SDOT is a soft shell after 3 accidents at Taco Time intersection

Since reporting the incident last week there have been some updates on the Taco Time crash story.

Jan. 12, at 2:07 a.m. officers responded to a collision reported at 2853 Northwest Market Street (Taco Time).

Officers arrived on the scene with Seattle Fire Department to find a vehicle lodged in the front end of Taco Time.

The vehicle had gone through a plate glass window and much of a wall. The driver of the vehicle was standing near the car and admitted to officers he had been driving when the accident occurred. There were no passengers, and the man was uninjured.

Officers reported that there were obvious signs the man had been drinking. The suspect refused a sobriety test and medical treatment.

The man was processed for driving under the influence and booked at the North Precinct for DUI and negligent driving.

The Taco Time intersection has shown to be a problematic one.

At the 28th block, Market Street splices, with one route continuing as Market Street westbound, and another route veering southwest, turning into Northwest 54th Street. Taco Time rests at the crux of this intersection.

The Ballard News Tribune has reported on two major accidents at the intersection. Both 2013 and 2010 saw major accidents, where one car smashed into the parking lot and another where three BHS students were killed after hitting the Taco Time sign.

As reported in the Seattle Weekly, the store’s manager, Aaron Alcorn, said, "It has nothing to do with the restaurant itself, it's just the way the street is.”

"It forks off—seven or eight years ago they changed it so the right lane goes straight and the left lane goes left. It just has to do with people's awareness coming through here and whether or not they are intoxicated or on drugs."

The Ballard News Tribune tried to follow up with Alcorn, but he refused to comment.

SDOT reported that peak traffic hours for this intersection varied through out the week from 3p.m. to 7 p.m and speeds hang on average around 30 miles per hour but ranged up to 45 mile per hour and as low a 10. However, in a recent study the highest speed recorded was 76.2 mile per hour. High outlier speeds occurred between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Chris Tonkin, Vice President of Taco Time Northwest, commented on the incident.

“ We are always concerned for the safety of our community and guests. It is important for people to understand that this is a public street, so only the City can make changes to this intersection.  If guests or members of the community have concerns about the safety of this intersection, we encourage them to contact the City of Seattle,” said Tonkin.

Since the incident Taco Time has reopened there restaurant seating. Whether SDOT will investigate safety improvements for this intersection is still undetermined.

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