Pedestrian Safety in NE Seattle

You are likely seeing some of the silhouettes at locations around our neighborhood. This last Sunday, November 20th, Janine Blaeloch from Lake City Greenways invited the community in Lake City to take part in “World Day of Remembrance” for those who have died in traffic. Groups met around the city to post the silhouettes representing 234 people who lost their lives on our streets in the past ten years.
6 silhouettes were installed in Lake City.
  • 3 on Lake City Way at NE 110th
  • 1 at 15th Ave NE and NE 145th
  • 1 at 30th Ave NE and NE 145th
  • 1 at NE 125th between 25th and 26th avenues NE

     “it is a very moving and worthwhile way of paying tribute to people who have lost their lives to traffic violence and reminding us all as we pass that we have each others life in our hands” – Janine Blaeloch

  • LCFF asked Dan Keefe, President of the Meadowbrook Community Council to contribute an article on traffic incidents in the Meadowbrook neighborhood.

    Since April 2016 through the end September, the Meadowbrook area has experienced a seemingly disproportionate number of pedestrian/bike and car collisions with five documented incidents. Sadly, one involving a bicyclist resulted in a fatality as the other four were non-fatal pedestrian collisions all within the “safety” of crosswalks. 

    Meadowbrook, an area roughly bounded by Lake City Way and Sand Point Way and Ne 115th and 95th Streets on the north and south, is an area that experiences  a lot of hustle and bustle. Meadowbrook is home to three schools, all within a few blocks of one another, a community center, numerous sports fields, Meadowbrook Pond and natural area, and a park that contains a community garden and orchard.  The hustle and bustle ranges from a combination of very busy periods when schools start and are let out and during sporting events to just a steady stream of use involving visits to the community center and the Pond. 

    In the broader context, the Meadowbrook incidents appear to be part of a trend occurring in North Seattle as illustrated by Janine Blaelock, Lake City Greenways and LCNA, in the following statement in a letter to City Council, dated Oct. 18, 2016, asking for funding support for the Vision Zero program. Therein she stated: ” There has been a rash of serious injuries and fatalities on our north Seattle Streets, involving walkers, bicycle riders, and drivers. In a normal year, two people die while riding their bicycles in our city, yet just in the past month, two people have been killed while bicycling in north Seattle. A month ago, a 79-year-old woman was hit by a driver while traversing a crosswalk near the Meadowbrook Community Center. All in all, from 2015 to the present,there have been 24 serious collisions in north Seattle, of which 6 have resulted in death.”

    Below is a list of the collision incidents that have occurred in the Meadowbrook area since the first if this year:

    • April 16th – pedestrian struck in crosswalk at NE 105th St and 35th Ave Ne,
    • May 17th – pedestrian struck in crosswalk at Ne 110th St and 35th Ave Ne,
    • August 23rd – bike struck at Ne 98th St and Ravenna intersection,
    • September 17thfatal bike/car (hit and run) collision at Ne 98th St and 27th Ave Ne, and finally,
    • September 23rd – hit and run involving a 79yo ex-teacher from John Rogers Elementary in crosswalk between the Pond and Meadowbrook Center. To make this an even more egregious act, the offending car passed on the right of a car properly stopped to allow her to cross and, of course, sped away. There is still no word on whether the person has been arrested. Good news is that the injured party will recover, but likely in a much diminished capacity.

    Interestingly, and sadly, most of these very intersections were identified as problematic in a report prepared by the Meadowbrook Community Council’s Sidewalk Committee, which was submitted to SDOT in April 2016 (specifically to Brian Dougherty, Dir., Safe Routes to School and copied to CM D. Juarez). Also of interest is that three of the five incidents listed above occurred within a five block stretch of 35th Ave Ne. It appears that, again sadly, it took a serious person/car collision at three of the five locations to get SDOT to act and, happily, SDOT has agreed to fund upgrades for the intersections/crosswalks at 98th and Ravenna ( painted  and artistic  crosswalks), and with pedestrian-activated rectangular flashing beacons on 35th Ave at the Pond and 105th St crosswalks. Hopefully, all will be completed within the first quarter of 2017.

    The Sidewalk Committee of the Meadowbrook Community Council continues to work to identify other problem intersections and to push for sidewalks in critical areas. It will periodically prepare addenda to its original report with new issues or, applying pressure as appropriate, to deal with those problem areas initially identified. The report was praised by SDOT when first received, because it provided them with a ready-made list of important projects to consider in the future as funding and schedule permits. We look forward to continuing to build on the positive relationship we have developed with SDOT through Mr Dougherty and other staff as we strive to make our streets, sidewalks and intersection safer in the north. Please feel free to contact me if you have interest or concerns.”

    Dan Keefe, President – Meadowbrook Community Council