Matches for: “rainier safety” …

Seattle Bike Blog on the Rainier Proposals

The Seattle Bike Blog’s Tom Fuculoro has another recap of last night’s SDOT meeting:

Rainier Avenue will be safer by the end of the year.

Every option the city presented (PDF) at a public meeting Thursday evening in Columbia City included a significant redesign of the notoriously dangerous street. And the city is not going to wait long to take action.

Some signals and signage changes will roll out this spring, followed by some more significant safety upgrades starting in the summer and going into 2016.

Before we get into the solutions, let’s follow the city’s lead and outline the problem.

Jim Curtin and Dongho Chang of SDOT did a very good job explaining, step by step, why the street is so dangerous and how — though genuine community input and thoughtful design changes — the city will move quickly to dramatically increase safety on the busy commercial and neighborhood street.

The big crowd at the meeting seemed very receptive to the ideas the city presented and strongly in favor of safety changes. Cheers rang out when Curtin announced plans to lower the speed limit to 25 mph through the Columbia City and Hillman City business districts. People also cheered when Curtin said they will lengthen the crosswalk signal times.As we reported previously, a study found that traffic signals in Rainier Valley give people less time to cross the street than Ballard.

When Curtin showed the slide below, the crowd gasped. Rainier is way more dangerous than it should be, and it has been this way for a long time…

The post goes on in some detail covering the various plans. Even if you aren’t a biker, it provides a good overview of the presentation. It’s worth a read 

Columbia City and Rainier Valley Part of Murray’s Vision Zero Traffic Plan

This week, Seattle’s new “Vision Zero” plan to eliminate traffic deaths was announced by Mayor Ed Murray. Since this past year’s alarming spike of dangerous collisions in and close to Columbia City, there’s a been a strong push to make Rainier Ave. safer. While by no means a solution, Rainier and MLK did get specific mention in the plan

 Map TrafficMayor Murray, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Seattle Police Department (SPD) launched Vision Zero, Seattle’s plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030 through innovative engineering, enforcement and education.

“Our Vision Zero campaign will educate people who drive, bike and walk on how we can all work together to make our streets safer,” said Murray. “We are rolling out a range of new safety improvements that will help get our kids get to school, reduce fatalities on city arterials and make our neighborhood streets safer. Our transportation system must work safely for everyone and this plan will save lives.”

While Seattle is consistently recognized as one of the safest cities in the country, more than 10,000 traffic collisions occur each year. In 2014, 3,449 injury collisions were reported to the Seattle Police Department. Fifteen people died in traffic crashes, including five who were walking or riding a bike.

At the core of Vision Zero is the belief that death and injury on city streets is preventable. The Vision Zero approach emphasizes smarter street designs – forgiving streets that account for human error. When paired with targeted education and enforcement, the effort will save lives.

“Implementing the Vision Zero initiative is vital to creating a safer transportation system,” said Tom Rasmussen, Chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee. “The way we design our streets, enforce the rules, and educate the public does make a difference. But, most importantly, each of us whether we walk, bike or drive must do our part to make our streets safer for all.”

To make Seattle streets safer all, Seattle’s Vision Zero effort will include the following actions in 2015:

  • Reduce the speed limit in the downtown core to 25 mph by the end of 2015.
  • Improve safety at 10 high-crash intersections downtown by eliminating turns on red lights, installing leading pedestrian intervals to give walkers a head start, eliminating dual turn lanes and other engineering improvements.
  • Install 20 mph zones on residential streets in up to ten areas near parks and schools with documented collision histories.
  • Enhance safety on arterials — like Rainier Avenue S, 35th Avenue SW, Fauntleroy Way SW and 5th Avenue NE where 90 percent of serious and fatal collisions occur — by installing speed reductions, radar speed signs and enhanced street designs.
  • Add twelve new school zone safety cameras in six school zones to improve safety for kids as they make their way to and from school.
  • Add seven miles of protected bike lanes, more than 40 crossing improvements and 14 blocks of new sidewalk to make travel safer across all modes.
  • Conduct targeted enforcement throughout the city for school, pedestrian and bike safety, along with enhanced DUI enforcement. SDOT and SPD will work together to educate people in advance of these patrols, so everyone will expect enforcement and better understand the rules of the road…
More specifically:
Reduce Arterial Speed Limits
Review arterial speed limits and reduce to 30 mph or lower. Pair speed limit reductions with tools like radar speed signs and street design changes. Review speed limits through our annual programs and Road Safety Corridor projects. Work with State partners to make changes to State Routes like Aurora Avenue North, Lake City Way NE and Sand Point Way NE. Lower speed limits on the following corridors in 2015:
  • Martin Luther King Jr Way S
  • Rainier Avenue S…
Urban Center Safety
Bring a higher level of safety to Seattle’s Urban Centers, where high volumes of vehicular traffic, transit, pedestrians, and bicyclists merge. Data-driven improvements may include modified signal phasing, traffic calming, protected turn phases and leading or lagging pedestrian intervals at the following locations:
  • Lake City at NE 125th Street and Lake City Way NE
  • White Center/Westwood at SW Roxbury Street and Delridge Way/16th Ave SW
  • Columbia City and Hillman City on Rainier Ave S…

Road Safety Corridors

Reduce collisions through low cost engineering, enforcement and education efforts on targeted corridors including:

  • Rainier Ave S


Crosscut on “The Rainier Ave” Problem

Crosscut’s Josh Cohen is the latest to chime in on Rainier’s safety problems and the neighborhood’s (as well as SDOT’s) efforts to address them:

Rainier Avenue S is one of Seattle’s most dangerous streets. On Halloween this year, a man driving a pickup truck at over 65 mph near 52nd Ave lost control, slammed into 10 cars and injured 10 people before hitting a tree and coming to a stop. In August, seven people were injured when an SUV crashed into a salon in downtown Columbia City. From January 2011 through September 2014, the street saw 1,243 total collisions, 630 injuries and two fatalities.635514250058519179-RainierAvenueSouthSafety

“There’s nothing we can compare Rainier to in the City of Seattle,” said Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Community Traffic Liaison Jim Curtin, referring to its traffic volume and high rate of crashes.

For anyone who has driven, walked or biked the road, the high collision rate is likely no surprise. The wide, four-lane arterial allows cars to drive fast. Its curves and “skewed” intersections (non 90-degree turns), obscure driver’s sightlines and allow for high-speed cornering.

There’s heavy vehicle traffic — an average of 19,700 to 26,600 vehicles per weekday. And the road connects many of the Rainier Valley’s main business districts, adding lots of people on foot and bike to the mix. High speeds plus heavy traffic plus vulnerable people is a recipe for tragedy…

Click here to read Cohen’s complete article.

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.

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.

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).

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.

4th “Find It, Fix It” Walk with the Mayor Tomorrow (7/29): Rainier and Genesee

As many know, the mayor and the SPD have been hosting neighborhood “Find It, Fix It” walks over the past month. Tomorrow’s (Tuesday, 7/29) is the closest to Columbia City, starting in the Jumbo lot at Rainier and Genesee. Here’s the official release:

Mayor Murray’s ‘Find it, Fix it’ Community Walks, focused on several crime hotspots, makes its way to a fourth neighborhood in Seattle next Tuesday, July 29.14727078612_c38c962b53_b

At the walks, community residents, police, and city officials have been walking together to identify physical disorder and solve it. The three walks already conducted have seen great success with a 40 percent rise in use of the Find It, Fix It application and identification, notification and action taken on graffiti removal, street lighting, litter and garbage clean-up, and trimming overgrown bushes and trees.

The next Find It, Fix It Community Walk
Tuesday, July 29, 7 – 9 p.m., Rainier Ave. and Genesee
Meet in the Jumbo’s parking lot (Map)

7 – 7:15 p.m.

  • Short program featuring Mayor Ed Murray, City Councilmembers Sally J. Clark and Bruce Harrell, City Attorney Pete Holmes, Seattle Police Department officials and department representatives.

7:15 – 9 p.m.

Walk commences along the following route:

  • East S. Genesee
  • South on 37th Ave S.
  • West on S. Oregon St.
  • North on Rainier Ave. S.
  • East on S. Andover St.
  • North on Courtland Pl.
  • East on the Charlestown St. Hillclimb
  • South on 37th Ave S.
  • West on S. Adams St.
  • Walk ends at Jumbo’s parking lot

9 p.m.

  • Walk concludes and department representatives are available for follow-up questions.

We’re scheduling additional ‘Find it, Fix it’ Community Walks that we will announce in the coming weeks. The next scheduled walk will take place on August 12, from 7 – 9 p.m. in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, at the intersection of Rainier and Henderson.

Residents are also encouraged to participate in the August 5 Night Out for Crime in their own neighborhoods. For more information and to register your event, visit the Mayor’s web site.

For more information on Murray’s public safety strategy for Seattle, visit

– See more at: