Charles, the last time you wrote about Pike Place, you were advocating for aggressive enforcement of jaywalking laws, apparently to make it easier for dumb tourists to park:

"You need people to enter the city without fear of getting stuck in a car or going around and around, looking for parking."

I'm not surprised you've reversed course, but it might be easier to take you seriously if you offered an explanation for your reasoning.


@1) maybe i was being a bit too clever with that one.


“The street [Pike Place] should be for service vehicles and pedestrians only.” That’s about the smartest thing you’ve said...I have never understood why that stretch is open for regular traffic.

As for your MLK/Rainier dislike, has there been any analysis of that traffic? Meaning, is the majority of traffic because of people trying avoid I-5? If so, well, I think you know what that portends for The Stranger’s dream of I-5less Seattle.


15th NW and Leary don't actually "intersect". Leary goes underneath the Ballard bridge approach and 15th NW is the bridge above. I assume you're talking about the bridge on and off ramps. Yes, they are terrible, but you should be more clear what the problem is.


@3 I'm not going to take the time to find them, but there have been previous traffic studies of Rainier Ave. The gist is that cars speed way over the speed limit all the time, and the cross walks don't give enough time to cross because the street is wide. Also, apparently, drivers like to make a lot of turns into pedestrians.


Is Mercer still the mess it used to be? I remember long, long stretches of it without a crosswalk, and crossing it without one was like a suicide mission.

Is it racist to say that a white dude with the last name of Zimbabwe (in his case, a portmanteau) is an attention-grabber?


A good list, Charles. Yes, yes, of course, to Rainer, Aurora, Lake City Way, Delridge: absolutely yes. Also... NE 45th near University Village: an absolute killer. Terrible for pedestrians and drivers alike. Nickerson, especially near that big bend near SPU: never cross that street as a pedestrian without looking ten times while running for your life. And Pacific Highway South: not necessarily in Seattle, but very wide. Pedestrians need to be paranoid and brisk there. And last: the 405 entrance/exit ramps and associated crosswalks in downtown Bellevue. Horrendous. Many drivers zip onto and off of 405 at absurd speeds, and some barely look at pedestrians sprinting for their lives. I'm talking specifically about 10th and 112th. Ridiculously dangerous for pedestrians. Again: good list and a necessary signal to those who design roads to take more care in considering dangers to pedestrians.


And just to add... the whole corridor along 8th in downtown Bellevue from Bellevue Square to Whole Foods on the other side of 405: by turns overcrowded or insanely speedy and dangerous. The crosswalks at 8th near 112th and 116th are criminally negligent of pedestrians. Again, thanks for bringing this issue to our attention.


Rainier is double the fun because of the increased chances of witnessing a carjacking.


15th Avenue is a death trap even before it reaches Ballard with two recent pedestrian fatalities and don't forget Fremont Bridge, which has redefined itself as an instrument of death, what with all the suicides and that astounding Ride the Ducks head-on collision a few years back.


When I commute to work I walk between the convention center and SLU, following I-5 to avoid Mercer. The Denny triangle is always a hilarious mess thanks to the southbound I-5 onramp but it's not the worst as a pedestrian if you know how to time the lights. The worst spots for me are all caused by the construction. The convention center construction gobbled up sidewalks all around Howell and OIive between 9th and Boren, basically limiting me to the west side of Howell as the only direct route. Construction near the Denny triangle has the sidewalks on NW side of Stewart blocked off too, so now I can only walk between the N sidewalk on Howell or the S sidewalk on Stewart to follow I-5 going N. More construction at Harrison St. has Eastlake's only sidewalk blocked off, as well as the E sidewalk on Yale Ave, and both sidewalks on Harrison St. All of these projects have been going on for the better half of a year or more, I've given up and just started walking in the street.


Whereupon measures to control traffic are failing, I propose we support a specific new traffic management 'principle' or 'rule of thumb' for safe speeds: The "safe speed" through traffic intersections should be lawfully determined as "5mph less" than the posted speed limit. Nor should we assume "platooning" or long strings of cars through busy neighborhoods is safe traffic management. It's another self-driving car idea too ridiculous to consider seriously. It's probably more likely the standard planned obsolescence to keep everyone moving about on wheels all the time.


This is why I stick to bike paths only for my rides


@16 Jesus Christ, right on the money. I have also had screaming arguments with construction workers about this bullshit. Fuck em and the companies they work for, and fuck the city for allowing it.


Seattle has said screw pedestrians for decades, as construction sites NEVER accommodate pedestrians, who are invariably forced into traffic.
Years ago, I chose not to move into southeast Seattle, largely because of Rainier Ave. I needed a feasible bike route, and bike riding in Rainier or the sidewalks was beyond absurd.


BTW - the excellent 'Intersections of Seattle' poster also sums up many of the most screwed up traffic locations about town.


MLK Way and the rail grade crossings. Waiting for the Link Light rail in Ballard.
None of these would have been problems had the voters not been cajoled into doing an about face and rejecting a Monorail. You get what you deserve.


This is a great review on the 5 worst streets in Seattle. As the Founder at Smash the Box -an Urban Planning & Design Firm based out of Seattle, we have looked into why (aka the politics) Pike Place Market still allows vehicles to enter the Market in the first place. It would be great to follow up with you on this and turn this "no brainer" idea into real life. Hit us up! - Yes Segura


SDOT employs sycophants who'll say anything for a paycheck. The alternative streetcar "connector" route I wish those clowns would consider is a 1st and 2nd Ave Couplet. From Jackson uphill in the 1st Ave curb lane, stops shared with trolleybus, then east on Pike to 6th Ave, then north to Westlake. From Westlake west on Stewart to 2nd Ave, then south to Jackson with curbside stops. Installing the streetcar connector in the Left Lane of 1st Ave with median stations will make traffic there worse and accidents waiting to happen. A fortune SDOT hacks paid for a college diploma to prove how smart they are was wasted.


Holmes. Have you heard of the Seattle Circulator Plan?
A monorail is still possible and would complement light rail.
All US transit agencies are corrupt. All US transit systems are designed
to fail so that the only travel option is to purchase a car and drive everywhere.

Please wait...

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