Letter to the editor: A distracted driving kind of day


Those who have lived in our great city for any length of time realize we are lucky to live in an oasis amongst the metropolis. We often tout the phrase, “Enjoy an Edmonds kind of day”.

However, I would be interested to know what our citizens believe is an “Edmonds kind of day”. Monday’s story from KOMO news indicates a small fraction of what I believe is a normal “Edmonds kind of day”: komonews.com/news/local/edmonds-is-the-distracted-driving-capital-of-wash-state-study-finds

I would be interested to know, is an “Edmonds kind of day” considered?:

1)      A day in which people regularly violate a mobile phone laws in place for years, to the point we receive the KOMO news publicity above?

2)      A day in which people regularly speed through residential streets? (the streets in which they live)

3)      A day in which people regularly roll stop signs because they were –> first, nobody was there, I’m late and/or the odds of me being caught are worth it?

4)      A day in which people regularly tailgate drivers driving 30 in a 25 or 40 in a 35?

5)      A day in which people regularly cut corners short, causing people to slam on their brakes to keep from broadsiding the oncoming car?

6)      A day in which people/children walking on streets without sidewalks have to dodge speeding vehicles?

7)      A day in which people voluntarily park backwards in our business parking lots with slanted parking spots, intended for serpentine traffic flow?

Fellow citizens, please police yourself. (Our wonderful police department has higher priority issues, than sitting on the side of the road hoping to ticket you.) If the majority of our citizens cannot follow the most basic of basic laws, why should any energy be put toward all of the virtuous issues and causes that have less effect on public safety? It’s great we’ve banned plastic bags, straws and single use containers. I would be interested to know how many accidents, lives and property damage have been saved by these virtuous laws enacted.

If you truly love Edmonds and an “Edmonds kind of day” — police yourself, obey the most basic of our laws and understand your neighbors do not love you violating these basic laws in front of their homes.

Ed Peterson

10 Replies to “Letter to the editor: A distracted driving kind of day”

  1. Ed,
    I could not agree more with all you mentioned in your comment. I am a business owner in Edmonds. What I see out my window on the corner of 5th and Dayton on a daily bases is shocking. From watching pedestrians being almost hit to people parking in illegal areas that slow down traffic flow. The best was a woman making a u turn in the intersection. All this said, living and working in Edmonds, my question is how many distracted drivers are Edmonds’s residents? The residents of Edmonds know how much our city has grown in popularity. So although the new report stated our city has the most distracted drivers and that can reflect on our insurance costs, not all of us are distracted drivers. And that should not reflect on the citizens that do respectfully follow the laws for the safety of our community.


  2. This week I watched a driver miss the stop sign at Main Street and Seventh Ave., next to the library,
    the second time this year that this has happened! And it wasn’t just “rolling through” a stop sign, as the car was going at least 30 miles and hour! I would like to see speed bumps, westbound and eastbound, installed at the intersection.


  3. Add to the list: treating the “fountain intersection” at 5th and Main as a round-about instead of the four way stop that it is.


  4. Thank you for this article! Nice to know we’re famous…. I guess.

    I live on Olympic View Drive, which winds and has many hidden driveways, mine being one. I routinely see cars driving way, way faster than the 25 mph speed limit; the “Your Speed” sign often shows speeds up to or even over 40 mph. Do we need speed bumps or traffic circles? Since I have lived on OVD we have had two fatalities. Coming out of my driveway onto OVD is like dicing with death.

    I often experience the opposite on 3rd, where I routinely get stuck behind someone doing 20 in the 30 zone.

    I fear we are a town of bad drivers.


    1. Thanks Nathaniel, I see the same stuff you do everyday. Fortunately, I don’t have to try and enter or exit my driveway on OVD, but I often ask myself if it would be worth the view to deal with the danger.

      My fear is that this is just a part of the Californication of Edmonds and western Washington. This driving behavior is a normal way of life in any city of size in California. Next will be neighbors pulling into the garage, closing the door behind them and little to no communication with their neighbors.

      I fell in love with Edmonds, because we as neighbors help each other when needed, watch out for each others safety/property and often share holiday treats with each other. I feel this behavior is or has diminished greatly in the 13 years we’ve lived here.

      Thanks again to you and the other supportive comments.


  5. I’m glad to see this being addressed, even if it’s “bad press”! We regularly take our pups down to the waterfront, usually taking the same route every day. Twice in the last two weeks we’ve been sitting at the stop sign at 5th & Dayton going westbound and watched people run the stop sign. We’re not talking a ‘slow role’ either. Both times it was dark, once a middle aged dude with 3 other people in the vehicle went southbound just as we were pulling out and never took his foot off the gas. He was clearly lost (looking all around as he drove) so I just sort of wrote him off as a ‘tourist’.
    The 2nd time and gray haired female in a mini van did the same thing going eastbound…without any headlights, looking straight ahead the whole time. Never slowed down. I just looked at my wife and said “It’s an Edmonds kind of day!” Sorry for this rant, I know the police can’t be everywhere at once but I think we have one of the best police departments in the region, I can say this based upon my own 35 years in law enforcement. Come on people, pay attention!


  6. All good points about drivers. My experience in watching pedestrians is they too have a major role in keeping our streets safe. Just sit and watch how peds cross the street around the fountain area and compare that with the 5 corners area. Peds in 5 corners, approach the area with an attitude that they are going to cross a place for cars and they need to proceed with caution and an awareness of they are sharing space with cars. They approach, make eye contact, signal their intention and proceed as if they are sharing the space. Peds by the fountain do not behave with the same care and sharing experience. They often do not look, stop talking on the phone or with a fellow ped and enter the area as if their is no present danger to manage. Yes they have a right to cross the street but they too should have an obligation to do it in a way that is safe for all!


  7. Come up to Cherry Hill/North Edmonds sometime. You’ll see about every one of those things on your list. Dog walking up here is an experience.


  8. Ive started using an alternate route to and from work that avoids the intersection of 9th and Main. I can’t count the times I’ve been almost rammed into by drivers who blow thru that intersection. Edmonds, hang up your phones, pay attention to the speed limits and drive like your children’s lives depend on it…because they do. We all do. Maybe next year we will only be #5 on the Distracted Driver study.


  9. When you have a brand new hammer… so the saying goes, there are nails just waiting for you, everywhere.

    If you look for courteous drivers and pedestrians, I’m sure you’ll see a great many more people.

    For those mentioned, I’ll suggest a game…

    Ask yourself… Why would they do that?

    Also, my old band director had a great saying: Always watch out for the person – behind – the person in front of you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *