Construction on citywide pedestrian improvements to begin March 29

With the goal of improving safety at nine pedestrian crossings in Edmonds, the city will begin construction March 29 on its Citywide Pedestrian Crossing Enhancements Project.

Improvements will include pedestrian curb ramp upgrades to comply with ADA requirements, corner bulb-outs to reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians, traffic signal modifications, flashing beacons, new pavement markings, signs, and a safety education program.

The city secured a federal transportation grant through the Safe Routes to School Program to help fund these improvements.  The nine locations, related improvements and tentative start dates are:

Locations:           Walnut Street/8th Avenue South & Main Street/Olympic Avenue
Improvements:   New curb ramps/bulb-outs, flashing beacons and crosswalk pavement markings
Start date:          March 29, 2021

Location:            76th Avenue West & 206th Street Southwest
Improvements:   New curb ramps, flashing beacons and crosswalk pavement markings
Start date:          April 12, 2021

Location             State Route 104 & 232nd Street Southwest
Improvements:   Traffic Signal modification and conversion from Emergency Signal to Traffic Signal
Start date:          June 2021

Location             State Route 524 & 84th Avenue West
Improvements:   High-intensity Activated crossWalK (HAWK) signal and crosswalk pavement markings
Start date:          June 2021

Locations:           State Route 524 & 7th Avenue North, Dayton Street & 2nd Avenue South, Dayton Street & Harbor Square and 229th Place Southwest and 106th Avenue West
Improvements:   Flashing beacons and signage
Start date:          March 29, 2021

If you have questions, contact the City project manager Jaime Hawkins at 425-754-4106, or at Jaime.hawkins@edmondswa.govYou can also contact Jaime Hawkins for information about this project in another language.

  1. Why are there not flashing stop signs on the main street and fifth roundabout? There must be a blow thru those stop signs continually..sooner than later someone will be hit. I have asked at City Hall twice and was told its too epensive..come on man!

  2. Cynthia, I too care about pedestrian safety. But there are not flashing stop sign lights blinking constantly on the central intersection of our town in part (I hope) as an answer to my prayer that we stop cluttering up our cityscape with more visual noise to help human beings cross streets safely.

    Crossing the street safely is a life skill. All my friends are really good at it. You wait until there is no traffic in order to be really safe. Then you look both ways again. And then you simply walk across the road. This is what people do all over the world without being run down by crazy drivers. Billions go through there entire lives this way (without the help of audio signals and blinking lives and little orange flags to carry augmenting what a stop sign does) without even a close call when it comes to being run down by a crazy car.

    Perhaps the root cause of the problem is pedestrians assuming drivers will see and/or obey the stop sign. That will always be a dangerous assumption. A reasonable amount of signage is fine. But we reach a point where there must be some responsibility for people out and about to wait until it’s safe to cross.

    I’m sure the proposed pedestrian aids just announced will be expensive but more important for me is how extravagant and over-the-top signage disfigures an otherwise beautiful town center. At what point to we stop adding to the yellow paint, red blinking lights and orange flags and ask people to just cross the old fashioned way–safely when no cars are coming.

    1. Mr Steves
      My grandfather was killed crossing the street in a crosswalk in broad daylight. Life skills? Lights and blinkers are a nuisance? Rarely can one cross a street where absolutely no cars are cars coming. My grandfather was very old school. Better signage and unsightly lights messing up your vision on Edmonds? Geez. Even the law places the responsibility on the car not the pedestrian. No pedestrian wants to get run over. Old school, new school or college.

    2. Rick – that was spot on. Thank you for saying exactly what I’ve been thinking! We’re turning an adorable town into a carnival ride. I have never had trouble crossing the street in this town – yet I constantly see pedestrians walk up to an intersection and walk right into the street – without stopping, without looking, without ‘taking a turn’, without even MAKING EYE CONTACT! Take some responsibility for your own safety!

      1. Thrilled about the flashing beacons at 524 and 7th! Cars flying 40+ MPH down the road, rarely stop for pedestrians at this crosswalk. The signs are hidden and people heading in/out don’t respect that it’s still a neighborhood. Now to only get the city to do something about how fast people speed down 7th Ave N – it’s like a drag strip!

    3. I can’t argue with less visual clutter, and I agree that crossing is pretty straightforward most of the time. But in honesty, the fountain intersection is an engineering chimera. State traffic engineering standards for round-abouts put the pedestrian crosswalks away from the intersection a car length or so, because once a car is in a round-about it is expected to continue through without stopping. But we have stop signs around ours, and pedestrians cross right at the intersection. This leads to cars getting into the middle, and having to stop for a pedestrian that entered after the car was in motion. There are a number of ways that intersection could be safer for all, and traffic could flow smoothly. We’ve managed to avoid them all.

  3. I am one that advocated for a crosswalk at the Walnut and 8th pedestrian crossing – I never expected a flashing light to be part of it. I agree with Rick that we don’t need a city of flashing lights, bright flags, etc. A dear friend and neighbor died on Walnut Street, crossing a street that has a pedestrian path but with no street markings. I was hoping for a marking of a crosswalk. While I greatly appreciate the city responding after 7 years…will be interesting to see what this ends up being – the crosswalk will not actually connect the two pedestrian paths but expect people to walk up the hill a bit to legally cross. All a bit perplexing!

  4. 3rd and Bell would be another consideration. Flashing lights are great but the curbs for a wheelchair are impossible. There is a lot of foot traffic on Bell because of the farmers market and other activities and we find ourselves out in the street because the sidewalks are impossible for a wheelchair or mobility device.

  5. Take a look at the front page of the Seattle Times this morning and you will see some peds crossing while looking at their phones and not the dangers around them.

  6. Edmonds was turned into a carnival ride many years ago and it’s not going to get better any time soon. The best thing to do is just embrace the lights and flags and assume any car coming thru an intersection is being driven by a psycho moron who’s late to work or the ferry, because a lot of times, you will be right.

  7. A major issue with the city’s rigid approach is how it defines accessibility work. It seems so limited that crosswalk updates often are framed as ADA compliance when in general, the City has so many ASA challenges that we have a reputation. The pedestrian issue is completely different, though and Mr. Steves’ analysis is spot on.

  8. The fountain round about is a prime example of how Edmonds has been turned into a carnival ride of sorts. Think merry go round. That has become a major symbol of our town so we have to live with it.

    The smart thing to do would be to compensate the businesses that would be harmed. Pay for moving those businesses to a traffic friendly location and turn downtown into a walking mall as Rick has suggested.

    If you want to have a town based on tourism you have to make pedestrians’ safety a high priority. I don’t see how a few lights, flags and flashing stop sighs are somehow an attack on the senses that can’t be tolerated. Seems like another solution looking for a problem.

  9. Perhaps we should attach those little canister powered boat horns to the orange flags. That way pedestrians could alert cars long before they get to the intersection, so they know to stop. I can envision those spike strips police use operated by remote controls, also attached to the flags. We could even build those little carts that ride on rails like the old mine carts in order to convey people the 15 feet from one side of the street to the other, but then I suppose the city might take on a liability if said cart was to run into a car that was already in the intersection. Perhaps we could make bumpers on them, out of Nerf material to mitigate such a threat. We could even make the entire cart out of Nerf. I know, we could borrow that tunnel boring machine from Seattle, and bore a round-a-bout shaped tunnel under the fountain’s intersection for the cars.

Leave a Reply

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

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.