If you drive, ride, walk, or roll past the northeast corner of 35th/Graham in High Point in the hours/days ahead, you will see the tribute created during this afternoon’s memorial walk honoring James St. Clair, hit and killed while crossing there last month, just weeks after moving to this area. The bicyclist who died at that same intersection seven years earlier, Susanne Scaringi, was also a new West Seattleite; between the deaths of those two much-loved people, three others died along 35th SW, and all were mentioned today as reasons to make it a safer street. The event organized by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and peninsula-based groups included members of Mr. St. Clair’s family, High Point residents, and safety advocates from around the city, including former Mayor Mike McGinn:
Mr. St. Clair’s niece Darlene Saxby spoke of how much she would miss him, and how she hoped his death will lead to changes that could save other lives:
Some who were on hand have the power to help make that happen, including Councilmember Tom Rasmussen:
Honoring Mr. St. Clair’s Tlingit roots, a fellow former resident of Hoonah, Alaska, Gene Tagaban, drummed and sang:
And then a sight that many were talking about long afterward – an eagle overhead:
The eagle eventually moved on – as did the participants, some staying behind to reflect, about 20 moving on to convene at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center to spend more than an hour talking about what should and could be done to reduce the chance of more deaths and injuries on 35th SW. That is what we’re writing about for the forthcoming second report – including what could be different this time, since, as some participants observed, past tragedies led to many meetings that to date have not followed by change.