Tag Archive for 'report'

Ped collisions in 2010 second highest in last 10 years

SDOT has released its annual traffic collision report on Friday. Pedestrian collisions were up, last year, to 529, the second highest rate in the last 10 years. However, pedestrians were injured in a lower percentage of collisions than normal, and only 5 pedestrians were killed, the lowest since 2002. While conclusions can’t be drawn from one year, one could hope that a drop in injuries and deaths would continue from drivers going more slowly.

Overall, vehicle traffic volumes were slightly up for the year. The city counted fewer pedestrians walking downtown last year, but has since switched to a more thorough and standard pedestrian-counting methodology that will be used starting this year.

There is a lot of missing data with regard to pedestrian collisions, however where data was available for drivers, 256 of them did not yield the right of way to pedestrians, which was the biggest cause of pedestrian collisions.

The report indicates that SPD and SDOT work together to target enforcement efforts. According to Acting City Traffic Engineer, Brian Kemper, “When we [SDOT] have locations of concern, we work with SPD…and provide the engineering or traffic solution that is appropriate.” The improvements the city has made, “have been pretty effective,” but it requires a team effort between SDOT and SPD of education, engineering, and enforcement.

SPD did conduct 42 pedestrian safety emphasis patrols, where a plain clothes officer acts as a pedestrian crossing the street legally, and 48 violations were written as a result of these stings.

Though the leading cause of pedestrian collisions is drivers failing to yield the right of way, SDOT issued 8 times more infractions against pedestrians than they did against drivers failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians. In fact, the violations issued to drivers for failure to yield to pedestrians in 2010 was down to half of 2009’s level. Also, remarkably, the number of citations issued in school zones were dropped by over 60%.

SPD does deploy a van to monitor speeds in school zones from state funding authorized in 2009, resulting in the issuaance of 1,808 citations last year, averaging a decrease in speed of between 5 and 10 miles per hour in school zones.

The report provides statistics related to the lane rechannelization at Fauntleroy Way SW, and shows that collisions dropped by 31% and injuries dropped by 73%. Rush hour travel time for drivers did increase by 4 to 65 seconds from Alaska to California Ave.

Also, since 2006, more pedesrian collisions have happend in November than any other month.

The Seattle PI has a general recap of the report, as does PubliCola.

A link to the final report can be found here


Report on Seattle graffiti

It seems like graffiti is everywhere in the city, especially in urban areas. We’re all impacted by it financially because $2 million of our tax dollars are used to remove it. However, as we observe our surroundings on our walks, us pedestrians probably see more graffiti than most people.

The city auditor’s office recently did a study on graffiti and came back with some interesting statistics, including that public property is tagged more often than private. Also, sticker graffiti is more common than spray paint graffiti.

39% of survey respondents said graffiti was not a problem, while about the same percentage said it was a medium to very big problem.

The study also includes a few recommendations. Visit the Seattle Crime blog for more details.


SDOT Annual Report

SDOT has released its 2009 Annual Report. In 2009, SDOT did the following:

  • Built 26 blocks of new sidewalks
  • Rehabilitated 24 blocks of sidewalks
  • Installed 36 new single crosswalks
  • Re-marked 810 crosswalks
  • Installed 34 curb bulbs
  • Constructed 392 curb ramps
  • Retrofitted 19 curb ramps
  • Retrofitted 5 stairways
  • Improved 6 walking routes to schools for safety
  • Installed 40 pedestrian countdown traffic signals
  • Improved 116 pedestrian and bicycle spots

In 2009, SDOT also completed its Pedestrian Master Plan toward prioritizing pedestrian-oriented improvement areas and policy and program implementation actions.

SDOT made a lot of progress toward making Seattle more walkable in 2009, but there is still plenty of room to go.


Transforming downtown to make Seattle America’s Most Walkable City

The city of Seattle just finished the most comprehensive study ever done in a US city on improving public spaces. The architecture firm that performed the study presented their preliminary findings this past Tuesday.

You can download a PDF version of the presentation from the International Sustainability Institute.

The presentation starts with some key findings about where pedestrians go downtown, noting that the waterfront is undervisited partially due to poor connections between the waterfront and downtown. It also maps the dull area in the central part of downtown between the retail core and Pioneer Square.

The presentation then moves on to some recommendations:

  • upgrading the waterfront toward making Seattle a waterfront city
  • using the east-west streets as “green connectors”
  • turning alleys into “green lungs”
  • greening building roofs and walls

There are a few motivating graphics that show how adding greenery and other pedestrian amenities could transform downtown, specifically King Street Station and 1st Avenue.

It also shares some lessons from New York City’s conversion of Times Square to reduce vehicle traffic.

The easy suggestions it makes are to:

  1. Better connect Pike Place Market & Westlake
  2. Complete the bicycle network
  3. Prioritize 1st Ave to make it a great street
  4. Green the alleys
  5. Create active facades to replace plain walls

Seattle has a lot of potential to make the downtown area great and this study seems to have identified a lot of good ways to do that. The full results will be out in March.

You can watch the presentation here. The Seattle PI’s In Pioneer Square blog has a good overview as well.