West Seattle safety: 1 long-sought signal soon, another – not

February 10, 2012 at 11:46 am | In Safety, Transportation, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

North Delridge neighborhood leaders have long been pushing for a traffic signal at Avalon Way and SW Genesee – and now if all goes according to SDOT‘s schedule, it’s just months away. In comments following our report on a contradictory-but-brief discussion of its status at the Southwest District Council meeting, two commenters said that signal is actually planned for installation this year. So we asked SDOT for official confirmation. Communications director Rick Sheridan‘s reply:

SDOT will install a full traffic signal at Avalon Way & Genesee, which will cover all legs of the intersection. We will additionally install new curb ramps to improve access for pedestrians and the disabled. The work is tentatively scheduled for the third quarter of 2012.

The status of another signal long sought by West Seattle neighborhood activists, at 47th/Admiral, has NOT changed, however. We asked Sheridan about that too:

We did reevaluate all signal requests in December 2011. Given limited funding for signal improvements, this location did not rate high enough compared to other locations where a signal would be beneficial.

SDOT has implemented several enhancements at 47th and Admiral to improve safety. These include curb bulbs on SW Admiral Way to shorten the crossing distance, high-visibility signage overhead and roadside to warn drivers, and flashing beacons. We also installed “stop lines” and signs to direct motorists where to stop if a pedestrian is using the crosswalk. We have also measured vehicle speeds approaching the crosswalk from the east, and the data shows good compliance with the posted speed limit on Admiral. This corridor is also equipped with radar speed signs at each end to educate drivers and enhance compliance with the posted speed limit.

The fifth anniversary of the deadly crash at 47th/Admiral was marked in November by a rally (WSB coverage here) organized by the Admiral Neighborhood Association, which continues to lobby to get a light.

12 Comments

  1. We really need a light here, this morning (still dark) I came very close to hitting a woman in this crosswalk while driving east up the hill. She was dressed all in black with a black umbrella and was just in my blind spot between my side window and windshield. She wasn’t waving the orange flag which would have allowed me to see her because of the motion and the color. I was very shaken as I’m sure she was. I am very cautious at this intersection, I don’t use a cell phone while driving and this still happened. I would never personally use this crosswalk because of the danger, you are far safer crossing in the middle of Admiral somewhere where you can see cars in both directions and they can see you. That’s not what crosswalks were meant for, they are supposed to help people cross the road safely, not make it more dangerous. A light would help make it safer.

    Comment by Kristi — 12:26 pm February 10, 2012 #

  2. Has there every been discussion of adding turn lanes to the Avalon / 35th Ave SW intersection by KFC/7-Eleven?

    Assuming that they can’t due to lack of room, but don’t remember hearing one way or another. It’s a nightmare in the morning driving my kids to school. Have seen many, many near misses…

    Comment by Findlay — 12:29 pm February 10, 2012 #

  3. Hooray for a light at Avalon & Genesee!! Mom Bulldog and I moved to that area in 1983 and started asking for a light THEN. With all the condos replacing single-family homes, it’s too busy not to have a light. Thanks SDOT. Better late than never?

    Comment by The Velvet Bulldog — 1:02 pm February 10, 2012 #

  4. I used to live there and it is fairly dangerous because of the steep slope that Avalon Way provides. Plus it is also a blind spot for drivers. Drivers tend to speed more going uphill or downhill because it’s a fooled feeling that you’re not going fast enough. I agree…something needs to be done. There should actually be a crosswalk with bright blinking lights from end to end. Stoplights are very expensive to install. Eitherway, if a driver is going to ignore any stop regardless, there is no determent that will help of anykind whatsoever. But don’t wait for a tragedy to happen to put something there.

    Comment by jiggers — 1:34 pm February 10, 2012 #

  5. TVB, if it’s taken nearly 30 years, perhaps you and Ma were a bit too much Velvet, and not enough Bulldog? ;-)

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 1:49 pm February 10, 2012 #

  6. SO glad to hear this, especially with the increased traffic during bridge closures. It’s a somewhat terrifying intersection. I don’t say this often, but – go SDOT!

    Comment by MegJunction — 3:24 pm February 10, 2012 #

  7. Mike: Makin’ me laugh hard. Glad I wasn’t drinking any beverages right at that moment. :-)

    Comment by The Velvet Bulldog — 4:20 pm February 10, 2012 #

  8. The crosswalk at 47th and Admiral needs to be moved. A light won’t help. It’s a blind corner heading over the crest near a right Y turn off for some neighbors as well. Move it further east to the top of the crest on the straight, it’ll be more noticeable and safer.

    Comment by Mike — 5:33 pm February 10, 2012 #

  9. I’d like to see the bike lane that was recently added from the bottom if Avalon continue up to 35th. Climbing Avalon can be dicey on a bike!

    Comment by Dan — 5:43 pm February 10, 2012 #

  10. Excellent news! I go through this intersection a number of times a day and it is scary for cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. I hope this will help make things safer for everyone including myself!

    Comment by WS Mom — 9:54 pm February 10, 2012 #

  11. +1 on the bike lane extension needed going up the remainer of Avalon. Getting around the curve up the hill with folks whizzing by at high speed is a bit of a challenge. Of course it’s controversial since folks park there also and they deserve that and wouldn’t want them to lose that… Sometimes only way to get up that last curve safely especially this time of year with the dark evenings is switch to the sidewalk, which I don’t otherwise like to do. Maybe do away with the center lane, convert to a narrow boulevard and everyone’s happy.

    Comment by KN — 12:46 am February 11, 2012 #

  12. @ Jiggers – Projected cost for Avalon Way and SW Genesee traffic light is $65,000.
    -
    Going forward, it would be helpful and equitable if a cost sharing arrangement could be worked out with the Southwest District Council and Delridge Neighborhoods District Council when it comes to the funding of these type of shared District boundary’ projects. I believe this is not the first time that the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council has used a large chunk of its precious and limited Neighborhood Projects Fund for a project that benefits citizens of both districts. Just sayin’.

    Comment by Mike Dady — 7:55 am February 11, 2012 #

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