Return of the crosswalk: 35th/Kenyon will have one again, after 8 years

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(WSB photo, looking south from center turn lane @ 35th/Kenyon)

During the transportation discussion at this week’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, SDOT reps made a point of confirming that a crosswalk will be installed soon at 35th and Kenyon. This was requested by local businesses as part of the 35th SW Safety Corridor Project. Notably, it’s a spot where there used to be a crosswalk – one of the West Seattle crosswalks removed in 2007 for what the city cited at the time as safety concerns.

So, after this week’s confirmation of the crosswalk comeback, we followed up with SDOT’s Jim Curtin, 35th SW project manager, to ask what has changed, besides the lane striping, that now makes it feasible to bring back the crosswalk. His reply in its entirety:

SDOT revised our crosswalk policy back in the mid-2000s after national studies found that uncontrolled (no signal or stop sign) marked crosswalks across four or more lanes of traffic did not provide a sufficient level of safety due to the multiple threat collision (where a driver in one lane stops for a pedestrian in the crosswalk but vehicles in other lanes do not – this was illustrated in most of our presentations for the 35th Ave SW Safety Corridor). Now that we have one lane in each direction on the southern segment of 35th, we can consider adding new marked crossings at intersections.

We heard repeatedly that a marked crossing was needed at Kenyon during outreach for the 35th project. A crossing here would provide better access to the existing transit stops on either side of 35th and connect the neighborhoods on the east and west side of the corridor. The crossing will also help pedestrians reach the popular businesses at Kenyon and provide a potential school crossing if the E.C. Hughes building is reopened by Seattle Public Schools. After a thorough evaluation of the intersection, including numerous site visits and pedestrian counts (to gauge demand), a new marked crosswalk has been approved for 35th Avenue SW and SW Kenyon Street.

Design was started quite a while ago and we’re poised to install the new crosswalk with rapid flashing beacons in late spring or summer (weather permitting, of course).

Those are the types of beacons added in recent months at several West Seattle crosswalks, in neighborhoods including The Junction, Highland Park, Delridge, and Puget Ridge.

23 Replies to "Return of the crosswalk: 35th/Kenyon will have one again, after 8 years"

  • Chris S February 19, 2016 (12:34 pm)

    Yay!  That will make things much easier for customers of those businesses on that block, I’m sure.

  • Jim Clark February 19, 2016 (12:43 pm)

    Would be nice to increase lighting there also. Lots of people who cross there seem to have real dark clothing it is difficult to see them

  • d February 19, 2016 (12:43 pm)

    About time

  • KBear February 19, 2016 (12:44 pm)

    The notion that removing a crosswalk improves safety is basically and admission that they’re not going to bother to enforce the law.

  • Marty2 February 19, 2016 (12:55 pm)

    A traffic signal similar to what is currently at 35th & Myrtle would be better than rapid flashing beacons.

  • k February 19, 2016 (1:07 pm)

    Well now traffic moves so slow on 35th. Time to put 4 lanes back in please. 

    • JanS February 19, 2016 (5:05 pm)

      K, so you can go faster to make those pedestrians move quicker? No, 30MPH is just fine in my book.

  • mpento February 19, 2016 (1:16 pm)

    With Holden being the next intersection north of Kenyon this is pretty dumb.  People (me and those damn road hog bus drivers and motorcycles) will end up trying to make the holden traffic lights which are pretty crappy because of the east west offset.   South bound traffic will have a probability of getting hung up in the holden intersection which has terrible lane layout and terrible parking behavior.  What is the problem with walking up to the lights at Holden to cross?

    • JanS February 19, 2016 (5:07 pm)

      MPento…are you disabled? Some of us are, and walking up to Holden , to walk back,  is plain stupid,…and impossible…for some of us.

    • Bill Bob February 22, 2016 (10:07 am)

      I just moved from 35th and Kenyon 2 months ago. I moved in right after they got rid of this crosswalk. I;m happy the neighborhood gets it back, but sad that I spent 7 years either walking up to Holden or risking my life to cross here. 

      My girlfriend is very chronically sick and going one block up and one block back down can be the difference between getting exhausted and keeping what little energy she has. Foot traffic should always have the benefit over vehicles. People’s safety (and pets) over cars, please.

  • vinylover February 19, 2016 (1:20 pm)

    This is fantastic! Would love to see one at the Camp Long entrance as well (35th and Hudson); constantly seeing people (a lot of families) darting across the street there.

  • KM February 19, 2016 (1:22 pm)

    YES! I hope this is the start of safety improvements at that intersection. So happy!

    I agree, KBear, always frustrating when “safety improvements” are made that don’t involve enforcement of our existing laws.

  • Barry February 19, 2016 (2:14 pm)

     Love to see the crosswalk. 

     Hope they realize what a mess 35th is now that they’ve changed it to one lane.  I can walk faster than traffic on that street.

    • Mongo February 19, 2016 (4:11 pm)

      <quote>Hope they realize what a mess 35th is now that they’ve changed it to one lane.  I can walk faster than traffic on that street.</quote>

      Unfortunately, that was exactly the point of the entire road diet scheme.  I call it “manufactured congestion”.  The eventual end game is to slowly, but progressively and continuously, reduce the efficiency of travel in the city via private vehicles.  That way, the abysmal capabilities of public transportation aren’t perceived as quite as bad.  Rather than try to keep making improvements to mobility in multiple forms, the city will keep working them down to the lowest common denominator.

      • JanS February 19, 2016 (5:10 pm)

        ohfergodsache…if the speed limit is 5 miles faster, how much time are you actually saving? You get there, what? 3 minutes faster? Life isn’t a race…

      • Jon Wright February 20, 2016 (6:47 pm)

        The point of the changes to 35th isn’t to “reduce the efficiency of travel in the city via private vehicles” but to allow people walking, riding bikes, or taking transit to safely coexist with private vehicles.

  • Joe February 19, 2016 (6:13 pm)

    This intersection or one close by was where an elderly man was hit by a car and killed around 2006/7. Hope this doesn’t happen again.

  • chemist February 19, 2016 (6:42 pm)

    If one lane in each direction and a center turn lane is fine for uncontrolled crosswalks, I hope they consider adding some more marked crosswalks across California between the junctions, particularly with all the development. It’s like the flashing lights for Findlay’s crossing make traffic not stop at all the other streets.

  • Qforrest February 19, 2016 (7:57 pm)

    Why haven’t they done this by Camp Long? Way more foot traffic there. Also the 35th road diet is still dumb. 

  • Mcbride February 19, 2016 (11:24 pm)

    Yeah, they said the same thing about seatbelts. The crosswalk at Camp Long will come in phase two of the project (see previous mention of 4 lane roads not getting crosswalks), about 20 feet from where another pedestrian was killed. 

  • Carol Wagener February 20, 2016 (7:27 am)

    As someone who lives on 35th Ave SW I was for the “road diet” from the get-go, but I realize my opinion was a bit skewed because I DO live on the street.  I live across from Camp Long, so the lane changes haven’t gotten to my house yet, but I have to say, when driving south to Westwood Village, after I cross Morgan and the moving traffic lanes narrow down from 4 to 2, I can almost feel my blood pressure dropping…. I never even realized before how much more tense I was when being part of 4 lanes of traffic vs. 2….with a wide turning lane to separate the two, opposite direction moving lanes.  Also, there’s more room now for people entering and exiting parked cars…. another stress reliever.  I haven’t really noticed that it takes me any longer to get where I’m going…. but I have noticed that for now, driving the south end of 35th Ave. SW is more pleasant than the north end…. and that’s no small thing in my book.

  • Northwest February 20, 2016 (8:35 am)

    Regarding crossing busy streets of Seattle crosswalk or no crosswalk I take personal responsibility by using a hand held high visible light so that drivers are able to see me as I keep my head up and alert looking out for them.  As this city’s population grows so will each and every person responsibility to be seen in and around traffic! 

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