“35th is not I-35,” neighborhood activists say

November 5, 2007 at 9:45 am | In Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | 47 Comments

35th.jpg

As we noted a couple months ago in a slightly different context, “‘arterial’ doesn’t mean ‘open somebody’s arteries’.” Many people who have to deal daily with 35th SW (one small section shown above), whether as pedestrians or drivers, bike riders or transit users, would probably agree. Two recent accidents have put the 35th SW problems back in the spotlight – the one that killed 85-year-old Oswald Clement weekend before last, and the one that shut down a section of the road this past Friday night. The High Point Neighborhood Association has been lobbying for safety improvements on this busy straightaway and hopes to gain some traction from two high-profile visits this week: Mayor Nickels will be in High Point this morning to celebrate the development’s recent award, and City Council President Nick Licata is coming Thursday night for a walking tour focused on the safety concerns. The group’s been working on these issues for quite some time, and here’s where they stand and what they are trying to get the city to do:

The group says it’s been promised some speed-radar signs on 35th, but that’s not enough. They want a full light at the intersection of 35th & Raymond (map), an area where traffic will continue to increase as the High Point development keeps building out. They also want a “road diet” (explanation here) between Juneau and Myrtle on 35th, so that turns can be made safely, and longer crossing times at the pedestrian crosswalks that exist in that area. In addition to those 35th-specific requests, the HPNA is working to get a variety of other safety improvements within the HP area itself, east of 35th. Its next meeting is 6 pm Thursday at the High Point Library, right after the walking tour with Council President Licata.

47 Comments

  1. The members of the non grid’d closed loop community known as highpoint already have a wonderful entry exit at sylvan street, which I am sure will be done soon. If that isn’t enough for the planned community they can just learn to drive ONE BLOCK to graham st and take advantage the existing light there. A light at Raymond is totally unreasonable, thats three lights in three blocks just to accommodate these people who are already the biggest NIMBY’s in the neighborhood. Don’t they have Arabic music and teenagers to bitch about? They have to start pissing everyone else off now as well?

    Comment by Vincent — 9:55 am November 5, 2007 #

  2. Correct, it is not “I-35,” but be careful of who you get involved with in improving safety on our roadways, esp 35th.

    But before I jump on the “sky is falling” safety drive, I would like to know just what were the causes of the accidents and who was at fault.

    Our “mayor,” Greg (it’s your) Nickles (not mine) is in cahoots with the Cascade Bicycle Ass. He is pushing for a $285 million tax package for more bike lanes. 35th has been identified as a candidate for bike lanes.

    Think of 35th reduced to one lane north and one lane south with a middle left turn lane down the whole length. Think Delridge gets bad at peak traffic hours. Just wait till 35th gets pared down to one lane!!!

    Frank

    Comment by Frank — 10:02 am November 5, 2007 #

  3. Would a road diet than require less traffic lights since there is a center turn lane?

    Comment by Lou — 10:17 am November 5, 2007 #

  4. I live on 35th close to Roxbury, and in the last 3 years I have noticed a significant increase in traffic. Please don’t forget that the High Point traffic also comes in and out of the South end of town, via Roxbury (509, 99, I-5 via Michigan). This additional traffic makes it difficult to cross the street as a pedestrian, dangerous to bike down, and very loud at all times of the day.

    Comment by roguedelux — 10:28 am November 5, 2007 #

  5. What light, Vincent? There’s no light at 35th and Graham. I use the High Point library and trying to get out of the parking lot from Raymond onto 35th safely is ridiculous–I’m tempted to get out of my car and press the pedestrian light just so I can make a left turn or cross over to go down the hill without worrying about being hit! There’s usually a line up of cars waiting to get onto 35th. A light is definitely needed there. I’ve started avoiding using the parking lot and parking on 35th in front of the library instead, but that poses its own challenges–getting out of your car safely with the continuous high volume traffic going by at such high speeds isn’t easy.

    And don’t even get me started on trying to make a left turn onto Fauntleroy from the west side of that arterial anywhere south of the Junction–there’s no safe place to do so until the Morgan Junction. We need a light somewhere in between (Graham would be a logical place). It’s also hard to cross Fauntleroy safely these days as a pedestrian with all the increased traffic. More and more townhomes are being built around here–that means more cars trying to get onto the arterial but there’s no additional infrastructure to accommodate them or the increased number of pedestrians.

    Comment by SD — 11:55 am November 5, 2007 #

  6. West Seattle density and traffic are on the rise, and now we want to reduce a major north-south arterial from four lanes to two? Doesn’t make any sense to me. I’d sooner favor an INCREASED speed limit on 35th than a road diet.

    Comment by s — 12:10 pm November 5, 2007 #

  7. Sorry, 35th Ave is a major road. Wishing it were a country lane won’t make it so. Another traffic light or a road diet is ridiculous. Face up to reality.

    Comment by KT — 12:23 pm November 5, 2007 #

  8. In my opinion, the problem isn’t the road. It’s the drivers. I drive 35th either going to or coming from Westwood every day and I’ve never seen so many selfish un-courteous drivers. Everyone wants to be going 50 mph because they just got off the bridge (where they were speeding, myself included ;-)) or they are late going to work, so they weave in and out, then have to slam on the brakes for someone turning left OR right. If everyone would just go the speed limit and be conscious of what’s going on around them, we wouldn’t have half the problems we do. I actually saw someone cross into oncoming lanes just to go around somebody. Luckily I was in the right lane otherwise I would have got hit head on. I do agree that the left turn situation is quite annoying though. But I don’t see how going to three lanes will solve that. Also, what happens when a bus stops! Or someone is turning right but has to wait for Peds. That’s going to be real fun. So that’s my rant. My final thought, quit blaming everything on the world around you and make a difference by changing your habits.

    Comment by MLJ — 12:54 pm November 5, 2007 #

  9. Yet another example of “cars above all else.” Forget pedestrians, bicyclists, homeowners along 35th, kids, the elderly, the environment. God forbid we let anything get in the way of ever more, ever bigger, ever faster CARS.

    Comment by Aidan Hadley — 1:00 pm November 5, 2007 #

  10. 35th has been a busy road since I was a kid, but it’s far busier now (in my perception anyway.) I’m in favor of doing anything to make it more safe, and I care not at all about the speed whiners. I’ve had the distinct displeasure of seeing a couple of bad accidents involving a lot of blood, and I don’t care to see any more.

    Comment by Kayleigh — 1:26 pm November 5, 2007 #

  11. Unfortunately, I don’t think Seattle will ever get over it’s car culture fetish (like towns such as Portland have) due to the predominance of hills and natural obstacles (waterways). It’s just too difficult for the average person to get from one part of town to the other on a bike. There are cyclists in Seattle who have overcome this challenge, but I just don’t think the average person is going to stop driving and take up biking. And without major numbers of cyclists on the roads, it’s really hard to get drivers to change their habits. It’s unfortunate that humans usually don’t change their habits until you make it worth their while or they’re forced to change.

    Also, it’s difficult to change your driving habits when the city messes around for decades and doesn’t build mass transit options even after the citizens have voted for it time and time again. If the city refuses to provide a mass transit option for West Seattle (and sorry the bus doesn’t cut it), I will continue to drive my car.

    All this being said, I do agree that something needs to be done on 35th to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians. I don’t agree that another light would be a major disaster for drivers. The problem with lights in this town is that they’re not timed properly. If the city spent the money to time the lights properly it would cut down on commute times and definitely alleviate driver frustration.

    Comment by villagegreen — 1:53 pm November 5, 2007 #

  12. 35th is a danger zone, people NEVER obey the speed limit, I have caught myself going over 50 on that road. No more since I since I almost got T-Boned at 35th and Thistle before the turn light was installed.

    And the reason it AND California is getting so busy? CONDO’S my friends, condos. Think of how many people have moved to West Seattle just in the last two years. When you tear down single family homes or a business and add 20 condo’s, things get real crowded real fast.

    Just my opinion.

    Comment by Teresa P — 1:58 pm November 5, 2007 #

  13. 35th has become a freeway. I’ve lived near it for 5 years now and it’s totally changed (more density = more cars, not more transit options). I tend to avoid it most days now and when I do use it, it’s at the speed limit all the time. All the time. You should see the other cars pass me doing 50. I’ve seen way too many close calls for comfort. I’ll no longer ride my bicycle down 35th at all. Fauntleroy isn’t much better. The reason a bike lane is planned is to offer a route N/S to bicyclists from White Center to WS. I’d prefer to see one down Fauntleroy, but it’s not as direct. Perhaps some input from locals regarding bike lane locations (not just the whole-hearted ‘get rid of them’ attitude)? An alternate route would probably be better and route riders through commercial areas (like *gasp* the Morgan Junction). I cross Fauntleroy often as a ped and every time come back amazed at the number of cars that simply will not stop for me so I can cross (100%!!!). If traffic will not slow down, lights will force them to eventually we can only hope. Traffic calming does not make your life any more difficult. In fact, it may save your life.

    Comment by Al — 2:23 pm November 5, 2007 #

  14. I do precisely that while waiting to turn at Raymond Street. But I agree to keep 35th an “open” street. Making all the three main arterials of West Seattle same and slow would not be wise.

    Comment by Sean — 2:32 pm November 5, 2007 #

  15. Side note: I keep hearing this comment that bikes won’t work as a common transportation solution in Seattle because of the terrain. I used to think that, too–but that excuse is removed with electric-assist bikes that help with the hills. I really think the only major hurdle we face to getting lots more folks using bikes as transportation is that people need to be and feel safe–so they need to be separated from cars, trucks, and buses, which greatly out-mass a bicyclist. More, separated, bike paths, please!

    Comment by JE — 2:42 pm November 5, 2007 #

  16. Why not not allow parking on 35th. The parked cars only increase the difficulty to see pedestrians. Most are parked with two wheels up on the curb anyway. Then use the extra space to provide a bike lane going both directions and a center turn lane with trees/shrubbery down the middle to separate the two lanes. Then maybe a plan could be devised to put “pedestrian activated lights” at various points for marked crosswalks.

    This would make the road more user friendly for drivers, bikers and walkers. Isn’t that our vision?

    Comment by Ron Burgundy — 3:50 pm November 5, 2007 #

  17. I spend a lot of time on 35th and the problem that I see is that most do not adhere to the speed limit. When you park your car, it feels just like the whoosh on the freeway as the crazies are often going 50+. I think we need more patrolling to get the folks to comply with the speed limit..hit them in their pocketbooks (and listen to them whine here about the speed trap, like on labor day on the bridge)..I think 15 over is negligent, right? That’s my vote (we almost broadsided 2 cars last week taking a turn across traffic and we were going the speed limit)

    Comment by Mags — 4:31 pm November 5, 2007 #

  18. The bikes are out there and they’re not going away. And anyone who rides the route 21 has to cross 35th as a pedestrian at least once a day — that’s a lot of pedestrians out there. With cars speeding and drivers are on their cell phones(!) I’m just amazed there aren’t more accidents.

    Comment by E — 6:33 pm November 5, 2007 #

  19. There are plenty of ways that WS streets such as 35th, Delridge and Fauntleroy could be reworked to accomodate the needs of nearby residents, pedestrians, motorists, transit riders and cyclists. An outstanding book full of examples and ideas is titled: The Boulevard Book: History, Evolution, Design of Multiway Boulevards http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=10010

    Comment by Mike Dady — 6:50 pm November 5, 2007 #

  20. I live on 35th and have some opinions about this. People definitely drive too fast on 35th- me included. I think more enforcement is key. I think the manpower would be better expended here than on the recently much-debated stretch of Admiral (from the bridge to the Admiral junction). The fact is, 4-lane roadway or not, 35th is primarily a residential street. Unregulated intersections are not safe to cross at. I happen to live at 35th and Holly where there is a pedestrian operated stoplight. But even there I have had to teach my daughter to use extreme caution because drivers frequently blow right through it. I theorize that they don’t expect it because it’s normally a non-issue. Also when I slow down to park in front of my house I am often subjected to the road rage of a driver behind me who can’t stand to be troubled by my deceleration. And forget about parallel parking! There are folks on 35th whose driveways are in their front yards. I cringe when I see them attempting to back out onto the road. So I vote for more enforcement, more stoplights, lowered speedlimits, bike lanes and turning lanes. It’s not a highway!

    Comment by Tom — 7:26 pm November 5, 2007 #

  21. I’ve been a pedestrian and pubic transit rider all my life. I consider myself to be a defensive pedestrian – meaning that I am acutely aware of my surroundings. I am cautious, but not timid. I donot jaywalk, which means that I do cross at street corners. I do look all ways before I step out on to the road. I count to “3″ after the light turns green – just in case someone decides to run the light. (It happens more often than you think). I am also a rather fast walker – so, I am not one ofthose move like molasses people you see that irritate so many drivers (and even pedestrians).

    Walking across 35th and Fauntleroy is akin to trying to walk cross I-5 or Aurora Avenue (if it were legal to do so). Doing so is risking one’s life.

    Remember that very foggy morning a couple of weeks ago? It was thick as pea soup, visibility was probably less than 75 yards on 35th, and yet most of the drivers were speeding, tailgating, talking on cell phones (with one hand on the steering wheel), eating, drinking coffee, and driving without headlights!

    What I do not understand is why is everyone in such a huge hurry? What is so important that you must race down 35th or Fauntleroy? Does it even enter your mind that you are risking your life, and the lives of others by speeding and driving recklessly?

    Comment by Peggy — 10:01 pm November 5, 2007 #

  22. you bicycle people shouldn’t be riding your bike on major arterials anyhow. there are plenty of adjacent residential streets to the arterials that y’all could be on, wouldnt have to worry about cars going too very fast for your wittle bitty bicycles. most fo the time, you people are menaces.

    Comment by donald — 7:59 am November 6, 2007 #

  23. I was going to comment on Vincent’s incorrect information about a light on SW Graham, but then I read the rest of his post and realized where he is coming from. Ignorance.

    Comment by andrew — 8:21 am November 6, 2007 #

  24. After hearing the horrible noise that preceded the accident Friday night and then witnessing the major police and aid response and the mangled cars that accompanied the accident, I have to agree that there is definitely a problem with 35th Ave SW. Don’t forget there was an injured boy stuck in the back of the car smashed against the tree that took the aid crew some time to remove. ,Apparently the two guys in the northbound car were speeding (and according to the woman in another car who gave a report to the police–excessively so) and loss control and struck the other car. The issue is that this arterial is designed to move cars at the expense of all else, including, bikes, pedestrians, bus riders trying to cross to their stops or homes, and neighbors trying to turn their cars against the flow of traffic. Part of this was Mayor Nickel’s fault (see the 2003-2004 budget where he delegated money to make the lights on 35th Ave more “efficient”, i.e. green longer.)
    I agree that this street could be turned into a boulevard with space for buses to make their stops without blocking traffic, islands between the lanes where appropriate, and just a simple left turn lane when needed. This would improve parking on 35th Ave (no need to worry about losing your mirror during the day due to the skinny right lane) and make the street more friendly to those who choose to see it as something more than a de facto freeway.

    Comment by A.J. — 10:40 am November 6, 2007 #

  25. Turning 35th in to a blvd with pull oouts for busses is a great idea. But in order to do so you would need to get rid of the street sid strip of grass and all the trees planted on them.

    Think that’ll happen with all the green nuts we have here? Think again!!!

    If you need a tree removed from your property you need to get a permit and even if it is proven to be a hazard (the tree), the permit can still be disapproved.

    Frank

    Comment by Frank — 10:52 am November 6, 2007 #

  26. West Seattle desparately needs a good north-south arterial like 35th for basic travel needs. More and more residential housing is going in all over and that means more traffic for West Seattle. I for one, do not oppose the increased density, as I see it as better than the alternative of more urban sprawl out in the hinterland.

    Clamping down on 35th to appease residents that bought homes along a busy arterial is not the answer. They already got a break reflected in the price they paid for their homes.

    The answer is to not bury our heads in the sand and to deal with more traffic. It would be lovely to say all the new residents will take the bus, but I’m sorry, very few are going to take the bus on a shopping trip to Westwood village! I’m all for improved transit and riding bicycles, but we still need to deal with the fact that traffic will continue to increase.

    If safe movement of traffic on 35th means eliminating some curbside parking to free up space to add a center turn lane and bike lanes, that’s fine by me. If more traffic lights are needed to make crossing the road safer, I’m OK with that too. I’d sure like to see some leadership from the City and our Mayor on this issue!

    Comment by Will — 11:03 am November 6, 2007 #

  27. SD, I also notice the same problem coming out of the Highpoint library at 35th & Raymond. If I need to turn left, i’ll often turn right and then make a bunch of turns to get back in the direction I need to go – it’s safer than waiting for an open left turn.
    As for your comments on a light on Fauntleroy, a number of us tried to get a light at Fauntleroy and Dawson (as there’s a bus stop there and it’s very difficult for pedestrians). We were essentially told there’s no need for a crosswalk or light there. I disagree, but my opinion doesn’t count for much.

    Comment by Sue — 11:09 am November 6, 2007 #

  28. Fat chance on getting the “mayor” or anyone on the city council on doing ANYTHING to increase capacity of roads. They ALL believe that everyone should take mass transit to work.

    Except themselves of course!!!

    Frank

    Comment by Frank — 12:12 pm November 6, 2007 #

  29. I agree, just about everyone drives entirely too fast on 35th. I think a few of the big radar “your speed” signs along with a few random speed traps would help cut down on the problem. It seems to have helped on Fauntleroy, with exiting ferry traffic. As far as reconfiguring the road itself, I think a center turn lane would be an improvement, as well as more turn arrows on the existing lights. As for you anti-bus, anti-bike folks, just remember that every person who takes an alternate mode is one more car off the road. And Frank, how about making a suggestion, instead of finding fault/complaining.

    Comment by Lauren — 4:47 pm November 6, 2007 #

  30. There is only so much space for roads and population density is increasing steadily. Unsurprisingly, there are many here who would prefer to stick their heads in the sand, thumb their noses at the idea of bicycling or taking public transportation, and pretend like everyone has a “right” to keep driving their cars as much as they like. Though I know you all would love to continue to speed down the road in your massive cars with a coffee in one hand and a cell phone in the other (while pedestrians run for their lives in crosswalks) the model we have now is simply unsustainable. Gas prices will only climb exponentially and traffic will curtail our economic growth. Your inability to put the common good above your own self interest is disappointing.

    Comment by Aidan Hadley — 5:00 pm November 6, 2007 #

  31. I am strongly anti-bus. They are cramped, they take too long, cost too much when i factor in the convience factor, and take me too long to get where I want to go. I strongly favor a good public transit rail system, like the monorail which i voted in favor of something along the lines of five times before they gave up on that. When I worked downtown I rode the bus, because it was cost effective, and it didn’t take too long. Anywhere outside of downtown, it becomes a major hassle for me, and I won’t do it. Sorry. That’s why I got a motor scooter. It’s small, I can park pretty much anywhere, and it is fuel effecient and fun. My scooter can keep up with the flow of traffic, on 99 and on 35th. Bicycles cannot. I am all for people riding bikes, don’t get me wrong. What I hate is the sense of privledge that bicyclists tend to have, this “holier than thou” attitude that just grinds my gears. One minute they want to be treated like a vehicle, the next a pedestrian, then they want to be treated like a special class all together. Here’s a special class for those bicyclists: its called WANKERS. You want to do your part and stay healthy by riding a bike, save money, great by all means do it, I support you 100%. What I do not support are bicyclists on arterials that cause problems, cannot keep up with the flow of traffic, and force cars into a very dangerous situation. Especially when there are parallel running residential streets right off of said arterial without the traffic, that are tailor made for slower moving traffic. You ride a bike, you can maybe go 15-25mph tops, STAY THE HELL OFF FAUNTLEROY! Get on 40th, take that down. STAY OFF OF 35TH, take your little i’m-so-green-i’m-so-healthy-i’m-better-than-you bike, and get on 33rd, and ride that down to the Target. Then you guys won’t be complaining about the jerks in their SUVs talking on their cell phone, sipping a latte while freebasing because you won’t see them. And if you do, it won’t present nearly as dangerous a situation as it currently does. I hate those guys too. And come July this cell phone BS will finally be illegal, right? Just taking the bus or doing something different will not solve the problem we are facing now and down the line. Public transportation needs to be better and more efficent, that is the only way to encourage people to do something different. Putting bike lanes on busy arterials will jsut create an annoyance. And really, are there enough people that will bike, 365 days a year, everywhere they go, to make the money worth it? Hell no. Not everyone has the grapes for that. Any more money spent on bike lanes is a complete waste that should be going towards a revamped system that combines the bus lines and a new rail system to the benefit of all, not just a very vocal minority (the bikers). Boston is a great example. It is a huge pain in the ass to drive anywhere in Boston! Thankfully, they have a great train system that gets you right near where you need to be, which is what needs to be done. Also, public transportation needs to be 24/7 so we can get rid of the other great traffic menace – cabbies. Or maybe we should jsut go the next logical step and put bike lanes on I-5 and 99. WHY NOT! Let’s jsut make every lane on the freeway either a Bus Only or Bicycle lane, since that is what those fat cats down at city hall are already moving towards.

    Comment by donald — 6:10 pm November 6, 2007 #

  32. One more thing, people have a “right” to drive cars, motorcycles, scooters, etc. just as much as you have a “right” to ride a bicycle.

    Comment by donald — 6:11 pm November 6, 2007 #

  33. I agree that people speed on 35th Ave SW. They speed everywhere. But it is wrong to assume that accidents, such as the one you mention in your initial post about Oswald Clement, was caused by a speeding driver. If you dont know the situation, you shouldn’t assume the drive is at fault. As sad as the situation is, we dont know all the facts. All drivers arent bad. All pedestrians and bicyclists arent good. I’ve seen all do crazy things. And, the speed limit is 35mph, which is very reasonable, when followed.

    This is the best suggestion I have seen: by Ron Burgundy:
    Then maybe a plan could be devised to put “pedestrian activated lights” at various points for marked crosswalks.
    This would make the road more user friendly for drivers, bikers and walkers. Isn’t that our vision?

    Comment by Ann — 8:57 pm November 6, 2007 #

  34. Will wrote: “Clamping down on 35th to appease residents that bought homes along a busy arterial is not the answer. They already got a break reflected in the price they paid for their homes.”
    I am assuming you are responding to my post above. I am a homeowner on 35th in any case. I consider myself lucky to have found a home I could afford and indeed being on 35th is part of the formulary. I am not proposing any sort of “appeasement” however- just enforcement of existing speed limits and stoplights. I don’t know what street you live on but I am no more entitled to speed in front of your house than you are in front of mine-because I live on an arterial.

    As another point- driving home on 35th tonight, I was checking my speed due to this discussion being so fresh in my head. I was a little over and was slowing down. I suddenly had to slam on my brakes because there was an elderly couple crossing 35th in the middle of the block wearing dark clothes to get to Hokum Hall!! I was terrified, the guy behind me was honking furiously because he couldn’t see what had happened and the old woman in the couple made a nasty face and hand gesture at me! I am very glad I had slowed down because it was close!

    Comment by Tom — 9:14 pm November 6, 2007 #

  35. have to agree with a lot of your sentiment, donald. Nothing gripes me more than a bicyclist in the CAR lane trying to keep up. If bike riders want to PAY TAB FEES like cars, then that’s fine…like you said…stay OFF the main arterials..there’s plenty of ‘backroads’ that will get you there a LOT safer.

    can we bitch about the potholes on Fauntleroy now??

    Comment by grr — 9:19 pm November 6, 2007 #

  36. Time to pass out the purple bracelets.

    Comment by Erik — 11:19 pm November 6, 2007 #

  37. I walk across 35th Avenue SW at SW Othello Street every evening after getting off the #21 bus–the same intersection in which Oswald Clement was struck and killed on 10/27. Oswald was my neighbor for over 14 years and I often rode the bus with him and often worried about his safety in crossing the street there. While it was dark when Oswald was struck, I have nearly been struck more than once in broad daylight in that same unmarked crosswalk. The majority of drivers on 35th Avenue SW consistently exceed the speed limit by 10-15mph and consistently refuse to yield to pedestrians legally crossing at an uncontrolled intersection.

    When I have occasion to drive on 35th I keep my speed close to 35mph–always below 40mph, at least–and yet I am consistently tailgated and then passed by many other drivers. More than once, I have stopped for pedestrians crossing legally at uncontrolled intersections only to have the oncoming traffic refuse to yield in order to allow them to complete the crossing. It is even dangerous to simply slow enough to make a right turn from 35th onto a side street, as most drivers are so impatient that they nearly drive up my tailpipe even though I signal adequately before turning. I should mention that I do not drive so slowly or cautiously as to be a menace to others–I am simply a sane and defensive driver who has not had an accident in my 25 years of driving and, while I drive a high-powered sports car, I have enough respect for others to not treat 35th Ave SW as my personal race track.

    I have contacted the Seattle Police SW Precinct multiple times over the years about speeding drivers and drivers consistently failing to yield to pedestrians at intersections on 35th and have been told every time that this is not a priority for enforcement and that no action will be taken unless a pedestrian is injured. One officer actually told me, after I was nearly struck by a car while legally crossing 35th and attempted to provide him with a license plate number, that no action would have been taken even if an officer had witnessed the near miss.

    I am deeply saddened by Oswald Clement’s death, but I wonder how many more deaths it will take before we simply begin enforcing the laws that are already on the books.

    Comment by Daryl — 12:40 pm November 7, 2007 #

  38. Daryl,I am sorry for the loss of your friend and neighbor. I often wonder how many deaths it will take before more adults simply grow up and realize traffic laws are for our SAFETY. So many of you act like selfish kids who have had their fun taken away. I wonder if you would make the same comments to the husband of the bicyclist who was killed last year. I think of her everyday when I pass the ghost bike. I live on 35TH as well. On purpose, not for the price break, as someone stated. I love all the activity and the traffic actually gives me more privacy than a typical street. But, perhaps because only deaths and near deaths are reported, many of you don’t realize just how many accidents there are on this street. You would be amazed at how quickly they are cleared and no trace is left behind. Just on my one block two neighbors have had their cars totalled waiting to turn. Trees on both sides of the street have been taken out. Two fences have been obliterated. Rearends of parked cars have been hit over and over by distracted lane wanderers. Of course can’t even count the mirrors. A couple weeks ago a tire from an accident I couldn’t even see came rolling down the hill through traffic, on fire. All the while, the #21 is letting off pedestrians all day long. And I just cringe when I see groups of little kids waiting on the sidewalk for their school bus. For all of you “like it not this is a main arterial” folks, like it not this is a main residential, pedestrian, and bicyclist street too. Does it really have to affect someone in your household before you’ll pay attention and just use some common courtesy?

    Comment by JT — 2:31 pm November 7, 2007 #

  39. Daryl,

    I am very, very sorry about Mr. Clement, but what you must realize is that sometimes even non-speeding drivers simply do not see pedestrians in time to stop. Until such time as they put a crosswalk or pedestrian activitated light at SW Othello, if you are in good health, you should cross at one of the very nearby intersections with a traffic light. 35th AVE SW is a major arterial. Dont cross the street at an unmarked intersection to prove a point and risk your safety and the safety of others.

    JT, I dont understand which comment of Daryl’s that you object to. Can you please clarify that?

    Comment by Ann — 2:49 pm November 8, 2007 #

  40. Ann, I don’t object to anything Daryl said. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I do object to you not honoring unmarked crosswalks.

    Comment by JT — 1:44 pm November 9, 2007 #

  41. Ann, thank you for your comments, but you’ve clearly missed the point that both JT and I were making. We all understand that regrettable accidents may still occur when everyone is obeying traffic laws, but the point here is that the risk to both pedestrians and automobile occupants is unnecessarily and dramatically multiplied when drivers speed and refuse to yield to pedestrians as required by law.
    Furthermore, and contrary to your suggestion, nobody has recommended that we put ourselves or others in danger simply to prove a point. For what it’s worth, I have already begun crossing at SW Webster, where there is a traffic signal, as I am quite able to walk the extra block back to SW Othello. That is far less realistic, however, for people who are less able-bodied and for people who must cross stretches of 35th Avenue SW that do not have a traffic or pedestrian signal nearby.
    I regret that you feel the solution to this problem is for pedestrians to simply cease using unmarked crosswalks. I am deeply and fundamentally opposed to abdicating my legal rights simply because others (you included, I presume) are too self-absorbed and disrespectful to obey the law. I may not be risking my life daily to protect my right to use unmarked crosswalks on 35th Avenue SW, but I assure you that I am not done fighting for that right and, ultimately, the law is on my side.

    Comment by Daryl — 11:30 am November 10, 2007 #

  42. JT, first of all, I never said I dont honor unmarked crosswalks.
    Secondly, your comment I was refering to is this, “I wonder if you would make the same comments to the husband of the bicyclist who was killed year.”

    Third, I think it’s very rude of you to call me self-absorbed when you dont even know me. I was trying to be practical and express my concern for your safety crossing 35th SW, a very busy street. Obviously, in your anger, you missed that pt.

    I have no intention of having an email fight. I was trying to make an additional point, after understanding yours. Apparently, your viewpt is the only one allowed.

    Good luck.

    Comment by Ann — 2:34 pm November 10, 2007 #

  43. Regarding Daryl’s comment on the police saying nothing can be done against a driver that nearly mows down a pedestrian.

    We’ve heard that a zillion times before, and I suppose it’s true, because it probably wouldn’t hold up in court on hearsay.

    It’s sad though that it’s like that, when drivers can call a toll free number to report a single occupant vehicle, in an HOV lane, (and isn’t there one now too, for littering?) and the same thing can’t be done in a situation that literally puts peoples’ lives at risk. A license number could be reported, an agency could mail out a warning, stating that the car had been observed not yielding to, and/or nearly hitting a pedestrian at such and such time on such and such date.

    I’m not too fond of “snitching”, but dislike arrogance even more, so I have no problem with snitch lines for HOV or littering Violations, but I just don’t understand why the same policy doesn’t apply to a driving action that can actually be fatal to an innocent person.

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 10:24 am November 11, 2007 #

  44. Ann, have you combined Daryl and I into one person? I haven’t called you self-absorbed yet. This is only the most recent of several threads about traffic on 35TH. Many people feel entitled to speed and are upset when police patrol it and hand out tickets. It is viewed as a highway on their commute, not as the residential street with a 35 MPH speed limit that it is. My comments were directed at those persons. And I AM angry that pedestrians and bicyclist die and there are people who can seem so callous about it. To the point of basically blaming the victim for getting in the way. Your comments made it sound as if you are in the “too bad, so sad” column. You shouldn’t have crossed the street there. Don’t you know how dangerous 35TH is? The point some of us are trying to make, is it doesn’t have to be. That this is a main arterial is irrelavant and doesn’t change the speed limit. This street accomodates school kids, bus commuters, bicyclists, and cars. Until or unless that changes, it would be swell if cars could be more careful.

    Daryl, you express my thoughts better than I could. Thank-you for sharing them.

    Comment by JT — 11:01 am November 12, 2007 #

  45. Ann, I sincerely apologize for presuming you to be among the ‘self-absorbed,’ as you obviously do care enough to participate in this discussion. I also appreciate your kind concern for my safety.

    Comment by Daryl — 1:09 pm November 13, 2007 #

  46. Daryl, thank you for your kind response. Again, I am very sorry for the loss of your friend.

    JT, I apologize for writing JT, when I meant Daryl, on my entire November 10, 07, 2:34 pm post. I think it is clear it was an accident. I was only addressing your accusation that I dont honor crosswalks. Then I failed to put Daryl’s name in.

    JT, I cant believe that anyone is in the “too bad, so sad” category, and I sincerely hope that you arent so callous as to believe that I or anyone else would think that.

    Perhaps if you re-read some of the posts, you may come to understand some of the other points that were attempted in a positive light. I know that mine were, and I guess I can only speak for myself. The really stupid, mean, unproductive ones, we should ignore.

    To all, I wish it were true that accidents only happen when people are speeding. Although speeding is common and stupid, unfortunately, the problem is much more complex than only that issue. The ultimate goal, make 35th Ave SW (and all roads!) more user friendly for drivers, bikers and walkers. Don’t speed. Dont be selfish. Everyone, be aware of what is going on around you. Be kind to all.

    I think that email and blog discussions are difficult. I’m tired, I hope this all came out right.

    Be Well.

    Comment by Ann — 11:54 pm November 13, 2007 #

  47. Ann-I agree with your sentiments and apologize as well for any and all assumptions.

    Comment by JT — 10:40 pm November 14, 2007 #

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