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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Rechannelization Makes Stone Way Safer

5/24/2010  4:30:00 PM

Rechannelization Makes Stone Way Safer
Study shows lower speeds and fewer collisions while capacity maintained

SEATTLE — Demonstrating that Seattle’s streets can be made safer through lane reconfigurations, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) today released its before and after study of the Stone Way N rechannelization. The report documents that the lane changes on Stone Way N have reduced speeds and collisions while still maintaining the road’s capacity.

Highlights from the study include:

• Motor vehicles now travel at speeds nearer the legal limit;

• Total collisions dropped 14 percent with injury collisions down 33 percent;

• Pedestrian collisions declined significantly;

• Bike trips increased 35 percent but collisions per bicycle trip have declined; and

• Volumes show the roadway still easily accommodates motor vehicle traffic.

Data collected by SDOT on the rechannelized street shows motor vehicles now traveling at speeds closer to the posted 30 m.p.h. limit and a decline of more than 80 percent in those traveling over 40 m.p.h. The study additionally reveals that the changes lowered total collisions by 14 percent and pedestrian collisions by 80 percent.

The review of Stone Way N from N 34th to N 50th streets compared a period prior to the reconfiguration (April 2005-August 2007) to a period after it was completed (August 2007-December 2009.) SDOT converted the street to two general travel lanes with a center turn lane from N 40th to N 50th streets in August 2007 and from N 34th to N 40th streets in April 2008. Additional bike and pedestrian facilities were also installed at those times. Prior to the lane reconfiguration, the street consisted of four general purpose travel lanes.

National studies show that lane reductions can result in lower motor vehicle speeds, improved pedestrian safety, increased bicycling trips and fewer collisions, while maintaining a corridor’s capacity. Starting in 1972 with California Ave SW and N 45th St, the city of Seattle has implemented 24 rechannelizations as of April 2010. The Stone Way N Rechannelization report is available to the public on SDOT’s Web page at

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Seattle Department of Transportation

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