Are speed cameras the solution to dangerous driving on Alki (and West Marginal)?

citylight(WSB photo from aftermath of 2016 West Marginal crash blamed on racing)

Less than a week after the latest meeting between city officials and Alki/Harbor neighbors concerned about street disorder and dangerous driving, a new proposal is in the works. City Councilmember Lisa Herbold is introducing a bill that would open the door to automated speed-enforcement cameras on Alki Avenue, Harbor Avenue, and West Marginal Way by designating them as “racing zones,” along with a few other areas of the city. This is a new use of enforcement cameras, authorized by the State Legislature. From the summary of Council Bill 120600:

As authorized by recent changes in Washington State Law (RCW 46.63.170), this legislation authorizes the expansion of camera enforcement to detect speed violations in walk areas, public park zones, hospital zones, and restricted racing zones. This legislation also designates the specific racing zones where camera enforcement is authorized, including:

 Alki Avenue SW between 63rd Ave SW and Harbor Avenue SW.
 Harbor Avenue SW between Alki Avenue SW and SW Spokane St.
 West Marginal Way SW between SW Spokane St and 2nd Ave SW.
 Sand Point Way NE between 38th Ave NE and NE 95th St.
 NE 65th St between Sand Point Way NE and Magnuson Park.
 Roadways inside Magnuson Park including, but not limited to, NE 65th St and Lake Shore Dr NW.

State law (RCW 46.63.170(1)(d)(ii) requires an equity analysis that evaluates livability, accessibility, economics, education, and environmental health when identifying camera locations using this new authority.

Councilmember Herbold’s legislative assistant Newell Aldrich tells WSB that this would give SDOT the “authority to install speed cameras, but not immediately: “There are steps that must be taken in the state law before installing cameras, e.g. an equity analysis.” Previously, speed-enforcement cameras were only allowed in school zones, and the city is already pursuing doubling those (from 35 citywide now, to 70). Aldrich says the racing-zone camera proposal will be the subject of a briefing one week from tomorrow, 9:30 am June 20th, in the Transportation and Seattle Public Utilities Committee, whose chair Councilmember Alex Pedersen is co-sponsoring it. A vote could happen in mid-July. Meantime, we’re seeking some followup information, such as the potential cost of these cameras (which of course would be revenue generators as well) and whether they’d be in use 24/7, not just “racing” hours (West Marginal has been much-discussed as a speeding zone around the clock).

107 Replies to "Are speed cameras the solution to dangerous driving on Alki (and West Marginal)?"

  • Trevor June 12, 2023 (6:48 pm)

    24/7 is a not so subtle show of hand. Installing cameras isn’t to deter racing. The city is looking for additional sources of revenue.It’s a slippery slope. Opening up cameras outside of school zones means inevitably cameras will be widely dispersed across more city streets.

    • Josh June 13, 2023 (7:22 am)

      The more the merrier. All you have to lose is your selfish, dangerous, expensive, antisocial, bad habits. 

      • ws resident June 14, 2023 (12:45 pm)

        also your basic freedom but hey why not. so many more places we can add cameras to keep an eye on  everyone. 

        • TA June 15, 2023 (2:55 pm)

          My “basic Freedom” is to be able to walk across ALKI AVE with my dog in a crosswalk and not risk getting run down, as has happened many times. My “basic freedom” is to be able to watch TV in my own home without listening to drag racing and back-firing cars at all hours. My “basic freedom” is to be able to enjoy our city with all my fellow Seattleites without having to worry about an out of control street racer crashing into and totaling my car, as happened last year.

          • James June 16, 2023 (8:32 am)

            Then ban cars and not do cameras? People overthink these things.

    • Big Apple June 13, 2023 (12:42 pm)

      What’s not to like about cameras in the absence of traffic enforcement officers?In NYC they are everywhere, 4,000 of them sending out 4,369,250.“Research studies have shown that well-designed camera programscan deter drivers from running red lights, reduce speeding by up to 65 percent and help prevent up to 44 percent of serious crashes, according to an analysis by the National Association of City Transportation Officials.”

      • Carol June 15, 2023 (12:53 pm)

        Good points.  I’m for it especially if it will deter the running of red lights, which has gotten completely out of hand.

        • admyrlbyrd June 15, 2023 (7:40 pm)

          No doubt.  At all lights you now have to proceed slowly out and make sure you’ve got no one barreling down.  

  • Neighbor June 12, 2023 (6:50 pm)

    Is this still an open question?  Have we tried this elsewhere?  Did it work?  Seems like traffic calming would be more effective.  Speed bumps don’t sleep.

    • Urbanist June 13, 2023 (3:36 pm)

      Agreed, and I’d also like raised crosswalks. 

    • TA June 15, 2023 (3:02 pm)

      so speed bumps are great and contribute to an overall plan BUT right now the street racer have to slow way down to cross the speed bump in front of our condo AND they gun and backfire their engines the minute they get on the other side of the bump. This happens in both direction so it has actually made the situation worse in this one particular case.

  • Admiral-2009 June 12, 2023 (6:57 pm)

    The City had zero Technical Basis to lower the Speed Limit on WMW, it was arbitrary and no Traffic Study was conducted (I made numerous requests for a study from the City to no avail) and other Principal Arterials.  The prior 40 mph limit on WMW was consistent to Traffic Engineering science!   Traffic control that is not technically credible reduces safety for all users.

    • Charles Burlingame June 12, 2023 (9:27 pm)

      Traffic engineering is as much a “science” as astrology.

      • Common sense June 13, 2023 (6:11 am)

        Traffic engineering is real. Results can be obtained and reproduced. Your comment shows your ignorance. Road speeds should be set to set to 70 percent average of driver speeds and not lowered to infuriating speeds that cause road rage from average citizens. See traffic engineering includes psychology. The speed limit needs to be raised on WMW. Cameras will do little to stop racing as tthe city has already stated they will not pull you over for no plates and will not allow police pursuits for non violent crime. So what are the cameras really for? How far over the speed limit will they trigger a ticket? 5mph over? 35 mph is not racing. They better be set to 60mph plus if they install these “street racing cameras” that will do nothing to stop street racing. 

      • Common Sense June 13, 2023 (7:38 am)

        Traffic engineering is real, results can be measured and reproduced. Speed limits should be 70% of the average driver speed on a road, and not artificially low to cause road rage from the average citizen. See traffic engineering includes psychology. The real question is how would these cameras stop racing when the city will not pull you over for no plates and will not pursue non violent crime?  Without that these cameras will do nothing. Also how far over the speed limit will these “racing cameras” ticket? 5mph in a 30mph is not racing. They better be set to 60mph or more to target actual street racing. 

    • In favor of cameras June 13, 2023 (8:25 am)

      First it is important to note that in an urban setting lower travel speed has insignificant impact on travel times or throughput. Ill say it again, the new speed limit does not affect your overall travel time.The prior speed limit was done by a speed study where the speed of all cars are measured and the limit set at the 80th percentile of drivers. Letting drivers decide how fast to go is akin to letting a golden retriever decide how much food to eat. The lower speed limits are part of vision zero and are based on collision data. Not only do fewer collisions happen as speeds are lowered, but pedestrian survivability increases dramatically. 8/10 people struck at 40mph die, 8/10 people struck at 25mph survive. It is based on data. I would love to see cameras installed.

  • Buttercup June 12, 2023 (7:01 pm)

    Hellalulah!! 24/7. Anyone against that are afraid of tickets themselves.

    • James June 13, 2023 (12:36 pm)

      Wrong. But thanks for making assumptions. Some of us don’t want a Panopticon of cameras all over society invading our privacy. Big NO to more cameras.

      • Josh June 13, 2023 (7:54 pm)

        He types into his cell phone or computer that has camera pointed at him that is automatically recording and sending to an NSA database at all times.  LOL. At least speed cameras have enforceable restrictions on government accessing them, unlike the camera on your phone. 

        • Mellow Kitty June 13, 2023 (10:10 pm)

          Nailed it. 

        • Carol June 15, 2023 (12:58 pm)

          Spot on!

      • Steve June 14, 2023 (11:40 pm)

        Only the guilty are concerned of being caught

      • admyrlbyrd June 15, 2023 (7:43 pm)

        C’mon Rusty Shackleford, the government isn’t after you.  They will barely have enough resources to followup on all the tickets they actually issued.  And by the time the city pays off the contractors for installing and monitoring, it will result in no new net revenue.  

  • Marcus June 12, 2023 (7:17 pm)


  • MyThruppence June 12, 2023 (7:20 pm)

    Automated speed cameras instead of cops on the beat, huh? Thanks Lisa for all the wonderful “help” you have been. Your solutions have always been “great” when viewed from a distance; always producing a contortion of some sort instead of just acknowledging that devaluing the SPD has consequences, was an enormous mistake, and needs to be reversed by whatever means necessary. Equity analysis indeed.

  • ` June 12, 2023 (7:27 pm)

    yes to this.also, on fauntleroy. these would pay for themselves fairly quickly, even better if red light cameras are considered as well.

  • Seattlite June 12, 2023 (7:28 pm)

    Dangerous speeding is not limited to just Alki and W. Marginal.  Erskine turns into 48 Ave S.W. going S.W until it ends at a four-way intersection at 48th Ave S.W., Beach Dr., and Lincoln Park Way.  Cars speed at 45 mph along this street then make a quick rolling stop at the intersection.  The speeding drivers don’t seem to  care if they  hit pedestrians in the intersection.  The speeding drivers are in such a rush that they do not even wait for pedestrians to complete the cross before they zoom off.  I have almost been hit in the intersection and have witnessed many near misses.  If you can believe it, a speeding driver passed me on 48th Ave SW endangering me an the oncoming driver.

    • Mike June 13, 2023 (8:24 am)

      I live along the section where Erskine turns into 48th and 45 mph some days is the speed most people drive it.  After rounding onto 48th at the bottom of Erskine cars horse the gas and by mid-block 50-55 is not uncommon.  Its very dangerous, not to mention noisy!!!  The are many along this stretch of road way that would surely advocate for speed enforcement cameras. One at the bottom of Erskine and one near the intersection with Graham.  If the police are short staffed and can’t help us, then give us a way to solve the problem with machines BEFORE someone gets seriously hurt or worse.

  • Rhonda June 12, 2023 (7:32 pm)

    Those who are illegally racing on our streets are OUTLAWS. They will simply refuse to pay the fines generated by automated speed cameras. Such violations are not moving violations like a real traffic infraction issued by a live law enforcement officer. Most of these scofflaws don’t even register their street-racing vehicles, anyway. What we need is REAL enforcement in these areas so street racers can face actual moving violations and/or arrest.

  • Rumbles June 12, 2023 (8:28 pm)

    Hahahaha!  You are assuming these folks have license plates on their cars!  How do you send a ticket to that person?! 

    • sam-c June 13, 2023 (6:26 pm)

      Ha ! It would at least curb some crazy driving.  In recent months, the craziest driving was a box truck for a local business….. I imagine it would curb their reckless driving if they were that identifiable with logos and stuff.  (it was a box truck tailgating me before moving on to weave between both lanes, cutting off both school buses and garbage trucks (in both lanes), at 50 mph at least, at 6:40am on a Tuesday morning.  I could only assume they had some type of bathroom emergency, but it was comical to catch up to them at the red light at the Chelan 5-way intersection and then the next red light after that)

  • 937 June 12, 2023 (8:30 pm)

    Anyone who would give up Liberty for security deserves and will receive neither.

    Or something.

    • Catgirl June 13, 2023 (5:30 am)

      I don’t want to see another pedestrian hit and killed by a speeding driver. It’s easy to make blanket statements about liberty, but what about the lives lost? Reckless driving is not a constitutional right. 

  • Curious George June 12, 2023 (8:34 pm)

    Won’t they just take their plates off or put on stolen plates? 

  • A Beach Loving Resident June 12, 2023 (8:42 pm)

    Please for the love of god stop ruining Alki with a bunch of garbage enforcement techniques that don’t work unless you actually have a cop ticketing people for racing.. AND can we just admit that the damn speed bumps DONT WORK!! They just disrupt the normal flow of traffic for 90% of law abiding citizens who cruise Alki. Every summer it’s the same complaints as if Alki isn’t a quiet peaceful neighborhood 3/4 of the year when it’s raining. Just stop for crying out loud. It’s a BEACH! There’s noise, there’s parties, there’s cars. If you really want enforcement then start ticketing people for reckless behavior. 

    • Alki Resident June 12, 2023 (9:45 pm)

      The speed bumps do work. They need to add them to the sections of Alki that don’t have them. As someone that lives on Alki, it infuriates me that people can drive by at 60+ miles an hour and you think it is we should just accept. 

      • Rhonda June 12, 2023 (11:36 pm)

        No, they don’t work. Scofflaws still do donuts, burn rubber between them, and SUVs/trucks fly right over them. All they’ve accomplished is cause drivers to swerve to drive over them with only half of their wheels. I’ve seen countless near-head-on collisions and drivers seeing them too late, hitting them too hard, and almost losing control.

        • Alki Resident June 13, 2023 (12:43 pm)

          Depends on your definition of work. Does it stop people going from 60-80 mph in a 25 mph zone? YES. Does it stop them from going 40 mph , then I agree it doesn’t. But i’ll settle for that as it is way safer to be going 40 mph than 60-80. 

      • R June 13, 2023 (1:45 am)

        We DO accept it. To not accept that would be to live in a fantasy world. Or are you only “accepting” of it as long as someone else takes care of the problem? If they bother you, why don’t you go talk to them about it? You’re just as capable as an officer, you care more than an officer. Be the change you want to see. 

        • Seattlite June 13, 2023 (8:45 am)

          That is a terrible suggestion to give to another fellow West Seattleite.  No one knows if a dangerous, speeding driver has a weapon.  If these dangerous, speeding drivers show NO common sense  in endangering citizens by NOT driving the speed limit, what makes you think they would not harm anyone who approaches them about breaking the speed limit law? 

        • Alki Resident June 13, 2023 (9:27 am)

          And how exactly do you talk to someone that is racing their car down the road at 60 miles an hour? Do I do a high speed car chase on a one lane road that has a speed limit of 25 miles an hour? The people that do this do not live here so you can’t just knock on your neighbors door and talk to them. They come to race, burn rubber, do stunts. What I do know is this used to be a problem all along Harbor and Alki and now it only happens on the sections that don’t have speed bumps.  

  • North Admiral Neighbor June 12, 2023 (8:49 pm)

    Unfortunately these types of tickets are still meaningless since any driver can just claim to not be driving and the city is required to drop the ticket (as the cameras aren’t allowed to capture the driver’s face for privacy reasons).It’s also pretty common to see street racers either covering their plates or not having one at all so it seems like this will target locals more so than the street racers that are the intended target. 

    • Josh June 13, 2023 (7:25 am)

      Not true. If you claim to not be driving to dodge the ticket you either have to tell them who was or send in a police report about how your car was stolen. 

      • sna June 13, 2023 (9:16 am)

        There’s zero legal requirement to state who was driving when you claim you were not. 

      • North Admiral Neighbor June 13, 2023 (9:31 am)

        Not true, you are not required to tell them who was driving or if you’re not sure who was driving then that’s a valid excuse as well (some folks let anyone in their household drive their cars so they have no way of knowing for sure who sped or ran a red light)The tickets are completely useless and automatically excused for anyone who correctly reads the fine print    

        • Josh June 13, 2023 (8:01 pm)

          Wrong. In order to get out of the ticket you would need to request a contested hearing and then provide a written statement stating that you were not driving and detailing who was driving including their address where the infraction can be rerouted to or provide a police report detailing that your car was stolen. If the person who the ticket was reassigned to does not honor the ticket summons you as the registered owner of the vehicle will be found at fault and will have lost your contest. Nice try guys but speed cameras work. 

          • JB June 14, 2023 (10:56 am)

            Sorry Josh, this is incorrect.

            I received a speeding camera ticket in the mail. I checked a box that said it wasn’t me, and the city dropped it.

            Think about it – the City of Seattle is claiming you were speeding. They have photographic evidence of your license plate, and a reading from a speed gun. That’s it. If they can’t prove it was you driving, then THE CITY has to prove who was driving, not you. You are under ZERO legal obligation to assist them with their case.

            It’s called burden of proof, and it lies squarely with the City. And because it’s against state law to photograph the driver, they have no leg to stand on.

            Once again Josh, I checked a box and my speed camera ticket was dropped instantly, so I’ve actually done exactly what you claim can’t be done. Speed cameras are deterrents, and they do generate revenue, but they are not enforceable.

            And if you still think I’m wrong, then if I do get a speed camera ticket I’m claiming you were driving. Do you honestly think you’ll then have to haul yourself to court because I named you? (Answer: you will not, as they will not ask me anyway, nor would it mean anything if I did.)

  • WS Guy June 12, 2023 (8:57 pm)

    No to fascist police surveillance.

    • Mickymse June 12, 2023 (9:22 pm)

      Only if I can ban everyone’s Ring doorbell cameras and dashcams, too. All this silly nonsense around here about government surveillance. At least that’s regulated and publicly accessible.

      • 937 June 12, 2023 (10:01 pm)

        I agree with you. Get rid of ALL of it. WE don’t have a Ring – I don’t believe in survellience of ANY kind.

        Least of all, the government keeping tabs on us.

        • WS Guy June 12, 2023 (10:30 pm)

          One third of gen z supports 1984-style in home surveillance.

          • Scarlett June 13, 2023 (1:26 pm)

             Sadly, what is now in place and being used is already far, far beyond anything Orwell could have dreamed up.   It’s the reason the latest  installment of the Matrix franchise failed – it was no longer sci-fiction.  

          • John June 13, 2023 (4:28 pm)

            Both works of fiction.Let’s stick with reality.

          • WW Resident June 13, 2023 (5:52 pm)

            Orwellian, you mean like 1984? Where the government dismantled Capitalism in favor of Socialism? Where people participated to 2 minutes of hate in reaction to the promotion of free speech, whether they wanted to or not? Where new words were invented to fit the narrative? Where words that were disliked were removed and banned from being used? Where words were redefined to fit the narrative put forth? Where there was no longer any crime except thought crime. Where no matter how much you knew that 2+2=4,  you were told and made to agree that 2+2=5, and if you didn’t agree you were sent to re-education? That Orwellian? I agree. 

        • Scarlett June 13, 2023 (11:43 am)

          Couldn’t agree more.   The government knows everything about us, yet zealously guards its own privacy.   Not a good recipe for a democracy.  

      • James June 13, 2023 (12:37 pm)

        I don’t want speed cameras and I don’t like the Ring camera obsession either.  Can people in these comments please introduce some nuance to their lives?

    • Mike June 13, 2023 (5:59 am)

      You mean fascist city council revenue generator

      • Admyrl Byrd June 15, 2023 (7:47 pm)

        If you examine the various ticketing and tolling deployed by various city/state governments, it’s often only the construction and monitoring firms that make money.  Have no illusions that this is a funding mechanism for the city.  Add in court and admin costs and it is probably a loser (because – unlike the tunnel fees which can be adjusted, most traffic violations have specific amounts which aren’t tied to the cost of enforcement and usually quite laughable until offense # 3.

      • MSW June 19, 2023 (10:42 pm)

        It’s an excuse to grab more revenue. “Showww me the money!!!”

    • James June 13, 2023 (12:33 pm)

      Agree. Stop posting cameras everywhere. They are invasive to privacy. I am not willing to surrender privacy to fascism. 

      • admyrl byrd June 15, 2023 (7:49 pm)

        Signed, Dale Gribble.BTW you did notice that the fascists wanted nothing to do with the cameras used to capture and enforce judgement on Jan 6?

    • Not a problem June 13, 2023 (1:38 pm)

      Good Grief f.🙄

    • CAM June 13, 2023 (6:37 pm)

      By definition, fascism is “a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.” Next someone will tell me how crosswalks = the Holocaust. 

  • Zipda June 12, 2023 (9:26 pm)

    Speed bumps?

  • Shadowtripper June 12, 2023 (9:26 pm)

    Using West Marginal Way at the posted 30 mph with bike lanes protected by cement barriers and no pedestrian sidewalks next to roadway, then installing speed cameras to enforce the 30mph limit is another example of poor City Council judgement.  It will undoubtedly make the center turn lane a passing lane between known cameras.  Placing planting strips in the medium certainly isn’t an answer.  Having a death roadway injury on the high rise bridge shutting it down for 3-5 hrs. during rush hour will place all of rush hour traffic on a one lane 30mph road to the 1st S Bridge.  Not to mention emergency access.  Other roadways mentioned should use these speed control methods. 

    • MW June 13, 2023 (9:17 am)

      The word is “malicious” judgment.  Not poor judgment.  Intended to make the average non-criminal taxpayer citizens frustrated and enraged as they are pitted  against the  real drag-racing criminals.  Why else would they 1) NOT enforce missing license plate law and 2) decide both to lower arterial speed to something it’s never been without a study of traffic flow, and 3) then install speed cameras?

      • CAM June 13, 2023 (6:39 pm)

        It’s not about traffic flow. It’s about survival rates. That has been said innumerable times. 

  • Lamont June 12, 2023 (9:35 pm)

    > West Marginal has been much-discussed as a speeding zone around the clock.

    If literally everyone is speeding, then the speed limits are set wrong. And the problem will be that it’ll have an outsized impact on poorer folks.

    • WestSeattleBadTakes June 13, 2023 (12:03 am)

      No, the road is designed wrong.

      • Lamont June 13, 2023 (8:09 pm)

        I agree, the fix is a road diet.

      • Danimal June 15, 2023 (12:07 am)

        No, your belief that the road is designed wrong is what is wrong. The road is designed exactly as it should be – a high-volume, industrial access roadway with room for all vehicles to travel efficiently and safely, including in and out of industrial and private community access points, already containing a bike lane that is insufficiently maintained by all accounts in these comments.  Contrarian angst does not make you right.

  • Star55 June 12, 2023 (10:00 pm)

    Yes please!!! 

  • Yours Sincerely June 12, 2023 (10:04 pm)

    It’s not going to deter racers.  Like they’d care?  What’s a parking ticket in the mail, a tap on the wrist?  They don’t even care that they’re doing armed robberies and stealing cars.  There’s a bigger picture that needs to be looked at. 

    • James June 13, 2023 (12:38 pm)

      Speeding down Alki is an issue but don’t conflate racing types to all other criminals. This is so dogwhistle-y it’s not even funny.        

  • Alki Jack June 12, 2023 (10:07 pm)

    What is really working is the speed bumps on Alki Ave SW and Harbor Ave SW. What is really needed is more speed bumps. There are huge gaps between Anchor Park and 63rd Ave SW. Plus a couple are needed from Salty’s on Harbor Ave SW until they start by the boat launch. These Speed Bumps are Working! If it’s a budget problem let us know, I’ll collect the money and hand it to the city treasurer. Just let us know how much you need. 

    • Adam June 12, 2023 (10:31 pm)

      Hiya, City Treasurer here. Where should we meet?

    • B June 12, 2023 (10:39 pm)

      Same. Also 60th. ave SW as well.

    • WSR June 13, 2023 (9:21 am)

      Totally agree. We need speed bumps on the rest of Alki

  • ARPigeonPoint June 12, 2023 (11:24 pm)

    Who can we contact to give feedback on this? West Marginal Way should have never been lowered to 30. It’s ridiculous. 

  • anonyme June 13, 2023 (6:25 am)

    I’m for traffic cameras everywhere, although I doubt they’ll do much to deter racing.  However, they might just help with speeding and failure to yield to pedestrians, which would be a win.

  • Runner June 13, 2023 (6:36 am)

    Yes, yes, and yes please.  It’s crazy that the city isn’t doing everything in its power to get the reckless driving under control.  Speed bumps, traffic speed cameras, and more police enforcement all are needed.  Everyday when the weather is nice thousands of people walk, run, bike etc. on the paths just feet from Alki Avenue.  Sooner or later one of the idiots that think it’s cool to drive recklessly on Alki are going to lose control and innocent people will be hurt.  This isn’t rocket science, fix this issue anyway you can Seattle. 

  • S - In West Seattle June 13, 2023 (6:39 am)

    It was not that long ago that the City installed cameras from some Federal Grant around Seattle and West Seattle and people got up in arms about them because it was an invasion of your privacy and they ended up taking them down. How the world has turned especially on Alki as a lot of the noise about those cameras came from people living on Alki.  

  • Alki Runner June 13, 2023 (8:21 am)

    Has anyone else seen the guy driving a Corvette on Alki racing his engine and tailgating, with a printed license plate that simply reads LOL BYE?  It is a pure black plate with white letters and no tags, and he had no plate on the front when I last saw him.  How are the cameras going to stop this type of behavior?

  • KinesthesiaAmnesia June 13, 2023 (8:37 am)

    What’s gonna keep these proposed Alki traffic cameras from being like the Spokane Street traffic cams during Bridge-a-geddon that had an unusually low compliance rate, maybe 500 drivers holding the bulk of the tickets, and 1/2 the payment rate of school speeding cams? (per Publicola’s “Unpaid Tickets from West Seattle Bridge Violations Add Up to Millions” 7 months ago)With a shortage of sworn police officers Seattle hasn’t had enough in desk duty to review & verify camera data then issue tickets. (per The Urbanist’s “Pedestrian Projects Face Delays as School Camera Funding Falls Short” 2 wks ago).How will these proposed new cameras function when Seattle’s existing traffic camera programs aren’t set up to succeed?My old car’s tire suspension is going to hate me for this, but I’m with all the people that are in favor of permanent road calming like speed bumps, curb bulbs; also traffic circles, wider sidewalks & raised crosswalks.

  • Erik June 13, 2023 (9:18 am)

    Personally I don’t care whether they put them on Alki. I don’t think that it will do anything, because racers are just gonna take their plates off to avoid a ticket. Its also an actual pedestrian zone, so the speed limits matter. Seems like a desperate grab for a solution to a complex problem that everyone can see through. It doesn’t make any sense for it to be on West Marginal Way though. The speed limit is already unnecessarily low. I don’t understand why the city is so obsessed with slowing traffic on WMW. Its NOT somewhere that pedestrians normally walk unless they work in the industrial businesses along the route. Speed doesn’t kill, inattentiveness does. Adding these additional things like cameras, medians, bike lanes, etc., that cause more distraction are only going to increase the risk of accidents. The idea that they would be in use “only during racing hours” is a little bit laughable. I am sure the city is licking their chops at the prospect of an additional money grab from expanding the use of the speed cameras. 

  • Alkibean June 13, 2023 (10:33 am)

    I fear that this is going to just push the racing to 63rd SW  and to SW Beach Drive. Please, please add speed bumps to both!

  • TZ June 13, 2023 (10:45 am)

    There isn’t a speed bump, traffic camera or crosswalk between Spokane St and Seacrest park. Without any form of traffic calming in that area, residents looking to cross over to Alki trail really have to be on their toes because it’s not safe. Unfortunately, those voices of residents in favor of traffic calming who are subjected to this and many other related nuisances could easily be drowned out by dissenters with no stake in the matter, other than their tax dollars for which there is no mention of increased rates for funding. Something should be done and any combination of these traffic calming solutions would have an impact. For those worried about surveillance, you have a list of streets to avoid – West Seattle bridge through the admiral junction is a great detour to Alki btw.

    • CARGUY June 13, 2023 (2:07 pm)

      Be warned, a speedhump will create much more noise from cars scraping their bumpers, and exhausts revving  to get back up to speed. -Source: One was installed in front of my house summer before last. Its a nightmare. If anything it has only increased response times for firetrucks, and speeders still fly over it like its not there. Much more dangerous for bikers because cars consistently try and go over the side and on to the shoulder. My parked car in front of my house was almost totaled from a vehicle hitting it because of the speed bump. That would have been certain death for a pedestrian/biker

      • TZ June 13, 2023 (4:17 pm)

        Yes, noise was one of the related nuisances I was speaking about and I
        had already considered the potential for more of it as cars accelerate
        from the speed bump. The additional side effects you mention are good
        points to consider as well but not all inclusive. It’s a complicated
        problem that will require a multi faceted solution as people from all
        over continue to frequent the area with little regard for those around
        them, traffic laws and noise ordinances go under-enforced, and effective
        measures to address the issues are shot down by those not even remotely

  • Jay June 13, 2023 (11:30 am)

    Traffic cameras only work if cars display license plates, which most bad drivers choose not to do. How many of the dudes hooning at Alki have blackout covers over their license plates so you can’t see them? Almost all. Only good drivers who occasionally go a little too fast will get caught, the bad ones are driving anonymously.

    • froggy14 June 14, 2023 (8:17 am)

      I came on here to state the exact same thing.  I have been noticing more covered or non-plated cars lately.  I would love to see a crack down on busting these folks – maybe on West Marginal Way and on the roads leading to Alki.  

  • Krystal June 13, 2023 (11:55 am)

    More than anything we need speed cameras on admiral down by Alki where it is actually a school zone. So many people are walking to Alki and crossing admiral every day (because there is no parking near the beach) I have seen kids run out across admiral and almost get hit. Also the Alki elementary is a block from admiral. Not sure why there are not elevated sidewalks at every street near that school so 1- no racing up and down admiral with cars doing donuts in the intersections and 2- you can visually see the cross walk

  • Kadoo June 13, 2023 (12:17 pm)

    Lisa, you’ve done enough damage already. Don’t bother proposing any other solutions to problems…other than public drug use. Focus on that. 

    • admyrl byrd June 15, 2023 (7:50 pm)

      She’s for it, right?

  • Sick of Noise June 13, 2023 (1:47 pm)

    I’m good with either speed bumps or cameras.  Now can we do something  about  the speeders with loud exhausts on California?

  • PRS June 13, 2023 (2:51 pm)

    “Dangerous Driving?” Is that really the problem?  If there are no crashes, is it really that dangerous?If the problem is a high crash rate, then why not say, ” high crash rate?” Then we can do a comprehensive traffic engineering study to determine the cause of the crashes. Whether, as the article implies, it’s a bunch of “naughty” drivers in a few locations or if engineering solutions can reduce the crash rate naturally. If it is “naughty” drivers, increased enforcement by human officers should do the trick. 

  • K June 13, 2023 (5:03 pm)

    Can we use the cameras to nail drivers texting?

  • G June 13, 2023 (5:26 pm)

    I propose speed cameras and speed bumps all along Alki and California. These noisy car heads don’t even live here and cause unnecessary rowdiness. Anytime I see one of those lame Honda Accords / Mazdas I lol bc they’re making up for their “weaknesses”

    • justme June 13, 2023 (8:50 pm)

      So true! But the jokes on them because their cars are money pits.

    • derek June 14, 2023 (12:44 pm)

      California??? Why on that street? Jeeze now. My commute home is slow enough.

  • Mr Cha Cha Wiggles June 14, 2023 (11:50 am)

    What exactly is the “equity analysis”?

  • Ys June 14, 2023 (1:00 pm)

    Cameras-not thrilled but ok as long as only for going 15 over ie racing or dangerous driving like on sidewalk or in bike lane or blowing through in use crosswalksraised crosswalks-no-ever tired to cross one while using a walker, pulling a wagon or being a wheelchair user? Not accessible.accessible/equity study first(lol)-let’s not allow construction to close sidewalks and provide no detour for weeks/months/years at a time. Let’s have stop lines before the crosswalk and ticket if a pumper goes past it, at all city crosswalks

  • Carol June 15, 2023 (1:04 pm)

    No system is 100% fool proof….there’s always people looking for loopholes to avoid compliance with rules intended to provide civility and safety for the masses.  But we have to try something unless we want chaos and anarchy… the “perfect” is often the enemy of the good.

  • admyrl byrd June 15, 2023 (7:53 pm)

    I think we should just make Alki and North Admiral a gated community with Admiral Way as the boundary.    PS – any one watching with interest how long it takes them to fix I-95 in Philly?

    • 1994 June 16, 2023 (10:47 pm)

      Or just have the city purchase all the residences and turn Alki into one giant park where no one lives and no one complains…..

  • KEPicturewoman June 17, 2023 (12:08 pm)

    Thanks, West Seattle Blog for a place to comment.  I will write  councilwoman Herbold to ask her to review all these comments and for some statistics that can validate the camera installation.  There have been studies on pedestrian safety around schools when I worked in education by having students use cameras and keep logs about their observations.  Respect for every community includes while driving. 

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