyclist evidently violated not just the traffic laws but fundamental cycling tenets – always assume you’re invisible and always be wary of right hooks. The police vehicle signaled intent to turn right ahead of the intersection.

Richard
Richard
25 days ago
Reply to  FNH

Yes there is in fact a bike lane on that block. SPD has partially obstructed it, but there is no signage or notification anywhere that it is closed, and SPD clearly also believes there is one, since they pass me there all the time in a way that would otherwise be illegal.

Richard
Richard
25 days ago
Reply to  FNH

And to add to that:. If you think partially obstructing a bike lane equates to closing it, are there any bike lanes left open in this city?? :P

btwn
btwn
25 days ago
Reply to  FNH

Yes, there’s a marked bike lane on that block, part of the same bike lane that runs from John to Yesler.

btwn
btwn
25 days ago
Reply to  FNH

We can debate whether or not it it’s a good bike lane, but it is marked and is wide enough for a bike.

Ezgul_aVIAYrgNZ.jpg
Fairly Obvious
Fairly Obvious
25 days ago
Reply to  FNH

My spouse who is both a serious cyclist and attorney reviewed the footage and said the cyclist evidently violated not just the traffic laws but fundamental cycling tenets – always assume you’re invisible and always be wary of right hooks.

Your spouse must not be a very good cyclist nor attorney if they think what they witnessed in the video was a legal maneuver.

Again Dori, stick to yelling easily disproven opinions to your radio listeners. You’re not going to get much sympathy posting anti-bicycle BS on a blog in a well educated, dense, bicycle friendly neighborhood.

Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
25 days ago
Reply to  FNH

The police vehicle is not using a turn indicator. I can understand why it appears that way. The perceived visual “flashing” occurs from multiple utility lines momentarily obscuring the taillight lens from the view of the camera. This observation is consistent with would otherwise be irregular blinker pattern.

Furthermore, even if the driver had used an indicator, optically it likely fails the legal standard. “According to the Legal Code of Washington State, RCW 46.61. 305, drivers have to use their turn signals continuously to turn or move left or right when required from at least 100 feet before turning or moving in that direction.”

Even if the vehicle had used a turn signal, laws require a driver to yield to oncoming traffic lane (the cyclist), however much you may disagree. There IS an indicated “bike lane” between the motor vehicle lane and parking lane along 12th Ave. It is indicated at the south end of each block. Officers at the East Precinct are likely aware.
https://www.google.com/maps/@47.6155843,-122.3168325,3a,37.5y,206.57h,87.13t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sHNtNjNsIykwlzFAuqnmzew!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
26 days ago

Sorry, but as a cyclist I’m going to have to say this was not the drivers fault this time…. the cyclist was never (at least from what can be seen in the video) in front of the cop, so it wasn’t a case of pass and right hook. The cyclist accelerated right into a turning driver who, I think, looks like he even had his turn signal on…
Even if the the barriers were not there, there’s still not a bicycle lane on that block – there is parking. The cyclist should have been in the lane, not trying to squeeze past someone on the right.

btwn
btwn
26 days ago
Reply to  CD Neighbor

1) I don’t see a turn signal – maybe I’m missing it, but the video is too low res to be conclusive IMO
2) There is absolutely a marked bike lane on that block
3) using the bike lane to pass cars on the right is using the bike lane as it is designed
4) it’s the driver’s responsibility to check their mirrors and yield before crossing a bike lane to their right

btwn
btwn
26 days ago
Reply to  btwn

Section 11.53.190 DRIVING IN A BICYCLE LANE.The operator of a motor vehicle shall not drive in a bicycle lane except to execute a turning maneuver, yielding to all persons riding bicycles thereon.

https://www.seattle.gov/transportation/projects-and-programs/programs/bike-program/rules-of-the-road

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
26 days ago
Reply to  btwn

1) You have to watch carefully, but it does appear that the cop did have his turn signal on… there is one frame where you can see it.

2) Even pre blocks I see no indication of a bicycle lane markings on that block until 60 feet from Pike – there’s not nearly enough space to ride safely there between parked cars and moving traffic… I checked that out on street view which has pre-CHOP images. That’s one of the reasons I hate bicycle lanes – stupidity like that. In any case, it’s moot right now anyway – there is no bicycle lane period with those blocks there. When there’s anything blocking the bike lane, which is not unique to this situation, it happens often when there is building construction, you merge with the traffic lane, something the cyclist had plenty of time to do… the cop behind him was going very slowly, I’d say expecting just that.

3) even if you are using a bicycle lane, you should not accelerate into the path of someone who is and always was ahead of you and clearly signaling their intention to turn right – a second reason I hate bicycle lanes… you shouldn’t put yourself in this situation in the first place… if you intend to do close to the speed of traffic as that cyclist was doing and was clearly capable of doing, you should use the traffic lane…

4) There is no bicycle lane on that block…

btwn
btwn
25 days ago
Reply to  CD Neighbor

yes, there’s a marked bike lane on that block, part of the marked lane that goes from John to Yesler.

Ezgul_aVIAYrgNZ.jpg
btwn
btwn
25 days ago
Reply to  CD Neighbor

I bike this street most days. It’s also on SDOT’s bike lane map.

Screen Shot 2021-04-22 at 5.28.30 PM.png
btwn
btwn
25 days ago
Reply to  CD Neighbor

last thing, @cd neighbor:
Regarding your #3, I don’t see any evidence that the cyclist “accelerated.” and – even if they had – they wouldn’t be legally at fault. There’s a marked bike lane, and a statute in seattle law requiring drivers to yield before turning across it. The presence of a collision is prima facie evidence of a failure to yield.

Nope
Nope
26 days ago
Reply to  btwn

I can’t tell if the driver’s turn signal is on, but as the police car obviously slows, the cyclist very obviously speeds up. It looks like the cyclists knows the driver is about to turn right and is purposely and stupidly speeding up in a dangerous attempt to get ahead of the car before it turns.

Harry
Harry
25 days ago
Reply to  Nope

It’s very difficult to see the details in the video. But I can say that if I’m on a bike and anticipate a turning car yielding for me, I will speed up to get around the yielding vehicle as a courtesy so the vehicle does not need to wait as long.

btwn
btwn
25 days ago
Reply to  Nope

I’m a little confused about what your point is. Are you saying the cyclist was legally at fault?

There’s a marked bike lane and a statute in seattle law requiring drivers to yield to traffic in the bike lane before moving across it. Help me out?

Nope
Nope
25 days ago
Reply to  btwn

I’m saying an accident could have been avoided if either the driver or the cyclist had used a little more caution, regardless of the letter of the law. Isn’t avoiding accidents the ultimate point? What’s the point of not avoiding an accident and then yelling, “Ha ha, you’re in trouble ’cause the law is on my side” while I’m lying injured on the street?

btwn
btwn
24 days ago
Reply to  Nope

first – everyone was accelerating from a stop at pine street. all the cars, the cyclist – the light had pretty clearly turned green.

Second, this isn’t a both side-ism kind of event. One party is clearly at fault, and for you to blame the victim and suggest without evidence that the cyclist purposely created the accident is quite a stretch.

Fairly Obvious
Fairly Obvious
25 days ago
Reply to  Nope

It looks like the cyclists knows the driver is about to turn right and is purposely and stupidly speeding up in a dangerous attempt to get ahead of the car before it turns.

So on a four lane road, if a car in the left lane signals right, turns in front of a car in the right lane and hits the car in the right lane, the car in the right lane is at fault with your logic.

Did I get that right?

Glenn
Glenn
26 days ago

Why did you include that quote from subpixel alchemist? What is the point? Really adds to your credibility in covering this “story.”

Andy
Andy
26 days ago
Reply to  Glenn

The story is that cyclists and pedestrians are put in danger every day by the silly concrete wall that SPD has put in the middle of the road. It squeezes cars and bikes together and reduces visibility. Putting pressure on SPD to take it down makes sense because it’s doing more damage than it is helping the precinct.

A.J.
A.J.
25 days ago

Whoa, putting a wall over the bike lane resulted in a street being less safe for cyclists?! Who could have ever predicted that (other than the many many people asking for the wall to come down b/c it makes the street less safe for bikes & pedestrians). I hope the lawsuit includes a stipulation that the wall come down and never be allowed back. Fk SPD and their continued blatant disdain and lack of accountability for he people of Capitol Hill. Between the wall, their slow siren parades, and their driving around broadcasting our rights that they ignore, they are continuing to show they have no interest in even pretending to serve the community. We have militaristic policing not community policing, and their fortress makes that pretty damn clear.

McCloud
McCloud
25 days ago

Regardless of whose fault it was, this wall sucks out loud and I am shocked it has been allowed to stay up this long. That intersection was a nightmare even before they dropped a bunch of concrete barriers around it.