A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Helicopter over Greenwood was for car vs. bike accident

April 6th, 2012 · Comments

That was KIRO 7’s chopper overhead around 5 o’clock tonight, after reports of a car vs. bike accident right in front of the Greenwood Post Office at North 83rd Street and Greenwood Avenue North.

We’ve got a call into the Seattle Fire Department for more information, and we’ll update this post when we know more.

SFD Spokesman Kyle Moore tells us that a 29-year-old woman was riding her bike on Greenwood Avenue North when someone opened their car door and hit her. Moore said the woman had only minor injuries — thanks to her helmet — and was taken to the hospital by AMR.

Thanks to Lisa and Lynn for the tips, and Lynn for the photo!

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  1. Ann says:

    I do hope she will be okay. I still don’t understand why they put bike lanes next to the parked cars. I have seen/heard this scenario several times. Once with fatal results. It is so important for us drivers to watch, but again, bicyclists need to be so very cautious as the consequences are so much greater for them.

  2. Block Watcher says:

    Some PhinneyWood drivers need to get their eyes tested more often because they can’t see other cars or pedestrians crossing the street.

  3. Danielle says:

    I hope the biker will be ok! I was doored once, and it was a terrifying experience. I do wish that they would stop using the bike lane to protect the parked vehicles.

  4. Megan says:

    I hope the cyclist is okay… glad to hear talk of only minor injuries. Please consider this more evidence of the need for bike greenways in the neighborhood and all over the city/region. See the following links to get involved http://phinneywood.com/2012/02/13/get-involved-in-phinney-greenwood%E2%80%99s-new-%E2%80%98greenway%E2%80%99/ and http://www.facebook.com/PhinneyGreenwoodGreenways

  5. Greenwood Resident says:

    “Downtown” areas have high turnover into and out of parking spaces, and more pedestrians. Bikes (both human powered and motorized) need to be aware of this and not use the bike lane or space between vehicle lanes as a means for getting past slow cars. Cars may be slowed down or stopped for a reason. I have seen quite a few bikes plow through pedestrian traffic while vehicles had a red light at 85th and Greenwood. I also want to point out that near closing time the post office is quite busy and bikes in the bike lane are difficult to see up the street; they blend in with the parked cars so it always seems like they come out of nowhere when racing down the hill.

  6. Greenwood Resident says:

    I just want to add that I don’t “blame” cyclists, and the majority ride safely and courteously. At the same time Seattle is notorious for having a militant bike faction that thinks they own both the streets and the sidewalks and every mixed used trail in the city.

  7. Tiktok says:

    Bikes (both human powered and motorized) need to be aware of this and not use the bike lane or space between vehicle lanes as a means for getting past slow cars.

    No, bike lanes are intended to allow cyclists to stay out of the main lanes and bypass slow or stopped cars. What’s your vision of their use? Bikes halted in the bike lane with ten car lengths of space in front of them so that they travel no faster than the slowest, furthest back car?

    On, the other hand, people in cars are supposed to make sure that the lane is clear before opening their door.

  8. A.out says:

    If you don’t look out your review mirror before swinging your door wide open, you are a fool. I almost took out a car door with my car more than once.

  9. Rob says:

    I was surprised a helicopter and a TV news crew were dispatched for a single car/bicycle accident. The bicyclist was standing up, etc. and talking to the police, etc. when I was walking past the accident. I am glad to hear she went to the hospital to get checked out, you never know about unseen injuries etc.

  10. nwcitizen says:

    This is a cautionary tale for all of us whether we ride a bike or drive a car. Always drive/ride defensively and expect the other person not to see you.

    Someone pointed out that the consequences to a cyclist are far greater than to the person in the car.

    DRIVERS – check your side mirror to make sure the bike lane is clear before opening your door.

  11. Bill says:

    I wonder if the driver will be cited. They should be.

  12. Neighbor says:

    You live in a city. Take a good look in your rearview before you open your door. Especially when you are parked along a bike lane.

  13. Tiktok says:

    “Sharing the road with bicyclists–Over 39,000 bicyclists are killed or injured in the United States every year. If motorists and cyclists understand and obey the following state laws, it will help make the roads safer for everyone:…

    If parked at a curb, look before you open any door in the path of a car, bicycle, or pedestrian.”


  14. Tank Mortimer says:

    Did they test the biker for suspected Meth use? I mean riding along Greenwood the rider must have passed a thousand doors. What are doors good for? Opening up. Did she not expect at least one of them to open up? What are the odds? Now if you were high on Meth you wouldn’t think about that….. Probably just back from Mars Hill Church in Ballard, the closest Meth lab around.

  15. Witness says:

    Bicyclist injured was never standing at any point. I happened to see the whole episode and she would have not been able to avoid the door opening from my angle. From at least what I witnessed injury appeared slightly severe, glad she is ok

  16. Friend of Cyclist says:

    Witness – thanks for your perspective and concern- She has suffered a broken collarbone, but head and neck appear to be okay. It’s great to know there were many eyes on the incident.

    Rob – You are probably referring to the cyclist’s friend who had also witnessed the crash – she spoke with the authorities and handled her bike after the crash.

  17. Megan the Vegan says:

    It’s hard being a cyclist in Seattle….our crosses are heavy.

  18. battiato1981 says:

    I got ‘doored’ as a kid. Luckily not injured, I got an ice cream soda from the relieved driver and an abiding trepidation of it ever happening again.

    I just naturally ride a lot faster now than when I was 8 years old … but keep one eye out for distracted drivers and assume that most people don’t see me and ride accordingly. But no excuses for opening your door without looking first, except to call it careless.

  19. cherie says:

    Actually, she was injured badly – she had a broken clavicle and may need surgery. She sustained a concussion as she landed on her head. Her helmet was cracked, so that shows that she would have been severely injured if she hadn’t been wearing a helmet. Drivers: be careful not to door bikers in the bike path!!!

  20. cherie says:

    @ Tank Mortimer – wow, that’s a leap in logic to think that the biker was on METH! how negative and defamatory…how your mind degenerates so rapidly to the morbid. FAIL!……………..Fact is that the bikers in the bike path have the right of way; a biker coming in the bike path is foreseeable; and a reasonable and prudent person would LOOK before opening their car door. The biker did not hit the person because the person did not have time to exit; she hit the door. Shows that there was not time to stop or swerve, or she would have hit the PERSON and not the door. You have attempted to shift the liability burden from the driver to the biker, which is uncool. Another fact… she’s a health conscious, vegetarian, graduate student who will almost be taking her boards to become a physician. So, no. She’s not a tweaker. {but you just might be! you seem to know a lot about it.}

  21. legal eagle says:

    Tank Mortimer said, “I mean riding along Greenwood the rider must have passed a thousand doors. What are doors good for? Opening up. Did she not expect at least one of them to open up? What are the odds?” You just opened up a whole new line of legal reasoning. Biker should sue the govt. entity that created the law. It was the state’s duty to do the study regarding probability of creating injury when they planned the bike paths. If it’s probable that out of a thousand car doors past, one brain-mottled driver is going to open his/her door in the way of an innocent biker in the bike path, then the state has created a dangerous condition directing bikers to ride in the bike path. This does not redeem you because it was unintentional on your part and you were just being stupid and perverse. But bikers everywhere should think of this additional aspect of recovery, as biking injuries can be very, very serious, if not fatal sometimes.

  22. R says:

    Well done TikTok!

    Thanks for the quote from page 79 (.pdf page 87) of

  23. Block Watcher says:

    Uptight liberal yuppies need to learn how to share the road with pedestrians and bikes. Put the cell phone away.

  24. Fnarf says:

    Another reason why heavily tinted windows should be illegal. Well, they ARE illegal, but the law is never enforced. If a cyclist can see into a car, he or she can see if someone is in the driver’s seat, which means he or she is probably about to swing that door open without looking. If you can’t see in, you can’t see if you need to take evasive action or not.

  25. Driver says:

    All you people assume the driver knows to look for bikes and is used to them. A lot of people drive into the city who don’t live here or are not from here, and are not used to all the bikes, especially the ones driven by idiots who run red lights, cut in and out of traffic and sneak up alongside cars. Roads are built for cars, bikes and bike lanes are at best a secondary use. People on bikes seem to ride like it is an assumption that all drivers see them. Guess what, most places in the Puget Sound, in Washington and in the USA are not as filled with bikes as Seattle is. I don’t want anyone to get hurt, but the way bikers ride these accidents seem inevitable.