These fast cars are brought to you SDOT.
These fast cars are brought to you by SDOT and their friends. Charles Mudede

You would think that the ugly facts about Rainier Avenue (the numerous crashes, the more numerous car-related injuries, the constant speeding) would have been enough to alarm SDOT into action. But such was not the case. The sleep the organization is almost always to be found deep in is filled with the dreams of General Motors' Futurama and its car-flowing roads. Other modes of transportation are pretty much ignored and must contend with the loud snoring. Indeed, SDOT is not really a government institution but essentially a local branch of the car industry. Its employees are really no better or different than the suited and toothy sellers of new and used automobiles.

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So, Rainier is awful, and it took lots of loud Columbia City citizens (now increasingly white and middle class) for SDOT do something about it. And this something was not that much (one mile worth of a road diet). And it appears to have worked. The number of crashes and fast cars in this section of Rainier Avenue has dramatically dropped.

But SDOT is asleep again, is back in Futurama land again. It must be re-awoken by loud people who want more improvements, more safety, and two more miles of diet on Rainier. To this end, Rainier Valley Greenways has organized a safe streets rally in Columbia City. In a normal world, there would be no need for such a thing. A transportation agency would address this matter in much the same way a power agency deals with problems on a grid. But SDOT is a government agency not for the people or the city but for automakers.

There really is no need for cars to go faster than 20 miles an hour down any urban road. Fast cars have no place in a dense city.