Vote for Seattle’s Worst Intersection in 2016

Another year, another solid crop of nominees for worst intersection in Seattle; these are 10 of the most dangerous and unpleasant crossings that Seattle has to offer. While all of these need some serious re-engineering from SDOT, only one of them can truly be the worst intersection in Seattle. Read the descriptions, view the photos, and cast your vote.

  1. Leary Way NW & 20th Avenue NW – The Urbanist wrote almost 1000 words on why this intersection sucks, “It’s a safety hazard to both drivers and pedestrians. And, if it’s dangerous for both of these groups, it has to be even worse for bicyclists.”

    Leary Way NW and 20th Avenue NW

  2. N 50th St & Phinney Ave N – Skylar nominates this one, “Drivers will barrel through the crosswalk at 30+ mph without regards to pedestrians, and in fact probably cannot even see them until they are about 30′ away due to the way the street curves around the zoo”
    50th & Phinney

    N 50th St & Phinney Ave N

  3. Rainier Ave S & I-90 – Al Dimond nominates this one and the next one, saying “About half of the top 10 worst intersections in Seattle have got to be along Rainier!” One example is the on ramp onto I-90 “Crosswalk across two exit ramp lanes. One is HOV, so it may be moving while the other is backed up, and it’s also set up so pedestrians can’t tell whether a driver in that lane is going to exit or not until the last second.”
    Rainier at I-90 onramp

    Rainier at I-90 onramp

  4. Rainier Ave S & S Henderson St “…was called out recently on Twitter as one of the most dangerous in the city. It’s a pretty straightforward design, but I guess that much fast traffic right by a couple schools is a bad combination.”
    Rainier Ave S & S Henderson St

    Rainier Ave S & S Henderson St

  5. 5th & Stewart – Hayden B nominates this one, “The buses cut across all four lanes of Stewart from 7th to turn left on 5th. It’s awful.”
    5th & Stewart

    5th & Stewart

  6. Montlake Blvd & 520 – Lisa nominates this top vote-getter from last year, saying, “Angry drivers, all on their phones waiting to get on 520, buses, lots of pedestrians, very long lights, pedestrians darting across to catch their bus, bikes routed to sidewalks and crosswalks because of construction. It is a disastrous spot.”

  7. Montlake Blvd & NE Pacific St – Jim S says, “Beg button takes forever. lots of light rail passengers trying to cross.”
    Montlake & Pacific

    Montlake Blvd & NE Pacific St

  8. Sand Point Way & 50th Ave NE – Another one nominated by Jim S, “Really bad visibility crossing sand point from east to west, cars going way too fast in both directions.”
    Sand Point Way & 50th Ave NE

    Sand Point Way & 50th Ave NE

  9. Ravenna Ave NE & NE 54th St – Yasmeen says, “I nominate Ravenna & 54th, ‘The Ravenna Park Triangle’ for being utterly unpredictable. Cars can go both ways on all three of those intersections, and during rush hour traffic backs up and people get impatient. Walking through, especially during that time, is a disaster.”
    Ravenna Ave NE & NE 54th St (Ravenna Park Triangle)

    Ravenna Ave NE & NE 54th St (Ravenna Park Triangle)

  10. N 50th St / Stone Way N / Green Lake Way N – Another nominated by Yasmeen, “My least favorite for walk wait times. There are so many intersections at that point that it can be several minutes before you get a walk light.”
    N 50th St / Stone Way N / Green Lake Way N

    N 50th St / Stone Way N / Green Lake Way N

Which is the worst intersection in Seattle?

  • N 50th St / Stone Way N / Green Lake Way N (34%, 25 Votes)
  • Montlake Blvd & 520 (22%, 16 Votes)
  • Leary Way NW & 20th Avenue NW (18%, 13 Votes)
  • Rainier Ave S & I-90 (14%, 10 Votes)
  • Ravenna Ave NE & NE 54th St (7%, 5 Votes)
  • N 50th St & Phinney Ave N (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Montlake Blvd & NE Pacific St (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Rainier Ave S & S Henderson St (1%, 1 Votes)
  • 5th & Stewart (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Sand Point Way & 50th Ave NE (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 74

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5 Responses to “Vote for Seattle’s Worst Intersection in 2016”


  • I ended up voting for Montlake & 520, not my submission of Phinney & 50th. I’ve experienced the former several times in the last few weeks, and it is indeed an awful intersection, and far harder to fix than Phinney & 50th since it’s technically a state highway (SR-513).

  • Growing up, the 5-way intersection at 50th and stone way was always my least favorite intersection. Walking across it is a pain because the signal times are so long, and you have to cross so many different streets to get anywhere. I always thought a roundabout would be a better solution. Rendering of idea: https://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaupload/tmp/27d5c009706381a5d84c8320fa6d1021adfd7d6e384ac0ab8253bf99/original.jpg

  • My vote is Fairview and Mercer. Can’t cross directly adjacent to ramps, lights take forever, no pedestrian bridge. The best part of Mercer is that you can’t really jaywalk, even when the traffic is completely backed up, because you never know when someone will abruptly zoom ahead to block the box or cut someone else off.

  • Nothing on Aurora / 99? Guess it is such a blockade that pedestrians avoid at all costs. I was tempted to vote for the Ravenna Park crossing, it has been a personal bother, but the cars are overall going slower there than many other Seattle intersections.

  • Let’s just say the self-driving car idea isn’t stupid. Nevermind. It is a stupid idea. How about Smart Intersection hi-tech? How about that idea? Design and stop/go intersection lights? Somewhere in Seattle’s DNA walkers/cyclists got genetically modified. Probably Monsanto.

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