Although a few other news outlets covered last Tuesday’s SDOT Rainier Safety Meeting, Publicola has emerged with the most thorough coverage. As Josh Feit writes:
SDOT director Scott Kubly was in Columbia City last night kicking off a series of neighborhood meetings to begin the process of upgrading Rainier Ave. S. between Letitia Ave. S and Seward Park Ave. S. The pressing concern about the southeast Seattle principal arterial is pedestrian safety.
SDOT traffic engineer Dongho Chang presented the room (about 55 people were on hand at the the Columbia School elementary) with scary statistics about Rainier, starting with a slide that noted: “Data indicates significant speed and collision issues along the Rainier corridor.”
For example, there’s an average of one crash a day on Rainier with 1243 total collisions in the last three years, 630 injuries, and two fatalities. Compare that to 717 total collisions on Lake City Way NE and 294 on 35th Ave. SW.
Another factor, that a March 2013 U.W. school of public health study found when comparing Rainier Av. S. crossings to crossings in Ballard, was that intersections in both neighborhoods had a difference in the time allotted for pedestrians to cross. Rainer Av. S. had not been adjusted for compliance with federal safety standards while Ballard had. Additionally, Rainier Ave. is much wider which could contribute to the higher instances of (dangerous) jaywalking on Rainier.
“Data indicates significant speed and collision issues along the Rainier corridor.”
Rainier is also a busy stretch with 19,700 to 26,600 vehicle trips on weekdays (plus 11,000 transit trips) coupled with lots of pedestrians—100 crossings a day, for example at Rainier and Henderson…
For those who could not attend, the full slide show SDOT covered during the meeting can be accessed here.