FOLLOWUP: SDOT work at SW Barton site of pedestrian death

Seen on the north side of SW Barton alongside Westwood Village, a new raised curb extension flanking a crosswalk. This is where a 78-year-old woman was hit and killed by a driver three months ago. Neighborhood advocates had long campaigned for safety improvements there; finally some are being made. SDOT will be talking about the plan at Thursday night’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point. The new addition alongside Barton was mentioned by an SDOT rep at July’s WSTC meeting.

26 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: SDOT work at SW Barton site of pedestrian death"

  • DRW September 25, 2019 (8:07 pm)

    Im not to sure about this one. Closing down yet another lane in West Seattle where townhouses and apartments are furiously being built . What ever happened to the flashing lights that are activated by the pedestrian ? 

    • Seriously? September 25, 2019 (8:33 pm)

      A 78 year old woman was killed in this crosswalk, steps are being made to hopefully prevent another tragedy, and you complain because of the half second it might add to your trip to Bed Bath and Beyond?   C’mon!   The 4000 spatulas will be there when you arrive.  I promise.   

      • DB Coop September 26, 2019 (7:13 pm)

        I live on this area, DRW is right, these curbs aren’t going to solve a thing. I think the city should put the bright flashing cross walk lights in every cross walk. They’re way more effective and noticeable for pedestrian safety.

        • WSB September 26, 2019 (7:55 pm)

          I’m at WSTC where SDOT has discussed everything planned for this area. Rapid flashing beacons at this spot too.

    • Greg N September 25, 2019 (9:58 pm)

      This is not “closing down a lane” because it’s not a lane. It’s just enough room for someone to squeak around the car that stopped, as required by law, for the pedestrian at the crosswalk, so that the offending car can be surprised by, hit, and kill the innocent pedestrian. I’m glad they are finally putting this in. 

      • sam-c September 26, 2019 (12:35 pm)

        Agree with Greg on this one.  yes, people use that stretch as 2 lanes, but there’s not enough traffic that warrants 2 lanes as a necessity.  Hopefully this will help pedestrians get the right of way that they should already be given in the first place.  And prevent other tragedies.

  • WCR September 25, 2019 (8:33 pm)

    It would also help if the buses on the south side of Barton were parked further west of the crosswalk so drivers headed eastbound could have an easier time seeing pedestrians waiting or starting to cross.

    • Mike September 25, 2019 (9:26 pm)

      Ding ding ding!.More money thrown around, still avoids fixing the real issue.

  • Lisa September 25, 2019 (9:26 pm)

    I contacted SDOT about adding a ‘no turn on red’ sign at the intersection of Fauntleroy and Alaska where the new crosswalk is at LA Fitness and the soon to open Whole Foods. I was told by William Burns….“A driver failing to yield for pedestrians is a common complaint received by SDOT. SDOT encourages pedestrian awareness when crossing a street, whether in a marked crosswalk or at an unmarked intersection. Drivers may be inattentive, reckless, or impaired and a pedestrian should be very aware of any vehicle at or nearing the intersection.  Thankfully, in the last three years there were no reported pedestrian collisions at Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Alaska Street. We will continue to monitor this location, and make modifications if they are warranted in the future.”So it’s on the pedestrian not to get hit by an inattentive driver. He fails to understand that there’s been no incidents there in the past 3 years because the crosswalk is new.Please call SDOT to voice your concern. Let’s not lose another West Seattleite to an inattentive driver.

    • WSB September 25, 2019 (9:32 pm)

      Also please note the head of SDOT (who is a relatively new West Seattleite, too) will be at the WSTC meeting tomorrow as reported earlier.

    • Jon Wright September 25, 2019 (9:56 pm)

      The problem with the way SDOT uses data to evaluate potential trouble spots that require attention is they only look at reported collisions and incidents. They have no provision for capturing close calls. So if you’re crossing a street and nearly get hit by a car, that doesn’t count for anything. There actually has to be a reported incident before they will act. It would really be nice if they could figure out how to evaluate risk before an incident so they could proactively address problems and not, as is the case with this crossing, wait until somebody is killed to act.

      • Olafur September 26, 2019 (11:11 am)

        I walk several miles every day in West Seattle and I can tell you that fewer than half of drivers will stop for a pedestrian who is already (legally) in a crosswalk.  In fact, it is not unusual for drivers to actually accelerate toward a pedestrian legally crossing in front of them!  I don’t try to cross (in fact, I stay well back on the sidewalk) if a car is already too near to stop safely and smoothly and, when I do cross, I don’t saunter and strut like I’m rubbing the driver’s nose in my power to make them stop – I wave thanks and respectfully cross quickly, so that they may continue on their way.  I once even reported a very close call with a very aggressive driver, including license plate number, and was essentially told “no harm, no foul” by SPD.  It’s crazy out here.

        • miws September 26, 2019 (12:08 pm)

          OLAFUR, I do the same as you, when (trying to) cross a street. I had a car for only 11 of my 61 years, so rely on walking and the bus to get around. I have *always* been a defensive pedestrian, and even more so in more recent years with having chronic health issues that have affected my mobility, I’m no longer able to run across a street like the old days, if all I had was wait for one more car come from one direction, and to be able to beat any car(s) coming from the opposite direction.  I fear I would no longer be able to jump out of the way, and if doing so would likely fall which would not be good. In my healthy days, I always tried to get across as quickly as possible when someone stopped for me, even jogging across on occasion. Nowadays, I try to walk across as quickly as possible, if I can exert a little burst of energy, but that can be hampered by carrying heavy bags, which is often the case. I, too, try to wave when possible, but, if I have the cane in one hand, and bags in the other, I at least try to nod and give a smile.—Mike

    • Jort September 25, 2019 (10:48 pm)

      It sounds like William Burns at the Seattle Department of Transportation thinks pedestrians can only blame themselves when they get hit by reckless, dangerous car drivers. It sure says a lot about Burns — and SDOT’s — mentality around traffic safety. “Stop letting yourself get hit, you idiot pedestrians!” Unreal. The onus to be safe rests solely on the person who has accepted responsibility for operating the vehicle that’s capable of killing people. Unbelievable victim blaming from William Burns of SDOT. 

      • Mike September 26, 2019 (6:15 am)

        Jort, do you ever travel outside of Seattle?

      • Gene September 26, 2019 (7:32 am)

        The onus-rests on all.

    • T September 26, 2019 (12:12 am)

      I have received dozens of replies from Burns over the years. He’ / the city has turned down all of my concerns/ideas for safety. Sometimes I have seen my ideas put into place months or years after I made the suggestion. Exercise in frustration.

  • D Del Rio September 26, 2019 (3:51 am)

    Couldn’t the city just put in a light? 

  • anonyme September 26, 2019 (6:12 am)

    I saw this construction underway last week and couldn’t help but wonder what possible good it will do?  It will not stop cars from speeding through the crosswalk.  Mr. Burns needs a lesson in reality.  He seems to think that pedestrians can intuit the intentions, sobriety and/or mental state of the unseen drivers of every vehicle approaching a crosswalk.  Expecting pedestrians to wait until the coast is completely clear is impossible and absurd.  There is also the myth of eye contact, which presumes that pedestrians can see the eyes of drivers of approaching cars.  While pedestrians, including their eyeballs, are quite visible from inside a vehicle, most of the time a pedestrian can make out the general head area of the driver at best.  Drivers assume that they are making eye contact only because the pedestrian is looking where they think there is a face.   I’ve even had drivers tell me that if they make eye contact with a pedestrian, that means the pedestrian should wait.  This ridiculous misinterpretation of the law appears to be widespread, judging by the number of drivers who willfully cut me off in crosswalks, then wave.  This is all yet another feeble gesture at safety, instead of addressing the real problem – lack of enforcement.

    • newnative September 26, 2019 (2:42 pm)

      “I’ve even had drivers tell me that if they make eye contact with a pedestrian, that means the pedestrian should wait.  This ridiculous misinterpretation of the law appears to be widespread, judging by the number of drivers who willfully cut me off in crosswalks, then wave. ” Well, this explains a lot. I hate it when people put it on pedestrians to make eye contact because drivers do this very thing. They speed up, they wave and cut me off, they even laugh. Most of the time this happens in crosswalks with lights and walk signals. 

  • Rick September 26, 2019 (9:16 am)

    Make it a “Bike Only” lane.

  • 4thGen_WS_Native September 26, 2019 (11:35 am)

    What will it take to get the multitude of potholes permanently repaired on all the streets that have been ravaged to acquire sewer hook-ups for the on going W.S. apartment building/private landowner profit machine/land grab? And what about the almost new upper Spokane Street/W.S. Freeway where the pavement was apparently made out of peanut brittle?

    • Lts September 26, 2019 (12:38 pm)

      LOL!!!! Peanut Brittle! but it’s true isn’t it, and Roxbury is one of those roads made of PB.

  • T Rex September 26, 2019 (11:50 am)

    I think a light is a great idea as well, but it seems way to easy for our wonderful DOT. 
    The potholes can be reported on the Find It Fix it app that you can download on your smart phone. 

  • chemist September 26, 2019 (12:09 pm)

    Those islands would make a good location for some of SDOT’s new bikeshare-funded parking corrals.

    • WSB September 26, 2019 (12:55 pm)

      So far most of the new ones we’ve noticed have been in level street spaces that would have been view-impairing as car parking – like SW Thistle by the TLC.

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