Part of SDOT’s Broadway safety fix will also roll out across Seattle: a head start for walk signals

We gave the coming Broadway “all way walk” the headline but one of the safety improvements coming to the busy area around Capitol Hill Station will be part of a simple but hopefully effective change to pedestrian crossing signals across Seattle:

At intersections where the city knows accidents are likely, SDOT will preemptively add what Murray called “pedestrian-friendly signals” — walk signs that allow pedestrians into an intersection before drivers’ light turns green, giving walkers greater visibility — and traffic lights with left turn signals, which reduces conflicts between left-turning cars and pedestrians (or trucks) heading straight through an intersection. By adding leading pedestrian signals at 40 intersections citywide, Kubly said, the city expected to reduce crashes by 50 percent at those intersections.

After SDOT analysis, the re-timed signaling will be deployed at the busy Broadway/John/E Olive Way intersection to give pedestrians an advance walk signal before drivers get a green light. SDOT is also planning to add left turn lanes on John and E Olive Way to help better control vehicular traffic flow.

Dongho Chang, city traffic engineer, said pedestrian collision reports including near misses contributed to the decision. “Pedestrian-wise we hear about a lot of close misses,” Chang said.

The department found the majority of collisions were left-turn related from east and westbound drivers on Olive and John. Drivers heading north or south on Broadway didn’t experience many left turn collisions but did have a few rear-ending incidents.

SDOT is planning to implement the changes before summer.

98 or so ideas for Capitol Hill and Central District streets and parks

Pac Man

The city asked for ideas, and the people have responded.

The first phase of the Your Voice, Your Choice program wrapped up in February, and brought in 894 ideas about how to spend $2 million across the city on smaller infrastructure projects – those with a budget of $90,000 or less. About 11% of the ideas came out of City Council District 3, centered on Capitol Hill and the Central District. Tuesday night, the penultimate effort to winnow that list down to a manageable eight projects gathered in the Central District at the Douglas Truth Library. Here are some of the District 3 safe streets and open space ideas they were wrangling.

The largest single category on Capitol Hill and the Central District seemed to do with either making it easier for people to cross streets, or forcing cars to slow down. Continue reading

After a 21-month road diet, first phase of 23rd Ave work complete

DSC00851The new, post road-diet 23rd Ave is now open.

The Seattle Department of Transportation began construction on the first phase of the three-phase project in June 2015, closing the road to northbound traffic between Jackson and John streets.

The newly designed road has gone from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction, with a center turn lane. It’s also been widened near bus stops, to allow cars to get past buses as they load and unload passengers. Continue reading

Last chance to submit your $90K District 3 parks & streets idea

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D3, bringing up the rear

Seattle has turned to its citizens to decide how $2,000,000 in street and parks projects should be divvied up around the city — and District 3, your district, has been relatively quiet.

You have another day to change that. Your deadline is Sunday, February 26th.

Of the more than 600 ideas submitted this month for sidewalk repairs, new crossings, speed humps, curb bulbs, park benches and tables, traffic circles, and sidewalk designs in the Your Voice, Your Choice Parks & Streets process, District 3 representing Capitol Hill, First Hill, Montlake, Madison Valley and Madison Park, part of Eastlake, and the Central District was bringing up the rear with around 8.3% of the submissions as of Saturday morning. You can see the latest overall tallies here. Continue reading

If it has the cash, Seattle Public Schools wants to buy Lowell Elementary S Path

Still closed

Still closed

Seattle Public Schools is preparing a proposal that would allow the district to purchase and presumably close the “S Path,” the winding, odd little stretch of City of Seattle right of way that connects Federal and 11th Ave E that has been fenced off since the start of the Lowell Elementary school year over concerns about drug use and homeless camping.

The path may be short — but the route to the planned purchase will be a long one. And neighbors who miss their shortcut through the block might be happy to know that, at least for the short term while any proposal makes its way through City Hall, the path would likely have to be reopened and the fences that have blocked it off in recent months, removed. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Why this hole in Broadway was glowing green Friday night

dscf1989 There were worries of a large Capitol Hill sinkhole opening up in the street but, fortunately, a sewer inspector, a tow truck driver, a gaggle of police, a patient driver, and some lime green marking dye were all it took to get things stabilized Friday on Broadway just north of Roy.

Seattle Fire was called to the scene in the 700 block of Broadway E just after 4 PM to a report of a sinkhole in the area. It turned out to be a relatively puny thing, about two feet by three feet. But that didn’t stop a car from getting a tire stuck in the small collapse. That set off a wet and rainy night of sorting out what to do and just how much danger the collapsing pavement might pose if the soppy situation worsened. 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

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

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

Community remembers man struck by motorist, calls for safer streets during memorial walk across Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill residents, activists, and their dogs took a walk on Sunday carrying signs with a photograph of Max Richards who died after being struck by a motorist on September 21.

“To feel that the community is concerned is very special,” Marilyn Black, Richards’ wife, told CHS about the outpouring of support.

Central Seattle Greenways organized the walk to remember Richards and bring awareness to their call for safer streets in the city.

Her neighbors have embraced her, Black said, bringing her food and words of comfort, but it still doesn’t feel real that Richards, 79, is gone.

Richards died after being hit by a driver as he walked his dog across Belmont Ave E near Bellevue Place EPink, the dog, was unharmed. The collision remains under investigation by Seattle Police.

Prior to Richards’ death, Black said she had concerns about pedestrian safety in Seattle, especially compared to their previous home in Melbourne, Australia. She even mapped out what she thought was a safe night-time walking route with her husband. But he liked to explore, she said, and only followed the map a few times. Continue reading