“Safer Roadways” press conference taking place in U-District Thursday morning

The average total of bicyclist fatalities in Washington State per year is 10.

This year, that number has already hit 12, the most recent of which — Vivace Espresso general manager, Brian Fairbrother (from a fall), and Jimmy John’s sandwich-delivery man, Robert Townsend (bike vs. vehicle collision) — have occurred in the last week.

Ghost Bike placed at the scene of Saturday's accident in the University District (Photo courtesy M.J. Kelly)

In response to these fatalities, on Thursday, September 15th, from 9:30-10:30 AM, the Cascade Bicycle Club is holding a press conference calling for safer roadways for all.

Speakers include Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen (Chair, Transportation Committee), King County Councilmember Joe McDermott (Chair, King County Board of Health), and Cascade Bicycle Club Director of Communications (and fellow Northeast Seattleite) M.J. Kelly.

The press conference will take place in public space located on the median of NE Campus Parkway, located between 15th Ave NE and University Way N (map).

From Tuesday’s press release:

Following a spate of recent traffic fatalities, we invite the community to come together, hear from community leaders, and learn how we can address the issues.

The bottom line: We can – and must – do better.

More and more people are walking, biking and using transit to navigate the streets of Seattle. In our dense, urban environment, the public right-of-way is shared by all of us — drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. It is our shared responsibility to create a safe environment and to look out for each other. No traffic fatality is acceptable. We can do better.

Our call to action to you is to tackle these problems in two ways: through better behavior and through better infrastructure. Please join us.

To bring home the need for safer streets in our own neighborhood, we point you to our post from August 27th, when a girl crossing NE 65th St at 23rd Ave NE was struck by a car and injured.

VOTE (updatedx3)

UPDATE (5:55 pm): Picture of the ballot box in question is now posted (thanks, U District Daily).

And Husband tells me that the ballot box hasn’t been IN the University Service Center for a few years now. I maintain that calling it the “University Service Center Ballot Drop Box” yet not having it in/near the University Service Center is still notable.

UPDATE (12:59 pm): We have learned, via twitter, that the reason for the multi-colored “I VOTED” logo was “This elections ballots are green themed and we wanted the stickers to match the ballots.”  MYSTERY SOLVED. Thank you to Paul at @KIRO7Seattle for asking the question!

UPDATE (9:09 am): The University Service Center ballot box is back at the corner of University Way NE and NE 50th Street, and is reported to be in heavy use. It should be accepting ballots until 8 pm this evening.

Not the most patriotic color scheme I’ve ever seen, King County Elections, but at least you’re making the effort to make up for the loss of the “I VOTED” stickers (I believe they were considered “gifts” or “payment” or some such and done away with).

If you’re around the University District today, and want to save your 44 cents, the University Service Center‘s ballot drop box is BACK.

Photo courtesy of the U District Daily (udistrictdaily.com)

However, it might not be where you think it is.

The U District Daily reported yesterday that the drop box is not located IN the Neighborhood Service Center, but at the corner of “Northeast 50th Street and University Way NE in the University District Farmers Market parking lot.”

However, as the comments on the U District Daily story show, the box has since moved, AGAIN, and voters are urged to drop their ballots off at the nearby University Heights Center.

On second thought, maybe you SHOULD spend that 44 cents on that stamp.