One bill likely to see action in the state legislature this year is HB 1217, which would allow municipalities to bypass red tape when lowering speed limits on non-arterial streets (such as residential streets).
Today, all residential streets in Seattle have speed limits of 25 miles per hour unless a sign designates otherwise. A person struck by a car going 30 miles per hour has a 40 percent chance of dying. When the speed drops to 20 mph, the chance of dying drops to 5 percent. And, of course, collisions are less likely to happen in the first place at slower speeds.
Last year, freshman representative Cindy Ryu of Shoreline was the main sponsor of the bill. The bill has bipartisan support and passed the House unanimously 92-0 before dying in the Senate Transportation Committee. See the postmortem I wrote for Seattle Bike Blog earlier this year.
The bill has come up in the news recently after Mayor Mike McGinn voiced his support for the bill ahead of the city’s Road Safety Summit, scheduled for October 24 in the Bertha Knight Landes Room at City Hall. A time has not yet been announced.
12th Ave Safety Meeting
The Capitol Hill Community Council is inviting interested community members to the next meeting of the committee working on a safety initiative for 12th Ave:
You are invited to participate in a public meeting regarding traffic safety on 12th Avenue and 12th Avenue East on Wed., Oct. 26, at 6pm at the Capitol Hill Branch of the Seattle Public Library (425 Harvard Ave. E.) We at the Capitol Hill Community Council have been working in coordination with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and Department of Transportation on a Neighborhood Matching Fund project focused on making traveling along 12th safer for all: pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. We recently hired SvR Design to serve as our transportation consultant, and in the months ahead, we will together be preparing a list of recommendations on how to make this street safer. It is vital that members of our community participate in this process, identifying areas of particular concern and suggestions for how they can be improved. At the meeting, SvR will be presenting their early observations and gathering your valuable input.