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Top 10 Road Hazards on Popular Seattle Bike Commuter Routes

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With the recent wrap-up of National Bike to Work Month, I thought it would be useful–if not my civic duty–to compile a list of the top road hazards or problem areas reported by our employees on popular Seattle bike routes. With over half of our Seattle work force participating in Bike to Work Month, we developed a pretty exhaustive list, which I distilled down to the Top 10 (in no particular order).

To all those who participated in Bike to Work Month, congratulations on all the miles you logged! Here are the Top 10 Road Hazards:

  1. Rainier Avenue and Dearborn intersection (map it): Watch for folks running red lights and blocking the intersection, thus masking approaching vehicles.
  2. Jackson Street new streetcar tracks (map it): Don’t approach these at an angle or you will get your wheel caught.
  3. Alaskan Way Viaduct (map it): There are lots of pedestrians (mostly near the ferry terminal) and construction workers crossing the bike path.
  4. Southbound Alaskan Way between Myrtle Edwards Park and the Aquarium (map it): There is no bike lane, pavement is rough, and there are two lanes of traffic.
  5. Mercer Street between Queen Anne Avenue North and Dexter Avenue (map it). There are no bike lanes, traffic, often heavy and fast, is being re-routed. This creates hazards for bicycle commuters traveling between Uptown and Lake Union.
  6. Southbound Dexter Avenue North, north of Aloha Street (map it). Heavy construction on the west side of the street causes bike lane to disappear.
  7. East Marginal and South Hanford Street (map it): There is no good way for bicycles to cross the street coming from the West Seattle Bridge. Some bikers cross diagonally across the intersection and many run the light without waiting for it to turn green. In addition, in the morning the port trucks are pulling out from driveways along this area.
  8. Approach to West Seattle bridge from East and West (map it): Bicycles should follow the bike path around and under the bridge. However, many elect to cross diagonally to the bridge across two lanes of traffic (several riders have been hit doing this illegal maneuver).
  9. Ballard Bridge (map it): Crossing the bridge is scary because of how narrow the walkways are on the approach from either side.
  10. Shilshole Avenue NW traveling East and West (map it): The road has no bike lanes and a very small shoulder forcing bikers have to ride in the road with little room for cars to pass. Cars speed is fast due to few deterrents, and drivers often have to drive into the oncoming lane to avoid a collision with bike commuters. Which in turn, is risking a collision with oncoming drivers.

Below is a map showing the locations of the hazards described above. Stay safe, and happy biking!

Bike Hazard Map