Memorial walk planned for pedestrian killed at 35th/Graham

January 9, 2014 at 10:30 pm | In High Point, Safety, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

(December 29th photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
69-year-old James R. St. Clair, hit and killed while crossing 35th SW at SW Graham on December 29th, was the fifth person in seven years to die along what some call “I-35.” Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and local safety advocates are organizing a Memorial Walk as a tribute to Mr. St. Clair and a reminder that 35th still has its dangers. Cathy Tuttle from SNG is working with High Point reps to plan the event, most likely for the weekend of January 18-19. It will likely begin with a memorial gathering at the collision site, followed by a walk to a meeting place in High Point for lunch and a meeting with city officials to talk about the ongoing concerns.

We haven’t learned much about Mr. St. Clair since the crash, but Tuttle’s group says they found out he had moved to High Point from elsewhere in the city a short time before his death, so he hadn’t yet formed many connections here. They would like to invite family and friends to participate in the memorial walk; SNG’s contact info is here. We’ll publish an update when the event’s date and time are finalized.

8 Comments

  1. There is a solution to the dangers of “I-35.”…
    Change it to the same set up as California ave…
    1 x lane each way.
    Hearty center lane.
    Fat bike lane.
    Street car parking…

    This will solve the problem…

    Comment by Debbie — 10:18 am January 10, 2014 #

  2. @Debbie: YES PLEASE!

    The whole reason you even need two lanes each way on that road is in situations where the left-most lane is blocked by someone who is trying to make a lefthand turn at an unprotected intersection.

    By having two lanes each way, the city is encouraging the behavior we see on 35th every day where people jockey for 1st place in their unending race to the next stop light.

    Comment by Brian — 11:27 am January 10, 2014 #

  3. This is a nice way to honor Mr. St. Clair.

    Comment by Morgan — 12:47 pm January 10, 2014 #

  4. Remember the elderly woman killed while crossing California at Dawson St, by the Rite-Aid? Channeling traffic didn’t save her then, and channeling traffic on 35th won’t solve the problem because traffic volumes always find the path of least resistance. It could be argued channeling Delridge and California has driven more and more traffic to 35th to the detriment of Mr St Clair and others. A far better alternative is making 35th safer (lighting, speed reduction, more police enforcing the law) and consistently punishing violators.

    Comment by Furor Scribendi — 1:48 pm January 10, 2014 #

  5. Two words:
    .
    Speed Radar
    .
    Most folks will slow down, and the dummies who don’t will fill the city coffers.
    .
    Sounds like a ‘win-win’ to me.

    Comment by Citizen Sane — 3:09 pm January 10, 2014 #

  6. @Furor Scribendi: I disagree. Drivers exceeding the speed limit are the chief cause of endangerment to pedestrians, cyclists and other motorized vehicle drivers. Reaction time is less and impact is more deadly in case of an accident. During times of high traffic a road diet enforces compliance with the speed limit, and frees our police force resources to fight other crimes besides scofflaw speeding. I would like to know what you think the downside to a road diet on 35th would be? Less place to park your car in a traffic jam? Because in times when the bridge is not causing a huge backup, traffic would keep flowing at a steady rate closer to the legal speed. And in a traffic backup, it just means your car sits in a different place. Most likely 35th would remain 4 lane near the big junctions such as Alaska, Avalon, and Fauntleroy, just as California is still 4 lane at Alaska. I have a hard time buying your argument that 35th is more dangerous because people go out of their way to use it instead of Delridge and California.

    Comment by Kathy — 3:44 pm January 10, 2014 #

  7. (I’ve probably have mentioned this a zillion times on WSB and will continue to do so…)

    The most dangerous thing about 35th is the bad quality of the road. I almost hit a person suddenly getting out of a parked car while trying to avoid damage from a badly resurfaced utility cut (which still exists despite SDOT “fixing” it on Ida/35th). I constantly have to scan for the road surface instead of safely looking further ahead for pedestrians. On the hill between Morgan and Myrtle, you can barely use the inner lanes due to ruts and potholes. In low traffic you can risk driving (for some sanity) like the 21 metro bus occupying the smooth halves of both lanes.

    California is a thoroughly ill-designed road diet. It endangers cyclists from exiting parkers. Parking cars and Buses that don’t pull over completely add to the drivers getting frustrated and navigate using the turning lane. Please don’t replicate the horrible design onto 35th which is the only leftover high bandwidth arterial that makes navigating the peninsula sane.

    IMHO, the extra lanes add room to avoid a jaywalker or other obstacles (did I mention potholes and ruts already?)

    Fix the surface, lane markings, lighting and add a speed radar if you must. The existing ones by Camp Long doesn’t work as far as I can tell. Please don’t reduce precious road capacity.

    Comment by wsn00b — 6:08 pm January 10, 2014 #

  8. The road diet hasn’t helped much on Fauntleroy.
    Twice while crossing in the crosswalk on Juneau St & Fauntleroy I’ve come within inches of being hit. Both times the cars in each direction had stopped and then someone deceided to go around the stopped traffic in the bike lane. I only cross now at intersections with traffic signals.

    Comment by pixie — 6:27 pm January 10, 2014 #

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