by Lauryn Bray
As Seattle leans more heavily on traffic enforcement cameras to prevent collisions, some critics say their increasing use distracts from the need for infrastructural changes to regulate how traffic flows on major streets through the city.
Continue reading Seattle’s Increasing Use of Traffic Cameras Raises Debate Over Long-Term Solutions for Pedestrian Safety
by Ronnie Estoque
The U.S. Department of Transportation has provided two federal Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) grants to Seattle transportation agencies. One grant of $2 million was awarded to Sound Transit and Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to increase the general safety around the Link light rail along Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, which statistically has been the most dangerous for local residents as reported by the Emerald last year.
Continue reading Sound Transit and Seattle Department of Transportation Awarded Federal Grants for Improvements
by Phil Manzano
Content Warning: This article includes video and discussion of a vehicle-pedestrian collision.
Taken from a camera mounted above the intersection of Rainier Avenue and Graham Street South, the high-angle traffic video has a grainy, gray quality but still reveals much. The streets are dry. It’s about 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 25, and an eastbound silver Lexus coupe is turning left as three people — a mother and her two children — are walking across Rainier.
Continue reading South End Traffic Incidents Spur Efforts to Prioritize Pedestrian Safety
by Ethan C. Campbell and Nura Ahmed
Picture this: It’s a warm, sunny Tuesday afternoon, and you got off work early.
Your drive home takes you along a busy, wide road like Rainier Avenue. Squinting from the sunlight in your eyes, you miss the flashing sign that notes the speed limit is reduced to 20 MPH during school hours. It’s your mistake, of course, but one that is hardly surprising. Arterial roads like Rainier Avenue are designed for high speeds, and the fast-flowing traffic and expanse of concrete in front of your windshield offer few visual cues to slow down. You don’t realize it, but a camera has snapped a photo of your license plate.
Continue reading OPINION | Seattle’s Automated Traffic Cameras Disproportionately Target Neighborhoods of Color
by Kevin Schofield
This weekend’s read is the recently-released National Roadway Safety Strategy from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
In 1980, there were over 50,000 roadway fatalities in the United States. Over the following thirty years the annual count dropped to about 32,000 due to a number of factors, including lowering the speed limit to 55, raising the drinking age to 21, mandates for better safety equipment in vehicles (including seat belts, air bags, passenger-side mirrors, and crush-proof roofs), and temporary use restrictions on new teenage drivers’ licenses. The simultaneous increase in the U.S. population hides the magnitude of the difference: the rate of roadway fatalities dropped from 3.5 per 100 million miles driven in 1980 down to about 1.1 in 2010.
But in the last decade we stopped making progress in reducing fatalities; worse, in 2020 — when most people were staying home because of COVID — fatalities increased both in absolute numbers and in the rate (to about 1.4 per 100 million miles). Experts are unclear as to why the rate ticked up, though many theorize that having fewer cars on the road made it easier to drive faster.
Continue reading Weekend Reads: Getting to Zero Road Fatalities