FOLLOWUP: 35th/Graham signal activated, West Seattle Greenway declared complete

(SDOT photo)

One month after SDOT told us the 35th/Graham pedestrian/bicycle crossing was a few weeks from activation, it’s finally in operation. The signal [map] was originally proposed as part of the 35th SW Safety Project, and then became part of the West Seattle Greenway extension, which SDOT has declared complete (see the map here). Along with the push-activated signal, this intersection – where two people biking and walking have been killed in the past 15 years – has other modifications including turn restrictions and green-painted bike lanes.

23 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: 35th/Graham signal activated, West Seattle Greenway declared complete"

  • Cp November 22, 2021 (7:41 pm)

    While getting coffee at Nos Nos, I noticed it working on Thursday 11/18 around 11:30am. I thought about emailing you that it had been “turned on”. What struck me is pedestrians not pressing or pressing but not waiting for the walk signal.

  • MM November 22, 2021 (11:17 pm)

    Am I the only one that thinks this intersection now looks like a confusing train wreck with all the stripes, colors, signs, signals, posts, barriers? What a confusing mess. 

    • CW November 23, 2021 (5:53 am)

      it’s pretty universal around the city. Green for bike lanes ect :)

    • junctioneer November 23, 2021 (6:49 am)

      I find it confusing but I still find the new Avalon confusing with its twists so maybe I’m in the minority.

    • anonyme November 23, 2021 (7:03 am)

      Thank you for saying this!  I would have no idea how to translate that mess.  It looks like someone designed a whole bunch of colors and symbols and barriers to represent different needs, then just threw them all together without any concern for how it would all work together – or not.  It’s cryptic enough to read as a pedestrian, but trying to figure it out from a moving vehicle will be impossible.  Yet another SDOT safety enterprise that makes streets less safe.

      • Jort November 23, 2021 (10:07 am)

        You have absolutely, completely and totally ZERO evidence to support your assertion that this crosswalk makes our streets “less” safe. People often confuse “mild and occasional inconvenience for automobile drivers” with “less safe.” That’s not how it works. In fact, in order for our streets to become actually safer, there’s going to be a whole LOT MORE  “inconvenience” for people who’ve grown very comfortable with using public streets as personal, law-free speedways. Another tip, if the markings are “confusing” and you need to “translate” them, slow down, park your car, get out and look. If it’s still too much, it’s time to hang up the keys permanently.

        • anonyme November 23, 2021 (12:02 pm)

          Jort, your near-histrionic rant in response to my comment is completely misguided.  I do not drive a car, and have never owned one.  My concern is that this mess makes it more difficult to figure out who is going where, and where the stopping points are – which makes it more dangerous to pedestrians, and even ***GASP*** …bicyclists. With the pedestrian crossing at such a distance from the light at the intersection I would be worried that drivers will blow through it and stop at the cyclists crossing.   I am perfectly comfortable with drivers being “inconvenienced”.  I am not comfortable with having them unnecessarily distracted as I try to cross the street.

        • Jeepney November 23, 2021 (4:28 pm)

          All the signs and road markings have not helped lower the pedestrian fatality rate:https://www.theurbanist.org/2021/09/09/seattle-on-pace-for-record-traffic-fatalities-in-2021/

      • zark00 November 23, 2021 (10:17 am)

        Anyone confused by these traffic marking simply should not be driving – period. Not being able to figure out the markings at an intersection makes you, literally, an incompetent driver. Stop before you hurt someone. 

    • West Seattle Dad November 23, 2021 (7:57 am)

      @MM in general that is the point. By making the intersection appear more narrow, and by placing physical barriers to force cars to drive more slowly while navigating the intersection it calms the traffic, and brings awareness to pedestrians. It is all part of pretty standard and well established traffic calming techniques: https://www.pps.org/article/livememtraffic

    • WSbikecommuter November 23, 2021 (8:45 am)

      Yes, you are, it is pretty simple. Go straight, no turns, stop for pedestrians when the lights flash. If that is too much for you, please surrender your drivers license and stay off the road.

    • Foop November 23, 2021 (8:45 am)

      Yes, if you pay attention to the arrows and indicators in the lane you are driving in. It’s pretty well spelled out.

  • skeeter November 23, 2021 (9:17 am)

    Note that the speed limit is 25mph so drivers should have a few extra seconds to process the changes while approaching the intersection.  

  • Auntie November 23, 2021 (10:24 am)

    It’s so simple! Slow down (because you know you weren’t going 25), stay in your own lane (that’s what a steering wheel is for) and go straight ahead, no turns. Or stop if the pedestrian lights are flashing. What’s so hard about that? 

    • Jort November 23, 2021 (11:49 am)

      I know you’re saying this with sincerity, but what is “so hard about” the simple tasks you list is that successive generations of car drivers have been enabled through intentional social engineering and public policy indifference that car drivers are the ultimate, unquestionably superior actors on public roads, and that all other road users and road use intentions should be forced to subordinate to drivers’ desires to go places as fast and conveniently as possible. This crosswalk is a tiny, tiny, minor, infinitesimal, micro-miniscule change that, at worst, inconveniences drivers by 10 to 15 seconds. And yet drivers will react with explosive, screeching outrage. The costs drivers place on society, and that the rest of society has to bear, are unconscionable. Costs like the destruction of our planet, of world-leading death and injury rates, of unsustainable land-use planning, of diversion of taxpayer monies from social services to their driving hobbies, of an economic system that deliberately disadvantages non-drivers, of the literal permanent demolition of neighborhoods to facilitate cars, of countless other externalities. All because people like to press the gas pedal and go “vroom vroom.” It’s so, so sad, and it is a universal political truth about this country that I fear will not change until half of this country is at the floor of the ocean, and even then, people will fill the West Seattle Seabed Blog with comments about preserving submarine parking spaces and underwater gondolas.

    • DC November 23, 2021 (1:18 pm)

      What’s confusing to me is the bike lane. Is there any way for them to trigger the crossing signal? Why the diagonal crossing? And why the island in the middle? Agree it is easy to navigate as a driver! But seems overly complicated engineering for a simple crossing. 

      • Jort November 23, 2021 (2:42 pm)

        The bicycle crossing is automatically activated by a sensor when it detects a bicycle waiting in the green box. Much like cars get their signals activated automatically. Not really that complicated.

        • Jethro Marx November 23, 2021 (3:13 pm)

          I haven’t used it under power yet but I think there is also an indicator light that confirms one’s bike is sensed and the signal requested.  We sometimes do the same with crosswalk buttons now because people will just keep mashing that thing until it breaks.  

  • Bubbasaurus November 23, 2021 (1:28 pm)

    Not sure if this project had anything to do with it, but the car light trigger on the west side of the 35th and Raymond (1 block north) no longer works. The only way the light will change is if there are pedestrians or cars on the other side of the intersection. Reported almost a week ago on the find it fix it app. 

    • WSB November 23, 2021 (1:39 pm)

      Please call that in to SDOT if you haven’t already: 206-684-ROAD

  • Another One November 23, 2021 (3:15 pm)

    I, for one, am excited about this. This is the best place to cross 35th to get to the Junction and beyond. Graham has a gentler uphill slope going east. 

  • Reality Chick November 23, 2021 (4:02 pm)

    SDOT does not have a great track record on maintenance–large or small scale–of the transportation system (in its entirety). There is a lot of new paint on roadways designating which areas are for transit, cars, bikes, or pedestrians and their function and safety(!!) rely very much on all users being able to see operational distinctions. Let us all, as in all users of the system, hope that SDOT is committed to maintaining these elements be they constructed, painted, etc., so that they operate in the manner they are intended to. 

  • Don Brubeck November 23, 2021 (5:27 pm)

    This is a big safety improvement for the Neighborhood Greenway at High Point. Graham has the lowest grade going east-west, so it it the easiest street to walk or ride on. The signal only turns red when activated by someone who wants to cross 35th on foot or bike. It is not confusing for drivers on 35th. Red light means stop. Green light means go. It is not confusing for pedestrians crossing 35th. Press the button. Red Don’t Walk signal means wait. White walk signal means walk. It is not confusing for bike riders crossing 35th. Bike riders get in the  bike lane. The blue sign lights up to let you know that you have been detected by the sensor. Red bike signal means wait. Green bike signal means go.

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