We saw that close call while spending time at 34th/Morgan this past Tuesday morning, meeting with neighborhood and pedestrian-safety activists who say it’s one of this area’s most dangerous places for schoolkids to have to cross. Here’s a taste of the regular traffic:
Kids coming from the booming north side of High Point cross here to get to West Seattle (formerly High Point) Elementary, which is further south on 34th.
The traffic, meantime, is traveling a major route between west and east West Seattle, since Morgan goes from Fauntleroy to (with a name change along the way) Delridge. Miranda Taylor from the High Point Neighborhood Association acknowledges it’s a crazy-busy street:
She hopes they will put in a crosswalk. Crossing guard Lea Mortenson is there every morning, but as you will see again here, crossing is dicey even with a guard:
The citywide pedestrian-safety advocacy group Feet First has a program called Safe Routes to School. Its coordinator Jen Cole says the crossing-guard program itself has a big problem, citywide (and apparently has had, for years):
When crossing guards get sick or go on vacation, Jen says, there’s no replacement. And she says the application process is challenging for reasons including the fact it’s largely done online, and the retirees who might apply are not all Web-savvy. Meantime, crossing guard Lea suspects drivers might not stop for the kids if she wasn’t there:
Jen wants city leaders to pay more attention to the state of the crossing-guard program and the needs of dangerous crossing areas like this. She hopes we don’t follow the “example” set in another state:
You can read more about the Feet First Safe Routes to School program here. The High Point Neighborhood Association’s pedestrian-safety group is working on this and other safety issues around the area. For more information about the crossing-guard program, here’s the contact listed on the city website: Donald Smith at (206) 233-7200, or firstname.lastname@example.org.