Photo from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways: Gene Tagaban of the Tlingit RavenCoho tribe plays a song for paddlers facing an important but difficult challenge at the site where James St. Clair was hit.
In the past ten years, 412 people have been seriously injured in traffic collisions on just one street in West Seattle: 35th Ave SW.
Five people have been killed.
These are not just numbers. They are our neighbors, friends, family, co-workers and teachers. Every death and debilitating injury has ramifications far beyond that one person’s life. It affects everyone they love, and often affects their ability to work. Traffic collisions on 35th Ave SW damage the West Seattle communities the road travels through the most, but it also damages the communities where every person injured lives, works and plays.
The good news is that this death, pain and social damage is entirely avoidable. In fact, as we have reported before, the city is currently working through plans to fix the street’s dangerous roadway design using tried-and-true methods proven to dramatically reduce speeding, collisions, injuries and deaths without having a significant impact on traffic flow. Plans do not include bike lanes, which we voiced frustration about, but the core safety design changes are vital.
We know it will work because we’ve done it many times before over a span of decades. It works every time. In fact, it works so well that it’s an outrage the city still has so many dangerous streets that encourage speeding and collisions the way 35th Ave SW does. Here are just a couple recent examples from city before-and-after studies: Continue reading