To improve safety for all roadway users, The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is lowering the speed limit on Beacon Avenue S between S Columbian Way and S Barton Street from 35 miles per hour (mph) to 30 mph.
Four school walking zones blanket nearly the entire corridor: Van Asselt Elementary, Wing Luke Elementary, Maple Elementary, and Dearborn Park Elementary. This corridor experiences high transit use, with Route 36 running every 8-10 minutes and Route 106 running every 15 to 30 minutes. Three school speed zones are located along this corridor and the walking routes to several other schools cross Beacon Avenue S. SDOT’s Safe Routes to School program will fund the cost to remove and replace the existing speed limit signs.
Beacon Avenue S is one of three main north-south corridors in southeast Seattle, including Martin Luther King Jr Way S and Rainier Avenue S. It is five miles in length with two miles already signed for 30 mph. Lowering the speed limit from 35 to 30 mph on this section of the corridor will make the speed limit consistent for the entire corridor. Speed studies confirm that a majority of drivers are already traveling at or below 30 so the new speed limit is not expected to change travel times significantly.
Most of the adjacent neighborhood is single-family residences with small pockets of retail and commercial uses, including several facilities such as churches, parks and playgrounds, and the Veteran’s Medical Center.
Lowering the speed limit Beacon Avenue S will improve safety for not only pedestrians, but bicyclists and motorists as well. The work is scheduled to be completed by April 30, 2014.