Followup: ‘I-35’ safety, and a chance to talk about it Tuesday

(Seen April 2010 at 35th/Webster, shared by MAS)
There have been safety concerns for years along the central stretch of 35th Avenue SW – symbolized by the sign in our file photo – and they resurfaced following last Wednesday night’s 35th/Juneau motorcycle-car collision, which killed a motorcyclist identified by his family in WSB comments as Andrew Seffernick (who would’ve been turning 25 tomorrow).

If you share those concerns – or are worried about other West Seattle streets – it just so happens that, coincidentally, a key SDOT traffic-safety manager is the guest at tomorrow night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting. West Seattle resident Jim Curtin is community-traffic liaison for SDOT. We had checked with Curtin late last week, after the deadly crash, to ask if anything happened to currently be in the works for that stretch. He pointed out that Seattle Police will investigate the crash to see what factored into that, but in the meantime: “No changes are currently planned for this location [35th/Juneau] at this time. We can, however, recommend additional enforcement in this area and will look at SPD’s findings to see if any changes are warranted.” It should be noted, though, that those findings may not be out for months, given how long major investigations often take. Tomorrow night’s WSCPC meeting is at the Southwest Precinct (the meeting room is right off the parking lot alongside SW Webster, east of Delridge), 7 pm, all welcome (and you can bring neighborhood-crime questions for SWP police, too). Till then, you can also read up on SDOT’s neighborhood-traffic program, by going here.

30 Replies to "Followup: 'I-35' safety, and a chance to talk about it Tuesday"

  • seattlecris April 18, 2011 (2:20 pm)

    Only one thing stops cars for sure*.. stoplights! Enough deaths along 35th! Its so tempting to go fast as it is a straight shot so I say add lights to not only control traffic but wake the drivers up from time to time as they cruise our little freeway; I-35. (*not 100% of course but with more certainty than signs and common sense.)
    The other thing I don’t like about 35th is stopping for people in the marked crosswalks and people coming up from behind, honking(sometimes a finger) and then passing without slowing down. Maybe I stopped for a reason.. like a pedestrian? Countless near misses!! I wish there was a signal for ‘stopping for a pedestrian’ so they wouldn’t do that. I have no idea how to stop them so sometimes I DON’T stop for a pedestrian because the traffic is heavy and I feel that by stopping I am putting the pedestrian in harms way as I cannot guarantee the other drivers WILL stop.

  • Recall McGinn April 18, 2011 (3:26 pm)

    SOMETHING must be done. I normally loathe “road diets” but I think in this case, one is needed on 35th. Too many negligent motorists drive 10 to 20 mph over the speed limit, and too many people are getting injured or killed.

    If a road diet is unfeasible, begin conducting emphasis patrols on 35th, anywhere between Roxbury and Avalon. The mustache patrol is well known on Highland Park drive and Admiral Way, perhaps they should be shifted to 35th for awhile.

  • M April 18, 2011 (3:29 pm)

    Don’t know why they are so adamant about the Admiral Way speed where there are almost never ANY pedestrians that I can see, but 35th remains a virtual freeway and has tons of foot traffic….

  • annf64 April 18, 2011 (3:47 pm)

    I would like to see Left Turn arrows at the corner of 35th and Barton. I’ve seen too many close calls when people are turning left and their light has already turned red.

  • J242 April 18, 2011 (3:58 pm)

    Stoplights are great but I would really like to see some photo radar systems as well. EVERY day I see people going significantly over the speed limit on Admiral hill and on Friday I had a jeep riding my bumper then blowing through the light (3-4 seconds after it had turned red) on Admiral hill heading downhill. The jerk almost hit a pedestrian! Let’s do photo radar and send these jerks tickets. Put up signs that speeding will make them have to pay and hopefully people will finally slow down a bit!

  • Mike April 18, 2011 (3:58 pm)

    Maybe they could start nailing some of these jerks on SW Alaska as they speed east to 35th. Try crossing Alaska as a pedestrian between Fauntleroy and 35th. Most of these jerks seem convinced that this is a speedway.

  • dco April 18, 2011 (4:58 pm)

    The most annoying thing about drivers on 35th are not only the speeders but also the amount of drivers who take an illegal turn across a double yellow line!

  • Jeremiah April 18, 2011 (5:09 pm)

    Road Diet. Road Diet. Road diet.

  • KBear April 18, 2011 (5:24 pm)

    Dco, a double yellow line does not prohibit left turns.

  • Paul April 18, 2011 (5:39 pm)

    bad drivers are everywhere not just this stretch

  • JayDee April 18, 2011 (6:07 pm)

    M has it right — 35th is bordered on both sides by residences, yet is ignored. Admiral south of Olga has near zero peds (except the brave few who want to get on at the last bus stop) and it gets the treatment. I agree the rest of Admiral uphill and west of Olga has it’s problems but not as many speeders as 35th. IMHO.

  • CMP April 18, 2011 (6:30 pm)

    I think SDOT is to blame for all of this. Take major arterials like 35th, 1st Ave South, MLK, Rainier, or East Marginal where the light cycles for those roads are generally 1:20 long (if not almost two minutes). With fewer red lights, it just encourages speeding IMO. But SDOT toots their horn about their brilliant signal timing, thinking it makes traffic flow better. I think it makes people inpatient, drive faster and pay less attention, but what do I know? I complain about bad driving constantly, email SDOT regularly and get stupid responses from their engineers that have no merit. I’m all for a road diet on 35th if it will cut down on accidents and fatalities! I can’t believe this road has been ignored for so long while Admiral and Highland Park Drive get all of the enforcement.

  • Genesee Hill April 18, 2011 (6:36 pm)


  • 35this35mph April 18, 2011 (6:54 pm)

    ROAD DIET. 35th is a Residential Street and should be understood as such; with the safety and rights of residents and pedestrians treated as paramount. I bought on 35th 11 years ago. I complained online about the speeding and danger at some point. I got a nice reply from a Social Darwininst who said I should just suck it up because I got a “price break” for buying on 35th.(I’m still pissed!) Does buying off the arterial grant one greater rights to expect people to obey the law? Every day on 35th people treat it like a race track; threading in and out of the lanes for position, stomping on the gas to beat the lights… I don’t expect people to become better behaved by additional lights or emphasis patrols. Physically altering the roadway is the only way to contain the problem.

  • Westie April 18, 2011 (7:16 pm)

    I don’t want 35th to go to one lane, but I would like speed bumps. You can’t really go 45 over a speed bump. Is there a speed bump that could be used on 35th? I think if we had to slow down for a bump every 2 or 3 blocks it would also make us all more aware of pedestrians and our surroundings in general.

  • Westsider April 18, 2011 (8:04 pm)

    I’ll definitely be attending this meeting and will be lobbying for:

    1) a road diet
    2) lowering the speed limit from 35 to 30 MPH
    3) more enforcement while we wait for the former changes to occur.

  • Westsider April 18, 2011 (8:11 pm)

    Thanks WSB for the link to the SDOT site. I just noticed that residents can go there to request arterial traffic calming –

    Here is the text from that site:

    “An individual or group can request traffic calming for an arterial street by calling SDOT Neighborhood Traffic Operations at (206) 684-0353. If you are leaving a message please include your name, address, a phone number, e-mail address, and the intersection. You may also go the Resident Request Form, or email us at

    SDOT will request additional enforcement for the arterial street from the Seattle Police Department. Residents are always welcome to call SPD directly at 206-625-5011 to request additional enforcement. SDOT will also put your request on an arterial traffic calming list for further review. All requests made prior to August 15th will be considered for the following year’s construction season.”

    “In the fall, SDOT will review all requests for traffic calming on arterial streets. Staff will review street characteristics including land use, collision data, and existing speed data. If there is no recent speed data, a 7-day speed survey will be conducted.”

    “Based on SDOT’s analysis, the streets will be ranked and SDOT staff will develop appropriate traffic calming measures.”

  • wsjeep April 18, 2011 (9:01 pm)

    Road diets dont work either since most of the time the hardcore speeders do it when its not packed. For example Fauntleroy Way SW and Delridge way.

  • thumbsupforaroaddiet April 18, 2011 (9:05 pm)

    I’m guessing that Admiral gets more attention (and a lower speed limit) because property costs are higher there. Funny how that works.

  • Yardvark April 18, 2011 (9:50 pm)

    We certainly don’t need to wait for SPD’s findings to know that the current traffic planning on 35th is killing people.

    Time to end I-35 and maybe start holding city officials responsible for future deaths. It seems like a horrible form of active negligence.

  • Eric April 18, 2011 (10:29 pm)

    The funny thing is that I don’t think the middle lanes make the “recommended” width of 10 feet. I know buses and trucks don’t really fit in the middle lanes at certain points. I’d feel a lot more comfortable with a single lane like Fauntleroy is now. It would be safer than it is now since you only have to watch two lanes of speeders instead of four and you won’t have to play chicken with others when towing a 8′ wide trailer.

  • MindDrive April 18, 2011 (10:47 pm)

    Enough studies! Do more people have to die before SDOT will do something??? Listen to regular users – we’re not crackpots making unreasonable requests. Given a few good ideas here alone, my first choice would be road calming very similar to Fauntleroy Way. I live there, and it’s not perfect, but it’s a major improvement for all road users.

  • Diane Laaksonen April 18, 2011 (11:47 pm)

    I sent in a complaint about the speeding on SW Avalon Way months ago…and wondering why there is such a focus on Admiral when there aren’t many driveways, pedestrians there etc. It appears it is just easier for the law enforcement to post signs there…and hide and catch cars on the downhill or uphill grade, driving above the posted 30mph. I got a courtesy…”we will look into it” and have never seen a traffic policeman stopping anyone on Avalon and the average speed is too fast. Our condo parking garage is on Avalon and is VERY dangerous, due to the speeding.

  • Ricky Bobby April 19, 2011 (5:40 am)

    Some people apparently will never rest until it takes 45 minutes to an hour, with no traffic, to go from one part of Seattle to another. Long live the speed fascists.

  • Concerned April 19, 2011 (7:37 am)

    35th is a death road!!! I’ve been run off the road by buses, they just move over to the center lane when they think the road is too narrow! Hey Driver! I’m right next to you!! If I was behind you that would be great! But I can’t go into on coming traffic!!! At 6:30-7 am when I’m on 35th there are drivers that go about 75!!! SCARY! And how could they put up more lights? there are lights almost every other block now!!!!!

  • Concerned April 19, 2011 (7:37 am)

    PS road diet is scary too! They already ride on your butt if you go the speed limit!!!

  • alan April 19, 2011 (7:50 am)

    I’m not sure why SDOT is taking the brunt of the above concerns, as an urban designer I’ve seen firsthand that smart design can only go so far. In my opinion, much of the blame needs to rely on SPD for failure to enforce. Between the pole-postion players on I-35 and the Vashon motoycyclists who often top 80 mph on the West Seattle Bridge, it’s a wonder why more people haven’t lost their lives. SPD – how much longer are willing you to sit idly on the sidelines of this bloodbath?

  • xyz April 19, 2011 (8:05 am)

    Lowering the speed limit will not slow down the people who speed on 35th. SPD should set up speeder “traps” on a regular basis and publish how fast they catch people driving on 35th (like they do on Admiral and the West Seattle Bridge).

  • Cclarue April 19, 2011 (8:13 am)

    I got tailgated and honked at last night at 6:15 for going the speed limit thru High Point on the main road past the cemetary toward 35th where there are many pedestrians and crosswalks. I pulled over and the guy blew past me to turn onto 35th. I was praying for a police officer to see him. I too wish for more patrols on 35th.

  • J April 19, 2011 (9:14 am)

    Count me with the “speed fascists” who think it’s more important for everyone to arrive safely than for an “entitled” few to go as fast as they choose.

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