Councilmember Sally Bagshaw (District 7, Pioneer Square to Magnolia) and Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle & South Park) issued the following statement after this morning’s fatal crash at NE 50th St. and I-5 near the U District:
“This morning a man sleeping in a tent near 50th NE off ramp from northbound I-5 was hit and killed by the driver. This senseless tragedy serves as a critical reminder of risks people face when homeless. The City, County and State must work together to develop safer places for people to stay while we work on the long-term goal of ending homelessness.
“While the city is expending resources to remove unsanctioned encampments, many of the encampments are almost immediately repopulated. The encampment at this location has been removed twice since January. During the state of emergency we have learned that people camping on our sidewalks, streets and green spaces believe this is their best and/or only option. This is a tragedy in and of itself. The Council has been working tirelessly with the Mayor to identify meaningful solutions that will address the immediate public health and safety needs for people living in tents precisely because locations like the WSDOT property in question are unsafe.
“We support the Pathways Home Initiative introduced by Mayor Murray last week, and efforts that ensure all people in Seattle are afforded safe and healthy spaces to live long-term, rather than being forced to choose one that is risky and insecure.”