Tag Archive: Lake City

Safety at crosswalks matters: Crosswalk actions

blockedby Janine Blaeloch, Lake City Greenways

As part of the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Corridor Project that started in 2013, Lake City Greenways has been working to help community members stake their claim on this important neighborhood street. As those who live near Rainier Avenue or Aurora know, having a major thoroughfare  in the center of your community can be daunting, and we need to make those who drive Lake City Way—especially commuters—understand that it is our Main Street, a place that also serves people on foot, bicycle, and wheelchair.

To that end, on about a monthly basis we stage a “crosswalk action,” at a key intersection of Lake City Way, legally traversing crossings while carrying signs with safety-oriented messages such as “Look for me before you turn,” “Stop on red, keep us safe,” and “Look out for pedestrians.”  The crosswalk actions are a great way for neighbors to meet, commiserate, bond with the commuters that fly by, and deliver an important message about sharing our streets.

Good Reflections on Safe Lights to School

January 31, 2015
by Cathy Tuttle

Monica Sweet showing off reflector lights at Safe Routes to School assembly
Monica Sweet showing off reflector lights at Safe Routes to School assembly

Two Lake City Greenways leaders teamed up with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and made a glowing impression on children who walk to school in a neighborhood with high needs for safety improvements.

Recently at Cedar Park Elementary (Olympic Hills Interim) parent Karoliina Kuisma and Monica Sweet of Lake City Greenways presented a school assembly about safe walking and the need for reflectors for visibility at night. They did a demonstration where Monica wore a black coat and black pants.

When they turned out the lights on stage and Monica walked across stage, it was hard to see her. Then she turned around and walked the other way, but had reflectors pinned all over the left side of her coat. Midway across stage Karoliina used a flash camera to illuminate Monica, replicating what drivers would see in their car headlights. The students were amazed how just a few lights shone really brightly!

Afterwards, Karolina and Monica went to each classroom and delivered mixed packages of keychain reflectors (available for free from the SDOT Safe Routes to School program). With her SDOT Safe Routes to School Mini grant, Monica also purchased Finnish reflectors  in the shape of hearts and otter paw prints (otters are the school mascot).

Monica said, “From the buzz I heard in every classroom, this program was a hit. Thank you for the SRTS Mini grant and SDOT’s donation of reflectors. Today in Lake City, 296 kids today learned a little science, had some fun and now know more about what it means to be safe.”

More Than Just Greenways: Lake City Greenways Leads The Way

Lake City Crosswalk action

Lake City Greenways Crosswalk Action With SDOT

May 1, 2015

Lake City Greenways exemplifies the civic-mindedness and good transportation decisions local Seattle Neighborhood Greenways groups all over Seattle are becoming known for.

In the past two years, Lake City Greenways has added a pocket park in the street right-of-way, worked with several UW classes on urban development ideas, helped Seattle Department of Transportation on road safety awareness on Lake City Way, worked closely on a new Safe Routes to School project to Olympic Hills Elementary, and of course advocated for the newly opened Lake City Greenway!

Now they’ve even taken on the placement of Metro bus stops when they put people in danger when they cross the street. And they’ve won!

Here’s the story directly from Lake City Greenways leader, Janine Blaeloch:

Thanks to a couple of observant neighbors, I was alerted to the fact that people are running across LCW at 140th to access the Little Brook neighborhood and especially the new Array apartments on the west side. Many of them are people getting off northbound buses. The bus stop north of 137th is too far north, and to cross safely at the 137 crosswalk, people have to walk many yards south, cross the awful Erickson crossing and then wait a very long time to cross 137 crosswalk. That all evidently takes too much time for people to resist risking their lives to sprint across LCW instead.

I contacted Metro to ask whether they could move the bus stop south of the 137th crosswalk. Colin Drake of Metro and Dongho Chang and Jim Curtin of SDOT  met with me at the site a little while back and we had a good discussion about the problem. The immediate solution is to indeed move the bus stop. I just received this message from Colin today:

Hi Janine,Just wanted to let you know that SDOT has approved Metro’s request to relocate the stop to nearside 137th. Next Friday May 8, Metro will close the existing stop and place a temporary delineator at the new stop. SDOT will install permanent signage at the new stop as their work crew schedule allows.Thank you for your advocacy on this important issue.

Thanks,
Colin

During our meeting we also discussed the possibilities of (1) putting another crosswalk on the north side and having a no-right-turn-on-red from Erickson (this is controversial because it could cause more cut-through behavior in north Cedar Park) and (2) changing the signal phase for southbound LCW traffic at least in off-peak hours so crossers don’t have to wait so infernally long at the 137th crosswalk.

The newly placed Metro stop opens May 8, 2015.

Thank you Lake City Greenways for your dedication and we wish you much success for safer streets in your neighborhood in the future!

Speed Bumps to the Rescue!

by Cathy Tuttle
October 28, 2014

Speed bumps work

What’s black and white and gray all over?

Lake City Greenways volunteer Monica Sweet was impressed with the speed bumps she’d seen in other neighborhoods. She wanted slower, safer streets where she lived on NE 123rd in Lake City. With no sidewalks and drivers that seemed to rip through her neighborhood at high speeds, speed bumps seemed to offer a simple, inexpensive yet effective safety solution.

After a great deal of back and forth with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), whose staff tried to convince Monica to put in small traffic circles, Monica and her local greenways group prevailed and soon speed bumps will make another Seattle residential street safer for people who walk and bike.

In related news, SDOT just completed the before and after study of vehicle speed on nearby NE 130th Street where speed bumps were installed in the summer of 2014.

According to Brian Dougherty, SDOT Senior Transportation Planner:

“The study shows that the speed humps have had a big impact, reducing the number of drivers traveling above the speed limit. The biggest change is the reduction in the number of ‘top end speeders’ which as you know are the most dangerous for people walking and biking. We show a 90% reduction in these aggressive drivers traveling more than 10 mph over the speed limit… Before and after speeds were measured for one full week using pneumatic tubes.”

* P.S. You may hear the terms speed humps and speed bumps used interchangeably by traffic safety professionals. Speed “humps” are actually the official term but according to our friends in Portland traffic engineering, the signs that said “Humps Ahead” were frequently stolen by the public but “Bumps Ahead” were left to perform their traffic calming duty.