29 new speed humps on the way to Arbor Heights

That map shows where SDOT is planning speed humps to slow drivers near Arbor Heights Elementary and Westside School (WSB sponsor). We contacted SDOT for more details after a postcard landed in Arbor Heights mailboxes and reader Andrew forwarded it as an FYI. The map (here’s a PDF version) shows 29 speed humps planned for streets that already have 20 mph school-zone signage, says SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson. He adds that this is part of the Safe Routes to School program. Construction isn’t scheduled yet, he says, but won’t happen any earlier than May; the mailer was meant to be an early warning of sorts.

ADDED WEDNESDAY: SDOT explains the color-coding as – red for speed humps, blue for speed cushions. Here’s an explanation of how they differ.

65 Replies to "29 new speed humps on the way to Arbor Heights"

  • Nora April 6, 2021 (9:00 pm)

    Is there a legend with this map? What’s the difference between the red ones and the blue ones?

    • WSB April 6, 2021 (9:19 pm)

      I am sorry to say I don’t know; the reply came in at day’s end. Asking on followup.

  • BetteDavisEyes April 6, 2021 (9:33 pm)

    Sadly, the “speed humps” seem to be a waste of taxpayer money.  I live on a residential side street that already has them and can tell you most people don’t slow down a bit.  The speed limit is 20mph, but so many people just cruise right over them, doing about 30mph.  With the windows open, I can hear the “ker-chunk” all day long.  Perhaps spike strips that activate if you’re exceeding the speed limit would be more effective? :-)

    • DumplingGirl April 6, 2021 (9:52 pm)

      Totally concur, Bette. Cars can easily straddle the humps. They don’t even slow down.

    • Matt P April 6, 2021 (10:33 pm)

      Yes, they need to install the full span ones that actually make you slow down.  The divided ones are too easy to bypass.

      • BetteDavisEyes April 6, 2021 (11:35 pm)

        My street has the full-span humps with no bicycle gaps – that still doesn’t slow anyone down.  They just get up enough speed so that their suspension takes all of the jolt.  Ker-chunk.  All day long.

    • Jort April 6, 2021 (11:25 pm)

      Spike strips would be highly effective and the city should investigate their use, perhaps along with spring-loaded pop-up bollards that would immediately immobilize the vehicle if it is speeding. 

      • AMD April 7, 2021 (7:23 am)

        Maybe that’s what the red and blue denote.  Red for OG speed humps and blue for spike strips.

    • Reed April 7, 2021 (6:55 am)

      For what it’s worth, almost all of the new speed humps they recently installed on 42nd Ave between Findlay and Edmunds are full road width. 

    • Enforcement & Education April 7, 2021 (10:14 am)

      Some 20 years ago we (neighbors on a 36th Ave ‘shortcut’  lobbied SDOT  for years after several accidents.  

      SDOT’s policy at the time was in agreement with their traffic engineers that “speed bumps” were proven ineffective and not allowed as an option.  
      Instead, we went through a long and taxpayer costly process of getting a “traffic calming design designed.”  
      The unusual location of Othello teeing into 36th  lead to a design with an undersized circle in the middle with curb cuts on both side of 36th  (the speeder street).  
      To do this means eliminating five of the residential street parking places long viewed by homeowners as “their spots.”
      The parking reduction was a tough sell, but the speeding concerns prevailed.  
      We managed to wait it out to get city funding and were looking forward to relief.  
      Just before construction was to start, Seattle Fire Department got involved and nixed the plan that had been drawn to their specifications with the undersized unplanted island designed for fire vehicles.  
      This was done at discretion of the old SFD on 35th’s Captain who did not allow his driver to drive it at meeting with SDOT and neighbors (me).
      SDOT then compromised their plan eliminating one curb bulb, allowing speeders to blast straight through with the aid of  the mini-sized island.  
      The island is so small as to prevent any planting (stamped concrete) with a tubular steel street post sign in the middle that gets mowed down several times a year.  
      The omitted bulb was replaced with a no parking signs that were all run down and never replaced, a dead ago.  
      Now  de-facto parking spots has been regained by neighbors, but speeding continues.  
      I am a firm believer in drivers’ education and training being re-imagined and license testing more on a model like Germany’s.  
      Lack of enforcement is becoming more and more of the problem, as drivers ‘re-learn’ driving practices  from good to bad to illegal, followed by dangerous and fatal.
      Drivers of our time have been allowed to develop illegal and dangerous habits that  ‘speed bumps’ can’t address. 

  • Melissa April 6, 2021 (10:02 pm)

    So much cheaper than sidewalks & they do so much less.

  • StopCuttingDownTrees April 6, 2021 (10:19 pm)

    This will simply send more drivers down our street to avoid the new heavily-humped 104th.

    • heartless April 7, 2021 (7:16 am)

      So I guess they do something after all.

      • StopCuttingDownTrees April 7, 2021 (2:59 pm)

        Well, I highly encourage you to spend as much time as possible on 106th so you can experience some of the “do something” for yourself. Wear bright colors.

        • heartless April 8, 2021 (1:41 pm)

          Yikes.   For your sake, I hope they add some speed humps to 106th soon.  

    • Rick Cook April 7, 2021 (2:51 pm)

      Costa Rica is looking better by the minute.

  • Reality Check April 6, 2021 (11:26 pm)

    What?   Doesn’t our esteemed SDOT have anything else to do but harass our driving pleasure.  WoW… why doesn’t SDOT just leave our streets alone – they were fine as they were.   What is up with govt. officials.  Maybe we NEED less govt?

    • uncle loco April 7, 2021 (5:55 am)

      Yes, they should just let the streets continue to deteriorate. Just let the potholes act as a speed deterrent.

    • DKL April 7, 2021 (6:40 am)

      Yeah, check yourself there bud. We live on one of these streets, and since the bridge closure I have witnessed constantly people whipping round the corner to escape a backup and go 60+ mph without looking. I applaud SDOT for doing this, as it seemed an accident with a kid was going to be inevitable once school resumed. So thank you for having the guts to do this, SDOT, I really think it will save accidents from angry drivers all over arbor heights.

      • SERVE April 7, 2021 (6:43 am)

        Unfortunately most people use the streets as is with no regard to posted signs, speed limits, etc. Don’t blame government, blame your fellow citizens for not driving like normal functioning adults, because that’s what this leads to. 

    • Reed April 7, 2021 (6:58 am)

      On the contrary, we need less reckless drivers. If we did, the governments hand wouldn’t be forced to keep adding ways to slow down and control reckless drivers. 

    • Joe Z April 7, 2021 (8:12 am)

      This is the comment we were all waiting for. 

  • John April 7, 2021 (12:46 am)

    They have money for this but rattle their cup about the West Seattle bridge cost

  • anonyme April 7, 2021 (7:15 am)

    My next-door neighbor got a notice, I did not.  Could have sworn the notice said that bumps would be installed on 35th, which would actually make sense as that’s where most of the speeding takes place.   To further complicate things, the same neighbor informed me that SDOT was doing surveys on 35th and told him it was for speed bumps.  It looks like all the school traffic will divert to 102nd, which already carries a lot. Sounds like the usual SDOT confusing mess.  Any kind of speed enforcement on 35th would be welcome, but that would make WAY too much sense.

    • Andrew April 8, 2021 (4:05 pm)

      I asked about this and was told by Brian at SDOT that “Speed cushions will be installed on 35th later this year.”

  • WS Taxpayer April 7, 2021 (7:29 am)

    quite possibly that macadam would be better served filling the myriad potholes plaguing the streets around here…       

  • Please Slow Down April 7, 2021 (7:42 am)

    There are a bunch of parents that drop off their kids at the school and speed away going way past the 20mph even when children are present walking to school, I hope it succeeds in slowing them and their self importance down.

    I live in this neighborhood and drive about 15-20 mph on every side street because we have a lot of families with young kids and there are always dog walkers out and about and lots of streets with no cross stop signs.

    We don’t need less government we need less people that don’t respect the law and who need to SLOW down. Especially on 35th heading to 106th they treat it like a race track.

  • Dp April 7, 2021 (8:05 am)

    I’ve been waiting for speed humps for our street a long time. I’m on 105th. Have a lot of speeders and people who bypass all the traffic on 106th. 

  • M April 7, 2021 (9:55 am)

    I would rather SDOT spend their time fixing potholes. They don’t respond to fixing potholes on Find it Fix it anymore. I have had requests out there for weeks with no response. Cost me $800 to replace all 4 tires when one tire was damaged from a pothole on California Avenue near Findley that couldn’t be repaired. With AWD, you have to replace all 4 tires.

    • Rick April 7, 2021 (2:48 pm)

      Do you think they care? It’s all about the car cancel culture. Unless they need the use of one. Then it’s different.

  • anonyme April 7, 2021 (10:03 am)

    Let’s face it, speeding is a problem and these expensive, passive-aggressive ‘fixes’ do little to deter it.  The one element lacking is enforcement.  But then the perps would scream and whine “unfair!” as if it were their god-given right to speed, completely without consequences.  Seattle needs to wake up and start enforcing some laws – on speed, burglary, mail theft to name a few. I agree with others who suspect this will cause more problems than it fixes.

  • Former Mayor of Alki and Arbor Heights April 7, 2021 (10:16 am)

    All of you who are complaining about this are the reason this is needed. People fly down these roads daily without regard for the speed limit, putting walkers at risk of being hit.

  • Slow Down April 7, 2021 (10:40 am)

    As someone who lives on 104th, all I can say is thank you SDOT! I see way too many drivers absolutely flying down this street past Arbor Heights school. It’s incredibly concerning and frustrating. Speed bumps will definitely help. Unfortunately, drivers can’t be trusted to follow the rules of the road so the design of the street needs to change.  

    • Dp April 7, 2021 (11:51 am)

      So true, as we live on 105th across from AHE. People don’t care. This will slow them down along with FEDEX and UPS drivers. Looking forward to this!!

  • KB April 7, 2021 (12:03 pm)

    Both 35th and 106th would benefit from speed humps because that is where the vast majority of speeding occurs in Arbor Heights. I worry this will cause more speeding and aggressiveness on those two roads that are both already bearing the brunt of traffic through the neighborhood.  If not speed humps, increased traffic enforcement would be appreciated.

    • Former Mayor of Alki and AH April 7, 2021 (1:25 pm)

      I protested to the city for years to include bumps on 106th an 100th. AH is a bedroom community that so many people walk with their kids and pets with now real pedestrian safety infrastructure. They should expand this speed bump zone throughout the entire neighborhood.

  • Oakley34 April 7, 2021 (1:03 pm)

    F cars. F reckless, distracted drivers. I’m fine with any and every traffic calming measure being taken.

  • skeeter April 7, 2021 (1:12 pm)

    No complaints here.  Glad my 2021 Cadillac Escalade has the optional Air Ride Adaptive Suspension.  I will be floating over those speed bumps like Michael Jackson dancing to Smooth Criminal.  2021 Cadillac Escalade Available: Air Ride Adaptive Suspension | How Things Work | Cadillac – YouTube

    • reed April 7, 2021 (2:20 pm)

      Seems like a reasonable approach.I, however, will keep that $75K (base price) in my pocket and continue to run day to day errands via bicycle, likely faster, never having to worry about traffic and parking, all while maintaining peak physical fitness and health.

      • skeeter April 7, 2021 (3:19 pm)

        Hey Reed — Just to clarify, my Escalade is fully loaded and sold for $94,680.  Before tax.  I keep the window sticker on the vehicle so people will know I didn’t buy the cheap $75K version.  Enjoy your bike ride.  Even though you’ll arrive faster than me, I’ll have my 36 speaker  AKG Studio Reference System to keep me entertained.  Vanilla Ice never sounded better.AKG | Cadillac

        • Jort April 7, 2021 (4:14 pm)

          Wow, cool ride! You must be joining all the other folks who think it’s noble and important to spend literally twice the median annual income of King County ($45k per year) to drive a car around! Vroom vroom! Crank up those tunes and, above all, be grateful and thankful that nobody ever mistakes you for a poor person! #blessed #livelaughlove

          • skeeter April 7, 2021 (5:18 pm)

            Thanks JORT- Keep in mind, the Escalade is just a temporary vehicle for me.  I’ve got a deposit on the new all-electric 2022 GMC Hummer EV.   And not the basic one.  I’m getting the 830 horsepower version.  Zero Emissions.  Zero Limits.  Zero Equals.  In just seven months everyone will know that I’m both rich *and* care deeply for our environment.  I’ll provide the link so you can order one too!   Introducing the GMC HUMMER EVs | Electric Truck & SUV

          • Dp April 8, 2021 (11:15 am)

            Now I know your vehicle so when you speed by my house. Who care what you drive!!!!!! Just slow your damn car down!!!!  

    • shotinthefoot April 7, 2021 (3:26 pm)

      flaunting your wealth and ignorance all while admitting that you’d happily speed through a school zone. keep it classy, Skeeter. 

      • reed April 7, 2021 (3:34 pm)

        Relax Shotinthefoot, Skeeter is a bike commuter facetiously making fun of the entitled West Seattle “Nothing But Cars” crowd.

        • skeeter April 7, 2021 (5:23 pm)

          REED!  <wink>

        • SillyRabbit April 7, 2021 (9:20 pm)

          And here I was thinking Skeeter was a rapper from 2008 based on his vehicle choice.  But I knew his clickbait comment would draw Jort in so kept checking back until that happened.

        • sam-c April 8, 2021 (11:39 am)

          Skeeter, isn’t a Tesla more your style ??!?! c’mon

          • skeeter April 8, 2021 (1:34 pm)

            Thanks for the comment Sam-C.  It’s funny you mention the Tesla because I recently met up with a friend for a test drive of a model 3.  Amazing car.  I think my buddy will buy one.  For some reason I don’t particularly care for the styling of Tesla, though.  Probably because I’m a dinosaur.  I suspect my next car will be electric.  But there should be more options out there in 3 or 4 years when I’m ready for an upgrade.  

    • miws April 8, 2021 (12:02 pm)

      Nice ride, Skeeter! —Mike

      • miws April 8, 2021 (12:13 pm)

        In reading through more comments, I think you “got me”, there, Skeeter! I admit I was a bit surprised but thought that with all the money you saved on gas and other expenses bike-commuting and bike-other trips, you had treated yourself to something really nice for those occasions you *do* need a steel-encrusted vehicle… —Mike

        • skeeter April 8, 2021 (1:26 pm)

          Mike!  Good to hear from you buddy.  It’s been a number of years but we have met a couple times in real life.  Do you remember?  I think the first time I met you was at a bbq in Lincoln Park.  I’m glad you are still in West Seattle and maybe we can meet up after this pandemic is (mostly) over.   In the meantime, I suspect you already know this but I don’t have an Escalade.  Or a deposit on a Hummer EV.  Still rockin’ the old bicycle for commuting and the Subaru for adventures out of West Seattle.  Stay safe!

          • miws April 8, 2021 (3:05 pm)

            Skeeter, Yeah, I remember meeting you and your family at the LPBBQ. Even though I thought both sounded odd as vehicles you would buy, you truly did have me. It wasn’t until reading more comments, then re-reading the other two, that it seemed so obvious you were playing us. Especially regarding the Hummer. I blame (seriously), the brain fog I’ve been in lately due to being hit hard by Spring allergies, They have exacerbated all of my other chronic health symptoms, including the fog. —Mike

  • JayJay April 7, 2021 (1:48 pm)

    For those of you complaining about traffic calming measures in this area, could you please take a moment to think about the hundreds of elementary kids that attend school right there.  Children and families walk these roads and there are few sidewalks. Kids ride their bikes to and from school. This is absolutely the area to focus on slowing down and saving lives. Thank you SDOT.  

  • Slow Down April 7, 2021 (2:26 pm)

    For the love of jebus, is it too much to ask to slow down when you drive by a school or thru a neighborhood? Also, no one cares about your vehicle but thanks for letting us know what to look out for in the neighborhood. 

    • Jort April 7, 2021 (4:19 pm)

      Many people believe they are entitled to go as fast as they feel “comfortable” driving. Some “traffic” “engineers” even argue that speed limits should be set at whatever speed people think they want to go! Drivers consider it incredibly onerous to be held accountable for their violations of the law. Until our society takes this seriously, by forcibly requiring and installing speed limiting devices on every vehicle, and permanent, unappealable lifetime revocation of driving privileges for speed violations, more and more children will be killed by people who think “it’s OK if I do it.”

  • WSB April 7, 2021 (4:22 pm)

    The SDOT explanation for the color-coding is:
    Red – speed humps
    Blue – speed cushions
    What’s the difference? Explained here
    https://sdotblog.seattle.gov/2011/11/07/speed-bumps-humps-and-cushions-huh-what%E2%80%99s-the-difference

  • anonyme April 7, 2021 (4:33 pm)

    The notification says that humps will be installed on 35th, but the diagram above does not show that.

  • AH Resident April 7, 2021 (5:39 pm)

    Speed humps are fine, but what would really improve safety for pedestrians in Arbor Heights is SIDEWALKS. 

  • CarDriver April 7, 2021 (6:43 pm)

    Speaking of speeders Seattle Times did a story a few years ago on school zone speeders. 75% of those stopped were PARENTS dropping off or picking up their kids.

    • BetteDavisEyes April 7, 2021 (9:33 pm)

      I can anecdotally corroborate that, as I witnessed it daily while commuting past Our Lady of Guadalupe school on 35th for nearly 25 years, back when it was still two lanes each way.  The majority of really egregious speeders seemed to be either turning into or pulling out of the school dropoff lot.  Another surprising group of violators were school bus drivers!

  • AH Resident April 7, 2021 (7:01 pm)

    Instead of speed humps, what would actually improve pedestrian safety in Arbor Heights is SIDEWALKS!

  • Pessoa April 7, 2021 (7:32 pm)

    The speeding in school zones (among other driving peculiarities) is really startling in a city that pretends to be pedestrian and bike friendly.  You speed in a school zone in Florida and the police will crucify you, same in California.  For all the smack talked about Los Angeles drivers, they are shockingly patient with pedestrians and you’ll see bicyclists and motorists casually sharing major arterials with no pent-up animosity from either.   Seattle gives the adjective “uptight” a whole new meaning.     

    • anonyme April 8, 2021 (7:32 am)

      Pessoa, good and accurate observation.  Seattle’s reputation for tolerance and forward-thinking is mostly a facade, except when it comes to tolerance of ignorance – and crime.  I can actually remember when speed traps were common in Arbor Heights, especially in the school zone.  That hasn’t happened for years now.  Meanwhile, the blue crotch-rocket motorcycle guy continues to do 60 mph down 35th, weaving around moving vehicles and doing wheelies at high rates of speed in the school zone. 

  • AmyC April 9, 2021 (2:53 pm)

    I’m all for slowing down the traffic around the school, but it would be nice if we could also get an actual marked/signed CROSSWALK across 106th at 39th. Lots of kids walk to school that way and folks are always rolling right through the 4-way stop. But, according to the city they can’t just paint a crosswalk there, because as we all know AH lacks proper sidewalks and code says you can’t have a marked crosswalk at a non ADA-compliant intersection. Sigh. 

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