READER REPORT: New left-turn signal at Highland Park Way/Holden

Thanks to Craig for the photo and report that a left-turn signal is now in place for drivers turning left from northbound Highland Park Way to westbound Holden. So far, he observes, it seems to be contributing to the eastbound backup on Holden, though. The left-turn signal is a feature that SDOT had promised would accompany the “permanent” light at the intersection; a “temporary” light was installed days after the West Seattle Bridge shutdown dramatically increased traffic there, with people heading to the 1st Avenue South Bridge.

17 Replies to "READER REPORT: New left-turn signal at Highland Park Way/Holden"

  • Monica Cavagnaro January 30, 2021 (4:22 pm)

    FINALLY!!!! Too bad it took this long. My husband’s car was totaled 3 months ago, no one hurt but how many accidents occurred while the critical missing piece of roadwork was MISSING? It was hair raising deciding when to take the chance to turn into the roaring up hill traffic, risking another multi car accident. Done, check that off the stress list! 

    • RP January 30, 2021 (5:15 pm)

      “Critical missing piece of roadwork was MISSING?”Glances at 25% of Seattle streets without sidewalks…

  • sw January 30, 2021 (4:41 pm)

    Yes, it is contributing to an Eastbound backup.  100% verified.        

  • PJ January 30, 2021 (5:10 pm)

    This may be a naive question, but I couldn’t find the answer on the link. What is the difference between a temporary and permanent light? I see that the curbs will be redone and some form of art will be incorporated but will the lights by physically any different than just hanging by wires like they are right now? 

    • Mike January 31, 2021 (8:18 pm)

      I can’t speak for SDOT but I believe the “permanent” traffic signal will entail the work you describe with curbs and new ADA ramps for pedestrians. It will also likely involve adding in-ground detection on all approaches (the current one uses a single video camera), and signals on steel mast arm poles similar to those at 2nd Ave SW and Highland Park.

  • AMD January 30, 2021 (5:11 pm)

    It’s a shame about the backup, but with the safety issues that have plagued that intersection for so long, it seems like a reasonable tradeoff.  I’m very happy to see the signal.

  • Kyle January 30, 2021 (5:32 pm)

    I think the backup is occuring because the left signal currently installed isn’t a “smart one”. It will give a green arrow for a period of time even if a car isn’t waiting.

  • LEL January 30, 2021 (6:13 pm)

    Now can we get a left turn signal on East/West bound Holden at 16th?  Terrible backups and dangerous situations at that intersection.

    • they January 31, 2021 (2:04 pm)

      Here here… yes please install a left turn light on west bound Holden at 16th only one car get through when the first car in line wants to turn left…crazy. 

  • HV January 30, 2021 (6:28 pm)

    That’s nice. Will this new-not-temporary light also help control the seemingly endless caravan of traffic in the right turn lane going *up* the hill?  It literally never stops. It is super frustrating when you’re making that left turn onto Holden, but also when you’re trying to come out of any of the streets between Holden and 15th. You basically are just betting on the kindness of someone to pause long enough to let you in. I’m sayin’- now all we need is a “no right turn on red” sign and we’re good to go! 

  • Daphneadora January 30, 2021 (6:57 pm)

    So excited to read this! I had given up trying to take a left from 9th on to Holden, it was just too dangerous. Now I won’t have to drive through residential streets to get out of my neighborhood. 

  • Mj January 30, 2021 (10:40 pm)

    HV – removing the parking on Holden to allow the addition of a two way left turn lane would make turning left easier. 

    And it’s time to start pressing the City to get on with the repair, the basic needs are already known and could be underway now.  If the City prioritized the repair it could be completed by Fall of this year.

  • Sunny.206 January 31, 2021 (9:36 am)

    I wonder if changing to one s/b lane on W Marginal way (for the protected bike lane) before the WS Bridge is re-opened will force more cars thru the neighborhoods and down the hill? 

    • bill January 31, 2021 (2:59 pm)

      Sunny.206: The capacity constraint southbound on W Marginal is and will remain the Highland intersection and the 1st Ave bridge. Speeding and passing in the turn lane just gets you to the backup quicker, where you wait anyway. 

  • Chels P January 31, 2021 (3:16 pm)

    That signal has been there for a few months.

    • Craig January 31, 2021 (5:33 pm)

      The signal has been here a while, but the new left turn arrow is what some of us are celebrating.  A left turn pocket on S bound Holden at 16th would be nice.  Let SDOT hear about it… 

      • Kyle January 31, 2021 (6:55 pm)

        Will the permanent signal be a “smart signal”? The left hand turn now gives at least 15 seconds whether a car is waiting there or not for turning left. From observing today, it’s created an inefficient signal for West Seattle’s second busiest intersection (busiest being at the bottom of the hill). Don’t get me wrong, the protected left is needed, wish it would only flash when a car was waiting and stop when all cars had turned.

Sorry, comment time is over.