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Old 09-07-07, 08:02 PM   #1
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Cyclist killed in Seattle near University bridge

Hate to have to break the bad news....

According to the Seattle Times, a cyclist was killed and another injured today around 3PM at the intersection of Eastlake Avenue East and East Fuhrman Avenue. The two cyclists were northbound on Eastlake and crossing the intersection when a dump truck began a right turn onto Fuhrman and struck them.

My deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim. We all live in dread of such news. Fortunately, the injuries of the other cyclist are reported to be minor.

I bring up the following because I rode through that same intersection this morning as the cyclists did. At that intersection, Eastlake Avenue is a four lane arterial with a narrow shoulder. Fuhrman Avenue is a much narrower two lane arterial that intersects Eastlake obliquely such that northbound traffic turning right onto Fuhrman must make a very sharp turn, almost 120 degrees. When I rode there this morning, the northbound right lane of Eastlake had been coned off for a small construcction project, and I had the choice of taking the open inner lane, riding through the coned off area, or taking the sidewalk around the construction. At that time, a traffic control attendant had stopped northbound traffic through the open lane, but he waved me through. I had no problem.

The Times reported that the dump truck had initially been behind the cyclists riding northbound on Eastlake. I wonder if the cyclists slowed down and took the coned off lane or the sidewalk, and the truck driver mentally dismissed them (assuming he had seen them in the first place), focused on the sharp turn he had to make ahead, and so caught them during his right turn. This is speculation on my part, but I was concerned about something like this happening to me there.

Whatever the scenario was.... be really careful riding through construction zones.
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