INTERSECTION ALERT: New island at Fauntleroy/Alaska

Thanks to the texter who alerted us to this: Another of the “near-term improvements” announced two months ago for Fauntleroy Way SW in The Triangle has just been installed, and this one might catch some drivers by surprise (we saw that happen just as we were walking up to get photos): It’s what was described in the July announcement as a “new hardscape traffic island to tighten intersection and provide guidance to traffic turning right.” We tweeted a bit of video while there:

This and the other changes detailed by SDOT here (PDF) are meant as a stopgap until the full Fauntleroy Boulevard project’s fate is determined by light-rail-routing decisions.

34 Replies to "INTERSECTION ALERT: New island at Fauntleroy/Alaska"

  • Brayton September 22, 2019 (4:29 pm)

    The island makes sense, but there are two things that mystify me about Seattle roads. There’s the crappy surface quality (bumpy and uneven with potholes despite supposedly being a city that seems like it should be able to afford road upkeep.) Then there’s the weird wheel-catching concrete “lane dividers,” for lack of correct terminology, that this island was formed with. An example of one is at the intersection of Holden and Highland Park. They seem more dangerous than they’re worth and they just appear out of nowhere all over the city. 

    • Sunuva September 23, 2019 (6:53 am)

      I’m not a fan of those lane dividers. They just make things unnecessarily difficult in certain places. I also found out the hard way that you can get a ticket for crossing a “barrier” if you drive over them purposefully within the view of a police officer. ;)

  • Lisa September 22, 2019 (5:34 pm)

    Who do I talk to about having a “no right on red” sign posted there? Now that there’s a pedestrian walkway it’s just a matter of time before someone gets hit. I’ve nearly been hit twice and I’ve seen others nearly get hit as well.

    • Lee September 22, 2019 (6:55 pm)

      I second this. The walkway is far enough away from the stop line that a driver taking a “free right” there can build a lot of speed. This is a serious accident waiting to happen.

      • T September 22, 2019 (10:31 pm)

         No one should treat this as a right on red but I don’t doubt it happens. I agree about a sign but people aren’t great about heeding signs and there’s been little to no enforcement of traffic laws for so many years.

        • Lisa September 23, 2019 (1:29 pm)

          T – people (admittedly including me) did this all the time when there was no pedestrian walkway. It seemed safe and legal as there was no sign there and no one EVER got ticketed.People are still doing it, despite there being a crosswalk and, as Lee said, drivers  can build up enough speed to cause serious injury to pedestrians.

          • Lisa September 23, 2019 (3:01 pm)

            If anyone is interested in making the call (I did), you can request a “no turn on red” sign at this intersection by calling the DOT at 206-684-7623

    • Jort September 23, 2019 (8:25 am)

      Maybe they can use the “No turn on red” sign from the all-ways crosswalk in the Junction since car drivers literally break that law hundreds if not thousands of times a day. “It’s ok if I do it.”

  • MrB September 22, 2019 (5:40 pm)

    Sound Transit will be dead after November election.  Let’s get Fauntleroy repaved.  Taxpayers deserve it. 

    • Mr J September 22, 2019 (5:57 pm)

      What are you smoking? You should share because that sort of delusion sounds fun. 

    • wscommuter September 22, 2019 (6:13 pm)

      I’m shaking my head at your fact deficit.  Even if enough people are foolish enough to vote for this latest Eyman-backed stupidity, it will only take away 20% of ST’s funding.  That just means it takes longer to build stuff.  But the light rail will get built.  Deal with it.  

  • WSobserver September 22, 2019 (6:44 pm)
    • Any improvement for the intrepid pedestrian trying to cross that intersection is better than nothing.  This speedbump is just that, better than nothing.  It’s like being a pin in a bowling alley down there, fairly terrifying.
    • WS Guy September 22, 2019 (8:10 pm)

      There should be an underground LR station at 40th and Alaska, with entrance tunnels under Fauntleroy.  That would make for a safe crossing (like in London) with less traffic delay.

    • The King September 22, 2019 (8:12 pm)

      This also gives you a better chance as a pedestrian to duck as vehicles will now be sent barrel rolling through the air. 

  • MJ September 22, 2019 (7:08 pm)

    Eyman’s car tab initiative could very well pass.  Nothing irks people more than unrealistic car valuations.  Fixing this item could abate a potential passage of the initiative.Brayten the term for the concrete is “C” curb, a double edge sword.  It helps guide motorists but also can cause a unaware motorist to hit it.

    • Richard Maloney September 23, 2019 (5:59 am)

      Many things irk me more than the unrealistically low assessed value of our car.

  • Azimuth September 22, 2019 (9:43 pm)

    Long overdue but could have made it look a little prettier

    • WSB September 22, 2019 (10:08 pm)

      Most of the other islands recently installed around WS have reflectors among other things so I would expect it’ll get a few more “decorations.”

      • Azimuth September 23, 2019 (7:58 am)

        Now we’re talkin’

  • AT September 23, 2019 (7:23 am)

    First driver to flip their car on it wins a prize!

    • Swede. September 23, 2019 (3:02 pm)

      We know it will happen! 

  • Tracey September 23, 2019 (9:56 am)

    Other cities across the country can’t install these car flippers because they impede snow removal.  The first snowfall and it will be damaged unless the city has some GPS device on the trucks that indicate where exactly it is under the snow.

    • KBear September 23, 2019 (12:18 pm)

      That’s nonsense, Tracey. I’ve lived in parts of the country that get plenty of snow, and they have traffic islands, too. They aren’t new to Seattle, either. Plows go around them.

      • Tracey September 25, 2019 (3:01 am)

        Not where I’ve lived but I’ve been in the deep North.  Even the “reflectors” between lanes weren’t feasible where I grew up.  Finding them in Seattle was a bit of a novelty for me.  I’ve got a couple of buddies over at SDOT who confirm there “over” usage here vs other parts of the country for snow removal problems.  Plows can’t go around what they can’t see.  Guess it depends on how much snow you get overnight or between plows.   Ever trip on a snow covered curb?      

    • Swede. September 23, 2019 (3:04 pm)

      You are aware snow fall pretty evenly over the ground surface right? It won’t snow more on the road vs. on that island so it wont disappear in some magic all even out snow layer. It will be visable. 

  • YEP September 23, 2019 (3:31 pm)

    Unless there’s a sign prohibating it it’s ALWAY’S BEEN LEGAL to make a right turn at a red light remembering that pedestrian’s and car’s comeing have the right away. If there’s no sign it’s completely legal. If you don’t like it don’t complain about car’s doing something legal!!!! CHANGE THE LAW!

    • Ice September 23, 2019 (7:30 pm)

      It’s not legal to turn right there on a red. The light above this new island is literally a red or green arrow that points to the right and people still run it all of the time, even with people in the cross walk.  I’ve almost been hit on several occasions there. A no-right-on-red sign wouldn’t do anything that a no-right-on-red light isn’t already doing. A good solution would be tire-spikes that recede only when the light is green. That might make these childish, entitled people think twice about running a red light and putting people’s lives in danger.

    • PigeonRidge Ben September 23, 2019 (8:44 pm)

      You are correct that it is legal to turn right at a red once you’ve stopped and yielded right appropriately however you may not turn at a red arrow, which this is. I think they probably do it like that so less people get killed or injured but they might be part of a vast conspiracy against cars and what they do to their drivers.

      • KBear September 23, 2019 (8:59 pm)

        Wrong, Ben. A red arrow only indicates the direction you may turn from the lane you’re in. It does not prohibit a turn on red, absent additional signage.

        • Ice September 24, 2019 (6:55 am)

          You are right. I was under the impression that a red arrow meant no turn on red, but it doesn’t. There really needs to be a no-turn-on-red sign there. (3)(c) is the relevant line.

          • Chris K September 24, 2019 (8:10 am)

            I learned something new today.  I always thought the red arrow meant no turn allowed until the arrow turned green.

          • JW September 24, 2019 (12:43 pm)

            Now if all the people sitting at the red arrow by the Chelan Cafe could just read this thread… 

          • KBear September 24, 2019 (1:03 pm)

            Exactly, JW.

  • T September 24, 2019 (1:29 pm)

    I’ve seen people turn left at Alaska (sign prohibits it). I’ve seen people turn left to Alaska from the far right lane as well. Now, the triangle island will hopefully put an end to that. I’m not anti car, I’m pro following the rules/laws of the road for all modes of transportation.

Sorry, comment time is over.