School Road Safety Plan: 1st West Seattle discussion

Tuesday night at Southwest Branch Library, a handful of community members met with SDOT reps and consultants to brainstorm the city’s in-the-works School Road Safety Plan for next year and beyond. Whatever emerges in the future plan will get funding from the city’s increasing arsenal of school-zone speed cameras, noted SDOT’s Jim Curtin, who recapped the pre-existing plan to add two more in West Seattle this fall, both on Roxbury, near Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School. The plan remains to have them in place by September, with a monthlong grace period and ticketing starting in October. Those are two of five to be added at schools around the city this year, joining 4 in place, 1 of those in West Seattle, on Fauntleroy by Gatewood Elementary (existing cameras are in black on the SDOT map below, with the next round of additions in blue):

More than a dozen additional ones are expected around the city next year, Curtin said, with 60 schools being studied right now. The camera revenue has to go to school-safety improvements by order of the City Council.

The consultants at the meeting were from Toole Design Group, which is working with SDOT on the plan. They explained that this is in the opinion-gathering stage, and collected reaction to some possible plan components including traffic calming and different types of crosswalk signals. They promised more meetings in West Seattle; tonight’s attendees suggested one of those meetings be held on a weekend so that people with school-age children might be more likely to attend.

3 Replies to "School Road Safety Plan: 1st West Seattle discussion"

  • Heads Up on MLK Way May 21, 2014 (8:19 am)

    Few will see this, but note that MLK Way camera for Thurgood Marshall does not end until 5:10 PM.

    That is the latest hrs. of operation for any of the schools, so lest you assume that it is turned off at around 3:30 pm as WS schools are and/or happen to have your view of signage/lights blocked by a semi-truck in evening rush hour traffic, as I did, you are going to get snagged. The variation in hours is fine, but the late hour of MLK Way’s camera is in commute time and traffic can and does block the visibility of the sign. Kids are more important, obviously, but I contested that $189 ticket. I was going 1 mile over the 30 at about 5:00 PM.

    Damn straight there is going to be plenty of revenue for more and similar lights.

  • OffTheCOunterbalance May 21, 2014 (10:06 am)

    I hate these cameras. Or at least the one at Gatewood, which is pretty much superfluous. It extends 1 tiny block at an intersection that few of the kids use, and runs at weird times. I often see kids playing on the playground in the corner and the lights are not flashing but when it is apparently time for school to be out, it is flashing but I see almost no kids. $185 is an extreme penalty, especially when they can’t even bother to put a real officer there on the corner.

    Oh well, it is easy as hell to contest the tickets, the cameras cannot legally capture your face, so all you have do is plead that you were not driving and then protest the fact that you don’t want to incriminate another.

    Honestly, it is all just an elaborate song and dance, wherein they hope someone is rich enough and stupid enough to just sign off in the ticket and not contest. It doesn’t even go on your record so they literally don’t care enough to do more than dip into your pocket.

  • zark May 21, 2014 (11:03 am)

    The point is to get you to pay more attention and stop speeding through school zones. If you got a ticket, you did exactly what we don’t want you to do. Now you’re thinking about it, probably won’t speed by the schools again, and are even warning others to also be cautious near Thurgood and Gatewood – So the system worked.

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