Look at this intersection! Driver ‘bulletin’ signs go up around Seattle

Did you know that drivers are supposed to stop for pedestrians at virtually every intersection in Seattle, whether or not there is a painted crosswalk?

It’s true. However, a recent informal survey of 1,000 people by the city found that 70% of drivers claimed to stop for pedestrians at painted crosswalks, but actual observation showed that less than 20% did. fact, according to the Seattle Department of Transportation.

“Obviously, we have important work to do to make sure everyone knows and follows the law,” SDOT said in a blog post.

To raise public awareness, the city will install new signs or “Driver’s Report Cards” at 13 marked and unmarked intersections across Seattle over the next few weeks as part of a new public education and awareness campaign. of $350,000. Most of this effort will be funded by a $250,000 grant received from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, SDOT said.

The blue signs, warning drivers to stop for pedestrians in front of them, will be updated weekly to indicate the percentage of drivers who complied with the law the previous week.

The signs will be displayed for approximately six weeks. The information gathered about driver behavior at intersections will help shape the city’s campaign, policies, practices and future investments, SDOT said.

The same tactic was used in St. Paul, Minnesota, where the number of law-abiding drivers rose from 30% to 62% in just a few weeks, according to the Department of Transportation.

The first two signs were installed Friday at intersections in West Seattle’s High Point neighborhood at a painted crosswalk at 34th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Morgan Street, and at an unpainted crosswalk at Sylvan Way Southwest and Southwest Sylvan Heights Drive.

The next signs will be installed in Rainier Beach, followed by other areas of the city, all close to schools with a high percentage of students who receive free or reduced lunch, or have a high proportion of students from color, says SDOT.

SDOT will use the compiled data to compare the percentage of drivers who stop for white pedestrians to the percentages of those who stop for people of color. SDOT said research has shown that white pedestrians spend less time waiting to cross at crosswalks than people of color.

The choice of locations is based on the city’s goal of focusing future security investments in communities most affected by public divestment.

Amanda J. Marsh