Serious crash tangles John near Capitol Hill Station

(Image: Matt Mitgang via Twitter)

(Image: Matt Mitgang via Twitter)

One person had to be cut from a crashed vehicle and police were investigating after a two-vehicle collision at John and 10th tied up rush hour traffic and added to street safety concerns on the increasingly busy streets around Capitol Hill Station. There was also a report of a pedestrian possibly injured in the crash.

UPDATE: ‪SFD says patient removed from the crashed car was a female in her 30s. Her injuries were reported as not life threatening. The report of a pedestrian injured in the crash was apparently a mistake in the early confusion at the crash scene.

Seattle Fire was called to the scene around 5:20 PM to a report of the collision. One victim was removed from a car involved in the crash by a fire crew that sliced through the vehicle’s roof.

Police were at the scene to close off John to traffic and begin the investigation of the collision. UPDATE 3/23/2017 9:00 AM: A department spokesperson tells CHS the initial response to the scene was quickly downgraded after the situation as sorted out and a full traffic collision investigation was not necessary due in part to the lack of any serious injuries. There did not appear to be any citations issued to drivers of either of the two vehicles involved in the crash.

The intersection is part of an area identified for pedestrian and street safety improvements. SDOT began gathering feedback on proposed improvements including curb bulbs and plastic posts for the John Thomas corridor this week. Meanwhile, CHS reported that the city has also decided to add left turn lanes on John and E Olive Way at Broadway as well as add an all-way crosswalk at Broadway and Denny after a car struck a pedestrian and other near misses were reported near the busy transit station.

SDOT plans changes to improve safety on Broadway — including an ‘all way walk’ at Denny

Some wanted an all-walk intersection, which would only let pedestrians through and then only allow motorists to go, at Broadway/John/E Olive Way, but they’re not getting one — at least not there.

Instead, after analyzing the intersection, Seattle Department of Transportation plans to give pedestrians an advance walk signal before concurrent drivers get a green light, put in left turn lanes on John and E Olive, and turn the intersection at Broadway and E Denny Way, a festival street, one block south into an all-walk.

The announcements are wins for organizations like Seattle Central Greenways and the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce who have been pushing SDOT to do more to address safety issues around Broadway’s increasingly busy core.

Continue reading

Report released on deadly Capitol Hill pedestrian collision

From the SPD collision report

From the SPD collision report

Police have released the report documenting the collision that took the life of a 79-year-old Capitol Hill man walking his dog across Belmont Ave E some three months after the deadly crash.

CHS reported on the death of Max Richards after he suffered a head injury in the September 21st crash along the busy, sloping street and the community response that followed calling for more to be done to improve safety at the crossing and across the area. But until now, there was no official record available of the crash that took the literature professor’s life. The released report clears up the circumstances of the collision and provides a stark reminder of how quickly a dangerous situation for pedestrians and drivers can unfold.

While much of the concern about Belmont Ave E that followed his death was about high speeds on the sloping street, Richards was killed by a vehicle that had just been stopped at a stop sign before swinging onto Belmont. Continue reading

Silhouettes to mark deadly crash locations across Capitol Hill, Seattle

Seattle is marking the World Day of Remembrance with a citywide effort to remember pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers who have died or been injured on the city’s streets.

Volunteers and friends and family who want to remember the loved ones lost will gather at the E Pike Victrola on Sunday before heading out across Capitol Hill and the Central District to mark the places in our neighborhoods where people have died in traffic collisions in the decade past.

Since 2006, 234 people have been killed and around 2,400 have been seriously injured in traffic crashes, the SNG group says. Nearly 30 collisions occur on Seattle’s streets daily.

Sunday, SNG says families and groups plan to distribute 234 white silhouettes to place at crash locations around the city. The Capitol Hill group will meet Sunday at noon at Victrola E Pike before heading out to place three silhouettes. Other silhouettes will be placed between now and then so that they’re in place by Sunday, organizers said. Continue reading

No, really, seriously, for real, what did you think of the Pike People Street? — UPDATE: December art walk edition

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

The Seattle Department of Transportation is asking you — one more time — what you thought of the Pike People Street pilot tests. CHS reported on the first of the new pilot runs in October as a revival of the late night format went off without a hitch. A daytime Hilloween edition followed.

You can now weigh in for your feedback to be “folded into the lessons learned from 2015 and direct conversations with organizations and individuals in the neighborhood.”

Have fun with question 13! And you know what to say for 11, yes? Continue reading

Slow down: Belmont/Bellevue gets its crosswalk — Plus, speed limits lowered on Broadway, Pike, Pine, more

Changes around Capitol Hill streets will hopefully make things a little safer for everybody as a crosswalk project the city says was already in motion before a fatal collision was installed and new speed limits were rolled out across the city.

Election Day morning, CHS found a Seattle Department of Transportation work crew putting the finishing touches on a ladder style crosswalk to hopefully provide safer passage where Bellevue meets the sloping, speedy tilt of Belmont Ave E on the northwest corner of Capitol Hill. A few in the crew admitted installation had been more harrowing than most as some drivers sped down the steep hill while others seemed determined to get a head of steam going on their way up to make it to the top. “This should be a one-way street,” one worker told CHS. A sign to alert drivers to the crosswalk was also going to be installed, another crew member said. A separate “curb buffer” marking was also added along one side of Bellevue where parking was already prohibited. Continue reading

City adding crosswalk at Capitol Hill intersection where fatal collision occurred

The headline above is not entirely accurate. The intersection where Max Richards was struck and killed by a driver at Belmont and Bellevue in September was already a “crosswalk,” a crossing where it is legal and should be safe to cross the street on this sloping hillside below Broadway. The Seattle Department of Transportation is now adding a painted crosswalk and curb buffer to make the area safer.

We have asked SDOT for more information about the markings and why this configuration of elements was chosen. UPDATE: SDOT says the marked “ladder style” crosswalk and the curb area markings will be the extent of this update to the streetscape where the collision occurred. Signage including the iconic “walking person” will be added to help drivers be aware.

SDOT’s Matt Beaulieu tells CHS an assessment of the area’s need for a crosswalk was already underway before Richards’s death. A second analysis began in the wake of the tragedy to look at other possible changes for the street. Beaulieu said that the count of pedestrians who cross at the intersection met the threshold for crosswalk installation and the volume and speed of drivers in the area was sampled “to determine what else would be appropriate.” At this point, Beaulieu said the new markings and signs will be the extent of the additions. Expect the work to be completed later this month provided enough dry days for the paint job.  Continue reading

John/Thomas intersections from Capitol Hill Station to Miller Park selected for major pedestrian improvements

screen-shot-2016-10-29-at-11-05-59-amOften overshadowed by the more bustling sections of Capitol Hill, the “John and Thomas corridor” is nonetheless a crucial pedestrian and transit passageway through the neighborhood. Thanks to a community-initiated proposal, 11 intersections in the corridor between Broadway and 23rd Ave are on deck for a $1 million pedestrian safety upgrade paid for by the Seattle Neighborhood Street Fund.

The proposal from David Seater, a volunteer with Central Seattle Greenways, calls for installing curb bulbs along all the corridor’s un-signaled intersections. It was recently approved by the Neighborhood District Council, setting up a final vote at City Council.

“I walk along John/Thomas frequently and have been frustrated with how unsafe and difficult it can be to cross at any of the intersections without signals,” Seater said. Continue reading

Opposing sides of Capitol Hill path closure rant, collaborate to find solutions

The closure of a short public path near Lowell Elementary resulted in a split between parents and teachers supporting the closure and community members against it. People on both sides of the issue shared their thoughts, sometimes passionately, at a Tuesday meeting held by the Seattle Department of Transportation before brainstorming possible solutions.

Victoria Beach, playground monitor at Lowell, said she was offended by people who wanted to keep the path open and said they hadn’t seen any needles on the winding trail off E Roy between Federal and 11th. “One needle is enough. When kids show me dirty condoms, needles, clothing, a man they thought was dead, when I see the fright in them, I will walk around the world if that’s what it’s going to take,” Beach said. “Your sense of entitlement is sickening to me.”

Fifth grade teacher Laura Schulz also caused a bit of a stir presenting work from nine students who she said chose to draw pictures and write a few sentences supporting the closure. Schulz photocopied their comments and shared them at the meeting. Drawing kids into the debate didn’t sit well with many meeting attendees who showed up to voice their support for reopening the path. Continue reading

CHS Pics | The night a Capitol Hill parking lot turned into an arcade

OK. It wasn’t exactly three stories high but it was, indeed, projected on a three-story building. An event and fundraiser featuring a Capitol Hill-record tall version of Street Fighter II drew gamers serious and less so to Broadway between Pike and Pine Saturday night. Sponsored by Seattle “eSports startup” RumbleMonkey, “Rumble in the Streets” put one of the last remaining surface parking lots on Broadway to a more interesting than usual use. Proceeds raised from the players benefitted Child’s Play, “a foundation dedicated to improving the lives of children in hospitals and domestic violence shelters through the generosity and kindness of the video game industry.”

Capitol Hill “street activation” will also be in full swing with the Hilloween weekend at hand. First, there is the organic. Expect costumed masses to be out in force and to take ownership of the streets — especially when trick-or-treating Halloween night along E Aloha’s side streets. There will also be some organized Hilloween activation. The rescheduled Pike People Street pilot test will play out on E Pike Saturday afternoon. Find out more about PPS plus the annual Hilloween fair and a new zombie crawl on the CHS Hilloween Calendar.

Pike People Street Hilloween Edition