Maybe a particular intersection on your commute is hazardous, or perhaps you notice other bicyclists or pedestrians disobeying rules of the road. Whatever the complaint, let us know.
Bicyclists and on-foot commuters: Tell us what irks you most while getting around the Seattle area.
Maybe a particular intersection on your commute is hazardous? Or perhaps you notice other bicyclists or pedestrians disobeying the rules of the road? Whatever the complaint, let us know.
Contact reporter Jessica Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-464-2532 to share what you’ve experienced and where. We may highlight your perspective in an upcoming story.
Via email, telephone and online, dozens of people shared their thoughts on aggressive driving in the Seattle area, with a few saying it’s not an issue compared to cities elsewhere and others recounting nerve-wracking incidents as victims.
Traffic Lab is a Seattle Times project that digs into the region’s thorny transportation issues, spotlights promising approaches to easing gridlock, and helps readers find the best ways to get around. It is funded with the help of community sponsors Alaska Airlines, CenturyLink, Kemper Development Co., Sabey Corp., Seattle Children’s hospital and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Seattle Times editors and reporters operate independently of our funders and maintain editorial control over Traffic Lab content.
Here are a few responses, specifically related to foot and bicycle traffic to get you thinking about your roadway pet peeve. Some have been edited for length and clarity.
‘The cars won’
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“There is especially nasty road rage delivered against bicyclists. I used to ride a bike, commuting to work and for exercise. But after being spit on, yelled at, forced off the road, given obscene gestures, hit by thrown objects and assaulted (a car pulled up next to me and the passenger hit me on my arm), I have given up riding on Seattle/King County streets — even the ones with separate bike lanes.
Yep, the cars won. I laugh when I see Seattle listed as one of the top-10 bicycle friendly cities in the U.S.”
— Jack Harding, Renton
A pedestrian’s irritation
“Twice yesterday, while using downtown Seattle crosswalks, I was nearly struck by cars blatantly running red lights. Since a personal acquaintance was recently killed while properly using a crosswalk, I believe that I am entitled to ‘crosswalk rage.’ ”
— Arnie Gooder, Port Gamble
Road rage? Not in mellow Seattle
“I’m an East Coast transplant with 1.5 years in Seattle. I ride transit, bike, walk and drive here, and I can’t recall a single incident of full-on road rage. Have I seen someone jump a red light or cut someone off? Sure. But the patience and lack of blaring horns here is Zen-like. It’s the Northwest — people are mellow.
“For me, the best proof of this is when I’m on my bike. I regularly occupy a full lane of traffic while signaling for a left turn. Not once has a car honked at me for this, even though I am holding up traffic. The most glaring example is while riding uphill on Pine Street, where I crawl (biking uphill after all) and then stall the whole lane of traffic so I can turn left onto Bellevue Avenue East, where I live. Not once have I received any grief from drivers for this.
“To the contrary, drivers are fawningly courteous to cyclists compared to other places I’ve lived and traveled, places where it’s anarchy on the streets. I feel guilty if I don’t follow the rules of the road as a cyclist because, shockingly, nearly everybody else does — including waiting patiently at red lights, even on a bike. No complaints to speak of. ”
— Gregory Scruggs, Capitol Hill