City Hall victim in Admiral accident

The P-I says the man hit, and very seriously hurt, while crossing at 47th & Admiral yesterday morning is Tatsuo Nakata, chief of staff for city council member David Della. According to an e-mail discussion on the Alki Yahoo! group, there was a petition drive just a few months ago for a light at that very spot. UPDATE: As two comments point out, it was announced this morning that Mr. Nakata has died of his injuries.

19 Replies to "City Hall victim in Admiral accident"

  • Melissa November 15, 2006 (9:35 am)

    He has since died. I’m beginning to think we need speed traps all over West Seattle and public service campaign that’s more effective than those goofy yellow signs I’ve seen on some roadways.

  • Nic November 15, 2006 (9:39 am)

    The newest PI update is that Tatsuo Nakata has died… and now, this morning a small boy was hit in a cross walk on his way to school, thankfully, this sounds less serious.

    link :

  • Robert November 15, 2006 (3:19 pm)

    Drivers on Admiral and California – WHAT exactly is the f’ing hurry? And put down that cell phone!

  • Mike November 15, 2006 (4:44 pm)

    I am so sick of these tragic pedestrian car accidents and near accidents. I still cannot believe the Heralds story about the major a__h__es that won’t stop for the senior citizen in the Admiral District.

    It is way past time for a City wide major crackdown by SPD on anyone going more than 5mph over the posted limit.

    The nicey-nicey people of Seattle are nothing but passive agressive jerks when they have an engine in front of them.

  • Kate November 15, 2006 (6:49 pm)

    If you would like to join me, I will be at the Alki Mail and Dispatch tomorrow, 11/16, at 7AM to once again march with signs up and down Admiral Way. I was out there today with a concerned citizen from 7:30AM-11AM raising awareness about driving behavior and pedestrian safety. I would also like to organize a vigil for Mr. Nakata. I did not know him, but as far as I am concerned, we are all Mr. Nakata, every time we walk down the street and cross at the marked crosswalks. I have been fed up with irresponsible, and frankly reckless, driving in our community. We must all look out for one another, as we are neighbors here. This does not only concern the welfare of pedestrians, but that of drivers as well. I would like for us to come together as a community to figure out a positive direction for this issue. We must consider this when driving: is our destination more important than a human life? Is the phone conversation more important than the responsibility we have conducting a massive vehicle? I believe it is time for all of us to open our eyes, raise our voices and work together. There is a petition at the ALki Mail and Dispatch pertaining to a traffic light installation.
    I hope to see some people join me there tomorrow AM. I have taken off work for the effort, as it is very important to all of us!!
    Thanks for reading this!

  • Jiggers November 15, 2006 (7:45 pm)

    Drivers don’t give a damn about pedestrians even when they are in the middle of a legal crosswalk. I almost got hit by merely inches at the Morgan Junction crossing Starbucks to the Corner Inn side. The driver did what is called a California roll and didn’t even stop. I was so pissed off they were too scared to stop and get out after I gave them the finger.

  • The House November 15, 2006 (8:42 pm)

    I agree that too many drivers are completely wreckless. I personaly have had experiences at The Junction when drivers don’t yield right of way to my wife, son and I. The question that I must ask is why haven’t I been hit my a car? The reason is that I pay complete attention to traffic when I cross the road. All too often pedestrians ASSUME that everyone will stop and either look down at the road or look straight ahead.

    It truly is a shame that 3 people have been hit by cars in the past 24 hours, but it’s truly up to both groups to pay attention. Call it my Libertarian point of view, but I don’t see any need to spend more tax dollars on something that is solved by personaly accountability/paying attention.

  • Mike November 15, 2006 (9:17 pm)

    To: The House – 8:42 pm

    There is no valid political stance on this issue so please don’t muddy the waters by talking about personal accountability or other such nonsense.

    We clearly have a problem where drivers across the entire city are driving way to fast while talking on the phone, and not paying attention to the fact that one screw up at their high rate of speed is going to lead to a real sad ending.

    There are many, many streets in the city that lack a sidewalk so one must walk in the street or roadbed to take a stroll or walk to-and-from the bus stop. Take my street, 23rd Ave SW, which is just East of Delridge Way. It has NO sidewalk, is only 14′ wide and is designated for travel in both directions. So, what am I to do as I walk home in the dark with speeding cars coming at me from both ends? Do I mount a rear view mirror to my skull? One can only look over ones shoulder so often, and the numb-nuts in their speeding cars sneak up very quickly.

    It took an entire year of wrangling with SDOT for them to acknowledge that we had a serious safety problem that needed attention and correction.

  • Eric November 15, 2006 (9:59 pm)

    house –

    As tragic as the incedent was – and clearly, peds have the right of way – I can’t agree with your more. How much are we spending on the stupid raised crosswalks in the junction?

    I am not making any assumptions about the person killed today, but in my experience, it seems that peds and bicycles typically go around inattentively with the assumption that everyone else is paying attention.

    It’s not unlike riding a motorcycle – sure, you have the right to be on the road too, but if you want to survive, you need to pay much more attention than the average driver. While it isn’t legally your responsibilty to make sure some idiot doesn’t change lanes without looking, it is YOUR life that depends on you being alert.

  • Duke November 15, 2006 (11:45 pm)

    Just a couple of comments –
    (1) Personal responsibility doesn’t seem like non-
    sense to me
    (2) Driving and cellphone use absolutely don’t
    mix. I had to brake to allow a car to change
    lanes in front of me earlier this week. The
    driver had his hand – with cellphone – to his
    left ear, blocking his own vision and making
    him completely oblivious to my presence.
    (3) That crosswalk on Admiral way and 47th is a
    bad one. The bend on Admiral Way there means
    that westbound drivers often don’t see the
    crosswalk until the last minute. Also, the
    crosswalk sign overhead is not a lit one, so
    it’s not that visible in the early morning
    or evening semi-darkness. Finally, early
    glare from the rising sun can blind
    eastbound drivers coming up Admiral Way in
    morning. All of these points mean drivers
    have to be more careful, and pedestrians have
    to be aware too.

  • The House November 16, 2006 (12:20 am)

    Mike, I’m sorry you thought I was attempting to muddy the water. I have a perfect solution for your issue on 23rd Ave. Rather than risk your life walking, why don’t you use the bus that my tax dollars pay for? If that doesn’t work perhaps you can walk down a different road that does have sidewalks and then cut across to your street? Just remember, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to!

  • Mike November 16, 2006 (6:02 am)


    The only pedestrian route to my #120 and #125 bus stops is via the equivalent of a two block distance of my, and your tax dollar paid for 14′ wide, sidewalk-less street. There are NO other optional routes.

    There are many streets in Seattle that are not like those in the Admiral or Junction districts where the streets are laid out in a straight, grid fashion with grade or parking strip separated sidewalks.

    BTW – Should one not be able to walk from ones home or apartment to area parks, trails and greenspaces without risking life or injury? Should we automatically jump in our car, if one even owns one, to drive to said parks to obtain fresh air and clear ones head and perhaps achieve some exercise? Does not this jump-in-the-car mindset create even more of our insane traffic? Do you not enjoy a pleasant stroll?

  • Eric November 16, 2006 (7:59 am)


    You make it sound like you are walking out on the track at the Indy 500… a little overly dramatic, don’t you think?

    23rd is one block east of Delridge. How about walking along Delridge – there’s plenty of sidewalk there.

  • The House November 16, 2006 (8:32 am)

    You absolutely should be able to stroll around your neighborhood and if that is something that is important to you (and it is to me), then why wasn’t that considered when you bought or rented the property? Using your logic it’s acceptable to purchase a vehicle without 4 wheel drive, take it to the pass and when it causes you to crash write the dealership and the Public Saftey Commission about how the car should be changed. It’s apparent that your desires are good for the community and that should be commended, but it is equally apparent that you don’t value personal responsibility or accountability. I only hope that you take my advice (or Duke’s or Eric’s) and pay close attention to the road when you’re walking!! Good luck!

    Oh, and thank you WS Blogger for providing a place for all of the West Seattle witty banter!

  • Hills November 16, 2006 (10:33 am)

    I live 100 feet from the Hinds/California crosswalk where the boy was hit. I saw the police cars that morning, wondered what happened…turns out I was not surprised to read that someone was hit. It’s a huge risk crossing there. Drivers just DON’T pay attention. I make (glaring) eye contact with the drivers as they pass….it astounds me that they are so cavalier about the rules. Being an often-pedestrian has made me a better driver, no question.
    Please, take care. Pay attention.

  • Kate November 16, 2006 (11:43 am)

    Day 2 of picketing on Admiral. I am receiving positive feedback from the community, especially those who live directly between 46th Ave. and 56th Ave. I am also receiving some media coverage for efforts–KOMO 4 and Q13.

    It is my intention to send a positive message, rather than let this issue descend into ineffective wrangling, resulting in an us vs. them stance. As an educator at the University and high school level, I am completely for open discourse, which often does include disagreement and dissention. However, it is imperative that we send a message of cooperation and awareness.

    We do not function in a vacuum–our actions have an impact on others, whether we are walking, or driving, or riding our bikes. Pedestrians and bicyclists bear a great responsibility, this is true. Likewise, drivers bear an equally great responsibility when they decide to operate a powerful vehicle. Personally, I believe that talking on a cell phone while driving compromises that responsibility. Talking on my cell phone while crossing a street also compromises my safety, which is why I do not engage in the behavior.

    Whether we decide to walk, ride the bus, or drive, in all cases we will encounter a road area, an intersection, along which or through which we will need to walk; We also need to remember that for some people, walking is not a CHOICE or a decision to get some exercise– it may be an individual’s mode of transportation in combination with a bus. As a bus rider, I have to cross a very dangerous crosswalk and I make certain that all lanes are stopped 3 cars deep before I progress.

    There’s no excuse for reckless walking, biking, or driving. Remember, it is a STATE LAW that drivers must stop for pedestrians in crosswalk. If we drive ADMIRAL WAY every day, we know that major crosswalks will come up ahead–these crosswalks really should not be a suprise to residents. It is important that ALL crosswalks and roadways are safe and highly visible, though. And that is where analysis and help from city officials come in.

    In closing, my intention is to initiate what is called “Action Learning” a concept based on the work of famous educator Paolo Friere, and reinforced by many media literacy educators.

    Action Learning, or “the empowerment cycle” includes 4 steps: Awareness, Analysis, Reflection and Action. I am taking action to raise awareness about many levels of this issue here on Admiral Way; it is my hope that law officials and other people in power, with the help of a citizen task force, will do their part to analyze the situation and reflect upon various options for the 47th and Admiral Way crosswalk and beyond, ultimately resulting in positive action that will benefit all of our SAFETY.

    Thanks for reading this– and if you would like to be part of the action and awareness raising, come to Alki Mail & Dispatch in the mornings, 7-10, grab a sign, help people cross the street, and help drivers pull out of dangerous arterials!!! Volunteers would be greatly appreciated, as I must go back to work in the morning! If you would like to take more action, or brainstorm with me, please leave your information at Alki Mail & Dispatch, and I will contact you!

    take care and enjoy this SUN!!!

  • Robert November 17, 2006 (9:08 am)

    I know it sounds corny, but I think the use of hand signals could be very effective in crosswalks. When you are about to cross you put out your arm in that “stop” signal and you pause a moment to verify the drivers understand. Then you cross. As much as I get pissed at drivers would don’t respect crosswalks, as a driver I’m frustrated by cross walk users who don’t provide go “UI” that says “I’m about to cross”.

  • gretchen November 17, 2006 (1:47 pm)


    I am very upset that a young gentleman’s life was taken away recently after being hit by a car. I, myself, was hit by a car in January crossing a crosswalk as a pedestrian. I live just off Admiral Way and see cars speeding up and down Admiral Way all the time. Last May, one of these cars killed our precious cat. gretchen

  • Mike November 18, 2006 (9:49 am)

    When walking to-and-fro in my neighborhood I use a armband light such as this when the dark days of fall and winter are upon us:

    I also have one of these in my pocket for ready use:

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