With 1,243 crashes in the past three years, Rainier Avenue South is the most dangerous street in Seattle. Every crash impacts our community - from cars careening into our businesses to our children being run down by drivers who never even stop. This has been going on for years and we all know so many people who have been hurt or worse. We aren’t just statistics. At this point, many of us are scared to bike down Rainier Ave South-many people even fear walking across the street.
We say enough! Rainier Ave S should be made safe for all people to walk, bike, drive, catch the bus, shop, and live.We’ve had many corridor safety projects on Rainier Avenue South over the years. Yet our street is still a menace to the people who live and work along it. We value safety over speeding and we hope your new Rainier Avenue South Road Safety Corridor Project will address our key priority areas. Our key priorities have been discussed at our monthly Rainier Valley Greenways meetings, and in our on-going outreach to community organizations and neighbors. We have focused on five key priority areas:
- Slower speeds. 25 MPH along Rainier Avenue South and 20 MPH in our ‘Urban Villages’ (Columbia City, Hillman City, and Rainier Beach business districts).
- Pedestrian oriented signal timing. We are very ready to have our signals be compliant with federal standards. We reported signal timing problems more than a year ago. We don’t want to force our seniors and children to run across the street. In as many places as possible, we’d like to see pedestrian lead time at major crossings. Finally, we’d like to make sure signals are timed to 20 MPH in our Villages and 25 MPH along all of Rainier with signage that indicates these speeds.
- Emphasize safe crossing of Rainier. Raised crosswalks in key areas and curb bulbs to enhance pedestrian and bicyclists safety are some of the tools we want to see if we are finally going to reclaim our major neighborhood business street.
- Protected Bike Lane on Rainier Ave S. Rechannelize our street to make Rainier Ave South a more Complete Street for all modes, so that people walking, biking, riding the bus or driving a car or truck are comfortable, and let each have their own place on the street.
- Enforcement. Please make sure people abide by the speed limits. We want to add school zone cameras for high schools, red light cameras, and police enforcement.