South Ballard road safety improvements start tomorrow, Sept. 4

From Seattle Department of Transportation

Tomorrow, Sept. 4, weather permitting, crews will begin installing three of five South Ballard Corridor safety improvements announced by the City in December 2012. The project addresses longstanding pedestrian and cyclist safety concerns and creates Seattle’s first advisory bicycle lanes.

A road with advisory bicycle lanes operates as a two-way street with no painted center lane. A painted dotted line and sharrows (bicycle symbols with chevrons that aim to remind drivers to share the road with people on bicycles) are used to highlight the bike lanes. Because the bike lane line is dotted, motorists can enter the bike lane as they pass oncoming vehicles when no people riding bikes are present. Advisory bike lanes are typically used when the right of way is too narrow for standard bike lanes and two travel lanes.

The bicycle advisory lanes will be on Northwest 45th Street (between 11th Avenue NW and Shilshole Avenue NW) and Shilshole Avenue NW (between NW 45th Street and NW 46th Street). City records show emergency personnel responded to 45 bicycle crashes on NW 45th Street between 11th and Shilshole avenues NW in a four year period from 2008 to 2011.

Work will start with speed hump installations from September 4-6 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following locations:

  • NW 45th Street between 11th and 14th avenues NW
  • NW 45th Street between 14th and Shilshole avenues NW
  • Shilshole Avenue NW between NW 45th and NW 46th streets

Traffic in both directions will be maintained with flaggers alternating traffic flow as necessary.

The Seattle Department of Transportation will also install striping at Ballard Avenue NW and 17th Avenue NW to square up the intersection and reduce pedestrian crossing distances. The department will additionally install striping and signage to control traffic coming from NW Leary Way via NW 48th Street as it enters Ballard Avenue NW to improve sight lines and slow vehicle speeds. The work is expected to be complete in approximately two months.

Work on the remaining two safety elements, installing an ADA-compliant curb ramp at 24th Avenue NW and repairing the roadway shoulder along Shilshole Avenue NW, has not yet been scheduled.

Physical improvements to Seattle’s streets are one way to help increase safety for all users of the transportation system. The City of Seattle has a goal of achieving zero traffic fatalities by 2030 through a combination of education, environment (street improvements), enforcement, evaluation and empathy. Visit http://www.seattle.gov/besupersafe to learn more.

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