Q: The Sound Transit 532 bus drops me off each afternoon in a situation where I have to walk across the southbound Interstate 405 onramp...
Q: The Sound Transit 532 bus drops me off each afternoon in a situation where I have to walk across the southbound Interstate 405 onramp to reach the Brickyard Park-and-Ride in Bothell. When I cross the street, I have to wave my hands or make eye contact since the drivers don’t seem to be looking for pedestrians. Any chance of giving drivers a red arrow while we Brickyard Park-and-Ride walkers have a “walk” sign to get across?
A: The state Department of Transportation (DOT) also is concerned about potential clashes between cars and people at this spot, and is seeking solutions, said Don Sims, a DOT traffic engineer.
While it seems sensible, a red-arrow signal may not be best, Sims said, because state law allows drivers to turn right on a red arrow after stopping. The state could post a “no right on red arrow” sign, but has found that many people ignore it and still turn right on red if no one is coming. Meanwhile, folks would be crossing the street with their guard down, thinking drivers won’t turn.
Until the state figures out what to do, keep up the good work making yourself visible. There were 13 pedestrian deaths in King County during November and December of 2004 and January 2005. Some are due to driver inattention, others to people racing across the road dressed in dark colors.
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“We applaud your efforts to cross safely, including making eye contact with drivers, and encourage drivers to watch for pedestrians, especially when making right turns and at crosswalks,” Sims said.
Q: My son was nearly hit in the crosswalk at 166th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 104th Street in Redmond again. This time, a truck hit his backpack. This crosswalk is on Education Hill within two to three blocks of several public schools. My 14-year-old uses the crosswalk about 7:35 a.m. on most mornings. Every week he complains of near misses. We need a traffic signal, illuminated roadway crosswalk lights and “no turn on red” signs immediately. Do we need to wait for a child to be killed before something is done?
A: There’s good news and bad news.
Got an Eastside traffic question? Send it to us by e-mail, email@example.com; by fax, 425-453-0449; by mail, The Seattle Times Eastside News Bureau, 1200 112th Ave. N.E., Suite C-145, Bellevue, WA 98004.
The good: a traffic light and crossing signals for this intersection, which currently has stop signs and a flashing red light, is included in Redmond’s transportation improvement plan.
The bad: The $300,000 project does not have funding, and isn’t scheduled for installation until 2009.
Jeff Palmer, Redmond’s traffic calming coordinator, said the city has monitored traffic at 166th and 104th for a long time. This is the first year that vehicle and pedestrian traffic has been high enough that federal guidelines recommend the city review the intersection for possible safety improvements, he said. That’s how it made it into the city’s list of future projects.
If you want the signal sooner, Palmer suggests checking the city’s Web site, www.ci.redmond.wa.us, for upcoming City Council meetings to tell city leaders of its importance.
“When this thing gets installed could change based on funding or any actions of the council at future meetings,” he said.
Karen Gaudette: 206-515-5618 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Got an Eastside traffic question? Send it to The Seattle Times Eastside News Bureau, 1200 112th Ave. N.E., Suite C-145, Bellevue, WA 98004. Fax: 425-453-0449. E-mail: email@example.com