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NW 73rd & 8th Ave to get new crosswalk

The faded crosswalk lines at the offset intersection of NW 73rd St. across 8th Ave. NW show that there once was a safer way to cross that busy road. And soon there will be a new crosswalk to help pedestrians get to the #28 bus stop on either side of 8th Ave. NW.

You can see that NW 73rd St. doesn’t line up on either side of 8th Ave. NW. (That’s the other side of 73rd waaayyy in the back of this photo.)

A neighbor who lives on NW 73rd St. contacted Seattle Department of Transportation about the issue recently, and just received this reply from Jim Curtin, SDOT’s Community Traffic Liaison.

I recently received the pedestrian volume data for the offset intersection of NW 73rd St and 8th Ave NW. Our count found that more than 25 pedestrians cross 8th NW per hour during peak commute times. As a result, we will mark a crosswalk across 8th Ave NW.

The likely location of the new crosswalk will be between the two legs of NW 73rd St. This location provides the best sight lines for both drivers and pedestrians and would not trigger new parking restrictions. The new facility will include pedestrian crossing signage at the crosswalk as well as advanced warning signs for northbound and southbound traffic on 8th Ave NW. In addition, stop bars with “stop here for pedestrians” signs will be installed to provide additional guidance for drivers.

I am currently working with staff to identify funding for the construction of new curb ramps that would accompany this new marked crosswalk. The absence of curb ramps does not preclude the installation of the new crosswalk, however, I would like to ensure that this facility is fully accessible. I should have more information in early January.

Here are the remnants of a crosswalk that was once here.

(Full disclosure: We cross at that intersection several times a week while walking the PhinneyWood Kid to preschool. We even bought our own bright yellow safety flag to help make the crossing a little safer. But because NW 73rd St. is offset on either side of 8th Ave. NW, no matter where you cross, it looks like you’re either starting or ending in the middle of the block and not at the true intersection, leading some drivers to give you the stink eye.)

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