Delridge Way speed limit to be lowered starting tomorrow

4:47 PM: This has long been in the works, and the official announcement is just in from SDOT:

On Tuesday, December 20, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will lower the speed limit on Delridge Way SW as part of the city’s Vision Zero initiative to enhance transportation safety and save lives. Reducing the posted speed limit improves safety for everyone; especially people walking and biking.

The speed limit will be changed to 30 mph for a 3.5-mile stretch of Delridge Way SW between SW Henderson Street and the West Seattle Bridge. The speed limit is currently 35 mph on this segment of Delridge despite mainly single family homes and the presence of parks and schools adjacent to the corridor. This change will create a consistent 30 mph speed limit for the entire Delridge corridor.

Data collected on this section of Delridge shows most drivers are currently driving slower than the existing 35 mph speed limit. In fact, the 85th percentile speed at SW Trenton Street has been measured at exactly 30 mph so this should not be a significant change for people that drive this roadway often. The speed limit change will help reduce the likelihood and severity of collisions. This is especially true for vulnerable users like pedestrians since lower speeds significantly increase the survivability of crashes.

“The Delridge speed limit adjustment will help enhance safety on this corridor where more than 300 crashes have occurred in the last three years resulting in 148 injuries, six serious injuries and one death,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “These changes will significantly help people walking and biking to schools, parks, transit and other destinations.”

Travelers on Delridge Way SW can expect to see new speed limit signs installed this week. SDOT will also deploy the Speed Watch Trailer to the corridor to provide feedback to drivers about their speed and highlight the new speed limit.

ADDED 5:49 PM: Some background links – the original announcement (now linked in the introductory line at the start of this story) was in February 2015, and even in November 2015, SDOT was saying it still hoped to implement the reduction by the end of that year. Last time we checked was this past September, when SDOT’s Jim Curtin said it would happen by year’s end, and mentioned some other features: “… edge lines, flexible posts for the existing bike lanes in the vicinity of SW Orchard St, and enhancing the existing crosswalk at SW Juneau Street with rapid flashing beacons (the work at Juneau may not occur until early 2017 due to equipment supply issues).” We’ve seen the posts by Orchard, but will be checking in on the other two (and if you see crews installing signs later this week, please let us know – we’ll be looking, too).

60 Replies to "Delridge Way speed limit to be lowered starting tomorrow"

  • Jort Sandwich December 19, 2016 (5:05 pm)

    Hooray! Slowing down cars is great news for everybody involved. Dropping the speed limit by 5 miles per hour for 3.5 miles reduces car travel time by 60 seconds.

    If adding 60 seconds to a commute saves a child’s life, then it’s worth it. Great news, Seattle and SDOT!

    • John December 20, 2016 (7:15 am)


      Your 60 second scenario is not real world.  It is only accurate assuming no lights or traffic and a car traveling a constant speed, neither are possibilities.

  • TheKing December 19, 2016 (5:11 pm)

    If the mayor defiantly says this will continue to be a sanctuary city, do I get to pick and choose which speed limits I want to follow?

    • AMD December 19, 2016 (5:34 pm)

      What does the speed limit have to do with your immigration status?

      • TheKing December 19, 2016 (6:58 pm)

        It seems the mayor is using a selective process as to which laws are enforced. If this is the example set then maybe we as citizens can do the same. You do understand what sanctuary city means right?

        • AMD December 19, 2016 (7:48 pm)

          Dude, that is such a stretch I’m not even going to continue to dignify it with a response.  You’re being ridiculous.

          If there’s anything to be irritated about here it’s that they are spending time and money to change signage to reflect what people are doing anyway.  Much of that stretch is so seriously backed up during rush hour you’d be lucky to be going 10mph and the road itself is so torn up people typically drive below the speed limit to spare their suspension.  They’re bringing the official speed limit on the slower stretch of the road in line with where the speed limit is on the faster stretch of the road.  Big whoop.

          • TheKing December 19, 2016 (8:57 pm)

            I am absolutely serious. This city is being run like it’s the mayors own kingdom with it’s own laws. Look around, you can go to a safe space to do heroin, camp out wherever in the city, leaving trash and signs of drug use, you can even be here without documentation. These are some examples that are all illegal, paid for by taxpayers. There are laws for everything I listed. When writtten laws aren’t followed by elected officials, why should the average citizen? I’ve asked the glass palace downtown via email or phone call to no response. 

          • Clarity December 19, 2016 (11:02 pm)

            A couple of things to note here:

            1. “This city is being run like it’s the mayors own kingdom with it’s own laws.”

            Well, as it turns out, the city actually does have its own laws.  They are usually called Seattle city laws and you can read them in a document called Seattle Municipal Code, or SMC for short —whodathunkit!?

             2)  “you can even be here without documentation.”

            Check out that SMC thingy I just mentioned, pretty sure you’re gonna have a hard time finding any references to immigration documents in there because, you know, Seattle doesn’t actually have a immigration department, because, you know, it’s not actually a separate Country.

            3) “ I’ve asked the glass palace downtown via email or phone call to no response.”

            They prolly just didn’t want to hurt your feelings.

          • Katie December 20, 2016 (6:08 am)

            Prioritizing how laws are enforced is part of governance. And life in general. That’s why there are “to do” lists. 

    • Oakley34 December 19, 2016 (5:50 pm)


    • A D December 19, 2016 (9:09 pm)

      I agree with the king.

      • TheKing December 20, 2016 (6:28 am)

        Thank you A D, this speed limit thing will be all forgotten in a month the city loses federal funding. If we lose “all” federal funding hold onto your wallets. This mayor will attempt to completely eliminate the middle class in panic mode. 7 billion of the ST3 is supposed to come by way of federal grants, there’s a very long list of funding that Murray is willing to sacrifice because as he said “remaining a sanctuary city is the most American thing we can do”. 

  • Mark December 19, 2016 (5:35 pm)

    Delridge Way is a Principal Arterial, the 35 mph limit is the technically correct speed, SDoT ignores data except when it is the answer they want.  

    • JanS December 19, 2016 (8:28 pm)

      you do realize, of course, that it’s the city’s job to decide things like this. So sorry y’all are butthurt because you have to go a little slower. It’s such a travesty, isn’t it? Good grief…considering  what’s going on in the world and country right now, this  is definitely 1st world problems. 

      • John December 20, 2016 (7:03 am)

        Jan S,



      • West Seattle Hipster December 20, 2016 (7:24 am)

        “Butthurt”?  Sounds like a comment Trump would make.

  • Chris December 19, 2016 (5:53 pm)

    I think the key is enforcement…  I don’t see a lot of enforcement no matter what the mayor or police chief state.  I know the signs on the West Seattle Bridge don’t seem to matter, why will these?

  • Gene December 19, 2016 (6:01 pm)

    There are not enough police officers to enforce every law/speed limit all the time – oh there will be emphasis patrols  from time to time – just like on 35th, Admiral Way & WS Bridge- but police  can’t be there every day & many folks will go back to driving over the speed limit- just like they do on the afore mentioned roads. 

    • McGruff December 19, 2016 (10:01 pm)

      There is an answer, but people fight it tooth and nail because they know it works: Speed Radar Cameras.

      People are rational and logical, even when they don’t realize it. When a person chooses to break the law, it is often based on a risk/penalty/reward calculation: 

      When: P X Ri > Re, people obey the law (P=penalty, Ri=Risk, or probability of being caught, Re=Reward)

      Currently, the penalty is low, and the risk of being caught is even lower. This is way people flaunt the cel phone driving laws. Speed traffic cameras make being caught speeding a near certainty. People will change their behaviors accordingly. 

      Currently, Speed Radar Cameras are used in a handful of school zones, and they’ve been very successful in encouraging compliance. More of them on places like Delridge, 35th SW (aka I-35), Admiral Way and Beach Drive would work wonders, and generate good money for City programs. Why soak the taxpayer when you can get it from leadfooted dummies?

      • Clarity December 19, 2016 (11:04 pm)


      • WSJr December 20, 2016 (7:31 am)

        I respectfully disagree that speed cameras work. As has been witnessed with the Boren school cameras a good amount of people only slow down for the sensors in the road by the camera and then speed back up to 30+ once they pass the sensor. There is nothing to stop them other than traffic or a police speed trap.

        • sam-c December 20, 2016 (10:28 am)

          Admittedly, I only drive through the STEM zone once every couple of weeks during school zone hours, but I’ve never seen that.  Usually I see people going 20mph the whole way, especially with the crosswalk in the middle of the zone.  Slow enough that lots of people turn  left out of the parking lot, because the traffic in both directions is going so slowly.

  • Mr Smith Jay December 19, 2016 (6:02 pm)

    Saw someone going 60 down the middle lane for 1/4 mile in a camaro like car at Pedestrian Bridge.  Called 911 and they still did nothing.   He then almost hit us later when he went down the wrong way dead end near Arco ! and sped off yet again. 

    • WSB December 19, 2016 (6:08 pm)

      How do you know police “did nothing”? We listen to the scanner much of the day and calls like that are broadcast – “caller reports x speeding on y in a car described as z” etc. – but if they were going 60 mph for a quarter mile, unless an officer just happened to be nearby, how were they going to get the driver for a violation that lasted a quarter of a minute? – TR

  • JayDee December 19, 2016 (6:13 pm)

    I just like the slogan: Zero Vision. It fits. It will be interesting to see how West Admiral plays in mid-summer when the pirates land.   (And if your Vision is Zero, aren’t you blinded ?)  Sorry, but marketing slogans are not what we need.

    • flimflam December 19, 2016 (6:37 pm)

      no kidding – “grand bargain” is my current “progressive” double speak favorite.

    • WSB December 19, 2016 (8:44 pm)

      The “slogan” is used worldwide, going back to Sweden, 1997. Pick your favorite link from Google. Not invented here. Seattle started using it in February 2015 (the original announcement of this speed-limit cut among others). The “zero” is a goal of zero deaths and injuries on the roads.

    • Wb December 19, 2016 (8:46 pm)

      Did you just fall off the truck? I hope it wasn’t going fast. Vision Zero is a multinational concept used in cities all over the world. It is not some marketing ploy to slow down your personal commute. Grow up and become a world citizen.

  • Chris Stripinis December 19, 2016 (6:13 pm)

    With increasing density, it seems like traffic flows will have to slow down.  I mean, do people drive quickly through central Manhattan?

  • Paul December 19, 2016 (6:48 pm)

    WSB – Do you happen to know if the data being used to make the 85th percentile assertion is publicly available? The number falls in line with my experience, however I am more interested in the ranking for 35mph and actual spread between 85 and 100%.

  • West Coast Nomad December 19, 2016 (7:16 pm)

    While they’re putting up the new signs, can they also have a crew come through and fix all the potholes? I’m not just being glib–that road is a mess. 

    • Michelle December 20, 2016 (6:01 am)


  • Joe K December 19, 2016 (8:18 pm)

    I am not happy with the change, but it fits in with the desire to create congestion. The reason many drive under the limit is the lack of signs showing the limit increase to 35.

    • Clarity December 19, 2016 (11:08 pm)

      Your right, its probably not because of the parked cars and sports fields and parks and children and families.  😑

  • Mamasuze December 19, 2016 (8:25 pm)

    What West Coast Nomad said.  Delridge is the worst in West Seattle.

  • Lisa December 19, 2016 (8:32 pm)

    I agree with AMD. If the vast majority of people are already driving below the speed limit, how is this going to save lives? 

  • JanS December 19, 2016 (8:39 pm)

    west coast nomad…do you have a smartphone? (silly question, I know). Do you have the Find It, Fix it app, and do you use it?   Just curious…

    • J242 December 19, 2016 (9:00 pm)

      “Find it fix it” is great to notify them of a large pothole or other single item but the issue on Delridge is that it’s bad road heading northbound from just past the elementary school all the way to the bridge. There was a massive pothole that opened up a month or two back and it got filled within a couple of days but the rest of the huge warps, sharp cut points and more remain untouched. I’m sure it’s painfully obvious to our local PD, firefighters, emergency vehicles, delivery drivers and commuters so being the 2,000th person to report it for the umpteenth time isn’t doing much. It’s a much larger scale road project than just fixing some potholes or isolated bumps in the road unfortunately. 

    • Michelle December 20, 2016 (6:04 am)

      I do but two issues. 1. Driving and texting or taking photos…dangerous. 2. So many potholes you’d have to go on foot to capture all of them and submit each to Seattle. 

      A big problem on Delridge is that people try to avoid potholes and ‘jump’ outside of their lane. This coupled with speed in the open stretch by Boren or along North Delridge make it dicey for bikes and other cars.

      • WSB December 20, 2016 (7:28 am)

        If a pothole has been reported and not fixed … I would love to hear about it. The city still says its goal is to fix them within three days. I wouldn’t use the app, personally, but rather the request form on the city’s website. The map that shows recently repaired potholes and pending potholes is here:

        You can click on any one – green, repaired recently, blue, “pending” – and its location and status shows up on the right side of the map.

        Is your favorite pothole not there?

        The reporting form is linked from this page

        In North Delridge, for example, the map shows one pending, with fix requested 12/16: “DELRIDGE WAY SW BETWEEN SW EDMUNDS ST AND SW HUDSON ST”

        It also shows some recent fixes – for example, 12/10 request, 12/13 fix “DELRIDGE WAY SW BETWEEN SW ORCHARD ST AND SYLVAN WAY SW”

        You can also call 206-684-ROAD.

    • West Coast Nomad December 20, 2016 (5:55 pm)

      JANS: In response, what J242 said. Potholes just come back after I’ve reported them and it’s not just potholes but swaths  of the street that are in poor shape. I’m taking my car to the shop tomorrow because I fear suspension damage; my car is now rattling after going over a big bump as I was heading Northbound past the Shell station. And no, I wasn’t going very fast because I had just been at a total stop at the intersection there. 

  • Mr Smith Jay December 19, 2016 (8:48 pm)

    Wsb they were driving in the middle turn lane!…. and through the school area for at least 5 blocks, might have been faster then 60.   When I called back after we saw the car again they had not responded.  I even saw where the car parked but was not going to risk my childs safety to drive near them to provide a license.   The bottom line is no one follows these limits and I see more reckless driving now, not less.

  • Coffee December 19, 2016 (9:17 pm)

    How about all way walks aND timing the lights……

  • dcn December 19, 2016 (9:35 pm)

    The 85th percentile speed of 30 at Trenton is probably because the traffic lights every 2 blocks (Thistle, Trenton, Henderson, etc) make it almost impossible to go any faster through there due to backups at those lights. I wonder why he didn’t quote the average speed at other stretches of Delridge that aren’t hampered by frequent lights.

    On other parts of Delridge, the speed is slow due to potholes, and the enormous backups at Genesee, Andover, and Orchard. Reducing the 4 lanes to 2 lanes at Andover and Orchard about 4 years ago cause massive congestion at those lights now during rush hour.

    I gave up Delridge in the morning years ago due to that change, and am taking an alternate route more frequently now in the evening as the backups along that road can lengthen the 3 mile drive south from 10 minutes to 15 or more. After fighting the backups on I-90, 1st Ave S, and/or I-5, the last thing I need is to get hung up in needless backups so close to home.

    The dangers I see on Delridge are usually impatient drivers passing people in the middle lane, drivers swerving around buses, and pedestrians that dart across the street in random places (i.e. not at crosswalks). I don’t see the speed limit reduction helping to solve any of the above. Nor do I see the reduction changing the actual driving speed, since I rarely find myself able to drive 35 mph on this road.

    • Bob December 20, 2016 (4:00 am)

      Precisely.  The road diet has choked it down to a crawl, so a 85% speed of 30 is not only artificially created & probably optimistic, but usually would be a commuter’s dream.  :–|

  • Sage K. December 20, 2016 (1:55 am)

    Great, way to slow down traffic. The speed at Trenton has nothing to really due with this section of Delridge. 35 is a great speed limit, it didn’t need to be slowed down and I can guarantee that a lot of people won’t slow down if traffic is clear. 

    As someone who will be driving in this zone daily, I will not be enjoying the reduction in speed.

  • brian December 20, 2016 (6:25 am)

    All of you are missing the point that during non-peak times, people are FLYING down this road. That is when it’s dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists alike.

  • Intraffic December 20, 2016 (8:23 am)

    Without enforcement , how does  dropping to 30mph slow down the 20% of drivers who  can’t be bothered with speed limits?

    Maybe there needs to be a restructuring of how speeding ticket $ are spent.  If people are getting hit with $300 speeding tickets, enforcement should be able to pay for itself.  I’m sure the a grand bureaucratic reason that we don’t have funds for enforcement.

    Another complaint that others have pointed to-  Sdot screwed up the flow on Delridge buy taking out turn lanes at SW Austin.  Separate bike lanes are great but  can we support bike travel  AND keep  traffic moving?  Sdot claims to be working to support all uses within the right of way but  removing turn lanes in the face of increasing density is short sighted.

    • chemist December 20, 2016 (9:04 am)

      Just remind your council-people and mayor that move seattle included enforcement….

      It’s on pg 15 of the pdf (9 by what’s printed on the page) here

      5. We can’t design around bad behavior. 

      Even the most well designed street can’t stop someone
      from willfully making dangerous choices, like the choice
      to drink and drive. In 2009-2013, 29% of all fatal collisions
      in Seattle involved impairment. This is why increased
      enforcement and a strong public education component are
      also critical to ensuring safer streets for everyone.

  • HelperMonkey December 20, 2016 (8:24 am)

    with traffic being what it is around here, I can’t even remember the last time I was even able to go over 30 on Delridge! So, this will make literally no difference. 

  • captainDave December 20, 2016 (9:01 am)

    Lowering speed limits is great news for the micro-appartment bee hive developers.  The more they can increase commute time into the City, the more demand and profit they can artificially create.  It’s a win-win for both the crony developers and City bureaucrats because  they can charge more for permits and taxes while increasing traffic fine revenue.  The only losers are the citizens–and who gives a damn about them. Mayor Murrey believes if the people are stupid enough to vote for this stuff, then they deserve to be taken.

  • Don Brubeck December 20, 2016 (9:13 am)

    Grateful to the city for reducing the speed limit — it can help at non-rush hours when it is possible to exceed 30 — and for the other safety improvements on Delridge that make it better to walk, ride, bus, drive. 

  • AJP December 20, 2016 (9:33 am)

    Good. There are so many side streets, parked cars, businesses, schools, the library, bikes, pedestrians–so many things going on, slower is safer and better. It’s not about getting there faster. 

  • S December 20, 2016 (9:41 am)

    Data collected on this section of Delridge shows most drivers are currently driving slower than the existing 35 mph speed limit.

    Well I wounder why, maybe its because there is more traffic and we cant move that amount of vehicles on a single lane road. 

  • J242 December 20, 2016 (5:17 pm)

    If a pothole has been reported and not fixed … I would love to hear about it. The city still says its goal is to fix them within three days. I wouldn’t use the app, personally, but rather the request form on the city’s website. The map that shows recently repaired potholes and pending potholes is here:

    You can click on any one – green, repaired recently, blue, “pending” – and its location and status shows up on the right side of the map.

    Is your favorite pothole not there?”

    It’s not simply potholes. As I mentioned previously, when an actual “hole” appears the city is pretty quick to fill it. The problem is that their quick fixes don’t settle evenly with the rest of the road and this creates a patchwork of uneven patches and damaged road which turn it into a slalom. From STEM to just before the bridge, it’s all bad northbound (at least one example every hundred yards and closer to every hundred feet from Finland to Genesee. South bound it’s rough off and on as well with the worst patch being between Genesee & Edmunds. 

    It’s not a “one at a time” fix. The entire stretch needs to be torn up & re-paved. 

    • WSB December 20, 2016 (5:43 pm)

      Yes, of course, but that’s not on the schedule any time soon. I shared the information because many people don’t know about it – or forgot about it, since the pothole program is something that dates back a couple administrations – or are daunted by the prospect of dealing with an app. It falls under the “tis better to light a single candle than curse the darkness” category.-TR

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