“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.