Letter to the Editor: What has happened to police enforcement of speeding?

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Dear Editor:

It used to be that Edmonds was known for speed limit enforcement. That made me proud and feeling safe.

I live on 3rd Avenue and when cars go speeding by (often coming from the ferry, cutting thru to get to 220th, 100th, etc.) it makes me very concerned. I think of children who will be coming to the park (even now, with the construction there are groups who play on the grass). I also have noticed quite a number of walkers including families and elderly people.

I do not see or hear the motorcycle policemen anymore — those ever-present enforcers of the speed laws.

What has happened? Why aren’t drivers being stopped? If/when that resumes, it will serve as a strong deterrent to speeders once again, providing more safety as well as a nice income to the city government. Just sayin……it would be so nice to feel safer again.

Sherry Washburn
Edmonds

17 COMMENTS

  1. I’m sure the Edmonds police are doing all they can. But I’d like to enter a plea for the Edmonds Speedway as well, otherwise known as Olympic View Drive. It’s taking you life in your hands at times to go the mail box – I’ve seen cars at 45 mph (according to the “Your Speed” sign). with all those curves and hidden driveways, it’s a death trap.

    Is it time for a traffic circle or two? Speed bumps?

    • The truth is that there is speeding and reckless driving throughout our city – by males and females and by all ages. The 2016 budget for Police needs to include more resources for traffic enforcement. Back 30 years or so ago, speeding was controlled by radar traps and fines not warnings. I know, because I was rightfully nailed twice. Attacks to people’s pocketbooks would slow traffic.

  2. I agree about Olympic View Drive. With all of the hidden driveways, people should be driving at the speed limit but drivers are always on my tail. During the school year, I’ve had cars actually pass me on OVD (in the 25mph area) that are racing down to Holy Rosary School – as I’ve seen them pulling into the school parking lot. Passing on OVD is extremely dangerous. Motorcycle patrols would be nice in the mornings and afternoons, like they do on Talbot or near the schools. Tickets would be a deterrent.

  3. Ms. Washburn, thank you for expressing your concern. We share your frustration and want to be everywhere that our residents want us to be. We put our faith and trust in you being our eyes when we are not in an area and ask you to call 911 if you have a public safety concern.

    During a typical shift (day or night) we have four to six officers patrolling the streets and responding to 911 calls in our city of 40,000 people. Calls such as residential burglaries, thefts and domestic violence are priorities. Traffic enforcement is done when officers are not responding to those calls or completing the subsequent paperwork. That being said, we know that traffic issues are typically our residents #1 concern and we don’t overlook that fact. In June our officers wrote 475 traffic related tickets. Even with those numbers, we are faced with prioritizing our response to crimes and maintaining our visibility and proactive enforcement in areas of concern.

    I will make sure your comments about 3rd Avenue get to our Traffic Unit. We have two motorcycle officers whose primary duties are traffic enforcement and collision investigation. Our two traffic cars focus on drug and alcohol impaired drivers, traffic enforcement and collision investigation. Once again, thank you for bringing this issue to light.

  4. I would love to see something done on OVD. Early in the morning and in the evening I would like to see more police presence. I walk along OVD and cars drive way to fast. I would love to see something done to slow drivers down. I also have had many people tailgate me on my way to work. You also take your life into your own hands when you are crossing OVD. If anyone has any suggestions or can make something happen on OVD, I would be very happy to see a positive change.

    • I’ve always said, “Want your own parade?” Easy: drive at the speed limit on OVD – by University Colony you’ll have a parade behind you.

      I’ve been flipped off for driving at the posted 25!

  5. I would hope that the citizens of Edmonds would contact the Mayor and council members that they need to provide more money for the PD. They do a great job with a limited budget.

    • Agreed! We have a very fine police force – just not enough of them. I’d vote for any initiative that would improve their funding.

  6. Yes, speeding is a problem all over the city. With limited resources, the police can’t be everywhere. Another problem is Downtown City Employee parking. On 4th Ave. S. 90% of the cars have that designation. Visitors to our condo cannot find a place to park. Many 5th Ave. businesses have employees park on our street along with customers. Food delivery trucks and landscape people park in the middle of the street to make deliveries and tend to landscaping. Very dangerous. A good deal of the time cars are partially blocking our driveway. There are only 2 parking officers for the whole city, and they also tend to animal control. Certainly not enough. If the city wants to add more businesses, make the owners provide parking NOT on the side streets.

  7. The OVD “speedway” is a concern to the OVD neighborhood as it is a topic discussed frequently.

    Neighbors either walking or driving are diligent leaving their driveway, getting their mail, walking in the neighborhood to and from OVD, watching for bikes replicating Tour de France speeds going south on OVD and hyper vigilent driving around curves to avoid bikes as well.

    During most day-times, if there is a string of cars, the drivers will observe the speed limit. They seem more aware of pedestrians as well. Peak hours of speeders are:before the morning rush (45-50mph 5:45-7am) and in the evening when they want to get home, the ferry and the mall and at midnight. During the school year traffic volume and speed pick up with Woodway High school in the mix with a few drivers playing chicken, passing other cars and generally careless. More than once cars have rolled up on the curb onto my property. I’ve seen numerous accidents and impatient drivers when they are inconvenienced by the road blocks after an accident.

    I suggest the solution is to impede traffic speed by improved enforcement, physical means (stop signs, bumps) and deter traffic that does not belong in the neighborhood to reduce volume.

    It is gratifying to see neighbors, city and police force identifying an issue and are willing to work together to continue to make OVD and surrounding Edmonds neighborhoods safe and enjoyable. Thank you Sgt. McClure for responding.

  8. The Edmonds PD is doing their best with a budget that has been decimated and needs to be restored with appropriate funds. This is something that helps all citizens immediately not only in traffic but street crime, crime prevention, crime, etc. as well. They have made Olympic View Drive a focus recently with radar at several different locations on the road. I know because I received a notice of appreciation while driving there recently. The officer was simply doing his job.

    Tell your mayor and city council to give them the money. They are doing the best they can with what they have.

  9. Two years ago I received a ticket in lynnwood that I contested. I sat in court for 7 hours hearing contested cases. The judge threw the book at everyone of them. When my case came up I changed my plea because if you hadn’t had a ticket in 10 years their was a less of a fine.
    Edmonds under Doug Fair was the fairest judge in the land. If you had any explanation he routinely reduced the fine. Under current circumstances we need to be less lenient. I love our police force and will support any way to get more officers protecting our citizens.

  10. I live on 5th ave. south, overlooking the traffic on that street. For every car that goes the speed limit of 25mph, there are 12 cars that are speeding at 50+mph and more. They ignore the 2 signs at the entrance to Edmonds that say 25mph. This is very upsetting to me – it’s like a racetrack everyday right in front of me. I know that the police are doing a wonderful job, but can’t we put a flashing sign in front of the welcoming Edmonds sign to curb these speeders?!

  11. I can’t tell you how many times I end up on the sidewalk from drivers taking the turn too fast on Olympic View Drive. I live just off it and it’s getting a lot worse.

    • Oh, please – the problem predates the mayor by years. We need to stick to the topic and suggest solutions, not grind partisan axes.

  12. As a resident of and frequent pedestrian on OVD, I have often thought of carrying a black and white checkered flag…

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