Ballardite proposes pedestrian-activated cross walk

The crosswalk at 24th Ave NW and NW 58th Street is marked, but one Ballardite believes the current markings aren’t enough.

Kevin Tice has applied for a pedestrian-activated cross walk at the intersection through the 2011 Neighborhood Projects Funds. An example of this type of illuminated crosswalk can be found here.

In the application Tice writes, “The current crosswalk has an outdated overhanging crosswalk light that is barely noticeable by cars, especially during overcast weather. The crosswalk signs (one for each side) unfortunately do not deter the vehicles driving at speeds of 25-40 mph from stopping for many pedestrians. I have attached videos [see above] that I took recently of numerous cars passing waiting pedestrians, either because of their speed, or because they could not see them waiting due to parked cars near the intersection. In a span of 30 minutes, I recorded 10 such incidents. I personally have had to run across 24th avenue due to cars not stopping.”

Tice believes that this intersection would benefit by the pedestrian-activated crosswalk to bring attention to pedestrians waiting to cross the street. “The flashing crosswalk in the street is especially ideal at this intersection due to the drivers’ impaired visibility due to the parked cars on the SW corner. These cars block the view of pedestrians waiting to cross westbound. An activated crosswalk would alert all cars that someone is crossing and the pedestrian will feel confident when crossing. An overhead sign is simply not enough.”

The Ballard District Council will review this and all other applications and will rank three projects to forward to the city for possible funding.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

61 thoughts to “Ballardite proposes pedestrian-activated cross walk”

  1. I use that crosswalk quite a bit, and find that I have to be very forceful in order to get cars to stop. That being said, about 100 yards away is a signaled intersection that provides a greater amount of pedestrian safety. With an easy solution of crossing at 57th, do we need to be spending the funds on a lighted crosswalk while the city faces budget problems? My opinion is that the money would be better spent elsewhere.

  2. Let’s just stop kidding everyone, and get on with the next step in the war on drivers by closing 24th altogether, OK?

    God forbid a pedestrian would have to – gasp! – walk down to the next street corner where there’s a traffic light top cross the street. No, we can’t have that in Ballard, not when there’s an opportunity to further wreck the flow of traffic.

  3. Read the article. Not talking about another stoplight. Simply lights on the crosswalk that let drivers know there is a pedestrian there needing to make a legal crossing. That shouldn’t wreck the flow. Cars should be stopping for pedestrians there, anyway.

  4. I always feel bad when I fly by pedestrians at that crossing. So I make sure to lay on my horn as I pass, by way of apology.

  5. I don’t understand why people don’t walk one block south to the signal at 57th? Seems like that is the logical action. I never understood why there was a marked crosswalk just a block north of a signal. And i am not saying that drivers should be speeding past pedestrians trying to cross at an intersection, just that I don’t understand why pedestrians would choose to cross at 58th when there is a signal crosswalk nearby.

  6. Because this is Ballard, where smug, holier-than-thou, passive-aggressive newcomers feel they are so morally superior to anyone who dares to own a car, so they take every opportunity to make driving as miserable as they can.

  7. Same reason that when you stop for a pedestrian to cross the street, that pedestrian gives you the evil eye as they walk as s-l-o-w-y as possible in front of you, shuffling along and doing their best to block the street to delay and inconvenience the driver as much as they can.

  8. If by “the flow of traffic” you mean just your car, then yes, the pedestrians are wrecking the flow of traffic by using a legal street crossing.

    But guess what? Pedestrians walking around, shopping at QFC, walking to Aster’s, etc are also traffic. The cars in the video are illegally wrecking the flow of traffic — just not “traffic” as you define it.

    Since it’s a very simple solution for pedestrians to go use an adjacent facility, then I’m sure you’re also in favor of the cars doing the same. There is a very useful arterial just a couple minutes away called 15th AVE NW.

  9. Lets deal with the crosswalk upgrades to Leary/Vernon/20th first. That crosswalk has been supposedly funded and ready to go for about a year yet nothing has happened. Kinda shocked nobody has been mowed down there yet.

  10. If one’s destination is north of the QFC, then one will be inclined to cross the street at 58th. So it is not logical to walk two extra blocks just to cross the street right there.

  11. It should be noted that none of the cars in the above video is breaking the law. Neither the WAC, RCW or SMC require cars to stop for pedestrians waiting politely on the curb. Cars are only required to stop for pedestrians “within a crosswalk unmarked or marked when the pedestrian is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning.”

    In that video, only one driver approached when the pedestrians were actually in the crosswalk, and that driver did indeed stop. All the other cars weren’t obliged to stop because the pedestrians weren’t actually in the crosswalk.

    Now, I think that law as it stands is complete bull, but as it stands, if you want cars to stop for you, you have to stop waiting on the curb. Step off the curb and into the roadway. Obviously don’t step into the traffic lane until you know a driver is stopping, but this street has both a parking lane and a bike lane—that’s at least 11 feet from the curb to the travel lane. Which means that northbound drivers aren’t going to be able to see you standing politely on the curb anyway. Stand in the parking lane or the bike lane. Let drivers know you’re there, and that you expect them to stop. A lot of assholes will still drive right by, but a lot more will stop than if you just wait on the curb, if only because they can actually see you now.

    As for all you cantankerous drivers. If I’m heading straight on 58th (or 59th, or any street), why should I make a 3-minute detour on foot in the rain to a signalized crossing just so that you don’t have to move your foot from the gas pedal to the brake and stop your car for 10 seconds? I have the legal right-of-way, and you’re slowing me down far more than I’m slowing you down. Get over yourselves and start obeying the law.

  12. I would hope that it doesn’t give pedestrians a false sense of safety!! There are business’, condos, schools, and a library nearby.

  13. You’re legally required to stop for pedestrians entering the roadway at ANY and EVERY intersection, zebra stripes or no, with or without flashing lights for clueless distracted motorists.

    So … not sure how this would figure into your invented “war” on drivers. God forbid you should have to depress the brake pedal a few inches, followed by the accelerator pedal. Ooof. I’m getting tired just thinking about it.

    And even if I thought the flow of *your* traffic was more important than the flow of pedestrian traffic (does being in a car make you more important?), it’s a longer wait for you if they actuate a walk signal / red light cycle down at the intersection.

  14. I think they also need to put a pedestrian-activated crosswalk on 65th & 5th. It is a gamble every time you cross the street at the cross walk. There are alot of children in the neigborhood walking around and the cars seem to fly by well over the speed limit

  15. I was just almost hit at this location. Fortunately I am on a tennis team and was able to jump out of the way. There were no cars approaching on 24th. But then a person on 58th taking a left roared into the crosswalk as I was 1/3 of the way across heading East to QFC. She almost got me. So close!!

  16. I don’t understand why people want to waste money on this crosswalk. Only few steps away is a signaled intersection that provides pedestrian safety. Are you people that lazy. Listen to your doctor and move a little bit more. There are some other crosswalks that really need improving.

  17. That’s not a bad idea. It’s too bad drivers don’t obey the speed limit and stop at crosswalks for pedestrians (who have the right of way in a crosswalk). When I drive on 24th (especially southbound) observing the speed limit, I am tailgated in a flagrantly impatient and hotile way, as though the driver behind me could make me go faster by crowding me and other signs of impatience. We wouldn’t need traffic circles, speed bumps, and extra traffic signals, if people today weren’t so juvenile.

  18. Uh, that’s not a pedestrian…that’s a homeless person. They’re outnumbering the empty condos and hipsters in ladies jeans.

  19. I was hit by a car that was leaving the ballard library when I was 10 years old.
    I was jetting across the street with my sister to go to the library,
    and because of the accident they put up the crosswalk sign that is currently there. So that was 44 years ago! :)
    Yep, I think its time for an updated sign!

  20. My mom was just complaining about someone tailgaiting her and the nephew (going the speed limit). The nephew (a 14 yo genius) suggested somebody should invent something that would release sharp nails behind you when you get a tailgater. She thought that was a brilliant idea. So do I.

  21. A similar battle was fought on 15th NW and 87th with disappointing results. The old crosswalk was removed and replaced in favor of a controlled intersection that was sited 2 blocks to the north. If you look at the history of these crosswalks you’ll soon discover that the city would like them to all to be decommissioned. They present a problem for drivers and pedestrians both in their present condition (unmaintained) and when they are removed (people still see the route as a ‘safe place to cross’).

    It’s very scary, because the average speed of traffic on 24th is about twice as fast as it used to be. The volume of traffic is also ridiculous, so being a pedestrian is doubly unsafe. The bikers get their “sharrows”; what do the pedestrians in this town get?

  22. The reason why the traffic is so bad on 24th is because the city keeps squeezing in thousands of more residents, and keeps reducing traffic capacity elsewhere (aka the war against drivers….like it or not, you must take the bus or bike, peasants…). Then we’re shocked, SHOCKED that there are conflicts. Who could have ever imagined that?

  23. The existence of a traffic light at 57th is irrelevant. Under state law and local ordinance a crosswalk exists at EVERY intersection, whether it is marked (zebra stripes) or not (absolutely no indication). So, even if there were not a “marked” crosswalk at that location, a crosswalk exists. Also under state law, vehicles MUST yield to pedestrians waiting at a crosswalk, whether marked or unmarked. We don’t need more markings or flashing lights, what we need is for there to be better education about our laws.

  24. You’re in a car and you have the gall to lecture people about being lazy? Are you so lazy that you can’t lay on the brake for about 10 seconds to let someone cross at a crosswalk?

    Under state law a crosswalk exists at EVERY intersection whether marked or unmarked. While I certainly don’t think the city needs to spend money to light this crosswalk up, that still doesn’t mean that you’re not required to stop for pedestrians crossing the street at intersections whether or not a marked crosswalk is present.

  25. In my Toyota pickup truck, which I sold recently, I had a sign in the rear canopy window that said: TAILGATORS ARE VIRILE WOMEN AND MOMA’S BOYS

  26. I’m a pedestrian and think it’s a waste of money. It simply reinforces the incorrect notion held by too many motorists that crosswalks only exist where there are white line pained and at all other intersections cars have the right of way over pedestrians. I’ve crossed intersections in many places where the crosswalk isn’t painted and had motorists honk and yell at me to use a crosswalk. To all you s**t for brains motorists out there get this through your heads: ALL INTERSECTIONS ARE CROSSWALKS AND YOU MUST YIELD THE RIGHT OF WAY TO PEDESTRIANS REGARDLESS OF THE PRESENCE OF PAINTED LINES!!!!! That IS the law. Try reading the RCW and learn to drive.

    You moron motorists out there want to argue this? Here’s the law as written:
    RCW 46.61.235:
    (1) The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicycle to cross the roadway within an UNMARKED or marked crosswalk when the pedestrian or bicycle is upon or within one lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For purposes of this section “half of the roadway” means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel, and includes the entire width of a one-way roadway.

    What part of this are you too stupid to understand? Note the part about UNMARKED crosswalks? Still unclear about what a crosswalk is? Well here’s the legal definition:
    RCW 46.04.160:
    “Crosswalk” means the portion of the roadway between the intersection area and a prolongation or connection of the farthest sidewalk line or in the event there are no sidewalks then between the intersection area and a line ten feet therefrom, except as modified by a marked crosswalk.

    Again, note it doesn’t say anything about white lines having to be present to count as a crosswalk? Got that you stupid inbred redneck in the Ford F150 who yelled at me to “Get in the F***ing crosswalk” the other day while crossing 24th?

  27. “If the problem is the crosswalk itself, perhaps removing it altogether could be an option. ”

    You can’t remove a crosswalk. Crosswalks exist at ALL intersections unless specifically signed otherwise. Look it up in the RCW or read my other post.

  28. And why should a pedestrian have to walk out of their way? Why should I have to add extra minutes to my trip to save YOU a few seconds from your trip? Read the law: I have the right of way, you don’t. Don’t like that? Too bad.

    If you’re argument is one pedestrian shouldn’t be able to slow up several cars well we can turn that around and use that as an argument for more public transit. Why should you driving solo in your car be allowed to get in the way of a light rail train or bus carrying 100 people? See the problem with your argument?

    God forbid you be delayed a few seconds. You poor baby. Boo-hoo. Want me to get you a bottle?

    Also for the record I own a $46,000 car so spare me the whole “cyclists/pedestrians don’t pay taxes” bulls**t argument.

  29. War on drivers? Yeah, you poor oppressed people. Just look at how little money is spend on roads compared to sidewalks and public transit. Give me a break. Next you’re going to try and convince us that there’s a war against white males, right? You’re not an oppressed victim, you’re just a sniveling little baby whose diaper needs to be changed.

  30. That’s OK, we don’t understand why you simply can’t stop. Where are you going that’s so important? You stopping takes less time than someone having to walk an extra block. What makes your time more valuable than someone else’s?

  31. Amen!!! I walk, ride and drive and find it incredibly annoying when I see what appears to be a pedestrian wanting to cross, do the nice thing and stop, and the person just keeps standing there. It’s classic Seattle indecisiveness. These are the same people who when you’re in your car and come to a 4 way stop and they’re too your right still insist on stopping. People in this town really need to learn how right of way works whether it’s pedestrian or motorist. I know people are trying to be polite or safe but in doing so they’re acting in an unpredictable manner and that’s dangerous. I no longer stop for pedestrians unless they’ve actually taken a step into the intersection signaling their intent to cross. If you’re in a car, come to a 4 way intersection and there’s not a car to your right you don’t have to stop. If there’s a car to your left, you do stop. Why is this concept too difficult for so many motorists to comprehend? Does the lack of fresh air in their car turn their brains to mush?

  32. Well you’re even more lazy seeing how you’re sitting in a chair and only have to move your foot a few inches to stop!! How pathetically lazy are you if you’re complaining about having to do that?? Amazes me you don’t see the hypocrisy in your comments.

  33. Tell me genius, short of leveling thousands of buildings how do you increase the amount of road space?? This city – like many others – was built for a smaller population. There are only three ways you’re going to improve traffic:
    1) Reduce the population. Detroit is currently doing this and I hear it’s not going so well.
    2) Increase the number of roads. This will mean bulldozing thousands of homes and businesses to free up the land for roads. Since you want more roads, we’ll start with your house. Sound like a good plan?
    3) Decrease the number of cars on the road. That means more people walking, cycling or taking public transit. One bus with 100 people takes up a lot less road space than 100 cars. 100 people walking means 100 fewer cars between you and your destination. Not sure why people have a hard time understanding this.

    If you have a fourth solution please share it with us.

  34. Why do people think the answer to any sort of road safety issue is more traffic lights, more signs and more traffic tickets? None of that works. We already have more signage, traffic lights and issue more traffic citations than most other developed countries yet still have far more road fatalities. The only thing we have less of is driver education. It’s absurd how easy it is to get a driving license in this country and equally absurd how hard it is to take it away from a dangerous driver. Nothing will change until we revise how we issue licenses. More signs and signals will only mean more pollution, congestion and road rage. It also means more accidents. Traffic circles (real ones, not those silly things in our neighborhoods) have fewer collisions than signaled intersections because at a traffic circle you never find yourself dangerously trying to race through on a yellow light or speeding so as not to get stuck at the light. Always amazed why we still insist on using traffic lights in this country. Circles are faster and safer.

  35. If, as Kptice says, “I think people would tend to cross at the light if a QFC was not located in this area. However, the QFC most likely attracts hundreds of people every day and a lot of them are walking from the northwest area of that intersection.”

    Then maybe QFC should pay for the crosswalk.

  36. Please do not add a stop light for the environment. Stop and go traffic kills vehicle gas mileage! Hey, I drive and walk in this area on a weekly basis, and when I am walking, I have enough time to walk another 150-200 feet to the light operated cross walk. We are asking pedestrians to walk another 30 seconds (1 minute with the return trip). Keep cars, busses and bikes moving so people can get home to their lives. If the city budget is tight, why are we asking them to spend money on this?

  37. Actually, crossing 24th is a whole lot safer now that it’s one lane in each direction. That’s what pedestrians in this town get, it’s just that most of them don’t understand what they’re getting.

  38. Whenever I zoom by at 50mph+ I like to hit the horn ahead of time, just to let the little people know that they have to scatter before I get there since I’m such a nice thoughtful person.

  39. GATORS? What about an alligator tail?
    MOMA’s boys? The Museum of Modern Art’s boys? No wonder they were tailgating, you had them completely confused.

  40. The number of lanes has nothing to do with the speed of travel. Crossing 24th isn’t safe from any corner; controlled intersection or not.

    Having seen, first-hand, the carnage that results from pedestrian/car collisions, I would say that it isn’t the pedestrians who “don’t understand”.

  41. The number of lanes has a lot to do with the speed of travel. That’s the main point of a “road diet” like 24th’s … the bike infrastructure is a bonus. SDOT has shown in followup studies that taking 4 lanes to 3 significantly decreases speeding, just about everywhere they’ve done it. And gives you a turn lane to use for Frogger.

  42. You definitely have a point. What we really need is more education about the basic rules of the road. Normally these refresher lessons are given with a ticket by traffic enforcement, but since we don’t do that here in Ballard, we’ll have to come up with something else. More signs?

  43. I do walk a lot in Ballard and it doesn’t bother me that I have to go the corner to cross the street safely. I don’t complain that I have to stop the car to let the pedestrian cross which I often do. I’m just saying that the money could be spend elsewhere to improve some other crosswalks that really needed.

  44. I do walk a lot and it doesn’t bother me that I have to go the corner to cross the street safely. I don’t complain that I have to stop the car to let the pedestrian cross which I often do. I’m just saying that the money could be spend elsewhere to improve some other crosswalks that really needs it. Respect to all: drivers and pedestrians – let’s be kinder to each other out there – it’s not a war.

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