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60 new speed humps installed to increase safety in neighborhoods along West Seattle Bridge detour

SDOT Crews building new speed hump along the West Seattle Greenway, a project adjacent to the Reconnect West Seattle Home Zone area. Photo Credit: SDOT Flickr.

Join us tomorrow, July 21, at 5:30 PM for a virtual public meeting to discuss bridge repair, low bridge access, and travel options around West Seattle and the Duwamish Valley. You can find more information here

We installed 60 new speed humps in Highland Park, Georgetown, and South Park to increase safety for people walking, rolling, biking, and playing in these neighborhoods.  

Since the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closed in March 2020, the neighborhoods of South Park, Highland Park and Georgetown have experienced a large increase in detour traffic. We’re committed to improving safety along these routes and created a Reconnect West Seattle Home Zone for each of these neighborhoods, engaging with nearly 1,000 community members on projects that would improve safety and mobility.  

We’re pleased to share that this spring our crews were hard at work and installed over 60 speed humps on neighborhood streets in the Highland Park, Georgetown, and South Park Home Zones. Later this year, additional speed humps will be added in Highland Park along 9th Ave SW, 16th Ave SW, and 12th Ave SW. The speed humps we’ve installed and plan to install are located on streets where traffic studies showed that 15% of the vehicles were traveling 5 mph over the speed limit.

New speed hump installed in West Seattle
New speed hump in Highland Park. Photo credit: SDOT

Speed humps and other traffic calming devices encourage people driving cars to slow down. Slower speeds increase safety for everyone – including our kids, elderly, and people who use mobility devices to – and brings us a step closer to our Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030. 

Meeting Seattle’s Vision Zero goals requires a combination of big and small approaches which improve safety and save lives. For example, earlier this year we finished work to enact safer speed limits citywide because we know that a person hit by a car is exponentially more likely to be killed the faster the car is driving. We’re also making ongoing progress to reprogram traffic signals across Seattle to be safer for people crossing the street using techniques that are proven to prevent crashes and save lives.

But do speed humps actually work? Yes, they do! We conducted a study back in 2014 that looked streets near three schools in different Seattle neighborhoods and compared vehicle speeds before and after installing speed humps. At all three schools, the percent of drivers exceeding the speed limit decreased more than 70%. Perhaps more impressive, the percent driving more than 10 mph over the speed limit decreased by more than 80%. And, we know that slower speeds save lives

sign reading " West Seattle High-Rise Bridge Safety Program Reconnect West Seattle Home Zone - South Park. Thank you for you patience and input to help shape these projects!"
Photo credit: SDOT

Adding these speed humps to calm traffic is another example of our Reconnect West Seattle improvements to address the challenges of the West Seattle Bridge closure.  

We’ve completed over 200 Reconnect West Seattle traffic improvements since the West Seattle Bridge was closed last year and have more planned. This includes a mix of small and large safety projects and traffic adjustments throughout West Seattle, South Park, Georgetown and Highland Park to help address the challenges of the bridge closure.  

We’re planning to complete safety and pedestrian improvements in all three Reconnect West Seattle Home Zones through the rest of 2021 and into 2022. Projects includes traffic signal changes, painted curb bulbs, and new neighborhood greenways. We’re also adding new curbs and plantings in a few locations to help better define the street edge and improve drainage using conveyance swales.

This is a difficult time and, working together, we can make sure that many residents impacted by the high bridge closure see safer, more accessible streets in their neighborhoods.    

Thank you for your patience and participation in helping to make these improvements a reality.  

If you are able, we encourage you to consider reducing your drive alone trips off the West Seattle peninsula and take transit, ride your bike, or carpool. For more information on how to #FlipYourTrip, visit our West Seattle Travel Options page.  

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