Followup: After 2 crashes, safety upgrades in works for Westwood

It’s one of West Seattle’s most heartstopping intersections to maneuver as a pedestrian – and it’s in an area that’s seen two major car-hits-pedestrian crashes in less than two years, one fatal, another resulting in major injuries. But the 26th/Barton intersection at Westwood Village’s main entrance/exit is about to get some attention, according to SDOT’s Jim Curtin (a West Seattleite), who came out this afternoon to meet with (from left, with Curtin 2nd from left) Donn DeVore of the Westwood Neighborhood Council; Stuart Crandall of Westwood Village, and Ron Angeles, district coordinator in the Department of Neighborhoods‘ Delridge office:

Problems at the intersection were thoroughly discussed in this WSB comment thread following the December 1st crash that left a woman in the hospital, badly hurt. Curtin says some improvements are in the works and will be installed as soon as next month – including “fanning” the crosswalk striping to cover the 16-inch gap between the driveway and the crosswalk here on the west side of the WWV driveway:

Signage also will be upgraded from the current old-style flat orange to the new-style fluorescent lime green:

And yield-to-pedestrian reminder signs may be hung from the overhead cables:

But you won’t see left-turn arrows – Curtin says that wouldn’t solve the problem. You will see the road striping change within the next two years – not to add a striped right-turn lane heading west on Barton into the center, which DeVore asked about, though – Curtin says that the Bicycle Master Plan calls for a bike lane on each side of Barton in that area, so when that happens, the “one (car) lane in each direction” will be a lot clearer than it is now. The work’s not going to happen next year, he says, but is a possibility for 2011. That’s also when Metro RapidRide service is scheduled to begin, and a station is reportedly planned on the south side of Barton near Daystar Retirement Village. “So how do we slow down traffic till then?” DeVore asked. Curtin suggested it’s time to get this stretch of road involved in the Arterial Traffic Calming Program – which would mean gathering some data, for starters, about the speeds and other conditions on that stretch of Barton, as a first step.

7 Replies to "Followup: After 2 crashes, safety upgrades in works for Westwood"

  • on board December 11, 2009 (8:22 am)

    I hate to sound so cynical but SDOT unfortunately does not listen and most certainly does not act on these locations that are so unsafe until someone gets hurt.

    • WSB December 11, 2009 (9:41 am)

      Actually, “on board,” I asked Jim Curtin that question outright – was this something in the works or is it in response to the crashes that killed/badly hurt people – and he was forthright in saying, it’s the latter, we want to keep this from happening again. The question truly is, how to stop it before it happens – which is another story, literally – but I did want to say, he acknowledged exactly what you point out – TR

  • mpento December 11, 2009 (9:48 am)

    I go through this spot regularly and I think the biggest mess is the layout and markings inside westwood at that intersection. Having that exit/entrance to mcDonalds just off the entrance to westwood is really dumb and then the lane definition coming from barnes and noble towards the QFC is bad. It needs to be defined better as a three way stop. They need to require traffic to go to the QFC three way stop and not have people trying to turn into rite aid or mcDonalts right at the intersection. Duh!

  • Donn December 11, 2009 (10:07 am)

    I also asked Jim Curtin about re-striping the sidewalk in front of the entrance. It had been done previously and someone previously thought that it was a good idea, but that is not in SDOTs plan. He said maybe if I was out there when they are striping, I could bring them a six pack and they would possibly do it at the time.

    Stuart Crandall of Westwood did offer to locate a stop stripe with the words “STOP” on their property at the intersection. Also something that was there previously and had worn away with time.

  • susieq December 11, 2009 (10:57 am)

    A big thank you to Donn for organizing this meeting on behalf of the Westwood Neighborhood Council! And thanks to Ron and Stuart for coming out on this cold afternoon, and to Jim for his quick response to the request to meet and strategize. Let’s stay on top of this folks – all are welcome at the Council meetings. Go to for neighborhood news and announcements. And big thanks to Tracy and WSB for keeping us all connected!

  • Karl December 11, 2009 (11:15 am)

    RIP Matthew “Tatsu” Nakata. Mr. Nakata was killed in a marked crosswalk at 7:41 am on Tuesday 11/14/06 at 47th Ave SW & SW Admiral Way.

    The Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board wrote a letter to Governor Christne Gregoire and Mayor Greg Nickels on Dec. 12, 2006 about pedestrian accidents and urged an immediate campaign to educate drivers, pedestrians and police that, by state law, all intersections are legal places for pedestrians to cross a street.

    I invite my neighbor Jim Curtain from SDOT to compare and contrast 26th & Barton and 47th & Admiral.

    SDOT states that 26,0000 vehicles A DAY use Admiral Way. How many use Barton? 47th & Admiral does not have a mall; rather, a skilled nursing home center, and a community water cooler with a frequently used bus stop.

    SDOT installed “traffic calming” features and upgraded signage. That project was planned before Mr. Takata was killed in the crosswalk.

    City of Seattle: Are deaths weighted in the equation or are they rolled up into the incidents column? Where is the pedestrian activated light? Where is the memorial to Mr. Nakata? Where is the educational campaign?

  • Donn December 14, 2009 (9:33 am)

    I am pleased to see that SDOT updated their list in the following story to include striping the crosswalk at the north portion of the intersection.

Sorry, comment time is over.