Community Post

Cops Target Speeders, Drivers Who Blow Through Crosswalks

Now this is what I like to see. On a stretch of MLK between Cherry and Yesler this afternoon, Seattle Police had an full-on emphasis patrol. Not a few officers, but at least a dozen. They were apparently targeting speeders on MLK, and those drivers who don’t stop for people in marked crosswalks. I watched for a few minutes toward the tail end of the lunch hour as either cops in street clothes or volunteers walked back and forth in the crosswalk at the south end of the park there. If someone didn’t stop when someone was in the marked area, off went an officer on a motorcycle to issue a ticket. A radar gun was also out and being used. It seems Seattle Police are reacting to calls from people who live — and walk — in the area that things were getting too unsafe.

0 thoughts on “Cops Target Speeders, Drivers Who Blow Through Crosswalks

  1. Capt. McDonagh said that traffic cops have been setting up on 23rd around Garfield, including using some fancy new traffic camera that issues tickets semi-automatically

  2. Glad to see it. On to those people who use the left-hand turn lane for a passing lane.

  3. And yet it’s scofflaw bicyclists who are a threat to civilization and God-fearing people everywhere!

    It’s good to see the police looking carefully at pedestrian safety, especially. We all deserve safe roads–drivers, walkers, bikers.

  4. until i get popped

    kidding aside, i’d like to see them do it north of Union. Last weekend I saw a guy come out into the intersection of MLK and Pine and do a full 360 skid out as cars and passersby stopped in horror.

  5. I’m glad the traffic cops are taking it seriously. Sometimes you can be waving the yellow flags in the crosswalk at Alder and MLK and cars swerve rather than stop.

    Because Jefferson is a natural walking approach to Garfield from east of MLK, and that intersection is often a bus stop for younger kids as well, there should also be a crosswalk at the north end of Barnett.

  6. Sometimes it’s almost impossible to cross E. Union at 24th – wish they’d do an emphasis there. Cars are coming out of 24th from both directions; buses are blocking everyone’s view; cars are coming out of the liquor store parking lot and out of the Key Bank ATM machine area; there are right and left turning cars speeding east from 23rd; and there are cars speeding up from MLK trying to beat the light at 23rd.

    I’ve found that when it’s really busy, it’s easier to cross at the east side of the intersection than at the west; I think there is less blocking of the view by parked cars on Union at the top of the hill than a few feet further on the west side of 24th.

    Any intersection is a crosswalk, even if it is not marked.

  7. All of E.Union could use some attention. Most motorist along E. Union often seem to stare at pedestrians at 21st and 20th and speed on through. Sometimes shock sets in when a kind, law abiding driver actually stops. Those few who do stop are appreciated.

  8. Well………
    just maybe
    after decades
    we may be we are coming out of our status as a racist containment zone????

    Stay tuned!!

  9. This is at least the second time they’ve done this at Alder/MLK in the past few months, very pleased to see some attention here.

  10. I cross Union daily at 22nd Ave with my two kids and feel like we’re going to get plowed over every time. Rarely does someone stop…even if the light at 23rd is red. It ain’t very polite, folks.


  11. Me too, I’ve been trying to get one of those speed display signs on MLK north of Union for a year. It’s a 30 mph zone, people, not the speedway!

  12. It’s also horrifying to stop for a pedestrian, and then see the car behind swerve to pass you, and nearly hit the pedestrian. This happens a lot and it sometimes keeps me from stopping for people trying to cross unless I can place my car so people can’t pass.

  13. You’re right – I’ve often had the same dilemma. I think in this situation, where it has the potential to happen, I’ve usually slowed way-y-y down, to see what the car behind me does, before I actually stop, and I also prepare to honk a warning.

    And as a pedestrian, I also watch out for it.

  14. heard this going on yesterday and hoped that’s what it was…95% of cars don’t slow or stop for that crosswalk, and there are SO MANY kids that cross to the park without adults. Hope SPD hears all this rah rah from us and keeps it up!

  15. I have it on very good authority that the main reason we’re able to get pedestrian sting operations like the one written about here is b/c of positive feedback to SPD, who clearly have many competing priorities. When they know that folks in the neighborhood appreciate their working on these issues, and are thanked for doing so, the odds we can keep getting more of these go way up. So please do take advantage of the link lucky13 provides above.

    I’ll also add to folks who are looking for the speed signs and other traffic calming efforts – there is an informal group that’s been working on a crosswalk project at MLK & Marion, which has a lot of traction with SDOT; there will be a presentation at the next District Council meeting on that proposed project, and folks who are working on these kinds of issues will be at the meeting. Probably a great time to introduce folks and talk about priorities.

  16. Is there an efficient way for us to give feedback/comment to SDOT or the District Council if we are unable to attend the meeting?

  17. The Seattle law about cars stopping in cross walks is little like russian roulette – there are very few signs to indicate the law, and with the amount of new arrivals in the area, its not the most obvious. Walking out into a street expecting cars to stop isnt that smart, and remember Darwins law. I either wait for the cars to stop first, or watch for an opening.

  18. Look for new raised crosswalk at Alder and a pedestrian island at Jefferson. Construction planned between now and June according to the Seattle DOT.

  19. Please find an on-going correspondence with the city in regard to
    student safety at Garfield. As an educator I was almost hit in the crosswalk
    on 23rd and Jefferson. If nothing else this has some contact info.

    Re: Crosswalk AssistanceBarbara Clemons [[email protected]]
    To: Brian Dougherty; Charles Bookman; Eric Widstrand; Grace Crunican; Michael Fann; Michael Quinn; Tracy Burrows; Croyle, Virginia L


    Outstanding work by everyone! Thanks so much!

    Barbara Clemons

    Legislative Aide

    Office of Councilmember Jan Drago

    Seattle City Council

    600 4th Ave. 2nd Floor

    PO Box 34025

    Seattle WA 98124-4025

    [email protected]

    (206) 684-8801

    Tracy Burrows 3/17/2009 3:22 PM

    In coordination with efforts of the Seattle Police Department, the Seattle Transportation Department (SDOT) has also been working directly with the school administration to address safety concerns.  The primary concerns have been focused on congestion in the bus loop in front of the school as well as the increase in student pedestrian traffic using the intersection of 23rd and Jefferson associated with the switch over to Metro bus service.

    To date we’ve installed a 20 mph school speed zone around the high school (installed in February) and

    created new load zones in three areas around the school in an effort to draw motor vehicles away from the bus loop.

    Within the next several months we will be:

    Installing signage in the bus loop to restrict motor vehicles during peak drop-off and pick-up times. (to be installed over Spring break)

    Installing pedestrian countdown signals at the intersection of 23rd Ave and Jefferson St.

    Deploying the speed trailer on 23rd Ave.  – we will coordinate with SPD on the timing of its use

    We continue to explore other possible pedestrian safety improvements.  Thanks, and let me know if you need any additional information.

    Tracy Burrows

    Strategic Advisor

    Seattle Department of Transportation

    (206) 684-8335

    (206) 396-4738 (cell)

    [email protected]

    (206) 396-4738 (cell)

    [email protected]