FAQ for Seattle’s plan to reduce speeds to 20/25 mph

Seattle is poised to take a major step forward in improving roadway safety by reducing speed limits to 25 mph on arterials and 20 mph on residential streets. The plan, announced by councilmember Tim Burgess yesterday, will be presented to the City Council for a vote later this month.

This change would represent the city’s most significant action to support Vision Zero, Seattle’s plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030, and would send a clear message that safety surmounts speed when it comes to our transportation network.

While Seattle is not the first city to consider such a change, the idea may be new to many people. Local safe street advocacy organization Seattle Neighborhood Greenways worked with the city on this legislation and has prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions, which is re-posted below in full:

Who supports the 20/25 MPH idea?

Many community, public health, school, business, and advocacy groups are asking for safer speed limits. We hope you will too after learning more about how this idea will save lives!

What’s the idea for non arterial streets (neighborhood streets)?

A safe and livable 20 MPH speed limit for every neighborhood street in Seattle. Currently, the “default” speed on non-arterial streets is 25 MPH – faster than you probably drive on neighborhood streets. 20 MPH streets will be safer for us all, particularly people walking and kids playing.

What’s the idea for arterial streets?

Streets that are known to be dangerous should have speed limits examined, and potentially reduced to 25 MPH, as part of a comprehensive safety strategy. Additionally Communities should be able to request the city work with them to reduce arterial speed limits especially in areas such as business districts and through community hubs. Traffic should be smooth and safe and people should be able to get where they need to go reliably and safely. One part of this would be to change the “default arterial speed limit” signs at the entrances of Seattle to 25 MPH to let visitors know that they may encounter 25 MPH arterial streets.

Will changing the speed limit save lives?

Yes. Changing the speed limit will make our streets safer for everyone! Each year in Seattle about 20 people are killed in traffic collisions and another 150 are seriously injured. 42% of of these collisions involved speeding. Driving even a little slower gives us all more time to see each other and makes it easier to stop. Well-established research shows that even a small speed decrease makes a big difference. Vehicle stopping distance improves by 45 feet (23%) when traveling at 25 MPH versus 30 MPH. If a collision does happen, nine out of ten people hit by a driver going 20 MPH will survive, while at 30 MPH survival rates decrease to only five out of ten.

Will 20 MPH for neighborhood streets mean I’ll take longer to drive anywhere?

No. On non-arterial (neighborhood) streets, it is already difficult to drive faster than 20 MPH due to roundabouts and narrow street widths. When people do speed it is especially dangerous for elders and children living and playing in their neighborhoods.

Would a 25 MPH for arterial street make my commute longer?

First of all, this proposal does not change all arterial streets to 25 MPH (see FAQ above). Not likely. Most people drive during rush hour, when it’s already difficult to drive fast. Travel time is primarily determined by factors like traffic signals, congestion, and turning vehicles. Moreover, a top reason for congestion in Seattle is traffic collisions. Reducing speeds will reduce collisions and reduce the frequency of collision-related congestion. People driving outside of peak travel times may see a slight increase in their travel time. If you’re going 30 MPH without any interruptions, a lowered speed limit of 25 MPH will add about 1 minute to your trip (the average car trip in Seattle is about 3.5 miles). We think the occasional extra minute is worth it to save someone’s life.

When would the speed limits change, and which streets would be affected?

A default 20 MPH speed limit for non-arterial neighborhood streets could take effect as soon as the signs could be changed, except where they are currently signed to 15 MPH (as they are in some school zones).

The 25 MPH limit for arterial streets would be implemented on a case by case basis over time with community and SDOT evaluation (this is the model used by every other city in King County). Only then would speed limit signs be changed and a 25 MPH limit enforced.

Are there other cities with 20/25 MPH speed limits?

Yes. 20 MPH neighborhood streets are widely seen as a best practice around the world to keep neighborhoods safe and comfortable places to live in and raise families. Every other city in King County has a default speed limit of 25 MPH or lower. Many other large cities around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., London, Paris, Berlin, and Tokyo, already have a speed limit set to 25 MPH or lower to improve drivers’ ability to avoid crashes.

Isn’t 20/25 MPH just a way to raise additional revenue for the City?

Not at all. Seattle should reduce its speed limit in order to make the city safer for people walking, biking, and driving. A lower speed limit helps meet the City’s goal of bringing traffic fatalities to zero. Data shows that driving at or below 25 MPH improves drivers’ ability to avoid crashes.

Sometimes streets are just dangerous. Why focus on speed?

Dangerous driver choices, such as speeding, failure to yield, and improper turns, are the primary cause or a contributing factor in 70% of pedestrian fatalities. Legislative efforts, such as lowering the speed limit, combined with engineering street safety improvements, education and enforcement work together to create safer streets for us all.

What is Vision Zero?

Seattle’s goal for traffic fatalities and serious injuries is the same you would want for you and your family: zero (this goal is called Vision Zero). While zero fatalities may seem ambitious, it’s the same standard we expect of our airline system. 20/25 MPH is a great way to improve drivers’ ability to avoid crashes!

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Seattle’s Most Dangerous Street: Much To Celebrate, Much Left To Do

This is a guest post by Phyllis Porter and Gordon Padelford. Phyllis Porter is an educator, advocate for criminal justice reform, and leader with safe streets community group Rainier Valley Greenways. Gordon Padelford is the Policy Director for Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.

Rainier Ave S was infamous for being Seattle’s most dangerous street. With a crash every day on average, 7 businesses hit in the past year, and 630 injuries over the last three years, something had to be done. Business, community groups, and residents had had enough.

Last year the community came together to demand Rainier Ave S be made safer. For instance, a group calling themselves the Rainier Road Diet Supporters held a number of crosswalk protests.

The community group Rainier Valley Greenways rallied around a campaign called Safety Over Speeding to bring more attention to the problem. We collected signatures and photo petitions, created a Get Well Soon Rainier Ave Card for people to sign, posted flyers with the number of crashes next to dangerous intersections, and hosted a big crosswalk protest and rally.

The Department of Transportation responded to the community and overwhelming data by doing a safety corridor “pilot” between S Alaska St and S Kenny St, and planned to study an expansion of it for 2016. The pilot included adding a center turn lane to reduce turning collisions, adding bus priority to keep the popular route 7 on time, and improving crosswalks and signals for people walking.

The results are in and they are great! Aggressive speeding (over 40 MPH) is down 95%, injuries involving people walking are down 41%, a fear of bus delays never materialized (the #7 bus has not been slowed down), traffic still flows, and it is now much more safe and comfortable to be in Columbia City and Hillman City. King 5 did a piece on the results and interviewed the owner of Lottie’s Lounge who said “The road diet has really improved the quality of life. The benefits far outweigh the downside.”

The Department of Transportation said they would expand the safety project north to Letitia Ave S and south to Seward Park Ave S if the initial pilot was a success. Rainier Valley Greenways believes it has been, and that all neighborhoods along this dangerous street (not just Columbia City) deserve to be safe. They are hosting a Safe Streets Celebration on August 17th from 5:30-7:30 at the corner of Rainier Ave S and S Edmunds St to thank the city for the initial safety improvements and ask the city to complete the project. They are asking residents to join them on the 17th, and sign a petition thanking the city and asking them to complete the project.

Read more about what happened last year:

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2016 Worst Intersection in Seattle: Green Lake / 50th / Stone

Note: This post is also published at The Urbanist.

This year’s Worst Intersection in Seattle is the car-choked crossroads where Green Lake Way N intersects with N 50th St and Stone Way N.

Looking south on Green Lake Way

Looking south on Green Lake Way N

So many cars are coming from and going to so many different roadways that nobody wins. People stuck in their cars often wait through multiple light cycles as backups can stretch for several blocks in multiple directions. And it’s worse for pedestrians, who also have long wait times and often have to cross more than one street.

The worst experience is walking north from the west side of Stone Way N. People on foot cross a right turn lane and have to wait on a little island, surrounded by a sea of metal and concrete. Then, there’s the wait to cross at least two streets. Yasmeen, who nominated this intersection, says: “There are so many intersections at that point that it can be several minutes before you get a walk light.”

Once through the intersection, it’s a walk in the park – but only in a literal sense as the sidewalk disappears and there are unpaved paths on the edge of Woodland Park. Good luck enjoying yourself if you’re pushing a stroller with small wheels or just wanting to keep your dark shoes clean. This area is busy with joggers, walkers, bicyclists – all sharing a narrow path and wondering what happened to the sidewalk. If you want the luxury of a paved sidewalk, you’ll have to cross yet another intersection to get to the east side of Green Lake Way N.

Seattle Bike Blog calls the intersection “a complete mess,” though people on bikes may be the only ones who don’t completely hate the intersection as North / South bike lanes have been added in recent years.

Of course one main reason why this intersection is so bad is that so many streets intersect here. But, that wasn’t always the case. As shown below, this intersection used to be just one of many four way intersections in the city.

Clipping from 1912 Baist Map of Seattle

However, when the Pacific Highway was built in the early 1930s, traffic engineers sliced through the existing residential grid so that motorists could get to downtown faster. The new road was labeled Green Lake Way N and, like Bridge Way N ten blocks south, required tearing down existing homes to provide access to the new highway, now called SR-99.

N 50th St / Stone Way N / Green Lake Way N

N 50th St / Stone Way N / Green Lake Way N today

So, is this intersection fixable? What if, to borrow a software development term, we rolled the intersection back to a previous version? As suggested by blogger Al Dimond, we could improve the intersection by removing the diagonal route to Aurora and turning it back into a four-way intersection. This extension of Green Lake Way might be a real-world Braess’ Paradox, meaning that removing it could actually improve travel times for everyone. At the very least, as Dimond says, it would create a “more cohesive and walkable neighborhood with more pedestrian-friendly intersections.”

If you’re not sold on that, then commenter Izaac Post recommends a roundabout.

Roundabout concept

Roundabout concept

Roundabouts are proven to reduce collisions and fatalities. And, while this intersection isn’t one of Seattle’s deadliest intersections, pedestrians would welcome the decreased vehicle speeds that a roundabout would bring. However, the intersection is already pretty complicated, so would a roundabout make it even more confusing? This would be the busiest roundabout in the city and drivers and bicyclists would need to share it. Would bicyclists feel comfortable sharing a roundabout with drivers?

While the city has a Vision Zero plan to eliminate roadway fatalities, the ten terrible intersections we had to choose from and recent rollbacks to the bicycle master plan show how far there is to go toward creating a safe street network that is comfortable for all users. This intersection configuration at the corner of Woodland Park has been with us for over 80 years and it may not change in another 80 years. We should have hope, though, that at least by then there will be paved sidewalks.

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Vote for Seattle’s Worst Intersection in 2016

Another year, another solid crop of nominees for worst intersection in Seattle; these are 10 of the most dangerous and unpleasant crossings that Seattle has to offer. While all of these need some serious re-engineering from SDOT, only one of them can truly be the worst intersection in Seattle. Read the descriptions, view the photos, and cast your vote.

  1. Leary Way NW & 20th Avenue NW – The Urbanist wrote almost 1000 words on why this intersection sucks, “It’s a safety hazard to both drivers and pedestrians. And, if it’s dangerous for both of these groups, it has to be even worse for bicyclists.”

    Leary Way NW and 20th Avenue NW

  2. N 50th St & Phinney Ave N – Skylar nominates this one, “Drivers will barrel through the crosswalk at 30+ mph without regards to pedestrians, and in fact probably cannot even see them until they are about 30′ away due to the way the street curves around the zoo”
    50th & Phinney

    N 50th St & Phinney Ave N

  3. Rainier Ave S & I-90 – Al Dimond nominates this one and the next one, saying “About half of the top 10 worst intersections in Seattle have got to be along Rainier!” One example is the on ramp onto I-90 “Crosswalk across two exit ramp lanes. One is HOV, so it may be moving while the other is backed up, and it’s also set up so pedestrians can’t tell whether a driver in that lane is going to exit or not until the last second.”
    Rainier at I-90 onramp

    Rainier at I-90 onramp

  4. Rainier Ave S & S Henderson St “…was called out recently on Twitter as one of the most dangerous in the city. It’s a pretty straightforward design, but I guess that much fast traffic right by a couple schools is a bad combination.”
    Rainier Ave S & S Henderson St

    Rainier Ave S & S Henderson St

  5. 5th & Stewart – Hayden B nominates this one, “The buses cut across all four lanes of Stewart from 7th to turn left on 5th. It’s awful.”
    5th & Stewart

    5th & Stewart

  6. Montlake Blvd & 520 – Lisa nominates this top vote-getter from last year, saying, “Angry drivers, all on their phones waiting to get on 520, buses, lots of pedestrians, very long lights, pedestrians darting across to catch their bus, bikes routed to sidewalks and crosswalks because of construction. It is a disastrous spot.”

  7. Montlake Blvd & NE Pacific St – Jim S says, “Beg button takes forever. lots of light rail passengers trying to cross.”
    Montlake & Pacific

    Montlake Blvd & NE Pacific St

  8. Sand Point Way & 50th Ave NE – Another one nominated by Jim S, “Really bad visibility crossing sand point from east to west, cars going way too fast in both directions.”
    Sand Point Way & 50th Ave NE

    Sand Point Way & 50th Ave NE

  9. Ravenna Ave NE & NE 54th St – Yasmeen says, “I nominate Ravenna & 54th, ‘The Ravenna Park Triangle’ for being utterly unpredictable. Cars can go both ways on all three of those intersections, and during rush hour traffic backs up and people get impatient. Walking through, especially during that time, is a disaster.”
    Ravenna Ave NE & NE 54th St (Ravenna Park Triangle)

    Ravenna Ave NE & NE 54th St (Ravenna Park Triangle)

  10. N 50th St / Stone Way N / Green Lake Way N – Another nominated by Yasmeen, “My least favorite for walk wait times. There are so many intersections at that point that it can be several minutes before you get a walk light.”
    N 50th St / Stone Way N / Green Lake Way N

    N 50th St / Stone Way N / Green Lake Way N

Which is the worst intersection in Seattle?

  • N 50th St / Stone Way N / Green Lake Way N (34%, 25 Votes)
  • Montlake Blvd & 520 (22%, 16 Votes)
  • Leary Way NW & 20th Avenue NW (18%, 13 Votes)
  • Rainier Ave S & I-90 (14%, 10 Votes)
  • Ravenna Ave NE & NE 54th St (7%, 5 Votes)
  • N 50th St & Phinney Ave N (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Montlake Blvd & NE Pacific St (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Rainier Ave S & S Henderson St (1%, 1 Votes)
  • 5th & Stewart (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Sand Point Way & 50th Ave NE (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 74

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Nominate Seattle’s worst intersection for 2016

NE 40th St & 7th Ave NE

Complicated intersection at NE 40th St & 7th Ave NE

We are now accepting nominees for the worst intersection in Seattle. We’re looking for those intersections you hate to cross because of an unsafe design, loud traffic, or long waits. Is there somewhere you feel like a second class citizen because you have to push a button and wade through a sea of cars just to get to your destination? Submit your nominees in the comments, below.

Previous winners are:

Accepting nominations through April 24. The top most-frequently nominated intersections will be selected to advance to the voting round.

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Solutions Coming for Missing Sidewalks in Seattle

Note: This cross-post is available in its entirety at The Urbanist.

Missing Sidewalks in Seattle

Missing sidewalks in Seattle

There may be solutions soon for one of Seattle’s longest-lasting infrastructure problems. Since the middle of last century when the city annexed land in what is now north Seattle, little progress has been made in building hundreds of miles of missing sidewalks in North Seattle and across the city. North Seattle residents who voted for annexation claim that the city promised sidewalks and failed to deliver. A multi-billion dollar price tag to build all missing sidewalks has been too intimidating for anyone to find real solutions.

However, after decades of minimal progress, wholesale solutions to bring sidewalks to Seattle may be closer than ever. While most conversations about this problem have been around building traditional concrete sidewalks, the Seattle Department of Transportation is now evaluating more affordable alternatives. And, to overcome the funding gulf that remains, city council candidate Sandy Brown has a potential answer.

Read the rest at The Urbanist

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Watch Where You’re Walking!

This is a guest post by Billy Johnson.

As announced earlier this year by our readers – Seattle’s most dangerous intersection is Denny Way and Terry. While we have been active in promoting safer streets and pedestrian-friendly projects through advocacy with the City Council – today we’d like to offer a gentle reminder about our own behavior than can keep us safe.

It’s not easy to multi-task — at least, not to do it well. Nowhere is that more evident these days than when people are using technology while walking. The National Safety Council reports over 1,000 pedestrian injuries each year due to technology distraction. It only takes a few seconds to become distracted, but the consequences can last a lifetime.

Legislators and safety organizations have been working to raise awareness about how dangerous it can be to use a mobile device while walking. Many of us are familiar with Seattle’s Pedestrian Master Plan (PMP) – http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/pedMasterPlan.htm – which is working to make Seattle one of the most walkable cities in the nation.

On September 2, 2015, the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board (SPAB) reviewed an updated presentation regarding the Pedestrian Master Plan that places an INCREASED emphasis on safety. In consideration of the most recent data available, they felt it necessary to adjust strategies to place even greater focus on those improvements that result in improved pedestrian safety. You can view the updated presentation here: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/docs/PMP_SPAB_Workshop2_09.02.15.pdf

But we have to do our part as attentive walkers. You may think this doesn’t apply to you or that you are always cautious while crossing an intersection. Are you really? What about that time your phone rang and in attempts to answer you narrowly escaped a close call?

For example, a study of over 34,000 students crossing the street in a school zone found that one in five high school kids and one in eight middle school kids crossed the street while distracted: 39 percent of them were distracted because they were texting, another 39 percent were distracted because they were wearing headphones, 20 percent were using their phones and 2 percent were playing on gaming devices. In fact, older teens now account for 50 percent of all pedestrian deaths among kids age 19 and under.

“Look Up!” Other communities across the country are also looking at ways to improve pedestrian safety by expanding both enforcement and advocacy initiatives. Several months ago, Fort Lee, New Jersey, police began ticketing $85 for careless walking. As students have arrived back at Universities this Fall, Kentucky legislators are working on new legislation to better protect pedestrians. Delaware tried to get people’s attention by placing 100 large stickers with the words “LOOK UP” on sidewalks near intersections in three cities.

The National Safety Council (NSC) considers distracted walking a “significant safety threat” and notes one study that found there were more than 11,000 distracted-walking injuries involving mobile phones between the years 2000 and 2011. Some of the resulting dislocations, broken bones, strains, sprains, concussions and contusions were serious enough to require visits to the emergency room. Almost 70 percent of those injured are women, and 54 percent are people ages 40 or younger. While cell phone distracted walking injuries were most common among women and those ages 40 and younger, the study found the issue is impacting all age groups.

Many who think they can avoid obstacles by using their peripheral vision neglect to notice the dangerous right in front of them.

Putting your head up and your cell phone down is an easy way to help reduce pedestrian injuries in Seattle. While it’s anticipated that our dependence on smart phones isn’t going to wane any time soon, safety is everyone’s responsibility. Remember, when teaching your kids to look both ways before crossing the street, also tell them to put their devices down – and lead by example. No message or status update is worth your health… which is one important reason we’re working hard for safer streets in the Seattle community.

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@WalkingSeattle Twitter Feed

APPROVED: Unmarked arterial Speed Limits to go from 30 to 25, non-arterial from 25 to 20. Regs now mirror every other city in King County Retweeted by Walking in Seattle

Here's how @seattledot is using data to inform and advance Vision Zero solutions: theurbanist.org/2016/09/19/usi… Retweeted by Walking in Seattle

Melrose is getting its first streatery... one more step toward full #melrosepromenade status! pic.twitter.com/AB7SkeTidp Retweeted by Walking in Seattle

Twitter Media

New post: Did you know: Not all crosswalks are marked bit.ly/2cgES7B Retweeted by Walking in Seattle

@seattledot at Northgate i5 onramps specifically twitter.com/charles_b_stb/… Retweeted by Walking in Seattle

Seattle plan would reduce default speed limits across the city seattlebikeblog.com/2016/09/13/sea… via @seabikeblog

People gathering for city's noon announcement about lowering speed limits in Seattle. kiro.tv/streamingnow pic.twitter.com/IJ2JFUhiBx Retweeted by Walking in Seattle

What IS Seattle's 20/25 MPH Legislation? Read our Campaign Page & FAQ. seattlegreenways.org/2016-campaigns… pic.twitter.com/SoIVM4ZddO Retweeted by Walking in Seattle

Twitter Media

We've been dying to see 20 MPH legislation. It's happening! Tuesday 9/13 noon Horizon House 900 University St. fb.me/PRaITGAA Retweeted by Walking in Seattle

WALKTOBER is coming. Explore new places, meet new people and have fun! Register today! ow.ly/zGz33041DKS pic.twitter.com/7cwmnctMJ1 Retweeted by Walking in Seattle

Schoolchildren who walk to school are more ready to learn. Join WALKTOBER! ow.ly/GDEN303XDIV pic.twitter.com/FYM1zszbsj Retweeted by Walking in Seattle

Twitter Media

Peds still come last? We need to change this. twitter.com/urbanistorg/st… Retweeted by Walking in Seattle

Thanks @SeattleDOT for the lovely new ADA ramp at the Madison/McGilvra school crossing. #sift.tt/2beWiwd pic.twitter.com/caXh8hsbjo Retweeted by Walking in Seattle

Critique of Ped Plan @UrbanistOrg Until Seattle decides its time to improve walkability, we'll continue to hobble... fb.me/7wfPmyxMI Retweeted by Walking in Seattle

Whose Sign Is It Anyway? "A disappointing look into the bureaucratic agencies that manage our safety on the streets" thenorthwesturbanist.com/2016/07/13/who…

Pedestrian master plan comment period has been extended to August 22nd. More time for your thoughtful feedback: seattle.gov/transportation… Retweeted by Walking in Seattle

Follow @WalkingSeattle on Twitter.

2015 Worst Intersection in Seattle: Denny & Terry

This is the third time we have asked you to select the worst intersection in the city and this has been the most popular and tightly contested race. Five options received over 15% of the vote and it’s clear that many people have a strong opinion about the bad intersections in the city.

Once voting started, Montlake and 520 surged to an early lead, bolstered by support from yours truly. However, over time, the top choices emerged as 1) Terry and Denny and 2) NE 40th St and 7th Ave NE.

In the end, among many bad options, there can be only one worst. As the vote count climbed, Denny and Terry pulled away.

A mere quarter mile from previous winner 5th and Denny, Denny and Terry is one of many high-conflict intersections along Denny Way, a street with few redeeming qualities. With the emergence of South Lake Union as a major employment center, there are many more people walking at Denny & Terry than in years before.

Denny is often completely gridlocked, making it hard for pedestrians and drivers alike to enter from Terry. At other times, eastbound traffic flies quickly downhill, giving pedestrians and drivers mere moments to cross Denny.

Terry is also one of the few intersections along Denny where turning left isn’t expressly prohibited. These left turns across a busy street threaten pedestrians walking along Denny.

And, while people can legally walk across Denny along Terry, it never feels completely safe to do so. Also, people walking along Terry north of Denny will find themselves feeling completely out of place walking in a parking lot masquerading as a road.

Denny is a critical transportation link that too many people rely on. It’s one of the worst roads in the city for drivers, riders of bus number 8, and as this poll shows us again, pedestrians.

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Vote for Seattle’s Worst Intersection in 2015

Due to the recent coverage on MyNorthwest.com and the close competition, the poll deadline has been extended through Wednesday, May 20.

The nominations are in and it’s time to vote. Vote for one of these these unsafe, complicated, and downright disappointing Seattle intersections as the worst pedestrian intersection in Seattle!

  • I-90 offramp at Rainier Ave

    Plenty of distance for drivers to build up speed

    I-90 & Rainier Ave – Commenter Al Dimond suggests this one: “On both sides of Rainier the interaction with traffic entering from I-90 is OK but the interaction with traffic exiting from Rainier is right in the middle of an onramp whose design encourages drivers to accelerate! It’s also somewhat timely because the Rainier safety project doesn’t extend quite far enough north to cover it.”

    .
  • Terry Ave & Denny Way – Just half a mile from the last “winner”, 5th and Denny, Ryan Packer nominates Denny and Terry: “Impossible to cross Denny here, and getting more and more dangerous to even cross Terry. With a 40 story tower about to be constructed here, this one’s only going to get worse.”

  • 24th & Madison & John

    Turning left? Watch for pedestrians!

    24th Ave E & Madison St (& John) – A gigantic intersection on the east side of Capitol Hill where left-turning drivers often don’t notice pedestrians crossing due to the long distance across this intersection on a steep hill.
    .
  • NE 40th St  & 7th Ave NE

    Complicated intersection at NE 40th St & 7th Ave NE

    NE 40th St & 7th Ave NE – A bad intersection for people on foot, on bikes, and in cars! Skylar says: “My nomination would be NE 40th St and 7th Ave NE come together, on the west side of the U-District and a block east of the Ship Canal Bridge. This is a five-way intersection involving four (4!) different branches of NE 40th St (upper and lower forks that split, come together, split, and come together at various points), the Burke-Gilman Trail, and a poorly-thought-out cycle track that just dumps westbound cyclists into the intersection going the wrong way, with no visibility at all from the upper fork of 40th. The cycle track isn’t marked well so often drivers will continue on it east, forcing cyclists to take evasive action.”
    .
  • 15th Ave NW & NW Leary Way

    Concrete pillars and shadows make pedestrians vulnerable at 15th Ave NW & NW Leary Way

    15th Ave NW & Leary Ave NW – Liz says: “The Ballard Bridge makes visibility awful, and turning cars rarely look out for pedestrians. Moreover, the push-button activated walk signals don’t last long enough to get one all the way across 15th Ave NW. With bus stops for east/west and north/south lines on nearly every corner, it’s a recipe for encouraging peds to cross against the light. This intersection is the worst!”
    .
  • Montlake Blvd E & WA 520 – Narrow sidewalks, tons of traffic, and limited pedestrian crosswalks. If you’ve ever transferred buses here you know it can take 2-3 light cycles to get to where you need to go. A tip to avoid the lights is to take the stairs down to the freeway level, cross Montlake underneath, and then take the stairs back up. But, to be completely honest, any intersection that needs tips in order to be navigated effectively is a lousy intersection.

What is the worst intersection in Seattle?

  • Terry Ave & Denny Way (24%, 28 Votes)
  • NE 40th St & 7th Ave NE (22%, 25 Votes)
  • I-90 & Rainier Ave (18%, 21 Votes)
  • 15th Ave NW & Leary Ave NW (17%, 19 Votes)
  • Montlake Blvd E & WA 520 (16%, 18 Votes)
  • 24th Ave E & Madison St (& John) (3%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 115

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