FOLLOWUP: 47th/Admiral signal status

(WSB photo, looking toward the northwest)

Last month, our brief mention of a reader-reported problem with the 47th/Admiral signal led to a comment discussion about recurring trouble there. One reader said they’d reported it in December and received an explanation that the vehicle-detection system was failing. We followed up with SDOT, which after a lengthy research period provided this response:

We completely replaced the vehicle detection system and made other repairs to this traffic signal in the summer of 2023. The old detection system originally was built with a 5-year product lifespan and had begun to show signs of failure. Since we finished these repairs, our technicians have made several field visits to test the signal, and have not observed any operational problems. The most recent site visit took place last week, when our technician watched the signal for approximately 90 minutes and did not see any issues.

Nonetheless, we will continue to take this issue seriously and will continue to make field visits if people continue to report problems. We appreciate members of the public who have taken the time to notify us when they think they see a problem, and especially appreciate when people are able to provide specific details such as the direction and time of day that they were traveling, which may help us to catch any issues that might not be occurring consistently at all times.

The signal was installed in 2015, two years after the City Council funded it following years of community advocacy for intersection improvements. As for reporting trouble – aside from using the Find It/Fix It app, you can report signal (and other) problems to SDOT via 206-684-ROAD – after-hours, 206-386-1218 – or via email.

11 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: 47th/Admiral signal status"

  • Signal Sal February 7, 2024 (12:15 pm)

    I have noticed improvements over the past month or so… I think something must have been tweaked more recently than their response suggests.

    • Frog February 7, 2024 (1:51 pm)

      It was not working for a few days around Jan. 15-16, but has long since been back to normal.  Maybe vehicle detection shuts down in cold weather.

  • Al King February 7, 2024 (12:26 pm)

    Signal operation does seem to be normal now.

  • Kyle February 7, 2024 (12:44 pm)

    A 5 year product span for anything related to a traffic light is criminal. A different vendor should have been used than.

  • Eddie February 7, 2024 (12:44 pm)

    Originally installed public infrastructure with a 5 year lifespan. Really doesn’t seem like responsible decisions were made.

  • Eddie February 7, 2024 (1:16 pm)

    Warranty void if used outdoors.

  • Lola February 7, 2024 (1:44 pm)

    This complaint is about the light at the End of the West Seattle Bridge coming into West Seattle at 35th & Fauntleroy.  Every night at 4:45 pm this past week and the beginning of this week traffic backs up past the Walking on Logs.  It seems to be the light at 35th the two left hand turn lanes are all backed up, thus the Freeway Backs up.  Not sure if they have changed how long the light goes for?  It has never backed up that far before so something had to have changed with the lights?  I noticed this last night 2.6.24 that it seemed to be those two lanes.  I will see if doing anything on the Find it fix it app. helps. 

    • Odd son February 7, 2024 (4:07 pm)

      Probably people trying to turn left illegally from 35th to Avalon between 4-7.. I’ve sat in Taco Time or the Habit and watch people do this despite a symphony of horns. Stubborn. Ignorant. SPD wouldn’t enforce it even when well staffed. 

  • Down the hill February 7, 2024 (11:02 pm)

    Huh. I’d always assumed it was wonky on purpose to reduce crashes into Aegis. Good to know it’s reportable and how to do it.

  • WarOnCars February 8, 2024 (9:26 am)

    for those surprised at 5 years being a short lifespan for traffic hardware: yeah, these are the costs associated with road maintenance. this is hardware that runs 24/7, in all weather conditions. most information online has traffic hardware lasting at most 10 years, and much of it lasting on average around 5 (not sure what exact piece of equipment is referenced in this post). i get how it can be surprising seeing the fully realized cost of maintaining roads especially considering that the most used mode of transit, personal vehicles, doesn’t come close to covering its fair share regarding how much impact and damage it inflicts on the infrastructure. this is a part frequently ignore by drivers when alternative modes of transit are being proposed: that with less drivers you’d have less reliance on complex systems to manage congestion, less wear and tear on surfaces and sensors.

  • Danimal February 14, 2024 (11:12 pm)

    This light is definitely still malfunctioning. Came up Admiral last Sunday afternoon to a long (15 or so) line of cars stopped on Admiral. We were stopped for at least 3 minutes which means that light had been red significantly longer than that, to stack up that many cars on a light Sunday afternoon. When it turned green, it didn’t even clear the line of cars before turning red the second a car pulled up to the cross street. No delay whatsoever to clear some traffic, just went straight to yellow then red as soon as that car pulled up. And then the light stayed red for far longer than it took that vehicle to clear the sensor – at least a couple of minutes. Something is definitely not right with that light. There’s no reason to delay Admiral traffic that deeply and frequently.

Sorry, comment time is over.