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City will retime short Alaskan Way walk signal

During the viaduct walk event a couple weeks ago, I noticed the walk signal at Alaskan Way and King St near the waterfront seemed awfully fast. So I posted a video I shot and sent an email to SDOT.

Turns out, SDOT also found the light to be too fast. They are lengthening the countdown from 11 seconds to 18 seconds. They also said the light was not recently changed due to viaduct construction (as I had wondered).


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If you notice a traffic signal that seems to go too quickly (or has a different problem that makes them less safe), call 684-ROAD or email [email protected].

From Rick Sheridan at SDOT:

SDOT’s field investigation found that the signals were not providing sufficient crossing time for pedestrians.  We will increase the flashing “don’t walk” time from 11 seconds to 18 seconds.  This means that pedestrians will see “walk” displayed for 7 seconds, a flashing “don’t walk” displayed for 18 seconds and then the full “don’t walk” for a minimum of 4 ½ seconds before vehicles can move. (We used a standard of 3.5 feet per second walking speed in calculating the time to cross.)

Timing changes were not made at this location for the AWV closure.

The work is scheduled to be completed today.  This signal change will allow pedestrians to more comfortably cross at this location. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.


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4 responses to “City will retime short Alaskan Way walk signal”

  1. LWC

    Nice work. Maybe time for a new tagline?
    “Seattle Bike Blog: Gettin’ things done”

  2. Nickbob

    Good work. So, SDOT- how about changing more signals that require a button activation for a WALK signal to appear with a red to a default WALK? All over town I’ve hit a corner in time to cross only to discover a DONT WALK with a quick change time. Not walking friendly. Which I do a lot when I’m not over pedals.

    1. wave

      I heartily agree — that drives me crazy! I think in this city where we’re trying to encourage walking, all intersections should default to giving a WALK signal unless there’s some critical reason not to.

  3. Way to go Tom!

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