Admiral acceleration agitation

We have discussed this in fits and spurts from time to time but in recent days, two separate e-mails have come in, questioning the rationale for the 30 mph speed limit along the Admiral slope north of The Bridge. Our answer to both has been “it’s a low speed limit because of the houses on the east side of Admiral” but perhaps someone in WSB-land can address the situation more specifically. In the latest e-mail, WSB reader Kelly writes:

[My question] relates to the 30mph speed limit on Admiral Way to and from the bridge. Currently, we have a contractor working on a remodel of our bathroom and he received a $200 ticket on his way to our house the other day. I’m aware that this stretch of road is a notorious speed trap, but I’m wondering if anyone knows why the speed limit is only 30 mph? Was it previously higher?

It just doesn’t make sense to me. There are no cross-streets, cross-walks or any dangerous obstacles that I’m aware of. 30 mph seems absolutely ridiculous. It’s next to impossible to even keep a car at that speed limit going down the hill without riding the brakes the entire way (if you have an automatic).

Does anybody know of a legitimate reason for the 30 mph speed limit (besides being a cash-cow for the city)?

All opinions, facts, and memories welcome in comments.

63 Replies to "Admiral acceleration agitation"

  • carraignasplinkeen October 25, 2007 (12:14 pm)

    I recall an explanation some time ago in the PI’s weekly transportation column “Getting There” but I could not find it through a quick search. Perhaps it’s time to send the question in again?
    The number and email listed for the weekly Q&A are 206-448-8099 or e-mail
    It’s a fact that to drive the posted 30 mph limit down the hill towards the bridge, one has to either ride the brakes or keep in low gears (we have a manual so that’s what I do).

  • IsleWrite October 25, 2007 (12:26 pm)

    I welcome that limit. I am so tired of people flying up and down the hills, both on the city side and on the Alki side. I deliberately stay to the right and have been known to pull over when someone’s riding my ass. I’m especially delighted when they pass me by and then run into a speed trap. I always grin and give the cops the thumbs up.

    There’s no need for anyone to be in that big of a hurry. Plan ahead and leave the house a few minutes earlier, and quit flailing your arms and mouthing obscenities, you losers.

  • David October 25, 2007 (12:55 pm)

    It WAS 35mph (therefore most people went about 40mph) just a year ago. When they lowered the speed limit they put some red ‘flags’ on the speed limit signs so folks would notice the change.

    It IS odd though, that they went out of their way last year and also REMOVED the one unlighted cross walk that used to be half way down Admiral, and then ALSO lowered the speed limit…like you say, on a hill so steep that you must stand on your brakes most of the way down. It does seem 40mph would be a realist speed…with 30mph at the top 20% as you approach the turn (and little park up there).

  • Meg October 25, 2007 (12:58 pm)

    Speaking of qusetions about traffic…does anyone know why the bridges carpool lane is only for buses?

  • RobertSeattle October 25, 2007 (1:01 pm)

    The downhill portion of Admiral is pretty wide – I’d like to see a divider put in (like in the upper area), THEN adjust the speed limit back to 35 mph.

    It’s not just the hill that causes speeding – most drivers are over 30mph even before the downhill portion.

  • JT October 25, 2007 (1:12 pm)

    Like the cop told me when I got my first ticket. Signage is NOT just decoration the city puts on the side of the road. They are information that is very helpful in keeping you from getting your next ticket…

  • Sarah October 25, 2007 (1:15 pm)

    The bus lane is on the bridge so that those of us who choose to utilize public transportation can get to our destination in a timely manner. It is not a carpool lane (although some choose to treat it as one). If it were converted into a carpool lane, it would always be clogged with people racing up it only to slam to a stop to cut off the line of cars waiting to get onto 99. People are always doing that anyway, and I’ve been on the bus a few times when it has had to screech to a halt because some idiot with no concept of a bus’s stopping distance chooses to cut into the “buses only” lane.

  • flowerpetal October 25, 2007 (1:29 pm)

    Geez, seems to me if someone got a $200 ticket for speeding, he must’ve been going pretty fast! I have little sympathy for that ticket-holder. I imagine it is difficult for people living on the incline to get into traffic; not to mention bicyclist climbing the hill. If you are driving 30 mph from the bridge to Cali. Ave and if another is driving 45 mph, the same distance; the difference in time is only a matter of seconds. Its not like anyone is on a long road trip at that stretch, so just slow down; you’ll get to your house, or the Admiral Theater, or one of the Admiral District’s fine restaurants soon enough.

  • Kayleigh October 25, 2007 (1:29 pm)

    Does anybody know of a legitimate benefit in going 45 MPH down a hill in a residential area?

    “I get where I’m going 4.2 seconds faster” is not a legitimate benefit in my book. Jeez…just slow down.

  • Addie October 25, 2007 (1:42 pm)

    I was headed east on Admiral Way last year right around daylight savings time when a car headed west on Admiral Way (right around where the crosswalk used to be) crossed the center line and hit the car in front of me head on. I am not sure that the person in the car that crossed over the line survived because he did not have airbags. It was not too many weeks later that the speed limit changed to 30 miles an hour. I have always assumed that was one of the contributing factors to the speed limit change. I agree that it is one of those roadways that should have a center barrier.

  • Al October 25, 2007 (1:45 pm)

    Yes, the bus lane is there for the benefit of transit, so those of us who use mass transit can actually benefit from it for once. See page 2 of linked document
    Also, Metro seems to waffle between telling bus drivers to use/not use the lane because auto drivers sometimes complain about the merging buses (in spite of their right to merge) slowing them down. If your bus driver doesn’t use the bus lane, complain to Metro. I’ve been stuck on a bus that doesn’t use that lane in rush hour and it’s painful.

  • Christopher Boffoli October 25, 2007 (1:50 pm)

    I’d be curious to see what the “official” response to this would be. Obviously, in terms of road engineering the lanes can handle higher speeds. But even at 50 or 60mph down that hill the amount of time you are shaving off your trip over going 30mph is fractional. I can’t recall off the top of my head, but are cars able to make left turns from that stretch of road onto the side streets? If so, the nature of that downhill and the double lanes has a tendency to make people want to speed. Whether it is for actual safety or a conspiracy to ring up fines remains to be seen.

  • RobertSeattle October 25, 2007 (1:51 pm)

    Exactly how much over the speed limit was the guy doing? Not sure if the city and the State Patrol have the same rates, but here the state code:

    Speeding if speed limit is 40 m.p.h. or less
    1 5 m.p.h. over limit $113.00
    6 10 m.p.h. over limit $124.00
    11 15 m.p.h. over limit $154.00
    16 20 m.p.h. over limit $195.00
    21 25 m.p.h. over limit $247.00
    26 30 m.p.h. over limit $298.00
    31 35 m.p.h. over limit $349.00
    Over 35 m.p.h. over limit $411.00

  • Diane October 25, 2007 (2:25 pm)

    Personally, I find the speed limit on Admiral ridiculous. How can that street require the same speed as Genessee that runs right past an elementary school (Pathfinder) and has roads intersecting the whole length?

  • V Bar October 25, 2007 (2:33 pm)

    Islewrite and flowerpetal, I completely agree with you two. If everyone would chill out and slow down, there would be a lot less wrecks out there. Nothing is worth injuring yourself or anyone else because you “have to be somewhere right now” – driving too close to someone because you are in a hurry is not only stupid and dangerous but just plain inconsiderate so – slow down and take it a little easier everyone!

  • Amy October 25, 2007 (2:42 pm)

    In my opinion, the city reduced the speed limit in order to enforce the 30 mph speed limit with speed traps. I lived on Queen Anne Hill which is cluttered with residential buildings where the speed limit is 30 mph but there are never cops there. It’s MUCH more dangerous for pedestrians and other drivers there than Admiral Way. I am unsure why the city seems to think that Admiral Way is so dangerous that they require a reduced speed limit and several cops hiding out at the top and bottom of the hill to ticket people. It’s possible that the frustration of others that drive that route frequently lies from the speed traps, not the fact that they are in a hurry to get somewhere.

  • Michael October 25, 2007 (2:52 pm)

    It’s a cash generator, that’s for sure. With no crosswalks (or even houses or buildings on the West side of the road) until just before the park, there’s no reason for the speed to be under that of, say, 35th (which has houses on both sides and several intersections/crosswalks).

    People have generally slowed down when they get up to the actually populated portion of Admiral (the curve and left-turners help that happen).

    So, short answer: yes, used to be higher; no good reason for the change.

  • Mike2 October 25, 2007 (2:57 pm)

    No one ever said they needed to get somewhere fast. What I read is that they needed to ride their brakes in order to go that slow. So Anti-speeder people chill out.

    Realistically just because a hill is steep does not mean its safe to go faster. The city determined that the safe speed is 30mph. On the other hand I would expect cops to be more lenient with speeding tickets at that location.

  • Mickymse October 25, 2007 (3:05 pm)

    All I see is comments about going downhill. Y’all may have good points, but I’m wondering more about all the cars that fly past me at 15-20 mph over while driving UPhill…

  • me me October 25, 2007 (3:19 pm)

    I think it’s a bit of a stretch to call this a residential area. No cross streets, rarely a pedestrian or bike rider, the west side – most of it doesn’t have any homes on it, and the east side, most homes aren’t facing the street.

    I live on a street that gets a fair amount of traffic, has homes facing on it, is a hill, and has many cross streets, one lane each way, and it’s 30. That makes sense. This wide laned kinds-residential street doesn’t make sense being the same speed as my hill.

    And I don’t speed, and think it’s ridiculous too. It’s just HARD to go 30 on it. You ride the brakes the whole time, fearing a cop at any minute.

  • Jeff October 25, 2007 (3:29 pm)

    My own personal fantasy is that it be one lane each way instead of two, put up a median, bump up the speed limit a little. This way you could add proper turnouts at all the bus stops and stores once you get to the top. On the downhill, I’d say 95 percent of people are getting on the bridge anyway, so to have people getting over at the very bottom can be stressful (plus all the line-jumpers). I often wish the right lane was a big right-turn only lane to Avalon. That little bend at the top of the hill is suicidal, and you add to the mix one of the greatest viewpoints in all of Seattle that is downright dangerous to get into and out of.

  • Barbara October 25, 2007 (3:45 pm)

    I try to stick to 30mph sometimes I go a little over, but I ALWAYS have somebody riding me, then when they can they pass me at a much higher speed than I’m going, and I have seen a cop there probably since the beginning of summer (when they said that would be a high patrolled area) maybe only 5 times.

  • Officer Smedley October 25, 2007 (3:55 pm)

    Thank you, good citizens, for your feedback. I will be glad to represent your viewpoints at the next meeting of the City of Seattle Traffic Commission on November 15. Based on your feedback, effectively immediately the speed limit for all streets west of the West Seattle Bridge will be 10 mph.

    Also, watch out for the toe tappers at Westcrest Park.

  • villagegreen October 25, 2007 (4:00 pm)

    Amy and me me, you said it perfectly. I’m usually not in any great hurry when driving this stretch of road. My frustration comes from the speed traps and the fact that I have to fight my car the entire way down the hill in order to remain within the speed limit.

    Regarding the $200 ticket, the cop stated he clocked him at 46mph (although the driver says he was going around 40). I agree that 46 is a little fast, but come on – $200?! The constant speed traps on this road are a waste of cops’ time. There are much more dangerous offenses going on around the roadways of West Seattle, such as the running of red lights, cars not respecting bicyclists, those idiot motorcyclists doing 70mph wheelies across the bridge, etc.

  • m October 25, 2007 (4:04 pm)

    Where do the cops even sit? I have my eye out for them since it’s hard for me to drive 30 on that road. I’ve never seen one. since this post is generating lots of comments, a gentle reminder that it is very helpful for other drivers if headlights are used when it’s raining or even slightly dark outside. It makes cars easier to see. And slower drivers should stay to the right (kudos to IsleWrite- you must be the only person in Seattle who does that). Thanks!

  • Mickymse October 25, 2007 (4:19 pm)

    Yes, $200 for going 16 mph over the speed limit. That’s not getting distracted or having a heavy foot. That’s speeding…

    You know, like everyone does down 35th and on the Spokane Street Viaduct and West Seattle Bridge where everyone seems to ignore the posted speed limit signs as well.

  • me me October 25, 2007 (4:29 pm)

    One place there’s been a motorcycle cop is on the westbound side of the bridge in the mornings. I never get to see him pull someone over, which is too bad. I usually try and go about 50-55 on the bridge because it seems safer as if I went the posted speed, I’d incur way too much road rage in tailing and cutting off.

    Speaking of which, if you were to get pulled over on the bridge, where would you pull over? I ponder this frequently.

    But yeah, 30 on a non-residential very steep hill is not smart. I’m glad I don’t have to take this that often to get on the bridge as I’d probably have to get my brakes repaired twice as often.

  • Jeff October 25, 2007 (4:42 pm)

    Admiral only seems more dangerous if you stick to the right (especially uphill), and I don’t blame the slow moving vehicles that do drive on the left. If you drive in the right lane and need to get over, prepare to get boxed out by the convoy to your left. It’s the people moving really fast, not the people moving really slow, that are the problem with that street.

  • Gina October 25, 2007 (4:54 pm)

    The 30 mph speed limit is so that people can get a better look at all the vehicles for sale all along Admiral.

  • IsleWrite October 25, 2007 (5:10 pm)

    Thanks for the kudos, M. To me, the limit makes sense, especially when you examine the trouble people have sticking to it. Cops are not going to waste their time if you’re doing 35, especially if you’re with the traffic flow. I suspect that keeping it at 30 maintains the median speed between 35 and 40, which is reasonable. Bump the speed limit up, and the median speed will jump up accordingly.

    Here’s a fun test: Head west on Admiral, down the long hill from 49th, past Nantes Park. Just try making the sharp right turn onto Lander and then into a driveway along that street. I used to start signaling clear up by Nantes Park and hugging to the right, allowing people to go by. But invariably someone is on your buns as you make the turn. I can’t tell you the number of times cars “rode” me going down the Lander hill, seemingly oblivious to the fact the my blinker was on and I was slowing down to turn into a driveway. I could have made a bundle getting rear-ended by inattentive drivers.

    Along with speed, following distance is a huge concern of mine.

  • Lauren October 25, 2007 (5:19 pm)

    I live on a street that people use as a “shortcut” between fauntleroy and california, and I’ve been scheming to put in some DIY speedbumps. People go way too fast on most residential roads, and too slow on the freeways. Where is the just right? I agree that 30mph is a little slow, since most arterials are 35mph. It would be a better use of time to patrol the exit over to I5N from the Bridge, people are starting to cheat again….

  • MW October 25, 2007 (5:25 pm)

    I just had to post this…

    Facts and Statistics about Speed (from Britain, but I’m sure the numbers here are similar)

    Speeding and excessive speed causes thousands of serious accidents and injuries every year.

    Excessive speed contributes to 28% of collisions in which someone is killed, 18% of crashes resulting in a serious injury and 12% of all injury collisions. This means that around 1,000 people are killed each year on Britain’s roads because drivers and riders travel too fast, and over 6,000 are seriously injured.

    Approximately two-thirds of all crashes in which people are killed or injured happen on roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or less. At 35 mph a driver is twice as likely to kill someone as they are at 30 mph.

    Studies have shown the extent that the speed effects the risk of injury, and this is also shown in the simulator. Some key facts to note are that,

    Hit by a car at 20 mph, 1 out of 40 pedestrian will be killed, 97% will survive
    Hit by a car at 30 mph, 2 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed, 80% will survive
    Hit by a car at 35 mph, 5 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed, 50% will survive
    Hit by a car at 40 mph, 9 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed, 10% will survive

    And here’s an amazing statement from Hans Monderman about the psychology of travel:

    The psychology of travel
    What happens to me when I want to go from place A to place Z? Because I want to spend as little time as possible on the journey, I will use a vehicle. So first of all I subdue my social behaviour – unfocused movements are replaced by focused direct actions. Initially I move through an environment in which I resided just a minute ago. I am still inclined to adjust my traffic behaviour to the social behaviour of the other people, but the more my connection with the location decreases and time increases, this willingness reduces and I experience a greater urge to move quickly. Where possible, I look for infrastructure that facilitates this fast focused movement. For a short time, I am able and prepared to share the road with all types of slow traffic, but after that I really need to get on. Once I’m in the fast lane, I am first and foremost a driver, part of a technical traffic world with its own laws, almost completely divorced from the social world of real people. When I approach my journey’s destination, the process runs in reverse order.

    From here:

    What this says to me is that our local roads are increasingly being used as “on-ramps” for the faster areas of travel. Admiral, Fauntleroy, Avalon, etc. These are places for LIVING, not MOVING QUICKLY.

  • Max October 25, 2007 (5:37 pm)

    I drive this route twice each weekday. One good reason for the 30 mph limit is, ironically, that there are no crosswalks. That’s because there is a bus stop on the west side of Admiral, although the sidewalk is on the east side. Earlier this week, I saw an elderly woman crossing over to the stop in the shadowy early morning. I do not envy her trying to figure out the actual speeds of four lanes of cars to time her crossing.
    I try to drive 30, although I always have folks on my tail. More so at night than in the morning, which is probably why the traffic police tend to choose the evening for their visits. And I stay in the right lane as much as I can, but I have to turn left at the viewpoint at the crest of the hill. There are times when I have had to just keep driving past my turn, because there was no break in the fast-moving stream of cars passing me in the left lane.

  • Admiral Janeway October 25, 2007 (6:59 pm)

    Referring back to the first post on this thread, I also remember this question being asked in the Getting There column. I believe the response was the city’s desire to keep the speed limit at a consistent 30 mph all along Admiral Way.

  • Mike Dady October 25, 2007 (7:19 pm)

    In town recently to speak on The Boulevard Book: History, Evolution, Design of Multiway Boulevards, authors Allan B. Jacobs and Elizabeth Macdonald spoke of 30mph speed being the maximum reccomended speed for all city streets, no matter how many or how wide the lanes. Their reasoning was the same as MW’s posted stats from the United Kingdom, meaning anything over 30mph and the death rate for pedestrian vs. auto accidents climbs rapidly. I’d like to see everyone just chill out and slooooow-doooooown on all city streets. And while you are it it, put away the damn cell phones and onboard tee-vee’s. Life is short, you don’t want to have a dead pedestrian on your bumper haunting you, right?

    For the folks with automatic transmissions who have difficulty keeping their ride at the posted limit going downhill, all you need to do is move that little lever on the console or on your steering column to the next lowest gear and use your engine to provide braking just like a manual transmission allows. Read about it in your owners manual.

  • Erik October 25, 2007 (7:30 pm)

    Now you’re talkin Dady!

  • W.L. Quinn October 25, 2007 (8:23 pm)

    Seems to me there were a few bad speed related accidents (summer time Alki cruisers in rice burners and on crotch rockets, maybe…?) I remember that one of the lightposts at the Admiral lookout was knocked down and it wasn’t too long afterward that the speed limit was knocked down too…Just a case of the Man trying to protect us from our selves…

  • Diana October 25, 2007 (9:05 pm)

    I have lived on Admiral Way for 20 years. I have called 911 countless times to report horrific accidents caused by negligent drivers speeding in this residential zone. I, as well as my neighbors, have participated in rescues and have witnessed horrific crashes that were caused by speeding. Several people have died. Several of us at the crest of the Belvidere viewpoint have had tens of thousands of dollars in property damage due to vehicles careening out of control and smashing into our property. Admiral Way is a killing zone. I have been proactive, and will continue to be, in communicating with SPD to enforce the 30MPH speed limit. This arterial is poorly designed but it is what it is. Many of us can barely enter and exit our driveways because speeders are “on our tail.” Many of us no longer walk to the Admiral/California crossroads because it’s dangerous. Late in the evening, and on weekends, speeds in this area can exceed 50MPH. There is no excuse for exceeding the speed limit. There is no excuse for the lack of civility that violators bring to our community. For those of you who want to make our community a safer place to drive call SPD traffic enforcement at 684-8757. They’re a great team and they respond!

  • WSB October 25, 2007 (9:40 pm)

    Diana, glad to have someone in the discussion who actually lives on that stretch. Thanks for commenting. And thanks to everyone else, too – lots of interesting viewpoints and side notes in this thread.

  • villagegreen October 26, 2007 (12:43 am)

    Hey Mike Dady, you’re a genius! Thanks for the tip on checking out my car’s owners manual. That thing’s been sitting in my glove compartment for years and I’ve always wondered what it was for. Only problem, you’re helpful advice is a failure. Downshifting to 2nd gear still doesn’t keep my car at 30mph and 1st gear is too slow (and revs up the RPMs too high). Let’s get real – this is a city street, not a winding mountain road.

    I fear that the majority of respondents are missing the point. I’m in no way endorsing the crazy tailgaters and reckless drivers who make driving in Seattle such a hair-pulling experience. After 8 years of living here, I’ve come to accept the fact that Seattle has some of the worst drivers of any US city. Here’s a link to an article in the PI that made my day:

    I’m simply saying that 30mph for this stretch of road is ridiculous when compared with the speed limits of other similar streets in Seattle. If the idea of reducing the limit from 35 to 30 was to prevent drivers from automatically going 40, why not just leave the limit at 35 and start ticketing people going over 40?

    My original question was why the change from 35 to 30. Mostly what I’ve heard is stories about reckless drivers going way over the posted limit. It seems the logical answer would have been to start enforcing the 35mph limit and leave the rest of us law abiding citizens (and our burned out brake pads) alone. But I guess that option wouldn’t make the city any money.

  • Dale October 26, 2007 (8:32 am)

    Traffic moving at 45 MPH is less safe than traffic moving at 30 MPH, but the most dangerous condition is having some traffic moving at 30 MPH and some at 45+ MPH. On that section of Admiral Way, there are few psychological clues to give a sensation of speed so people are going faster than they perceive. Traffic could be slowed by changes in scenery (over both distance and time) or by installing across the lanes strips of small traffic turtles at the top and bottom of the hill with the distances between each strip getting closer together. Using ticketing as the sole method to slow down traffic is problematic because people tend to slow only when they see a cop then feel oppressed when they finally get a ticket.

    Going down Admiral, I use my brakes very little at 30 MPH because I start at 30 MPH and drop my automatic down one gear before picking up speed. I don’t know which causes more wear on the brakes, riding them lightly down the hill or picking up speed then slamming on the brakes at the bottom to make the turn.

  • me me October 26, 2007 (9:37 am)

    Really Diana? I had no idea Admiral produced so much carnage. I think “killing zone” is a wee bit over the top.

    Like I said before, I live at the base of a hill. But my hill has many pedestrians, no crosswalks, cars parked along the side of the road, lots of traffic, cross streets galore, one lane each way, and is actually residential – there are houses ON the street.

    Admiral has wide lanes, hardly any homes on the actual street, and pedestrians are a rare sight.

    I’m just saying it’s silly that both these hills are 30. And just because I think the speed limit should be bumped up by 5 or 10 mph, doesn’t mean I endorse bad driving and speeding.

    Listen. Driving in Seattle is frustrating enough as it is. When you’re on that hill chances are you’re either getting on the bridge, where you will battle stop and go traffic until you hit the freeway where you will battle stop and go traffic, or else you’ve finally gotten off the hell that is I-5 during rush hour. Then you have to deal with this stupid hill with a speed limit that is hard to maintain. I just want one less annoyance.

  • m October 26, 2007 (9:38 am)

    Villagegreen- thanks for the link to the article. It is right on. I think the problem with most drivers around here is that they either don’t pay complete attention to the road, they just don’t know the rules of the road or they don’t care how their actions affect other drivers around them. If we all had to actually retake the drivers test (written and driving part) every time we renew our license (instead of just smiling and hoping for a good picture), maybe people could stay up to date on the rules to follow. I doubt most people can remember what they did two days ago much less all of the details of something they learned years or decades ago. I know I can’t and love being enlightened about unmarked crosswalks, using turn signals and turning on my headlights when it’s raining (big pet peeve of mine). Driving is a skill (like dancing or skiing), and unfortunately not everyone is good at it or feels comfortable doing it. There’s nothing wrong with reading through the driving guide or signing up for a driving class if you feel your skills aren’t up to par. It could help everyone from avoiding an accident, which is always good.

  • old timer October 26, 2007 (10:09 am)

    We ALL want one less annoyance, and in our pursuit of what we feel is our ‘entitlement’, we extend one great “f-you” middle finger to whatever neighborhood we happen to be in when the two year old takes over.

    This town is full of self-indulgent, spoiled, arrogant, bullies and it’s most apparent on the roads.

    Let’s face it, there is NO speed limit that would allow us to go down that hill without riding the brake. We go fast because we WANT to.
    The world be damned, we are IMPORTANT, look how FAST we can GO.

    Even the grille on my vehicle says “OUTTA MY WAY, or I’ll run you over”.

    Let’s hear it for $12.00 gasoline, it will solve a lot of our traffic problems.

  • CMP October 26, 2007 (10:26 am)

    I’m sure that the speed limit was lowered to make Admiral “safer”. However, the real problem is bad drivers that don’t pay attention. I don’t care how fast or slow you drive, just do it well and be cognizant of everyone (including pedestrians and cyclists) around you. If people were more alert and aware, there would be fewer accidents. At least this is a four-lane road. I’ve been passed on California Ave and Beach Drive while I was driving about 35 mph…now that’s worth complaining about, not a few people going 45 mph on Admiral, a road that can handle it.

  • Kayleigh October 26, 2007 (10:57 am)

    Interesting that some people still feel entitled to speed on that stretch of road, even after all the information posted here about how dangerous it is. I forgot…it probably just doesn’t apply to them.

  • m October 26, 2007 (11:16 am)

    Every driver in this state needs to go back to drivers ed for a refresher course (heck, I receive many compliments on my driving and I’d gladly go back to learn a few things). Then we’d all know how to merge, use turn signals, look out for peds at crosswalks, etc… Education and practice will make us all better drivers.

  • Erik October 26, 2007 (11:29 am)

    All the education in the world won’t get you over your self-importance. The simple act of attention has been pushed aside by our modern world of conveniences that have conditioned us to pay a little attention to many things at once as opposed to giving our undivided attention to any one task. I usually don’t notice the traffic on Admiral as I’m often reading a book on my leisurely ride on ole Metro route #56.

  • CMP October 26, 2007 (11:48 am)

    I don’t think M is being self-important, just skilled at driving. Some people are quite capable of multi-tasking in a car (I’m one of them) AND be completely safe yet others can’t even drive two and ten without pissing off everyone around them. If bad drivers don’t bother you, then you probably are one so take the bus with Erik! If I worked for the DMV I’d fail over 50% of Washington state drivers for being incompetent.

  • m October 26, 2007 (12:05 pm)

    Erik, how can you construe my promoting education and skill building as self-importance? did you read my post all the way through? Did you not notice that even though I consider myself a good, efficient driver (and have a CLEAN 15 year driving history to back it up, along with numerous compliments from passengers that think I drive well), I still admit that even I would like to learn a few things??? I’m not being sarcastic either; who wouldn’t want a refresher course? oh right, just the self-important people. geez- get over your bus-riding self.

  • Erik October 26, 2007 (12:15 pm)

    “If bad drivers don’t bother you, then you probably are one”…wonderful logic at work here. So if we’re not reactionary (ie. get pissed off by others actions) then we’re incompetents?
    Got it.

  • Al October 26, 2007 (12:19 pm)

    “…your bus riding self” used as a derogatory comment. Nice. If more people used the bus (or even better, if we had better mass-transit options) maybe everyone wouldn’t have to be in such a rush and this statement would be a compliment. Why is it bad to ride the bus and a put-down?

  • Erik October 26, 2007 (12:21 pm)

    M –
    My post wasn’t a response to your post. It was a general observation that many of our actions in life are self-centered, myself included.

  • CMP October 26, 2007 (12:53 pm)

    Well, let’s start thinking of those around us for once, not just ourselves. I utilize ALL modes of transportation to be aware of what other commuters experience so I can empathize. More people should try walking or riding the bus to see what it’s like (not easy or convenient all of the time, but doable). And thanks to whoever got this off-topic from the real issue of the Admiral speed limit being too slow.

  • jmland October 26, 2007 (1:12 pm)

    what’s the big problem with lowering the speed limit. the hill is just short of a mile long. dropping the speed limit from 35 to 30 means that the drive up/down the hill at legal speeds will now take a whopping 17 seconds longer than before.

    also, as a cyclist, i welcome the lowered speed limit (even though most people still seem to ignore it). most cyclists riding up the hill can only maintain 6-12 mph. and those cyclists that choose to do so on the street (as is their right under state law), it is much less threatening to have traffic whizzing by at 30mph vs. 35, 40 or above — especially with all of the cars that are usually parked at the curb going up the hill. also, keep in mind that according to the cyclist master plan that is currently being implemented, there will be a designated “cycling climbing lane” on admiral, so that may also be part of the reason they reduced the speed limit.

    one other reason may be the new signaled crosswalk at the top of the hill by the overlook. since it is not readily visible to traffic coming from the west over the crest of the hill, a lower speed limit will help prevent accidents there.

  • Peggy October 26, 2007 (3:57 pm)

    In reply to Dale’s observation that there are no visual clues (?) to help drivers perceive their speed, I would make the modest suggestion that he and others check their speedometer if they need assistance. It is a failsafe visual clue. I don’t mean to be flippant, but I am amazed that in a world filled with issues, this one merits much attention. Just drive the speed limit, people, on Admiral and elsewhere.
    Like others who have commented here, I drive the speed limit up and down Admiral only to have intense, angry looking people on cell phones riding my tail and yelling at me. My husband was ticketed three months ago for speeding UP Admiral. As a result, he now observes the speed limits on that stretch of road and elsewhere, and has noted that in addition to being dangerous, driving fast does not save you time. Unless you consider a few seconds significant.

  • Huindekmi October 26, 2007 (4:12 pm)

    The speed limit west of the signaled crosswalk was not changed. Just that eastern slope from the top of the hill (past the curve and overlook) to the bottom (entrance onto the WS bridge).

    The cycle plan had nothing to do with the drop in speed limit. Like many others here, I remember reading the rationale from the DOT in the PI. They basically wanted to make all of Admiral the same speed limit and use a lower limit there to further discourage speeding on the bridge.

  • Greg October 26, 2007 (10:00 pm)

    I used to drive 45mph down the hill when the speed limit was 35, and now I dutifully drive 40mph unless the pace of traffic prevents it.

    In addition to that head on collision mentioned earlier, there was a fatality accident at the corner on *top* of the hill involving a ~20 year old kid who was driving his motorcycle at a ridiculous speed. There’s probably been enough fatalities to warrent the speed drop, although I detest it.

  • dolly October 27, 2007 (11:18 pm)

    Oh lord. It seems this whole thread is full of pro-30mph’ers: Admiral Way is a death trap and anyone wanting to go more than that should be arrested!!! Anyone who thinks otherwise is a speeder, causes accidents in this “killing zone”, is an evil driver and should take a bus, and destests law and order!

    It’s a freaking non-residential street with barely any pedestrian traffic, along with wider-than-most west seattle street lanes.

    Residential streets with the same traffic patterns deal with this without so much whining.

  • Cassell October 28, 2007 (5:03 pm)

    I think the 30mph speed limit going down Highland Park Drive is even more absurd. Where are the homes and pedestrians and businesses to warrant that speed? There are relatively few cyclists climbing that hill, and going down would grant a cyclist speeds topping 30mph. Maybe the stop light at the bottom is an excuse, but going down that hill, it is virtually impossible to maintain that speed. Yes, even in a manual transmission.

  • G. Williams October 29, 2007 (8:45 am)

    I’ve often wondered that myself, Cassell–I drive that stretch every day. My speculation is that when you’re going downhill, you go around something of a blind curve. To complicate things, there’s a bus stop beyond that. But I suspect it’s just that 30 seems to be the default for an arterial, regardless.

    None of which explains why people feel the need to speed *UP* that hill, often tailgating me if I dare go slower than 45.

  • joanna October 29, 2007 (11:37 am)

    What is the big problem with letting Columbian way drivers merge first? Help me out on that one. I think the tone of some messages, reflects daily 8-5 commuters who are just tired of commuting.
    I feel for the residents in shortcut neighborhoods. How about we slow down in the little S-curve near la rustica? If I had a dollar for every screech of breaks I heard from a block away in that neighbor hood, I could at least buy latte’s for..well a week..If everyone would follow the rules and learn a wee bit of patience, traffic would roll a lot smoother.
    I exit east bound to 1st ave south, 3 days a week. There is inevitably a 20 to 50 yard line up of cars merging into the bus lane ahead of time. I always wait and merge where the bus lane breaks. With out fail, I am let in either by merging trucks and cars from the lower bridge entry, or another driver who entered the exit lane early (because that’s the rules). I am not breaking the law or cutting, and on heavy traffic days, cars are always merging from below. I don’t think its the best engineered exit by any means, but the aggression that transpires by driver’s trying to get into the exit lane ahead of time is almost amusing (apologies for the condescension).. Where are you going at 5mph, try knocking that triple latte down to a double.

    A lot of folks just need driving lessons, if you aren’t tall enough to see your mirrors, lose the SUV, if you’re scared to change lanes, lose the license, take a bus. Let us not forget the “I have a sweet Audi and I can drive like and Indy driver, so i’m gonna on Monday, on the west sea bridge” idiots.. yes your car kicks ass, and you made enough money to afford the payments!

    To all the frustrated driver’s out there, exercise patience, it’s hard, but there are many people behind the wheel who are inconfident and therefore dangerous drivers. There are tired people, distracted people, cell phone freaks, hungover drivers, and a**holes…you name it.. let’s try and lose the anger… and possibly, make it more difficult to obtain, and renew your license without demonstrating the appropriate skills. I’d pay 100 dollars to renew my license and take a test, if everyone else had to!

  • Becky January 2, 2008 (11:07 am)

    I travel up and down admiral daily and find the 30mph speed limit excessively slow (but will do it if traffic conditions warrant it)… but with my Escort 8500 and ZR3 Laser Jammer, all the cops do is look confused when their lasers don’t get a lock on my car till I am driving 30 (when I turn the jammer off)

    So if you don’t like the speed limit.. get a laser jammer/radar detector combo, oh and be a nice neighbor and flash your high beams at oncoming cars going into the speed trap zone so they know to slow down too :D


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