35th Avenue SW safety: Online petition asks the city for action

That photo is from Sunday night – another crash on 35th Avenue SW, this time a motorcycle rider waiting to turn, rear-ended by a driver. Just eight days earlier, a memorial walk organized by local transportation-safety advocates called for action by the city, following the death of James St. Clair, hit by a driver while crossing 35th. As reported in our story about the post-walk discussion, similar calls had resounded for years – so far, none bringing much action.

So today, an online petition drive has launched to amplify the call for change. As its introduction notes, a deadly crash brought fast action in a north-end neighborhood last year, so why not, after five deaths in seven years and dozens of other crashes, here?

West Seattle cannot wait any longer – we need safe streets now! We the undersigned ask the Mayor, City Council, and Seattle Department of Transportation to fund and construct rapid improvements as they did in the case of the NE 75th St tragedy.

If you want to sign the online petition, go here.

75 Replies to "35th Avenue SW safety: Online petition asks the city for action"

  • Vanessa January 28, 2014 (5:06 pm)

    Please follow the link and sign the petition.
    We really need to make some changes on this avenue.
    Countless accidents and lives lost, horrible car crashes and near misses means it’s time for change.

    I almost wish it was just single lanes going North and South, then just one person goes the speed limit and all the rest just have to follow. But I know that’s not going to happen. How about a trolly line going right down the middle of the road? All the way from 104th down to Alki? Hey, a girl can dream.

  • highlandpark January 28, 2014 (5:34 pm)

    I’ve signed the petition – thanks for setting it up. Ironically, I have been yelled at by a motorcyclist for stopping for a pedestrian at an intersection on 35th.

  • sven January 28, 2014 (5:55 pm)

    35th is a good candidate for one of McGinn’s “road diets.” Two lanes and a middle turning lane with bike lanes would be much better.

  • wsn00b January 28, 2014 (6:07 pm)

    Once Google’s driverless cars are ubiquitous 20 years from now, we’ll finally stop having silly distracted, unskilled humans crashing into each other.

    Till then humans texting at 15-20 mph instead of 30-40 mph are still going to cause injuries.

    Pedestrian detection, night vision, automatic braking for collision avoidance are available today in 30-40K+ cars and they’ll be in every 8K hyundai in 10 years to prevent this kind of idiocy.

  • Joe Szilagyi January 28, 2014 (6:17 pm)

    Signed and thanks for jumping so quickly on top of this. There is zero legitimate downside to doing whatever it takes to make this arterial safe. What is the downside? You need to obey the speed limits? That’s not a downside. That’s the LAW. I know some people have extremely niche views, politically or otherwise, that look unfavorably on traffic laws. I say too bad as a resident that lives right off of 35th. If it takes me an extra 2-4 minutes to get from Roxbury to Avalon, good. I’ll go so far as to say that I’d be personally pleased with SDOT if they laid an air tight net of speed cameras up and down the corridor to make a point. I’ll cheerfully lock my cruise control in at 25mph if I have to.

  • Chris January 28, 2014 (6:41 pm)

    I never understand the objections some people have to efforts to reduce speeding on arterial streets. If most people are already driving well above the speed limit, anything which causes people to slow down will likely still have them driving at or just above the speed limit. Remember: the speed limit is a MAXIMUM speed, not a minimum.

    I drive 35th almost every day and it is often a stressful experience, with the speeding and drivers jockeying for the fastest lane. I welcome any attempts to create a safer, more sensible environment for drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians and all users of 35th.

  • JanS January 28, 2014 (6:45 pm)

    Joe, sadly there are some people who disagree with posted speed limits (see Admiral Way), so they go at the speed they THINK it should be. One person once even said “The car wants to go faster than 30 mph. Like the car has a damned brain, and you have no control. It’s infuriating.

    I signed this last night, and hope many more do, too…we need the city to pay attention, not give us excuses.

  • Morgan Jo January 28, 2014 (7:03 pm)

    Like Sven said, bring on Mayor McGinn’s road diet.

  • clark5080 January 28, 2014 (7:15 pm)

    I have seen numerous people who try to cross the street and will not go in the crosswalks even though it is only a few hundred feet away. Three years ago I was in a wreck at 35th and Kenyon that had nothing to do with speeding it was a stupid person making a turn right in front of me nothing I could do. i could see dropping the speed limit to 30 but not the road diet you still need to be able to get a lot of people out of West Seattle and back home. I would like to see info as to how many of these incidents are actually caused by speed and not by other circumstances.

  • datamuse January 28, 2014 (7:16 pm)

    I noticed that SDOT had what looked like temporary 30 mph signs and speed detectors set up on 35th south of Morgan today. Experimenting with lowering the speed limit through that stretch?

    • WSB January 28, 2014 (7:21 pm)

      As I read your comment, Deborah Vandermar from the High Point Neighborhood Association is here at the WS Block Watch Captains’ Network confirming that. It’s part of studying traffic on 35th, again, and then perhaps moving forward with rechannelization. – TR

  • Kate K January 28, 2014 (7:24 pm)

    Imagine “I-35” being configured like California with a center turn lane and one lane each way. It would change the road and the neighborhoods it runs through for the better.

    Please go to the petition and sign it. Too many people have died and been injured on this dangerous, poorly configured road. It can be fixed by painting new lines – easiest fix ever. It will save lives.

  • West Seattle Hipster January 28, 2014 (7:24 pm)

    Definitely safety improvements are needed, but reducing capacity in an area with exploding growth is kind of like treating dandruff with decapitation.


    Well lit crosswalks, increased ADRT patrols, and perhaps a few more stoplights would be my suggestions.

  • Eric1 January 28, 2014 (7:32 pm)

    I am all for making the lanes safer.I second the “too bad” if it takes you longer to get across West Seattle. I live about as far south as you can get. Yes, it may add 5 minutes to my commute. But given that the viaduct can add half an hour, why should I sweat 5 minutes?
    I **used** to be able to get to work in 25 minutes. Now it takes 35. My life hasn’t been ruined. I leave 10 minutes earlier to get to work on time. Apparently the other drivers did not get the notice that the traffic should part for me because I was here longer than the guy in front of me. LOL….

  • datamuse January 28, 2014 (7:38 pm)

    Rechannelization does not necessarily reduce capacity. Based on what I’ve read, the main factor seems to be how many cars use the road daily, with the threshold lurking somewhere around 20,000. So the main question is, how many cars travel on 35th on a daily basis now, and how much is that expected to increase?

  • alki resident January 28, 2014 (7:41 pm)

    What are you going to do when someone dies after the new changes? One of the problems is lighting, its completely dark near the carwash and other corners. With all the traffic and people moving here and you want one lane?
    Do you know how many times Ive almost hit pedestrians in general all over the city because they don’t look before they cross? They dart right out in front of cars while looking at their phone or listening to music. People need to learn to cross a street, please stop blaming cars for this. Also, changing it to 30 mph? Really?

  • Marko January 28, 2014 (7:54 pm)

    I would prefer to keep all lanes just to handle volume but add better lighting, better striping with reflectors, and enforcement. Seriously, some cars travel at least 40 mph at 0630. Let’s not even begin to discuss the Vashon Freeway (AKA Fauntleroy).

  • 935 January 28, 2014 (8:14 pm)

    +1 alki resident & marko
    with the popularity of smart phones and the general dumbing down of society lowering the speed limit won’t help. 2000 lbs hitting you @ 20 may not be as traumatic as 2000 lbs hitting you at 35 – unfortunately the end result will be the same.
    you can’t legislate intelligence.
    Lower the speed limit. Do a road diet (please offer to offset the cost) unless you place an elevated crosswalk, people will continue to perish here.

  • Chris January 28, 2014 (8:27 pm)

    “More than 80 percent of pedestrians hit by vehicles traveling at 40 mph or faster will die, while less than 10 percent will die when hit at 20 mph or less.”

    From a federal safety study:http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/provencountermeasures/fhwa_sa_12_013.htm

    So, the lower the speed, the much greater the chance of surviving a pedestrian/vehicle collision.

  • LyndaB January 28, 2014 (8:39 pm)

    Let’s get the Hawks to do a public service campaign about pedestrian/driver safety awareness. Will cars slow down when they see a 12th man crossing the street with a blue flag? Let’s think about this. :)

  • Kgdlg January 28, 2014 (8:56 pm)

    I just nearly hit someone tonight while turning from 35th into Walgreen’s parking lot! Luckily I am a pretty aware driver, was not distracted and was only going about five miles per hour. I feel that better lighting is needed along this stretch in particular.

  • Chris January 28, 2014 (9:02 pm)

    “More than 80 percent of pedestrians hit by vehicles traveling at 40 mph or faster will die, while less than 10 percent will die when hit at 20 mph or less.”


  • Joe Szilagyi January 28, 2014 (9:12 pm)

    Here are the traffic numbers for everything in the city. 35th does about 20k a day on a weekday for volume: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/tfdmaps.htm
    Adding more traffic lights slows things down. So does a road diet. What does it matter which, in the end, if things are slower and safer? Ideological opposition to one or the other is completely irrelevant. Ideology has no place in the discussion. “Will this work to make it safer?” <– the only question and concern that matters, full stop.
    The lighting is terrible, and not just on 35th. It's crap across a lot of the busier areas of West Seattle and atrocious on many side streets, compared to other parts of the city. Amazingly, I've had people tell me they want no more lights in some cases. Why? Because it would be "too bright". Go drive through Highland Park. Go down to Elmgrove and 11th. It's perfectly bright. Compare that to 35th. Our side of West Seattle may as well be behind blackout curtains. It's insane. 35th has to get brighter. A lot brighter.
    The defeatist attitude by some here is mind boggling to me. In a few years my child will be old enough to walk to the library on 35th. To cross 35th. The current state of the road is pure trash for safety. Despite this, it sounds like the vibe is STILL that it shouldn’t be fixed. That it can’t. It would be too inconvenient. Seriously? People literally dying, but heaven forbid my car or bus takes an extra 5 minutes to reach downtown.
    I can't tell if the opposition here is to not slow down 35th or some abstract "road diets and McGinn War on Cars" silliness. The city has been slowly fixing dangerous arterials city wide and 35th is going to get fixed one way or the other, even if some people disagree with how.

  • datamuse January 28, 2014 (9:12 pm)

    2000 lbs hitting you @ 20 may not be as traumatic as 2000 lbs hitting you at 35 – unfortunately the end result will be the same.
    Actually, that difference of 15 mph makes a substantial difference in the end result.
    Road diets have shown to reduce the number of crashes by anywhere from 19 to 47%. They also allow the placement of pedestrian crossing islands which likewise reduce car-pedestrian crashes.
    We even have a recent example right here in Seattle; there’s some data on the results of the Fauntleroy road diet in this Seattle Met article.
    Total collisions down: 31 percent.
    Collisions resulting in injury down: 73 percent.
    Car-bicycle collisions: zero.
    Speeding more than 10 mph over the speed limit down: 13 percent.
    Find me some evidence that road diets are ineffective and I’ll consider it. If pedestrians darting out in front of you happens “all over the city” then the configuration of the road appears to be immaterial.
    you can’t legislate intelligence.
    Obviously. But you can design roads so that people are less likely to die on them, and I seriously do not understand why anyone thinks that’s a bad thing. It’s not like 35th Ave sprang fully formed from the head of Zeus one day. Human beings designed it the way it is, and human beings can change it.

  • DMH January 28, 2014 (9:24 pm)

    I also live along 35th Ave. Its a dangerous road to be sure, but I am just not convinced that rechannelization is the way to go. I don’t have a good solution either. My concern with the 2 two lanes and center turn lane is the buses. When buses are picking up at the bus stops if they are blocking lanes then cars will be swerving into the center lane to get around them without slowing down. I see this being a pretty dangerous practice that we know will be taking place. I think this increases the chances of head on collisions with oncoming traffic. I also agree with the previous posters who voiced concerns over the lighting in the areas where pedestrians have been hit. Not 5 days after the last pedestrian death near High Point, I was driving home in the evening after dark and I nearly hit an elderly woman crossing in that same area. She was very short, wearing all black and mostly in the shadows. I stopped and made sure she made it safely across before I drove on. Luckily there was not a lot of traffic behind me at that time or I’m sure I would have been rear ended. So one step the city should take is to add more light to that intersection and a cross walk. I know there is a crosswalk at Morgan just south of there but clearly people dont want to walk up the hill to it so we should put something there because it does not deter people from crossing.
    Something needs to be done about this road but I think it has to be smart since this is a major road in West Seattle and alot of cars are always on this road. I pretty much hear traffic noise steadily from about 530am-930pm.

  • Mike January 28, 2014 (10:05 pm)

    “2000 lbs hitting you @ 20 may not be as traumatic as 2000 lbs hitting you at 35 – unfortunately the end result will be the same.
    you can’t legislate intelligence.”
    2000 lbs? Are you driving an new Fiat 500 without interior? Your average compact car is around 2700 lbs now. Mid-size SUV is 4,000 lbs, you don’t even want to know what a Unimog is.
    You’re actually less likely to be injured by a new 4Runner than a 1977 Rabbit, it has to deal with safety laws in design of vehicles now. Speed does play a factor in injuries, however, being hit by a plastic bumper with foam behind at 40mph is much nicer than being run over by a 5,000 lb 1970s Cadillac that grandma is driving at 15mph.
    Vehicle to vehicle collisions are of more concern at speed than pedestrian. The issue on 35th should not be a focus on the speed limit. It needs to be a focus on lighting (crappy lighting = no see any pedestrian), visibility (cars/vans/trucks parked in front of crossing zones = no see pedestrian), road paint (needs to be there and be reflective to be effective, especially at night in the rain, can’t see where the lanes or crossing zones are when they don’t exist. Thanks McGinn for using the road paint to make bike lane symbols and not keep people safe!).
    Sure you can have a turn lane in the middle and cut away a lane on either side. You’ll double the traffic flow and best of luck turning agains gridlock. You could put more stop lights, that’ll slow things down even more, causing longer backups in the one less lane each way. Don’t worry, 35th is the dedicated road that emergency crews need to get to a house fire, accident, people dying of being hit by a car….. But hey, you won’t have any accidents if we do cut the lanes down and make the speed limit lower right?

  • alki Resident January 28, 2014 (10:07 pm)

    Build a pedestrian overpass right there on 35th crossing over to High Point. If you think 20 mph is the solution then go that slow, I will continue doing 35 and paying attention to my surroundings.

  • G January 28, 2014 (10:11 pm)

    Do the pedestrian advance buttons ACTUALLY work here in Seattle – are they still on the same traffic patterns from 1960? It’s ridiculous how long you can wait to cross 25 feet of road.

  • Mat January 28, 2014 (10:48 pm)

    Signed. It would be great to have a turning lane for people to move out of my way and me to move out of theirs.

  • High Point Res January 28, 2014 (11:41 pm)

    A road diet is NOT the answer. Take away parking on this major thoroughfare if anything. Makes those lanes dedicated right hand turn lanes. Add LIGHTS. Restripe the entire corridor. The person above who lives on 35th has an extremely valid point that no one seems to be thinking through – busses will continue to stop frequently and if there is only one labs north/south the bus will block all traffic. Go ahead and drop it to 30, just don’t get rid of our lanes. Road diets don’t work, McSchwinn made a mess out of Seattle streets by trying them. Murray should do this right for our neighborhood.

  • WS76 January 29, 2014 (12:05 am)

    The only “positive” thing a lower speed limit would create is more traffic ticket revenue for an already bloated city dept.

    Maybe we should just ban all vehicles and make 35th Ave. one big bike lane. You know since the majority of people commute, shop, run errands on there bicycles. NOT It’s bad enough that I5 thee major artery slows people down to 30mph approaching and through the city.

    Anyone gone up to Broadway First Hill lately and seen what the city and all their infinite wisdom has done with that stretch of road? There is a reason why NY Japan Moscow China have subways. You don’t put large busses or trains on already congested small seattle roads to fix a problem. It’s like their mentality is that people will just get fed up and stop driving, that’s ridiculous and is not going to happen. It’s know wonder why we’re at least 40 years behind major metropolitan cities.

  • Victor January 29, 2014 (6:01 am)

    I actually live on 35th and give my blessing for a “road diet.”
    Too many people from burien and south use 35th as the main road to get onto Seattle when they should actually use 509…
    Now make it happen Ed Murray…

  • redblack January 29, 2014 (6:09 am)

    DMH/High Point Res: i live just off fauntleroy, which was as dangerous 5 years ago as 35th ave is today. collisions galore. traffic stuck behind busses. speeding. the fact is that those 4 all-purpose lanes seem to encourage aggressive driving, racing, and lack of consideration for pedestrians. just look at what happens where fauntleroy shifts from two lanes to one south of edmunds street: aggression and racing up to the merge, then it’s smooth sailing.
    and, as datamuse’s publicola link pointed out, we heard the exact same predictions of gridlock that you all are making here.
    busses now have more room at the curbs, by the way, and cars rarely have to use the center lane for passing.

  • redblack January 29, 2014 (6:14 am)

    WS76: those rails on broadway actually provide service to the new subway from UW to downtown. ever been to san francisco? while they’re not a whole system solution, street cars do work, and i’ve never been delayed driving among them.

  • anonyme January 29, 2014 (7:13 am)

    I live on 35th south of Roxbury, where it narrows to two lanes and the speed is reduced (theoretically, at least) to 30 mph. Speeding is a serious problem out here as well. I think the road diet might help a bit, but it’s not going to take the place of enforcement. If the city can fund essential services with the ‘rewards’ of justified speeding tickets, all the better.

    The suggestion that pedestrians should always walk to a marked crosswalk, because “it’s only a few hundred feet” is absurd. Clearly written by someone who never gets out of their car, and who can’t tolerate having to pause a couple of seconds for a pedestrian. I’m not saying pedestrians never do anything stupid, but it’s ridiculous to assume that they should hike long distances only to be run over in marked crosswalks by equally entitled drivers.

  • JP January 29, 2014 (7:45 am)

    I think one of the reasons that “no issues” were seen with dropping Fauntleroy to one lane each way is that a lot of drivers then headed for 35th. If we do the same on 35th, it would be like removing one of the only two main arterials in and out of West Seattle.
    If a change is going to be made, the best option would be to close off all streets that don’t currently have lights and block off with rails all of the intersections that don’t have crosswalks and lights. Removing parking from 35th would also improve sight lines and would allow for bike lanes on each side and turn lanes at all of the lights.

  • Tsenre45 January 29, 2014 (7:47 am)

    This “problem” would not be one if everyone using the road followed the rules that already exist. The speed limit is 35, corners are unmarked crosswalks, using a cell phone while driving is illegal. Common sense dictates wearing clothing that allows you to be visible at night. Why ride a bicycle on 35th with all the traffic when you could ride on 34th or 36th?
    Maybe before we spend millions we should try enforcing the laws on this stretch of road.

  • JoB January 29, 2014 (8:12 am)

    in my not so humble opinion, eliminating the double lanes wouldn’t be necessary if drivers simply asked themselves why the car in front of them has stopped and investigated the cause before whipping around them in the other lane…
    My experience tells me that is not going to happen any time soon…

  • Marty2 January 29, 2014 (8:19 am)

    As someone who drives on and also crosses 35th about 10 times a week, it appears most of the incidents and near misses I see are due to distractions and not being aware of what is happening nearby (cars/pedestrians/bikes in their path) or people in a hurry to “beat the light”. I’ve done it myself, looking for cars on my left and not noticing the pedestrian crossing on my right. Enforcement would help with the speeders, I noticed a difference when SPD did those Safety Patrols a few years ago, increased lighting at the intersections/crosswalks and traffic signals at intersections where pedestrians cross frequently would help. We all need to pay attention; as drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists and watch out for the other guy.

  • Chris January 29, 2014 (8:22 am)

    “I think one of the reasons that “no issues” were seen with dropping Fauntleroy to one lane each way is that a lot of drivers then headed for 35th.”

    The data for 2008 – before the Fauntleroy rechannelization – shows 17,300 vehicles/day on Fauntleroy and 22,400/day on 35th. For 2011, after the rechannelization, it is still 17,300/day on Fauntleroy and 23,500/day on 35th. So, it appears that the rechannelization of Fauntleroy did not reduce traffic volumes, let alone redirect a significant number of drivers to 35th.

    Data source: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/tfdmaps11.htm

  • AJL January 29, 2014 (8:29 am)

    I will sign the petition. Road re-channelizations work. I used to live just off 35th and had to cross it several times a day, at signalized intersections. Even then, drivers would often run the red lights. Just watching the traffic speed by as I waited was astounding – it really does feel like a freeway.

    I also used Fauntleroy more often after the changes rather than 35th! Fauntleroy is a good route now for everyone and pedestrians can actually cross it now with relative safety due to lower traffic speeds and the ability to wait, for idiot drivers who won’t stop, in the center turn lane.

    A re-channelization won’t effect buses (i.e. the fear of “slowing down me and my car”) but hopefully will make it easier for people to get to them and for the bus to merge easier into traffic.

    It will help slow people down. Design a road like a freeway and it will be treated like one. Design a road like a multi-modal corridor and it will be used like one.

    Tsenre45, I am not understanding your comment regarding bicycles on 35th. No one said anything about this becoming a major bicycle route. However, have you ridden your bike on 35th, 34th or 36th? 35th is the only street that travels the entire way (Roxbury to the Admiral area) north south. 34th and 36th do not. 34th and 36th have major hill climbs that are not readily accessible for regular bike travel (training rides or for those wanting a challenge, sure!). 34th and 36th have mostly uncontrolled intersections vs. 35th which is an automatic right of way so traffic joining 35th is controlled by stop signs and lights (if drivers recognize this) so travel on the side streets can be slower and less convenient (oh, how many businesses are located on 34th or 36th?)…

    Everyone should be using all caution and following the laws on the roadways, sadly this doesn’t always happen and crashes occur mostly due to negligence, which we excuse on a regular basis…let’s do what we can to curtail the behavior.

  • JO January 29, 2014 (8:31 am)

    Thanks for setting up the Petition. I’ve signed it. I drive on 35th every day and it is not safe for anyone as it is. There have already been discussions, studies, enforcement emphasis and promises made…it comes down to too many accidents, too many injuries, and WAY too many deaths on that road.

  • WS born&bred January 29, 2014 (8:36 am)

    These are awful tragedies, but I’m also concerned that lower speed limits and fewer lanes create new problems like getting around all the metro and school buses that stop on 35th. I’m a bus rider, but stil… Instead of fewer lanes, how about fewer legal left turns? And people who speed are going to speed anyway. If they don’t obey the signs now, why would they obey ones with different numbers on them? How about more speed traps? I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I am worried that some of these proposed solutions are going to create more problems as we become more densely populated.

  • Jake January 29, 2014 (8:41 am)

    @WSborn&bred – you’re absolutely right that people ignore speed limit signs. That’s exactly why re-designing the road is so important: people generally drive as fast as they feel comfortable. A narrower roadway with fewer lanes leads people to drive more safely, regardless of posted limits.

    You also express a concern about fewer lanes leading to reduced capacity: take a look at the before/after studies of other roads around the city: Delridge, Fauntleroy, Nickerson, Stone, NE 75th, Dexter… this sort of re-design has been done countless times, and every time the result is the same: a huge increase in safety for pedestrians and drivers, with little to no impact on vehicle volumes and travel times.

    It’s time to make this happen on 35th as well.

  • JoAnne January 29, 2014 (9:03 am)

    I wish someone would start a petition to leave 35th alone. It is the only north-south throughway left without a road diet. Leave us alone and go back to where you came from and make your road diets there.
    Road diets waste fuel by creating long lines of cars idling. They do not really help anything and they certainly do not make things safer.

  • Jake January 29, 2014 (9:15 am)

    @JoAnne – I appreciate your concern, but I think it is not backed up by facts. Can you show me a study in which road diets were found to result in increased traffic and slower travel times? Because I can show you a dozen local studies which found the opposite.

  • T January 29, 2014 (9:33 am)

    I second JoAnne, leave it alone. The county wants to cut back on buses, and then couple that with the road diet…yuck!!! Those scenarios would put more cars on the road and the road diet leads to more congestion, see Delridge and Fauntleroy, causing more air pollution. Hey bike riders, do you like breathing in the smog.

  • P January 29, 2014 (10:19 am)

    I’m really not convinced by the many commenters pushing the “road diet”. Per this evaluation (US Highway Departments Summary Report)

    “However, for road diets with ADTs above approximately 20,000 vehicles, there is a greater likelihood that traffic congestion will increase to the point of diverting traffic to alternate routes.”. As other commenters have noted, Fauntleroy was UNDER the limit, 35th is OVER this limit, and will only increase. Eliminating parking, better lighting, better enforcement, limiting left turn and marking crossing better, maybe adding a traffic light in the long stretch near Providence all seem like much better solutions.

  • Jake January 29, 2014 (10:20 am)

    @T – I appreciate your concern, but I think that, like JoAnne, you’ll have trouble finding facts to back int up. Can you show me a study in which road diets were found to result in more congestion and more cars on the road? Because I can show you a dozen local studies which found the opposite, including for Delridge and Fauntleroy, the two roads you named specifically.

  • East Coast Cynic January 29, 2014 (10:52 am)

    Re removing parking from 35th Ave SW—-A potentially disasterous idea–there are homes with multiple people and multiple car owners who will not have anyplace to park if you remove parking. Not everybody has a garage and there isn’t enough room on the sidestreets for all the car owners/parkers. If you want them to give up their cars, maybe initiating a definitive light rail plan for comprehensive West Seattle coverage would go a long way toward doing that.

    Re lighting in the streets–its not just bad on 35th SW or the city at large, but the highways too sorely need more lights. It can get pretty hairy driving I-5 at night, particularly north or south of the city with lots of speeding traffic and all you’ve got are highlights in the white split lines.

  • wsn00b January 29, 2014 (11:53 am)

    @smokeycretin9 : Love the chicane link/idea. A chicane to slow/alert drivers might be fun and safe at the same time.
    The 99 double chicane near the stadiums makes me smile everytime.

  • Susan January 29, 2014 (12:09 pm)

    Going south on Fauntleroy and the intersection with Edmonds is a perfect example of bad road design. The left lane ends… Huh. a left lane should not end. The right lane should end. They could have made a right turn only onto Edmonds and keep the left lane for through traffic. Now it is a bunch of people rudely speeding up so they can cut in front as that left lane ends. I see that all over this city. Multiple horn honks and middle fingers are the result. It has changed my route home and I now go south on Fauntleroy at 35 mph to avoid this Seattle street design disaster. I have no trust of our city planners. IMHO, they did a bad job there, why would I ever think they would do a good job on Fauntleroy.

  • Brian January 29, 2014 (12:41 pm)

    To everyone claiming that reducing 35th to single-lane in each direction will inevitably lead to horrid congestion: You are flat-out wrong. For examples, take a look at 75th NE, Stone Way, and Fauntleroy Way. None of those roads see routine backups or traffic snarls as a result of being reduced to a single lane in each direction.
    What it will do, however, is make the road safer and easier to navigate. By including a dedicated center turn lane, traffic will no longer suddenly stop when someone needs to make an unprotected left turn onto a neighborhood side street.
    The added benefit will be that there will no longer be a two-lane “race to the next red light” as everyone will be in a common lane.

  • JoAnne January 29, 2014 (1:43 pm)

    A road diet on 35th would create horrific delays and long lines of cars going nowhere, and this would definitely divert traffic to the side streets off 35th.
    These streets are now relatively safe for pedestrians, but a road diet would make them quite dangerous.
    There is no data to shows road diets improve safety. Quite the opposite.
    Crossing Alaska Street anywhere but on California Ave is an extremely dangerous proposition for a pedestrian, and the road diets have only increased this danger.

  • redblack January 29, 2014 (1:43 pm)

    T/Jo Anne: umm. what? fauntleroy and delridge both function quite well, no matter how many wheels you use. and i haven’t noticed any new smog clouds hanging over my neighborhood – or increased incidences of asthma – because of the road diet.
    as a matter of fact, i never see back-up causing accidents on fauntleroy these days. before the road diet, they were as frequent as they are on 35th today.
    seriously. we’re having this discussion because people have been seriously injured or died more often than on other stretches of city roadway. do you honestly believe that nothing should be done? or that the community’s desire to prevent further vehicular mayhem and improve safety somehow infringes on drivers’ freedoms?
    from your point of view, the outcome of these tragedies is going to be disastrous. but for people who move around the ‘hood by foot or pedal-power, the world will be a lot safer.
    sorry if that costs you valuable time. it’s the price of progress in the big city.

  • iggy January 29, 2014 (2:20 pm)

    I noticed this afternoon that two very large, obtrusive traffic cameras are now on California Avenue by Gatewood School. There is already a morning and evening crossing guard at Frontenac AND a traffic light AND several marked crosswalks. Speeding just doesn’t happen there; rather just lots of congestion on the narrow side streets. So, the city spends money on a street that is already one of the safest stretches around while neglecting the terrors of 35th. Makes no sense.

    • WSB January 29, 2014 (2:26 pm)

      Cameras? There were no cameras proposed for California – the two going in on Roxbury will be installed this fall, I learned recently from SDOT. Unless it’s the portable speed van. Will roll down to look.

      • WSB January 29, 2014 (2:59 pm)

        OK – back from a look – those are beacons, not cameras. The flashing school-zone lights. They also will be installed soon on Delridge by Boren, too.

  • redblack January 29, 2014 (2:30 pm)

    Jo Anne: there is data showing improved safety on fauntleroy since the road diet. read datamuse’s posts above. the data is right there!
    i’ll do you one better. on any given weekday, try to cross 35th ave on foot at rush hour at – say – dawson street. then do the same on fauntleroy way.
    the difference is eye-opening. possibly life-saving.

  • g January 29, 2014 (2:40 pm)

    You are taking your life into your own hands trying to cross arterials around West Seattle, even at well-lit crosswalks with prominent lit signage. I routinely walk from the Morgan Junction to the West Seattle Junction in the late afternoon/evening, and you’re practically BEGGING people to stop.

    Question: What’s up with people around here? This is “enlightened” and “sophisticated” West Seattle? I feel MUCH, MUCH more safe crossing huge, busy arterials in LA. Time to pull the proverbial stick out of our collecive you-know-what’s. Seriously, this is out of control.

  • miws January 29, 2014 (3:44 pm)

    Leave us alone and go back to where you came from and make your road diets there.

    Okey dokey artie-chokey!


    I’ll go back to where I “came from”; 38th in the Belvidere/Charlestown Neighborhood, where I lived my first nearly 11 years until June of 1969, and “make my road diet” on…..ummm….35th!!


    There is no data to shows road diets improve safety. Quite the opposite.


    By “Quite the opposite”, do you mean there is data out there showing that Road Diets don’t improve safety? If so, please cite your sources.



  • Kit January 29, 2014 (8:03 pm)

    What we need to do is to educate pedestrians on how to walk “safely”…

    i’ll do you one better. on any given weekday, try to cross 35th ave on foot at rush hour at – say – dawson street. then do the same on fauntleroy way. /#comment-1219500

    why are you not crossing at a crosswalk??

  • redblack January 29, 2014 (9:31 pm)

    kit: every intersection is a crosswalk. not all crosswalks are marked. all vehicles approaching any intersection must stop for pedestrians. it’s the law.
    “”Crosswalk” means the portion of the roadway between the intersection area and a prolongation or connection of the farthest sidewalk line or in the event there are no sidewalks then between the intersection area and a line ten feet therefrom, except as modified by a marked crosswalk.
    “(5) Yield right of way. Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than in a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.”

  • Monosyllabic Girl January 29, 2014 (11:24 pm)

    Install a turn arrow light at 35th and Barton. That intersection needs an individual turning lane. It’s too dicey with the ferry and Westwood village traffic turning into oncoming traffic and I purposely take Trenton to avoid it.

  • Barbara January 29, 2014 (11:47 pm)

    I live near 35th and also would welcome a “road diet” on 35th. Every time I cross the street, at an unmarked crosswalk, to catch the bus I have to run and hope I don’t trip or I know I would get run over. Sometimes I have to wait 10 minutes just to get a chance to run across. People treat the road like a highway, and it’s a neighborhood! We need solutions that work for the community.

  • redblack January 30, 2014 (4:58 am)

    barbara for the win.
    it’d be gratifying to see cops on 35th pulling cars over for failing to stop for pedestrians.

  • Duf January 30, 2014 (2:24 pm)

    Too many people from burien and south use 35th as the main road to get onto Seattle when they should actually use 509…

    Really? Invariably these threads lead to some comment that is entitled BS. You have no idea why people are driving down 35th or where they’re from and they are allowed to drive wherever they like it is a free country Vic. Maybe you “should actually” get a frickin clue.

  • Negligence attorney January 30, 2014 (2:50 pm)

    No, no, no to RedBlack. A careful reading of RCW 46.61.235(4) will show you that a car is only required to stop for a pedestrian in an unmarked crosswalk if the pedestrian is “upon or in” the crosswalk. Furthermore, several cases have clarified this statute, and the jury instructions for negligence actions brough on this statute are as follows:

    The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway within an unmarked crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. “Half of the roadway” means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel, and includes the entire width of a one-way roadway.Whenever any vehicle is stopped at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

    Plasse v. Dung Mao, 2012 WL 4857189 (Wash.App. Div. 1), 4 (Wash.App. Div. 1,2012)

    The statute means that the vehicle must stop if a pedestrian is in the road (duh) because the pedestrian has the right-of-way. If the pedestrian has the right-of-way, the driver is at fault for negligence. It also means if you see a driver stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross, it is unlawful to pass the vehicle, because, obviously, doing so would put the pedestrian in danger. It DOES NOT mean that vehicles are required to stop for a pedestrian waiting at an unmarked crosswalk, particularly on a busy street like 35th, and particularly if circumstances of traffic would make it unsafe to stop (say, during rush hour).

    The bottom line is be careful, pay attention, stop and allow pedestrians to cross WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO, and use common sense. To do otherwise could wind you up in a civil negligence action.

  • Chris January 30, 2014 (3:51 pm)

    “It DOES NOT mean that vehicles are required to stop for a pedestrian waiting at an unmarked crosswalk”

    Huh? I thought that was the point of a crosswalk. Pedestrians wait at the side of the road until the driver stops for them to cross. Stepping out into 35th traffic to be “upon or in” the crosswalk without drivers stopping would be suicide for a pedestrian on 35th right now. If drivers did not have to stop for a pedestrian waiting at a legal (but unmarked) crosswalk, the pedestrian could wait forever.

  • wsn00b January 30, 2014 (7:14 pm)

    Mike, if I’m reading your link correctly:

    Road diets only reduce crashes by 6% but not in their severity(!) or type.

    So people still die but not as frequently?
    Doesn’t sound like a win to me.

    BTW: Have the cops released a post-mortem yet? Was it perceived speed or bad lighting,etc?

  • Hey January 30, 2014 (7:57 pm)

    Ok I finally feel compelled to comment. I cross at 35th and Myrtle several times a day. This is a crosswalk with pedestrian signal. I usually cross when the school zone lights are flashing. At least three times a week a driver runs the red when I have the green walk light. Today it happened twice -once while I was already walking in the crosswalk. In that instance the driver was trying to anticipate swerving around a 21 at the bus stop. Totally ran the red and was exceeding the speed limit of 20. Sometimes the police cruiser is there but I have to say he was not there today hence the craziness. There is obviously a problem on 35th and it is tied to speed, inattentiveness and perhaps lack of consideration for the safety of neighbors.

  • Vanpooler January 30, 2014 (9:17 pm)

    Awesome to see so many speaking in favor of road diet on I-35! You guys rock!

  • redblack January 31, 2014 (10:39 am)

    NA: thanks for clarifying what i was too succinct to say.
    i was responding to an implication that pedestrians should walk to marked or controlled intersections so as not to inconvenience vehicular traffic. that notion is unfair to the elderly, infirm, and disabled among us.
    the fact is that if there’s a reasonable break in traffic, pedestrians have every right to attempt to cross the street, and once they do, drivers are obliged to stop for them.
    but the main issue here is that such attempts to cross 35th ave on foot – no matter how legally right they are – are tantamount to attempting suicide, because too many drivers don’t appear to have any regard for safety.
    a drastic change is long overdue.

Sorry, comment time is over.