Happening now: ‘Slow down’ rally on 35th SW

Despite the downpour, about 20 people are out along 35th SW near Juneau – site of a recent deadly motorcycle-car collision – for a rally urging drivers to slow down. As you probably know, the propensity for speeding on the straightaway has given the road the nickname “I-35.” Denise Sharify of Neighborhood House, who led the crusade that resulted in a similar rally almost three years ago, organized this one too.

Also out: Seattle Police, with Community Police Team Officer Kevin McDaniel on hand, and Traffic Unit vehicles in evidence too (our crew saw one chase down a speeder). Plus TV crews in abundance.

Sharify (talking with KIRO’s Graham Johnson in the photo above) says they’ll be out there as long as people concerned about safety are willing to join them – scheduled end time 6 pm.

She also says they may plan another rally, so this doesn’t fall too far off the front burner. (Additional photos added 5:31 pm.)

49 Replies to "Happening now: 'Slow down' rally on 35th SW"

  • S May 11, 2011 (4:51 pm)

    Just passed the gathering on the way home from work. Several people with their signs in rain coats and a few patrol cars as well. Good on all of you standing out there… Its rediculous how fast people drive on 35th.. SLOW DOWN!!35th IS 35

  • Recall McGinn May 11, 2011 (5:08 pm)

    Drive 35 on 35th.

  • Megan May 11, 2011 (5:11 pm)

    Agree with the first poster – the drivers along 35th are crazy a lot of the time, and in the neighborhood in general. I don’t understand how 40 suddenly means 50 and up. It’s not a racetrack, folks. Glad to see people out there trying to bring some attention to it.

  • I. Ponder May 11, 2011 (5:19 pm)

    Would more traffic lights make a difference?

  • tix May 11, 2011 (5:54 pm)

    I saw SPD giving tickets yesterday too before this rally. People are changing. I can tell you they drive just as fast on Thistle between Cali and 35th. I wish SPD would stop them there.

  • Denise Sharify May 11, 2011 (6:05 pm)

    Thanks to all those who came out in the rain today. Most of us were there at 4pm and left at 5:15 because we were soaked. You really made a difference!! To join ongoing efforts to make 35th safer, please email me at dtsharify@gmail.com.

  • Paul May 11, 2011 (6:07 pm)

    They need to be out there at 1:30 a.m. when all the drunks are heading down 35th at 70mph, taking out the light poles, wrapping themselves around trees and crashing in front yards. Something that happens in front of my house every two to three months in the six years I’ve lived on 35th. Pillorying the guy driving 40 in a 35 on his way home from work isn’t the real problem.

  • 4thGenWest Side May 11, 2011 (6:11 pm)

    Maybe look in to turning 35th in to a Viaduct with a few exit ramps?

  • Recall McGinn May 11, 2011 (6:14 pm)

    Keep up the emphasis patrols SPD! Nail the drunks at 1:30 am as well as the guy driving 40 on his way home.

  • Nulu May 11, 2011 (6:22 pm)

    Are you claiming 24 to 36 late night drunk accidents in front of your house in the last six years?

    Without any proof whatsoever, I remain highly skeptical of such a claim.

    If you have followed the speeding stats here on WSB, you would know that people are not being pilloried for 40mph in the 35 zone.

  • rockyraccoon May 11, 2011 (6:26 pm)

    I disagree, Paul. I think the people out during the commutes and in between, driving 40 to 50, on their cell phones and paying little to no attention to their driving are the bigger problem. Even when everybody’s sober, 35th is a very dangerous street, mostly due to the lack of a left turn lane, that requires one’s full attention and a low enough speed to stop quickly when necessary. The drunks out at 1:30 am wrapping themselves around trees are self-policing to some extent.

  • CurlyQ May 11, 2011 (6:51 pm)

    Yay for these folks and all they’re doing to make our part of town safer. I drive 35th at least twice/day, and have seen several over the years (day and night). We all need to do our part to slow down and drive more carefully and conscientiously, and not just on 35th.

  • CurlyQ May 11, 2011 (6:52 pm)

    “…have seen several accidents” (is what I meant to say)

  • Mongo May 11, 2011 (7:05 pm)

    I drive almost the whole length of 35th every day (usually multiple times), and all this hyperbole about the rate of cars that are doing an inappropriate speed on 35th doesn’t match my experience. The VAST MAJORITY of drivers are driving at speeds appropriate for this road. Yes, I see a few drivers who are driving too fast (and I’d like to see more patrols to catch them & write tickets), but I haven’t seen any DATA that supports all this “I-35” BS. Some of these posts make it sound like every driver is doing 50+ mph on 35th, and that just isn’t true…

  • steve May 11, 2011 (7:12 pm)

    do it like Fauntleroy, one lane each way

  • Westsider May 11, 2011 (8:04 pm)

    35th would really benefit from either or ROAD DIET and/or reducing the speed limit from 35 to 30 MPH.

  • Recall McGinn May 11, 2011 (8:09 pm)

    Why do people feel the need to drive 5, 10, 15 mph over the speed limit on 35th? We all end up at a red light on Avalon anyway.

  • old timer May 11, 2011 (8:18 pm)

    One of the TV news shows covering this event happened to have
    the Speed Monitor sign that is East of Myrtle Park on 35th in the background.
    As the reporter was delivering his message, someone zipped by
    registering 48 on the sign.
    These our our neighbors and families doing this, not some
    Muslim terrorists – and they will kill again.
    Speed cams – fines with insurance premium ramifications.

  • Jill May 11, 2011 (8:22 pm)

    I’m liking the road diet/left turn lane suggestion. If it can work on NE 50th (and it does), it can work on 35th SW.

    Thanks for taking time out of your day to do this, ralliers! I’ll keep an eye out for the next one.

  • Todd May 11, 2011 (8:45 pm)

    35th should be increased to 40mph. I think the real problem in west seattle is the people who go 30mph next to each other down 35th with dogs on their laps. or the people who go 15mph the whole way down beach drive. Stay in the right lane unless passing leave the left lane for passing and left turns and if there is excessive speeding going on let the SPD deal with it.

  • Mat May 11, 2011 (8:46 pm)

    I’m with Steve and Westsider.

    When it was noted by the cops in attendance at the last town hall that they had written a few dozen tickets for over 10 over, I think we can see that ticketing alone will not solve this problem.

  • Cbo May 11, 2011 (9:18 pm)

    One lane each way wont work at all!!
    Way too jammed at work hours
    Just keep up with better patrols and move the lame stop lkght to the intersection in question!!!!

  • sniffy May 11, 2011 (9:24 pm)


    You are right on the money.

  • David May 11, 2011 (9:41 pm)

    I agree that I-35 is unsafe, but people are forgetting what really makes it unsafe: there’s no center turn lane and the lanes are too narrow. They should ban parking along the straightaway of 35th, put in a middle turn lane, and widen the other lanes. Most days there’s only 20-30 cars parked along the whole stretch of 35th (count them). It’s not too much to ask those few people to park on 35th to move around the corners or into their driveways if they’ve got ’em. If the lanes were wider and there was a middle turn lane, they could realistically raise the speed limit to 45 mph and acknowledge that I-35 is a main arterial that needs to efficiently carry a lot of cars. Realistically, no one’s going to drive 35 mph, so let’s make the road safe and post a decent speed that moves cars.

  • Neighbor May 11, 2011 (9:45 pm)

    As someone who has just been in an accident in WS I can only thank you all for doing this. My entire life has changed because someone wasn’t paying attention. My car is totaled, my body is hurt and my family is suffering. What the hell gives people the right to be so nonchalant with other people’s lives? For all those who think they are better and cannot possibly ruin another’s person’s life while they just take a call, check a text, or try to get home 5 minutes faster I am living a nightmare because of your fantasy.

  • T May 11, 2011 (10:03 pm)

    I agree with Todd and David! This “road diet” is a horrible idea. You have to consider the amount of people commuting at rush hour; road dieting would aggravate a situation that is already grossly inefficient. STAY RIGHT, use the left for passing only, and it’s all good.

    If you still can’t stomach the idea of a multi-lane road, move to Bainbridge. Call me one day when a fender-bender stops traffic for hours, you miss your ferry, and are late to work. Patients die in ambulances, and houses burn while the firetrucks are delayed. I’d love to know your opinions on having only one lane at at time.

  • David May 11, 2011 (10:14 pm)

    “T,” I agree that a road diet is a bad idea. All those cars have to move north-south somehow. Traffic on 35th should be managed as a major arterial, not as a small neighborhood street. If there were a center turn lane along with the 2 lanes of traffic each direction, there would be virtually no accidents. People wouldn’t be weaving around cars trying to turn left, turns could be made without pressure, and people wouldn’t be so dangerously close to oncoming traffic.

    Can anyone justify all the carnage on 35th just so 20-30 people can park right in front of their houses?

  • Lura Ercolano May 11, 2011 (10:29 pm)

    Todd, when I slow to 15 mph on Beach Drive, it is because that is actually the appropriate speed for the potholes that I know are just ahead.

  • JA May 12, 2011 (5:29 am)

    I think the poor driving habits (speeding, texting, tailgaiting, stop sign running etc) are simply the manifestation of a belief of some that they and their adjenda trump those of all others around them. It’s what I refer to as “The ME FIRST Attitude” and I see it in practice every single day driving in West Seattle.

  • RJB May 12, 2011 (6:29 am)

    Road diet…..ugh. I call it a bandaid. As more people move here-and they will because West Seattle rocks-roads will stay busy…and people will speed. We can protest, complain, ticket them, but until people stop being selfish and SLOW DOWN nothing is going to change. People still speed all over Fauntleroy…just wish people realize it is better to get to your destination one minute later than not at all.

  • Nulu May 12, 2011 (8:59 am)

    For all of you road diet foes, what is your response to the absolute success of Fauntleroy Way’s reconfiguration?

    Dire predictions of the sort now written about 35th never materialized.

    Let the traffic engineers, armed with knowledge, not uninformed opinions and anecdotes, make the decision.

  • Felicia May 12, 2011 (9:22 am)

    I was actually able to park for work on 35th Ave SW this morning and get out of my car without fearing for my life! The traffic flow didn’t seem to be any slower even though most people were driving the speed limit. I hope that a month from now people won’t forget-but they probably will.

  • pam May 12, 2011 (9:31 am)

    Pro “road diet”, pro protestors. I enjoyed the way their protest did, indeed, slow things down on 35th.

  • foy boy May 12, 2011 (9:31 am)

    Fauntleroy has far less traffic then 35av. Ever since the change the ferry traffic shots up barton to 35. Plus alot more people live closer to 35. Also the change on fauntleroy has not slowed down that much. It still has the vashon crowd racing to chatch the boat.

  • age35liveson35drives35 May 12, 2011 (11:49 am)

    Wouldn’t it be something to hold a 35 on 35 rally, where as many cars as can gather drive from one end of the 35th to the other actually going the speed limit! Shoot a video of it and the ractions of those who “don’t like it” post it on YouTube.

  • Burton May 12, 2011 (12:58 pm)

    I’ll continue to speed or not on 35th because as an ADULT I don’t need nanny state neighbors trying to tell me what to do. If I get pulled over by the police so be it. I understand the consequences. Let the police do the policing.

  • JAT May 12, 2011 (1:14 pm)

    Ooh, Burton, nice use of the rightist meme “Nanny State!” I posit that if you speed on 35th because you don’t like to abide by the speed limit your neighbors (SDOT and the City Council)are trying to tell you to obey, then maybe you’re not really an ADULT.

  • Matt May 12, 2011 (1:17 pm)

    As an ADULT, I realize that my actions have or could possibly have consequences that effect the lives of others. What I do in my own home is my own business, but when in public space we all need to be mindful of not endangering others as we pursue our own agenda.

    The speeders on 35th are a danger, as the accident reports and death statics for the last 5 years plainly point out. Home sales on the street are flat because prospective buyers don’t want the noise, traffic, or the possible danger to their children.

    We can rally and complain all night about this, but in the end those of us who are concerned have to push our city government to act in a responsible manner for the safety of everyone who have access to 35th Ave SW.

  • kon35th May 12, 2011 (2:24 pm)

    I’ve lived on 35th for over 9 years now, and I have seen many accidents, but yet to see one accident caused by speeding. The accidents have occured because people haven’t used their turn signals (WS appear to be the worst about using their signals), unattentiveness for all reasons listed in previous posts, bad judgement of people driving and crossing the street, etc. Not once have I seen WSB post that an investigation ruled an accident occured due to excessive speed. Road diet won’t work and there are 100’s of cars that must park on 35th to their dismay(not just 20-30, and no I’m not one of them). I agree that the stop light should be moved from Findlay to Juneau (previously posted in different thread),a center divider should somehow go in, allowing for fewer turn spots, add a few more stop lights and people should only use street light crosswalks. By the way, sorry to sound jaded, but the rally alone didn’t slow the people down yesterday the 4-5 cop cars positioned with their lights flashing did that. Oh yeah, and for everyone that is turning right onto a side street, slowly merge all the way over to the parking lane to make your turn so you keep the flow of traffic moving and there will be less lane changing going on.

  • Andros May 12, 2011 (5:28 pm)

    I have the best idea for 35th. Put in a few more stop lights along 35th. Juneau is a prime spot for one, but I’m sure there are other examples. Then time all of the lights to 35 mph and put up signs to let everyone know that. You’ll see everyone slow down so they can make all the lights. Problem solved.

  • Andros May 12, 2011 (5:32 pm)

    Oh and the road diet fans are ignorant. Go away…that is a poor solution. Refer to yesterday for the impact of how bad that would be.

  • Alex May 12, 2011 (6:02 pm)

    Agreed with those who say a road “diet” (downgrade) is a terrible idea. We need safety, not gridlock. Ticket those who speed rampantly, and consider widening lanes by eliminating parking. Adding a turn lane would be great, but we can’t do it at the expense of the traffic lanes.

    35th is an enormously important arterial, not a cozy neighborhood street. We can’t afford to slow it down.

  • Recall McGinn May 12, 2011 (6:46 pm)

    We can definitely afford to slow it down. Maybe a road diet isn’t the solution, but having cops write loads of tickets is a step in the right direction.

  • george May 12, 2011 (10:52 pm)

    I thought Nickels lackey’s were all over the signal timing project…several times in fact because they were screwed up so many times. Agree, its not always the speed, its the poor driving habits and distractions. Was this most recent fatality caused by speed, poor weather, bad driving, or bad luck?
    BTW, those of us from the Y send our condolences to the family.

    • WSB May 12, 2011 (11:04 pm)

      George, accident investigation reports usually don’t come out for months. So there is no official ruling at this point – TR

  • Genesee Hill May 13, 2011 (12:08 am)

    Turn 35th into a pedestrian/bicycle only street. Make 34th one way and 36th one way. Increase the speed on each of those roads to 70 MPH for autos and 85 MPH for motorcycles with 750 CC, or greater, engine displacement. It will be safe because all of the traffic will be going in the same direction. Of course, allow cell phone/texting on the new one way streets. It will be safe because the speed limit will be conducive to expediting people in a hurry. Also, ensure there are no crosswalks or traffic lights on these newly designated one way roads. It is important that speed is the first priority for these commuters.

  • knm May 13, 2011 (12:31 pm)

    I agree that certain portions of 35th have speedy drivers, but I find most often that I cannot even go the speed limit because drivers are going TOO SLOW! The stretch near Juneau and further north finds cars going over 40, but south of there, one is lucky if they can get to 30mph! Wonder why the difference.

  • Todd May 13, 2011 (5:26 pm)

    Eliminating parking and adding a turn lane would be the best option, 35th is a main street to get through west seattle so it should be treated that way.

  • blackwatch May 14, 2011 (11:05 am)

    Rather than put a stop light at Juneau, I think they should just make left turns illegal. I’ve waited for 10 min.s behind cars with timid drivers that couldn’t get it up to turn.
    And I’m with the other poster who says-
    -Slow traffic stay right.
    And I’ve always said the real problems are due to most people’s lack of defensive driving skills and the lack of awareness and surroundings most people live with every day. And that’s not going to change no matter how slow people go.

Sorry, comment time is over.