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Councilmember Nick Licata
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N 43rd St / Fremont Ave N, map

Fremont Ave N / N 43rd St Respondent #15, 7/31/08

I feel that this intersection really is critical because of the two #5 bus stops right by there and the well-attended businesses on either side. It's a really unsafe crossing point and I always feel like I am taking my life in my hands when I am trying to cross there due to limited visibility for drivers and people driving too fast. In addition to the hazards here posed by lack of visibility and speeders/inattention by drivers, there is no curb cut or landing spot on the east side of the intersection because it is a "T" - one is often faced with fitting in between parked cars on the east side of Fremont Avenue when they are attempting to reach that sidewalk.

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDoT) Response

Motorist speed and the ability of pedestrians and motorists to see one another are indeed important components of a comfortable crossing. Fremont Avenue North is a straight roadway, so visibility at this crossing location is impacted largely by parked vehicles. Parking restrictions are already in place on the northwest corner of this intersection. We will install additional parking restrictions on the east side of the intersection to improve sight lines. We are able to install only a limited number of curb ramps each year. This location will be prioritized annually with other requested locations.

We will also take vehicle and pedestrian counts to determine whether a marked crosswalk would be appropriate here. In this case, we will look to see whether the north or south side of the intersection sees a lower volume of motorists and a consistent number of pedestrians. If we find that one leg sees fewer opportunities for motorist/pedestrian conflict, then that is where we will likely mark the crosswalk.

You may be interested to know that SDOT crews recently extended the bike lane along the east side of Fremont Avenue for northbound bikers, from 40th to 46th. To do so, we had to move the center lane over, and both vehicular lanes are now narrower than they were before.  Narrow lanes are a traffic calming measure - drivers have less room for error within their own lane of travel, and so they slow down. I hope you will notice a difference.

Thank you again for writing. Please contact the Pedestrian and Bicycle Program at (206) 684-7583 or if you have any further questions.

Back to Northwest Sector list of critical crossings.

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