Tag Archive: Memorial

Michael Colmant Memorial Ride & Walk

Michael ColmantMichael Colmant was passionate about swimming, running, cycling, and aviation. He was a dedicated colleague at King County International Airport, helping to lift up people of color in his profession. He was a loving father and caring friend.

On April 11, 2021, Michael, 63, was hit and killed by a driver while biking. The driver fled the scene and is still at large. They were driving a Silver 2000 Lincoln LS plate # BKU 0853. Anyone with a tip about the hit-and-run is encouraged to call SPD’s Violent Crimes Tip Line at 206.233.5000.

A large crowd of people on a grassy slope. Many wear helmets or sit next to bicycles.

On Saturday, May 15, 2021, 160 people gathered on a grassy slope on Seward Park Ave to commemorate Michael Colmant’s life.

The group arrived from two directions: walking together from Seward Park in the north and from the south, biking together from Be’er Sheva Park. The two streams of people congregated together across the street from the ghost bike adorned with flowers and photos which marks the spot where Michael was killed. The crowd was surrounded by parked bikes, trikes, cargo bikes, and trailers, some with signs reading “Safe Streets for the South End,” “Michael Should Be Here,” and “It could have been any of us.”

Walk and Ride

Following the tragic crash last month, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways connected with Michael’s daughter, Sydney, and organized the memorial, walk, and ride, in collaboration with Vanessa Chin, Michael’s friend and colleague, with additional support from Bike Works and Cascade Bicycle Club.

Vanessa Chin speaks into a microphone in a grassy space. A group of people stand and sit somberly behind her.

Many colleagues and friends stood up to speak to those assembled, describing Michael as someone who consistently worked to make things better, gave his time to chat, and really listened to people. Michael’s daughter, Sydney, attended virtually from Vancouver, BC and spoke movingly about his support for her while in nursing school. You can support Michael’s family through their Go Fund Me.


A bar chart showing traffic fatalities in Seattle by District. District 2 (southeast Seattle) shows double the number of fatalities than any other district.

As requested by the family, we are also calling on the city to build safe places for people to bike in the Rainier Valley, and highlighting the fact that over the last five years SE Seattle’s District 2 has had double the number of fatalities as any other council district. In fact, Michael is the second person to be killed while riding a bike in less than a month in District 2 — Robert Miesse, 54, was killed when he was hit by a truck while riding his bike in Georgetown on March 24. Many people gathered in Georgetown for a memorial ride just 2 days before Michael Colmant was killed.

As a city, we are failing Vision Zero, the city’s goal to reduce the number of road-traffic deaths and serious injuries to zero by 2030. The Vision Zero team is underfunded, and Seattle is way behind on goals to build protected places for people to bike. Seward Park Ave, where Michael was hit and killed, is designated for upgrading in Seattle’s 2014 Bicycle Master Plan. However, due to the lack of funding and political will to build a connected network of safe bike routes, this popular route for people biking is missing from all construction lists for safety upgrades.

Senator Rebecca Saldaña, wearing a pink sundress, speaks to people sitting on a large grassy slope.

We invited elected leaders to speak to how we could do more as a city to get Vision Zero back on track.

State Senator Rebecca Saldaña (pictured above in pink), who has been leading efforts at the state level to shift transportation funding from mainly focusing on highway expansion to a more holistic approach spoke to the need to shift priorities.

King County Executive Dow Constantine spoke about Mike as a colleague and also spoke to the need to make safer streets.

King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay couldn’t be there but sent a statement that was read:

“Dear Mike,

My heart is with you and your whole family. Thank you so much for all your years of dedication to public service. Even in your passing, you are committing everyone around you to the public good as we all come together and work to keep our pedestrians and cyclists safe on our streets, especially in South Seattle.

Rest in Peace, Mike.”

 

Tammy MoralesSeattle Councilmember Tammy Morales, District 2, Seattle City Council also could not make it, but sent a statement saying:

“I watch my kids bike to their friends and hope that they will return unscathed. But we need more than hopeful wishes, we need action. In Michael’s honor, for those that continue to push for safety, and for those who watch as their loved ones move across this City, I am committed to protection for all ages and abilities in Southeast Seattle and District 2.”

 

 

Dongho Chang

Finally, Dongho Chang, Seattle’s Chief Traffic Engineer, spoke about the importance of holding the City accountable to making progress on Vision Zero. And that’s exactly what we intend to do.

We must do more to prevent tragedies like this. Increased funding for Vision Zero would allow the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to increase safety for more of our most dangerous streets in the Rainier Valley and citywide. Increased funding for our Bicycle Master Plan would allow SDOT to build the first comfortable, efficient, connected route into and through SE Seattle, connecting the Rainier Valley to downtown and the rest of the city.

Ultimately, this isn’t about statistics. Each number is a person like Michael, who meant so much to so many, and each loss is felt acutely by family, friends, and community. We must do better. This fall the Seattle City Council has the option to double the Vision Zero budget. We hope you will join us or stay involved in this fight for safer streets for all. Thank you.

 

A crowd of people with bicycles. A bike in the center has a baby seat and a sign that reads "Safe Streets for the South End."

 

Let’s Talk About Lane Width

Cathy Tuttle
September 26, 2015
jointly published on The Urbanist
Crosswalk wet pavement

Lane width helps to control speed on urban streets.

People driving tend to slow when streets are narrow.

Urban Streets

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) recommends a default of 10-foot lanes.

“Lane widths of 10 feet are appropriate in urban areas and have a positive impact on a street’s safety without impacting traffic operations. For designated truck or transit routes, one travel lane of 11 feet may be used in each direction. In select cases, narrower travel lanes (9–9.5 feet) can be effective as through lanes in conjunction with a turn lane.”


Seattle’s current standard is 11-foot lanes
and 12-foot bus-only lanes. Many of our streets were laid out in a time when wider was always better — and ended up with dangerously wide lanes, dangerous because wide lanes encourage people to drive fast, and when cars go faster, collisions do more harm. Narrower lanes in urban areas are shown to result in less aggressive driving, and give drivers more ability to slow or stop their vehicles over a short distance to avoid collision.

Lane Widths and vehicle sizesWhile tooling along city streets, unless you are a transportation engineer, you aren’t aware of street width.

You aren’t thinking, “Hey, I’m in a 14-foot lane. And now I’m in a nine-foot lane. And now I’m in a 10-foot lane.” (Note, transportation engineers really do think like this.)

Instead, you, the average mortal, just thinks (if you are driving a car), “I can go fast here. Whoa! This street is narrow, I’d better slow down. And now I can speed up a bit again.”

Seattle’s standard width for parked car lanes is eight feet wide, while adding a bike lane that avoids the “door zone” (the distance a car driver can accidentally fling open a door into the path of an oncoming person on a bike) requires a a 14-foot lane (parked car plus bike lane).

With our elbows akimbo, we’re about two and a half feet riding a bike, taking up about as much space as people in wheelchairs. Both protected bike lanes and sidewalks require a minimum of six feet of street right-of-way to accommodate people riding and rolling respectively.

20 is Plenty fatalities graphic

“It’s surprising to see how a difference of 20 miles reverses the survival rates of people hit by moving vehicles.”   Seattle Department of Transportation 2015

Highways

Highways are a different case entirely when it comes to lane width.

You may have read the lane width on the Aurora Bridge was a factor in the recent collision fatality between a Duck amphibious vehicle and charter bus. It is up to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to determine causes, but Federal standards for highways recommend 12-foot lanes, in addition to shoulders wide enough for emergency parking and median barriers. Most lanes along I-5  are 12 feet wide. The Aurora Bridge lanes are 9.5 feet wide. Read the rest of this entry »

Leo Almanzor Memorial Walk 1-17-15 2 P.M.

For Immediate Release
Phyllis Porter [email protected]  (253) 545-8567
Leo Almanzor Memorial Walk Saturday, January 17, 2015 2 P.M. at 5th & Pike

A community was devastated by a horrific collision around 9:30 P.M. on November 22, 2014 as Leo Almanzor attempted to cross the intersection of Pike Street and 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle and was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver.  Mr. Almanzor, 68, had taken the bus from his home in Columbia City and was walking to his job at Washington Athletic Club, where he had worked as a janitor for 17 years.

Leo Almanzor 2014

Leo Almanzor was killed in a hit-and-run collision on 11-22-14

The Seattle Times reported many witnesses saw a speeding car hit Mr. Almanzor on that fateful Saturday night. Seattle Police are still investigating the crash and have recovered the car but made no arrests.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, in cooperation with family and friends of Leo Almanzor, invites the community to participate in a Memorial Walk in his memory.

Mr. Almanzor’s family will join traffic safety advocates at 5th and Pike, along with City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Austin Miller from Mayor Ed Murray’s office and Scott Kubly, Director of Seattle Department of Transportation.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has committed to organizing Memorials whenever a person is killed walking or biking in Seattle, followed by a community Solutions Meeting with City representatives who have the power to make our streets safer and prevent future deaths.

The Memorial Walk for Leo Almanzor will begin at 2 P.M. on Saturday, January 17, with a gathering at the corner of Pike Street and 5th Avenue.  We will carry signs and hear a few words from people who knew and loved for Leo as well as City officials.

After the Memorial Walk, we will walk or bus to the Impact HUB at 220 2nd Avenue South at the corner of S. Washington and 2nd Avenue South for a Solutions Meeting.  Community members and representatives from the Seattle Department of Transportation will discuss ways to improve traffic safety for people who live and work in downtown Seattle.

“Leo” immigrated to Seattle from the Philippines in 1979. He was very involved with raising his nieces and nephews.  Leo’s family recalled his love for horse races at Emerald Downs and said he often quoted the announcer’s phrase, “There they go”! He loved music and requested the same present every year, “a CD, a new Walkman, and headphones” and thought cassette tapes made the most authentic sound. Read the rest of this entry »

Vigil Walk for Zeytuna Edo

photo of Zeytuna with mapcasaynaya lugaynta ee Zeytuna

Waa maxay cusub oo la Seattle Neighborhood Greenways?

Zeytuna was walking with her family at Genesee and MLK when she became the victim of a hit and run car collision, leaving her hospitalized with very serious injuries.  Her family and the community have planned a gathering to bring attention to this incident involving Zeytuna and to talk about making our streets safer for all.

DONATE to Zeytuna’s family through YouCaring.com

Please read this letter to Mayor Ed Murray about Solutions for Traffic Safety in Rainier Vista   Fadlan akhri warqadan inuu Mayor Ed Murray oo ku saabsan Fikrado Gaadiidka Ammaan ee Rainier Vista

The Vigil Walk for Zeytuna Edo started at Columbia City Light Rail Station at Alaska & Martin Luther King and stopped at Genesee & MLK for a healing Vigil. The Solutions Meeting at the Boys & Girls Club – where Zeytuna & her family were headed when she was struck featured Mayor Ed Murray, Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Family members, and community neighbors and leaders.

Upcoming Rainier Valley meetings

  • Rainier Ave S Road Safety Corridor Project SDOT Columbia City Wed Nov 12 6-8pm
  • Rainier Ave S Road Safety Corridor Project SDOT Rainier Beach Tues Nov 18 4:30-6:30pm
  • Rainier Valley Greenways monthly meeting. Bike Works 3715 S Hudson St Wed Nov 18 6:30-8:30pm

Contacts:
– Rainier Valley Greenways- Phyllis Porter 206-695-2522 / 253-545-8567

– Bike Works- Deb Salls 206-695-2607 / 651-231-3629

– Seattle Neighborhood Greenways- Cathy Tuttle 206-713-5869