Thanks to everyone who has tipped us about SDOT crews installing 25-mph speed-limit signage – including that photo from 35th SW near SW Ida, sent this morning by Jennifer. So much has hapened theee past few months that you might not remember the city announced the change last December (here’s our report), saying it would be making the change “on major streets citywide” because serious-injury crashes were going up. The signage installation has just accelerated here, mentioned in two of this week’s West Seattle Bridge closure-related meetings as an emphasis along streets that are getting more usage because of bridge-related detouring.
We asked SDOT about the new wave of sign installation and received this reply (which did not acknowledge that installation HAS resumed):
Since the beginning of the year we’ve installed new 25mph speed limit signs on Alki Ave SW and Harbor Ave SW. This work was completed in March.
We were just beginning to get started with sign installations in West Seattle when we temporarily paused this work city-wide due to the COVID-19 emergency response effort and the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. When work resumes, we will finish installing signs throughout West Seattle, prioritizing the corridors with the highest traffic volume increase due to the West Seattle Bridge closure.
This work is especially important to the area right now because about a quarter of the time we spend sitting in traffic is due to crashes. In other parts of the city, we’ve seen as much as a 35% – 45% reduction in crashes after installing 25 mph speed limit signs on comparable streets, so we expect that these 25 mph speed limits will be an essential part of our plan to keep West Seattle moving.
In our followup on the December announcement, SDOT told us the signage would eventually be installed along all arterials citywide, plus: “Over the next two years, the Seattle Police Department will also double the number of red-light cameras and add safety cameras at five new school zones. SPD will provide 1,200 additional hours of enforcement on high-injury streets focused on giving warnings and driver education.”