Patrick Robinson
A bicyclist lost his life in the early morning hours of May 1 at the intersection of S. Hanford and E. Marginal Way S. Later that day, a memorial of an all white bike and flowers were posted for the fallen rider. A makeshift sign reads: R.I.P, West Seattle Deserves Safer Routes.

Councilmember Rasmussen vows to improve bike route safety

In the wake of the May 1 death of Federal Way cyclist Lance David, Seattle City Councilmember and West Seattle resident Tom Rasmussen announced he is actively working to secure a plan to improve the road and bike safety along E. Marginal Way S.

In his monthly newsletter, Rasmussen addressed the stretch of road riddled with cracks, rail lines and heavy industrial traffic that can make for a dangerous combination for commuters trying to cross the road to get to or back from West Seattle in their commute.

While the specifics of David’s death are still being investigated, it is known that he collided with the rear wheels of a semi truck at the intersection of Marginal Way and S. Hanford St. Seattle’s cycling community rallied to call for improvements to this and other routes across the city, and a memorial for David was placed at the intersection where he lost his life.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has asked the Department of Transportation to present a plan to improve the stretch.

Here is what Rasmussen has to say about the West Seattle route in specific:

"Last week’s fatal collision between a bicyclist and a truck resulted in an outpouring of grief for the death of Lance David and sympathy for his family. While we are not certain what led to the collision, I am determined to improve conditions on this route that will benefit bicyclists and motorists.

This week I held a work session with SDOT staff. We poured over a large map of the route to identify options for improvements. I know this route, and I bicycle along this route to and from work when my meeting schedule permits. It is very challenging because of the heavy traffic and the many and sometimes confusing crossings. There are long stretches where the streets have been pulverized by the mammoth trucks going to and from the Port. The conditions require extra caution on everyone’s part whether they bicycle or drive this route.

Please know that it did not take this heartbreaking fatality to bring attention for the need to improve this route. Last fall the City Council increased the 2013 SDOT budget for bicycle improvements city-wide. We specifically funded planning for improvements to portions of the West Seattle route to downtown.

During the next several weeks I will continue to work with SDOT and members of the community to develop a plan for improvements to the West Seattle - East Marginal Way bike corridor. I am determined to implement those plans as soon as possible.

If you have suggestions for improvement please write me at tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov."

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