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NE 50th St / 1st Ave NE, map


Respondent #23, 2/4/09

50th Street is a busy East/West corridor. There are very few places to cross safely. 50th and 1st has a small business sector with a deli, laundromat, and a small strip mall containing gas/7-11/hair salon. The two sides of 50th are all residential.

It would greatly improve the walk-ability and the connection between North and South for pedestrians if there were a crosswalk crossing 50th at this little business district so residents could safely get to the Wallingford side and to the Green Lake/Tangle Town side of 50th. Right now ther

I am a cyclist as well as pedestrian and I find it almost impossible to get across 50th safely toward the East end of 50th.  The next crosswalk/light is at Latona which is also busy and not very good for bicycle or people.

A crosswalk signal and street painting would greatly improve the walkability and enhance this small neighborhood shopping area.  

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDoT) Response

Regarding your request for a marked crosswalk at NE 50th Street and 1st Avenue NE, NE 50th Street is two lanes westbound, one lane eastbound with a turning lane in the center. The traffic volume on NE 50th Street at this location is more than 28,500 vehicles per day. In situations where there is more than one travel lane in each direction and the traffic volume is so high, we would not mark a crosswalk without a signal or significant traffic-calming measures such as a lane reduction and construction of a pedestrian island in the center of the roadway.

We also studied this location to see if it would qualify for a signal. We found that it does not meet the criteria necessary to install a traffic signal. The criteria for a signal include the physical features of the particular location, gaps in traffic, volumes of vehicles and pedestrians, and the proximity of other traffic signals. At this location, there are not enough pedestrians and vehicles crossing NE 50th Street to warrant the signal.

Installing a signal where one is not warranted can increase the potential for rear-end collisions and be a detriment to efficient movement in an intersection, causing congestion and unnecessary delays. An unwarranted signal can also have the adverse effect of increasing cut-through traffic into the surrounding neighborhood streets.

We would recommend crossing NE 50th Street at the nearest signalized intersection, which is located two block east at NE 50th Street and Thackeray Avenue NE.

Finally, you mentioned an intersection painting at the intersection of NE 50th and 1st Avenue NE. At this time, SDOT supports intersection paintings on non-arterial streets. NE 50th Street is an arterial street, and therefore an intersection painting would not be allowed. If you are interested in pursuing an intersection painting on one of the nearby residential intersections, please let me know and I can inform you of funding opportunities as well as the process for organizing an intersection painting project.

Back to Northwest Sector list of critical crossings.

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