Seattle Remains Far From Its Vision Zero Goals

One Seattle councilmember is calling for more urgency in addressing the city’s rising traffic deaths.

2 minute read

June 9, 2022, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Broadway Bike Lane

nickfalbo / Flickr

Despite Seattle’s stated commitment to Vision Zero, writes Lizz Giordano in the South Seattle Emerald, the city saw record high traffic fatalities in 2021. “And this year is proving nearly as deadly with 10 traffic deaths so far, averaging out to about one person being killed every other week on Seattle streets,” Giordano adds.

City Councilmember Tammy Morales calls the deaths “unacceptable,” saying the city needs to shift from studies to solutions. “And for her that means acting on the bike and pedestrian master plans the City has developed.”

Giordano points out that less than 1 percent of roads in Seattle have a protected bike lane, while close to 25 percent have no sidewalks. According to Morales, Districts 2 and 5 are disproportionately affected by the lack of safe infrastructure. The article adds that “Of the 19 deaths last year and so far this year in District 2, nearly 75% involved a pedestrian or bicyclist.”

As the only part of the city with at-grade light rail, District 2 would also benefit from rail safety improvements. “Since the line opened in 2009, 10 people have been killed in collisions with light rail trains with 8 of those fatalities occurring in the Rainier Valley.”

Pointing to safety measures in other parts of the city, “Morales wants to see more safety projects like the ones SDOT installed along Rainier Avenue which included crosswalks, flashing beacons, hardened left lane lines to slow turning drivers, and leading pedestrian intervals which give people on foot a head start at traffic signals.”

Thursday, June 2, 2022 in South Seattle Emerald

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