Police “photo speed van” to target West Seattle speeders on 35th

groupbyvan.jpgIf you scroll almost all the way down to the bottom of this update just published at SPD Blotter, you’ll see where the rubber meets the road – and the ticket meets the mailbox – for West Seattle drivers: Seattle Police are deploying their “photo speed van” on 35th SW, and while it’s a “warning period” right now, starting next month, you’ll get tickets WITHOUT warning. The speed van’s already been used in a pilot project in local school zones – here’s our story from October 2008, when it was shown off outside Gatewood Elementary (photo above is from that event).

51 Replies to "Police "photo speed van" to target West Seattle speeders on 35th"

  • KBear April 23, 2010 (11:37 am)

    I’ll bet I know where else we’ll see it after they finish their pilot project on 35th…

  • Karlynn April 23, 2010 (11:41 am)

    Great. I wonder if it’ll work as well as the cameras at 35th and Thistle? Now there’s some effiency. Not.

  • drives the limit April 23, 2010 (12:04 pm)

    I’m glad something is being done. I work just off 35th at a school, and every morning and afternoon I am constantly passed by speeding drivers. There have been way too may accidents and deaths of pedestrians and cyclists. 35th is ripe for city revenue!

  • coffee April 23, 2010 (12:20 pm)

    THANK GOD!! Next, Fauntleroy Way SW please. Or simply get rid of the darn ferry. Again yesterday I was passed by someone in the turn lane, using the turn lane as a passing lane.

  • LB April 23, 2010 (12:38 pm)

    Automated law enforcement is just a tax increase.

    Officers stop speeding & deter other crimes. We need more officers, not ticket generators.

    I can’t think of a worse idea than the speed van.

  • Carson April 23, 2010 (12:44 pm)

    I love the idea. If you are dumb enough to speed then you should pay. I say lets buy enough of these to lower our property taxes. I could name 5 locations that might make us all property tax free in no time!!

  • wolfbain April 23, 2010 (12:52 pm)

    i know it will give you a ticket. But, can it shoot out spike strips to slow people down?

  • Carson April 23, 2010 (1:01 pm)

    If you slow down, no revenue….

  • picot April 23, 2010 (1:07 pm)

    Admiral, Admiral, Admiral!

  • Smitty April 23, 2010 (1:12 pm)

    Great idea.

  • wolfbain April 23, 2010 (1:16 pm)

    folks are speeding cuze their in a rush to get somewhere so… this new way of ticketing is very kind of the city. no having to stop and pull out your 101 excuses for speeding manual. THANK YOU OFFICER MINEVAN.

  • KBear April 23, 2010 (1:17 pm)

    “Automated law enforcement is just a tax increase. We need more officers, not ticket generators.”

    Since you’re clearly against higher taxes, how would you propose to pay for the additional officers?

  • wolfbain April 23, 2010 (1:32 pm)

    we don,t need more police. we need less criminals.

  • wolfbain April 23, 2010 (1:56 pm)

    SATELLITES. coming soon

  • Ziggy April 23, 2010 (2:12 pm)

    Anyone ever brought up the idea of putting a streetcar on 35th? It could service the Junction/Triangle area, reduce parking and slow down traffic on this Road.

  • Born To Be Mild April 23, 2010 (2:13 pm)

    35th is a good location for a speed trap. The speeding doesn’t bother me as much as the aggressive driving that seems to accompany the speed. There are speeders on Admiral too, but they don’t seem to be as crazed.

  • Born To Be Mild April 23, 2010 (2:22 pm)

    Okay, I just read the SPD Blotter. The problem is speed AND accidents. When I get passed on 35th and the radar sign shows 15 over the limit and I see pictures of overturned vehicles here on the blog, there’s a problem.

  • wolfbain April 23, 2010 (2:25 pm)

    a streetcar is a good idea for 35th. a streetcar between my house and the poggie tav would be even better.

  • KE April 23, 2010 (2:53 pm)

    Realistically, we do need an arterial through West Seattle though that has a reasonable speed limit. 35th is the only reasonable way for many of us to get down to the south end of WS. While I don’t endorse speeding, we don’t have any other efficient way to get down to Fauntleroy or Arbor Heights from the bridge.

  • M April 23, 2010 (2:56 pm)

    Ok, I HOPE it’s more accurate than the speed meter on Admiral – I swear that thing adds 5 mph at least

  • Lynne April 23, 2010 (3:05 pm)

    I can’t throw stones because I’ve caught myself speeding on 35th. Unfortunately, green light after green light makes it easier to go faster. Would timing the lights make a difference?

  • Westside J. April 23, 2010 (4:03 pm)

    Im with Lynne. I even live on 35th.. I hate driving it, so I catch myself speeding to get it over with sometimes.. Speed+get a ticket= fair. It’s the agressive stoving that gets me riled up. But you know, every time I get passed by a speeder on the way home I just think “go get those cops!” so they’ll overlook my +5mph..

  • anonyme April 23, 2010 (4:09 pm)

    I hope they come down south of Roxbury for a change. Average speeds down here are 10-15 mph over the limit, and much higher.

    Lynne, instead of blaming the timing of the lights, why not take your foot off the gas pedal and be accountable for your own actions? Do you imagine that this will be an acceptable defense when you hit and kill someone?

  • T_Bickle April 23, 2010 (4:12 pm)

    I just love how we embrace the New World Order.

  • Dailycommuter April 23, 2010 (4:14 pm)

    For years I used 35th to get to my home in the Morgan Junction area. Drivers kept getting more and more aggressive and the speed kept climbing, to the point where I switched to Fauntleroy out of self-preservation. Then the traffic-pattern was altered to funnel Fauntleroy down from 2 south-bound lanes to 1. Drivers are so hostile and aggressive at the choke-point that I switched back to 35th again. It seems to me that the speed is down on 35th (due to the radar sign, I think) but drivers are as aggressive as ever. If only the minivan would photo cars who are 1 foot from my rear bumper, that would be of some use!

  • José April 23, 2010 (4:20 pm)

    Funny how they continually target the poor neighborhoods with cameras for both red lights and speeding.

  • Scott April 23, 2010 (4:21 pm)

    NIMBY applies here… live on 35th and complain about the traffic… was there no traffic when you bought your house on 35th?

    Don’t move next to the airport if you don’t like airplanes.

  • desertdweller April 23, 2010 (4:23 pm)

    @Dailycommunter: Really? Self-preservation?

  • 35this35mph April 23, 2010 (4:26 pm)

    Bring it on!

  • onceachef April 23, 2010 (4:47 pm)

    Just slow down or leave earlier…it’s not rocket science people(no pun intended!). If they don’t raise revenue on 35th (because people actually obey the speed limit) they’ll move the van elsewhere. And (Jose) since when is 35th Ave considered a “poor neighborhood”?…it has nothing to do with social economics…people speed (rich, middle or poor) and 35th is the main conduit in WS going N&S.

  • Lynne April 23, 2010 (4:51 pm)

    Not trying to blame the lights, anonyme. Maybe I should have started a new paragraph after my confession?!

  • anonyme April 23, 2010 (5:04 pm)

    Scott, the issue is not the amount of traffic on 35th, it is the SPEED at illegal and dangerous levels, which has continually increased year by year. It doesn’t sound as if you have much traffic on your street (lucky you) but if vehicles suddenly started doing 50 mph past your house I’m sure you’d NIMBY in your drawers.

  • M. April 23, 2010 (5:20 pm)

    Excellent! Hopefully next, catching the stop sign/light runners. W.S. is the only place I’ve ever been honked at for stopping at a stop sign!

  • smash the state April 23, 2010 (6:36 pm)

    Wow… now we get automated cops. How cool!

  • flynlo April 23, 2010 (7:32 pm)

    If this were really about safety, the revenue generated would go directly back into traffic safety programs rather than into the city’s general fund! Furthermore, I doubt if it will have any significant effect since the ticket doesn’t go on to the drivers record, thus has no effect on his/her insurance rating!

  • Bob Loblaw April 23, 2010 (7:38 pm)

    ZOMG — Return of the West Seattle Streetcar. I LOVE this idea. Sorry to threadjack, but wow, why haven’t we brought this up before? Zippy — Care to post it in the forums? Let’s do this!!

  • rob April 23, 2010 (11:39 pm)

    unrelated really, but I saw the strangest thing last week…
    coming home from work in sodo, I saw a state trooper stop a car, I’m guessing for speeding since he did a uturn to stop the guy (not like he was following him and saw expired tabs or something), on 4th ave s just past the overpass over the train yard. then, continuing on over the 1st ave s bridge there were SPD officers radaring cars on 509 as they came down off the bridge on their way out of Seattle. Then I see a KCSD motorcycle deputy hiding in a driveway on 26th well inside Seattle radaring cars. all in one day.
    I’ve never seen the state patrol stop a car on city streets (just big trucks) so that was odd. I know they can, it just seems silly because who is going to take care of the freeways if they don’t.
    509 is a state highway and I’ve seen troopers doing the same thing in the same spot, but it was kind of weird seeing SPD doing it, especially since they could camp out on 35th pretty much any day of the week and print money for the city.
    the deputy on a bike hiding in a driveway on a city street just seemed really weird tho. there’s a whole lot of KC not covered by any city’s PD, so I don’t understand why they would spend time doing that in Seattle.

  • austin April 24, 2010 (8:02 am)

    We don’t need more police, just fewer drivers.

  • CB April 24, 2010 (9:44 am)

    This is a revenue generating machine. Nothing more. Funny how the police spend more time collecting taxes for Olympia than keeping people and property safe. Public safety is no longer a priority rather something they do in their spare time. Just look at the monthly crime wave that West Seattle experiences: 75+ burglaries is considered normal by the cops.

  • BeachDriveBoy April 24, 2010 (9:07 pm)

    @CB: If we use automated means to catch dangerous speeders (and yes, speeding is dangerous), cops are freed up to catch burglars, car prowlers, etc. It sounds like a ‘win-win’ situation that everyone can get behind except the selfish ‘it’s all about me’ crowd who consider the streets of West Seattle their own personal private Monaco Grand Prix. I have no sympathy for the whiners; ‘man up’, and take responsibility for yourselves. The life you save may be your own.

  • BusinessOwner April 25, 2010 (12:40 am)

    Really . . . what is next . . . camera’s taking pictures of EVERYONE and sending out tickets for no seat belts? Speeding isn’t good, but to enforce laws like this is scary! Why do you want your government in your life so much! Laws are great, enforcing them even better, but using unmanned surveillance devices to monitor/record/adjudicate our behavior, unacceptable.

  • msw April 25, 2010 (11:27 am)

    For a city that prides itself on being “Progressive” it sure seems like the people here like the idea “Big Brother” watching over them and punishing them when they make mistakes. I guess that’s what you get when you have a city government run by a bunch of humorless middle age white folks. The Puritans are alive and well and living in the City of Seattle.

  • mar3c April 25, 2010 (11:54 am)

    “big brother?” please. the van has one purpose: to enforce the speed limit. not to take your DNA, scan for guns or drugs, etc. it’s no more malevolent than a red light camera.
    35th ave is dangerous. period. fauntleroy has gotten safer since the city rechannelized it, and the massive backups that the naysayers predicted haven’t materialized. (however, morons still speed down my block to cut off the red lights on fauntleroy, regardless of the elderly pedestrians, kids playing, and pets.)
    until people’s driving habits get better, ideas like this van are a good thing. daily, i see people fail to yield, fail to stop, “merge” without looking, fail to signal turns or lane changes, tailgate, pull out in front of other cars, weave, bob, fold, spindle, and mutilate. it’s practically anarchy on the roads, with little visible enforcement of moving violations.
    i think it’s high time to start requiring a written driving exam every time a driver renews his license; and maybe show some of the nastier accidents on 35th as part of that exam.

  • Born To Be Mild April 25, 2010 (2:25 pm)

    Anyone else notice that the mid-block U-turn now is common practice? Not on 35th of course, you’d get creamed.

  • msw April 25, 2010 (3:46 pm)

    Yup, as I said, there are a lots of Puritans living in Seattle. I think perhaps burning at the stakes and dunking might make these people happy. After all, the rest of us don’t drive perfectly like they do.

    As for busy streets, 35th isn’t the only street, I live near Admiral. Instead of whining at how unsafe it is and showing a holier than though attitude about drivers. I make it a habit to pay attention when I cross any busy street. I don’t need our city government to do that for me with expensive cameras, vehicle, personnel and the cost that goes with it.

    As for taking DNA and scan for guns, drugs, immigration status, and your travel papers, well, that will come later. And of course when this is done by our government it will make us all safer, in our little perfect Utopia of Seattle.

  • 35this35mph April 25, 2010 (11:25 pm)

    Some folks are trolls…
    Some folks take the bait…
    Don’t feed the trolls.

  • Crystal April 29, 2010 (6:04 pm)

    @dailycommuter — I drive on 35th every day and I’m happy that it’s a quick thoroughfare for people who have lives where they actually have to get somewhere in a timely fashion. Aggressive drivers? High speeds? If 45 mph is a high speed, strap on another layer of Depends and deal with it. Thank you to those drivers who respect “the flow of traffic.” The last thing I need is another way for the City of Seattle to bilk anymore cash out of me. Some people just love a police state.

  • mar3c April 30, 2010 (6:18 am)

    crystal: timely fashion? you mean people who are constantly late.
    thank you to drivers who respect the “speed limit” and other “traffic laws.” this isn’t NASCAR. it’s a commute through a community, and the community has decided that those laws should exist – to protect other people from *you*.
    quick physics lesson: if you’re going 45 mph, and you hit an oncoming car going 45 mph, it’s like hitting a stationary object while going 90 mph.
    i’m glad the city is “bilking” cash from law-breaking drama queens.
    slow down and use your damned turn signal.

  • misc May 2, 2010 (1:10 pm)

    What a wonderful way for the city to make extra money.

  • sickandtiredofthiscrap May 6, 2010 (10:05 am)

    THISTLE STREET NEEDS TO BE NEXT! Sick of almost getting rearended when backing out of my driveway!!! I almost want to install a camera facing the street so I can catch offenders in the act.

  • brandon May 14, 2010 (12:03 pm)

    The van is up and in use on 35th at Brandon/Dawson.

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