Local cyclist running social media campaign to make streets safer for cyclists

Sanders Lauture has biked Seattle’s streets for the past five years, and while he’s continued to see citywide improvements, one safety issue remains — cars in bike lanes.

He started tweeting about it, posting photos of local offenders who use the green lanes as personal parking spots.

“It’s not necessarily about shaming drivers,” Lauture said. “It’s just making sure that the city is aware of these problem spots.”

The Twitter account is called “Cars in Bike Lanes Seattle.” It uses photos and locations cyclists send in to highlight the dangerous issue.

Using that same information, Lauture created an interactive map that he updates daily. It shows the worst trouble spots for cyclists: currently, Belltown south of Denny Way and South Lake Union near Mercer Street.

“The worst intersection that I see is Ninth Avenue North and Mercer Street. That always has a couple of drivers, usually in the afternoon, parking there for the restaurants,” Lauture said.

It may seem like a small issue to some, but when the bike lane is blocked, it forces cyclists onto the road.

“So you always worry about getting hit when you have to go around a car,” Lauture said.

Last year, 31 cyclists and pedestrians were hit and killed by cars in Seattle. Lauture believes raising awareness can help until more citywide improvements are made.

This year, the Department of Transportation launched a pilot program to add barriers between the road and bike lanes in some parts of Seattle. Lauture is optimistic.

“I’m pretty impressed with what the city has in place, and compared to other places it seems pretty good,” he said. “But we can always do better.”