The City takes action
Readers of the frontpage headline in this month's Madison Park Times ("Accident spurs crosswalk improvements") may have had the impression that improvements had actually been made to the pedestrian street crossing in front of our neighborhood Wells Fargo. The serious accident there involving a pedestrian and a bicyclist in late August certainly warranted some changes.
Yet in spite of the fact that the Seattle Department of Transportation had told community leaders over a month ago that there was going to be an "immediate temporary fix" for the crosswalk, there had been no visible evidence of this intent---until today, that is. SDOT crews arrived late this morning to re-stripe the crosswalk and to paint the curbs red so that no parking will occur in the immediate vicinity of the crossing. Poor visibility is being blamed for the accident, which left the pedestrian seriously injured.
According to SDOT's Dongho Chang, what the City's doing today is only a first step in what may be a longer-term project to improve the site. He said it's SDOT's intention to work with the community to determine what is the optimal way to improve safety at the McGivlra Boulevard/E. Madison Street intersection. "We want to be thoughtful about what we can do to influence people's behavior," he told us. Possible safety measures might include the introduction of in-street planters, curb bulbs, new signage or new lighting. Anything major might require that the community apply for a grant to cover infrastructure costs, he noted.
[An editorial aside: Those who did not read the Madison Park Times story in detail may have missed the fact that the injured pedestrian, Dan Miller, a resident of Washington Park, is on the mend and is expected to make a full recovery. Although we learned of Miller's identity soon after running our original story on the accident, several readers who said they knew the Miller family asked that we not disclose what we knew so that Miller and his family could begin the rehabilitation process outside of the spotlight. We honored that request for privacy.]