How to make roads safer? Mayor, council are asking you

The mayor and City Council have three questions for you:

*What do you think are the highest priority safety problems to solve on Seattle roads?
*What do you think are the most important things to do to make Seattle roads safer?
*We often talk about what government can do to promote safety. What are the ways that non-governmental groups and individuals can promote safety?

To get your answer, a three-session Road Safety Summit is about to kick off – with the third session in West Seattle, 6 pm November 21st at Southwest Community Center. The city asks that you RSVP if you can – which you can do here.

32 Replies to "How to make roads safer? Mayor, council are asking you"

  • m October 19, 2011 (8:27 pm)

    Make drivers retake the written and driving portions of the driving test every time they get their license renewed!!!!! Who remembers details of anything they learned when they were 15 or 16? It seems many drivers in Seattle can’t remember the following: turn your headlights on when it is raining (or it’s DARK out); use turn signals to indicate a lane change; yield to pedestrians and cyclists; slow down at unmarked intersections and yield; learn what road signs mean (i.e. the difference between two arrows joining at an onramp and two arrows going next to each other).

  • sophista-tiki October 19, 2011 (8:40 pm)

    A high percentage of street signs are NOT VISIBLE. They’re either blocked by foliage, too dirty to reflect or improperly placed like 2 ft off the ground. Do not enter signs, no turn signs, speed limit signs, one way signs, street name signs, stop signs. I’ve seen each of these examples all over the city.

  • bridge to somewhere October 19, 2011 (8:53 pm)

    Seattle is an especially difficult city to drive in because of the random, curving roads that are often in poor condition, the poor lighting overall at night, and the cars that park all along roads thus reducing room.

  • datamuse October 19, 2011 (9:05 pm)

    Y’all might want to go to the session detailed in the blog post, to make those points.
    Yours truly will be stuck at work that night, but if someone wants to go and ask them to please please for the love of puppies fix the potholes or better yet repave the really bad areas, that would be great. I nearly lost an axle on Delridge recently.

  • CB October 19, 2011 (10:01 pm)

    The sooner we get a new mayor, the safer the city will be.

  • Seattlite October 19, 2011 (10:03 pm)

    1. Agressive drivers and bicylists. Drivers don’t abide by the written road laws. I witness everyday speeders, drivers/bicylists not making complete stops at Stop Signs, drivers uturning across solid double yellow lines, pedestrians jwalking on busy avenues — all of these violations are creating dangerous driving conditions.
    2. Agree w/sophista-tiki — Street and speed signs are sometimes not visible because of overgrown foliage. SPD needs to start ticketing jwalkers, bicylists showing that there is a consequence to not abiding the law. SPD is doing a fair to good job of ticketing speeders but there is room for improvement.
    3. Groups could perhaps help in educating drivers about the road laws. Maybe an assigned SPD phone number, other than 911, that can be called to report the license plate and location of drivers breaking the road laws to see if there’s a pattern of areas that have more violations.

  • J October 19, 2011 (11:02 pm)

    Shut down the cell phone network?

  • george October 19, 2011 (11:14 pm)

    Keep right, except to pass.

  • george October 19, 2011 (11:38 pm)

    How about we fix all the broken clocks in the expensive cars? I mean, the way they drive, they must all be running late so it must have something to do with the cheap clock on their dash.

  • wubbawubba wubba October 20, 2011 (12:31 am)

    Convince people that keep right except to pass is the LAW!

  • koni October 20, 2011 (5:49 am)

    Hallelujah J. :) Cell phone enforcement!!!!

  • DMB October 20, 2011 (7:18 am)

    Ditto CB

  • velo_nut October 20, 2011 (7:30 am)

    Increase the tax on gas by $5 a gallon.

  • MP October 20, 2011 (8:08 am)

    Oh, and agreed, get a new mayor fast!!!

  • Peter on Fauntleroy October 20, 2011 (8:26 am)

    Slow down! Support a proposal in the legislature to allow cities to set their minimum/default speed limit at 20mph instead of 30mph.

  • Meg October 20, 2011 (8:46 am)

    Yes to J! Highest fines for drivers that ignore the cell phone ban and continue talking/texting like drunkards on the road. Is there a place I can report them? Once I’m no longer behind the wheel, that is? ;)

  • alkikmac October 20, 2011 (8:47 am)

    Cars are parking too close to cross streets. Yes, they aren’t supposed to, but repainting the curb in red and ticketing & towing violators will increase visibility at cross streets.

  • Bolvar October 20, 2011 (9:24 am)

    Make Police enforce the solid double yellow line rules.I had an officer tell me they don’t enforce that old law.Enforcing that alone would increase safety and revenue.Once Again,Double yellow means DO NOT CROSS,they don’t paint two lines just for fun,there is a reason!

  • bkn October 20, 2011 (9:28 am)

    Stay right unless passing, it’s the law. Bicyclist need to follow the rules of the road as well – weaving through traffic, quick turns in front of cars, not stopping at stop signs & red-lights, etc. If you bicyclist want to be treated with respect, act in a manner that deserves it. Dogs should be outlawed in the front seat. Enforce the hands free cell phone law. Police need to start using their lights when they pull a U-Turn in front of oncoming traffic as well as when they are in response to a call!

  • chet October 20, 2011 (9:29 am)

    Agree with alkikmac.

  • Al October 20, 2011 (9:30 am)

    Here is a non-emergency online SPD contact form. This information is recorded and reviewed by SPD. In fact, many times they will contact you for follow up information or just confirm that they have received the info. I have had success in reporting individual drivers and problem areas…

  • KBear October 20, 2011 (9:37 am)

    A double yellow line indicates a no-passing zone. It does not by itself prohibit left turns or u-turns. U-turns are generally legal in Washington, provided they are made safely and without interfering with the flow of traffic.

  • Seattlite October 20, 2011 (10:23 am)

    Yes to all of you that mentioned that cell phone abuse including texting is rampant — this violation alone creates danger for other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists. Maybe the fines should be as high as $1000 for cell phone use while driving — would a fine that high deter cell phone use while driving? Not one day goes by that I don’t see drivers using cell phones causing them to drive erratically.

  • velo_nut October 20, 2011 (11:58 am)

    Bolvar… understand a traffic law before you speak.

  • Tracy White October 20, 2011 (12:13 pm)

    @m, the first poster:

    Licenses are a state and not city thing, so bringing it up there would be a waste of time, even though I do agree.

    Also agree with the notion to have more setbacks at intersections would help; there have been many times when I haven’t been able to adequately see oncoming traffic at an intersection because the closest parked vehicle was something like a SUV or van that blocked the view.

  • Seattlite October 20, 2011 (1:53 pm)

    velonut, Bolvar is correct that RCW states that it is illegal to cross or uturn on a solid double yellow line. Drivers can uturn on broken double yellow lines as long as the uturn does not impede or endanger traffic or pedestrians.

  • chet October 20, 2011 (3:13 pm)

    @Tracy, I agree with you. I have complained to the city but they just say there is no money for signs or the reactive approach to enforcing the law (my favorite) there haven’t been enough accidents at XYZ intersection to warrant safety improvements.
    Lets hope this new push from the city will result in more safe streets.

  • Peter on Fauntleroy October 20, 2011 (3:16 pm)

    Slow down!! Tell your legislator to pass legislation allowing cities to set speed limits!

  • KBear October 20, 2011 (3:27 pm)

    Seattllite, you are incorrect about crossing the double yellow line. RCW 46.61.100 states that it is permissible to cross the centerline to make a left turn, and RCW 46.61.295 says that U-turns are allowed when they can be made safely. The double yellow line indicates that you can’t drive on the other side of the road WITHOUT making a turn of some sort (to pass another car, for example.)

  • Seattlite October 20, 2011 (5:05 pm)

    KBear — You are not entirely correct. The Q and A below is taken from the Seattle 911 — A Police and Crime Blog:
    Q. Is it legal to turn over a double yellow line?

    Q. Is it legal to drive over a double yellow line?
    Q. What is the law regarding left turns across double yellow lines?

    Q. To get into work, most people at my company turn left across double yellow solid lines, which to my knowledge is illegal. Is it illegal at all times, or is it allowed when “it is safe to do so”? I’ve heard different accounts from different people.

    A: It may be legal to cross a double yellow line, but it depends on the street.

    Trooper Julie Startup said she’s never seen a problem if people are crossing over a double yellow to turn into an alley, private road or driveway.

    That’s detailed in subsection 3 of section 46.61.130 in the Revised Code of Washington.

    “But there may be a problem if people are not turning into something,” Startup said. “Technically in that case you’re not allowed to turn over a double yellow line.

    “The double yellow line indicates designated no-passing zones that have reduced visibility or any other safety concern for drives that would be cause an increased danger if passing. Intersections would most likely be marked with breaks in the double yellow but private roads, driveways and alleys would be instances where a driver could turn over the double yellow.

    “This is still a no passing zone for safety reasons and drivers should only make the turns when safe to do so.”

  • mitts October 20, 2011 (6:10 pm)

    I don’t think any amount of additional education, testing, or increased signage will give people common sense. The other day I saw a guy with his iPad hooked to his windshield like a GPS, watching a movie while he was driving on the Viaduct!

  • datamuse October 20, 2011 (10:03 pm)

    I’m kinda with you, mitts. People, they’re asking how to make the roads safer, not change human nature.

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