Road safety improvements coming to NE Blakeley Street / Union Bay Place NE

Some well-known traffic trouble spots near University Village are getting some overdue attention next month.

UnionBlakeleyProjectMap

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is in the process of designing the following safety improvements to the Union Bay Place NE/NE Blakeley Street area (projected to begin construction as early as August 2014):

  • 25th Ave NE & NE Blakeley Street: Modified signal timing and intersection design. New bicycle leaning rails* (allow cyclists to wait for light change without dismounting, placing one foot on the rail).
  • 30th Ave NE & the Burke-Gilman Trail: Raised pedestrian crosswalk and repaired sidewalks approaching this crosswalk along 30th Ave NE between NE 50th Street and Union Bay Place NE.
  • Union Bay Place NE between NE 45th St & 30th Ave NE: New paved and painted pedestrian pathway along both sides.


View Safety Improvements to NE Blakeley St and Union Bay Place NE in a larger map

This work is funded by mitigation from the University Village and the Village QFC as well as Pedestrian Master Plan improvements. You can read more about the mitigation funding of this project on page 17 of this SDOT analysis of QFC’s 2012 land use application (208 KB PDF) to expand the store and build a parking garage.

The pedestrian improvements are part of SDOT’s Sidewalk Development Program and funded by the voter-approved Bridging the Gap levy. The Program’s 2014 projects include these new sidewalk connections:

Questions?  Contact Maribel Cruz with SDOT at 206-684-7963 or maribel.cruz@seattle.gov.

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*We are looking into the bicycle leaning rails to find out more about them (and see if these will be the first ones installed in Seattle).  We will update the post as we learn more!

Comments

  1. Steve Sorbo says:

    Really glad to see some attention paid to the intersection at 25th and Blakeley. I’ve complained in the past to SDOT that the crosswalk timer (~7 sec.) at the intersection on the SE corner to the SW corner (the BGT) path does not allot enough time for peds and bikes to cross the street before the don’t walk hand starts to flash. When bikes see the flashing yellow hand they make a mad dash to beat the light. Meanwhile, I’m attempting to turn left from NE Blakeley onto 25th ave NE, going SB. I’ve often had a bike suddenly appear out of my left peripheral vision as I begin to enter the crosswalk. Often another car is on the North side of NE Blakeley proceeding EB and they then suddenly have to slow down as I now cannot proceed through the intersection due to a bicyclist running a “yellow hand.” While perhaps it is legal for bikes to enter a crosswalk with a yellow flashing hand ( I don’t know for sure) I do hope that some modification can be made to ensure the safety of bikes wanting to cross of a green and at the same time allow for cars to make a lefthand turn from NE Blakeley onto 25th ave NE.

  2. Andres Salomon says:

    When I first heard about this project (well over a year ago), I asked SDOT to consider protection at the 25th Ave crossing from cars turning left for people/bikes in the crosswalk. I’ve had close calls there at least 3 times, and some others I’ve talked to have had similar experiences. “Close calls” here mean car tires screeching to a halt, and me thinking I was going to get hit while biking in the crosswalk.

    As of April, SDOT was not considering any left turn protection. It’s not warranted, in their estimation:
    “Regarding the westbound permissive left turning movement conflict, we did some analysis looking at traffic volumes and historic accident numbers and found that the movement does not meet the warrant to get an exclusive phase (green arrow).” It’s unclear if it’s the lack of accident numbers or the traffic volumes (or both) that fail to warrant the turn signal. Frankly, I’d be just as happy to see no left turns allowed there.

    They are adding a dedicated right turn signal. We’ll see how it is after the change.

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