Changes Made to Second Avenue Bike Lane
Recent changes designed to make Second Avenue safer for bicyclists have left many motorists befuddled. After only three days, Seattle’s Department of Transportation has already made a number of changes to reduce confusion. According to a news report in The Seattle Times, a green straight arrow replaced a solid green circle to indicate that drivers can only continue forward. They also replaced a sign that allowed turns only on a green arrow with a “No Turn on Red” sign.
These changes are designed to protect bicyclists riding in the bike lane on the left side of Second Avenue. Many drivers are not accustomed to having riders on the left side. So, the city is attempting to control when motorists are allowed to make a left-hand-turn. They have also installed green lights for bikes and red and green turn arrows that clearly indicate when motorists have the right of way.
Even though Second Avenue was redesigned specifically for the many bicyclists of Seattle, it is going to be a while before it is safe for riders. There will be confusion and some motorists may make mistakes while adjusting to the new lights and signs. It will be necessary for all riders to not only obey the new traffic control devices, but also to ride defensively. Make eye contact with motorists who want to turn and increase your visibility.
It is advisable for all Seattle bike riders to:
- Wear a helmet at all times
- Install a bright, white front headlamp
- Put reflectors on front handlebars, seat and pedals
- Wear bright clothing
- Put reflectors on your jacket or backpack
- Use hand signals when riding with traffic
- Never go against a traffic light
If you are injured while riding, it is important that you notify the authorities right away. Remain at the crash site and collect contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident. It is also advisable to seek out medical attention promptly, to keep detailed records of your losses and to reach out to a Seattle bicycle accident attorney who can help protect your rights and secure fair compensation for your injuries and losses.