Category Archives: Safety

The Urbanist on the Need for a Rainier Road Diet

The Urbanist’s Will Green has a new piece on the need for a Rainier Ave. road diet. His piece looks at both the data from this 10403330_10152317746321476_3997250844905820567_npast year as well the historical push for such a plan. Read the whole thing here (and don’t forget about tomorrow’s SDOT Traffic Safety Meeting):

It’s been a bad year for Rainier Avenue South. There are the usually numerous car crashes, sure, but that’s normal. The same goes for the pedestrian collisions–regrettable, but normal. An unfortunate but inevitable side effect of the automobile, and are generally accepted with little comment.

But in April, a car slammed into a nail salon on the corner of Edmunds and Rainier, after hitting a truck making a turn. Speed was a factor, unsurprisingly, as were both vehicles attempting to beat the light. Residents grumbled; tensions rose. A temporary wall was built to replace the one torn away so suddenly, and life continued.

And then it happened again in August, when a speeding SUV lost control and crashed into the hair salon just one block south of the first such incident–this time in the middle of the day. Seven people were injured, including a family of three who found themselves pinned between the offending car and a counter at the restaurant next to the salon. The SUV was eventually dragged from its resting place, with hydraulic jacks holding the roof of the now-uninhabitable structure aloft.

Residents did more than grumble, this time. Leaders in Columbia City organized a “walk-in” rally where protestors crossed Rainier repeatedly, showing how inadequate the crossing time given was while reminding drivers to slow down. Online conversations swirled around, and it wasn’t long until SDOT amended the agenda for the already-scheduled Neighborhood Traffic Safety Meeting to include “Safety on Rainier”.

Click here to read the whole piece. 

Neighborhood Traffic Safety Meeting w/ SDOT Wednesday 9/17

CC_rallyUPDATE: 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 at the cultural center confirmed that the event is happening there tonight at 6:30.

As a follow-up to last week’s successful Cross “Walk-In” for Safe Streets, a neighborhood traffic safety meeting with the Seattle Department of Transportation is happening on Wednesday 9/17 at 6:30 pm at the Rainier Community Center (4600 38th Ave. S.) RV Cultural Center 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 change in location above). Also be sure to read the Rainier Valley Post’s excellent overview of the current safety issues, including archived comments from around the neighborhood on the various traffic and safety concerns too many neighbors have to face every day.

Driver in Crash Cited for Negligence

Although the initial reports on Facebook suggested that the driver of the August 28th crash at Ferdinand and Rainier may have suffered some kind of medical emergency 10403330_10152317746321476_3997250844905820567_ncausing the accident, SPD has cited the driver of the SUV that ended up in the Carol Cobb Salon  with negligence. The Rainier Valley Post fist reported these additional details:

Seattle Police say that the driver of the SUV that plowed into a Columbia City salon nearly two weeks ago has been cited with negligent driving.

Negligent driving in the first degree is described as driving while exhibiting signs of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and is classified as a misdemeanor, while negligent driving in the second degree is described as operating a motor vehicle in a manner that is negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property and is classified as a traffic infraction subject to a $250 penalty.

The RVP goes on to explain that, according to the SPD, the case is still under investigation. Read the whole piece here.

Kiro Covers Yesterday’s Cross “Walk-In”

Kiro’s Graham Johnson has a piece up on yesterday’s Cross “Walk-In” for Safe Streets:

CC_rallyResidents and business owners in Columbia City rallied Friday to call attention to safety improvements they say are needed along Rainier Avenue.

They say cars too often go much faster than the 30 mph speed limit and that signals are timed poorly, allowing pedestrians too little time to cross the street safely.

“It’s a speedway right through our main street,” said hotel owner Shelley Morrison.

She organized the rally at Rainier Avenue and South Ferdinand, the same intersection where a driver plowed into a hair salon and deli last week, injuring seven people.

“We were lucky that no one was killed,” said Jeffrey Taylor, who sells insurance across the street from the site of a less-serious car into building incident earlier this year. “We’ve had cars running into people, running into buildings.”

Rally organizers want a slower speed limit, better timed lights, and speed cameras.

They plan to bring up their concerns again at a Sept. 17 community meeting with the Seattle Department of Transportation.

SDOT city traffic engineer Dongho Chang said the timing of traffic signals will be adjusted by the end of the year, and that two radar-warning signs will be installed to tell drivers how fast they’re going.

He pointed out the car into building crash last week was a matter of “driver responsibility.”

Seattle police said Friday the driver was unconscious, with her hands off the steering wheel, at the time of the crash.

She was initially cited for negligent driving but the case remains under review.

It is unclear if she fell asleep or had a medical problem.