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Still not convinced of the benefits of complete streets?

SDOT published a post on their blog with great before and after shots of the redesigned intersection at 15th Ave S and S Lander St. Sited a block from the light rail station, the intersection’s former design can be seen in many places around our city. Wide curb-to-curb distances force people walking to stay in the path of potential traffic for far longer than necessary.

In addition, the lanes are wide enough that a right-turning vehicle can squeeze next to a car stopped for, let’s say, a crossing pedestrian. You can see how all this adds up to a more dangerous situation for someone walking.


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This is just one intersection, but you can see much more walkable it is after some simple curb bulbs and bike lanes were added. Complete streets are about undoing poor, shortsighted mistakes of the past to activate our public spaces, reconnect neighborhoods and encourage active ways of getting around. They are about safety for all road users, and reduce the number of all road collisions.

The House passed HB 1071 earlier this week along strict party lines. The bill, sponsored by Representatives Moeller, Fitzgibbon and Frockt, is one of two complete streets bills in the legislature this year. HB 1071 would create a grant program to encourage cities in Washington to pursue the goal of complete streets. HB 1700 would give municipalities more tools for designing safe streets.

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2 responses to “Still not convinced of the benefits of complete streets?”

  1. NickBob

    The half-life of the paint used on Roosevelt is measured in months, one would hope that if they’re going through the effort and expense of laying down the markings ( which look useful, yes) , that those markings will be more than hints this time next year.

    1. Leif

      This seems to be true everywhere. Not sure if we just use cheap paint in Seattle or if the combination of rain and above-average use of studded tires do it, but any newly painted road will look old and dingy within a few months. The reflective bump things do seem to last a bit longer, until we have a snow-storm and the plows come through that is.

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