It’s official: The new SR 104 crosswalk now open

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Pedestrians try out the newly-opened crosswalk across State Route 104 connecting City Park and downtown Edmonds to Harbor Square, the Edmonds Marsh and the Point Edwards neighborhood.
Pedestrians try out the newly-opened crosswalk across State Route 104 connecting City Park and downtown Edmonds to Harbor Square, the Edmonds Marsh and the Point Edwards neighborhood.

City officials, citizens and representatives from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) gathered Wednesday to officially open the new crosswalk linking downtown Edmonds, Point Edwards, and the Edmonds Marsh.

Under construction since late last year, the crosswalk employs the latest innovative design and engineering to ensure a safe pedestrian path across a very busy section of highway, the State Department of Transportation said.

“We call this type of crosswalk a HAWK, which stands for High Intensity Activated Crosswalk” said WSDOT’s Mike Allende. “Pedestrians won’t notice much difference from a standard crosswalk, but motorists will.”

It’s all in the way the high-intensity overhead lights provide a series of bright, attention-grabbing signals. Here’s how it works:

A push of the crosswalk button immediately activates a flashing yellow light on the overhead cross arm, a warning to motorists to slow down and stop. Within a few seconds the flashing light turns solid yellow, and then switches to solid red. At this point the familiar pedestrian walk light turns on, indicating that it’s safe to cross, while providing a numerical second-by-second countdown showing the remaining time. The overhead light next switches to flashing red, indicating to motorists that they may proceed one car at a time as long as no pedestrians remain in the crosswalk. Finally the lights turn off, and traffic proceeds as normal.

Seven-year Point Edwards residents Reid and Jeri Schoenfeld were on hand to try out the new crosswalk.

“This is great! It benefits everyone and has been needed for a long time,” said Reid. “We walk to downtown Edmonds four to six times a week, and literally had to run across the street. It felt like we were taking our life in our hands. We’ll be coming over a lot more now!”

Mayor Dave Earling was also on hand to give the new crosswalk a try.

“This is a very good thing for Edmonds,” said Earling. ” We now have an easy, safe, pedestrian link between downtown, City Park, Harbor Square and the neighborhoods south of SR 104. And we’re one big step closer to the goal of having a walkable community.

— Story and photo by Larry Vogel

24 COMMENTS

  1. I noticed today that the 40mph speed limit signs on the portion of SR 104 which curves down the hill had been replaced with 35mph signs. Is this a permanent change?

  2. I visit Meridian Idaho several times a year and they have similar crossings that connect their neighborhoods across the busy streets. The drivers pay attention (hard not to) and as a pedestrian I felt safe. Well done.

  3. How about putting a similar crosswalk in at 232nd/231st ST SW and SR 104/Edmonds Way? With the Community Transit bus stops on either side of SR 104 at that intersection it would make crossing a little safer.

  4. We need to put one at the crest of 196th. This would link the Maplewood to the Seaview neighborhoods. Plus there are two bus stops on the Eastbound side of 196th which would be much safer for folks to cross to get into the Seaview area. Anybody know how this effort gets started?

    • This issue has been raised with the Council many times and for many years. It is a State Highway ( like 104) but there seems to be little interest in doing anything regarding a crosswalk or traffic calming. Guess it isn’t important if you aren’t from the Pt Edwards “neighborhood” and Mr Moseros isn’t your advocate for State funding. Now 196th remains the same: and Point Edwards residents have two signalized crosswalks within 1/2 a mile.

      • Mr. Mesaros did not become a city councilmember until March 2014; I’m quite certain that WSDOT’s planning for the crosswalk was well underway at that time.

      • D Talmadge, Please list full name.

        It is not wise to pit one neighborhood against another this could have unwanted consequences.
        As Baden Powell once wrote: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

        • Nathan — D Talmadge has been commenting on this site forever — since before I required commenters to use first and last names — and she is known to many. I have grandfathered in the use of her first initial and last name since that time.

        • My first name is well known. Why are you demanding it? If Baden Powell was the one who used the phrase it was President Lincoln who is most associated with it. I was not pitting one neighborhood against the other: that was done when the City advocated for the crosswalk with the DOT.
          This project detracted from other worthy projects throughout the community: not just the 196th crossing (though that one has been a problem for years and remains largely unchanged). How to allocate resources across the community fairly will run into “Pitting one neighborhood against the others” when the project spends Edmonds resources on a project that hasn’t been in the cue.
          As to WSDOTS involvement Mr. Reedy called WSDOT and reported his conversation as follows:

          Ken Reidy September 10, 2014, 2:49 pm Reply
          I spoke to WSDOT earlier today. I was told that this project was proposed by the City of Edmonds and that Edmonds was the driving force behind the project. A joke was shared regarding walking a short distance to the existing crossing at Dayton.

          He confirmed that short term action by the City was requested. I asked him what would have happened if Edmonds could not provide the $10,000. He said that the project may not have happened or that it may have been put out to bid again to see if a lower bid could be obtained.

          I still would like to know why the $10,000 budgeted for the 2014 Traffic Calming Program sat there unused for so many months. What is so great about that?

          Taxpayer money had already been spent in the past to conduct speed studies along several stretches of roadway where speeding concerns had been expressed. The results of the studies were compiled in a database to help identify where traffic calming devices (speed cushions, permanent radar feedback signs, traffic circles, etc.) should be installed, based on the current budget.

          Why was no progress made addressing the many Traffic Calming needs? Why was this $10,000 still “up for grabs”, per Mr. Williams?

          Hopefully, the $10,000 will be returned to the Traffic Calming Program so that progress can be made addressing Traffic Calming needs in residential neighborhoods. If SR 104 is really necessary, I hope the money can be found elsewhere as opposed to taking it from the Traffic Calming Program, a program that may have already been underfunded related to all the needs identified.”

        • I have no idea what to think about all this with the traffic calming budget, but I do know one thing: Lincoln did not come up with the saying about a house divided against itself not being able to stand: he and his contemporaries would have been very familiar with the source material where it first appears, which are all three of the synoptic Gospels, attributed to Jesus Christ.

        • D. – I guess I have a different take on this. When I first read Mr. Reidy’s post about his call to WADOT, I was impressed with how city staff are advocating for safety & infrastructure projects that we all benefit from. With all due respect, I feel like it’s a bit off point to infer or suggest conspiracies when it’s just professional people doing their jobs on behalf of the citizens they are hired to serve.

          Like others have mentioned, drivers are occasionally at unsafe speeds down there i.e., dashing to catch a boat. I’ve driven SR104 to Harbor Square 4-5x/week for at least 10 years & I’m certain that the changes to speed limits and the crossing will have an overall traffic calming effect as regular users adapt new habits and comply. I also think this calming will spill over into the adjacent residential neighborhoods. Our $10k was about 3% of the project cost, so I’d say $10k of traffic calming very well spent. I think that if Mr. Williams did’t collaborate with WADOT, me and many others would have been in line to criticize his inability to pounce on a really good deal.

          And as we heard from Strom Peterson, our future success in negotiating more safety and traffic infrastructure with funding partners will depend upon our reputation and ability to “put some skin in the game.”

    • Even though this location is noted in several transportation plans it is a small group of dedicated citizens that insight change.
      This crossing came to be on similar terms. I would be willing to support this.

  5. As far as a crosswalk at the top of 196th St., I would think an ideal location would be the fire station. A stop light is already there which is activated when fire trucks pull out. It could probably be converted to pedestrian activation as well. Since 196th St. is a state highway (SR 524), I assume WSDot would have to be involved.

  6. In Edmonds, it appears to be about who you are, who you know, and the many connections you may have……..THAT is how our hard earned tax dollars are spent……not for the overall public good, safety,basic infrastructure foundation, etc. but for the select few and blatantly, I might add………..as Mr Reidy pointed out after talking to a representative of WADOT, this was requested by Edmonds…….It is shocking that we have areas on our streets (unmarked or marked wrong) where people actually recently died and this government and STAFF does not give a ratZ you know what…..this government does not even care that it has been reported many times that on the direct other side of City Park where children cross the street regularly and are in imminent danger of being hit …..nothing is done there for a fully marked cross walk……….

    I am wondering about the lawsuit that was brought forth not too long ago in regards to Pt. Edwards…….the citizens should be asking how this lawsuit was settled…….are we helping developers to have higher ratings for access percentages so condos will sell faster?…..How many things occur every week in closed door (“potential litigation”) sessions……. beyond the public ever really knowing……many questions should be asked of our government and answers expected, particularly of our Mayor……many of the same people, staff,etc. in our town have had a gig going for quite some time and working for the select few…..time for a change and the citizens put first. …..The citizens also need to make sure we have an HONEST government, so it is clearly time for a change if we do not…….

  7. Tere, I can’t think of another location in Edmonds where people were dashing across a highway while 50mph traffic zoomed by. That crossing was a disaster waiting to happen. As for the other accidents in town — very unfortunate and tragic to be sure, but widely dispersed and speed was not a factor in either case as I recall.

    I find it hard to believe there was any kind of conspiracy here (and no, I live nowhere near Pt. Edwards). The state picked up most of the bill.

  8. As one who lives at Point Edwards and frequents several of the businesses north of Dayton, I would like to say Thank You and Kudos to those involved with the installation of this light. I do not know the mayor or any of the politicians but I am grateful for their vision. I would also like to add that the light works both ways and I personally have seen residents from the East side of the road cross at the new light so that they can access the west side of 104….

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