Common themes to residents’ NE 75th Street safety concerns revealed

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SDOT Traffic Safety Coordinator Jim Curtin (in white) talks to a group of residents about NE 75th Street concerns at the April 25 meeting at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center. Current Department of Neighborhoods Northeast District Coordinator Jenny Frankl also attended (in blue).

The Seattle Department of Transportation’s Traffic Safety Coordinator, Jim Curtin, sent an email to the NE 75th St email listserv this week, summarizing the input shared by neighbors about NE 75th St.

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Those attending the community input meetings were directed to describe street safety issues on Post-It Notes and stick them directly to maps of the area around NE 75th Street. The red stickers also indicate residents’ trouble spots.

Curtin’s email said “[h]undreds of comments have been collected through three public meetings and we’ve received more than 100 emails, letters, and completed comment sheets.”

The common themes of these comments have been:

  • Channelization improvements were requested along segments of NE 65th Street, NE 75th Street, 25th Avenue NE, 35th Avenue NE and Banner Way NE and at several signalized intersections.

  • Speeding is a problem along the NE 75th Street corridor and along segments of nearby arterial streets.

  • The eight schools in the area increase pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle volumes twice a day. Speeding on non-arterial streets during drop-off/pick-up hours is a problem near schools. Many students walk and bike to school and student safety is a priority for residents. New construction at Thornton Creek Elementary will likely change traffic patterns.

  • There is a strong desire to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety throughout the area. Suggestions included adding more and improving existing marked crosswalks, constructing sidewalks, adding bicycle facilities to NE 65th Street and NE 75th Street, and improving signal performance for pedestrians and cyclists.

  • Improve access to parks throughout the area and reduce speeds on adjacent streets Improve existing traffic signals to reduce turning movement conflicts with pedestrians and bicyclists and improve traffic flow.

  • Encroachments in the right-of-way limit pedestrian mobility and reduce visibility for all.

  • Congestion is an issue along several corridors during peak hours. This often leads to cut through traffic on non-arterial streets.

  • Existing parking restrictions should be reviewed and existing parking laws should be more strictly enforced. New parking restrictions are needed in a couple of locations.

  • Increased enforcement efforts are needed area-wide to address speeding, distraction driving, impaired driving, and pedestrian and bicycle safety issues.

  • Educational efforts should focus on behavioral issues like impairment, speeding, and distraction with more information about student, pedestrian, and bicycle safety.

Next week, a map of geographically-specific concerns and suggestions will be sent out to the listserv, Curtin said. You can request to receive future NE 75th St Road Safety Project emails here.

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Chief Traffic Engineer Dongho Chang (white, center) and Safe Routes to School Coordinator Brian Dougherty (navy, right) listen to residents concerns and take notes at the RECC community meeting held April 25.

After the map is complete, SDOT’s next steps in the NE 75th St Road Safety Project involve combining this public input with the already existing Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans and traffic data. Options for future improvements will then be developed and presented to the community in July.

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