KING-TV covered part of the story about pedestrian safety at N 41st and Stone Way N and the discussion at Monday night’s Fremont Neighborhood Council meeting, Feb. 24.http://www.king5.com/news/cities/seattle/Mother-fights-for-safer-Wallingford-ped-crossing-246999481.html An earlier story on KIRO http://m.kirotv.com/news/news/mother-continues-fight-light-dangerous-crosswalk/ndX9r/ alerted the neighborhood about the meeting. The SDOT representative present heard a the concerns voice by FNC board members and by those who live in the neighborhood. FNC asked to see SDOT’s analysis on which they are basing their decision. For several who spoke, a pedestrian-activated light was the first choice for a fix.
Neighbors’ concerns include:
1)It is a designated school crosswalk – does the city have set of standards that apply to their safety? I notice that the same simple design of marked crosswalk with two green signs showing kids crossing seems to be applied wholesale at any designated crosswalk. Stone Way is much faster and it doesn’t make sense to me that the standard would be the same;
2) The intersection itself is very different than the other ones along Stone Way – specifically, it is oblong (?) and there is a no-man’s land in the middle of it where there are no lane markings at all. As Desiree pointed out, it is a confusing intersection. The fact that the city imposed a road diet doesn’t impact the intersection at all – it’s wide, lacking in markings – this intersection is atypical;
3) I have personally witnessed a box truck illegally parked in center lane, north of the intersection. It blocked the view of southbound drivers. Can the city do something to prevent the illegal parking, such as coning it off?
4) I would add that the crosswalk is marked as the pedestrian route to Fremont, lining up with the pedestrian bridge over Aurora, and that a center lane island would help prevent trucks blocking the view of pedestrians. But the best solution would be a pedestrian-activated light.
5) First, what are these federal standards SDOT is citing and why do they prohibit involvement from the City?
6) Next, if the City has funds & time it can move over to SODO stadium issues, why can’t it come up with resources to get kids to and from school safely? Is paying for lawsuits more valuable than fixing the problem?
7) Also, what’s the role of City government? Don’t the most basic functions include getting children to and from school safely?
8) One of the things that bothers me most about this is that SDOT says they’ll study putting in a signal there and report back in April, but the news story on KOMO that interviews Dongho Chang gives the impression that the decision has already been made. I’d also like an answer as to why the rising body count doesn’t figure into their assessment.