A new crosswalk was just installed on 15th Ave E and E Highland Drive, thanks to one resident who asked for it a year ago.
“The recent warm, fair weather enabled us to install the markings,” said SDOT representative Marybeth Turner. Turner said the resident’s request went to the Mayor’s office, was routed to SDOT and installed earlier this month.
The new crosswalk connects one of the Hill’s more tony neighborhoods with Volunteer Park. CHS recently reported on Sound Transit’s announcement that a new crosswalk will be added to help pedestrians cross John at 10th Ave near the light rail construction site.
While many of us could think of more than a few places where a crosswalk would come in handy (13th and Denny, anyone?), SDOT won’t install a crosswalk without addressing a few qualifications:
A marked crosswalk normally indicates one of two things: either a preferred pedestrian crossing or high volume pedestrian crossing area. The first is determined by lighting and visibility, or where the potential for pedestrian and vehicle conflict is low. The second is closely related to elementary school walking routes.
A roadway’s characteristics also determine whether or not a crosswalk is possible. The number of lanes a pedestrian must cross, the proximity to existing traffic signals and the number of pedestrians who cross the street consistently at that location all help determine whether a crosswalk should be implemented or not.
“A marked crosswalk, in and of itself, does not increase safety,” said Turner. “SDOT won’t put a crosswalk if it’s not an area that they wouldn’t recommend people cross, or if it feels unsafe.”
If you see locations around the city that you think would benefit from a crosswalk, you can email SDOT at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (206) 684-7583. You can also post questions or concerns on their blog.