4:47 PM: This has long been in the works, and the official announcement is just in from SDOT:
On Tuesday, December 20, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will lower the speed limit on Delridge Way SW as part of the city’s Vision Zero initiative to enhance transportation safety and save lives. Reducing the posted speed limit improves safety for everyone; especially people walking and biking.
The speed limit will be changed to 30 mph for a 3.5-mile stretch of Delridge Way SW between SW Henderson Street and the West Seattle Bridge. The speed limit is currently 35 mph on this segment of Delridge despite mainly single family homes and the presence of parks and schools adjacent to the corridor. This change will create a consistent 30 mph speed limit for the entire Delridge corridor.
Data collected on this section of Delridge shows most drivers are currently driving slower than the existing 35 mph speed limit. In fact, the 85th percentile speed at SW Trenton Street has been measured at exactly 30 mph so this should not be a significant change for people that drive this roadway often. The speed limit change will help reduce the likelihood and severity of collisions. This is especially true for vulnerable users like pedestrians since lower speeds significantly increase the survivability of crashes.
“The Delridge speed limit adjustment will help enhance safety on this corridor where more than 300 crashes have occurred in the last three years resulting in 148 injuries, six serious injuries and one death,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “These changes will significantly help people walking and biking to schools, parks, transit and other destinations.”
Travelers on Delridge Way SW can expect to see new speed limit signs installed this week. SDOT will also deploy the Speed Watch Trailer to the corridor to provide feedback to drivers about their speed and highlight the new speed limit.
ADDED 5:49 PM: Some background links – the original announcement (now linked in the introductory line at the start of this story) was in February 2015, and even in November 2015, SDOT was saying it still hoped to implement the reduction by the end of that year. Last time we checked was this past September, when SDOT’s Jim Curtin said it would happen by year’s end, and mentioned some other features: “… edge lines, flexible posts for the existing bike lanes in the vicinity of SW Orchard St, and enhancing the existing crosswalk at SW Juneau Street with rapid flashing beacons (the work at Juneau may not occur until early 2017 due to equipment supply issues).” We’ve seen the posts by Orchard, but will be checking in on the other two (and if you see crews installing signs later this week, please let us know – we’ll be looking, too).