Letter to the editor: Let’s honor Ellie Bonanno with a crosswalk

The plaque that was presented to Ellie Bonanno.
The plaque that was presented to Ellie Bonanno’s family. (Photo courtesy of Marilyn Sutton)

Dear Editor:

Saturday evening I had the privilege of joining the Bonanno family at Safeco Field as the Seattle Mariners and the Volunteer Usher Staff honored the years of service that Ellie Bonanno gave to her favorite baseball team! It was a wonderful time of remembering Ellie, her sense of fun and adventure. It personally reminded me of how she valued her community, friends and family.

As many of you know, Ellie was taken from us in January 2014 after being struck by a vehicle as she walked home from the library on a sunny winter afternoon. Sadly and very ironically, she was hit by the car as she crossed Walnut Street; a street she had lived on for decades. She was exiting the pedestrian pathway that she was instrumental in having the City of Edmonds create. All of us that knew and loved Ellie miss her daily and we continue to struggle with the City in hopes of having a crosswalk added to Walnut Street. Seems logical that a crosswalk be put in place where the city has created a designated path for citizens to walk on.

As it presently exists, there are no markings on Walnut Street between the paths, yet countless people, young, old, with pets and some in strollers, utilize this pathway. This past winter the city did a major renovation of the path on both the north and sound sides of Walnut Street yet we still have no crosswalk. As heartwarming and wonderful as it was to witness the tribute the Mariners paid to Ellie, I would love to see the City of Edmonds, the town in which she lived and loved, raised her family and served as a teacher, honor her memory by adding a crosswalk on Walnut Street at the 8th Avenue pedestrian pathway. She would be so proud to see this come to fruition!

Respectively submitted,
Marilyn Sutton

12 Replies to “Letter to the editor: Let’s honor Ellie Bonanno with a crosswalk”

    1. Thanks for writing this Letter to the Editor. The City has an opportunity to do two great things at the same time:

      1. Honor Ellie Bonanno.

      2. Promote safety by adding a crosswalk where people cross Walnut Street as they use the 8th Avenue pedestrian pathway.


  1. How hard is it to paint about ten white lines on a street to designate exactly where people will be crossing. I encourage all Edmonds residents to take an assessment all around our small town to see how few actual marked crosswalks there are with proper signs, striping, etc. Some main, heavy traffic streets such as 9th have very few areas to cross at that are marked. What do pedestrians do, just wing it, wherever?

    Compared to other similar small population towns one has to wonder where the money $$$$$$ went that should be used for this for the safety of the citizens? Many areas do not have signs on corners designating what the street is…….many with only one sign which is not easily read if coming from a different direction.

    We need a government that provides first and foremost for the SAFETY of its citizens……..Where is the money going??????…..Clearly in my opinion not for safety on our streets for all of our citizens, without which there would be no revenue.

    Our city wasting so much time, money and energy for one block (sunset) one suggestion by one citizen …..and mountains are moved.

    Again, where is our money going?????? and who is benefitting? certainly not the overall population.


    1. Ellie was a gracious lady who always had a twinkle in her eye. I’m sure she would have been honored if the path, including a new crosswalk, were to be named in her honor.

      However, this should not become an excuse to rant against our city’s officers and staff. We should work for change with the same dignity, class and humor that Ellie would have displayed. More success can be achieved through positive leadership than by pointing fingers and devaluing others.

      That would not be Ellie’s way.


  2. What a lovely plaque and yes, Ellie was a wonderful and strong community leader. I know the City of Edmonds has a policy for naming of buildings and naming of parks, but I don’t know about naming pathways. I remember checking right after it happened but can’t recall what the reasoning was or what needed to be done, so I will check again. Thank you Marilyn for writing this kindered letter.


  3. Thank you Marilyn for your beautiful letter. I share your feelings entirely and miss Ellie immensely. She was like a mother to me and the best neighbor for ten years. She was the reason the paths exist and there should have been a placard signaling to motorists the existence of the path. Ellie and I worked hard to get this path done and succeeded with the help of Mayor Haakenson and the City Council but were unable to get the police to help slow down the traffic up and down Walnut. It is such a tragic irony that she should be killed right in between the two paths ( linking the two sides of 8th street) we pushed for the citizen of Edmonds to obtain. Apparently since the city has done nothing the same danger still exists. For those who do not know the history of the path I am enclosing the link when we all went in front of city council to get them to open the path for all citizens. It passed unanimously.



  4. I wonder if it would be considered trespassing or anything if “somebody” (not the city) went down there and painted some stripes…


  5. Yes, we could get a small crew together really fast to do this stripping…..what would they arrest or ticket us for…..graffiti……..for improving the safety for all??


    1. Oh heck please don’t put your amateur hands on the public streets. You are dangerous not safe and it is the most terrible idea don’t do it. Only my opinion


  6. Civil disobedience for the sake of saving lives? I like that but you probably would get arrested and what would you do about the speeders on Walnut? As proven by the lady that died on 4th, Ellie, Ron and others you literally take your life in your hands anytime you are on an Edmonds street.


  7. Those of us that live on Walnut have certainly discussed painting our own crosswalk. Unfortunately I see that as a huge personal liability…hence my ongoing efforts to encourage the City to do right by us all and add the crosswalk. I know crosswalks do not guarantee safety but it certainly is a step in the right direction. Cost is minimal and seems common sense to have a crosswalk where a path intersects with a busy street.


  8. “Cost is minimal and seems common sense to have a crosswalk where a path intersects with a busy street.”

    You would think so Marilyn but In my experience when living in Edmonds nothing as sensible as a few lines on a street is possible. The cost would never be minimal as it would have to be engineered to death and of course a consultant would have to be hired at great cost, etc…etc… 🙂 When I tried to get a ” 25 MPH” painted on the street to remind people that the speed limit is only 25 MPH I was told that it would have to be studied and they’d get back to me… same thing with speed bumps (could not do that because of the ambulances and firetrucks) and other measures I repeatedly asked to curb the speeding. Ellie and I used to stand with hairdryers to look like we were checking the speed with radars, believe it or not it actually worked and people slowed down! Under the sweetness of Ellie was a great force to try to rectify what was wrong and make things right.


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