With the new crosswalk just south of Admiral and Dayton open for business, waterfront walkers now have an easier — and safer — time crossing this often-busy stretch of road.
It’s located right where drivers come around a 90-degree blind curve into Admiral Way after heading down Dayton and across the tracks to the waterfront. The curve effectively hides pedestrians, and it’s difficult for motorists to see people trying to cross the street until they’re quite close. And there’s plenty of foot traffic year-round, with folks attracted to Marina Beach park, the fishing pier, and the adjacent businesses and restaurants — and even more so on nice summer days when families, kids, picnickers and beach-goers swell the crowd.
The crosswalk has been in operation about two weeks, and users are liking it. Kathy Moellenberndt and Janet Morris have been waterfront walking companions for the past 10 years, and rarely miss a day.
“The crosswalk is perfect for us,” said Moellenberndt. “We’ve noticed the traffic getting busier over the years, and it’s become a bit worrisome. It’s especially bad during Friday afternoon happy hours, and gets really crazy when there’s an event like the salmon derby. The new crosswalk is a great addition.”
The crosswalk has pedestrian-activated flashing beacon lights. It also features ADA-accessible bump-outs on both sides that not only make the crosswalk and waiting pedestrians more visible to motorists, but help calm traffic and shorten the distance for pedestrians to cross the street.
“We’re hoping that pedestrians who are accustomed to crossing at the 90-degree curve will use the crosswalk instead,” explained City of Edmonds Traffic Engineer Bertrand Hauss. “Crossing at the bend is risky — motorists are concentrating on negotiating the curve and don’t have a direct line of sight to the pedestrians. We purposely located the crosswalk south of the curve near the parking lot entrance, which gives oncoming southbound motorists the required 300-foot line of sight.”
Hauss added that the city and the Port are looking into adding signage on either side of the 90-degree curve directing pedestrians to not cross at that point but to use the crosswalk instead.
The cost of the $38,000 project was shared 50/50 between the city and the Port of Edmonds.
— Story and photo by Larry Vogel