SDOT Announces Changes to NE 75th Street

UPDATE: The Ravenna Blog also has a great post about the proposed channelization improvements. According to the Ravenna Blog, residents along NE 75th Street received a postcard today notifying them of the channelization. Additionally, the Ravenna Blog has the SDOT plan set for the proposed channelization too. Rather than re-posting it here, please visit her excellent coverage and take a look for yourself.


In an email to the the NE 75th Street Corridor Safety Project email listserve (see following text), Mayor McGinn announced the City’s decision for improvements to NE 75th Street.  Work on the selected channelization configuration is scheduled to begin the week of August 26th with everything wrapping up by September 4th!

August 16, 2013

RE: NE 75th Street Road Safety Corridor Project

Dear Residents,

I would like to thank everyone who participated in the outreach process for the Northeast 75th Street Road Safety Corridor Project. We’ve received more than 300 letters and emails about the project, and more than 150 people attended public meetings to discuss potential changes to the roadway face-to-face with city staff.

After five public meetings, numerous on-site observations, and a review of traffic data, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) reached a final recommendation for the corridor, involving the following changes to Northeast 75th Street between 15th Avenue Northeast and 35th Avenue Northeast:

  • Providing one general purpose travel lane in each direction
  • Installing a two-way center left turn lane
  • Adding a new marked crosswalk at 28th Avenue Northeast
  • Striping bicycle lanes in both directions
  • Removing on-street parking on Northeast 75th Street, except at Nathan Eckstein Middle School where parking will be maintained for school buses and general parking
  • Adding photo enforcement cameras for the Nathan Eckstein school zone

SDOT will begin implementing these changes the week of August 26th. It is their goal to complete the new roadway striping complete in time for the start of the school year on September 4th.

The goal of this project is to create streets that operate safely and efficiently for everyone. Since 2009 there have been 114 collisions reported along this one mile long corridor. Data shows that speeding is a problem on the roadway and that collisions involving left turning vehicles are common. With this project SDOT believes that speeds will drop and the number of collisions will be reduced. SDOT will monitor the conditions closely after the project is complete and make operational changes if necessary.

I’ve been following this issue closely since the tragedy that took place in March. I have heard from the public, their feedback and concerns about safety at this location, shared those concerns and ideas with SDOT staff, and reviewed the designs SDOT has proposed. Based on the information provided to me in this process, I support the recommendation made by SDOT.

To view the project plans please visit www.seattle.gov/transportation/ne75th.htm. To see what the City is doing city-wide on road safety, see www.seattle.gov/besupersafe. If you have further questions or comments about this project, SDOT project manager Jim Curtin is available at 206-684-8874 or jim.curtin@seattle.gov. You can always contact me about this or any other issue as well.

Sincerely,

Mike McGinn

Mayor of Seattle

Channelization Proposal 4

This announcements follows action undertaken by the City of Seattle to reevaluate NE 75th Street after a terrible incident at NE 75th Street and 32nd Ave NE, which changed the lives of the whole Schulte and Ulriksen families forever.  After 3 meetings to hear from the community, the mayor and SDOT announced 4 channelization proposals for NE 75th Street, from 15th Ave NE to 35th Ave NE, at a press conference on July 17th (see Ravenna Blog post).  At the press conference, City Traffic Engineer, Dongho Chang, announced that the City’s favored channelization alternative was  Proposal 4 – a channelization alignment that included a single center turning lane, 2 travel lanes, and 2 bike lanes. A majority of respondents (61%) to an online poll on the Ravenna Blog also favored Proposal 4 too.

The City held 2 additional community meetings to discuss these alternatives and hear concerns from the community (see presentation below from the July 25th meeting). At these meetings, there were lively discussions from community members about the need to maintain parking along NE 75th Street and the rights of cyclists over those parking on NE 75th Street. Throughout the process though, Dongho Chang had reiterated that his role as the City’s Traffic Engineer was to improve safety for all users of NE 75th Street.

Channelization Proposal 3

Proposal 3, which 10% of respondents to the Ravenna Blog’s online poll preferred, provided parking on one side of the NE 75th Street, 2 travel lanes, and 2 bike lanes. With the City’s announcement today, the City has selected this channelization proposal for that part of NE 75th Street in front of Eckstein Middle School.

Work is scheduled to begin very shortly and is expected to be completed by September 4th (assuming weather cooperates)! We know that this announcement will be preferred by all who use or live along NE 75th Street.  We are thankful, however, that the City has evaluated this corridor to improve all of our safety and we trust that they will monitor the effectiveness of this proposal and adjust it as necessary in the future.

2 Replies to “SDOT Announces Changes to NE 75th Street”

  1. The planned traffic engineering changes along NE 75th Street will likely make things significantly safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. However, we should realize that such engineering changes would not have prevented the double vehicular homicide and double vehicular assault for which Mark Mullan has been charged (and to which he has apparently pleaded ‘not guilty’). This multiple tragedy inflicted by this very sick and selfish individual was the result of a culture of ignoring, in which Mark Mullan and those paid to enforce the laws all ignored their responsibilities. It will be much more difficult to change this culture of ignoring than it was to redesign NE 75th Street.

    1. As was explained at the May 15, 2013 Wedgwood Community Council meeting, our culture and the State of Washington have a high degree of emphasis on individual rights. We see that efforts to curtail irresponsible individuals have been hindered by the “right” to own a car and not comply with the law. (See the meeting summary here.)
      I am sure that some people will scream that traffic engineering changes on NE 75th Street are inhibiting their right to drive too fast. The reality is that drivers need to slow down to create safety, and I do believe the planned changes will be of help.

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