Make 61st Avenue SW Safe for Seattle Residents & Guests
Petition to the City of Seattle Regarding Excessive Traffic Speed, Volume and Noise on the Portion of 61st Avenue SW Designated as Residential
As residents living along the designated residential corridor in the blocks of 3200, 3400 and 3600 of 61st Avenue SW (between SW Admiral Way and Beach Drive SW), we are calling on the City of Seattle to fulfill its obligation and work with us to implement this summer the traffic calming and safety measures awarded through the 2019 Your Voice, Your Choice Program.
As residents of this neighborhood we have petitioned the City many times over the years to address this problem. In response the City has conducted a variety of studies in 1992, 1999, 2005 and most recently in 2019. Each time, the City has confirmed that both speed and traffic volumes far exceed acceptable residential limits, but has taken no action to remedy the situation.
So we took on the task of participating in the 2019 Your Voice, Your Choice Program and were awarded one of the four District 1 winning project spots. These projects were included in the appropriate Seattle Departmental Budgets for 2020 implementation.
Our project line item was:
Alki: Calming Improvements on 61st Avenue SW between SW Admiral Way and Beach Drive SW (Cost: $30,000). Resolution will include the installation of 5 speed bumps and appropriate signage.
The neighborhood felt like FINALLY something was really going to happen, and that the City would finally address the long-standing safety issue. Then Covid19 struck, and we were notified that the traffic calming speed humps will not be installed this summer, if ever, due to lack of funding and manpower.
Now the City has exacerbated the problem, as nearby sections of Beach Drive SW and Alki Avenue SW were included in the City’s Safe Healthy Streets Program. While we love the newfound quiet and safety as we walk along that section of the beach, that closure has funneled even more traffic to endanger us in our neighborhood by increasing the volume on our street. Recent warmer days have drawn revelers to the beach for a taste of summer, and as a direct result, the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists and many motorists along our street is being challenged even more frequently by increased heavy traffic and speeding vehicles. The City needs to move forward on our project – NOW.
We’re aware of the City’s financial challenges brought about by the Covid19 Pandemic and the long overdue calls for Racial Justice and Social Reform, but feel that our safety and the safety of our visitors is equally important. This is a longstanding issue and had the City addressed it at one of the times it was previously brought to your attention this problem would have been solved, instead of being made worse.
Many of us in the neighborhood are more than willing to offer assistance to reduce the use of City Personnel Resources. We will volunteer as Flaggers or similar Traffic Control Workers to whatever extent is possible. We will put up road closure signs. We stand ready to assist in redirecting traffic on the day that speed bumps and signage are FINALLY put into place to rectify this longstanding problem.
In summary, we’re calling upon the City of Seattle to fulfill its commitment as awarded through the Your Voice, Your Choice Program and find a way to get the budgeted Traffic Calming Improvements on 61st Avenue SW installed in the next few months. The safety of our family members, our neighbors, and guests from all over the city is in your hands.
Please don’t overlook our needs and let us down YET AGAIN!