More ‘how fast you’re going’ speed-radar signs on the way to West Seattle

That sign, which informed us we were speeding on northbound West Marginal Way SW this evening, is one of several that SDOT has added to West Seattle streets since the high bridge closed almost a year ago. More are on the way in the weeks ahead – here’s the list provided by SDOT’s Ethan Bergerson:

New speed radar sign locations:

1 on Dumar Way SW (northbound)
2 on Avalon Way (between SW Spokane St and SW Yancy/SW Andover)
4 on Fauntleroy (1 on each side of the road near the Ferry terminal parking lots; 1 northbound side at Fauntleroy/Raymond; 1 southbound side at Fauntleroy/Brandon)
2 on SW Barton St (1 on northbound side at Barton/26th; 1 on southbound at Barton/30th)

These are NOT enforcement-camera signs – just signs to tell you how fast (or slow) you’re going. Each of these signs costs $25,000, according to the SDOT website.

55 Replies to "More 'how fast you're going' speed-radar signs on the way to West Seattle"

  • Nick March 6, 2021 (7:28 pm)

    Last I checked, every car I’ve driven has a speedometer which tells me how fast I’m going. Why not put this money towards the bridge?

    • John March 7, 2021 (11:14 pm)

      Excellent point!

  • Petert March 6, 2021 (7:28 pm)

    I predict there will be dozens of replies suggesting other streets in WS where these could be employed. So I’ll be the first. 🤣 Two could easily be used on Beach Drive SW to slow the maniacs insisting on doing 45 between Jacobsen and Atlas. Not that this will happen, but speeding seems to be an endemic prob in WS…

  • CarDriver March 6, 2021 (7:45 pm)

    Does the city have any real documentation that these signs really are worth the cost??? Also, the existing speed sign on W bound Admiral at @ 53rd reads 3 mph faster than the E bound sign at 51st and the one coming up Admiral on the city side. Calls into question the accuracy of these.

  • Eddie March 6, 2021 (7:57 pm)

    Why can’t we just act like a civilized society and obey the speed limits? If you don’t like them, or think they are inappropriate, work through the process to get them changed. Otherwise,  obey the rules and act like a civilized society. Shame on all the inconsiderateand unsafe rule breakers.

    • Sue March 6, 2021 (9:55 pm)

      I wish they’d either install cameras and or put some law enforcement officers out there to give tickets.  At least that way they could earn some money.  

    • Jason March 7, 2021 (1:03 am)

      The technocrats at SDOT don’t listen to us, nor do they care for why issues like road rage or crashes happen in the first place (inability to pass drivers due to road diets, or distracted driving in general).

  • Scofflaw March 6, 2021 (8:49 pm)

    I’m still driving at the previously posted speeds on WS arterials. All these 25mph speed limits are ridiculous. 

    • Jort March 6, 2021 (9:39 pm)

      “I am stealing whatever I want from the store, because I don’t like the law and I do what I want.” See how ridiculous that sounds? Follow the law, or change it.

      • Boop March 6, 2021 (10:28 pm)

        Hmmm… how much public input was there on this speed limit change?Before you answer… remember how many people complain there is “too much community input” for various projects. Seems funny, the speed limit change lacked said input. 

      • Sixbuck March 6, 2021 (11:46 pm)

        Jort, we never wanted the entire city to be a school zone. We didn’t vote on it, Durkan did it. If we were allowed to vote, I’d bet the 25 mph limit would get trashed. 

      • Jason March 7, 2021 (1:06 am)

        Unjust laws exist to be broken much like high horses of self righteous people.

      • Lagartija Nick March 7, 2021 (9:36 am)

        Oh c’mon Jort, you should know by now that laws affecting wealthy people (speeding, leash/scoop laws, avoiding car tab taxes) are meant to be broken. While laws that affect poor people (petty shoplifting, graffiti, loitering) should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. /S

        • This March 7, 2021 (11:39 am)

          Very good point, Nick.

    • Speedy Gonzalez March 6, 2021 (9:50 pm)

      Agreed. Ever try to go up a hill at 25 mph? If I wanted to go bus speed then I would take a bus. 

    • StopCuttingDownTrees March 6, 2021 (11:50 pm)

      Yes, me, too. I drive the previously-posted speed limits as that’s what the roads were engineered for. I get honked at and passed if I drive even 30 mph.

  • Hammer in Hand March 6, 2021 (9:14 pm)

    $25,000 for each sign to tell you how fast you are goingis that not what every speedometer that comes as standard equipment on all vehicles do the same thingthe clowns at SDOT keep me smiling SDOT continues their finest hours  

  • Millie March 6, 2021 (9:19 pm)

    I can’t help but believe these speed radar signs are a waste of money.  What is their intended purpose? They are, definitely,  not a deterrent to speeding.   Could not the costs associated with this expenditure (signs, installation, so forth) not be utilized elsewhere?   From my perspective,  City Hall, should be more diligent in its’ expenditure of taxpayer dollars.  

    • K March 7, 2021 (7:12 am)

      They are a deterrent to speeding, though. If you are interested in the data, check out the W Marginal Way Open House presentation from SDOT from a few weeks ago.

    • The flintstones March 7, 2021 (7:57 am)

      I think the intended purpose is encourage the majority of drivers to slow down some for safety and traffic flow/calming reasons, maybe they are hoping people might slow to 35 instead of driving at 45. I would bet their expectations are more realistic than we might think. It’s an influential measure, rather than strict and with ticketing, so those with lead foots should be glad. Just try to slow down a bit to help traffic flow, and avoid causing road rage incidents and crashes.

    • This March 7, 2021 (11:08 am)

      Perhaps the intended purpose is to encourage drivers to slow down for safety and traffic flow/calming reasons, maybe they are hoping people might slow to 35 instead of driving at 45. Maybe their expectations are more realistic than we might think. It’s an influential measure, rather than strict and with ticketing, so those with lead foots should be glad. Why not try to slow down a bit to help traffic flow, and avoid causing road rage incidents, and crashes?

      • Jason March 7, 2021 (10:16 pm)

        On the contrary, I’ve seen more raging drivers any time I make a trip out to Columbia city. The road diet on rainier there makes it impossible to pass a slow driver and I almost seen someone head on crash going the wrong way to do so. At some point all these vision zero cruxes are just going to make more people angry and backfire.

  • Zoomy March 6, 2021 (9:44 pm)

    What a colossal waste of money. Put it to better use: fixing the bridge.

  • Zipda March 6, 2021 (9:58 pm)

    Seems like a better use of that 225,000 dollars would be to higher a few more police.

  • Nico March 6, 2021 (10:08 pm)

    I feel bad for my car’s engine when I do 25MPH or below going uphill on Admiral. Some of the posted limits are ridiculous. 

    • Eddie March 7, 2021 (11:39 am)

      Shift to a lower gear.

    • anonyme March 8, 2021 (7:14 am)

      This is a perfect example of how Americans anthropomorphize their stupid cars.  Your car does not have rights.   And speaking of rights, the people who live along these streets, including arterials (which are not highways, btw) do have a right to be safe in their homes and on the streets and sidewalks (where sidewalks exist).  It’s not about the speeds a street was “engineered” to allow.  Streets are part of a larger system (in this case, neighborhoods) that serve many functions.  Flying down them like a bat outta hell is not one of them.  Needless to say, I’m all for adding speed cameras to the signs so that we can begin to get a handle on this problem.  Cars don’t make good citizens.

  • Joe Z March 6, 2021 (10:11 pm)

    I’ll remember this the next time SDOT says they can’t come up with the cash to fund most of the nominees for the Your Vote Your Choice program. 

  • Kathy March 6, 2021 (11:18 pm)

    Fortunately, most people do heed the speed radar signs and try to keep their speeds down accordingly. They’re just not the types who feel the need to rant in the comment section.

  • John Smith March 6, 2021 (11:50 pm)

    Recently SW Henderson St. just west of 9th Ave. SW has been painted with what appears to be the locations of two new “speed humps.” I think “speed humps” on arterials should not be installed/allowed. SW Henderson is one of the major detour routes resulting from the closure of the West Seattle Bridge, so I guess this is an example of ” You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s
    an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/rahm_emanuel_409199 The official justification is probably that Highland Park Elementary is a long block to the north. The major problem with that justification is: students have not been and are still not allowed to attend Highland Park Elementary because of teachers’ alleged fear of Covid. Settling/shifting of concrete panels on SW Henderson at this location has been accelerating recently, and there is now loose concrete surrounding a manhole at the NW corner of 9th Ave. SW & SW Henderson. It seems to me that it would be a better use of SDOT to do some street repairs instead of adding arterial “speed humps” to the recent pedestrian islands at this location.

  • trickycoolj March 7, 2021 (12:21 am)

    I give them until summer until have of them are broken and no longer display a speed. At least that’s how well they’ve maintained the ones on Sylvan. 

  • 15IsPlenty March 7, 2021 (12:31 am)

    I wish they’d install some of these on the Alki mixed-use trail to help enforce the 15 mph speed limit that was enacted by seattle parks over a year ago.

    • Runner March 7, 2021 (6:48 am)

      Electric powered bikes are often going faster on Alki trail than the cars on the road.  Some one is going to get seriously injured if the city doesn’t get a handle on it. 

  • Josh March 7, 2021 (3:59 am)

    What a huge waste of our tax dollars

  • JustJedSaid March 7, 2021 (7:49 am)

    I wish they were this enthusiastic and efficient with more signaled crosswalks throughout W.S.

  • AMD March 7, 2021 (8:08 am)

    What I’m reading in these comments is that people want the signs to also have cameras so motorists can get tickets for their speeding, which makes the equipment worth the money.  Hopefully SDoT reads this and adds enforcement cameras ASAP.

  • Mj March 7, 2021 (8:34 am)

    Eddie

    SDoT has yet to provide a technical traffic study, I requested a study several times for West Marginal Way last Summer and no report was provided, based on Engineering Science to justify the lowering of the Speed Limits on Principal Arterials. 

    The Science does not support the lower limits on Principal Arterials! 

    MJ

    • Lagartija Nick March 7, 2021 (2:11 pm)

      Good grief, here we go again. How many times do you need to be told that lowering speed limits isn’t about lowering the frequency of accidents? It’s about lowering the severity of the impact when accidents occur. Not only is it basic physics but there are literally hundreds of studies that lower speeds result in fewer injuries and fewer deaths. Stop beating that poor horse, it’s been dead a long time.

    • Eddie March 7, 2021 (2:30 pm)

      I can’t speak for why they haven’t sent you a copy of any studies, but I’ll assure you that it’s, at the very least, the result of many studies, laws around the country and uniform traffic codes at a national level.  What I’m saying is that establishing or modifying the speed limit (or many of our other laws, traffic or otherwise) wasn’t just some “do something for the sake of doing something”, paper pusher political project. It (and most other laws) result from careful study and engineering by experts, experience from other jurisdictions and similar situations, uniform application and an expectation of compliance without extreme enforcement. The general public accepts the benefit of uniform and consistent traffic (and other) laws and expect that others of the general public comply as well.”My car seems to drive better on the left side of the road.” Wouldn’t get you very far.

    • AMD March 7, 2021 (4:13 pm)

      You, sir, are super wrong about the science not supporting this. There are definitely studies backing the decision up.  Here’s a study SDoT did: https://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/SDOT/VisionZero/SpeedLimit_CaseStudies_Report.pdf  Here’s an article about the research IIHS did, that also brought them to the conclusion that lower speed limits make roads safer:  https://www.iihs.org/news/detail/city-drivers-slow-down-for-lower-speed-limit-in-boston  And here is some interesting reading that compiles the positive results of lowering speed limits in cities across America, and turning those into a new list of best practices for setting speed limits on city streets:  https://nacto.org/2020/07/22/nacto-announces-new-framework-to-set-safe-speed-limits/ Side note: I don’t think SDoT is required to do a traffic study whenever and wherever someone request someone, so I’m not really going to fault them for that. Anyway, happy reading!

      • Chemist March 8, 2021 (12:34 pm)

        Unfortunately, SDOT also promises to do some Vision Zero reports (like the one for 35th SW) and then doesn’t actually publish an in-depth “after” report if it doesn’t provide a clear benefit.  There was a “preview” and promises of a future report being released, and then it didn’t happen for unclear reasons.

  • Alki Dad March 7, 2021 (9:03 am)

    There is strong justification for the reduction of speed limits to 25mph from a public safety standpoint. You can see a report on it here.Radar speed sign are shown to cause 80% of drivers to reduce their speed by some amount. Given the stark reduction in pedestrian fatalities with every 10mph reduction in speed any slowing has a major impact on safety. Given the large number of stop lights, stop signs, merge points, and other bottlenecks around west Seattle… and the greater Seattle area reducing speed limits will have virtually zero impact on total trip time. By speeding on neighborhood arterials you are putting community members, and yourself at greater risk solely for a perceived benefit.. you are not actually getting anywhere faster.It may come as a surprise that SDOT’S goal is not to get you where you are going as fast as possible.. but to get you there as safely as possible. Your resistance to receded speed limits and traffic calming comes from the same place as folks resistance to wearing masks and social distancing. You’re placing personal convenience above public safety. Similarly folks who are shouting to fix the bridge are shortsighted. If we applied that logic to the pandemic it would be like us taking no preventative measures for the last year while we wait for a vaccine. Honestly your sense of entitlement to drive however you feel on public roads is distasteful and speaks poorly of your character. 

  • namercury March 7, 2021 (9:07 am)

    These signs are a waste of money, especially in the number of them installed.  Obviously, 90 % + of drivers are ignoring the new, lower, unrealistic  speed limits.  Especially, some the drivers that grossly exceed the speed limit,  are going to do the same regardless of the number and type of signs, short of grossly increasing number of live cop radar enforcement officers.  Lobbying for change is useless!  SDOT is an authoritarian organization that is virtually totally resistant to lobbying and logic (example; backin angle parking at the Alki viewpoint).  

  • LGO March 7, 2021 (10:00 am)

    We need speed bumps on Beach Drive around the curve where Andover Park is. Seriously someone is going to die here. Between the speeders and the racers, it’s bound to happen. I think we had 5 crashes into the wall of our building in the last year……

    • D March 7, 2021 (2:19 pm)

      Yes!!!!

    • BeachDriver March 7, 2021 (3:38 pm)

      I was nearly hit there last week…commercial truck going way too fast and pulling a trailer. The trailer had swayed over the center line.  By some miracle I didn’t get side-swiped!  

  • Nwe March 7, 2021 (10:05 am)

    I’m glad to see this. I adjust my speed when I realize I’m going over and I see others do the same thing. Fauntleroy needs these! Now if only they’d install some speed bumps to deter those folks who need the extra incentive to slow down. 

  • Laura March 7, 2021 (10:08 am)

    FYI – there are a LOT of studies indicating that lowering the speed limit results in less vehicle-related deaths. Here’s just a sampling:https://sdotblog.seattle.gov/2018/07/30/new-speed-limit-map/
    https://usa.streetsblog.org/2016/05/31/3-graphs-that-explain-why-20-mph-should-be-the-limit-on-city-streets/
    https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/26/2/99

    And yes, these speed-radar signs are effective:https://carmanah.com/resources/radar-speed-signs-long-term-effectiveness/

  • wetone March 7, 2021 (12:04 pm)

    Another feel goody from SDOT wasting money that should be going into infrastructure. If one doesn’t know speed their traveling at they shouldn’t be driving …… as SDOT continues to lower speed limits thinking it’s going to stop accidents I expect city spend more on this type of wasting of tax dollars. Holding people accountable for there actions is the only way safety will improve things in Seattle. Penalizing all with this ideology of lowering speed limit’s is going to help with safety only screws law abiders.  SDOT’s thinking is only pushing traffic to side streets. Funny thing I see now is bike riders passing cars/trucks that are obeying speed limits on side streets and arterials.  Again until all people are held accountable for their law breaking actions things will continue to get worse.  

  • D March 7, 2021 (2:18 pm)

    I wonder why the city doesn’t install speed tables near crosswalks instead?  That would force people to slow down near pedestrians without costing as much money. 

  • Azimuth March 7, 2021 (4:03 pm)

    I wonder if there is a saturation point where these signs become so ubiquitous and drivers realize there is no consequence that the signs fade into the background noise?

    • WSB March 7, 2021 (4:27 pm)

      There is consequence, potentially. We’ve reported on Sylvan Way and W. Marginal speed enforcement patrols. And a check of Tweets by Beat shows police have been out on Admiral recently too.

  • ProudPapa March 7, 2021 (4:55 pm)

    I thought the object of these was to try and get the highest score. I speed up when I see them. 

  • jerrold March 7, 2021 (11:00 pm)

    25 miles an hour is way to painfully slow. i tried it once lol. really if one is unable to drive faster then that without being at risk of an accident, then they probably should not b driving. in my opinion the speed limit should b more like 45… isnt that what it is over on e marginal?

  • BJ March 8, 2021 (5:59 pm)

    I notice that when I am able to follow the posted speed limit that I rarely have to wait for a stop light. Sometimes, I can travel the length of 35th SW or Morgan St without stopping once. Easy on the fuel economy and easy on the brakes. 

Sorry, comment time is over.