Tag Archives: traffic safety

Senate Bill could save lives in Lake City

This press release popped up in my email last week, and I became curious about the potential benefits for Lake City pedestrian access.

Senate passes Safe Streets bill

OLYMPIA — A bill to improve safety on Washington streets passed the Washington State Senate by a 45-2 vote today.

HB 1045 would cut the red tape for cities seeking to lower speed limits on neighborhood streets, saving money – and, more importantly, lives.

“All of the research is clear – a pedestrian’s chance of surviving an accident increases greatly as the speed of the car decreases,” said Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle. “Communities should be able to stand up and say that they want safer streets for their kids and their families.”

Frockt was a co-sponsor of the companion bill to HB 1045 in the Senate. HB 1045 passed the House on a bipartisan 86-10 vote.

The bill would not directly change any speed limits but would allow cities and towns to lower speed limits on side streets – not major commercial streets or highways – without the need for costly engineering studies. Right now, cities and counties must pay for an engineering report to raise or lower a speed limit. An engineering report would still be required to raise a speed limit, to ensure that the road could handle the higher speed. Since a road can always handle a lower speed, the engineering report would no longer be necessary to lower a speed limit. The reduction in red tape and expenses for local governments would improve local control over speed limits and increase governmental efficiency.

Studies show that a person struck by a car going 30 miles per hour has a 40 percent chance of dying. When the speed of the car drops to 20 mph, the pedestrian’s likelihood of dying drops to just 5 percent.

“This bill will save money and save lives,” said Frockt. “Safe and walkable streets are important for a livable neighborhood. With the passage of this bill, cities and towns across the state will have more flexibility to help keep people safe.”

# # #

For interviews: Sen. David Frockt, 360-786-7690
For more information: Alex Bond, 360-786-7853
Website: www.senatedemocrats.wa.gov/senators/frockt

A quick email check-in with Lake City Greenways, “Greenways are designed to calm auto traffic to 20 mph, and being able to post that speed on GWs in addition to trying to engineer it would be great.  Also a street like 32nd in Little Brook which is not suitable for a greenway (too much volume, many disabled) might benefit by posting a 20 mph limit.”

Thank you Senator Frockt for supporting this bill!

A neighbor approaches 31st Ave NE and NE 130th on his way to Fred Meyers. He uses his walker in the street because this sidewalk is impassable. One block away on his left is Lake City Way, where cars speed past through and around this corner on their way to the arterial of 30th Ave NE - a common bypass for those wishing to avoid 522 in morning and evening traffic.

An elderly neighbor approaches 31st Ave NE and NE 130th on his way to Fred Meyers. He uses his walker in the street because this sidewalk is impassable. One block away on his left is Lake City Way, where cars speed through and around this corner on their way to the arterial of 30th Ave NE – a common bypass for those wishing to avoid 522 in morning and evening traffic.

– Lisa Chan is a consummate pedestrian and Lake City resident, who is looking forward to and working towards cleaner and safer walking routes in around our area.


Public Meeting with SDOT: Pedestrian and Physical Improvements, April 9th



Members of the Neighborhood Action Team for access and pedestrian and physical improvements invite the community to a public meeting with Dongho Chang, SDOT Traffic Engineer, and City staff from other departments. Our goal is to solicit input from residents that we can incorporate into the Neighborhood Action Plan for Lake City (background below).

The meeting will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9 at Lamb of God Lutheran Church on 27th Ave NE at the corner of NE 125th. We will meet in the basement, which is entered by way of a ramp on the left side of the front entrance.

Dongho Chang will begin the meeting with a brief overview of SDOT’s projects and considerations in our area—then it’s your turn!


Late last year, Mayor McGinn called for formation of a City-Neighborhood Action Team (NAT) to work with Lake City to address a range of issues and problems to make ours a great neighborhood. In December 2012, nearly 20 City staff members went on walking tours in Lake City led by members of the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance. By bringing together multiple City departments and community members, the Action Team will examine problems, build on community strengths, and make progress to improve the neighborhood.

The Team has formed three City-Neighborhood workgroups: (1) Economic development; (2) Public safety, programming, health, and human services; and (3) Access and pedestrian and physical improvements.

The work of the workgroups is primarily focused on the Lake City core/urban village geographic area. The first task of each workgroup is to develop an Action Plan. Each work item on the Action Plan will have clear strategies, timelines, and objectives, and measurable goals. We want to have a draft Action Plan ready before summer. We will then widely distribute the draft Plan and invite comments and input from interested Lake City residents, businesses, service providers, and other neighborhood stakeholders. A community meeting in May and online surveys will provide more venues to offer comments and help shape the plan.

Please join SDOT and the NAT on April 9th for this opportunity to bring your issues and ideas to this endeavor.


Man discovered trapped overnight in wrecked car on edge of ravine

Firefighters work to remove a man trapped in a car on the edge of Thornton Creek ravine.

Firefighters work to remove a man trapped in a car on the edge of a ravine.(LCL photo)

John Shearer came outside to an unusual sight in his yard on Tuesday morning. There was a wrecked car in blackberrry bushes, on the edge of the ravine, pointing downward into Thornton Creek far below. When Shearer went to investigate, he discovered a man trapped in the car, laying under the dashboard. The man had been there all night.

Firefighters arrived after Shearer called 9-1-1. They had to cut the roof and steering wheel from the car to free the 67 year-old man.

Shearer said that cars often drive down the driveway, led astray by GPS devices that seem to be unable to make sense of streets around the ravine near Hiram Place NE. News crews using GPS devices even had a difficult time finding the location as some ended up on the southwest side of the ravine.

The man was transported to Harborview Medical Center in stable condition, according to Seattle Fire Department Spokesman Kyle Moore.

The Seattle P-I has photos showing firefighters rescuing the man and showing the car after the rescue in their post here.

Update: Photo added (below) from other side of ravine, courtesy of a neighbor.

Car in ravine as seen from the west side of Thornton Creek.

Car in ravine as seen from the west side of Thornton Creek.

Map below shows where accident happened.

View Larger Map

Car knocks down power pole on Lake City Way

A City Light crew works to right a large power pole knocked down on Lake City Way.

A City Light crew works to right a large power pole knocked down on Lake City Way.

A car knocked down a large power pole on Lake City Way early Sunday morning. The pole on the west side of the street near NE 95th Street fell north and was laying mostly on the sidewalk. Power lines were down in the westernmost lake of LCW.

The accident, reported on 911 logs at about 5 a.m., caused the closure of some southbound lanes, causing a traffic backup as a crew worked to lift the damaged pole.

There were no significant power outages reported after the accident. You can check a status map for Seattle City Light at this link.



Lake City Way Traffic Safety Corridor

The City of Seattle has partnered with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and the Washington State Department of Transportation to launch a multi year Corridor Safety Project on Lake City Way. This program will be similar to the recently completed Aurora Traffic Safety Project.

The goal of the project is to reduce collisions by 25% along LCW from  75th to 145th by:

  1. Community identified street improvements.
  2. A public education campaign.
  3. Increased enforcement efforts.

The Taskforce has met twice to date now – On Wednesday, January 16th and Wednesday, February 13th at the Lake City Community Center from 4 to 6 pm. The Taskforce will be meeting for 6 months to come up with an action plan.

At the first meeting, a presentation of the collision data was made. It showed what kinds of collisions were happening, where they happened, what time and conditions, age of involved parties, whether cyclists or pedestrians were involved, and if there were fatalities or injuries. The data showed that LCW has a higher rate of collisions than similar corridors.

At the second meeting, there were three break out groups to identify issues related to enforcement, education, and engineering. The results will be made public soon and will be posted on this site.

The next meeting time and date is to be announce for mid March. It will be a bus tour down LCW to look closer at the locations identified as having issues.

If you would like to be involved on the Taskforce, or just receive updates, please contact the project manager ( Jim Curtin ) at jim.curtin@seattle.gov

Sidewalk Funding for 127th

A frame from the slideshow presentation
Representatives from Douglas Park Cooperative were at the North District Council meeting last week Wednesday to make a presentation of our request for sidewalks on NE 127th street between 25th and 27th. All NDC member organizations voted and our project was one of the three selected. If everything goes well, SDOT will start designs in November of this year.

More information about the Bridging the Gap Neighborhood Street Fund can be found here.  Below is a timeline from their site:

NSF Project Selection Timeline:
January – Each of Seattle’s 13 neighborhood District Councils will select three projects for further evaluation (up to 39 projects in all).
February - May – SDOT conducts a high level scope & cost estimate of the projects selected by the neighborhood District Councils.
June – Each neighborhood District Council prioritizes its own list of projects.
July – Bridging the Gap Oversight Committee evaluates all proposed projects for funding.
August – Oversight committee makes funding recommendations to the Mayor & City Council.
September – 2014 Budget adopted.
October/November – SDOT begins planning and design work.

This sidewalk is in addition to the sidewalk going in on 130th between 25th and 28th. That sidewalk is being funded by the State of Washington's Safe Routes to School Program, and is currently in design. It will be constructed this year.

Pedestrian Fatality on Lake City Way

In a sad turn to this busy holiday season, a pedestrian trying to cross Lake City Way on December 26th, was struck by a vehicle and died. From the Seattle Police Blotter:
“A Saturn Ion was travelling north in the 11000 Block of Lake City Way NE.  At the same time, an adult male attempted to cross Lake City Way in front of the car, when he was struck.  Seattle Fire and Seattle Police both responded to the scene.  The 55-year-old pedestrian was transported to Harborview Medical Center via Medics, but unfortunately he died of his injuries a short while after arriving at the hospital. The 23-year-old male driver, the only occupant of the car, was evaluated at the scene by a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) officer, which is standard procedure.  There were no signs of impairment exhibited by the driver.”     Another pedestrian was struck in a hit and run on December 20th along 30th Ave NE at 135th.  Pedestrian and traffic safety are ongoing concerns for many area residents. The Lake City Neighborhood Alliance (a coalition of community groups in the greater Lake City area) has been working to raise awareness of these and other neighborhood issues. Several city officials recently attended walking tours of the Lake City neighborhood, where pedestrian safety was one of many topics discussed.   On December 27th, the city announced a new Lake City Way Traffic Safety Corridor Project. This project is described by Seattle Dept. of Transportation (SDOT) as “a multi-year effort to improve traffic safety for all on Lake City Way/State Route 522.”  The project aims to reduce collisions along Lake City Way by 25%, through a combination of public education, increased enforcement efforts and community-identified street improvements.  A meeting to launch this safety effort is scheduled for Wednesday, January 16th from 2:30-4:00pm at the Lake City Community Center (located at 12531 28th Ave NE). If you’d like to learn more, or participate in this effort, please contact us at info@familiesforlakecity.com.