Biking in Seattle can seem like an extreme sport sometimes. Most roads aren’t designed with bicycle-friendliness in mind, and Seattle is no exception.
A recent study analyzed different intersections within the city of Seattle using bike crash data from 2013-2017. Around 26 zones in Seattle had five or more collisions between cars and bikes with a significant chunk coming from the downtown Seattle area.
What was the least friendly intersection for cyclists?
All of the intersections were organized by most crashes or pedestrian accidents, with the intersections with the most crashes at the top of the list. In addition, the study provided additional data on minor injuries from those crashes and serious injuries.
On the very top of the list is the intersection between Fourth Avenue and Pike Street with 54 crashes, 43 minor injuries and two serious injuries. Pike Street and 12th Street was ranked the second most dangerous intersection, with 30 crashes.
On the list of top 10 most dangerous intersections, the top three spots all had over 30 crashes, resulting in over 26 minor injuries and over 10 major injuries combined. All of the top 10 intersections had 10 or more crashes each.
What makes an intersection dangerous?
Many factors contribute to a dangerous intersection. Heavy car and foot traffic is the biggest contributor to pedestrian accidents and collisions with bicycles.
The design of the intersection can also contribute to pedestrian accidents as well. Multiple lanes, parked cars on the street and other things that reduce visibility might lead to more accidents as well.
Streets that don’t have bike lanes are also more likely to have bicycle accidents. Having a bike lane isn’t enough by itself though, as cars will sometimes unintentionally block the bicycle lane while parking or pulling out. It’s important to pay attention to your surroundings as both a driver and a cyclist.