Vote for Seattle’s Worst Intersection in 2015

Due to the recent coverage on MyNorthwest.com and the close competition, the poll deadline has been extended through Wednesday, May 20.

The nominations are in and it’s time to vote. Vote for one of these these unsafe, complicated, and downright disappointing Seattle intersections as the worst pedestrian intersection in Seattle!

  • I-90 offramp at Rainier Ave

    Plenty of distance for drivers to build up speed

    I-90 & Rainier Ave – Commenter Al Dimond suggests this one: “On both sides of Rainier the interaction with traffic entering from I-90 is OK but the interaction with traffic exiting from Rainier is right in the middle of an onramp whose design encourages drivers to accelerate! It’s also somewhat timely because the Rainier safety project doesn’t extend quite far enough north to cover it.”

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  • Terry Ave & Denny Way – Just half a mile from the last “winner”, 5th and Denny, Ryan Packer nominates Denny and Terry: “Impossible to cross Denny here, and getting more and more dangerous to even cross Terry. With a 40 story tower about to be constructed here, this one’s only going to get worse.”

  • 24th & Madison & John

    Turning left? Watch for pedestrians!

    24th Ave E & Madison St (& John) – A gigantic intersection on the east side of Capitol Hill where left-turning drivers often don’t notice pedestrians crossing due to the long distance across this intersection on a steep hill.
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  • NE 40th St  & 7th Ave NE

    Complicated intersection at NE 40th St & 7th Ave NE

    NE 40th St & 7th Ave NE – A bad intersection for people on foot, on bikes, and in cars! Skylar says: “My nomination would be NE 40th St and 7th Ave NE come together, on the west side of the U-District and a block east of the Ship Canal Bridge. This is a five-way intersection involving four (4!) different branches of NE 40th St (upper and lower forks that split, come together, split, and come together at various points), the Burke-Gilman Trail, and a poorly-thought-out cycle track that just dumps westbound cyclists into the intersection going the wrong way, with no visibility at all from the upper fork of 40th. The cycle track isn’t marked well so often drivers will continue on it east, forcing cyclists to take evasive action.”
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  • 15th Ave NW & NW Leary Way

    Concrete pillars and shadows make pedestrians vulnerable at 15th Ave NW & NW Leary Way

    15th Ave NW & Leary Ave NW – Liz says: “The Ballard Bridge makes visibility awful, and turning cars rarely look out for pedestrians. Moreover, the push-button activated walk signals don’t last long enough to get one all the way across 15th Ave NW. With bus stops for east/west and north/south lines on nearly every corner, it’s a recipe for encouraging peds to cross against the light. This intersection is the worst!”
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  • Montlake Blvd E & WA 520 – Narrow sidewalks, tons of traffic, and limited pedestrian crosswalks. If you’ve ever transferred buses here you know it can take 2-3 light cycles to get to where you need to go. A tip to avoid the lights is to take the stairs down to the freeway level, cross Montlake underneath, and then take the stairs back up. But, to be completely honest, any intersection that needs tips in order to be navigated effectively is a lousy intersection.

What is the worst intersection in Seattle?

  • Terry Ave & Denny Way (24%, 28 Votes)
  • NE 40th St & 7th Ave NE (22%, 25 Votes)
  • I-90 & Rainier Ave (18%, 21 Votes)
  • 15th Ave NW & Leary Ave NW (17%, 19 Votes)
  • Montlake Blvd E & WA 520 (16%, 18 Votes)
  • 24th Ave E & Madison St (& John) (3%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 115

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6 Responses to “Vote for Seattle’s Worst Intersection in 2015”


  • only six nominees?

    • I can think of at least a few more to add: Lake City Way and 137th, I-5 and Northgate Way, Banner Way and 80th, Aurora and 85th, maybe all of Aurora and all of Rainier Ave…

  • Wow, so hard to choose! These are all such spectacularly terrible intersections.

  • I’ll vote for any intersection that has more than two streets intersecting. I’ll be as bold as to put Rainier/23rd/Hill St on here as a candidate as well.

  • I nominate Leary Way and 20th Ave. NW, a very busy intersection. Completely uncontrolled, often poor visibility due to parked cars, long waits to turn onto Leary or cross it, impossible to tell if people coming from 20th north of Leary are turning right onto Leary or doing a soft right across Leary onto Vernon Place, and only one crosswalk for five streets where pedestrians cross all the time.

  • I know I’m late but NE 40th St & 7th Ave NE is absolutely the worst. I actually navigate it daily on bike as well as Denny and Terry on foot, but NE 40th St & 7th Ave NE is a cluster on a whole different level. I go through it on a bike but on foot it’s the same deal. All the drivers are so incredibly aggressive, honking, peeling out, pounding the steering wheel, yelling obscenities. Worst part of my day.

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