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Councilmember Nick Licata
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East Madison Street / 12th Avenue, map

12th and Madison

Respondent #34, September 25, 2013

The intersection of 12th and Union/Madison is very dangerous. I head south on 12th, turning east on Union at 8 a.m. and I see students, bicyclists and other pedestrians in dangerous situations in this very high density neighborhood. Often I wait 3 lights to make my turn and sometimes as I am making it, a pedestrian decides to dart across the intersection with seconds left on the green light. There are teens learning to drive who use that intersection (my son included) to get to Seattle Academy. I would appreciate it if the intersection could be evaluated for some modification. Perhaps a short protected left turn followed by a yellow turn signal while the main light is green? I am hopeful that some creative thinking by the city can find a solution that will make this heavily trafficked intersection better.

Public comment: I agree whole heartedly. I have seen car accidents, cyclist vs. auto, and very stressful traffic. It is almost impossible to make a left hand turn from 12th to Union. Please put in a left turn lane. Thinking of my new driving having to navigate this light each day before school makes me more than frightened!

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDoT) Response, March 19, 2014

East Madison Street does not have exclusive left turn lanes, so unfortunately we are not able to install left turn phases.  This is because a left turn phase is inefficient without an exclusive left turn lane, as the signal controller has no way of knowing which vehicles are turning left.  This means the left turn phase would have to be served for a set amount of time every cycle regardless of actual left turn demand.  It also means that as soon as the left turn phase terminates, drivers wanting to turn left will again block traffic behind them.

(We) did evaluate the feasibility of installing left turn phases on 12th Avenue.  The evaluation requires looking at traffic volume data and collision records.  Unfortunately, even with the most recent data, the intersection did not meet the necessary warrants.  As a result, we will not install a left turn phase at this time.


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