Wednesday, October 01, 2014

School Zones and Crosswalks and Kids

I'm confused.  What part of kids and a crosswalk do drivers not understand?

Last night at about 6:30 pm, a 7-year-old girl was hit, not once but by two different cars and both cars left the scene.  Apparently she was with a group of people (kids?) and she got hit.  This is both near a park and a Boys&Girls Club.  She was (naturally) severely injured.  From Publicola:

Since 2007, SBB reports, at least 32 major collisions involving a pedestrian or cyclist occurred within 10 blocks of that intersection since 2007, including one in which the victim was killed. MLK only escapes being considered the most dangerous street in Seattle because Rainier Ave., a few blocks to the west, takes that dubious honor; just a few weeks ago, a driver plowed through a hair salon and Greek restaurant at the north end of Columbia City, injuring numerous people.

Last week, I was driving right by Roosevelt High School. There were two teen girls crossing 15th NE to get to the school.  It was daytime and they were in a marked crosswalk.  A driver went thru the crosswalk right in front of them.  (They did not have to jump back but they did have to pause).  I happen to be next to that car at the next stoplight and the driver had the passenger window down.  I (politely) asked the driver if she could please stop for children in a school crosswalk.  Her answer?  "This isn't California and I don't have to stop unless they are in my side of the crosswalk." 

And, most importantly, is the story of the Graham Hill students.  They lost the bus they had last year and had to walk home.  On September 23rd, they were accosted by a man in a car as they walked home.  When they would not approach the car and a staffer, who was walking with them, intervened, the man SHOT at them.  Three times.  


Tonight at the Board meeting, Latina mom after Latina mom, using a translator and in tears, told the Board how frightened their children were and are.  How the kids were traumatized and are afraid to go to school.

I listened to them and wondered, why hasn't anything changed?  Because honestly, I know that if this had happened north of the Ship Canal, the outcome would be different.  (You can get as mad as you want but we all know it is true.)  The stats from the Publicola piece show that the City knows there are issues in that neighborhood and yet, nothing changes.  The SE has far fewer painted crosswalks than the North end.  Why is that?

One speaker tonight, Chris Green, who had been the escort that day, was so eloquent and calmly passionate.  He doesn't want to lose his life and worries all the time about the kids under his watch.

I don't mean to pick on anyone but this same night brought a parade of people who want a downtown K-5.  It just was happenstance but I guess they didn't read the agenda (or the newspaper) and realize who they would be speaking with tonight. 

 It was such a juxtaposition between Latino moms and white downtown parents that it was jarring.

The Board's reaction - via their Board comments - was a mixed bag.  Several had hearts and flowers but nothing tangible.  Director Blanford said good thing but then said the district "needs data on which communities have the most crime issues so kids don't have to walk thru danger zones."  Well, I think that SPD could give that in about 10 minutes and I think most people know where in our city good people and neighborhoods endure the most crime and violence.  But sure, let's wait for the data to come in.

He went on to say they have less money and people really should advocate to the Legislature as well.  I'm thinking he did not realize how abstract that could sound to worried parents with frightened children.

He also said something about governance priorities for the Board and staff and that they need "discipline" around how many they get done.  I did not follow how that had anything to do with student safety.

Director Peters, on the other hand, had a thank you to the parents AND their translators.  She said they had to look at transportation dollars "and get our children to school safely and if it means a little bit more than so be it, that's what we have to do."  I note that no one has said what the $2.6M from rental/lease revenues that went into the General Fund actually funded. 

She also said that something needs to be done "immediately" and urged staff to please look into it. 

Director Martin-Morris started well, saying he thanked the Graham Hill parents for their courage to "come to a space like this and speak in front of a microphone to the people of power."  He said he thought they could "find a way to make you whole."  

Director Peaslee, in her usual way, managed to somehow thin out this issue by saying that she had been at a meeting at JAMS about transportation and "there are issues there, too."  I'm sure there are but not kids getting shot at by a passing car.  She also said it was "clear to us that we need to modify standards so that safety can be used as a rationale."  

Wait, what?  Safety hasn't been used a rational in transportation decisions in SPS?  Kind of akin to Walmart telling Tracy Morgan that he and his friends wouldn't have gotten hurt/badly hurt if they had just had their seatbelts on when Walmart's exhausted truck driver crossed over and smashed into their limo. 

Here are some relevant links from SDOT on the laws about crosswalks near schools and kid safety:

Pedestrian law
Safe routes

Let's be careful out there.  

Every kid is somebody's kid.  

If I watch out for your kid, will you watch out for mine? 

54 comments:

Feeling Sick said...

This week, we hear about the Graham Hill incident.

Last board meeting, we heard about another shooting incident at Washington Middle School.

Where is the city when we need them?

We hear from parents wanting a downtown school. Where are our legislators when we need them?

ConcernedSPSParent said...

JAMS has had at least one child hit by a car but not seriously. The Board signed off on a 1.5 mile walk zone which was for the k-8 not middle school 2 mile. Transportation applied 2 miles so much confusion. The PTA pulled various transportation depts. together to solve the whole issue of drop of, pick up, safety etc. Director Pleaslee attended and was great, Carr and Martin-Morris had other things to do.

Anonymous said...

A good article about kris green and the graham hill incident.
http://m.kirotv.com/news/news/elementary-school-staff-member-saves-students-chil/nhYLR/

KT

Anonymous said...

The future map for Cedar Park Elementary has kids walking across Lake City Way to get to school. Lake City Way also ranks high in the most dangerous roadways in Seattle. It is crazy to expect kindergartners to walk across such a dangerous 4+ lane state highway.

- North-end Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

NE Mom, yes, I think Cedar Park walk zones are a disaster waiting to happen.

mirmac1 said...

Melissa, thank you so much for drawing the dichotomy from the weeping parents from Graham Hill betwee the pro-growth (or anti something) downtown residents. Yes, the latter knew they came off tone-deaf compared to the life-threatening events of last week. I'll note that my polite compadres dutifully applauded their testimony. I did not, though I am usually the first to support the public seeking to improve the lot of students in this district - not, necessarily the 2 to 3 year olds who's parents think SPS should put a school next to their 48 k-5 kids.

Chris Green did an excellent job, as did Annabelle Quintero (SW Director SCPTSA) as the organizer as diligent intrepreter for these families (too bad the district does not feel it necessary to provide this service.)

I want to note that Chris Jackins made it a point to remind both interim Supt and board that he has testified many times that the district should not cut transportation costs, as it just leads to OSPI funding less the next year - based on need or not.

Anonymous said...

This would be a great time for an editorial (not like the Times would print it anyway) about how if the City wants to help w/ education, focus on pedestrian/crosswalk creation and repair and repainting; safe routes to schools etc and NOT PRE K.. We really are expecting they can pull off PreK when children are getting shot at and/or run down in crosswalks.

How out of touch are they? (rhetorical..)

--katydid.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Melissa, for the coverage. People in Seattle are driving too fast, under pressure to get somewhere plus often distracted. I was at the JAMS student safety meeting. Director Peaslee was there, the guy in charge of logistics for SPS and an administrator for SPS. Many parents were concerned about some of the students from the Northgate area who have to walk down a street with no sidewalks, cross Lake City Way, also a highway, and then down a few more streets with no sidewalks. Once it is rainy and dark it will be worse. They don't have parent advocates. The "this year" idea is to try to get them seats on existing yellow bus routes coming from 2+ miles to JAMS. But the logistics guy said that the parent needs to contact transportation, that it is not feasible to find the students through their addresses and offer them a ride. One parent thought of adding a group bus stop for a yellow bus near where some of these students live. I am sure that student safety is in jeopardy at many locations in Seattle---. That little girl shouldn't have needed to cross MLK way. I hope this girl is healing. There was a 6th grader hit at 40th&Wallingord this year near HIMS.
NEmom

Anonymous said...

Melissa:

My advice, for what it is worth, is that you not cite, quote, or link to Publicola, which is sloppy, lazy, inaccurate, and agenda-driven reporting. A commenter pointed out to them that police had determined that only one car had hit the girl, as the Seattle Times reported, and as yet they haven't made the correction.

I don't mean to minimize the gravity of the situation. It just doesn't help THIS blog to use such an unreliable source.

-- Ivan Weiss

Ragweed said...

I think the more poignant statement from Sue Peters was where she said something like - this was a reminder that the votes I make have real world impact, and this was one of the results of a vote I made.

One doesn't often see elected officials acknowledging that kind of responsibility.

I did not read Peaslee's comments as trying to water down the issue so much as broaden it to acknowledge that there are deeper safety issues with SPS transportation and they were not doing enough to recognize that. She was acknowledging the systemic nature of the problem.

mirmac1 said...

I want to note that two members of the Seattle Council PTSA have been very active on this issue. Whereas in the past I would've expected action only on JAMS, there has been effective focus on the SE and SW. Kudos!

Anonymous said...

Pragmatic:

It costs $56k for a school bus for a year.

There are 52,000 students in k12 SPS currently.

If about 43% of students are F&RL, that leaves roughly 30,000 students.

If the parents and guardians of all of those nonF&RL children gave $2 each, we would raise $56K, so that the elementary children of Graham Hill won't have to risk BEING SHOT AT THIS YEAR.

The SCPTSA could be the vehicle to implement this emergency pan-system time-sensitive goal-specific ($56k for that cancelled Graham hill bus route) fundraiser.

Our children must never, EVER, endure this ever again. Our beautiful children. Thank G-d they are safe. Thank G-d for Mr. Green.

I don't want to argue or dicker about this. I need it solved now. Give them their bus back. Now. And let's now "Seattle Process" it. Let's not wait for the Board to wait for Pegi McEvoy to dither and do nothing. Let's solve it.

Even a kickstart campaign... We parents in all of our different geographies must band together to fix this. It's too important to rely on Dr.Nyland and staff. It requires action to protect children. SPS has never demonstrated that kind of laser-focused precision when it comes to emergencies. Children getting shot at constitutes an emergency.

It would be $2 per kid in the K12 system from families who could afford to donate $2.

It would solve a problem, potentially save a life, and send a message: we are all in this together, and when we band together, we can be powerful.

Bus NOW

Anonymous said...

Bus Now,

If you start a GoFundMe campaign of some sort, post it here. I'll donate. Every child should be safe going to and from school.

HP

Anonymous said...

What shooting incident at Washington Middle School? There were students involved in a shooting?

-Neighbor

Anonymous said...

Funding a bus is a nice altruistic idea, but a fundamental change needs to be made in the safety of all students.

Transportation standards are written as if 'one size fits all' and our schools aren't all the same. Walking a mile to Bryant or Adams is not the same as walking a mile to Cedar Park or Graham Hill.

Conversely, two miles away from a middle school shouldn't always be a yellow bus. What about students who live a block or two from a straight shot Metro stop? Wouldn't it make more sense to give them an Orca card so that students who might be closer, but not have such easy access to public transportation, get a yellow bus?

Food for thought.
LH

Anonymous said...

The "walk zones" for at least middle school seem to be based on the assumption that the routes you might take to school are pastoral ones, filled with flowers and fields of green. In at least our case, it's a hazardous walk that I don't even like doing. Crossing two big arterials that double as raceways during rush hour, and an entrance to Highway 99 (people turning left onto 99 watch for oncoming traffic and *not* the people in the crosswalk). We're 1.1 miles away, so we don't qualify even for an Orca card. We're not comfortable having our 11-year old walk this route, so we drive. Rather than provide bus service, I have to assume that the District knows this is going to be the realistic transportation "solution" for those able to do this.

I provide this just as an example that I'm sure is replicated all over the District, in every corner. An assumption that there are safe ways to get to all our schools by walking, and that having 6th graders walk 2 miles to get to school along these routes is acceptable.

Waiting for McCleary

Anonymous said...

We are looking at this as a school transportation problem when it's really a neighborhood safety problem. The district can (and maybe should) provide more busing for Graham Hill students. If that's all we do though, once these children arrive safely at home they've got to stay inside until they leave for school the next morning. It is apparently not safe to walk down the street in their neighborhood. This happened less than three blocks from the school. Are we going to send yellow buses to pick up children who live two blocks away?

The Mayor needs to deal with this. It's his responsibility to maintain public safety in the city. Why isn't he doing his job?

Reader47 said...

I can tell you from some fairly direct knowledge, that unless and until the Board tells Transportation "do this" nothing will happen - they are very driven by wanting to keep the Board happy - can't count how many times I've heard "but the Board wants it this way so..."

And yes, I know it's actually the Board telling the Supe, but they don't think that way - it's a very cause/effect situation. So, want changes? Start an email campaign to the Board (w/cc to Ms McEvoy). Nothing less will move the meter toward safety.

Sadly, its more often than not about the dollars saved, not the children protected.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Katydid, I am always pointing out how the City wants to "help" the district.

The security inside the school is the district's responsibility. The security outside is the City's.

The City knows where crime hot spots are. They know school hours.

It would be a great thing for the City to make the effort to secure those areas.

I have a meeting with the new police chief but probably not for months. I plan on asking her about this and other school safety issues.

Ragweed, I had Peters' comment in my notes and yes, what a brave and humble statement for her to make.

I didn't mean that Peaslee was watering down the issue because walk zones and student safety IS important everywhere in the district. I just thought it a little tone-deaf, after that testimony, to blandly say other areas have issues.

I note that the issue of sidewalks - and north of 85th there are none - may be a key issue for City Council district elections. One candidate for District 5 has already talked about it. Mayor Murray just said he may pull back on the waterfront design to send money for sidewalks.

Sidewalks are not a nicety; they are a fundamental for safety.

Po3 said...

What I would like to know is what did staff do when they were told of the issues at Graham Hill? I can't imagine that speaking in front the board was their first attempt at being heard.



Anonymous said...

The sidewalk issue (the lack of them north of 85th) is a huge deal. There really are no "safe routes to school" when kids are expected to walk in the street, around overgrown bushes and HUGE puddles of water (i.e. the intersection of 110th and 35th Ave NE).

For instance, NE 110th Street, between Sand Point Way and 35th Ave NE, is slated to receive a continuous sidewalk (thanks to the hard work of community members), but until then, there are families with kids, some pushing strollers, and students from Hale, JAMS and John Rogers navigating their way through traffic on 110th to get to school.

To make matters worse, this year they routed a detour (35th Ave NE closure) through the John Rogers school zone! SPD got wind of it, and for about a week there was a cop in the mornings on NE 110th Street, pulling over speeders. The detour traffic seems to think the 20 MPH school zone does not apply to them...much less the kids waiting to cross in the crosswalks. John Rogers has parent volunteers with orange vests and flags at these crosswalks, but many drivers still just wiz on through.

The waterfront park plans sound fantastic, but there are some really pressing sidewalk and infrastructure needs in our residential areas. With the growth in school-aged children, it would seem that improvements geared toward getting kids to school safely should be much more of a priority.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

I had to go look up the part about not having to yield to people in a crosswalk unless they are on your side of the street - I don't think the person was technically correct - According to Seattle's municipal code:

11.40.040 Right-of-way in crosswalk.

The operator of an approaching vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian using an unmarked or marked crosswalk or a disabled person using a curb ramp as provided in Section 11.40.090 to cross the roadway when the pedestrian or disabled person is upon or within (1) lane of the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For purposes of this section, "half of the roadway" means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one (1) direction of travel and includes the entire width of a one-way roadway.

the "within 1 lane" part implies to me that unless it's a 4 lane street, the car should have yielded to the pedestrians but guess its a matter of interpretation?

factcheck

ConcernedSPSParent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa Westbrook said...

Factcheck, I'd have to go back and look but I think a school crosswalk during school hours has a different rule.

Patrick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I agree that SPS should have different transportation policies for different areas. I used to read the Rainier Valley Post everyday a couple years ago, before life got too utterly cluttered, and almost every week there were some horrifying story about kids in danger while walking to school. I remember most a couple of really frightening stories of thirteen-year-olds fighting off men who were trying to drag them into bushes(!!!) at 7am while they were walking to school; stories of adults and kids being beaten & robbed of cell phones at Link stations etc. The neighborhood would complain, the City would have taskforces looking into it, police patrols would increase for a while. But the would be perps would just move to a different area for a while, then came back when the cops left

We need more money for a long term permanent solution. I hear that $7 million were collected last year from speeders at the 5 schools that had photo-enforcement cameras. Let's ask the City to put in those cameras at EVERY school, starting with the more turbulent neighborhoods, and demand that they use all the money collected to really make those areas safe for kids walking to school. The "safety" plans they have now of adding crosswalks & lights etc around the schools are not enough. Traffic and distracted drivers are not the only dangers these kids face. We need more police patrols and better anti-gangs programs. The city need to provide real safety and real alternatives so that kids in unsafe neighborhoods are not forced to join gangs for protection!

This is a wealthy city, we have no excuse for not being able to make it safe for children walking to school in broad daylight!. We need a City Income Tax!

CCA

Anonymous said...

Just checked - the rules are only different if it's an official designated "School patrol controlled" crosswalks - which require city approval

Full rules here, for anyone else who wonders

Pedestrian Program - Pedestrian Law

factchecker

Anonymous said...

Funny on the crosswalks thing. And on that driver "knowing" her "rights."

First, rights don't matter squat if you actually hit someone - you'd think she'd be either more compassionate/worried or just more concerned about being sued for everything she's got forever if she hits someone w/her car. I am.

Second: I was firmly corrected years ago on Cap Hill by a motorcycle cop when I drove through a crosswalk with a pedestrian on the far side stepping out. So some cops think 100% of crosswalk area is sacrosanct. Safer, from a ticket standpoint, to think so too. Why are people so nasty about the things that make civil society hang together? It's pretty obvious that none of us really want to live in the type of countries where no one yields to pedestrian or obeys traffic rules, just like no one really wants to move to the countries that don't have income taxes or environmental protection laws. So why do people get bent out of shape about going a little above or beyond?

Signed: wondering

Anonymous said...

A driver stopped and then yelled "**ck you. Use a crosswalk," as my elementary kid and I crossed the street last week. We were crossing at a corner. And unfortunately, there isn't a marked crosswalk there or for 10 more blocks. The drivers have gotten out of hand in Seattle and only more cops or speed cameras will restore balance.

-midnight

Melissa Westbrook said...

Again, whether marked or not, every corner IS a crosswalk.

"Why are people so nasty about the things that make civil society hang together?"

THAT is the mystery of the ages. I see people that look perfectly reasonable but, for some reason, walk/drive like they are the only people on the road.

We're all in this together so it would be great if people would act on that.

Again, if I look out for your child, you look out for mine. If we all did that, there would fewer children hurt.

Jet City mom said...

They must have cut back all over, cause I know our local elementary school used to have adult crossing guards and now there are none.
For several years I walked with a cane until I had surgery, and I often had to use it to defend myself against the cars that would run a red lght, while I was in the crosswalk, or make a right turn while lookng right at me.
Children may even be slower than I was, and harder to see, so drivers must stay alert.
Pedestrians can do their part by wearing light colored and or reflective clothing. It is very hard to see people during our many grey dreary days, when they blend in with the sky.

Anonymous said...

I think better signage is crucial. I see some school areas that are very well marked (see the new crosswalk at Salmon Bay installed after a crossing guard was hit) and others that are not. If we’re serious about the safety of our students then dramatic crosswalk/school zone signage (preferably with lights) must be installed and maintained at every school.

Pedestrian safety is a city responsibility. Seattle is actually one of the safest cities in the country for pedestrians, but it could do a whole lot better. Just getting serious about ticketing/towing cars that are parked right at the end of the block, impeding both pedestrian and driver visibility, would be a money-making start.

For other ideas: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/provencountermeasures/

Anonymous said...

There's only one answer to morons like the person who told you "this isn't California", Melissa, and that is:

"It's not about the letter of the law - it's about the spirit of it, and about having concern for others, particularly children, in a civil society."

I could talk about incidents I've had as a pedestrian, a cyclist and a driver where people have driven dangerously and then been abusive about it. But we all know about such things. I'm happy that so far my family has been safe, and that my 4th grader has very good road sense for her age (we work on it a lot, though). We need to push for better neighborhood road safety. It's really disgraceful that the mayor is only now thinking of taking some of the funds for the waterfront park and putting it into sidewalks - which are a HUGE issue in the north of the city (possibly in the south, too, though I don't know from personal experience).

As for crosswalks, my 4th grader was assigned a bus stop 0.6 miles from our house and across a major arterial. With not one single crosswalk (let alone one with pedestrian lights) between us and it. When I first talked to Transportation about it, they told me this was an acceptable stop, even though they didn't know there were no crosswalks. Thanks to efforts by the collective parents at our stop, it got moved to the other side of the arterial, but what a waste of time and effort to have to do that - and why dismiss my information and concerns to begin with? Why not actually take it seriously when a parent contacts you to tell you something is dangerous?

And this is being repeated all over the city - and as we see with the Graham Hill incident, with kids whose families aren't as well placed to advocate as those in my neighborhood.

We need more crosswalks with pedestrian lights, especially - the ones with the buttons. Especially on the walk zones around schools. What sort of campaign would we need to instigate to get attention on this?

(Also, I don't recall similar stories about kids getting hit in the last few school years. Is my memory lacking or is it worse this year?)

-flibbertigibbet

Anonymous said...

The SDOT geniuses have been eliminating marked crosswalks all over the city for a decade at least, because they *believe* contrary to the law, the evidence, and the data, pedestrians will detour hundreds of feet to signal controlled intersections, then back, to be safe. This is official SDOT policy. I've asked them, and they've told me this.

SDOT is wrong. Pedestrians traveling on foot, smartly and properly take the shortest distance between two points, which is the closest intersection, which they, and drivers, are supposed to know gives right-of-ways to the pedestrian.

First, it is shocking how few people know the unmarked crosswalk rule. Second, because people see fewer and fewer crosswalks to remind them of pedestrians in the area, drivers have become numb and dumb to the idea that pedestrians have any rights, or even belong on the roadways.

So, SDOT's policy is backfiring by de-conditioning drivers sensitivities to pedestrians, which, in the cell-phone age, is extremely hazardous.

WSDWG

Melissa Westbrook said...

Way back when, the City used to fund the crossing guards. But it got eliminated and the district didn't have the funds.

I'd have to ask but I think most crossing guards are PTA funded. Anyone?

Reader47 said...

I believe adult crossing guards are actually hourly employees of Transportation. At least they used to be - might have been yet another budget cut victim

reader47

Anonymous said...

I think the John Rogers Elementary PTA funds the crossing guard who has been coming early to help the JAMS students cross at 110th & 35th.
JAMSmom

Anonymous said...

@JAMS Mom

Actually, I believe the crossing guard at 35th Ave NE and NE 110th St is paid for, at least in part, through the John Rogers school/building budget.

Also, PTA volunteers are posted at several intersections surrounding the school, in order to help kids safely cross the street through the detour traffic. This includes an adult volunteer to help keep the safety patrol kids safe.

SDOT has put in temporary speed bumps on NE 39th St, to help "calm" the traffic on an otherwise quiet street that is being used as an unofficial detour route. Evidently, speed bumps can't be installed on 110th (on the official detour route), due to the slope of the street.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

oops. That should read NE 39th Ave, not street, in the above post.

- North-end Mom

Josh Hayes said...

I blame cell phones (of course, I blame cell phones for nearly every societal ill, so that's not surprising): they have weakened the tissues that bind us to the physical world. People come to think that their virtual world, the one where their "friends" exist (virtually), is more real than the road they are driving down, the sidewalk a pedestrian is stepping off...

I'm being just slightly facetious, but really, time was when we were driving in our cars that that was all we were doing: driving. Maybe listening to the radio. But now? Now we're carrying on emotionally involving conversations with people who literally aren't there, and what is there fades into the background, or even becomes irritating when it pipes up to ask us to please not run them over.

Maybe it's just because I'm an old fogie, but I really do think that the modern connected age stretches people too thin to pay attention to the mundane matters of real-world existence. And what's the solution if I'm right? I really don't know that there is one.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

So, I asked around a bit, and I'm not sure how the crossing guard is paid. I know he signs in at John Rogers, but it could be the District pays his salary (I don't think he is a volunteer, but that is a possibility).

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

The district pays for crossing guards, but only at elementary schools. However they have many unfilled openings, especially in the north end. The pay is low and you only get paid for about 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon.
Mom of 2

Catherine said...

I did an unscientific survey of college graduates (most with advanced degrees) who moved to Seattle from across the country. Less than 1/2 believed that every corner unless marked otherwise was a legal crosswalk. We looked up the laws in their home towns, and it turns out, at least for that crowd, Seattle pedestrian laws are very different than their home towns. With as many newcomers we have here, I have to believe some of the problem is simply awareness.

Anonymous said...

@ Mom of 2

Thanks for the info. If the Cedar Park walk zone stays as is, then I doubt they'd be able to fill crossing guard positions at Lake City Way intersections...It would take a pretty high salary to compensate for the risk involved.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

@Catherine: They're college graduates, some with advanced degrees, yet they can't remember basic ABC stuff on the WA driving test. Welcome to the information age. How in the hell did we get here?

WSDWG

Anonymous said...

To further my earlier comments re: SDOT, they have no science to support their theories about crosswalks. It's an article of faith at best, and half the city council knows it, but they are preoccupied with stuff like waterfront promenades, as infrastructure and day to day stuff, like staying alive on our roadways, just doesn't produce many photo ops.

WSDWG

Anonymous said...

The pedestrian right of way for unmarked crosswalks has been the code in every state I've resided. Where is it not the code? Some things that have been different from state to state are school zone speed limits (some places 20 mph, others 25 mph), and rules about U-turns.

cautious driver

Reader47 said...

Reposting for unsigned user

Thank you for covering this board meeting so thoroughly. As a former employee at Graham Hill and a Spanish speaker, I was at the meeting held by Pegi Macavoy (sp?) at Graham Hill the next day as an interpreter. She was so evasive - spewing b.s. left and right. And then, to add insult to injury, she invited a White parent to take a safety tour of the school's perimeter with her and refused to let a Latina mom come as well. I asked if this mom - the mom of the boy who got directly shot along with Mr. Green - and she said, "No". This mom and I went anyway but Pegi ignored this Mom's concern about overgrown areas close to the playground where she felt a predator could hide. Oh, and also, the White dad invited to tour with Pegi was not even a parent of a child involved in the incident. The whole thing was completely outrageous.

I would be letting the Board and Supe know about this - that's inexcusable

Anonymous said...

Dear unsigned user at 8:09 pm,
I am sorry to hear that the concerned parent(s) of Graham Hill did not feel respected at the day after safety walk with Peg. People who are involved with a school community should be listened to with respectful listening, especially from groups who often are under represented at community meetings. Special effort should be used by school district representatives to try to get the picture from those who are there every day. Don't give up on trying to make things better.
JAMSmom

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that an email campaign to the Board/Supe is underway from parents at Lincoln who are unhappy about transportation to that school - the squeaky wheel works - time for Graham Hill to get even squeakier?

cheesy

Anonymous said...

The transportation issues at Lincoln are compounded by the late start and late release times for the third tier schools, and the three tiers in general (as opposed to the old two tier bus schedule). Traffic is much worse for the later times. Something to think about when altering school start times.

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