Thursday, December 13, 2018

Feedback to the Seattle Times:

Your delivery guy for the Maple Leaf neighborhood drives dangerously and has repeatedly endangered the lives of people in my neighborhood.   I used to rationalize his erratic, aggressive, and inattentive driving with the fact that he has a job to do, but the repeated near-misses I've observed in the past few weeks is unacceptable.

This morning at around 6:00am, as I was cycling northbound on 5th Ave NE near NE 90th St, I saw your driver approach 5th Ave NE eastbound.  As is usual, he blasted past the stop sign at around 10-15mph before hitting the brakes.  I assumed he had seen me given that his entire car was in the intersection before he hit the brakes.  However, as I was starting to cross the intersection, he gunned the engine as if he were trying to run me down.  I yelled (not much else I could have done), and he hit the brakes again.  Thankfully his window was open so he could hear me scream.

This is very similar to what I saw happen a few weeks ago to someone else.  That morning, I was walking westbound towards 5th Ave NE and as I neared the intersection I saw a woman walking southbound on 5th Ave NE.  She saw your driver approach the intersection and paused to see if he would slow down.  He did, so she started crossing the street.  When she had made a few steps into the street, your driver decided hit the gas.  He didn't kill her that morning, thankfully, but he seems to consistently tricking people into thinking he sees them, then plows ahead as if nobody was there.

Immediately after he almost killed the lady, he decided to give me a scare.  I was on the north side of the street on the sidewalk, wearing my bright orange jacket and backpack with reflective straps, which should be visible in his headlights.  I was unlucky enough to be by the house he had a delivery for, and his focus was on the delivery.  As he neared the house/me, he jerked the wheel so that the car was aiming straight at me and continued towards me (on the wrong side of the road) at full speed (20-something mph) before turning the wheel at the last moment to pull up next to the curb.  If I had been walking closer to the curb (or hadn't jumped out of the way), he would have clipped my legs with his bumper.

There aren't a lot of people or cars in the morning at that hour.  There's the typical dog walkers, joggers, and commuters like myself making their way to the bus stop.  There's also the silver compact car that drives a bit crazy delivering the Seattle Times.  I'm not telling you to fire the guy, but some action needs to be taken to make sure no one gets hurt or killed.  Just ignoring all stops signs instead of pretending to check for people on the street would be a huge improvement.