Is Seattle Safe for Bikes? Mayor Calls for 'Safety Summit'

Bike at the Pike Place Market

Last week's heartbreaking news of the accidental death of beloved Seattle barista Brian Fairbrother touched a lot of people, including many who work here at Seattle magazine. Within minutes of word of Fairbrother's terrible bike accident last week, two conversations happened here. First, fond stories were shared about Fairbrother's kindness and warmth, his originality and humanity (many staffers worked with him on our extensive coffee special issue last year). But on the heels of those stories came the inevitable question: Is Seattle safe enough for bikes?

Talk to our editorial team and you have a 50 percent chance of getting an emphatic "no." Talk to our outrageously talented art director, Sue, and she'll peer over her swanky new Dutch bike—which she parks at her desk—to tell you "yes." But after three recent bike-related deaths, it's getting really damn hard to draw that conclusion.

Looks like Seattle mayor and avid cyclist Mike McGinn is feeling that. He just blogged that he's convening a bike-safety summit (details tba) and taking other steps, like upping enforcement, to try to improve Seattle's bike-safety climate.

If the comment thread below the mayor's blog entry is any indication, he's got his work cut out for him.