Early this Monday morning (November 28), you are invited to join the Admiral Neighborhood Association for an event at 47th/Admiral, the intersection where an inattentive driver hit and killed Tatsuo Nakata five years ago this month. We mentioned the plan in our coverage of ANA’s most recent meeting, and just confirmed with association president Katy Walum that the event is on. She says, “We are inviting all interested community members (young and old) to meet up at Alki Mail and Dispatch at 7am for a peaceful celebration of the memory of Tatsuo Nakata, and demonstration to our City’s leaders that we still have an all-too dangerous intersection in our neighborhood. We will have signs for folks to hold, light sticks and necklaces for the kids, and Don at Alki Mail has graciously offered to provide coffee and cocoa.” Read on for the official news release/announcement they are distributing:
The Admiral Neighborhood Association is organizing a tribute at 7:00 a.m. on Monday, November 28th, at 47th Avenue SW and SW Admiral Way to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the passing of West Seattle traffic victim, Tatsuo Nakata.
Matthew “Tatsuo” Nakata, a Seattle City Council staffer, was struck and killed by an errant driver on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 when Nakata attempted to walk through the marked crosswalk at the intersection of 47th Avenue SW. Mr. Nakata had the right of way.
Because of this tragedy, the Admiral Neighborhood Association and West Seattle neighbors installed and now maintain pedestrian crossing flags in the area where the accident occurred. The Seattle Department of Transportation also completed its previously-planned installation of curb “bulb-outs,” refurbished overhead pedestrian crossing sign, and signs directing drivers where to stop for pedestrians.
The crosswalk connects to a popular route for neighborhood elementary, middle and high schools. Additionally, a medical recuperation center, business center/coffee-shop, and a prominent multi-route METRO bus stop are connected by the crosswalk.
The gathering will also serve to bring critical awareness and support for a traffic light in that area.
The Admiral Neighborhood Association is currently undertaking lobbying efforts to the Seattle City Council and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn for one of two annual traffic light installations the city performs on needy intersections in Seattle.
The driver who hit and killed Mr. Nakata, Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz, got a deferred sentence. He no longer lives or works in West Seattle.