As chronicled here, the “driver report card” pilot project didn’t seem to have much effect on drivers stopping for pedestrians – and an SDOT rep has acknowledged that. This came during an update given to the city’s Pedestrian Advisory Board, meeting online last night (only two board members were in attendance pending a wave of new appointees expected to join soon).
As reported previously, the pilot project involved signs at two spots in High Point for six weeks, each reflecting the results of data gathering involving whether drivers stopped for pedestrians. Most weeks, the results were worse than the week before. SDOT’s Kadie Bell Sata acknowledged to the advisory board, “It didn’t have the huge impact that would have been great.” She said the project also gathered data – not reflected on the signage – about whether racial bias affected drivers’ tendency to stop, or not. The test has now moved on to Rainier Beach, where six signs are up, three at marked crossings, three at unmarked crossings. One simple change they made after High Point – larger signs. They’re still deciding on other locations around the city to continue the test, part of a grant-funded safety campaign that will also support the 25-mph speed limit. Later in the meeting, the speed limit was part of a Vision Zero safety-program update from Allison Schwartz, who said it’s had some success – a 20 percent decrease in injury collisions and 54 percent decrease in “top-end speeders.” But the city’s traffic death rate is still higher than it’s historically been, she said, with 10 people killed so far this year, including the man killed while walking across a West Seattle street last Friday night and a person killed while bicycling in SODO yesterday morning. Of those 10 people, Schwartz said, four were walking, four were in vehicles, and two were on bicycles.