1 year ago today @ 47th & Admiral

flag47thadmiral.jpgIn the predawn darkness outside Alki Mail/Dispatch this morning, the bright orange pedestrian flags waited, as did their counterparts across Admiral. One year ago today, at this intersection, 47th/Admiral, where so many busy drivers roar by, heading to/from Alki or Beach Drive, one driver hit a man crossing the street. It happens, just like it happened last month at 35th/Othello to Oswald Clement (whose memorial is today, by the way). This time, it drew citywide notice, because the man who was hit — who later died at the hospital — was 29-year-old Tatsuo Nakata, chief of staff to City Councilmember David Della. Some things have changed at the intersection since then — the city placed temporary and permanent safety measures. Then yesterday, Tatsuo Nakata’s old boss and other councilmembers came to West Seattle – though nowhere near 47th/Admiral — to publicize their “Pedestrian Safety Initiative.” But also during the year, the city has removed crosswalks in areas of West Seattle (on Avalon, along 35th, and along Fauntleroy) where it felt they didn’t meet safety standards, while adding new markings on a California crosswalk. So we ask you — has enough been done? Do you feel safe crossing the street, wherever you cross, or is it just a hazard of everyday life?

13 Replies to "1 year ago today @ 47th & Admiral"

  • Peter November 14, 2007 (7:42 am)

    The upper Admiral crosswalks are poorly located because they are on curves. I don’t drive this stretch very often, but I do remember last year, shortly after this accident, driving through and noticing how sight distance is reduced while rounding the corner, even at the speed limit. I think both of the crossings should be moved to straight portions of Admiral (plus/minus a block east/west).

  • Soupytwist November 14, 2007 (8:39 am)

    I won’t feel safe until cars don’t have to rely on their drivers to slow down or stop for pedestrians.

  • Daffodil November 14, 2007 (9:13 am)

    I cross 35th at a stoplight to catch my bus or to get milk at the corner market. I live near Othello but cross at Webster. I avoid crossing there during rush hour. Drivers just want to beat the light and don’t care who or what is in their way. One week after the death on Othello I accompanied an older couple off the bus. The old guy jay-walked across 35th. I pleaded with the woman not to follow him. She was walking with a cane and was about 80 years old. She decided to continue one half block to the intersection and wait for the walk light. Geez!

  • Lachlan November 14, 2007 (9:28 am)

    I’d rather jump off a cliff than cross 35th, even in a cross walk. It’s dangerous. Like Soupytwist said, we can’t rely on drivers to be safe. Being a pedestrian is more risky than I ever thought.

  • kc November 14, 2007 (10:21 am)

    Please people, help us see you! Last night, around 730p I was making a turn from a stop sign and almost hit a man and his dog. I felt awful! The man was dressed in black from head to toe and his dog was very small and mostly black. Although he was crossing at an residential intersection, it was unlighted and very dark (a problem itself). Thankfully I saw the dog’s small white paws in time to stop. Lighter clothing, reflective tape, a white hat (on the person or dog!) – something would have helped me see them better. It wasn’t until that moment that I thought about why it’s easy for attacks to happen in dark areas. I couldn’t believe how hard it was so see this person.

  • Digg November 14, 2007 (11:18 am)

    I agree KC. It has to be a two way street, I won’t cross a street unless I can see that the driver sees me or has come to a stop but sometimes it is impossible to see pedestrians period.

  • willamina c. November 14, 2007 (11:31 am)

    in high-traffic areas, a qualified yes. people have figured out that blinking crosswalk signs mean “stop for pedestrians”….usually. the people who can’t figure this out really have no bloody business driving.

    47th and admiral is a crossing that’s always scared my pants off. similarly the crossing of avalon near my work, and any south 35th crossing, too. it’s like people think 35th is the west seattle freeway or something.

  • SA November 14, 2007 (11:43 am)

    I had the opportunity to go for a run (wearing my Brooks Nightlife jersey!) in downtown Kirkland on Monday evening. It was obvious to me they place a premium on pedestrian safety. The crosswalks were clearly marked, well lit and quite a few had the orange hand-held flags. But, the biggest difference I noticed were the pedestrian triggered flashing lights embedded in the road lining the crosswalks. As I was leaving in my car I noticed the flashing lights in the crosswalk and started braking before I even saw the pedestrian.

  • Melissa November 14, 2007 (12:00 pm)

    Two things:
    I saw vehicles pulled over by police at two spots on 35th this morning, one in Arbor Heights (speeding in the school zone, I’ll bet) and another down near the Walgreens. Glad to see it. 35th needs that kind of enforcement, both for pedestrians and for other drivers.

    As for the dog-walking issue, it’s pretty much impossible not to walk in the dark these days if you walk your dog in the evening, as I do. I have a flashing armband and a light-colored jacket. I plan to get a flashing collar for my black dog. Nonetheless, whatever precautions I take, I won’t walk my dog on Saturday nights anymore. Too many people seem to think that Saturday night gives them a license to speed. It’s a residential neighborhood and no one will nab them on the quiet backstreets. Freaks me out when they whiz by me doing 45, often passing to damned close.

    That being said, I always appreciate the people who give us a wide berth when we’re walking, particularly given the lack of crosswalks in our neighborhood. Not everyone does factor in the lack of sidewalks.

  • Mags November 14, 2007 (6:43 pm)

    REI sells great blinking collars for dogs and also many other items to help keep you safe when you are walking around at night. Truly, it is nearly impossible to see folks in dark clothing at night. particulary when it rains. My brother often walks his dog at night and he has almost been hit numerous times on and around 35th from Morgan to Juneau..lack of attention and often speeding. But being dead right isn’t the answer, either. Spend a few bucks on reflective clothing and save your life.

  • Ann November 14, 2007 (8:30 pm)

    Amen KC and Digg!

  • k November 14, 2007 (8:59 pm)

    At Seattle U on James Street there used to be flashing lights like SA mentioned in Kirkland. It was changed 6?? months ago to a traditional push the button to trigger the light to change. I don’t know why it was changed (I can’t imagine that college students late to their 8 am class would stop, push the button and wait for the light to change).
    To the Pedestrians who wear reflectors and bright clothes:
    THANK YOU!!!

  • sassy November 17, 2007 (3:47 pm)

    They need to add STOPLIGHTS on Avalon Way with crosswalks – people go 50mph easy on that street -including cops!
    As for outside Alki Mail & Dispatch – people still speed like CRAZY – even more so in the rain.
    Everytime I go to get the mail – I just wait for traffic to pass – even to get out of my car.

    And 35th? It’s not nicknamed I35 for nothing.

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