35th/Avalon signal sticks again, and it’s Justin to the rescue

December 17, 2012 at 12:01 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 24 Comments

That’s Justin. He works at 35th/Avalon Starbucks. When he’s not directing traffic – which he decided to do today because the 35th/Avalon signal got stuck again, second time in less than 24 hours, and last night wasn’t the first time, either. We found him directing traffic when we arrived following multiple texts (thank you!) about the signal woes – SDOT’s crew had arrived, but no police in sight. We asked SDOT about the chronic problems, and spokesperson Rick Sheridan explained that it has to do with the bus-favoring “transit signal priority”: “A component that supports transit signal priority has been malfunctioning. We disabled that component to ensure the signal operates appropriately. We’ll work to reinstitute the transit signal priority at this location in the near future.”


  1. Justin is, without a doubt, my favorite barista. The last thing he said to me this morning as I drove away was, “Watch out for the light. It’s out again!”. Hope you didn’t miss your chance to register for school today, Justin!

    Comment by anotherwsmom — 12:17 pm December 17, 2012 #

  2. Way to go, Justin. That has got to be one of the worst possible intersections to have signal issues with.

    Comment by ws born & bred — 12:18 pm December 17, 2012 #

  3. But dressed all in BLACK?… I know Starbucks has decent health benefits but come-on.

    Comment by Robert — 12:29 pm December 17, 2012 #

  4. The signal problems were a bit scary this morning. About 10:30 I came up the hill on Avalon and had clear green lights to cross 35th. Was flabbergasted when cars going north on 35th were seemingly “going through the light.” Ended up treating it like a 4 way stop. I did see a RR C turning the corner onto Avalon, so, I am not surprised to hear that the RR signal was the cause of the problem. So glad that Justin came out to help. THANK YOU.

    Comment by iggy — 12:29 pm December 17, 2012 #

  5. What a great person!

    Comment by Alkira — 12:37 pm December 17, 2012 #

  6. I love that he jumped in and helped! Be safe though, sounds a little dangerous.

    Comment by Klk — 12:40 pm December 17, 2012 #

  7. Justin, Justin – get out of the street! No one wants to see you get hurt. Keep calling 911 until they send police to direct traffic.

    Comment by pam — 12:44 pm December 17, 2012 #

  8. Thanks Justin.
    The City of Seattle needs to get it together with this intersection. I wonder why it is on the fritz so often!?
    I filed another request with the city to fix this once and for all.

    Comment by WS rats in a cage — 12:45 pm December 17, 2012 #

  9. I have already posted in the story what the problem was and how SDOT has fixed it – TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:53 pm December 17, 2012 #

  10. Tell me he was relieved by SPD after a few minutes?

    Tell me we don’t have to have civilians do traffic control or do we need to have a sign up sheet someplace?

    Comment by wakeflood — 12:54 pm December 17, 2012 #

  11. Thanks Justin!

    Comment by West Seattle since 1979 — 1:57 pm December 17, 2012 #

  12. Thanks TR, hopefully this is the end of the issue.

    Comment by WS rats in a cage — 2:28 pm December 17, 2012 #

  13. He should’ve tied a green apron around his neck like a super hero cape! Sometimes you gotta do what ha gotta do!

    Comment by Bsmomma — 2:47 pm December 17, 2012 #

  14. Justin, this is so not worth your life. You may think your invincible and even doing a good deed but your putting your life at risk which is not fair to the people who love you. Your family and friends would rather you not cause them grief that has no release.

    Comment by Neighbor — 3:28 pm December 17, 2012 #

  15. Brave man. Hopefully, he won’t need to use them but maybe some regulars of that SB will chip in and get him a whistle and those flourescent gloves with the stop symbol on them that cops use. Oh, and maybe something else that he may actually want. ;)

    Comment by cwit — 3:30 pm December 17, 2012 #

  16. Rick says it has to do with bus signal priority .. Rapid Line is the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season.

    Comment by WS rats in a cage — 3:43 pm December 17, 2012 #

  17. I’ve gone through this intersection at least 2-3 times with the light out in recently weeks. Highly dangerous since its such a high traffic intersection and so many of my fellow drivers can’t seem to wrap their minds around the concept of treating it like a 4 way stop. It’s really not that hard people…get a clue :/

    Comment by MB — 3:47 pm December 17, 2012 #

  18. I think everyone would gladly treat the intersection as a four way stop…..if the lights were red in all directions. Since the lights have been green in one direction, it’s creating additional havoc.

    Comment by Anotherwsmom — 4:20 pm December 17, 2012 #

  19. What a cutie/sweetie.

    Comment by SaraS — 5:30 pm December 17, 2012 #

  20. Justin
    This brings a whole new meaning to ‘drive thru’.
    When your mom told you to go play in the street
    she didn’t mean it literally! Be careful, I only have one nephew! I am proud of your good Samaritan spirit, tho.

    Comment by Auntie C — 6:44 pm December 17, 2012 #

  21. I believe the city should invest more in those green bicycle boxes than fix actual problems, like this one, which affect far more people. Wink, wink.

    Comment by WestSide45 — 8:34 pm December 17, 2012 #

  22. Get out of the road Justin, before you get yourself killed. Not only would that tragedy affect your family and friends, but it would bear an enormous lifelong emotional weight on the person who doesn’t see you, because you’re in asphalt-colored clothing, and hits and kills you.
    It’s just not worth it!

    Comment by Jason — 10:44 pm December 17, 2012 #

  23. We should not encourage people to do this – it just adds to the confusion.

    Comment by Jim — 8:26 am December 18, 2012 #

  24. That’s our Justin, looking out for others. Kudos for your bravery and wear something bright next time! SDOT, get it together. That’s a busy intersection and we’re lucky no one had an accident.

    Comment by Mary — 3:26 am December 20, 2012 #

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