We’ve had several pedestrian improvements finish up around the neighborhood in the last couple of months. Think they made a huge improvement? Or maybe a big waste of money? Check out each one below and give us your vote on how you feel about them:
These rubber speed bumps have been installed on 31st near Day Ave on the border between Leschi and Mount Baker (basically right above the I-90 tunnel):
This raised concrete crosswalk was placed at MLK & Alder on the southwest corner of Powell Barnett Park:
A new concrete median has been added to MLK & Jefferson at the northwest corner of Powell Barnett Park to give pedestrians a place to wait for traffic to clear in the other lane:
Other opinions or nominations? Leave a comment below
I’m still hitting the one at MLK and Alder at 30. If I did only 15, I’d certainly have another zip-zip car up my rear.
“Hate it! It keeps me from using the turning lane to make a turn.”
Its basically made it a test of will to make a turn from MLK on to Jefferson St., I WILL be rear-ended at some point trying to make this turn.
Done! New option added
i was excited about these two improvements on MLK, but am pretty disappointed in the execution. i understand that the median was meant to keep people from passing in the middle, but it could’ve served as a crosswalk as well and failed. the “speedbump” seems to prevent 1% of traffic from speeding since it does virtually nothing to your car if you take it at 40. and it’s not even a marked crosswalk…WTF????
i’m more interested in understanding how this $ got spent and who decided to make these improvements!?! They seem half a$$ed (for example, this morning the city was out marking it with a bike, two weeks late. very efficient)
on the rubber ones, i saw these yesterday while biking Beach Drive on West Seattle and they are very clear and well done, pretty much polor opposite to what they’ve concocted on MLK.
Anyone know if they are going to get some bright paint on those MLK crosswalks? They are so easy to miss entirely and blend right in at the moment.
I think there needs to be some paint added to the crosswalk at MLK/Alder
P.S. Powell Barnett not Pratt ;)
at Powell Barnett…..drove by 2 min. ago!
yikes…. mondays. now fixed
Isn’t it an option to to turn left a block earlier at Alder and take an alternative route? I think the solution could be better w/ flashing lights, flags for pedestrians to use while crossing, etc. However, the raised island definitely makes it safer for pedestrians.
How about the street narrowing on 18th between S. Dearborn and S. King?
shouldn’t the raised island have a path through it for pedestrians?? disabled folks are screwed
it’s a shame we have so many historic crosswalks destroyed in the name of “pedestrian improvements”
Scott, you continue to be my hero, by addressing the community issues.
I live on 31st and I can’t count the times I have closed my eyes to anticipate the crash while waiting for the cars to take my mirror off before I exit my car EVERYDAY!! The cars come so close to my car as they speed up the hill and never slow down for the bumps. I know that it a matter of time before something really bad happens because of these “SPEED” bumps. Let alone the constant noise in our house from the cars speeding over the “speed bumps” The buses don’t even slow down!!! They serve NO PURPOSE!! THEY ARE DANGEROUS AND I AM AFRAID FOR MY LIFE AND THE LIVES OF MY FAMILY AND NEIGHBORS!!! GET RID OF THEM!!!!
The Leschi community wanted a crosswalk with flashing lights and this is what we got. The raised area is not raised enough to get folks to slow down; take a look (drive) at the ones on Lake Washington Blvd, in Denny Blaine near Cobain’s old house. Those are RAISED! Even though it is an arterial and there is a bus that goes through there. We have long been told by DOT that you can’t put raised crosswalks on arterials but apparently if you have enough clout (money), it can happen.
Mt Baker (31st) had a serious problem with drivers treating the long stretch to McClelland as an I-5 alternative; many accidents. Note: If you are southbound on MLK, the 15 mile per hour sign is obscured by a Windemere sign (same height)until it is a little late.
sure it’s an option, except I don’t live on Alder, I live on Jefferson. So instead of cutting down through the neighborhood and putting more traffic in front of my neighbors houses with their kids running in the street, I’d rather just turn down my block like everybody else can do.
I like the raised crosswalks.
Raised or textured crosswalks (like the faux brick crosswalks at 23rd & Jackson) are very good for raising driver awareness; the bump or rumble is something that makes drivers realize they are crossing a pedestrian crossing. Yet they are not disruptive to drivers; when there are no pedestrians, you can safely take them at speed.
the question isn’t weather we like them, but it’s weather they went far enough.
again, do we know how these got paid for? bridging the gap? neighborhood street fund? WHAT?
interesting note, sometimes the size of the speed bumps are determined by the fire department, i.e…if it’s a major arterial used heavily by emergency vehicles, then having a large one that requires the vehicles to slow down is not doable. just what i was told on cursory inspection.
I’m sure that anyone can call or email Ted Divina at the Neighborhood Service Center and ask for yourself.
Why are these speed bumps only half the width of the lane? I would rather hit it straight on with both tires but it seems that where I am in the lane I hit it with only one tire and get tilted! I do like that it is soft so it isn’t damaging to the car/tires but I would like it wider.
The speed bumps are alright, though I don’t live right in front of any of them like LCross does. People do slow down for them, but it’s usually just to swerve one way or the other and miss them entirely. Oncoming traffic does seem to discourage swerving toward the center line.
I’m not sure if bicyclists in the bicycle lane discourage swerving toward the bicycle lane. From what I hear, they don’t!
The whole idea with the offset bumps is that you can’t dodge them completely :) and therefore you pretty much have to slow down, or have a pretty uncomfortable experience (as a motorist). They also have to be offset for emergency vehicles, as Elvis points out above.
Remember, always, that pedestrian and bicycle accommodation on streets, particularly arterials, is not just an engineering challenge. We need enforcement and education as well. And any time SDOT goes to make changes on arterials, they are balancing a whole bunch of concerns. I’m not going to say they do well all the time – they don’t – but the fact that we’re able to get any kind of traffic calming/pedestrian/bicycle projects done on arterials is a major, major change for the department.