An especially timely warning the day before little ghosts and goblins hit the streets of Queen Anne – slow down on neighborhood streets!
Even though many of the streets on the Boulevard are arterial streets, that doesn’t give drivers license to speed and roll through stop signs. Queen Anne Greenways has the goal of making our streets safer for pedestrians, but it’s a tough job.
An example, I’ve emailed SDOT about repainting the crosswalks at Queen Anne Ave N and Garfield St (the crosswalk by The Seattle Gym, a popular crossing point for people on their way home from a workout, and at Taylor Ave N and Galer St – part of the Galer Stairs that connect Upper Queen Anne to Lake Union. Both crosswalks are so faded that neither pedestrians nor cars can see them.
What was the response?
“Due to current budget constraints, SDOT had funding to remark a minimal number of crosswalks in 2013 out of approximately 6,000 crosswalks installed. The Pedestrian Master Plan provides us with a priority ranking that helps us direct our resources to those locations that have the highest need. Factors, such as collision history, traffic volumes, land use, and economic/social equity, were considered for the ranking. The Pedestrian Master Plan ensures that we make our decisions on whether to address requests that we receive from our residents fairly and in an informed way. At this time, our 2013 remark list has been completed and approved, and these locations did not rank high enough to make our 2013 remarking schedule. However, we will add this location to our 2014 list of potential remarks.”
I understand budget constraints, but here’s the odd thing – I submitted my request after they repainted existing bike lanes that were in perfect shape on Taylor Ave N. That’s right, they repainted something that didn’t need paint and ignored (or maybe didn’t even see) the super-faded crosswalk at Galer St. They lives of cyclists are important, but so are the lives of pedestrians – and crosswalks that are invisible to drivers should be a priority over bike lanes that are visible to all.
Not sure where other crosswalks along the Boulevard rank in the list, but check out this video filmed on Queen Anne that shows why we 1) need more crosswalks, and 2) need drivers to slow down.