Fauntleroy/Dawson signal-construction schedule moved WAY up

This was most recently mentioned by Sue in her comment on the Fauntleroy-speeding thread last weekend – now, we get word from Megan S (thank you!) that the Fauntleroy/Dawson (map) pedestrian signal is apparently happening sooner rather than later:

Our intersection has been marked with white spray paint for a few days now, so I figured they might be updating the wheelchair ramps or something, but apparently they are going to be putting in a pedestrian signal at this intersection. Since this is right near two fairly busy bus stops and the Fairmount Playground, it is about time that someone make the street a bit safer for people wanting to cross it. Didn’t see this news on the blog, so figured I’d give a heads up to both drivers and those on foot. According to the flier we received on our door today, further info can be found by contacting Awelker Nurhussen at awelker.nurhussen@seattle.gov, or Valerie Lee at valerie.lee@seattle.gov (this latter works in the traffic signal operations department of SDOT) Also of possible concern is the fact that parking will be limited in the area during construction – not such a big deal for those of us with driveways, but I know that there are both apartments and condos in the area.

Megan tells WSB the flyer said that the work originally wasn’t scheduled to start till late summer, but the equipment’s available now so it’s starting this week.

25 Replies to "Fauntleroy/Dawson signal-construction schedule moved WAY up"

  • Sue May 13, 2008 (9:47 pm)

    This is VERY good news. I also noticed the markings on the intersection and just figured they were doing some preliminary work. I planned on calling SDOT this week to ask about it and get an update, so I appreciate Megan’s info on it. Interesting though that I live right near this intersection and did not get any flyer at my door about it.

  • Fed up w/Seattle Govt May 13, 2008 (10:23 pm)

    This is pure lunacy. There already is a light at Edmunds St. and a pedestrian operated light by the School. If you are too lazy to walk a block or two to cross the street, then you definitely are one that needs to. Traffic is conjested already, so what do we do, add another light? Let’s keep this up folks and transportation will come to a stop and we will soon be a Third World country. Way to go!

  • Kevin May 13, 2008 (11:00 pm)

    Fed up you are completely off base. The two lights that you refer to are both over a quarter mile away from the soon to be installed signal. These so called blocks are double blocks, far longer than your average downtown city block. There is a heavily used bus stop at this intersection and many people who live in SeaView/Fairmount Park have asked for this signal for a long time.

    Please explain how this one light that will operate for 20-30 seconds at a time will so egregiously congest your precious freeway.

    Have you considered that there are residents who need this? Do you expect my pregnant wife to walk a quarter mile down the street to use the closest crosswalk and then walk another quarter mile back up the street to catch the bus? It’s 120 ft across the street from us. What about the next door neighbor with two young kids who would like to use the park across the street?

    Have you tried crossing this street during peak periods of the day? Would you want your family playing chicken with latte drinking, speed obsessed drivers obliviously barreling their way down Fauntleroy?

    This light placement is an effort to improve neighborhood safety in our little stretch of the city. Please do not misdirect your frustration with city government at a legitimate effort to improve our city.

  • snowlion May 14, 2008 (5:48 am)

    I am the person who reported this one, and it is BADLY necessary here. Our house shakes every time something larger than a sedan goes by, because most of the larger vehicles are driving FAR faster than the posted speed limit. I have witnessed a hit and run at this corner, there is a man in a wheelchair who uses the bus stop across the street, and only lives a few houses away – why should he have to go 3 blocks either way to get there? There are bus stops on both sides of this intersection, and they are frequently used by morning and afternoon commuters. Fauntleroy is a dangerous road; dead pets, children at risk, and pedestrians having to take their lives into their own hands to get across the street because drivers WON’T SLOW DOWN. Not to mention the blind turns you have to take getting out of Dawson because people park too close to the corner.
    I think it is far overdue.

  • snowlion May 14, 2008 (5:54 am)

    Also to Sue;
    I don’t know if any of our neighbors got one, but the flier does appear to be the real deal, a map on the back and everything.
    We’re right on the corner, so perhaps that is why we received one, since they’ll be doing construction basically in our front yard.

  • Sue May 14, 2008 (6:51 am)

    snowlion, that’s what my husband said – that perhaps it was only given to people who were going to impacted by construction.
    Fed up, as others have pointed out, those 2 other signals are over 1/4 mile away, not a short distance for someone like myself with a disability. It was amazing how drivers would threaten me while I was crossing with a cane. It has nothing to do with being lazy. Besides, if a bus stop is right across the street from your house, why should you have to walk 1/4 mile to get to the next one? Besides, if traffic is so congested and bad for you, perhaps you should get your butt out of your car and onto one of those buses.

  • Kristina May 14, 2008 (7:13 am)

    I’m delighted to hear about this! We live within walking distance and have a five year old; we’d love to walk to that park, but don’t, because of crossing that busy road. When there is a light, I’ll walk over there much more often, and it makes the park more accessible to us. Hurrah!

  • Sue May 14, 2008 (7:27 am)

    One more thing. The drivers on Fauntleroy are the ones to blame for this light going in, not the pedestrians. As a legal (although unmarked) crosswalk, the law states that cars are supposed to yield to pedestrians. I cross between 20 and 25 times a month at this corner, and I’d say I’m lucky if I’m yielded to twice in a month, and even then only one side of the traffic flow is usually yielding to me. Had people yielded to me as required by law, I could’ve cared less if a light went in here. It was the threatening actions of the drivers – not yielding, speeding up (from their already too-fast speed) when they see me crossing, honking horns at me, cursing at me, and giving me the finger, simply for crossing the street LEGALLY. It is THOSE drivers who you can blame for the need for this light, not us.

  • CMP May 14, 2008 (8:01 am)

    I’m glad that a light is being installed but I’d prefer to see one further south between the elementary school and the Morgan Junction that would slow traffic down. Hopefully this will be a pedestrian activated light so that I won’t get stuck waiting at Dawson to turn northbound onto Fauntleroy. If it’s a four-way signal, I’m sure the city will set it to their standard 1:30 minute cycle, making those of us at Dawson wait forever for a green light.

  • Fed up w/Seattle Govt May 14, 2008 (10:39 am)

    I can appreciate the problems some of you have with the traffic, but did you not realize when you decided to live there the problems with living on a major arterial? The street was there when you decided to live there. Your position is similar to people who moved near SeaTac airport then complained about the noise afterwards. In the event of a disaster, Fauntleroy Way would be a major evacuation route. Would you want to be trapped in and unable to get out? In a civilized society, there needs to be a place for people to live and an infrastructure to maintain a steady flow of traffic. With the congestion this city is creating by strangling traffic flow, we can expect to be choking in more and more exhaust fumes as people sit and wait at traffic lights. As for taking the bus, my wife is disabled and can’t walk the 4 blocks she would need to ride the bus so her only option is for me to drive her.

  • Sue May 14, 2008 (10:59 am)

    Fed up, the problem isn’t that it’s a busy arterial. The problem is that the drivers are ILLEGALLY driving above the speed limit and ILLEGALLY not yielding to pedestrians. If drivers yielded and drove the speed limit and followed the law so that it was safe for pedestrians, we would not be in such dire need of a light. Again, this has everything to do with the drivers, and not our choice of where to live and trying to change it. I simply want people to follow the laws as written, which really isn’t an unreasonable request.
    And when I suggested that you take the bus, I obviously did know your situation and could not guess that your wife’s disability was the cause of your choice; I apologize for making an assumption that you were perhaps too lazy to take the bus yourself. But if you’ll notice, you made the same assumption that all of us were too lazy to walk to another lighted crosswalk, without knowing our own circumstances. I suppose we should be mindful that things aren’t always what they seem.

  • Sue May 14, 2008 (11:01 am)

    CMP, get in touch with those SDOT contacts that were mentioned in the original post if you have a suggestion about where to put another light. That is how we started. If you can get some neighbors to also contact them, the more voices the better. They will come out and do a feasability study about what to do with the intersection. This was the process we went through and in the end they agreed it needed a light. In the end, the worst they can say is no.

  • CMP May 14, 2008 (11:10 am)

    Sue, SDOT says no to my requests all the time. But I always complain about the length of lights being over one minute long and that they should implement sensors instead of using their stupid computer models to dictate the length of a light. I appreciate the community involvement to get a light installed at Dawson, but figured the south end of Fauntleroy could have used some attention since there’s a good stretch of it without crosswalks or lights. I avoid Fauntleroy but when I do drive on it, I find the speed limit too fast, given all of the curves, parked cars and pedestrians. I’d rather see the limit reduced to 30 mph and those are words I thought I’d never type, given my love of driving fast (but always safe).

    And Fed Up…be more understanding of those that live on major arterials. I live on California, but love my apartment and close access to the bus stop. There are a lot of pros to it, but crappy and unsafe drivers are a major con.

  • WSB May 14, 2008 (11:36 am)

    Data point on south Fauntleroy, at least one crosswalk was removed there in the past year, at Rose:

  • G. Williams May 14, 2008 (12:19 pm)

    In the event of a disaster, Fauntleroy Way would be a major evacuation route. Would you want to be trapped in and unable to get out?

    What on earth does this have to do with it?

  • Fed up w/Seattle Govt May 14, 2008 (12:30 pm)

    CMP, Since you like apartment living and being on a bus line, Calif. Ave was a good choice for you. Personally, I avoid Calif. because it is a mess to drive through. As for those who complain about bad drivers, I agree with you. Maybe closer enforcement would handle some of the problem. I also like to walk so I’m aware of rude, selfish drivers so I try to pick areas where I don’t encounter these people. It’s true, some of us, myself included don’t always understand where the other person is coming from so I think this blog is a good service to get it all out peacefully. We all need to understand that when we “want” something, it’s going to impact other people as well, some favorable, some an inconvenience. The closer we live to one another, we need to consider the greatest common good for the most people should generally be the guide. In the case of the helpless, then maybe we need to figure a way to accomodate them as well. Let’s forget 30 mph and enforce 35.

  • Kevin May 14, 2008 (1:09 pm)

    Fed Up-
    We chose to live on Fauntleroy and knew full well going into this that it was a major arterial. We expect heavy volumes and frequent traffic. All we ask is that you drive through our neighborhood as you would ask us to drive through yours.

    We are not ignorant of how this decision impacts others, rather we feel that the benefit of a signalized crosswalk to the people who live in this neighborhood far outwieghs the concerns of those traveling from afar through this corridor.

    Having a major arterial road bisecting our neighborhood does not relinquish our right to a safe and comfortable environment.

    We love our house, especially our location. I appreciate the notes and understanding of the different sides of the issue that have been coming out of this discussion. Please do not assume that we asked for this out of whimsy and disregarded the impact on others. This was a long process and not taken lightly.

    CMP, I completely agree that the south end of Faunlteroy needs help. I hope that getting a light at our intersection is the start of a trend towards safer neighborhoods and not a decision to install mitigation at one place instead of another. Perhaps Fed up is right and all it would take is enforcement of the existing speed limit, but in the entire time I have lived in Seattle I have seen 2 people pulled over for speeding so I do not have much confidence that that will ever happen.

  • Sue May 14, 2008 (5:43 pm)

    FYI, I just got a flyer at my door today about this light (don’t know if this went out to more people or simply because I emailed them for further info). It is a pedestrian-activated signal that will run across Fauntleroy on the southern side of Dawson. It also says that it will take 2 weeks from the time work begins until the signal is fully functional. I don’t know what they consider as “starting work” though – ground hasn’t been broken, but they have marked the sidewalks as was pointed out.

  • WSMom May 14, 2008 (6:42 pm)

    We will now be able to go to Fairmount Park without risking our lives trying to cross the street at Dawson! This light is long over due!

  • Fed up w/Seattle Govt May 14, 2008 (7:14 pm)

    If it is controlled only by pedestrians, then this is a good idea. When I first read of this that fact wasn’t presented so I thought if this is just another traffic light that is going to stop traffic regardless of demand, then who needs it. I’m all for keeping you people safe. Let’s just hope the kids aren’t fascinated with the control to the point of playing with it so they can watch the cars stop at their command. A little parental instruction might help eliminate that problem.

  • WSB May 14, 2008 (9:58 pm)

    Yes, the fact it was a pedestrian signal WAS presented. First line of the report above, not amended from original publication, says “pedestrian signal” — that’s what “pedestrian signal” means: signal controlled by pedestrians. You walk up, push the button, the light changes so you can cross. If there’s nobody there to cross, the signal stays green TFN.

  • snowlion May 16, 2008 (12:50 pm)

    My husband just emailed and told me that construction has started today. :)

  • Sue May 16, 2008 (10:49 pm)

    Snowlion, I love how they started construction there at the same time they started whatever they’re doing to the townhomes diagnonally across, so that they were down to 1 lane in each direction for a while. and have you seen the size of that ditch out there right now? If anybody’s missing any small children or animals, you might want to take a look there. ;)

  • mar3c May 17, 2008 (10:08 am)

    does anyone know what kind of an act of the gods it would take to get a speed bump installed on 38th avenue?
    drivers already use our street to cut off the light at edmunds or as an alternate route to the 35th avenue freeway.
    i have a feeling the new signal at dawson will give them further incentive to go racing up and down our block – without regard for the senior citizens, children, or pets who live here.
    also, will this pedestrian signal be like those in white center on 17th avenue – with big signs and bright flashing yellow lights?

  • Sue May 17, 2008 (6:48 pm)

    mar3c, they haven’t given any indication of what they’re doing other than a “pedestrian signal from the southwest to the southeast corner of that intersection, so we probably won’t know until it goes in. It is my understanding though that it is a light that stops traffic, not just flashing pedestrian warning lights. (I can’t recall what’s on 17th in White Center to compare.)

Sorry, comment time is over.