I was hit by a car traveling into campus at the intersection of Pend Oreille Road. This was after I had stopped at the stop-sign and been waved on by a stopped car traveling the other direction. Riding the Burke-Gilman Trail should be safer than riding on the road, not the inverse!”
— Sam Cook
Photo credit: Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times
In the past decade, 66 collisions involving pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists have occurred along the University of Washington’s (UW) 1.7 mile segment of the Burke-Gilman Trail. The highest concentrations of collisions have occurred where the trail cuts through arterial intersections at Brooklyn Ave NE, University Way NE, 15th Ave NE and NE Pend Oreille Road. These collisions have resulted in 36 injuries and over 30 instances of property damage caused by poor sightlines, failing intersection design and outdated signalization. Within the same 10-year timeframe, 15 accident reports have been filed through UW’s Online Accident-Reporting System due to injuries attributable to the poor physical condition or traffic of the trail.
The Burke-Gilman Trail Multi-Modal Connector (BGC) will greatly reduce the risk of collisions, injuries and fatalities at arterials by improving intersection design in several important ways:
Where the BGC intersects other high-volume paths, a suite of design treatments will minimize conflicts between bicyclists and pedestrians traveling along and across the trail. Safety improvements will include tabling the BGC’s bicycle path to passively calm speeds, opening up sightlines by removing adjacent invasive vegetation and concrete abutments, and installing tactile warning strips at intersection approaches.
The BGC will also double the number of Code Blue emergency phones with broadcast capability located along the trail from five to 10. Additional crime prevention measures will include data infrastructure to accommodate the possibility of video cameras and lighting improvements throughout the corridor.