Community Post

Woman Struck in Crosswalk at 23rd & Cherry

Seattle’s dark, rainy, winter evening commutes can be really dangerous for pedestrians.  That was proven tonight when a woman was struck while crossing 23rd at Cherry. I walked over to the scene and spoke to Christina, who said that the car was turning left from Cherry onto 23rd northbound and hit the woman as she was in the crosswalk.

The good news is that Christina reported that the woman was alert and conscious as medics were treating her before transporting her to an area hospital.

Drivers and pedestrians: be careful out there.

0 thoughts on “Woman Struck in Crosswalk at 23rd & Cherry

  1. Not to defend drivers, but my pet peeve is pedestrians who cross mid-block on busy streets while dressed in dark clothing at night. Especially when it’s raining. That’s what the crosswalks are for, kids.

    And don’t even get me started on the Franklin high kids who just wander out into Rainier Avenue during lunch and after school.

  2. Sure there are folks who make bad decisions when crossing, but it’s totally and completely inaccurate to paint all pedestrians with the same brush. As Christina states, this person was in the crosswalk and crossing with the light. Motorists, who are rolling around with a heck of a lot of weight and mass (and in many cases far too much speed) have a burden to be paying attention for pedestrians, PARTICULARLY when said pedestrians have the legal right of way.

  3. I wasn’t talking about this instance, just in general. There’s a lot of clueless pedestrians out there. Having the right-of-way is a small consolation when you’re laid up in a hospital bed. Or dead. Never assume that people will stop for you, because some people won’t.

  4. I believe the bus stop and corner there need more light but cannot stay silent on the other issues.

    To motorists on East Union, the are marked crosswalks there, intersections with bubbles curbs, along with regular intersections where pedestrians have the right-of-way. Many east, west drivers ignore these, not to mention the intersections that they roll through in broad daylight where pedestrians have the right-of-way. Pedestrians are not suppose to have to use their bodies to get the right-of-way. All who stop are appreciated, but pedestrians should feel grateful and surprised. They should take it for granted with a degree of caution, but the surprise should experience when someone sails through, not the other way around. I’m surprised that there have not been actual confrontations with motorists there.

    At almost all lighted intersections when the light turns green for both pedestrians and motorists, motorists illegally take the right-of-way if they think they, because they can or impatiently stop inches away from the pedestrians. I have noted many more pedestrians receiving tickets for improper crossing. I have never seen a motorists receive a ticket for illegally taking the right-of-way away from a pedestrian unless they actually hit a pedestrian. I’m sure the police would consider ticketing the Franklin students. It is an area that needs more pedestrian friendly configurations. The area around Franklin can be a very frustrating place to make transit transfers.

  5. I know I’ll incur John’s wrath on this, but I think there is blame to go around on both sides. As a pedestrian, I do find drivers to be totally clueless when making turns and I’m in the crosswalk…the very place I SHOULD be.

    What I have a problem with is these random white striped pedestrian crosswalks that abound in the city. In principle they are fantastic; in practice they are a timebomb. How many times have I been driving on Capitol Hill, looking for walkers, when a person in ALL BLACK, hoodie on, head down, darts out in the street? Countless. And the reality is, it would be my fault if they got hit.

    When I use these crosswalks, I make eye contact with the driver before I walk into the street. I think the city would be better removing some and placing a light on the others, maybe even a device folks could push to alert drivers that they are crossing. I like the growing use of flags, even if my friends mock me:-)

  6. Better lighting — yikes there are some at four way stops even – that are SO badly lit that one only sees people in the crosswalk when halfway through the intersection. So, everyone slow down.

    And, some on Union, even with swales and driving slowly, STILL have parked cars ‘hiding’ the people trying to cross.

    I agree about fewer and better done. I think better done is those strips of lights that light up when someone is crossing. Or even more flashing lights. Fine with me if there are flashing red lights all up Union to make us slow down. Even MLK would be helped. Maybe the flashing lights could be yellow on the main drag, but have a button to push that turns the light red when someone wants to cross.

  7. Actually in many instances flashing lights hanging above the street or over to the side have been shown to distract the drivers attention away from pedestrians and are not very helpful. Flags ore the lights in the pavement would probably be better. A drivers license is not a right it is a privilege and drivers have responsibilities. (I heard myself say that before, to my teenagers). By the way, there are motorists who can see and do stop. It just means being aware of your surroundings If they can do it, you can too.

    I know that it can sometimes be dark, but usually the rudeness occurs in bright daylight or in cases where I have made eye contact. Drivers often ignore pedestrians because we aren’t going to jump out in front of their cars. And, yes I always wait to make sure that I make eye contact with the driver, but sometimes if there is more than one of us trying to cross, I actually appreciate the pedestrian who steps out and makes the car come to a sudden stop. No, I am not going to be that person. But, the lack of awareness really does not promote a feeling of civility.

    On Union often the car that stops for a pedestrian is almost hit by the car behind it. Often a vehicle stops for a pedestrian and the pedestrian is almost hit by another vehicle swerving around the one that stopped. Did the second vehicle ask themselves why the first one stopped. Once as as stepped back from the one swerving around the stopped vehicle I missed by an inch or two being hit by a bicycle swerving past the vehicle on the other side. This was in broad daylight.

    I sometimes put my umbrella out to suggest to the motorists that I am there. Most often they just look at me and keep going. The ones who are aware with a sense of civility usually stop without needing such reminders. The ones who aren’t going to stop, don’t. The fact is the pedestrian has the right-of-way on all the intersections on Union , marked crosswalk or no marked crosswalk. The only exception is at a lighted intersection where they are also suppose to obey the signal.

    I need to stop my bitter pedestrian rant. There are a few really good, smooth, polite drivers out there and they are appreciated. And, yes, there are rude and careless pedestrians, but they are way more likely to to get ticketed for illegal crossings. I have seen it happen. On side streets no one goes to the corner before crossing to arrive at home.

  8. I was alarmed myself when making a left turn off of Eastlake onto Boyer last night and a runner in all black ran through the crosswalk. Of course, he had the right of way, but he was very difficult to see. Why don’t runners especially wear reflective stripes or better yet reflective vests to help those of us who really don’t want to hit anyone and are just trying to turn safely? Reflective products should be mandatory for bicyclists as well who appear just as suddenly. A good safety program would be to hand out reflective striping for everyone’s protection.

  9. Union is my main route home, and just in the last 6 months, when I have stopped for a ped, some jackass has swerved around me on my right 4 times to memory. Once it was younger kids who are less aware that the world contains entitled fools whose timing is more important than their life. I try and pull into the center of my side of union to try and block people from doing that, but it doesn’t always work. One person in a tiny car squeezed by! Rude!

  10. No wrath :) No question there’s need for better education and practices on both sides, and SDOT still has a ways to go on a lot of fronts, which is why we’ve been working with them and others on the Pedestrian Master Plan.

    In this particular case, though, my sympathy is for the pedestrian, who was crossing in a marked crosswalk with a walk signal. The law’s really, REALLY clear on that one.

  11. I don’t think you’re going to get a law passed on that, and even if you do it’s not going to get followed much :) Smart cyclists are already doing what they can, and Cascade Bike Club and other cycling advocates have been doing great work trying to educate cyclists on proper lighting, etc. It’s an ongoing issue, and needs a lot more educational efforts – the kind of thing the City could do if they’d get their act together a bit more.

    I will say that turning motorists do have a special responsibility when turning, especially at intersections like Eastlake/Boyer where we had a bicycle fatality not all that long ago. No, it’s not easy to see – I go through there frequently both as a pedestrian and as a motorist. That means, and I know it’s hard b/c of the nature of the turning movement and the oncoming traffic, that you need to be extra careful there because it’s so hard to see. And that people crossing need to be extra careful because of the turning movements.

  12. and the flashing lights in the pavement are really expensive, not very durable, and studies indicate they lose effectiveness if they are employed too often.

    In other words, while we can do some things with engineering – and we need to do more, and the Pedestrian Master Plan will have plenty of recommendations – a lot of what we need to do is education, and culture change. And enforcement. People need to know that when a car stops in front of you, the correct response is NOT to try to pass the car right away! We need to run media campaigns, and we need SPD enforcement. These are issues city-wide, not just here in the CD, and they are things we have to keep working on.

  13. Ped-scale lighting, like we have on Union going up the hill, helps a lot. So does better intersection lighting. The CNA/CDNA can advocate for these things :)

  14. OH, and I love the flags too :) The City fought them and fought them, and the guerrilla actions all over town have finally forced them to wake up and take notice. They are a GREAT tool, and I’m glad to see more people using them.

    And Joanna’s dead right on driver impatience. Look, everyone’s in a hurry – it takes a pedestrian a proportionately longer amount of time to wait to cross when they should have the right of way than it does for a driver to stop and wait, given the relative speeds of the two modes. You can drive a block a heck of a lot faster than you can walk it in the majority of cases.