2015 will be a year of change along one of northeast Seattle’s busiest arterial streets – Lake City Way NE. The Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project is a partnership between the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, WSDOT, the Washington State Patrol, residents, business owners and the City of Seattle. Together we have toured the corridor, poured over data, and developed a series of projects to enhance conditions. People who travel the corridor often have likely noticed some changes already.
Our partners in law enforcement have significantly increased patrols. Since the project launched last March, the Washington State Patrol and the Seattle Police Department regularly monitor the corridor looking to curb the behaviors that frequently lead to serious crashes on the corridor – failure to yield (to pedestrians, bicyclists, or other vehicles), distraction, following too close and speeding.
In addition, SDOT has implemented a number of changes to help people navigate Lake City Way safely. Last year, rapid flash beacons were installed for the two mid-block crossings north and south of NE 125th Street. Rapid flash beacons are an extremely effective warning for motorists that a pedestrian is in or is about to enter the crosswalk.
Near the end of 2014, new radar speed signs were installed on the approaches to NE 95th Street. Data tell us that speed-related crashes occur frequently in this area. The new signs provide drivers with a reminder to slow down.
Bigger projects are in the works for 2015. In the very near future, SDOT will break ground on much needed improvements at 24th Avenue NE and Lake City Way. Through this project we will repair pavement, construct significant stretches of new sidewalks, install a small median island, convert a pedestrian signal to a full traffic signal and provide a number of transit stop improvements. Construction is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2015.
Another ambitious effort will transform the intersection of NE 110th Street and Lake City Way this summer. The transit stops here are the primary location where Nathan Hale High School students catch the bus. To bring a higher level of safety to this site, SDOT will install bus bulbs, another small median island, new sidewalk and curb ramps as well as transit stop improvements. This project will significantly shorten the crossing of Lake City Way and drastically improve the pedestrian environment in this location that has seen a number of serious injury collisions over the years.
More work is planned along the corridor at 14th/15th Avenues NE, 20th NE, NE 125th Street, NE 130th Street, NE 135th Street and NE 145th Street but we’ll save the details for a future blog post. Stay tuned!