3 weeks after pedestrian was killed, SW Barton safety on West Seattle Transportation Coalition’s Thursday agenda

(WSB photo, July 3)

What – if anything – can/will be done to make SW Barton safer by Westwood Village, where a driver hit and killed a woman earlier this month? The West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s next meeting will include a discussion with an SDOT rep. All are welcome at the 6:30 pm Thursday (July 25th) meeting at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW). Also on the agenda, a conversation with City Council candidate Brendan Kolding (WSTC talked with the other two candidates at last month’s meeting)

22 Replies to "3 weeks after pedestrian was killed, SW Barton safety on West Seattle Transportation Coalition's Thursday agenda"

  • Kathy July 22, 2019 (10:00 am)

    It would be good if METRO could also send a representative. Not that this particular tragedy was related to the bus stop, but METRO and SDOT need to get their acts together to make safe crossings to all our bus stops due to increased pedestrian crossings at these locations.  For example, another senior citizen was hit by someone driving while he was trying to get to his bus stop on Admiral Way on July 15th, just 12 days after this poor woman was killed. We should have had pedestrian activated rapid flashing beacons at these locations years ago. People have repeatedly complained and submitted project suggestions to correct safety issues  at these locations to SDOT.  

  • John July 22, 2019 (10:38 am)

    I would ask that Metro send someone to explain why all of these buses are here in the first place. They block the entrances and exits from Westwood all of the time. You pull out to see around these buses just to get out to the strret.  The east side of Westwood is the worst. They park by Bank of America or Staples and you can not see around them to pull out.Very surprised that no one has been hit over there too.

    • Josh July 22, 2019 (12:01 pm)

      On that east side, the intersection at 24th and Barton in really bad when busses are stopped/heading westbound on Barton. The parked busses on Barton at 28th sometimes are RIGHT at the intersection, literally impossible to see to do anything.

  • Mj July 22, 2019 (11:04 am)

    In the Sunday Seattle Times crashes noted by SDoT are the most since 2010.  I believe some of this can be attributed to SDoT’s failure to adhere to national guidelines, in particular arbitrarily lowering speed limits is not effective and reduces traffic safety!  

    • Jort July 22, 2019 (12:15 pm)

      *national highway design guidelines. 

      • Ron Swanson July 22, 2019 (12:58 pm)

        Incorrect:The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, or MUTCD defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public travel.

        • Jon Wright July 22, 2019 (1:33 pm)

          My understanding is that the national guidelines are very old school and car-centric and haven’t evolved beyond the “move as many cars as we can” mindset. I am perfectly fine with SDOT designing roads to safely work for all users: pedestrians, cyclists, transit users, and motorists. Of course Mayor Durkan seems to have put the kibosh on those efforts so my expectations are pretty low these days.

    • Ice July 22, 2019 (10:51 pm)

      I don’t understand how lowering speed limits can reduce traffic safety. Do you have any proof or evidence that backs up your claim? Are you saying the person who got hit would have been better off if the car was going faster?

  • KM July 22, 2019 (11:10 am)

    I hope the driver who killed the woman is prosecuted, as is rarely is in cases of traffic violence.

    • WSB July 22, 2019 (11:43 am)

      I’m following up on that too. The investigations often take months unless something was obvious – DUI, for example – that leads to the immediate jailing of a suspect, which was not the case here.

      • KM July 22, 2019 (11:45 am)

        Thanks TR, appreciate you following this!

    • Graciano July 22, 2019 (4:17 pm)

      Do you know exactly why or what happened to be saying the driver should be prosecuted, if not then that is a very un-kind thing to say? 

      • Jethro Marx July 22, 2019 (6:47 pm)

        Indeed, how will a person in jail help to make the crosswalk safer? Do people think that drivers hit pedestrians because they’re thinking, “I don’t care; prosecution of vehicular manslaughter is half-assed; I’m going to drive crazy!” or what? Pedestrians get hit because the current system for moving buses/bikes/pedestrians/cars is insufficiently safe. What is a city councilperson going to do effectively to fix that? Nothing is likely, because the power of the key stakeholders is low. AND THAT’S why MANY of US DON’T VOTE. ON PURPOSE.

        • Jon Wright July 23, 2019 (4:16 am)

          It’s about holding drivers accountable for following the law. Pedestrian gets mowed down in a crosswalk and as long as the driver wasn’t proven to be drunk or looking at their cell phone the response is “Whoops, accident!” It wasn’t an accident, it was failure of the driver to safely operate their vehicle. In these sort of incidents, you often hear the driver complain how they didn’t see the person they ran over. If that is the case, it was because they weren’t looking. Yes, drivers ought to be held criminally and civilly responsible when they are at fault for injuries. If someone cannot accept that level of responsibility associated with operating a motor vehicle, they shouldn’t be driving.

  • Kravitz July 22, 2019 (11:13 am)

    In regards to having a METRO representative there, that’s a GREAT idea. SDOT and METRO need to work together on this sort of issue. Not related to this particular crossing, but there has been continual work at the California Ave and Findlay St. bus stop where they’ve been closing the bus stop and crosswalk on occasion, but there isn’t another safe place to cross where they’ve moved the stop northward. With the construction and temporary lanes with cones, it’s a matter of time before someone gets hit there as well. 

  • melissa July 22, 2019 (12:41 pm)

    We drive there often, as we live nearby and go to the post office frequently. None of the three drivers in our house has ever come close to hitting anyone because we drive cautiously. We see the busses and the crosswalk and know that there will be more pedestrians crossing there than in many places. I’m really unsure why folks are so quick to blame Metro rather than examining their own driving habits. Yes, crashes are up. Should we blame road speeds and Metro, or should we blame people who drive aggressively and distractedly? And yes, while we CAN blame all of the above, I would be interested to see some data about why these accidents happen. My hunch is that it’s driver error.

    • newnative July 22, 2019 (1:47 pm)

      Thank you, as a bus rider and subsequent pedestrian, I don’t understand why Metro is being raked over for this. The buses don’t block the line of sight when  pedestrian crosses at the crosswalk, they stay much further behind until actually picking up/dropping off passengers. Not to mention, this was on the other side of the street where the buses could not be parked/blocking vision. So, it’s extraneous and irrelevant to this incident. 

      • Olafur July 22, 2019 (3:10 pm)

        Agreed, this accident was not caused by Metro and the crosswalk is not obscured by waiting buses if eastbound automobile drivers are proceeding at a reasonable rate of speed.  Pedestrians there are definitely in danger from drivers who are speeding and from inattentive drivers, which are both common, sadly.  That being said, we don’t know all the circumstances of this specific accident, so we should all let SPD complete their investigation.

  • KBear July 22, 2019 (2:34 pm)

    It should be self-evident why the buses are there, John. It’s a transit hub. Multiple routes connect there, and there isn’t a better place nearby with room for all those buses to converge. And because it is the end of certain routes, the buses need a place to wait until it’s time to go into service. Asking for the buses to go somewhere else is basically asking Metro to make transit less convenient. There are many ways in and out of Westwood Village. Perhaps you just need to plan your own route more carefully. 

    • Jon Wright July 22, 2019 (3:50 pm)

      From the point of view of transit options, it is awesome that Westwood Village is a transit center. The problem is that Metro imposed this transit center on a location that does not have the infrastructure to support it. And with the exception of agreeing to park buses a little farther away, Metro (or SDOT) seems inclined to do anything about it. Search the Blog for “wall of buses” if you’re so inclined. It’s a mixed bag.

      • WSB July 22, 2019 (4:03 pm)

        Just one datapoint, separate from the infrastructure/layout concerns: For anyone who doesn’t remember, RapidRide C was originally not going to go further south than Fauntleroy. Community requests are what led to Westwood becoming its south end instead.

  • MJ July 23, 2019 (6:00 pm)

    IceI have reviewed extensive traffic studies over the years.  Improperly set speed limits too high or too low tend to result in higher number of accidents.  Speed limits are are set lower than street geomtrics dictate cause issues when a motorist complies with the arbitrary limit that jams up traffic leading to some drivers to get frustrated.The proper way to calm traffic is to design the street accordingly, simply changing a numbers on a sign is not effective.I find it interesting accidents numbers have gone up after the Council arbitrarily lowered speed limits even though the City’s own speed studies showed that this is not effective.  This is what I informed the Council could happen at the Hearing that they ignored.MJ

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