Category Archives: Rainier Avenue

Major Development Being Planned for Alaska and Rainier

MapOver the past few weeks, I’ve had a few people ask if I know anything about the major development that’s being planned for the area around the post office and Burdick’s Security, just past the NW corner of Alaska and Rainier. Neighbor-in-the-know, Scott, recently posted this site plan to Columbia City Source’s Projects and Development Map (which is always accessible by clicking the link at the top of the page).

The description of the projects reads as follows:

“Construct 318,500 sq ft, 4-story mixed use building with 379 parking spaces.”

Taking a look at the initial site plan, this is a big project, with plans to demolish the post office building, keep the Burdick Security building, and build all the way up to Rainier with more retail and multiple stories. Johnston Architects submitted the proposal. Their work can be seen here.

Of course, at this point, nothing is finalized…but this would definitely be another enormous change to the neighborhood. If anyone has anymore information, be sure to let us know. Site Plan

Another Car, Another Building

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Photo from CC Facebook Page

…this time in Hillman City around 10:30am on Saturday 12/20. This marks the 6th (!!!!!!) car vs building collision in under a year on Rainier Ave in the general Genesee/Columbia City/Hillman City area (click below for details):

For more information on these accidents as well as SDOTs ongoing efforts to involve the community and attempt to tackle this problem, click here.

KUOW Covers Rainier’s Safety Problems

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Photo by KUOW’s Jamala Henderson

KUOW’s Jamala Henderson had the following to report on Rainier’s speed problem’s this morning. Click here to listen and remember, the next SDOT meeting is tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. at the Ethiopian Community Center (8323 Rainier Ave. S)

Rainier Avenue, one of two main arterials in Seattle’s southend has a notorious problem with aggressive, speeding drivers.

Some residents say they’ve known about it for years, and their complaints about it to the city have gone unanswered.

New collision and injury data from the Seattle Department of Transportation shows those residents were right – more than a thousand people every day drive 10 miles or more over the 30 mile-an-hour limit.

A Near Miss

Late last summer, Phyllis Porter  was walking down Rainier Avenue to have lunch at The Grecian Deli. She changed her mind, though, and stepped back out.

“As soon as I stepped on the curb, all I could see was an SUV coming at me,” she said.

Seconds later that SUV crashed head on into the Carol Cobb Hair salon and the Grecian Deli. Porter remembers screaming. Debris flew everywhere. People in the deli were pinned to a wall inside.

Seven people were injured, including children.

As it happens, Porter is an advocate for street safety in the community. The accident that nearly took her out is what she tries to prevent.

“It’s really hard because I work in this area,” Porter said. “I’m at the point where I really don’t want to walk on Rainier Avenue.”

Alarming New Data

Porter was at a community meeting, hosted by the city transportation department, that revealed new statistics about collisions in the area. The data made one thing clear: There’s a lot of speeding going on through South Seattle.

Dongho Chang, Seattle’s traffic engineer, said the focus is on controlling speeding behavior.

“If you look at a similar corridor like Lake City Way — that has much more volume but significantly less collisions,” said Chang. “That tells us that this roadway needs some attention.”

Speeding is a problem on Rainier, but the biggest issue is the number of collisions. There have been 1,243 collisions between Columbia City and Seward Park on Rainier Avenue in the last three years. Those have resulted in 630 injuries and two deaths.

In the last decade, there have been 11 deaths due to traffic accidents on Rainier.

Residents have a long list of safety ideas for SDOT. They include improved signal timing, better police enforcement, and adding traffic cameras along the corridor. City officials said they expect to put solutions in place by spring of next year.

For Phyllis Porter, those changes couldn’t happen soon enough.

“The things that are happening in Rainier Valley, Columbia City, Hillman City,” she said, naming the neighborhoods off Rainier Avenue, “these things are unacceptable. And something needs to be done now.”

SDOT will hold another community meeting on the Rainier Traffic Safety Project at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at the Ethiopian Community Center, 8323 Rainier Ave. S.