As you probably know, the “Walk All Ways” intersection at California/Alaska was purposely preserved during the recent California repaving. But some still wonder if its time has come and gone, such as Robert Hull, who sent this letter-to-the-editor-style writeup to WSB for discussion:
Time To Rethink the Junction â€œAll Way Walkâ€
I think it is time to reconsider the â€œAll Way Walkâ€ at the West Seattle Alaska Junction. It was fine for a while, but with the increasing traffic in the area, I believe that it should be returned to a â€œnormalâ€ traffic light, which would include free right turns, and a walk button for pedestrians wishing to cross the street. This would potentially reduce the amount of high volume traffic on our residential streets, since more people would use the Junction intersection rather than residential areas.
For several years I have avoided the Alaska Junction intersection due to the amount of time needed to get through the area. Instead, I have been using the residential side streets to get around this congestion. Now, we are finding that many other people are using our residential street as a major arterial. The amount of traffic on our once-quite street has increased about 200% in the last six months and most cars are traveling between 25 and 35 MPH, with some cars coming through at about 40MPH (speed limit is 20MPH on residential streets).
With all of the new condos being built in the area, and additional units coming on-line in the next few years (QFC and Whole Foods developments), the traffic problem will only get much worse. As a pedestrian, I liked the idea of the â€œAll Way Walk,â€ since it was rather unique and made for some interest in our neighborhood. But the â€œAll Way Walkâ€ is no longer practical due to the large amount of traffic. It is also a safety issue, since it is only a matter of time before a pedestrian gets injured or killed with cars traveling 40MPH on residential streets.