Cathy wrote:

This Wednesday 1/2/13, the Wallingford Community Council will discuss and rank the projects from Wallingford that will be submitted for consideration for Bridging the Gap large project funds. Four projects, (three street improvements west of Stone and a signal that I am supporting) will be discussed around 7:15pm at the Wallingford Community Council meeting in the Good Shepherd Center (meetings are usually in room 202). If any of you can show up and speak up as supportive neighbors, that would be great.

If this were a perfect world, I’d recommend several signals along 40th (and 50th) between Stone and I-5. I’m not convinced Sunnyside and 40th is the perfect location for a single new signal — but any additional slowing and control would be great! There is no reason you as neighbors need to tolerate car speeds in excess of 35mph along 40th and 50th.  Engineering solutions are needed to slow traffic to 30mph and to encourage cars to stop for people attempting to cross these densely populated residential streets.

Screen Shot 2012-12-31 at 10.52.52 AM

I’m hoping a traffic light on 40th is ranked highly and funded. I do believe Wallingford south of 40th is unnecessarily divided from central Wallingford because traffic on 40th moves much faster than it needs to and cars don’t stop for people who walk and bike. That speed, combined with a lack of traffic control, keeps people from walking to stores, using the bus, walking to school, walking dogs, and biking.
Meg wrote a very nice letter of support. Thank you!
As a resident of lower Wallingford (south of 40th) with at student at John Stanford Elementary 

(42nd & Latona), I am well aware of the hazards posed by high-speed traffic along 40th.  
A signal at N 40th St. and Sunnyside Avenue North would create a safe route to this school, as well as Hamilton International Middle School and numerous preschools. It would also support many of the amendments to the South Wallingford Neighborhood Plan.  My 2012 proposal to install a crosswalk from the Burke Gilman Trail at Latona & N. Pacific (another hazardous arterial) was prioritized for funding in 2013. This proposed traffic signal would complement this project, and help to create a calmer, safer neighborhood for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
I hope to see a few of you on Wednesday. Tell your neighbors too.
Consider them told, Cathy.
Note: If you would like to suport this proposal, you can email [email protected][email protected]

Subject: United Wallingford Greenways – NSF application # 2390895358

Emails need to be received by January 3, 2013.

  1. neighbor said,

    how about a left green arrow on 45th turning onto wallingford ave?

    Tue, January 1 at 10:55 am
  2. Dennis said,

    Seems like a good way to prioritize Sunnyside as a north-south pedestrian pathway through the neighborhood – especially with the pedestrian signals already in place at Sunnyside/N 45th and Sunnyside/N 50th.

    Tue, January 1 at 12:46 pm
  3. Ian said,

    I second the left turn arrow for Westbound 45th at Wallingford. The signal revision for the bus now prevents cars from turning left ahead of the Eastbound traffic. This may be safer but makes for a frustrating wait through multiple cycles or more lefts on red. It also means that the fastest route to lower Wallingford from I-5 is past Latona school, which also adds to the rush along 40th.

    Tue, January 1 at 12:53 pm
  4. moonenhancedthruexercise said,

    I agree with the left turn green arrow from 45th toWallingford.

    I question but understand a traffic light on 4oth at Sunnyside or Meridian.

    I’d like to see a throft store in the old Tullys.

    I’d like to Wallingford Community Council, WEving WA and other groups meet in the Solid Ground building.
    I’d like to have the Northgate residents be nudged to a food bank in their neighborhood.
    How about very agressive ticketign of drivers using cellphones.. and of pedestrians who are texting using cellphones and just walk out in front of cars?

    Tue, January 1 at 5:19 pm
  5. Rhysling said,

    Adding a traffic light on 40th would be sheer goofiness!

    Let’s start with putting in one of those radar speed signs. Next, we can ask the SPD to kindly set up one of those nice, revenue-producing speed traps, especially while the school zone is in effect.

    How many of us neighbors want to sit for 30 seconds at an empty 40th & Sunnyside intersection waiting for the light to change? Anyone… ? Bueller… ?

    Tue, January 1 at 5:44 pm
  6. connie Campbell said,

    Having lived on N 40th St for bunches of many years, my husband and I have seen a lot of accidents both cars and bikes. At certain times of year the sun is so bright going west a driver can’t see bikes screeming down going East.Trying to get out of the drive way is is a game trying not to get the rush hour salute or being yelled at. If not a light’,which I think is a wonderful idea, maybe a speed bump. If it is bad for buses, maybe they are going too fast. Sitting on our front porch watching cars turning into the sun and getting crunched,someones pet getting smushed or bikers sliding down the street on their face is not fun so we sit out back. We must all take responsibility for ourselves but a light at Sunnyside or a speed bump would really help.

    Tue, January 1 at 5:47 pm
  7. Lisa said,

    Let’s not add any more lights to 50th, please. It’s already pokey enough as it is. Since it’s mostly down to one lane in each direction now, it takes forever to get anywhere on it east or west between Stone Way and I-5. I would, however, encourage the addition of some crosswalks at various points along 50th to help pedestrians.

    Tue, January 1 at 7:16 pm
  8. Kimberly said,

    I am all in favor of a light along 40th. They have had speed traps there and it doesn’t make a lasting impression on drivers. There is a 9 block stretch between the stoplight at Wallingford and the stop sign at Latona. Trying to cross anywhere in between (especially during rush hour) is an exercise in frustration and also unsafe.

    Although drivers are legally requried to stop for pedestrians trying to cross 40th at an intersection, most of them don’t. Even when I was 9 months pregnant or pushing my kiddo in the stroller, or 9 months pregnant AND pushing a toddler in the stroller, drivers wouldn’t stop. They won’t stop for me now unless I practically accost them with an orange flag.

    I WOULD be willing to sit for 30 seconds at a light on 40th if it meant that when I was walking I could cross the street safely. With all of the bus stops along 40th and the fact that lots of kids have to cross 40th to get to JSIS, I think it’s silly that there is nothing in place there already.

    Tue, January 1 at 8:30 pm
  9. Gary Anderson said,

    I live at 40th and Sunnyside and I would definitely not like to see a traffic light installed at this intersection. Sunnyside is not and should not become a north south arterial.

    I agree that traffic moves too fast on 40th and pedestrian crossing is at times difficult. I don’t think adding a signal will improve this. I’d rather see marked and painted crosswalks at several crossing locations and possible a pedestrian demand signal (like at 45th and Sunnyside) somewhere along 40th. There must be more creative ways to control speed that to add traffic signals.

    I don’t think pedestrians would go out of there way east or west several blocks to cross at a light.

    I have lived at this location for 35 years and have never seen a speed trap or a car stopped for speeding. Perhaps more enforcement of the existing speed limit, especially during rush hours, should be considered.

    Tue, January 1 at 9:06 pm
  10. Josie said,

    I would like to contribute to the council meeting but won’t be available to attend. Can I email someone?

    One comment I’d like to put out there to my neighbors that drive on 40th – THANK YOU to those who stop for my toddler and I on our way to preschool every morning (many of you do). The toddler really gets a kick out of waving the flag at you and then seeing you obey it.

    Tue, January 1 at 9:09 pm
  11. Kimberly said,

    A pedestrian demand light would be sufficient to meet my needs as a pedestrian.

    WashDOT does not support crosswalks without lights because studies have demonstrated that they increase accidents instead of decreasing them. Pedestrians think they are invulnerable in a crosswalk and don’t cross as defensively as they would if there were no marked crosswalk. Drivers don’t stop for pedestrians either way, so it’s a net loss for the pedestrians.

    I agree that Sunnyside should not become an arterial, and I think the plan that has been submitted includes things like traffic calming circles to help dissuade drivers from using it as such.

    Two years ago when I was walking my son to JSIS in the mornings, there was a speed trap set up just before you hit the stop sign at Latona, when the school zone was in effect. They were there off and on for several months. And they were busy. But as soon as they weren’t there anymore, it was business as usual.

    Tue, January 1 at 9:16 pm
  12. Kimberly said,

    @Josie, I just added email contact information to the bottom of the story. Cathy sent it along for people to use if they can’t make the meeting. Thanks!

    Tue, January 1 at 9:23 pm
  13. Gary Anderson said,

    I would prefer that SDOT come up with a more creative way to slow traffic on 40th. When I drive the speed limit or slightly under, I collect a lot of tailgaters.

    Tue, January 1 at 9:25 pm
  14. Fruitbat said,

    It’s not just a matter of slowing traffic of 40th, it’s a matter of halting the flow so that pedestrians–and north- or south-bound drivers–can cross. I’ll go many blocks out of my way to cross at Wallingford, where there’s a light; it would be very useful to have other traffic-light crossings on 40th.

    Tue, January 1 at 10:26 pm
  15. Ben said,

    What are the three street improvements west of Stone?

    Wed, January 2 at 9:21 am
  16. moonenhancedthruexercise said,

    thanks Ben. I am also curious

    Wed, January 2 at 11:52 am
  17. moodenhancedthruexercise said,

    How about crosswalks?
    I am against a light.. yet I know itis probably difficult for pedestrians to cross.

    I find it a challenge to know for sure when pedestrians are alert, ready to cross vs.. standing playing on ther phones ipods.. etc..

    Wed, January 2 at 12:29 pm
  18. James Whitaker said,

    I could never agree to any more traffic lights on 40th. The last thing this neighborhood needs is another 45th/50th-style traffic snarl. I also don’t agree that it’s particularly a high speed corridor and I drive it every day, several times a day. I also don’t have any difficulty crossing 40th as a pedestrian and I also frequently stop to allow pedestrians to cross and so do others. As far as Sunnyside being a N-S pedestrian corridor, that’s nonsense. I’ve been walking in this neighborhood for 11 years and it never occurred to me that I was supposed to be walking on specific streets. Where I do have a problem crossing is on 45th. If we are going to spend any money on traffic signals, perhaps we should repair and re-time the lights on the Latona corridor. I know, Seattle doesn’t do repair, we just tear things down and build new ones, but maybe just this one time… If you’re bent on a new light, Corliss and 45th would be a good location or maybe just upgrade Sunnyside and 45th to a full traffic light. Moreover, maybe it’s about time to do something to get traffic moving on 45th, not stop it from moving on 40th. I’d get rid of the bus bulbs, for starters. Then I’d think about coordinating lights. I would second the motion to place a protected left turn on 45th and Wallingford.

    Wed, January 2 at 1:16 pm
  19. James Whitaker said,

    Also, for what it’s worth, I just looked at the city traffic accident data and found that there have been no accidents on 40th Ave between Wallingford and Latona for, at least, the last three years.

    Is this database complete? I don’t know, it’s just what I found.

    Wed, January 2 at 1:42 pm
  20. CL said,

    Wasn’t there a child killed or seriously injured by a speeding vehicle on 40th in recent years? Anyone?

    I agree that people drive too fast on 40th in general. Just yesterday I was nearly hit by a car that swerved out into my lane to avoid waiting behind a bus that stopped for passengers. As far as I can tell, the driver had been held up for all of 20 seconds before he become impatient and swung his car out in front of oncoming traffic. Maybe slowing down traffic on 40th would discourage this type of mentality — i.e., I’m entitled to drive fast here even though it’s a residential area because there is a long stretch of road with no stop signs or traffic lights, and screw anyone who gets in my way.

    Wed, January 2 at 3:41 pm
  21. Gary Anderson said,

    40th does carry a lot of traffic during morning and afternoon rush hours and it can be difficult for pedestrians and cars to cross. If I need to cross in a car, I will typically turn right onto 40th then turn left at the next intersection — much safer than trying to cross both lanes. If I were a south of 40th pedestrian trying to get to the JSIS I would walk down to Latona and cross where the crossing guards are located before and after school. During non rush hour times it’s very easy to negotiate 40th crossing 40th as a pedestrian and driver.

    I don’t understand the rationale behind the bus bulbs and left turn lane islands at several intersections on 45th and on Stone. Why have a left turn lane if you block it with an island?

    Wed, January 2 at 3:48 pm
  22. Mike said,

    I’ve changed my commute route down to 40th after experiencing delays on 45th due to the new bus bulbs. I can only imagine other drivers have also switched routes. Has anyone noticed an increase in traffic on 40th?

    I always stop for pedestrians whenever i see them waiting to cross. Although it can be hard to spot them if they’re wearing dark clothes at night with the glare of oncoming traffic. Maybe simply having well lit crossings or on-demand flashing orange lights (Like they have down on Alaska Way) could be a solution.

    Wed, January 2 at 4:45 pm
  23. moodenhancedthruexercise said,

    The bus bulbs.. haha have made 45th a parkinglot. i also go to 40th more often.

    Wed, January 2 at 5:14 pm
  24. Buster G. said,

    Wow! All the suggestions for solving the pedestrian-vulnerability problem!

    Allow me to add one more.

    What may be needed is a mechanism to repair drivers’ patience modules, which seem to be inactivated for many folk once they get behind a steering wheel.

    Wed, January 2 at 5:58 pm
  25. Barb said,

    I walk to John Stanford International School most mornings around 9 am with my son. There is a Seattle School District crossing guard at 40th and Latona each school day in the morning and afternoon. The crossing guard, who is new this year, often remarks as to how fast drivers drive and how inattentive they are in the school zone, where the speed limit is 20 mph. This is an intersection where there is a crosswalk, crossing flags, and two hours per day an adult with a day glow yellow jacket waving a flag. Plus flashing lights when the crossing guard is on site. Yet drivers still speed! Last time the motorcycle cops made a visit, they wrote 8 speeding tickets by the time my son and I crossed 40th. I vote for cameras.

    Wed, January 2 at 6:49 pm
  26. James Whitaker said,

    The bus bulbs are there because people who ride busses are more important than the rest of us, so they get traffic priority, always. The Island is to prevent pissed off motorists from passing the busses which are blocking traffic(sometimes for 5 minutes at a time with no apparent cause, and yes, I have timed them). Don’t you just love the islands in the turn lane on Stone Way, strategically placed to make it dangerous and confusing to turn left onto 43rd. Those are there because bicyclists are more important than the rest of us, though I’ve never understood what dubious benefit is supposed to accrue to them in this particular scheme. Traffic engineering around is Seattle is amateur hour combined with special interests.

    Wed, January 2 at 6:56 pm
  27. James Whitaker said,

    I vote for more motorcycle cops writing tickets – particularly for motorists who refuse to stop for pedestrians on 45th, but yes, certainly for enforcing school zones. I hate cameras, though – too Orwellian. I’d rather employ people who actually witness the infraction and write a ticket.

    Wed, January 2 at 6:59 pm
  28. moodenhancedthruexercise said,

    James.. going north or south on Stone to 43rd? I cant figure out the need for these but they dont seem to bother me going north and turning left.

    And again, what are the improvements west of Stone?

    Wed, January 2 at 8:06 pm
  29. James Whitaker said,

    Sorry. Going southbound on Stone.

    Wed, January 2 at 9:35 pm
  30. Fruitbat said,

    So, James, you’re saying automobile drivers are more important than the rest of us?

    Wed, January 2 at 10:47 pm
  31. James Whitaker said,

    No, Fruitbat, I said nothing of the sort. I implied that bus riders and bicyclists shouldn’t have priority over everyone else.

    Wed, January 2 at 11:51 pm
  32. iowagirl said,

    I am fine with cameras anywhere.

    I don’t think 40th is as bad as others think it is. I walk it a lot, drive it a lot. In my experience with the 20mph school zone, I think that drivers are being conscientious and always slowing down (who needs that ticket?) Maybe I have just had rare good experiences.

    45th and W’ford is dangerous. Drivers going west on 45th, constantly drive through the red light, blocking the intersection for drivers going southbound on Wallingford, with the little jog across 45th. Super dangerous. I do think that a green turn signal on 45th going west on Wallingford is a good idea.

    Drivers consistently go through the red light on N45th to turn south on W’ford. Turning south (left) from 45th is pretty much impossible at any intersection, cause of east bound traffic on 45th. I solve this by going out of my way to get to the green arrow turn by the QFC exit. Way too dangerous to turn left or south, from 45th going west.

    Thu, January 3 at 9:42 am
  33. Wallyhood said,

    @james, I think the idea is that bus riders and bicyclists have a much lower carrying cost for the city (i.e., maintaining roads for cars is much, much more expensive on a per capita basis than for bus riders and for bicyclists) so the city is seeking to incent people to switch from being car drivers to bicyclists / bus riders. The alternative is to raise taxes to maintain the roads for car drivers (or to let the roads decay and become unsafe).

    I don’t think they get priority (i.e., if you think add up all things the city does for cars vs bicyclists vs bus riders, my guess is there are lots in all the columns), but that is why there are some special efforts made for those classes. My opinion is that that makes sense.

    Remember, if nothing else, every person on a bicycle/bus instead of a car is one less person taking up a driving spot on your commute path! Imagine if all those people on the bus that you’re behind were in cars. I imagine you’d be waiting even longer.

    Thu, January 3 at 10:57 am
  34. Donn said,

    That basically sounds right to me, minus a semantic fine point – when we’re talking about incentives to move away from the automobile, it’s worth bearing in mind that the city doesn’t provide all these incentives – physical health, lower cost of ownership for example. There are plenty of people who have been riding bicycles etc. all along, and it seems reasonable to imagine that with some modest accommodations there would be more, to the mutual benefit of all concerned. That’s how I understand the point of initiatives like this – prioritizing transit in places, adding bicycle support in other places – it’s “enabling” people who already manifestly want alternatives to the automobile, by making transit efficient, and bicycling and walking safe. As opposed to some kind of coercion, which of course wouldn’t work anyway.

    Thu, January 3 at 1:01 pm
  35. Cathy said,

    Thanks all who came out to the Wallingford Community Council meeting on Jan 2 to encourage the Council to select N 40th St. as their first choice – making the street more compatible for people who walk and bike including transit users, kids walking to school, and dog walkers.

    Next “hurdle” to success is the Lake Union District Council this Monday, Jan 7 at History House where we will present at 5:30pm. If you are a neighbor (especially a neighbor who lives south of 40th) and want to comment on crossing 40th Street, please raise your hand and speak up at this meeting! History House is in Fremont under Aurora at 790 N 34th Street.

    Each of the SIX project proponents will be given up to five minutes to present their proposal. Lake Union District Council members will then conduct email balloting to determine the THREE that will move forward for further analysis.
    the six projects under consideration are:
    1. Woodland Park Ave Greenway (study a safe route from Lake Union to the Zoo)
    2. United Wallingford (that is us! a traffic signal to help people who walk and bike cross 40th!)
    3. Stone Way, N Northlake Way, Waterway 22 Pedestrian Walkway (connecting Burke Gilman and Gasworks Park)
    4. Phinney Ave N street calming
    5. Pedestrian crosswalk – MOHAI & Lake Union access off Westlake
    6. Green Lake Way planted medians

    Many of you are clearly interested in safe, healthy streets in Wallingford. Fantastic!

    Please consider joining Wallingford Greenways:

    Thu, January 3 at 3:20 pm
  36. jd said,

    Speaking as a bicycle commuter and a fairly frequent driver of 40th, I do not see any reason to configure this particular arterial for bicycles. Why would I bike on 40th when there’s the Burke-Gilman a few blocks south, and the fantastic new greenway a few blocks north on 43rd?

    I definitely would support adding a crosswalk somewhere between Wallingford and Eastern, but Corliss seems more like the halfway point. There are already two crosswalks closer to John Stanford, one at a stop sign, so I’m not sure the argument for school safety is particularly strong.

    Thu, January 3 at 9:32 pm
  37. Donn said,

    Actually the proposed signal is supposed to help bicyclists cross 40th, not use it as a route.

    Fri, January 4 at 9:16 am
  38. Judy said,

    I am more aligned with James Whitaker (except for name calling). Many drivers apparently don’t know that pedestrians are allowed to cross at intersections, not just crosswalks. A few have told me so, when I am trying to cross 45th St. (grey hair w/dog), even though I try to wait for a break in traffic rather than assert my right of way.

    Enforcement would be my way before cameras. Not sure how many more lights 45th can hold.

    Fri, January 4 at 11:49 am
  39. tj said,

    Traffic signals should only be installed when they meet signal warrants. If 40th and Sunnyside, or any intersection for that matter, does not meet the technical standard for signal warrants then one should not be installed. There are other systems/technology (e.g. rapid flashing beacon) that can be installed that provide more appropriate, proven protection for pedestrians. We need safe pedestrian crossings, but lets not just jump to a traffic signal as the solution.

    A speed monitoring sign and flashing school zone beacons would also be more helpful.

    Fri, January 4 at 1:37 pm
  40. Barb said,

    @tj: In case you didn’t know, there are flashing school zone beacons north and south of the Latona and 2nd Ave NE crosswalks which operate during school crossing hours.

    Fri, January 4 at 2:48 pm
  41. James Whitaker said,

    @Wallyhood, I have heard that argument before, but frankly I don’t buy it. Buses are far harder on roads than cars are and they do not contribute taxes to pay for those roads. Indeed, they are subsidized. I pay greater than 10% of the value of each one of my vehicles each year in taxes, not to mention the fuel taxes. I’m not saying that I shouldn’t be paying taxes to maintain the roads, but please don’t tell me that bus riders are somehow more entitled to use the roads than I am. You may not think that bus riders and bicycles are being treated preferentially, but they are, That is the whole purpose of the bus bulbs and many of the baffling pavement marking for bikes. In the case of bicycles, I am all for making bicycle use safer for all of us (I am a bicyclist, too) but I have serious doubts about the efficacy of many of the things the city of Seattle has spent money on. Can you tell me how much money has been spent painting ‘sharrows’ and what, exactly, they have done for anyone? What about the concrete poured in the middle of Stone Way? In what way has the designation of a ‘greenway’ (whatever that is supposed to mean) on 43rd made it safer for bicyclists to use this route? And don’t even get me started about how bicyclists could dramatically increase their own safety by simply obeying traffic law. How much money has been spent painting meaningless scribbles all over the city that might have been spent on a worthy project, such as a safe path along Lake Washington Blvd?

    Also, can you tell me how much extra pollution and traffic is caused by buses blocking traffic while they make up route time or whatever it is that they’re doing?(to say nothing of the terrible pollution problem the buses present entirely on their own.) Also as far your argument goes, every bicyclist out there is NOT one less person using up commuting space, it is one more person using commuting space without any regard to traffic law, thus causing me numerous near heart-attacks per day as they seem determined to find a way to get hit. Again, I’m not opposed to commuting by bike, I’m really not, but it makes my blood boil to see scarce funds spent on sillyness instead of actually addressing real traffic, transit and safety needs.

    Judy, I’m not sure what you are referring to when you say ‘except for name calling.’ I haven’t called anyone a name. The only name-calling I see here is you calling me a name-caller, LOL!

    Fri, January 4 at 6:40 pm
  42. Nancy said,

    I live just south of 40th on Sunnyside and was somewhat alarmed to read of the proposal to put a light at that intersection. It would be great to make 40th more pedestrian-friendly, but no one has mentioned the increased noise a new signal would cause. Just imagine the west-bound buses that stop 1/2 block east of that intersection. They would then strain up the hill another 1/2 block only to potentially have to stop at the traffic light, then accelerate to travel the next 2 blocks to their next stop. Not to mention all the trucks that are using 40th as well. Sorry, not worth it. Corliss or Bagley might be a better option…

    Fri, January 4 at 11:57 pm
  43. Judy said,

    Sorry James Whitaker, I thought Fruitbat was a “name calling” Should have noticed that someone named him/herself that.

    Sat, January 5 at 9:05 am
  44. moodenhancedthruexercise said,

    way to go James.

    I see and feel no impact.. oops unless I were to hit one. of those bizarrely placed concrete barriers mid Stone Way. I live 2 blocks form thereso i use Stone regularly each direction. I am more concerned about the decreased visibility from the barriers which surround the construction and sidewalk. They obscure vision coming from 43rd to turn onto Stone. They hopefully will disappear…. those concrete bulkheads moe Stone? Not likely.

    Sat, January 5 at 10:22 am
  45. Ian said,

    I don’t know if the sharrows, concrete barricades on Stone Way and any other changes can get bicyclists to take 43rd instead of 40th or 45th, but if they do, I think that would make for a big improvement. Traffic would flow better and the bicyclists would be separated from the blood boiling drivers. I also think that a road full of sharrows is far cheaper to install than a new traffic light.

    I commute by bicycle eastbound down 40th to the Burke Gilman because I can go the same speed as the cars. However, going the other direction I take side streets. I hate being in a car behind bikes going uphill on 40th. In addition to improving designated bike routes, like 43rd, I’d like to see bikes discouraged from going places they don’t work well. How about a sign at the bottom of 40th telling bikes that if they ride up that hill they’ll be causing long backups, wasted gas, unnecessary pollution, and dangerous passing maneuvers?

    Sat, January 5 at 12:09 pm
  46. Gary Anderson said,

    I live on the corner of 40th and Sunnyside. I frequently cross 40th by foot and by car. My typical wait times for traffic to clear is less than a minute — much shorter than it would be with a pedestrian activated or timed signal. During rush hour this time can be longer but with all the bus traffic I will usually get a clear crossing in no more than a couple minutes. Having lived at this location for 35 years I have observed some increase in traffic with a lot of it due to additional bus routes.

    If a signaled crossing were installed at this intersection I don’t think people walking north-south on adjacent streets (Corliss and Eastern) would change their route to use the crossing.

    If I were spending money on pedestrian improvements along 40th, I’d have the sidewalks repaired where the beautiful (but inappropriate) oak trees are lifting the concrete. Some areas are treacherous for handicapped people (e.g. south side of 40th between 1st and Eastern).

    Sat, January 5 at 2:32 pm
  47. mike james said,

    Make the speed limit 20mph instead of 30mph as it is now. Then the speeders will only go 35mph instead of the current 40-45mph (occasionally 50+). If you drive 30 now you incur the wrath of the speeders behind you. If you stop for a pedestrian you risk being “rear ended” or the car/truck behind you swerving around you and putting the pedestrian in mortal danger.

    Note: The large cement mixer trucks going to and from various building projects at UW and husky stadium transit station seem to go as fast as they can, pay no attention to the speed limit and rarely if ever stop for pedestrians.

    Sat, January 5 at 5:04 pm
  48. gregf said,

    The islands next to bus stops on 45th are a result of car drivers not being cooperative to allow buses back into traffic after they stopped. A practice of passing the bus while it was stopped and pausing immediately to allow it to re-enter traffic when it signaled would likely have made the islands unnecessary. We all need to cooperate more and some of these mandates would probably not be necessary.

    Sun, January 6 at 2:41 am
  49. moodenhancedthruexercise said,

    well, gregf, please define for us cooperation.. who is ‘watching’ to determine if we ‘cooperate’ more or less? How is this counted/ beginning and end date?

    This is a BIG city with MANY people.. the Mayor and City Council alow and encourage and break building codes in order to have ‘growth’.. which then means mor etraffic, cars etc.. and then put bus bubbles, greenway concrete blocks and paints red on many street corners with NO PARKING ever signs.. you cant have growth without more people moving. And people are NOT going to take a 45 min bus ride when they can drive in 17 and have freedom from the oddities which occur on the bus.

    Skanksa got their building approved.. will they mandate that all their employees walk, bike or bus? How about the other construction sites on Stone.. what will they do to manage the driving, parking, biking of their clients/customers? What if as rumored a giant PCC goes in that 40th and Stone ex-pit… parking? Left turns? Time to be creative and give each person who arrives and leaves via foot, bike, bus, boat, or motorcycle.. NONCAR a small CASH benefit. Like the bag charge.. only in reverse.. OR charge each CAR driver.. .25 for having arrived in a CAR>.

    Someone may wish to send me more mood enhancers.. but you must admit I am the first to speak of this idea. CASH benefits make a difference.

    Sun, January 6 at 7:25 am
  50. James Whitaker said,

    Greg, I always stop and let buses in, as long as they are signaling to merge. However, in no way am I required to do so. The Bus bulbs are there because the powers that determine these things feel that buses should have priority over everyone else and that they shouldn’t have to wait for traffic like the rest of us peons do. It’s as simple as that. I can’t count the number of times I have nearly been sideswiped by buses reentering traffic without logical right of way or even signaling.

    Sun, January 6 at 11:11 am
  51. Donn said,

    Makes your blood boil, doesn’t it?

    Sun, January 6 at 11:40 am
  52. KimberlyC said,

    Yes, James Whitaker, you are REQUIRED to allow buses to re-enter traffic according to Washignton State law.

    Drivers are similarly LEGALLY REQUIRED to stop for pedestrians who want to cross the road an intersection whether or not there is a crosswalk.

    However, most drivers do not follow the law. Law enforcement is incredibly expensive, already eating up huge percentages of our city, county and state budget. When people ignore the law, and when governments do not have the resources to enforce the laws by hiring additional police officers, they will find less expensive ways to enfore the law. Like building bus bulbs or putting in signals.

    Sun, January 6 at 11:40 am
  53. James Whitaker said,

    Kimberly, from your citation: “… that has signalled(sic) and is reentering the traffic flow…” also ” Nothing in this section shall operate to relieve the driver of a transit vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the roadway.”

    Thank you for proving my point. Also, I am aware of the pedestrian right of way laws and they are not as absolute as you appear to believe. That said, I always stop for anyone I think is ready to cross when I am able to do so safely and I wish more people would do so, too. I am pretty much with you on this one. I don’t agree about having to hire more officers to enforce existing law. We have a perfectly normal number of officers for a city of our population and a somewhat lower crime rate. We do not need to hire more officers to get the policing job done. I’m sure the Police Guild would disagree with me on this, but I don’t think there is anything we would agree on. If the Police budget was dependent on levies and the Libraries were funded wholly out of general funds, I think they would be singing a different tune.

    Sun, January 6 at 1:47 pm
  54. Brigit said,

    I don’t agree with those of my neighbors who think that the automatic solution is to build more obstructions in order to slow traffic. I’m newly joining this blog in order to plead for more civility. i must admit that in my afternoon commute home, I drive along 40th frequently.

    Pedestrians are frequently difficult to see in our dark grey weather when wearing dark clothing. On demand pedestrian crossing lights are a great solution.

    The bus blubs on 45th were a terrible idea and lead to much inappropriate diversion to 40th or worse yet to neighboring single lane streets, where any speed greater than 20mph is a hazard.

    The need that I see is for greater civility from our community of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Perhaps only through blogging can we enforce that. I do think that greater policing enforcement of speeds and regulations is a the solution. Unfortunately enforcing the law by creating barriers is the equivalent of building a fortress instead of creating a culture of civil interactions with neighbors and enforcing that.

    I like my neighbors, but lately am starting to have tinges of regret staying in a city that has become so insistently unfriendly to autos. That said, I love to walk to Wallingford center and to Fremont and am an alert pedestrian. But like everyone one else, when I’m in a vehicle, I want to get off the road as soon as possible and arrive at my destination, quickly and efficiently as possible.

    Sun, January 6 at 2:00 pm
  55. James Whitaker said,

    Also, Kimberly, your citation for pedestrians in crosswalks was about the dangers of marked crosswalks and, unfortunately, does not reference any right of way issues or laws. Here’s a more useful link for those who would like a reminder:

    You will see that the right of way must be yielded to a pedestrian who is on or in a crosswalk, marked or unmarked. It says nothing about pedestrians who “want to” cross… as you state. Still I will second Brigit’s call for more civility and courtesy on every road users part toward other road users.

    Sun, January 6 at 2:51 pm
  56. moodenhancedthruexercise said,

    And if I, a car driver, am driving along West greenlake way and approach a green light.. if someone is standing close ot the curb “wanting’ to cross the crosswalk.. am I supposed to stop at a green light to let them cross or use a green light right of way and they wait for their turn with a red light?

    Sun, January 6 at 4:00 pm
  57. connie Campbell said,

    I agree with Mike James, lower the speed limit on N40th. It is very hard to exit a driveway especially for viisitors. My husband stands out on the street to tell them when it is safe to pull out. When we come home we have to start signaling a block away to give drivers time to realize there is a driveway there.

    Sun, January 6 at 8:41 pm
  58. NancyM said,

    Split it into 2 parts: 1) Speed on 40th could be reduced to 20mph from Roosevelt to Stoneway; Metro busses driving 20mph would set a slower pace. 2) But vehicles would need to not swerve around into the oncoming traffic lane to get around a stopped bus and painting a double yellow line in the street and signs to that effect on the rear of each bus might get that message across.

    Mon, January 7 at 7:16 am
  59. Margaret said,

    @moodenhancedthruexercise, I just confirmed with PCC that they are NOT coming to Prescott Wallingford.

    Next year, they will open a new store in the old Vitamilk site in Green Lake.

    Mon, January 7 at 2:12 pm
  60. moodenhancedthruexercise said,

    oh my.. yikes.. congested area… I wonder if they will have parking or give bus vouchers.

    Mon, January 7 at 4:40 pm
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