Comments submitted (via web forms) on the Madison-Miller Transportation Study


Intersections: 15th & John Intersection

NB 15th betw John & Thomas: lane stripe betw thru lane & RT lane obliterated by utility (sewer?) work months ago; needs to be replaced!!! Also, the dual LT from EB John to NB 15th needs to be striped thru intxn and "LT ok" from right lane of EB John needs to be signed more clearly and obviously. (With Group Health right there, there are many motorists at the intxn who are unfamiliar with the channelization and are unaware til too late that they must be in the right lane of EB John to turn left if they want to continue east on Thomas....)

Thank you for your comments. I have referred the 15th Av striping issue ("obliterated" stripe) to our Channelization Unit for action. Also, I will discuss your suggestions for additional signing and markings to better direct motorists who wish to continue EB with other staff.


Tony Mazzella
Associate Transportation Planner
tony.mazzella@ci.seattle.wa.us
(206) 684-0811


Pedestrian: Something else

Republican/15th: Pedestrian crossings of 15th should be allowed on both of the crossings during BOTH the EB Republican AND WB Republican green phase (Republican St is offset at 15th, and when the EB and WB green phases were split a couple years ago (?), ped xings of 15th were allowed only during the EB Republican phase on the southerly x-walk and only during the WB Republican phase on the northerly x-walk. I know why the signals are phased this way (to eliminate LT-ped conflicts), but in reality the phasing is confusing and annoying to peds when they see 15th Ave go red but don't get the walk sign -- at which point they cross 15th against the don't-walk indication anyway...


Traffic calming: Something else

I love the idea of 2 hour parking zones in the commercial areas along Madison. I think there is a significant amount of commuter parking there and with the recent apartment buildings going in around Madison, we just can't afford to lose those spaces to people who don't live or work in the neighborhood.

Strategy 3: Regulate spaces in commercial areas
The creation of on-street regulations adjacent to businesses (such as 1-hour and 2-hour parking restrictions at Madison & Olive and/or load zones on the east side of Denny at Madison) will designate those areas for short-term customer parking. When this type of parking is available, area customers have less need to seek out parking in residential neighborhoods. Additionally, this removes spaces that may be used by commuters.


Traffic calming: Some or all of the above

I am opposed to reinstalling parking on the west side of 21st Ave facing the field. This would turn our street into a circus and make it difficult to pull out of our driveway. Miller playfield is extremely busy. Because the Parks Department refuses to close off the mid-block entrance on 21st Ave E., the parking on 21st Ave is the closest to the field. Therefore, soccer players and there families park on our street rather than in the parking lots provided for the field. Increasing parking on our street would just bring more cars and noise.

Instead, I strongly support adding traffic control structures and a permanent curb bulb (with plantings) on the corner of 21st and John.


Pedestrian: 19th & Republican

I like the idea of curb bulbs at this intersection as was discussed at previous meetings.

One thing that still is a concern is the speed of cars on this stretch of 19th. Many schools are located in the area and kids cross here. Is there a way to slow folks down by perhaps painting a crosswalk on the pavement, such as what exists at 19th and Harrison (down the street)?

Also, any requests for a round about at 18th and Republican? An accident occurs now and then and cars should be slowed at this major pedestrian crossing.

Thanks for all your help.

Thank you for your e-mail requesting a crosswalk at the intersection of 19th Avenue East and East Republican Street.

Although a legal crosswalk exists at every intersection, some locations have marked crosswalks. A marked crosswalk normally indicates one of two things. First, a marked crosswalk can indicate a preferred pedestrian crossing point. A preferred location is the safest place for a pedestrian to cross. Perhaps it is a location where lighting or visibility is best among a number of options, or where the potential for pedestrian-vehicle conflicts is lowest. In other words, we mark acrosswalk in a place where we want people to cross.

A marked crosswalk is also the location at which most pedestriansnaturally find themselves crossing. For a crosswalk to be useful,drivers must expect pedestrians at that location. I would like to emphasize that a crosswalk, in and of itself, does not increase safety. Neither do we find that it slows drivers. Rather, it is the channeling of pedestrians to a common location that raises driver awareness of a given crossing. We evaluate with care marked any crosswalk associated with a school. Decisions about the path on which to direct students are made cooperatively by the Seattle Department of Transportation and the School District, in conversation with the particular school in question. In this situation, marked crosswalks are located on 19th Avenue East, at both East Harrison Street and East Roy Street. Given that a marked crosswalk is intended to provide focus to a particular location, we are
cautious about placing crosswalks close to one another if there is no compelling reason to do so. In this case, the existing marked school crosswalks are the preferred crossing locations for students in this area.

I am forwarding your request for a traffic circle to John Marek in Neighborhood Transportation Services. He may be reached at (206) 684-5069, or via e-mail at john.marek@seattle.gov.

I trust that this response addresses your questions. Please contact me if you have questions. You may reach me at (206) 684-5124, or via e-mail at megan.hoyt@seattle.gov.

Thank you for writing. The Seattle Department of Transportation is committed to making the City of Seattle a better place in which to live, and suggestions from citizens such as you help us to address the transportation issues that we face.

Sincerely,

Megan Hoyt
Pedestrian Safety Specialist


general: Pedestrian issues

Please repair the sidwalk on the East side on 19th Ave between Madison and Thomas. This sidewalk has deteriorated much more than the sidewalk on the West side of 19th. I stumbled over a 'pot hole' in the sidewalk last week. Thank you


Traffic calming: 21st & 22nd: traffic circles

Traffic circles are an extreme hazard to pedestrains crossing near them. Vehicles are diverted directly at pedestrians attempting to cross parallel the the vehicle flow. Additionally, parked cars run higher risk of being hit by vehicles swerving back into their lanes. The new circles on Boyer are a classic example of this. Lastly, no effort seems to have been made by the city to educate drivers on how to properly use traffic circles (i.e. the big huge old one on Boyer.)


Pedestrian: 19th & Republican

Great Idea to have a curb bulb. We cross 19th at Republican almost every day with three children plus a stroller, and it is hard to find an opening in the fast-moving traffic to get everyone across.


Intersections: 19th & Republican intersection

Love this idea. Traffic is moving fast on 19th at this point in the street, having accellerated from the lights several blocks away in either direction. Crossing the street is treacherous! Even pulling out in a car is difficult, as the parked cars on 19th block visibility of oncoming traffic in both directions.


general: Something else

I would like to see a traffic circle installed at 18th and Republican. This uncontrolled intersection is the site of a head-on collision at least every six months. To my knowledge, nobody has been seriously hurt in any of these accidents so far (I have lived near this corner for almost seven years) but pedestrians at this intersection are clearly in danger. In a recent accident, a smashed up car ended up fully on the sidewalk and glass fragments ended up in my children's feet for weeks afterwards. Lucky that they weren't using sidewalk chalk when the accident happened!

Drivers accellerating up the hill on Republican meet with drivers accellerating from traffic circles one block away in either direction on 18th, and they are all moving too fast to stop in time. I think they rarely see each other.

I have repeatedly asked for Incident numbers from the Seattle Police, when the accidents have occurred, but they will not give them to me because it has not been my vehicle involved in the accidents. On one occasion, my car was parked at the intersection and was hit by a car involved in such a collision, but that was several years ago and the drivers did not leave a note, even!

PLEASE put this on your list for future consideration.

Thank you for your comments to the SDOT report. Your request for a traffic circle has been forwarded to John Marek the manager of our traffic calming program who will advise you on next steps.

Tony Mazzella
Associate Transportation Planner
tony.mazzella@ci.seattle.wa.us
(206) 684-0811



Intersections: 24th/Madison/John intersection

This intersection is big and wide. What about doing away with the light and using a traffic circle? This would allow better access to/from all six streets. But would it slow traffic down too much? Or is that a good thing (do people drive too fast going down Madison)?

Thank you for your comments and suggestion that a roundabout be installed to replace the existing traffic signal. At the present time, there does not yet exist a roundabout in the City of Seattle (as opposed to traffic circles on local streets of which there are hundreds). However, we are looking into the feasibility of a roundabout at selected arterial intersections, and have had some conceptual design work done by a nationally known expert on roundabouts. Funding remains a major obstacle, however, as costs can easily exceed $500,000 http://roundabout.kittelson.com/ is a good site to learn more about h7ow roundabouts work.

Tony Mazzella
Associate Transportation Planner
tony.mazzella@ci.seattle.wa.us
(206) 684-0811


Signals: Something else

Eastbound motorists on John St who wish to turn left onto 23rd Ave must wait a while for a green left turn arrow. There is a sign that says "Left turn on arrow only" or something like that. However, many people don't read that or see it. As a result, there are several problems. 1) People turn left before they get a left turn arrow, and because of the limited sight distance, this creates a high risk of collision with westbound motorists coming up John St. I have seen a number of these collisions. 2) For those that do know to wait for the arrow, they frequently get hasseled, honked, and yelled at while they are waiting, by eastbound motorists who see the green light and want to either go straight through or turn left.

SIMPLE PROPOSED SOLUTION: Add a red arrow to the left signal. That would make it crystal clear, no left turn until the green arrow comes on.


Signals: Pike/14th/Madison

I am interested in hearing what strategies SDOT is working on re. the northbound 14th Ave. P.M. delay at E. Madison. When the new residential/commercial bldg. is completed on 14th between E. Madison and E. Union the situation could be impacted (presumably for the worse.) Thanks.


Pedestrian: Something else

I believe there is a pedestrian safety issue at E. Madison and E. Pine. Peds. going west on Madison stepping into the crosswalk on the north side of the street are not particularly visible to westbound drivers turning onto Pine St. (and vice versa). This crossing gets a lot of ped. traffic as it is a few steps from the door of the Madison Market.


Traffic calming: Something else

 

I live on the 300 block of 22nd east. It is my opinion that signal issues on 23rd directly contribute to our traffic issues. When you stop people from arterial to arterial left turns, you encourage people in a hurry to find alternate paths.

From N bound 23rd, you cannot turn left onto John (arterial) so people zoom up the next 1 or 2 block north & zoom down 22nd. This is bad policy. There are also other restrictions at either 23'rd & John or 23& Madison that also incourage people to divert to side streets. The City needs to do all it can to encouage cross town travel to stay on arterials & off small residential streets. There are about 25 children fom 0-8 that live between John & mercer. Visibility is poor.

19 & Republican - I use bus route 12. At all times the busiest stop from John to Aloha is at Republican. Most pedestrians in that area cross 19th at Republican. To claim schools are trying to direct pedestrians to different cross walks, doesn't address the primary problem that people actually use the intersection at Republican & visibility is poor due to topography & parked vehicles.

Thanks for your comments on the M-M Study. I agree that part of the problem lies with the turn restrictions on 23rd at John. We are looking to see if we can make any modifications to help out.

Also as you mentioned, the turn restriction at Madison contributes to this issue. The problem is with the sharp angle at which the two streets intersect. It would be difficult for trucks to make that left turn from northbound 23rd to westbound Madison without crossing over the eastbound lane, so that turn restriction will stay.

As far as the crossing at 19th and Republican, while we won't be marking a crosswalk at this location I believe our pedestrian program has plans to construct curb bulbs there.. That should help improve visibility for pedestrians trying to cross.

Thanks again for your input.

John Marek, 684-5069, john.marek@seattle.gov
Supervisor
Neighborhood Traffic Engineering



Pedestrian: 15th & John

I concur with SDOT that an additional crosswalk across 15th Ave. E. north of the intersection (bringing one to the south east corner of 15th and Thomas IS UNSAFE. As in terrifying. The combination of turning emergency vehicles and turning buses, not to mention cars with bad breaks, is sufficient to create a serious safety hazard for crossing there.

However, there are other SERIOUS safety concerns at the intersection of 15th and E. John/Thomas:

1. The pavement for the crosswalk north/south across E. John Street at 15th Avenue E. is such a mess that it is amazing that more people are not killed here. TRIPPING HAZARD.

2. The nicely installed curb ramp on 15th Ave. E. just south of the existing crosswalk across 15th Avenue E. (at Safeway) and E. Thomas is poorly graded and becomes a puddle with any slight rainfall. Does it work for wheelchairs? (We are right next to a major medical facility here.)

3. Visibility has been seriously impaired on the north west corner of 15th Ave. E. and E. John/E. Thomas since Safeway rebuilt their store and put a huge column right in the middle of the sight distance. This means that it is quite difficult for drivers to see around the corner (turning right or west onto E. John St.) On the other hand, pedestrians do not behave themselves crossing the street between the bus stops (between the park and Safeway). Our most recent pedestrian fatality resulted from someone rushing across this street in the face of an oncoming car. This situation is particularly bad at times of the year when the sun sets directly to the west. Solutions? Would a mirror help? The bus drivers might have an idea. Would fencing the E. John Street sidewalk from the bus stop to the intersection with metal open work barriers help?

4. We experienced a strange "road rage" incident this past weekend. Someone DESTROYED the park bench just east of the bus stop on E. John Street! And we hear that several cars were rammed by a vehicle in the Safeway parking lot. Please, can we get the bench replaced? It provides needed seating and also provides a barrier between the sidewalk and the park that protects the park a bit.

5. While I love the little flower bed in the park right at the corner of the intersection, and appreciate the kindness of the parks landscaper who keeps it pretty for us, it would certainly make sense to remove it and pave this area as part of the sidewalk. There is never enough q-ing space for crossing, and often the space needs to include room for wheelchairs, strollers, walkers, canes, dogs, in addition to just people. I observe that people cross the intersection northward from the park to the Safeway against the signal regularly 'cause there just isn't room to stand there.

 

Thank you for your e-mail about the intersection of 15th Avenue East and East John Street/East Thomas Street. You raised several concerns. I will speak to them in the order in which you raised them.

You mentioned the poor quality of pavement in the crosswalk that runs north/south across East John Street, at 15th Avenue East. To report streets that have areas of damaged pavement (including crosswalks) and minor potholes, please call the following hotline number. Streets north of Denny Way: (206) 684-7508, and streets south of Denny Way: (206) 386-1218. Please provide as specific information as possible: the exact location, including the address, and the side of the street or intersection in question.

You brought to my attention the curb ramp on 5th Avenue East, just south of the existing crosswalk across 15th Avenue East and East Thomas Street. You mentioned that it becomes a puddle when it rains. Please call Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) to report street drainage problems of this nature. SPU maintenance crews clean street inlets and culverts,
and maintain ditches that serve street areas. Staff in SPU's Water Resource Management division also investigate persistent flooding problems. The numbers to call: streets north of Denny Way: (206) 684-7506; streets south of Denny Way: (206) 386-1230.

You expressed concern about driver visibility at the northwest corner of 15th Avenue East and East John Street. The visibility of drivers, and the ability of pedestrians to see vehicles that are approaching, depends upon the characteristics of a given roadway and the absence of physical obstructions between driver and pedestrian. We do find that a
significant factor relating to the comfort of a pedestrian who is crossing and the ability of a driver to process all that he or she is seeing, is the speed at which a driver makes the turn. Given the tight radius of that corner, most vehicles are unable to turn rapidly.

In this situation, sight distance at the corner is satisfactory (as distinct from the approach to the corner, which is blocked by the column). A driver is able to see pedestrians, including pedestrians crossing outside of the marked crosswalk.

I see a significant drawback to the concept of installing a barrier to prevent crossings outside the marked crosswalk. Given the setbacks required from objects placed at the curb, the end result would be a reduction in the width of the sidewalk and therefore a reduction in usable pedestrian space. We rarely install pedestrian barriers, in large part because they convey a "pedestrian unfriendly" message. We would prefer to influence peoples' habits with good design and sound education.

You mention the recent destruction of a park bench just east of the bus stop on East John Street. Please call Drew Robinson at King County Metro, in order to inquire about replacement of the park bench. Drew's phone number is (206) 684-2105. You may also reach him by e-mail, at drew.robinson@metrokc.gov.

Lastly, you asked about the small flowerbed in the park at the corner of the intersection. I would suggest that you call Carol Baker in Department of Parks and Recreation. She would be happy to direct you to a staff person within Parks with whom you might want to have a conversation about the possible removal of the park for an increased sidewalk area. You may reach Carol at (206) 684-4750.

Thank you also for your comment about an additional crosswalk across 15th Avenue East at East John Street. Staff at SDOT indeed has no plans to change the operation of the intersection at this time.

Thank you for taking the time to write and express your concerns. If you wish to have further conversation with me about pedestrian safety issues, please call me at (206) 684-5124 or e-mail me at megan.hoyt@seattle.gov.

Sincerely,

Megan Hoyt. Pedestrian Safety Specialist


Intersections: Something else

I would like to see no parking 30 feet from the crosswalk at 19th E & E. Harrison. When turning from E. Harrison on to 19th E. it is VERY difficult to see the Southbound traffic around the cars parked at the crosswalk. This is very dangerous & I have come close to having several accidents.

I would also like to see E. Harrison between 18th E & 19th E. be PAVED & the cobblestone removed. There are numerous potholes & can cause damage to cars.


general: Parking & Intersections

1) This has to do with Parking near major intersections.

I'm asking that parking enforcement enforce the 10-foot no parking zones adjacent to major streets. Cars parked up to the intersection on both sides of a narrow street, which intersects a major street, creates a hazard.

I live at approximately 25th Ave East & East Mercer. As you drive up to 23rd Ave. East from a number of streets north of Madison, you find cars parked on both sides of the street, very close to the intersection. When this happens, two cars cannot at the same time approach (attempt to enter) 23rd and turn off 23rd. Sometimes this results in that the car turning off the main street (23rd) is left "hanging" on the main street as fast moving traffic bears down anticipating that the car will continue to exit the main street.

Please tell me what is being done to address this safety concern.

2) Re. The intersection of 25 Ave. East and East Thomas.
Due to the high bank on the west side of 25th Ave E., to the north of Thomas St., I ask that cars be restricted from parking near (perhaps 50 feet) from that intersection. You cannot see around that corner and I have witnessed several near misses as cars and bicycles coming down Thomas roll through the T intersection. An alternative would be to put in a stop sign on Thomas. Please let me know if the current setup concerns you.



Pedestrian: 23rd & Thomas

The sign for those pedestrians going west across 23rd at Thomas (many middle-schoolers getting off the 48 bus to go up to Meany School) says 2 serious accidents to pedestrians have happened at this crosswalk in the last two years. The elimination or serious upgrade to signal drivers that this is a pedrestrian crosswalk must be made in conjunction with Metro's decision whether or not to allow a bus stop for the buses 43 and 48 going north.

I understand that Metro is currently keeping the bus stop at 23 and Thomas because of bus user comments. I use this bus stop often, understand why it is important, but I am sure that the bus stop users and drivers can/must be persuaded that pedestrian safety, esp. for our children, elders, and disabled, is paramount.

If we are to have a crosswalk there, I suggest a caution light (chartreuse color such as at Union and about 17th) as well as blinking lights installed into the pavement, as at the Cherry St. crossing near Seattle University.

I am a pedestrian/busrider/driver, and in the past a bikerider, in this area. I also spent a year recovering from a pedestrian accident as I was crossing John, going north, at 23rd, legally with the light on Feb. 7, 2001, about 8:00 am. "Sunlight in the driver's eyes" prevented her from seeing me. Accidents do happen, and pedestrian/bikerider accidents are always serious.


General: Some or all of the above

Ballfield leagues need to strongly encourage their players to park in the parking lots. Better signage around the ballfield would help. Teachers should be required to park in the lots provided instead of the side streets. My block on E.Thomas between 21st and 22nd always has the same teachers parking on the block. I don't have off street parking. There is not an alley. I have to park on the street. The teachers have a lot. They should use it. It's a lazy, inconsiderate habit that several teachers have developed.
One thing this city doesn't need is traffic circles. They are a hazard to pedestrians. The circle at 16th Ave.E. and E. Harrison is one glaring example. Cars can't see pedestrians crossing. The island is a dark blob in the center of the intersection obscuring everyone's visibility. I think trafic islands have become a blight on the urban landscape.
Before we try more expensive ways of stopping people going the wrong way on 21st Ave.E., why not use more emphatic looking wrong-way/one-way signs at E.Thomas and 21st Ave.E. Parking should be allowed on the west side of 21st Ave.E. by the ballfield.


Parking: Evening RPZ at 19th & Mercer

In addition to the impacts on the neighborhood from evening parking at the Kingfish Cafe I would request you add to your consideration the neighborhood impacts from all day, illegal Jubille Women's Center staff parking in the Zone 4 area around 18th Ave. E and E. Roy St. and the impacts of illegal parking by parents and parishioners from St. Joseph's School and Church. As a resident of this area I can attest to the area resident's lack of access to parking anywhere near their homes and the unsafe conditions created by illegal parking during church or school events. Rather than adding just an evening RPZ to the existing Zone 4 area I would request consideration of an all day RPZ to protect the area's residential parking and safe streets.


St. Joseph's traffic

Is there any data, responses or comments relating to traffic flow, volume, speeds and circulation on Roy Street between 15th Ave E. and 18th Ave. East. What is St. Joseph's Church and School doing to provide a suitable parking arrangements for its staff, teachers and parishioners? St. Joseph's volume, on-street parking and impact on the area of Roy Street, West of the School and on 17th Avenue E. is very disturbing and the speeds are dangerous.


Intersections: Something else

Every morning, I travel eastbound through the intersection of John St. and 23rd Ave. At this point, there are two lanes for traffic, but it is not marked what kind of progress can be made from each lane (left, straight, right). What happens is usually one of the following situations:

1) Cars intending to go straight wait in both lanes, possibly assuming that the left lane intends to turn left (possibly due to signage about the left turn arrow (although that, in itself is sometimes ignored)). When the light turns green, both cars head straight forward and have to merge in the intersection to avoid hitting parked cars on the east side of the intersection - not the safest...

2) Cars pull up in the left lane, thinking they will go straight, since the car(s) in front of them have no turn signal, only to find that these previously existing drivers do in fact, intend to make a left. The cars behind these drivers who signal at the last minute try to cut over into the right hand lane to swerve around into the path of people who are coming up in that right lane in an effort to go straight through the light - not the safest...

I think it would be helpful to mark what should be happening in each lane. Is the left lane intended to be left turn only, or left /and/ straight? Is the right lane a right turn only? Or possibly for traffic flow reasons I don't understand, like needs at different times of day, it is meant to be ambiguous?

We are planning to implement some changes which we hope can improve the existing condition. Currently, the left turn arrow comes up at the end of the through movement phase we are going to change it to start with
the EB through movement at the beginning of the phase. This will help to clear out all the left turning vehicles and reduce the queue on the fast lane. Also the existing sign directing drivers to turn left with the left turn arrow will be upgraded. We hope those changes will make an improvement.

Adiam Emery <Adiam.Emery@Seattle.Gov>


 

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