As neighbors once again fired up the well-worn #Fix65th hashtag after yet another person was injured on that street, Councilmember Rob Johnson and Mayor Ed Murray announced a plan to expedite an already-budgeted effort to improve safety on NE 65th Street.
“I join my neighbors in their demand that the City #Fix65th,” Johnson said in a joint statement with the Mayor late Thursday. “As a City, we need to emphasize and prioritize investments in critical road safety projects to prevent the next tragedy from occurring. I’m calling on SDOT and Mayor Murray to release a design plan and timeline by Valentine’s Day detailing how they will make NE 65th Street safer because everyone deserves to use our city streets without threat of injury or death.”
The neighbors of NE 65th Street have been very loud and very organized in their calls for a safety project on the street. In June 2016, neighbors organized under the #Fix65th banner and held a march along the street demonstrating the need and public demand for changes. That action was one of many efforts that helped push Councilmember Johnson to add NE 65th Street to the SDOT budget for 2017.
We’ve already waited far too long to fix this street. It’s good to see the city finally moving with the sense of urgency the deaths and serious injuries of our neighbors deserves. SDOT should not only expedite the plan, but also implementation. There are far too many streets like NE 65th Street in our city that need to urgency, as well.
Here’s the full statement from Murray and Johnson:
Today, Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Rob Johnson issued the following statements regarding the recent series of pedestrian crashes in Seattle:
“I join many Seattleites in my growing concern over the recent series of crashes involving pedestrians around the city. I am deeply committed to improving pedestrian and bicycle safety and I am directing Scott Kubly, director of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), in coordination with the Seattle Police Department, to review the circumstances of these incidents and determine any action the city should take. Seattle remains committed to the goals of Vision Zero, the plan I announced in 2015 to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030 through innovative engineering, enforcement and education. Last summer, SDOT announced the reduction of speed limits on many arterial and residential streets in the city, in an effort to achieve this goal. Additionally, SDOT will be expediting $3 million in pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements announced earlier this month. We must do all we can to ensure our streets are safe for all Seattleites.”
“Over the past several days, we have had several tragic collisions on Seattle streets, including another terrible collision on NE 65th Street between a car and a pedestrian this morning,” said Councilmember Rob Johnson. “Today’s collision serves as a tragic reminder of the necessary urgency of actions to make our city streets safer for all users. I stand on NE 65th Street every day with my young daughters as we wait to catch the bus and bear witness to drivers exceeding the speed limits, ignoring pedestrians and bicyclists, and acting recklessly. I join my neighbors in their demand that the City #Fix65th. As a City, we need to emphasize and prioritize investments in critical road safety projects to prevent the next tragedy from occurring. I’m calling on SDOT and Mayor Murray to release a design plan and timeline by Valentine’s Day detailing how they will make NE 65th Street safer because everyone deserves to use our city streets without threat of injury or death.”
— Inga Manskopf (@IngaManskopf) January 26, 2017