Friday, January 25, 2008

Be careful in Whatcom County, Bellingham also

Night traffic along Sunset, near Sunset Mall.

In the last couple of months there has been news of 2 bicyclists killed on Whatcom County roadways. One on Portal Way just north of Grandview and the other on Haxton Road in the Lummi Reservation.

More details in other media.

There are a lot of inattentive drivers everywhere. Also quite a few county roads have no shoulder. I avoid many roads and sometimes go a bit out of the way to travel on a safer route. Most of Haxton and north part of Portal are roads I avoid.

I can't really speculate why these accidents happened. Circumstances are different in each case. I just read about it in the media and hear folks talking at local bike club meetings.

My own travels have seemed safe, but I prefer being in town to most of the rural county. Also I light up my bike with lots of LED flashing lights at night.

I try to wear a bright vest, but have recently misplaced my vest. I should get a new one. Of course, I always wear my helmet.

Last week, I rode up into the Meridian area on my normal "not the most direct, but safer" route.

Still, West Bakerview was nearly bumper to bumper.

Ironically, "bumper to bumper" isn't too bad because the traffic is going slower. There is a shoulder also.

I'm on the shoulder going about as fast as the cars. They think they are creeping along at 10 mph, but that's fine for me.

Slow moving traffic: For the cars, urban living takes patience. No breaking the speed limit when it's bumper to bumper.

Coming back, the cars were stopped, not just creeping, they were stopped all the way.

I carefully continued on the shoulder. It seemed like they were backed up all the way from the airport to Meridian.

Then, down the road I saw the blue and red lights.

It wasn't The Fourth Of July. It was police cars.

Rather than head right into the "scene," I rode back to the stoplight at Fred Meyers and went another way home.

When I got home, I read an update in the on-line Herald. There had been a bank robbery and a car was pulled over near Bakerview overpass. It looked like the get-away car, but it wasn't. Still, all that commotion snarls traffic.

Welcome to Bellingham and Whatcom County.

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