Council funds traffic safety improvements

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City of Seattle

Councilmember Tim Burgess
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen

Council funds traffic safety improvements
Legislation shifts more funding to immediate safety and mobility needs

SEATTLE – City Council authorized funding for immediate traffic safety improvements and improved transit mobility today through supplemental budget legislation. Street maintenance, bus corridor improvements and new crosswalks are included in the Council’s adopted transportation package.

“With this package, the Council continues emphasizing safety and maintenance as our top priorities for transportation investments,” said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.”The improvements we’re funding with this package address many of our most urgent needs for safer crossings around schools and business districts with growing pedestrian traffic, along with some of our most dangerous intersections.”

The spending package funds a full traffic signal at the intersection of 47th Avenue SW and SW Admiral Way (the site of a fatal pedestrian accident in 2006) and makes substantial streetscape and pedestrian crossing improvements in the Fauntleroy Triangle area, which is in the process of transforming from an area known for car dealerships into a mixed-use, transit oriented neighborhood.

“We added and reallocated $3 million from the Mayor’s proposal to fund important safety improvements and backlogged maintenance,” said Councilmember Tim Burgess. “We must fix what we have, finish what we’ve started and plan wisely for the future for all transportation modes.”

The supplemental transportation package also funds freight mobility spot improvements, traffic signals, and other pedestrian safety and maintenance projects. Specific projects to be funded include safety improvements at East Marginal Way (the site of a recent fatal bicycle accident) and NE 75th Street (the site of a recent pedestrian accident with multiple fatalities).

The transportation package does not include funding for a new Ship Canal crossing study because Sound Transit and the Seattle Department of Transportation are currently conducting a high capacity transit study for the downtown to Ballard corridor. As that study narrows potential options for a future light rail alignment, Council will consider the best timing and focus for a study that could build on that work to identify opportunities for a crossing that could also reduce bottlenecks and improve bicycle and pedestrian safety. The package also changes the scope of the proposed Eastlake High Capacity Transit study to prioritize more immediate bus corridor improvements.

The transportation enhancements are funded by some of the $7.25M of the Spokane Street Viaduct project savings and 2013 debt service savings.

[View in Council Newsroom]