Our live coverage of the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association Spring Community Meeting will be posted below starting around 6:30 PM on Tuesday, April 2.
You may download the agenda here (62 KB Microsoft Word document). Or refer to the abridged version posted below:
7:00 PM: Moment of silence (Lead by Virginia Gunby, RBCA Board Member, Transportation Committee Chair)
7:05: Welcome (Sarah Swanberg, Outgoing RBCA President)
March 25 vehicle/pedestrian double fatality collision on NE 75th Street
7:10: Traffic & pedestrian safety, DUI enforcement & prosecution
- Seattle Police Department
- Captain Robin Clark, North Precinct
- Sergeant Don Smith and Officer Eric Michl
- Seattle City Attorney’s Office
- John Schochet, Deputy Chief of Staff
- Rachel Cormier Anderson, Criminal Division Attorney
- Jana Jorgensen, North Precinct Liaison
7:30: Report from Harborview
- Eileen Whalen, Executive Director, Harborview Medical Center
- Dr. Beth Ebel, Director, Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center
7:50: NE 75th Street improvements
- Dongho Chang, Chief Traffic Engineer, Seattle Department of Transportation
- Peter Hahn, Director of Transportation
8:20: RBCA business
- Sub-committees to address traffic, safety, DUI issues in Ravenna-Bryant
- Election of RBCA officers
8:40: Q and A with local leaders
City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Rebecca Deehr, Mayor’s Office
Senator David Frockt
If you’re still out there, thanks for following along.
P.S. Tomorrow is a half day at Eckstein. If you’re around, and have a paintbrush, you should come by. Help paint the bus curb.
I have a two hour long audio recording of the meeting that I will have my sound engineers work on getting it online in the days to come.
Sarah wrapped up with introductions of board members and elections (one new at-large member!). Meeting adjourned.
The other witness to the tragedy speaking: Let’s change our individual behavior. It will have an effect, everywhere. *applause*
Q: Anyone looking at the neighborhood in an integrated fashion? A: Chang. Speaking to some examples (NE 125th St, area near 520). How are roads used? And how do linkages “behave?”
Rebecca Deehr from the Mayor’s Office. Lead on road safety initiative. Three Es to getting streets safer: Engineering, educating and enforcement.
Sen. Frockt himself lost family members about 20 years ago in similar circumstances. This event has really hit home.
Red light cameras a complicated subject in Olympia. Lights at Five Corners? They were turned off because of legislation passed to ban them from intersections with more than two arterials.
Senator Frockt speaking about the DUI-related bill making it’s way around in Olympia. *applause* Some sentencing policy control. HB 1482 comprehensive DUI-policy bill mentioned. Will enhance interlock use. Home monitoring is possible. Rep Pollet is a co-sponsor. Needs more support.
Rasmussen saying he stopped by Fire Station 40 before the meeting, to check in on the staff, and thank them. Fire fighters asked how the community was doing. *appreciative applause*
Sidewalks are expensive. Local funds raised for transportation costs is tough. Olympia doesn’t want to. We need your support.
When one area gets a road diet, the neighborhood next door gets angry. Thinks they will be slowed down. Gives Nickerson as a recent example. Since the change, nearly zero complaints.
Q: What? A road diet? Tom: Road Diets. It means you reduce it.
When we ask for your support for red light cameras and the authority for lower speed limits (asking Olympia for 20 MPH in residential areas *applause*, we need it from you.
CM Tom Rasmussen is sad, and angry. (Chair of Transportation Committee)
Neighbor of Ravenna Volvo asking about 27th Ave NE (a proposed greenway): Will it’s crossing with NE 55th St be made safer? Chang: Yes, will be looked at as they are designed. Paradigm shift for SDOT.
Jorgen Bader, on RBCA board: RBCA has written to officials THREE TIMES about fences, rockeries, etc. getting in the line of sight. How about a rule against that near schools? Hahn/Chang: Policies will get looked at.
Audience member: Lots of dead ends around 75th making it difficult to get out of her section of the neighborhood. Chang: Area will be studied around 75th as well.
Question about flashers around the school: Possible to have the lights triggered for school events as well? Chang: That can be done. Also a radar-feedback system.
Neighbor of the school with a wheelchair-bound daughter who attends but cannot get to the crosswalk/light safely. Chang: Studies will be done on the street (sounds like they’ll be back in April for another community meeting of some sort with this info). this is one of the things that will be looked at.
Lots of hands in the air for SDOT.
Question about striping 75th. SDOT will study. Would it be better to put left turn lanes in? And then be passed on the right? They are effective at slowing vehicles.
Audience member: The light in front of Eckstein used to change when you hit the button. Now, not so much. Chang: It does have a short cycle, we will check it. Another audience member: I time it. It’s 34-40 seconds, every time. Chang: In my opinion, that is a responsive system. (Other guy: Then we may have a difference of opinion.
Paint for the bus lanes/curb will be in Eckstein’s hands this week.
Ambient noises you are missing at home: The snoring toddler near me, and the babbling toddler near CM Sally Clark is making her smile.
Hahn and Chang speaking about the plan that is on our site in a previous post.
Now Peter Hahn, Director of SDOT, and Dongho Chang, Chief Traffic Engineer.
Councilmember Burgess also here. State rep Pollet (sp?) also here.
Principal of Eckstein is here.
170 or so people here, btw.
Audience member who lives near Eckstein: I watch those kids, and they are focused on their friends. Dr. Ebel: Kids know what to do, but are impulsive. This is part of teaching our kids.
Audience member: Pedestrians need to take personal responsibility as well; make eye contact with that driver. Dr. Ebel: Yes it’s all good.
Audience member: Cars are weapons. Why aren’t drivers paying attention? Something is broken. Dr. Ebel: The way to keep kids safe used to be to not have them walk. She also cares for obese kids.
Cyclist making observation about how many distracted pedestrians he sees every day.
Dr. Ebel: Vehicles have to STOP. That’s where the safety comes. Drivers don’t really read the road (paint) or look to the sides. The power is in slowing down traffic, and making it stop.
Peter S. asking a question: Marked crosswalks no safer than non. I cannot believe drivers are less likely to stop at a marked crosswalk vs. unmarked. Was are the risks of marked vs. unmarked?
Traumatic stress is JUST as important to treat as the injury. If this event is affecting you, your kids, your neighbor, there is help. 744-1600 Center for Traumatic Stress at Harborview. Call.
Stoplights where cars stop work. Safe places to stand. What to change pedestrian behavior? Not much out there. Distractions (walking and texting) are bad, obviously.
Sidewalks don’t work. Lowering speeds works. Change the environment: Distracted driver is further out of the equation. Slow. Down.
Fatality rate goes up to 40% at 30 MPH.
85% at 40 MPH.
50 MPH is 100% fatality rate.
1/3 fatal injuries are pedestrians. (Spoke to there being no “accidents.”) If we’re telling kids to walk to school because it’s healthy, we need to make it so. Separating people and vehicles is one way. Biggest bang for buck is to reduce vehicle speed.
Impairment is drinking. Impairment is marijuana. Impairment is texting. Many forms. We as drivers need to make choices.
Dr. Ebel herself is a pediatrician. She lives in our area, daughter at Eckstein.
That was Eileen Whalen, Exec Director, Harborview. Now, Dr. Beth Ebel, Director HMC Injury Prevention and Research Center.
Employees and staff touched very deeply by this event; many live in our area. Mother and child getting the very best care in the Northwest.
Meetings with legislature next week about this very topic.
Q: Ignition locks, and why aren’t cars impounded until installed? A: With DUI conviction, mandatory ignition lock. There is not, at this time, a process to impound until installation. And certain people will still find a way to drive.
Bolin: Treatment for DUIs? Yes, it’s standard. Chemical dependency evaluation and treatment (if evaluator suggests). DUI probation after is five years (more serious).
DUIs are very prevalent. “I’m not *that* impaired.” ANY impaired driver can cause a death. The difference between a crash and a death can just be luck. We should not tolerate when our friends have had too much to drink.
Peter Steinbrueck just walked in.
Rachel Cormier Anderson speaking about DUI law. Sentences are graduated: Each additional charge incurs a longer and longer sentence.
[Correction: First officer to speak was Officer Eric Michl]
There are three DUI officers out every night…for the entire city.
Nancy Bolin with the View Ridge Community Council here. Another resident asking about vehicles being impounded after a DUI. Vehicles are impounded and held for 12 hours. Then released.
Tip on avoiding a DUI include, if you think you need to drive more carefully because you have been drinking, you have already had too much.
DUI arrests mean two legal proceedings begin: Criminal, and license revocation with the Department of Licensing. The police report is about 13 pages long.
Sergeant Don Smith: There no “legal limit” for blood alcohol level. DUI arrests can happen at lower levels.
North Precinct Captain Robin Clark speaking. Says she sees the effects of this tragedy in the faces of her officers. Cannot talk specifics about an active case, but will give some DUI enforcement information.
Four children have been hit in the neighborhood on the way to Eckstein Middle School this year. None of those drivers were intoxicated. None of those incidents happened on NE 75th. These are ongoing issues that Monday has brought to light.
“We’re here to provide a conduit to the city.” Asking members in the audience to volunteer at the end of the meeting and commit to be a board member.
Outgoing RBCA President Sarah Swanberg starting the meeting.
Here at Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center for tonight’s meeting. I would have started here earlier, but I was greeting City Council President, Sally Clark.
Live coverage will start here, with the most recent information at the top.