Category Archives: Safety

Publicola Covers Last Week’s SDOT Rainier Safety Meeting

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:Rainier Data

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…

Feit goes on to cover much more of the meeting. To read the full piece, click here.

For those who could not attend, the full slide show SDOT covered during the meeting can be accessed here.

King 5 on Last Night’s SDOT Meeting

King 5 was on the scene last night to cover SDOT’s Rainier Safety Meeting. Click here to watch their coverage of the event:

635514250058519179-RainierAvenueSouthSafetySEATTLE — The Seattle Department of Transportation is asking the public for ideas and concerns regarding traffic safety on Rainier Avenue South. SDOT hopes to improve the roadway after a series of accidents left people injured and buildings damaged.

One storefront unintentionally became a drive through. Anthony Carector remembers getting the call about the damage to his barbershop, Hodges Hair Quarters.

He says the catering business next door has also been hit in a separate incident last summer.

“Somebody T-boned him coming off of Genessee and both cars ricocheted up onto the sidewalk into the building. It’s just the sheer force,” Carector said.

A couple blocks south, a nail salon was damaged from a similar accident. Another block south, yet another accident.

Carol Cobb says her salon is still shuttered after a crash in August, when a driver lost control and careened into the building injuring 7 people. The cause still under investigation.

“It’s devastation,” Cobb said. “It’s like a catastrophic event. it takes a long time to recoup from especially when the business is structurally damaged.”

SDOT said in less than three years, there have been 1,243 collisions, 630 people injured and two people killed on Rainier Avenue South. So the agency is looking for ideas from the public on how to make the road safer.

Carector’s idea was to have the city install posts to create a buffer between traffic and the sidewalk. Cobb would like to see speed limit signs posted more often, and drivers to be more patient and courteous.

The city held the first of two community meetings Wednesday evening at the Columbia School on S. Ferdinand Street. The second meeting will be on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at the Ethiopian Community Center, on 8323 Rainier Avenue South at 4:30 p.m.

Another Accident on Rainier: SDOT Safety Meeting 11/12

Once again, there are bollards down, pedestrians at risk, and a car/driver at fault at Rainier and Ferdinand. Initial reports from the neighborhood Facebook page are indicating everyone is OK. This incident (it’s getting difficult to keep track of how many there have been as of late) is a good reminder for everyone to attend  this Wednesday’s (11/12) Rainier Safety Project meeting with SDOT at the Columbia School1622705_10152514290097476_6045330971924086630_n

More on SDOT’s Rainier Valley Traffic Calming Program

SDOT has put out more information about its response to the recent traffic and safety problems/incidents in the Rainier Valley:RainierPostcard

Launching November 2014 – the Rainier Avenue South Safety Corridor Project – a multi-year effort to improve safety for all through street improvements, increased enforcement efforts, and educational outreach.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is launching a collaborative process to review roadway conditions along Rainier Avenue South. As safety is our number one priority, we are committed to preventing collisions and improving safety for all users of the transportation system.

Together we will determine the specific nature and design elements of these changes through the process described below. New safety measures to be considered through this project will include: arterial traffic calming, traffic signal modifications, pavement repair, and pedestrian and bicycle safety enhancements. To address behavioral issues like speeding, distraction and impaired driving, we will develop targeted enforcement strategies and area-specific educational outreach.

This project will focus on the segment of Rainier Avenue South from Letitia Avenue South to Seward Park Avenue South.

In addition to the official SDOT websiteThe Rainier Valley Post also has coverage of the meetings which will be happening:

  • Wednesday, November 12 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, The Columbia School – Cafeteria/Commons, 3528 S. Ferdinand St (use the Edmunds St entrance)

  • Tuesday, November 18 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM, The Ethiopian Community Center, 8323 Rainier Ave S

…also check your mail, SDOT flyers on the effort were sent out to neighborhood residents this week.

Vigil Walk (Today!) for Zeytuna: Hit-and-Run Victim

Late notice, but I wanted to get this posted:

Vigil Walk for Zeytuna Edo

photo of Zeytuna with mapZeytuna was walking with her family at Genesee and MLK when she became the victim of a hit and run car collision, leaving her hospitalized with very serious injuries.  Her family and the community have planned a gathering to bring attention to this incident involving Zeytuna and to talk about making our streets safer for all.

DONATE to Zeytuna’s family through

WHEN: Saturday, November 1st 2- 5pm

Speakers will include:

  • Mayor Ed Murray
  • Family Members
  • Community Leaders

WHERE: Start at Columbia City Light Rail Station at Alaska & Martin Luther King. Stop at Genesee & MLK for a healing Vigil. Proceed to the Boys & Girls Club – where Zeytuna & her family were headed when she was struck 4520 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S – for a Solutions Meeting.

– Rainier Valley Greenways- Phyllis Porter 206-695-2522 / 253-545-8567

– Bike Works- Deb Salls 206-695-2607 / 651-231-3629

– Seattle Neighborhood Greenways- Cathy Tuttle 206-713-5869

RVP on a Possible Rainier Road Diet

Over at the Rainier Valley Post, Amber Campbell has an article covering the follow-up to all of the recent accidents on Rainier. Be sure to click here to read the whole post:CC_rally

Earlier this month, just a few weeks after an SUV plowed into two Columbia City businesses injuring seven people, including a child, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) quietly announced the Rainier Avenue South Road Safety Corridor Project to launch next month.

“We will work in collaboration with the community to consider changes to Rainier Avenue South in an effort to reduce speeds and collisions to make the roadway safer for all users,” said City Traffic Engineer Dongho Chang in an email to community members.

The busy arterial sees tens of thousands of vehicles every day. Several elderly pedestrians have been killed crossing Rainier in the last few years, and just last weekend, a car lost control, left the roadway and crashed into the Rainier Chamber of Commerce at Rainier and 42nd Avenue South…

…Some have suggested a traffic calming “road diet” for the busy south-end speedway. A road diet often involves reducing lane widths and/or number of lanes to promote slower vehicle speeds and accommodate other modes of traffic such as bikes, pedestrians and transit.

Others say Rainier Avenue South is already busy enough and that — instead of limiting traffic — conditions for motorists should be improved in order to create a calm, steady flow of cars through the corridor.

Chang said in his email that public meetings will take place in November 2014, conceptual designs between December 2014 and February 2015, design alternative review meetings in February 2015, announcement of preferred alternative in April/May 2015 with implementation in Spring or Summer of 2015.

Crowdfunding Support for Hit-and-Run Victim

Neighbors and friends of Zeytuna, the 2nd grader who is still in serious condition after last week’s hit-and-run on MLK, have put together a crowdfunding page to help support the family and cover medical costsClick here to give what you can. From the description on the page:

Zeytuna, a 2nd grader at Kimball Elementary, was critically injured when a car hit her as she was crossing MLK at f3945503-7746-441f-b027-82812a294f63_profileGenessee this week. She remains at Harborview in serious condition. The doctors are doing everything they can to help her. The family is in awe to hear that the community is so supportive and caring. We have set up this site to help them.

Please give generously and keep Zeytuna and her family in your healing thoughts.

For the original Facebook post announcing the effort, click here.

Seven Year Old Pedestrian in Hit and Run

This week, the neighborhood had to once-again unfortunately come together to express outrage, sadness, support, and hopes for change when a seven year old girl was hit in a horrific hit and run on Tuesday at MLK and Genesee. Original reports indicated that the girl was struck by two separate vehicles which drove off, but later was updated to only one. As KOMO reported:

Police are searching for a driver who hit and seriously injured a 7-year-old girl in South Seattle Tuesday evening.

The girl was crossing the street near Martin Luther King Jr. Way and South Genesee Street just after 6:30 p.m. when she was hit by a red or maroon Chevy Tahoe SUV, according to police. The vehicle sped away without stopping to help the girl.

Police originally thought the girl was struck by a second car as she lay injured in the road, but investigators have since determined the girl was only struck by one car.

“They hit her like a dog. Just ran over her, not stopping, no nothing,” said one man who witnessed the incident.

The child was originally reported to be in critical condition, and has now been updated to serious condition and remains in the ICU.

Click for KOMO's Coverage

Click for KOMO’s Coverage

Yesterday, the police were able to identify the red Chevy Tahoe that was involved.

This tragedy comes just weeks after an SUV drove through two businesses in the heart of Columbia City and a very concerted neighborhood effort to raise awareness to make MLK and Rainier safer.

All major local news outlets also reported on the scene (click for King 5’s coverage).

Fox13s original coverage can be viewed here.

The Seattle Bike Blog also has this extended piece.

Organizers on The Columbia City Facebook page have put together ways to make donations and show support.

Detectives are asking you call Traffic Collision investigators at (206) 684-8923 with any information you might have about this hit-and-run.

Correction: Tonight’s SDOT Traffic Safety Meeting is at the Cultural Center

Contrary to the first invites that went ouphotot for this event (and the subsequent info that was posted here on Columbia City Source), the  SDOT’s website indicates that tonight’s meeting will be taking place at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center (3515 S. Alaska St) and not as originally indicated by those invites at the Community Center. A quick call to the RV Cultural Center confirmed that the event is happening there tonight at 6:30.

Help spread the word. 

Reminder: SDOT Traffic Safety Meeting Tonight


UPDATE: SDOT’s website indicates that the meeting will be taking place at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center ( 3515 S. Alaska St) and not as originally indicated by the first invites at the Community Center. A quick call to the cultural center confirmed that the event is happening there tonight at 6:30.

As you can see in many of the posts below, since the major accident at Rainier and Ferdinand, the traffic safety of Rainier Ave, Columbia City, and the entire Rainier Valley has been the subject of a lot of local news coverage and commentary.

As a result, a neighborhood traffic safety meeting with the Seattle Department of Transportation is happening on tonight, Wednesday, 9/17, at 6:30 pm at the Rainier Community Center (4600 38th Ave. S.) Rainier Valley Cultural Center (behind the library) in Columbia City. Everyone interested in making the neighborhood streets safer is invited to attend.

For more details on the event, click here. (however, note the location correction above).