West Seattle, Washington
The Times writes up the city announcements we mentioned last night; the P-I focuses on Tatsuo Nakata’s short but full life in one story, then gets into the new pedestrian-safety emphasis in another.
I use that crosswalk several times a week at my peril. I signed the ignored-petition for a safer crosswalk a while back at Alki Mail & Dispatch, let’s hope something positive happens very soon.
On a similar note, I also drive down that hill from time to time and feel I must bring up the point that this particular crosswalk is poorly located. Anything in the road that is *downhill and to the left* is in the driver’s blind-spot – the stanchion that separates the car’s windshield and the front door creates a huge blind spot in a lot of cars. Add this blind spot to a speed-inducing downhill road-camber and extra-curricula activities such as cellphone conversations, text messaging and the usual 10mph above the speed limit, it’s no surprise that this crosswalk was an accident waiting to happen.
On another note. I would like to know which brain surgeon came up with the new crosswalk on California, next to the Yen Wor Chinese restaurant. People that don’t frequent that area may think, cool… a crosswalk. But as soon as i saw this latest crosswalk being painted I pictured a scenario that only took a week or two for me to witness – this time there thankfully wasn’t a tragedy, only a near miss. Picture this: I’m heading north on California, a lumbering SUV slowly stops outside the Admiral Pub without using turn signals, double parked, which a lot of cars do in this area, they may be waiting to park, waiting to make a U-turn or just double-parked at their leisure. A few yards further north In front of the SUV is the newly painted crosswalk. I stop behind the SUV, I see the SUV is waiting for a parked car to leave its spot outside the Yen Wor/Admiral Pub. The parked car is struggling to get out because it’s a tight parking spot – back and forth, reverse lights on, off, on, off etc. Finally, the parked car noses out and it’s at this point an impatient driver behind me (who doesn’t even think there may be a reason for this minor backup) zooms past to get around everyone, nearly crashes into the leaving car, swerves to avoid everything; and I estimated that the errant driver never even noticed the crosswalk because they were travelling about 30mph. Had there been someone in the crosswalk, taking advantage of the stopped traffic… who knows what would have happened. Because of the makup of the Admiral neighborbood, I don’t think this will be an isolated incident.
The other impatient driving event at this location that happens more frequently are cars coming out of the narrow street on the north side of the Yen Wor to make a left, to go south on California, hoping to secure a much-coveted, close to the restaurant parking space. A lot of drivers use this street as a short cut after coming up the Admiral Hill, and quite often come out of that side street in a very unsafe manner.
Doesn’t it seem a bit unwelcome that we have cops everywhere with minature speed counters and almost none of us really are over the speed limit?
Most of us aren’t someone who would usually drive fast enough to hit someone at a crosswalk, although we should be a bit more careful.
I was a customer of Alki Mail and Dispatch before they moved to 47th & Admiral. I don’t use them anymore becaue it means having to cross the street in that dangerous crosswalk to get back on the bus. It’s not worth it.
Sorry, comment time is over.