We have reached a turning point in Seattle bicycle safety

What started as a couple deaths after a long stretch with very few has turned into a devastating couple weeks on our city’s streets. After the third death on Seattle streets since July, one question has been on the minds of city residents and various media outlets this week:

What the hell is going on?

Nobody can really answer that question, and it is probably a combination of a lot of things: Bad luck, more people biking, holes in the bicycle facility network (and sub-par facilities), traffic errors, and on and on.

But we know for sure that something must change.

Tuesday morning, I was standing with friends of Brian Fairbrother at the spot where he crashed down a staircase at the end of a city-designed “bike trail” that had no warning signs. Brian’s friends held a beautiful memorial for him, creating art, telling stories and supporting each other through the loss of a friend who had touched so many people’s lives.

Meanwhile, car traffic trickled by on the five-lane Fairview Ave N above at a rate of a couple vehicles per minute.

At some point, sadness and mourning turns to anger. First, you might ask, “Why was there no sign in place warning of a staircase at the end of this bike trail?”