Cut from an earlier plan to improve the corridor for pedestrian, bicycling, motor vehicle, and public transit travel, one of the more challenging intersections on Broadway is lined up to finally get left-turn signals — eventually.
The Seattle Department of Transportation has released the final roster of projects approved this week as part of the crowd-sourced 2019 Neighborhood Street Fund process, an annual series of online voting and community meetings that allocates funding to projects identified by citizens and often including efforts with relatively significant budgets of $100,000 or more.
The long and winding road to eventually implementing the project now depends on SDOT planners to come up with implementation specifics and City Hall lining up the budget money to do the work.
The project was one of 22 being considered around District 3 — but the only one in the district to survive the final pass through the Levy Oversight Committee this week.
The project description lays out the issues the left-turn signals are hoped to address:
The intersection has been recognized as one of the most hazardous in Seattle for pedestrians. Two important pedestrian corridors meet at this intersection, and the pedestrian flow is continuous in all directions. In 2016, pedestrian counters adjacent to Seattle Central College recorded an average daily volume at Broadway and E Olive Street of 22,539 people. The annual pedestrian count at this corner repeatedly records approximately 1000 pedestrians an hour crossing that intersection during peak hours. The number of people crossing the intersection is only going to increase, as Sound Transit expects the number of people entering or leaving the Capitol Hill station to double by 2030 and there are many conflict points with cars.
Last year, SDOT cited cost as it backed off a plan that would have added the turn-signals as part of the larger overhaul of the John/Thomas corridor intersections across the Hill. New signals would cost around $250,000.
Seattle’s new ‘MASS Transportation Package’
Outgoing City Council member Mike O’Brien, chair of the Sustainability & Transportation Committee, and the M.A.S.S. Coalition are set to unveil a new MASS transportation package Friday afternoon to “address the multi-modal needs of Seattle’s pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders and the differently-abled community.”
O’Brien’s legislation “aims to make Seattle safer to walk, bike, roll and use transit,” and will also require SDOT “to include bike lanes on any paving project in excess of $1M in the long-standing bicycle master plan.”
The package will include “sidewalk repairs; prioritization of transit with the creation of more bus-only lanes; aligning traffic signals to create accessible and safe crosswalks; and, doubling the number of bike share spots, allowing for clearer sidewalks,” according to a statement on the announcement.
The M.A.S.S. Coalition formed last year representing groups including brings together groups including the Sierra Club, the Transit Riders Union, Cascade Bicycle Club, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.
You can read more about the MASS Transportation Package here.
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