Two more school-zone speed cameras planned for West Seattle

View West Seattle school-zone speed cameras in a larger map

West Seattle’s first school-zone speeding-ticket camera, on Fauntleroy Way near Gatewood Elementary, will likely be joined by two others. In the final week of the school year, Mayor McGinn has just announced five more proposed camera locations around the city, “based on an analysis of documented speeding problems that showed these schools would receive the greatest speed reduction and safety benefit from automated speed enforcement” per the official announcement. Two would be on SW Roxbury: Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School. (They’re shown in red on our Google Map above, while Gatewood is shown in blue.) If the City Council approves funding, these and three other cameras would likely be installed early next year, according to the news release from the mayor’s office, which also says that the “four existing school zone camera locations have seen an average reduction of 16 percent in citations for speeding, from the week of December 10 to the week of April 22. … 96 percent of those who received a citation and paid it did not get another citation.” Seattle Police activated the Gatewood camera last November.

62 Replies to "Two more school-zone speed cameras planned for West Seattle"

  • bsmomma June 11, 2013 (11:10 am)

    I paid mine! :(. 22mph…..with my brake lights on…..cost me $125. I’m all for being safe. But they seriously need to survey (or something) the Gatewood one. Not once have I seen kids at 3:35/40! Or even at 7:55am.

  • High Point resident June 11, 2013 (11:16 am)

    Speeding is rampant on 35th everywhere, but I’d love to see one in the school zone on 35th & Myrtle; because of the hill, its a scary zone.

  • MrB June 11, 2013 (11:22 am)

    It’s not about safety… it’s all about $$$$$$.

  • F16CrewChief June 11, 2013 (11:25 am)


    Doubt you were only going 22mph before you realized you were in a camera zone, “with my break lights on!”

  • rob June 11, 2013 (11:39 am)

    Normally not a big fan of these things but I drive past the schools on Roxbury a lot. Even though most people observe the speed limit, pretty much every time I go through there there are 2-3 cars that fly past everyone else as though they were standing still. That’s just what I see during the brief time when I’m driving through. How many more do the same thing on a given day?

  • mpento June 11, 2013 (11:42 am)

    How do they manage on a two lane highway like roxbury? I mean if I am driving along on roxbury and some bus driver speeds past me on the inside lane how can I challenge the camera? Will the fines be used to fix the roxbury road surface so my dentures don’t fall out. I promise to vote for the next mayor candidate who will promise to reclaim the roads for the people who use them.

  • Marco June 11, 2013 (11:44 am)

    @bsmomma $125 for 2 miles over? actually says the fine would be a fixed $189

  • MGreengo June 11, 2013 (11:52 am)

    I was traveling near Lincoln Park the other day, saw a School Bus with kids doing 27 mph in the Gatewood School Zone, do they get fired? Do they get ticketed?

  • johnnyblegs June 11, 2013 (11:57 am)

    I just got one on 35th and Myrtle going 30. No children in site at 3:45. Signs say when children ate present. How does a camera catch this? I’m all fit not speeding in school zones but school was out. I’m contesting it. Total bs.

  • F16CrewChief June 11, 2013 (12:02 pm)


    Curious how you clocked a school bus at 27mph?

  • mtnfreak June 11, 2013 (12:02 pm)

    Do a google for “pedestrian vs car survival” to see why its so important to NOT hit someone at speeds over 20mph. 5% chance of death at 20mph – 37-45% chance of death at 30mph!

    Its my understanding that speed cameras are lane specific – to avoid the confusion and argument that “it was the dude passing me.” So for the Roxbury example they’ll either target only one lane, or have two cameras. Anyone know otherwise?

  • D. I. D. June 11, 2013 (12:04 pm)

    Cameras are needed because people don’t respect the driving laws and are endangering, injuring or killing people. The cameras achieve the desired results. Bring them on. Everywhere. End the speeding b.s.

  • robespierre June 11, 2013 (12:13 pm)

    What MrB said. Who’s running the cameras? Actual police or contractors? Would also like to see the full breadth of statistical data on their effectiveness, not just cherry-picked soundbites.

  • Julia June 11, 2013 (12:30 pm)

    I’d be totally in favor, IF they limited their use to the times kids are actually there. Reduce the time to 15 minutes before school and 30 minutes after.

  • kmk June 11, 2013 (12:41 pm)

    I hope the cameras are lane-specific! Also what triggers the camera usage?

    One morning in the last 2 weeks (can’t remember the exact day) the school zone lights were only turned on for the Eastbound traffic, not the Westbound traffic (I had to turn around and go home for a forgotten file, so I made three trips thru the school zone). It was a little uncomfortable seeing everyone on the EB lanes at 20MPH with the WB lanes at 30pmh, and children were waiting to cross at the light.

    So who would get the ticket in that situation? Technically there were children present – which means the speed limit is in effect, but the amber school zone lights weren’t flashing – how does the camera make that distinction?

  • DTK June 11, 2013 (12:42 pm)

    D.I.D. – Most pedestrian fatalities are the fault of the pedestrian. Very few are caused by drivers going too fast. Cameras are ONLY for city revenue enhancement. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • NBC June 11, 2013 (12:48 pm)

    I got a ticket in the Roxhill zone a few years ago. $189 is the actual cost of the infraction; $125 are the ‘court costs’ you pay when you go in to contest in exchange for it not going on your record. The ticket cannot be reduced because it is in a school zone, which is apparently a special classification.

  • nemobeansmom June 11, 2013 (12:54 pm)

    I agree with mpento “will they fix the Roxbury” and I too am driving the 20mph and have cars fly by me, I want tohonk but also don’t want to be shot at!

  • Twobottles June 11, 2013 (1:00 pm)

    I’ve said this before and will say it again. To all of you who complain that these cameras are only about money, keep in mind that contributing to this particular revenue stream is strictly voluntary.

  • West seattle long time June 11, 2013 (1:26 pm)

    They found a good way to make money and soon there will be cameras at every school… just curious don’t claim to know but have there been a large amount of casualties in school zones say in the last 30 years… the TSC gives there numbers but they are I believe associated with the private contractor from az that installs the cameras? Protecting children or using children to get$ there used to be people who were on busy streets to protect the children, crossing guards on busy streets now we have cameras… Not sure this is at all an improvent but for sure it’s allot better for the bottom line. The most optimistic estimates for revenue from these cameras has been dwarfed by the real numbers and the money grab is on and can’t be stopped. how many people do desperate things because of lack of money, can we have a study that point out the true cost of stealing money from law abiding citizens who can’t make ends meet? How many minimum wage hours of work does it take to pay a ticket for driving 27 miles per hour with no children present.

  • AG June 11, 2013 (1:30 pm)

    lol Twobottles – isn’t that the truth.

    I’m one of the people doing 20mph along with the rest. I’d really love to see more of the flashing yellow warning lights, and on an accurate schedule, before the expense of cameras. I’ve driven past many, many times when the lights were flashing at random times, and not at times when crossing guards were helping kids across.

    I don’t have kids, so I rely on the flashing lights to let me know whether it’s a school time or not, and even moreso, that there’s a school there. Not all of them are obviously schools. IF I know the school is there, and if it seems like a time when kids should be coming and going – morning rush hour, mid-afternoon — I will slow down to 20 and the people behind me can just get over themselves. I’d rather waste 30 sec of my life than be responsible for a kid losing theirs.

  • datamuse June 11, 2013 (1:33 pm)

    Nice article, DTK. Be even nicer if it cited its sources.

  • AJP June 11, 2013 (1:41 pm)

    DID and Twobottles, amen!!! I’m glad to hear there will be one on Roxbury, it definitely needs it!

  • kevin June 11, 2013 (2:03 pm)

    It’s about OUR children’s safety. I walk with my son’s to roxhill to and from school. I wear a vest (dorky) one of my boys carry’s a flag that says school zone the other a orange backpack that reads school zone. We walk inches from the street while cars drive by at 40+ mph!Please read the entire school zone sign. IT IS NOT ONLY WHEN THE LIGHTS FLASH. ANY TIME CHILDREN ARE PRESENT YOU ARE TO DRIVE 20 mph. We are all busy and all have places to be. Would you drive that fast if your child was walking on the sidewalk? Thank you city of Seattle. And if you complain that it’s about money. Your right. If you don’t want something to complain about you can always follow the rules.

  • Stina June 11, 2013 (2:09 pm)

    I’d be very annoyed if they gave one to Holy Family. That school has the lights on all the time, even when there are no kids around and/or it’s not the start or end of school time. I drove through there on Sunday around 12:30 this week and they had the lights flashing. On a Sunday!!! I’d be pissed if I got a ticket on a Sunday for a school zone violation.

  • jedifarfy June 11, 2013 (2:37 pm)

    Stina, I’ve noticed that too many times and have no idea who to call! When I was living right near there, I’d come home to them on Friday evening and they were still on Monday morning when I was going to work. Insane.

  • Sunday School June 11, 2013 (2:40 pm)

    Me too, Stina.

  • mama3boys June 11, 2013 (2:44 pm)

    While I can understand the frustration – but if you are going over the speed limit you get the ticket. Notice the giant yellow flashing lights (or kids!), obey the law, pay the fine, stop whining.

    And for the love – PLEASE slow down. STEM on Delridge has cars going WAY over 20 MPH WHILE school buses are letting kids on & off and kids are right there.

  • JanS June 11, 2013 (3:15 pm)

    F16…the ticket that they mail you has the speed that you were going. Yes, $189.00 for going 29mph at 3:35pm, not a child in sight. School is done and over with. However, I suspect that more and more schools will do this, as people feel that the rules don’t apply to them. I learned my lesson, for sure.

    bsmomma, how did you get away with that fine?

  • dc June 11, 2013 (3:19 pm)

    I drive that section of Roxbury about three times a week, when the lights are flashing. I would say about half of the time, someone passes me. I’d estimate they are going 25 mph or over…with kids and crossing guard present. If some people don’t understand flashing yellow lights and a crossing guard in a yellow vest, i think they will understand $125.

  • JRR June 11, 2013 (3:34 pm)

    I live just off Roxbury and am thrilled at anything that can calm traffic on that road (not highway) for any reason. I have seen cars going 60 or 70 mph at all hours of the day, children present or not. The fact that a lot of it is the border between KC and Seattle tends to make it seem a little like a no-man’s-land when it comes to traffic enforcement.

  • kmk June 11, 2013 (3:41 pm)

    Stina – you’re spot on!

    Here’s what really concerns me – per Mayor McGinn’s 11/28/12 press release:
    “The cameras will only issue tickets when the school zone yellow beacons are flashing, which typically occurs for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon when children are coming or going to school.”

    I commute past both schools on Roxbury 2x/day, M-F. I’ve seen some drivers speeding and many obeying the lights/beacons, driving <20MPH. Unfortunately quite often the lights are on at Holy Family at weird non-school hours for no apparent reason and occasionally not on when they should be (before school with children present).

    Is it too much to ask that the city conduct a review of the School's use of the lights prior to the camera installation??

  • nemobeansmom June 11, 2013 (4:10 pm)

    We drove by Holy Family this weekend too and the lights were flashing on a (Sunday) and one other time and my hubby called the School one time when they were flashing at an odd time and they told him :we’re sorry the janitor accidentally turned them on”.

    But I agree there should be a camera there!

  • wsn00b June 11, 2013 (4:10 pm)

    @mpento said: “Will the fines be used to fix the roxbury road surface so my dentures don’t fall out.”

    @mpento – you don’t get the master genius plan. The bad potholed roads (like the braking zones outside the school on 35th/myrtle too) are part of a larger plan to slow everybody down. More potholes means less speed – everybody wins. Who needs cameras and other safety measures when you the potholes will make sure you can’t exceed 20mph :)

  • smallgirlbigtown June 11, 2013 (4:29 pm)

    Wow seriously? Those schools are already patrolled like crazy on Roxbury – they must make a killing. I’m sure they recognize that they are missing out on cash sources by not always having that old cop in the Charger out there every day.

    How about fixing the road condition while they are at it! Roxbury is ridiculously uneven and riddled with potholes. It definitely looks and feels like it is the end of Seattle’s limits. 35th is getting pretty used as well.

  • smallgirlbigtown June 11, 2013 (4:30 pm)

    @nemobeansmom, those lights have been on at the most inappropriate times for the last month or so. Usually 7pm or weekends. I don’t believe them anymore!

  • avitw June 11, 2013 (4:37 pm)

    The cameras have nothing to do with safety. I live by Gatewood. When the 20 mph zone is usually active there are no kids (or any other pedestrians) in site. They are a revenue source only.

  • Chris June 11, 2013 (4:56 pm)

    If you are interested in making Roxbury Street safer for pedestrians, you can get involved with the new Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights (WWRHAH) Neighborhood Council. We are currently looking at ways to increase pedestrian safety on Roxbury, especially in the school zones, and would love to have your feedback about ways to accomplish this. Check out for more information.

  • zark June 11, 2013 (5:28 pm)

    For shame – you should be embarrassed for your egocentric and self-serving rants.
    Who cares if it takes you an extra 60 seconds if it keeps kids safe.
    7PM, 3:35PM, 7AM – these are ALL times when children may very well be present.
    There are after school activities, events in the evening (graduations, plays, etc.), and I was at school before 8am THIS morning.
    Don’t like it – move – leave our fair city and just don’t come back. It’s a city, we share it, you want free reign go live in the county.
    I drop off EVERY day and EVERY day I see people flying down California in front of Gatewood – there is no camera, no flashing lights, just a sign telling you not be a self centered moron – and you can’t seem to read or heed that sign. Time to make you pay instead. $125 for putting a kids life at risk – seems like you got off light to me. It is legal to capture and post someone’s license plate number, time and location of their poor driving behavior, and make it public for the world. Maybe we should just do that for you guys? Maybe you’d learn some respect for your fellow citizens if your friends knew you sped through school zones chatting on your mobile. The people who speed down California EVERY morning with kids everywhere are the worst kind of people – selfish to the point of endangering others.

  • Bonnie June 11, 2013 (5:58 pm)

    Someone was just telling me that they got one over by Gatewood going 23 miles an hour and the ticket was $178. Or close to $200 or so

  • Ann June 11, 2013 (6:17 pm)

    This reminds me, has anyone noticed that there’s no “End School Zone” sign when heading north on 35th past Our Lady of Guadalupe? It’s super confusing as to when you can speed up. Never mind that the lights flash when schools clearly not in.

  • NBC June 11, 2013 (7:20 pm)

    As I mentioned above, $189 is the cost of the ticket. If you contest and go downtown and see the judge, they waive the ticket but make you pay $125 in ‘court costs’ (you can also choose to work it off in hours of community service). The ticket doesn’t go on your record, which is good for insurance, but you are on a 1-year probation and can’t get an additional moving violation. If you do, they go back and charge you with the original speeding ticket. Anyone else have a different experience?

  • M June 11, 2013 (8:35 pm)

    Ann, the school zone on 35th ends where the sign in the opposite direction is.

  • PSPS June 11, 2013 (8:58 pm)

    I wonder how much the private contractor who installs the cameras makes off every ticket. I know the Phoenix outfit that runs the red light cameras gets a $50 cut of the take per ticket.

  • L. June 11, 2013 (9:45 pm)

    Why are there no flashing lights on CA by Gatewood?

  • mtnfreak June 11, 2013 (10:21 pm)

    “D.I.D. – Most pedestrian fatalities are the fault of the pedestrian. Very few are caused by drivers going too fast. “Cameras are ONLY for city revenue enhancement. Nothing more, nothing less.” – DTK

    “The cameras have nothing to do with safety. I live by Gatewood. When the 20 mph zone is usually active there are no kids (or any other pedestrians) in site. They are a revenue source only.” – avitw

    I’ll keep this in mind the next time a 10 year-old is struck by a car.

  • J June 12, 2013 (12:42 am)

    Kids are there between 7 am and 6 pm, with an on-site child care provider. Kids go there to use the playground all summer and on weekends. Please, get used to slowing down, no matter the time.

  • j June 12, 2013 (1:59 am)

    It is about money!!!
    If you are traveling south toward gatewood school there is a very long straight away where the blinking lights would be visible warning of the school zone.
    Instead the lights and camera are tucked just around the bend. Here’s your ticket.
    How much of the money that is taken in the name of safety is put back into the areas that it is drawn from to increase safety?? If 35th and Thistle is an indication… the answer is no money. Also, how much is going to the company in Arizona implementing, managing, encouraging these cameras??
    Lastly, these go to collection immediately when delinquent. There goes your credit.

  • Melisssa June 12, 2013 (7:05 am)

    Let me get this right. Y’all are angry because 1) it might take you a few extra seconds to get where you’re going, 2) you’re expected to pay attention while driving, and 3) the city penalizes you when you don’t do the second.

    I can see how that would bother you.

    nb I’m not immune to this nuisance, or one very much like it. I have received a ticket for running the light at 35th and Thistle (I coulda sworn it was yellow!), but I paid it because I did it. I wasn’t happy, but if I couldn’t hold up when the light turned yellow, then that’s what I get.

  • MrB June 12, 2013 (8:18 am)

    The city/mayor is being completely disingenuous. They claim safety, but the reality is these cameras bring in millions of dollars to fund their pet projects. Today they are infront of schools, soon they will be everywhere.

    Welcome to 1984.

  • Danny June 12, 2013 (8:23 am)

    Couple things to keep in mind:
    1) Kids being hit by speeding cars in school zones is currently not a chronic problem. So why is the City taking drastic action to correct a problem that doesn’t exist?
    2) Anytime a new method appears for generating revenue, the City will expand it as much as possible. The outrage isn’t out of selfishness, its a recognition that there is a potential that this can be expanded limitlessly.

    The City will expand use beyond school zones. The City will recognize that cameras in a 45 MPH zone will generate more revenue if the speed limit is lowered to 35 MPH, then to 25 MPH.

    BUT, the most important thing to realize is this IS NOT ABOUT SAFETY. It is pretty difficult to keep your eyes focused on your speedometer, while simultaneously scanning the roadsides for kids. I’d rather have someone driving 29MPH with their eyes on the road, than someone driving 18MPH with their eyes on their speedometer.

  • F16CrewChief June 12, 2013 (9:06 am)

    Man, West Seattle has changed! Re-read what some of you have written in here. We are talking a two block stretch at most to slow down for 20mph. If you think it’s all about the money, then SLOW DOWN! Don’t give the “Man” your money. While you’re avoiding the “MAN” and his revenue camera’s, please keep an eye out for my child that sometimes goes to school 45 minutes early to work on projects or stays an hour after school to play with friends or attend an after school activity.


    Born and Raised TRUE West Seattle Native!

  • zark June 12, 2013 (9:49 am)

    It is absolutely about safety. If you do not understand that I can only assume you are a delusional paranoid (1984 – really??) Or just a jerk who thnks they should be more entitled than their neighbors. If you dont feel that you can help us keep the streets safe please just pick a different route that doesn’t pass a school. If thats too much hassle for you, then you really do feel that a kids life is worth less than your 60 seconds. Seattle is one of the worst areas in the country for low-speed collisions. That includes 30mph that a previous poster explained to you people is deadly. Take off the tinfoil hat. Remeber you live in a community. And try to wrap your head around not running over children. This morning was epic, you all ignored the school zone on CA at Gatewood like you wanted to hit some kids. Its not about safety? Seriously that makes you sound very arrogant, selfish, and ignorant. Not to mention callous and uncaring. Maybe just go live somewhere where you wont endanger lives, thats a thought, consider it.

  • Amanda June 12, 2013 (10:03 am)

    And I could be wrong, but isn’t the city using the money generated from the cameras to install more cameras? Isn’t this technically a win-win? Society works better when we all work together.

  • F16CrewChief June 12, 2013 (10:43 am)

    Kinda funny too. Someone earlier wrote how they saw the flashing lights at Holy Family on over the weekend…I saw it too! However, mass was letting out at that time. Kids dressed up in their Sunday’s best chasing each other in front of the church. Ironically enough, my wife and I commented on how that was very nice of the city to turn on the traffic lights for mass.

    If slowing down is causing a delay in your day, then you are doing too much. If you’re late to get somewhere, sorry, no sympathy from me, that’s your fault too, not the children going to and from school.

  • Marco June 12, 2013 (11:39 am)

    Also reported on KUOW now

  • steve June 12, 2013 (3:00 pm)

    I don’t get all the complaining either. Big deal you have to slow down. One of my kids routinely goes to school 30-45 minutes early because she’s one of those nerds that actually likes school and likes to get her act together and maybe visit frends before class starts. She also participates in after school sports and is on school grounds until 4:45. My other child also goes to school quite early and stays late for activities on occasion. Obviously, we are not alone having kids being at school at odd hours. Get over yourselves.

  • Danny June 12, 2013 (8:03 pm)

    Please everyone! Make sure to keep your eyes on the speedometer and NOT on the streets!! Oops, you hit a kid while trying to make sure your car didn’t hit 21 MPH? Well that’s just in the name of safety!!

    Seriously, defense of these cameras is a complete breakdown of logical comprehension.

  • Danny Del Rio June 12, 2013 (11:54 pm)

    I have seen the lights on at Holy Family at 11pm more times than I can count.

  • Pixie B June 13, 2013 (7:23 pm)

    When Kids are present means when you see kids on the playfield, the sidewalk, or anywhere near a school zone.
    As a former T.A. in Seattle Public schools, I arrived to school as early as 7 am to tutor a child. I have left a school as late as 5 P.m. for after school activities. My own High school children had to be at school by 7:40 am. Anything can happen around a school: Playground balls were kicked over the fence and a child decides to fetch it instead of asking an adult. We teachers and assistants at the schools, as well as the parents teach safety to our children when going to and from school.
    As a driver, I would rather err on the side of caution and slow down than take a risk because “No children were seen” in a school zone. We cannot predict what children will do – they are children. We CAN control our driving with out distractions and follow the rules of the road — including SCHOOL ZONES.

  • Tate Matson June 15, 2013 (3:40 am)

    FYI–photo enforced(speed trap) tickets do not go on your permanent driving record and they cannot be used against by insurance companies, etc. Since no police officer actually in person sited you the driver. Also, there was a article in the seattle times recently about a guy who got tickets from each and every camera enforced intersection in seattle and he got off without paying any fines–he is against them btw–anyway the state law is very specific–if you the owner of the vehicle state you were not driving the car during the infraction and you use your constitutional right to remain silent on who was driving the vehicle they must throw the ticket. I think people should drive slow around schools but I have noticed that none of the schools in the “rich white areas are getting cameras” ps–I am a white guy I just think the city of seattle’s talk about diversity is such bull since they put these cameras in areas where mainly lower middle (Roxbury) and Rainer and MLK, I was on Queen Anne recently and I drove past 2 elementary schools both were next to highly congested roads with me included going 30 to 35mph(no kids were present) why no cameras there? what about Madison park? Laurelhurst?

  • enviromaven June 16, 2013 (12:03 pm)

    I drove through the Gatewood school zone on Fauntleroy recently, and slowed when I saw the flashing yellow lights. I think I was doing around 25mph – with no kids in sight – when I noticed a photo flash behind me. So far, no ticket, but I’m bracing myself. I live on 35th near the sites of at least two fatalities, and I hear people speeding by regularly. If the city is so concerned about safety and/or revenue they need to put the cameras there as well.

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