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    Okay, I knew this would happen, and it has. Part of the reason for widening the West Seattle Bridge was to help the Seattle PD set up easier and safer conditions for them to set up speed traps, and hence increase revenue for the city. I am starting the long overdue task of getting these archaic speed limits increased to the 21st century. And please, do not insult me with “this is dangerous and will increase accidents” because this is non issue.

    So, coming off the exit ramp from I5 to the bridge it is currently

    35. This should now be increased to 45mph. Once clear of the on and off ramps, coming up the slight hill to crest the bridge, should now be 55mph. Lets face it, the bridge is wide enough and safe enough now to run a Formula 1 championship over it and back.

    Im tired of seeing bike cops and patrol cars handing out tickets on a sunny day like they were boxes of cracker jacks. Lets put a stop to this insanity. Who is with me??




    I agree that the speed limit needs to be increased. Not necessarily because of speed traps, but because everybody goes a different speed limit on the bridge. Some do 45, some do 55 and some do 65. So those that are speeding make it very dangerous because of how fast they are weaving in and out of lanes.

    Please note that I am not excusing the speeders on the bridge. The speed limit is 45 and everyone should do 45 until the speed limit is changed. And you should get a ticket if you are speeding. BUT the problem is – 45 really is too slow and it is really easy to speed. Yes – I know self control…. blah blah blah… But the bottom line is – 45 is too slow. There are very few people who actually do 45 on the bridge and everyone else is switching lanes to get around them… sometimes dangerously.

    I would be happy to go 55 on the bridge and 45 on the Spokane Viaduct.



    because you can doesn’t mean you should…next , people will advocate for 60, etc…



    I am generally in agreement, but I am wondering if the new on-ramp from 1st avenue south has anything to do with it? That’s a very short distance to get up to 45mph before merging left.

    Similarly, the 1st and 4th avenue exits eastbound might make more sense at the current speeds.

    Don’t get me wrong, when heading east or west on the new ssv 35 seems painfully slow…..


    Ms. Sparkles

    I’m with you Alan004…so how?



    Considering the relatively short length of the “West Seattle Freeway” even doubling the speed limit wouldn’t save you a significant amount of time. Increasing speeds would also lengthen safe distance intervals between cars, potentially lowering the volume of vehicles that section of roadway can accommodate. That’s not to mention the shortened reaction time and increased accident physics when crashes do happen. And accidents are frequent on that stretch of roadway.

    So I think there are some reasonable counterpoints to your revenue-motivated SPD conspiracy theories. I agree that it FEELS better to go faster on that section of roadway. But personally I don’t share the sense of speed entitlement. And considering the volume of car accidents the WSB covers in a normal week, I’d be more willing to support political advocacy focused on slowing cars down, not speeding them up.



    I agree completely with Christopher. The bridge is a bottleneck, with lots of lane changes, merges, and accidents that regularly bring traffic to a standstill. I don’t understand the mentality that insists the five minutes on the bridge must be reduced to 4.5. Safety should be the main concern, and while increased speed under some circumstances does increase safety, this is not one of those situations. The WS bridge is no more a freeway than Montlake.



    So, I calculate increasing the speed from the I-5 exit to 99 from 35 to 45 mph would save each car a whopping 14 seconds:

    Wolfram Alpha.

    Increasing the speed from 99 to the Fauntleroy exit from 45 to 55 would save each car 31 seconds (assuming each car instantaneously increases to 45 mph and maintains 45 right up to Fauntleroy–yikes!)

    So, following alan004’s proposal, each car saves 45 seconds.

    Now, alan004 dismisses increasing accidents as a non-issue, but I don’t think the research backs him up. “…the most recent and statistically robust research on speed and crash occurrence fairly definitively indicates that, all other factors being equal, increased speeds increase crash occurrence.(7) The magnitude of the increase is dependent on the specifics of each case, with urban areas having the most pronounced relationship…” (from Methods and Practices for Setting Speed Limits: An Informational Report from the FHWA.) If I correctly understand the formula given, increasing speed from 35 to 45 mph increases the rate of crashes by 1.28. (The rates are different for property-damage-only, injury, and fatality crashes.)

    We accept some level of risk at any speed. I don’t think it’s obvious what the correct trade-off is. But we should make that an informed trade-off, not merely an opinionated one.


    2 Much Whine

    Not with ya Alan. Sorry.



    I agree with Alan that speed limits should be increased on the WS bridge and SSV. But this is just beating a dead horse with the West Seattle Blog crowd. I bet half would like to see it kept as is or even lowered because it’s supposedly safer. And these are the same folks who say the same thing about Admiral and Highland Park Way being acceptable speed limits at 30 mph even though there are very few pedestrians, cyclists or homes on those roads. Yet they don’t complain about 35th Ave being 35 mph when there are TONS of homes along it. Mind boggling the lack of common sense in these parts when it comes to driving. But everyone thinks they’re right and the ones that want slow speeds are probably the ones causing the bulk of the accidents. And the other ones causing accidents are driving excessively fast and recklessly and should be riding Metro or a bicycle instead. This city has it all backwards when it comes to setting appropriate speed limits and the result is that we have to suffer with horrible traffic (and idiotic drivers). Woo hoo!



    Took this up on the news page a month ago.

    Spokane Street Viaduct: Speed-limit Q/A; ramp update

    Will ask SDOT if they ever had that traffic-engineer assessment done. – TR



    Okay guys, I understand your comments… but it has nothing to do with saving time on a journey. It has every thing to do with traffic flow. The reality is that most every one will average a “whopping” 50-60MPH over the bridge any way. The accidents you quote are already “happening at 50-60mph or 40-55mph.” You can still have shunts and bangs at 20mph.

    The issue is that if some one (me or you) is doing 59mph at say 11:00 AM (no rush hour traffic) then I or you, do not have to worry about PC Plod sitting on the hard shoulder with a “Lidar” gun waiting to dispense a $150 ticket because the posted speed limit is 45mph. Savvy? The speeds are already and have been for some time, well over 50MPH. As for braking distances, well Joe public should remember their driving theory and allow increased distances to stop in time… but I digress. That is another story and not meant for this discussion.

    What I am proposing is to narrow the badwith on posted speed to actual speed, so the ticket dispensing can come to a stop… make sense? Tracking with me here people?



    I agree with Alan in that the vast majority of people driving the viaduct/bridge are exceeding the posted speed limit by ten miles-per-hour. 45 on the highrise will get you tailgated – by everyone.

    This has nothing to do with “saving time,” rather it’s all about what is a prudent speed for the roadway.

    Take 99 south past the Spokane viaduct for instance… up to the WS Bridge the limit is 40. No onramps, traffic signals… nothing. But get past the bridge (by Liquor Board) and the limit INCREASES to 45 with multiple intersections/lights. It’s this kind of bizarre, arbitrary speed designations that make me shake my head…



    Okay, so majority of people here are a yes. Now who do I need to see to make this happen, and how do I go about doing it?

    I need names, address, phone numbers and departments.

    Oh, and I have already started looking into Laser Jamming systems for my vehicle and radar detection equipment, I might suggest every one do the same.



    Good luck with the SDOT! I emailed someone a month ago about painting lane stripes on 35th between Myrtle and Othello and nothing has been done yet. And that stretch of road was repaved at least six months ago, if not longer!



    >>Okay, so majority of people here are a yes. Now who do I need to see to make this happen, and how do I go about doing it? [ . . . ] Oh, and I have already started looking into Laser Jamming systems for my vehicle and radar detection equipment, I might suggest every one do the same.

    –Just be sure to tell whoever you talk to how you’re doing whatever you can to evade the law, and that you’re encouraging others to do so as well. That’s bound to win ’em over.



    alan004..now you want us to give us all the contacts? Seriously? Google is your friend..use it.

    You’re not doing this for the good of all it looks like…you just want to go faster without getting a ticket…how altruistic…



    No, not for going faster. Stopping Seattle PD from lining the citys coffers with YOUR money. I am personally done with it. If you are happy to to cruise over the bridge one day and get a ticket because you were going with the flow of traffic and not looking at your speedo, then don’t complain to me.

    I started this thread to see who else felt the same way and what can be done about it. Please stop trying to find fault or read into this what is not there.

    So, yes I am doing this for all and I will take the time to go and see who I need to see in person to get the ball rolling. Most of you are far too busy to carve the time out of your days to give me a hand. Opinions are easily posted… taking the time to put in the leg work and showing up to meet people is whole other cat indeed, yes?



    From the same report I quoted: “For the most part, the change in the mean speed of traffic created by a change in speed limit is around 25 percent of the change in the speed limit.(7) In other words, a speed limit increase or reduction of 6 mph (10 km/h) yields about a 1.5 mph (2.5 km/h) raising or lowering of the mean speed, respectively. When this statistic is combined with the power formula equating change in mean speed to crash risk, it is evident that lowering the speed limit will reduce crash risk, and raising the speed limit will increase crash risk.”

    So, if the average speeds are currently 50 mph, increasing the speed limit from 35 to 45 would raise the average speed to about 52.5.

    Also note that, although, as you say, “You can still have shunts and bangs at 20mph”, the same report notes: “severity increases geometrically as speed increases”. Not linearly–geometrically. So there will be an increased cost in damage and injury from raising the speed limit.

    The report does go on to note:

    “…the relationship between travel speed and speed limits indicates that the percentage of violators increases when speed limits are lowered and decreases when speed limits are increased.”

    It is possible you are correct, and that increasing the speed limit might be worth the tradeoff. Certainly it’s reasonable to provide your feedback to SDOT. But there’s a reason speed limits shouldn’t be set by popular vote.

    I just think you shouldn’t assume that just because you find the current limit annoying necessarily means it’s wrong, nor that it’s there as revenue generation for the city.




    i got a ticket the other day traveling south along Marginal Way because i failed to notice that one street had turned into another and that the speed limit had therefore dropped from 35 to 30

    not only did i discover that the city has no responsibility to post speed signs when the speed changes.. i discovered that they have no responsibility to post street signs either.

    according to the officer who ticketed me, we should all assume that any place there is a stop sign that the speed limits have changed until we are otherwise notified by a speed limit sign..

    on top of that.. it seems that an officer’s sworn statement that they have clocked you on radar and you were exceeding the speed limit is actual evidence as long as they can prove that the radar was working both before and after you were tagged.

    if it’s on the ticket and in their log.. it’s real.

    If you are counting on traffic flow for your speeds…

    the West Seattle Bridge “speed trap” is the least of your worries .



    I’m all for SPD lining the city coffers with cash from speeders and other scofflaws, and doing something useful with it. I see no “majority” agreement here…




    SDOT spokesperson Paul Elliott says they do not expect to re-evaluate the speed limit till next year. From his reply to me:

    “As to your … question about when the City Traffic Engineer will be evaluating the speed limit on the (Spokane Street Viaduct), he expects this to happen in the spring. We need normalized operating speeds along with some collision data (of which we currently have little). The spring timeframe will give us about six months of baseline collision data, with which to better assess the safety impacts of any change in the speed limit.”



    2 Much Whine

    If you drive the speed limit they can’t “line the coffers.”


    Supposedly, enforcement is not a source of revenue but I kinda wish it was so we could clean up all the crap that is allowed to go on with not only speeding but abandoned cars, illegal parking, etc.. There needs to be some incentive for law enforcement to do their job proactively vs just waiting for Joe Public to fill out a form on on line or drop a dime. A lot of people don’t want to be “rats” which I totally understand but that is how the system is currently set up. It’s reactive vs proactive. I’ve seen cops drive by illegal stuff all the time from dogs being off leash to cars being parked illegally to moving violations and they just keep driving. Maybe they have more important calls to go on? Probably. Should they focus on more severe crimes? Yes. Still, no one does anything unless a member of the public complains after the fact.



    Tracy, notice how SDOT will run their 6 months starting in fall to run through the winter to assess collision data. Cunning indeed. Pick the worst part of the year. I suppose it has it’s merits.

    2 Much Wine – The posted speed limits are far too slow. That is the point of all of this.

    Julie.. this is just what I knew and now it’s been officially confirmed:

    “…the relationship between travel speed and speed limits indicates that the percentage of violators increases when speed limits are lowered and decreases when speed limits are increased.”

    Just to give you all some scope, and this is just observation. I lived in Europe for 25 years. Learned to drive in England at the age of 16 in manual 5 speed car. I had my fair share of shunts and accidents at a young age. I then bought a very high performance car… needless to say, more trouble followed. I then took the responsible position of signing up for some brutally advanced driving courses, including handling circuits, skid pans, track time and very intense driving in the open country side, with one of the best drivers on this earth I have ever had the pleasure of sitting next to. He taught at Hendon and Stafford. (Two of the top UK Police driving schools in the country) I literally got my ass kicked. It was miserable for weeks.

    But I realized how much about driving I did not know. And its not all about speed. In fact that is at the lower end of the list of skills acquired. Safety was instilled to levels that would make joe public cringe.

    Just some highlights of other country’s speed limits for you all:

    UK : Motorway (Interstate for the US) 70MPH.

    Now here is the interesting part as far the Police are concerned and what they use for a guid line in stopping some for speeding…

    “Fixed penalty range is 86-96MPH, any thing over 96MPH is serious” So, every one can cruise all day long at 86 in a 70 and you wont even raise PC plods eye brow. You have to be clocked using VASCAR at an AVERAGE speed exceeding 86mph over a 1/4 mile distance before the blue and reds come on in the rear view mirror.

    Germany: No speed limit on the Autobahns (Interstates for the US) but they are now imposing a speed limit of “86MPH in heavy rain and for night driving.”

    Now, having said all that above, the standards of the initial driving tests in Europe are far higher than here in the US. If you increase driving standards here, then accidents will fall dramatically. Just my personal opinion.

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