A little paint, a lot of safety: Pigeon Point’s new street mural

Something new on the street at the intersection of 21st and Genesee on Pigeon Point (map) – a mural, meant for safety more than beautification, though it certainly offers the latter. What you see above is the finished product (though our photo, taken in afternoon shadows, doesn’t do it justice); this morning, we stopped by while it was a work in progress:

That photo shows just a few of the neighbors who pitched in today to get it painted.

Toni Wells, current chair of the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council, led the charge along with Ned Sander, renowned for his neighborhood signage, and Alon Bassok. Neighbors had hoped for a traffic circle at the intersection, but that wouldn’t have worked for the school buses turning to head to Pathfinder K-8. So this was painted, with SDOT permission and community donations of time and money.

The mural incorporates elements inspired by the nearby greenbelt and Duwamish River, with the help of Native artist Roger Fernandes. The most important element: Neighborhood spirit, embodied in the chalk addition we spotted when checking back late this afternoon:

17 Replies to "A little paint, a lot of safety: Pigeon Point's new street mural"

  • XXX July 19, 2015 (8:55 pm)

    Curious what kind of paint was used… I’m assuming there’s some grit in there otherwise it’ll be interesting to see motorcycles/bikes make turns on that surface when it’s raining…

    • WSB July 19, 2015 (9:26 pm)

      Yes, there is. A mix that includes sand. SDOT had some requirements.

  • Matt S. July 19, 2015 (10:19 pm)

    Cool project! I had no idea something like this was possible.

  • Brian Fabella July 20, 2015 (5:45 am)

    Awesome! You can find out more about projects like these at http://www.CityRepair.org — started in Portland, OR. You can also check out Projects for Public Spaces (www.PPS.org)

  • Wendell July 20, 2015 (7:24 am)

    It doesn’t matter how much sand is in the paint, all heavy painted road markings are a hazard to motorcycles.

  • Brian July 20, 2015 (8:21 am)

    Don’t ride a motorcycle if you’re not ready to deal with hazards such as “painted signage on the road”.

  • John July 20, 2015 (8:51 am)

    I hope drivers will realize from this signage that 21st Ave SW is not an arterial.
    Residential streets with uncontrolled intersections such as this one, give the car on the right the right-of-way. As such, drivers Southbound on 21st are required to yield to drivers on Genesee. This is rarely done as this section of 21st Ave SW has become a de-facto arterial. The city allowing the neighborhood to park cars on 21st Ave sidewalks only increases the width of the street, thereby encouraging speeding and the arterial, anti-pedestrian vibe.
    The street painting is a great start. I just wish we could enhance it with some additional signage, such as speed limits, residential street, and yield the right-of-way as well as parking enforcement.

  • Lauri July 20, 2015 (9:17 am)

    Slight correction: Toni Wells worked with Jim Sander, proud father of Ned (who was there, too).

  • dcn July 20, 2015 (9:57 am)

    The intersection is a T, with 21st being the through street. I would think that drivers on Genesee would have to yield, since they are not a through street. I’ve never seen a traffic circle at a T intersection. Maybe what that intersection really needs is a stop sign? And while 21st does get a fair amount of traffic, due to Pathfinder and the route down to the West Seattle Bridge via Andover, there are plenty of speed bumps on 21st to slow people down. I do like the street art, though, and I hope it helps.

  • nice July 20, 2015 (10:17 am)

    Great job. Love it and proud of my community for putting it together.

  • John July 20, 2015 (10:57 am)

    Unfortunately, that is a wrong assumption that many drivers make.
    But the code is clear.
    At an uncontrolled intersection, when two cars approach at the same time, the car on the right has the right-of-way. There is no exception for a Tee, just as there is no exception for turning.

    Tee traffic circles exist for the same reason as conventional four corner ones do, to slow drivers down and remind them that it is an uncontrolled residential street with yield the right-of-ways and residential speed limits.

    There is an example of a traffic circle at a Tee intersection on a residential street at 36th Ave SW and SW Othello.

    I appreciate the great amount of work and planning this project took, thank-you all.

  • Wendell July 20, 2015 (11:05 am)

    Can someone give Brian a hug?

  • Mike H July 20, 2015 (12:01 pm)

    As part of the 21st Ave SW greenway, this intersection will be getting stop signs for Genesee traffic. (At least the last time I saw those plans.)

  • dcn July 20, 2015 (12:03 pm)


    Thanks for the info. I was confused, since I learned differently. So, I did a little digging, and I found that many sites that say the through street at an uncontrolled T intersection gets the right of way:

    (Uncontrolled: These are typically found at T-intersections. The right-of-way rule states that the through-road has the right-of-way.)
    https://driversed.com/driving-information/signs-signals-and-markings/right-of-way.aspx (At T-intersections, vehicles on the through road have the right-of-way).
    http://www.safemotorist.com/articles/right_of_way.aspx (At “T” intersections where you must yield to vehicles on the through road).
    Also at http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/beat-ticket-book/chapter7-5.html and https://www.idrivesafely.com/defensive-driving/tickets-for-right-of-way-violations/
    But Wikipedia said the rule about T intersections can vary by state. I had a hard time finding the rules to clarify RCW 46.61.180, which states: “When two vehicles approach or enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.”
    Then I found an article from the Spokesman concerning WA law: http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/precision-driving/2015/jan/12/semantics-semantics-semantics/. This says: ‘…no exceptions in the RCWs to the “right of way for the vehicle on the right” law concerning “T” intersections.’
    So, I learned something valuable today. But the fact that the rule goes the other way concerning T-intersections in so many places still makes me think that 3-way stop signs would be a nice addition in busy areas like 21st and Genesee, especially since Seattle is full of transplants. I’ve been here 22 years, and I didn’t know “yield to the vehicle on the right” rule applied at T intersections until today.

  • Beth July 20, 2015 (1:40 pm)


  • Keith July 20, 2015 (3:01 pm)

    Cool project! I’m glad to hear that this was funded by private donations.

  • Matt S. July 20, 2015 (3:55 pm)

    Isn’t *being on the road* an increased hazard to motorcycles?

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