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No rainbows but busy 12th Ave gets new crosswalks, improvements for pedestrians+drivers

With all the talk of rainbow-colored crosswalks on Capitol Hill, we should also pay attention to two new, plain-old white crosswalks added to the busy crossing of 12th Ave at E Howell. The new paint — plus a traffic-calming, pedestrian-helping curb bulb being installed at 12th and Harrison — are the product of a process started in 2011 by a committee of the Capitol Hill Community Council.

Installing a 12th Ave curb bulb (Images: Erin Abu-Rish)

To be honest, leaving comments on a CHS post won’t really get anything done. But community energy harnessed by the committee and boosted by city grant funds has resulted in adding features that most agree should have been there all along.

The new twin crosswalks will hopefully help the steady stream of pedestrians and vehicles that travel through this stretch of 12th Ave just off Cal Anderson Park and in the connective zone between Pike/Pine’s restaurants and bars and the places where many of the people that enjoy and work at those amenities live.

Meanwhile, the 12th at Harrison bulb will help give pedestrians a shorter period of exposure to traffic flow and help us keep the pedal a little farther from the metal when driving through.

Thanks to Erin Abu-Rish for the pictures.

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7 years ago

I have never been so excited about a crosswalk. I live a block from here and this intersection gets scary at rush hour/weekends.

7 years ago

Thanks to Mike Kent and others that contributed time to the 12th Ave Pedestrian Safety work group in 2011-2012 that engaged the community and hired civil engineer SvR. The consultant and citizens group then developed the 12th Ave East Transportation Safety Report and obtained funding for the new crosswalk striping at Howell and the curb bulbs on Harrison.

7 years ago

AWESOME news…this was a very dangerous intersection and one that I had to cross often!

Upper Howellite
7 years ago


That is all.

Landon Buttplanes
7 years ago

Why can’t we just have an elaborate maze of underground tunnels that are pedestrian friendly? Time to clean up the sewers.

Uncle Vinny
7 years ago

I don’t know why this intersection has always been so terrible, but the bulbs should help.

7 years ago

I’m thrilled by the new curb bulb at 12th and Harrison. It should make it much safer. As someone else said, kudos to the 12th Ave Pedestrian Safety group for making that happen.

While the city is working in the area, I wish the crew would also repaint the crosswalk at Mercer and 12th. Given its proximity to Lowell Elementary, you’d think it would be better maintained or at least enforced. Drivers tend to blow through the flashing light and crosswalk in the morning as if they weren’t there.

Michael W.
7 years ago

Hear, Hear! Hooray for Mike Kent abd the 12th Ave group!

7 years ago


7 years ago

I live on that corner and cross there all of the time. I’m very happy for this.

7 years ago


7 years ago

Couldn’t agree more! Same situation here.

7 years ago

according to the law, at least. People driving cars are required to yield to people walking at ALL intersections whether or not there’s white (or rainbow) paint. Up on 23rd a couple blocks from my house, a crosswalk was REMOVED a couple years ago because SDOT said it made the street more dangerous, giving people who walk the unfortunately false impression that people in cars were likely to stop. I’m happy to see the crosswalks and the curb bulbs, but we also need education and enforcement.