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.
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.