(January WSB photo: Temporary speed trailers on 35th SW south of Graham)
After years of discussions about safety improvements on 35th – and less than two months after the most recent deadly crash – the city is now committing to action. Just in:
Today Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Tom Rasmussen announced that the City will launch a multi-year traffic safety corridor project for 35th Avenue SW. The mayor and councilmember both committed to improving safety for all users on streets like 35th Avenue SW by reducing speeding and collisions.
“Reducing speeds is the single most effective way to decrease collisions and prevent future tragedies on Seattle’s streets,” said Mayor Murray. “Through thoughtful traffic safety corridor work we can help make 35th Avenue SW safer for everyone.”
With safety projects already underway for Lake City Way and SW Roxbury Street, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will launch a 35th Avenue SW Corridor Safety Project in fall 2014 to help enhance safety. The project will focus on the three mile segment between Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Roxbury Street. Early implementation efforts will begin in March 2014 and will include pedestrian focused education, especially for older residents, and enforcement targeting speeding, distraction and failure to yield.
“Continuing our efforts to improve safety on the 35th Ave SW corridor is important,” said Councilmember Rasmussen. “A traffic safety corridor study will engage the community and help build on the improvements made in the past several years.”
Traffic safety corridor projects address roadway safety through data-driven engineering, enforcement and education efforts that reduce speeding and collisions while improving pedestrian crossings. These projects are guided by an extensive SDOT public outreach effort where the department shares traffic data and reviews recommendations from modal plans with the community. SDOT then works collaboratively to develop solutions, identify priorities and establish a timeline to implement short and long term improvements.
Potential engineering measures to be considered during this process would include traffic signal installation and enhancements, channelization modifications, pavement repair, arterial traffic calming, lighting and pedestrian crossing improvements.
Previous corridor safety projects in Seattle have achieved significant safety enhancements. The Aurora Traffic Safety Project (2009-2011) reduced fatal and serious collisions by 28 percent and total collisions by 21 percent. In spite of an increase in traffic volumes, the Fauntleroy Way SW Project (2009) reduced injury collisions by 73 percent.
In addition to numerous earlier discussions of 35th SW problems and potential solutions, this time, neighborhood and advocacy groups launched an online petition.