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After 300 collisions in just 3 years, city meetings will discuss changes to ‘I-35’

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
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 early 2014

Every couple days, someone driving in a car on 35th Ave SW runs into another car, someone walking or someone biking. Since 2011, 128 people were injured in 294 collisions. Two people were killed.

One of those people was James St. Clair, whose death while walking across the street prompted community action to remember his life and to demand changes to prevent this from happening to anyone else.

Speeding is so rampant on the wide, highway-style four-lane street that locals commonly refer to it as I-35. But it’s not a highway, it’s a street through a neighborhood that provides a rare complete connection from the north end of the neighborhood to the city’s south border with White Center and beyond. Between Avalon and Roxbury, the street passes near two libraries, two parks and three schools. It is a barrier to people trying to cross from east to west or trying to get to and from King County Metro’s 21 bus.

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People should be able to cross the street in safety and comfort, and nobody in a car should be put at risk by rampant speeding and the kinds of high-risk collisions the current street design makes all too easy.

You have two opportunities coming up to give the city feedback on what you think should happen on 35th. If you can’t make the meetings, email your thoughts to [email protected].


The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is launching a collaborative process to review roadway conditions along 35th Avenue SW. As safety is our number one priority, we are committed to preventing collisions and improving safety for all users of the transportation system.

Together we will determine the specific nature and design elements of these changes through the process described below. New safety measures to be considered through this project will include: arterial traffic calming, traffic signal modifications, pavement repair, and pedestrian and bicycle safety enhancements. To address behavioral issues like speeding, distraction and impaired driving, we will develop targeted enforcement strategies and area-specific educational outreach.

A series of community meetings have been scheduled to listen to community concerns, share traffic data, and develop strategies to lower vehicle speeds and reduce collisions. These meetings are open to the general public and all are welcome.

Somali, Vietnamese and Cambodian translators will be available at the first meeting on Wednesday, October 22nd

Issue Identification and Feedback Sessions – October 2014

Purpose: Review existing conditions and traffic data, discuss toolbox of potential engineering and enforcement strategies, and hear concerns and ideas from residents

  • Wednesday, October 22nd, 6:30 PM to 8 PM
    Neighborhood House, Room 207, 6400 Sylvan Way SW
  • Tuesday, October 28th, 3:30 PM to 5 PM
    Southwest Library, Second Floor Meeting Room, 9010 35th Avenue SW

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2 responses to “After 300 collisions in just 3 years, city meetings will discuss changes to ‘I-35’”

  1. Allan

    Just sent this letter to Jim Curtain.

    Hi, reading Seattle Bike Blog about 35th Ave SW. I won’t ride a bike on that. It would be suicide. If I need to go that way I use the side walk. I usually ride a mountain bike in town, 99% of the time. 35th has a pretty bumpy side walk in places but it beats being dead. Some people are convinced they need to ride a road bike all the time. They don’t use side walks, don’t want to slow down or run over the thorns on some of them. I don’t know how you can protect them. They may not even own a mountain bike. I want you to know that I have no problem with riding a road bike in Portland, or Salem Oregon for that matter. Seattle is full of aggressive drivers. They think it is their right to speed 10 or 15 mph over the speed limit. You need a 25 mph speed limit on 35th just to keep it sane. Than they will probably only drive 35 to 40 mph. One problem is that they don’t slow down around bicycles or pedestrians, they just buzz on by at 1 or 2 feet away when the rule should really be 3 feet below 30 mph and add an additional foot for each 10 mph above 30 mph. There are a lot of really evil or stupid drivers out there. They won’t shoot you because they don’t want to go to jail, but they will kill you with a car because they won’t go to jail. I think that perhaps someone should sue the city for failing to enforce traffic laws, not with cameras, with police who get out of their cars and give real tickets.

  2. Allan

    Maybe we should be automatically notified of follow ups to our posts, and than have a check block to opt out. It would be better for me that way

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