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Is Ballard Bridge in Seattle safe for pedestrians and bicyclists?

Max Meyers
Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.
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A lot of people walk and bike to work or just to get around town. Some do it for exercise. But one stretch of road that some pedestrians and cyclist are refusing to cross is the Ballard Bridge in Seattle. Many pedestrians and cyclists are concerned for their safety. A group even made a video highlighting the dangers that one of its creators posted on YouTube. It’s received over 10,000 hits as of mid-March.

Bridge Has Insignificant Barrier between Vehicles and Bicyclists, Pedestrians

Pedestrians and bicyclists don’t have much protection from traffic on Ballard Bridge. The only thing to separate vehicles traveling at high speeds from pedestrians and bicyclists is a concrete barrier, which is less than one foot in height. Moreover, the path is just over three feet wide, providing limited (some would argue insufficient) space for bicyclists and pedestrians to pass one another or to travel side-by-side.

Are safety changes in store for Ballard Bridge?

While the video posted to YouTube has certainly raised awareness about the dangers of the bridge, it is not clear whether city officials will take any action to remedy the safety hazards. The video has already grabbed the attention of Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle DOT director Scott Kubly, according to King5.

The least expensive option is still quite costly ($3 million, reports King5), and would only raise the height of the barrier. The more expensive option — widening the sidewalk for pedestrian and cyclist use — would cost upwards of $20 million.

Seattle has already shown a commitment to improving pedestrian and bicycle safety, so it will be important to see how city officials approach this problem. But part of the effort to improve road safety is making sure everybody follows the rules. For example, Seattle’s Vision Zero Campaign aims to eliminate traffic deaths by reducing speed limits, enforcing the rules of the road, and installing highly reflective pavement markings.

Visit Our Blog for More Topics of Interest to Pedestrians and Bicyclists

Interested in other posts about pedestrian and bicyclist safety in the Seattle area? Then visit Max Meyers Law’s bicycle and pedestrian accident blog. And we hope you don’t ever have the need for our services, but set up a consultation if you are ever in a traffic accident and need help.

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