Crossing the street in Lake City will soon be much safer at several intersections, starting with NE 125th St and 28th Ave NE

Lake Washington, part of which is bordered by Lake City. Photo by Anthony Fomin on Unsplash

Summary 


Safety is our number one priority. We consistently work with and for Seattle’s varied, vibrant communities to design and build projects that help people  – whether walking, rolling, biking, or driving – to be safer at every step in their travels through our city.  

We’ve recently talked about safety improvements we’re making with WSDOT along Lake City Way NE – one of the busiest arterial routes in Northeast Seattle which has seen many collisions over the years. These four intersection improvements will improve safety and mobility for people who walk, bike, roll, and drive along the state route. This includes new crosswalks and crossing signals, new sidewalks, and improved curb ramps to provide better sidewalk connections for people of all abilities. 

NE 125th St and 28th Ave NE in Lake City is an important, busy intersection near a library and community center. We’ve been planning safety improvements here for a while, and are building them sooner than originally planned after a hit-and-run collision last year that resulted in the tragic loss of life.  

On the morning of September 30, 2019, Maria and Agustin Banda were struck by a hit-and-run driver while crossing NE 125th St to get to the Lake City Community Center. Maria tragically lost her life, and Lake City lost a beloved and active member of the community. After this heartbreaking incident, we committed to implement safety improvements in 2020, a year earlier than originally planned.  

Photo shows the intersection of NE 125th St and 28th Ave NE.

The NE 125th St Pedestrian Safety Enhancements were an idea submitted by the community and supported by the Lake City Collective as a part of the Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) program. The NSF enables community members to suggest ideas for local transportation improvements.  

To strengthen inclusive community engagement on this project, NSF partnered with the Department of Neighborhoods and the Lake City Collective. Through this partnership, many immigrants, refugees, elders and youth became involved and embraced the NSF Process through pop-up events, community dinners, community festivals, and voter education outreach in the following languages and communities: Amharic, English, Oromo, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya and Chinese.   

What we heard from Lake City Collective:  

“Maria, Agustin, and other Latino Seniors voted for this project because of the huge need to have a safe crosswalk used by kids and seniors. Even though this crosswalk came after a tragedy, building it will at least prevent other tragedies like this.”

Peggy Hernandez, Co-Founder of Lake City Collective 
NSF Team Member at a pop-up event informing community members of the Lake City project. Photo Credit: SDOT

The safety improvements we’re making now are part of a larger plan for safety at this intersection – made possible by you with funds from the Levy to Move Seattle: 

  • Last December, we added paint and posts to the intersection in order to draw driver’s attention to people waiting to cross the street, and to shorten the distance people need to walk in street.  
  • This fall, we’ll install new pedestrian-activated signals, painted crosswalks, concrete curb bulbs, and accessible pedestrian ramps on NE 125th St at 28th Ave NE. 
  • Next year, we plan to build a new crosswalk with a crossing signal at the nearby intersection of NE 125th St and 33rd Ave NE.   
A stop sign on the side of a road

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The paint and post curb bulb at NE 125th St and 28th Ave NE Seattle, which gives pedestrians more space and make them more visible near crosswalks. Photo Credit: SDOT 

Construction on the next improvements are planned to begin at 28th Ave NE on Monday, Sep. 28 and last 2-3 weeks.  

During this time, we’ll install new curb bulbs and a new pedestrian-activated crossing signal (where people walking and rolling can press the crosswalk button to let the system know they’re ready to cross). The new curb bulbs on the NW and SE corner of the intersection make it safer to cross the street. Curb bulbs shorten the crossing distance and increase the visibility of people waiting to cross the intersection. 

This map shows the location of each improvement.

Shown in the above map, the signal will look like a regular traffic signal with red, yellow, and green lights for traffic traveling along NE 125th St, and walk signals for pedestrians crossing NE 125th St. Stop signs will remain for north-south car traffic along 28th Ave NE. A similar setup exists nearby at NE 125th St and 25th Ave NE.  

If you live nearby or travel past this intersection, you’ll see a few impacts:

Crews will be working Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 5PM, so there will be typical construction noise, dust, and vibrations. 

One lane of travel in each direction will be maintained on NE 125th St and 28th Ave NE. There will be a flagger (person holding a “STOP” or “SLOW” flag for traffic) on 28th Ave NE. 

Detours for intersection and street closures might be needed. 

There will be temporary parking restrictions, pedestrian and bike detours around the work zone/staging area, and driveway restrictions. You’ll be notified if your driveway will be affected. 

Our work on NE 125th St is a key example of your Levy to Move Seattle tax dollars at work. 

Approved by voters in November 2015, the 9-year, $930 million Levy to Move Seattle provides funding to improve safety for all travelers, maintain our streets and bridges, and invest in reliable, affordable travel options for a growing city. The Levy provides almost 30% of our transportation budget. 

These safety improvements are one part of our Vision Zero program to end traffic deaths by 2030. From our perspective, zero is the only acceptable number of traffic-related deaths.  

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